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Founded in 1871 along the banks of the Rahway River, Cranford quickly developed from industrial mills and agriculture to a thriving suburban and retail center.
Key factors in the township's early development included the river and the railroad line, which first ran through the area in 1839. Soon, Manhattan and Brooklyn commuters moved to the area to take advantage of its natural beauty. Regular regattas and carnivals along the river were another strong selling point, and real estate men dubbed Cranford "the Venice of New Jersey."
Today, many of the stately Victorian homes from that area still stand along the tree-lined streets surrounding the downtown. Those architectural gems, along with well-regarded public schools, led New Jersey Monthly magazine to name Cranford one of the top 25 towns in the state.
The township was the first in the state to institute a "Special Improvement District" for the downtown in the early 1990's. Today Cranford is working to revive its downtown through a variety of public and private enterprises.
NJ Transit Rail & Bus Service to New York City; Route 22 to major arteries; Garden State Pkwy to major highways; 20 minutes to Newark Airport.
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