The name Berkeley Heights has only existed since 1952 when the township changed its name from New Providence Township to avoid confusion with the neighboring New Providence Borough.
Over the course of its history, the area of Berkeley Heights was known more for the villages that lie within it. The first community was Feltville, which grew up in the 1700's with the building of grist and saw mills along the Blue Brook, now part of the Deserted Village in a county-owned park on Cataract Hollow Road.
Part of the town used the name Turkey, which was also used by the area known as the borough of New Providence. Turkey became New Providence in 1750, when the greateful community thanked the Almighty for no one being seriously injured when a church balcony gave way, collapsing on the gallery below. The name Berkeley Heights honors Lord John Berkeley, one of the two proprietors who jointly owned the east and west portions of the state.
The center of what is the town's business area became known as Peppertown in the late 1800's, most likely a reference to the color of the peppers Italian settlers hung out to dry during the harvest season.
Following World War II, the population boom developed the township into a suburban community of single-family homes, and large, stable, industrial parks, most notably the Bell Technology Laboratories (now Lucent Technology), employing thousands of professional workers built in part of the township.
A community effort recently revitalized an area along the railroad tracks on Sherman Avenue near the municipal building and made it into Peppertown Park.
Berkeley Heights is home to approximately 13,000 residents who occupy its 6.2 square miles.
Good to Know:
Berkeley Heights Council: www.berkeleyheightstwp.com
Berkeley Heights Recreational Dept:
Berkeley Heights Police Dept:
Berkeley Heights Fire Dept:
Recycling Program: www.bh-ec.org
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