Scotch Plains was settled by European and Scottish settlers in the late 1600s who had landed at Perth Amboy under the leadership of George Scot, thus the name "Scot’s Plains". The Battle of Short Hills was fought in the township’s Ash Swamp on June 26, 1777. Parts of this battle took place along Rahway Road as Washington’s troops moved toward the safety of the Watchung Mountains. In 1878, Scotch Plains was called Fanwood Township; some portions of town were taken in 1895 to form Fanwood Borough. A town referendum renamed Fanwood Township Scotch Plains in 1917. For many years, Scotch Plains consisted mainly of family farms and farmland. Construction of Route 22 in 1930 played a large role in the township’s development.
Today the town is the third largest municipality in square miles in Union County and is primarily a residential community that offers a tranquil small-town lifestyle to its 23,000 + residents. Only 1.5% of its area is comprised of industry. A good portion of its land is devoted to parks and playgrounds, including part of the Watchung Reservation. The township is also distinguished by excellent cultural and community recreational programs, lovely single family homes. Downtown Scotch Plains offers a variety of shops and wonderful restaurants including The Stage House Tavern.
There are social and recreational events for all age groups in Scotch Plains. Youth sports abound, including local baseball and soccer associations. Clubs and volunteer groups include the Historical Society of Scotch Plains and Fanwood, Scotch Plains Fanwood Newcomers’ Club, Scotch Plains Junior Woman’s Club, Scotch Plains-Fanwood UNICO and Scotch Plains Rotary Club. The Scotch Plains Library (located at 1927 Bartle Avenue) sponsors book clubs, storytelling for children, career workshops, teen events and author visits.
An enviable location 24 miles west of Manhattan has made Scotch Plains a popular commuter community. There are diverse home styles and price ranges within the township. New construction and estate-caliber homes in the million-dollar-plus range, custom colonials in the $800,000 plus range, spacious ranch, cape cod and split level style homes are available in the $400,000 to $500,000 range, and town house and condominiums priced from the $200,000s to upper $300,000s, as well as a 55 and up golf community from $800,000 - $1,000,000.
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