Springfield Township, site of the last great New Jersey battle of the Revolutionary War, is a largely developed older suburb in northwestern Union County. It is located in the foothills of the Watchung Mountains. It has grown from a small historic town settled in the early 1700's to a bustling suburban community. The earliest documented white settlers, the Briant family, arrived from nearby Hackensack in 1717. The early families enjoyed friendly and rather uneventful relations with the local Unami tribe, an offshoot of the Lenape tribe.
. . .On June 23, 1780, British and Hessian troops tried to punch through Springfield to capture Washington's supplies in Morristown. Outgunned and outnumbered local militiamen, aided by some of Washington's Continentals, beat them back. The British retreated from Springfield to Staten Island and never fought on New Jersey soil again. The withdrawing Redcoats burned the town, except the four houses in which they had kept their wounded. One of those houses, built in 1740 and restored, is the home of the Springfield Historical Society, at 128 Morris Avenue, and is on the National Register of Historic Places as the Cannonball House, because of a direct artillery hit during the war.
. . .On May 27, 1793 an Act was passed by the General Assembly at Trenton forming the Township of Springfield from the Townships of Elizabeth and Newark in the County of Essex. This new Township established on April 14, 1794 included Springfield proper, Millburn, parts of Summit, South Orange, Maplewood and New Providence. This Act remained in force until November 8, 1809 when New Providence was withdrawn. In 1857, when the County of Union was formed, it included Springfield proper, leaving Millburn, Maplewood, and South Orange in Essex County. On March 17, 1869 part of Summit Township was formed from the westerly part of Springfield. Since then the boundaries have remained unchanged, 5.15 square miles.
. . .Its 1990 population was 13,420, a 15% decrease from its peak population of 15,740 counted in 1970.
. . .Springfield's 1990 population density was 2,606 people per square mile, less than one-half the Union County average but more than twice the state-wide average.
. . .In 1990 Springfield had 5,781 households, 5,990 housing units, and 10,787 private sector jobs, for a high jobs-housing ratio of 1.8 to 1. For a comparison, in 1985 the statewide jobs-housing ratio in New Jersey was 1 to 1.
. . .The population of Springfield was 94% white, 3% black, and 2% Asian in 1990. Although there is a broad ethnic mix, the predominant groups are Jews and Italians. Of the10 large houses of worship, three are synagogues.
. . .The 1990 median household income in Springfield was $48,647.
. . .Springfield has a fair mix of different housing types, including modest and huge single family detached houses, post World War II garden apartments, more recent townhouses, and a four story downtown condominium apartment building with garage parking. Multifamily units (two or more units in a building) in about a dozen complexes accounted for 41.7% of the housing in the township in 1990, while single family attached units, such as townhouses, provided an additional 3.2% of Springfield's 5,990 units. Few older or new suburbs in New Jersey have such a large proportion of multifamily, low-rise housing. Two-thirds of the housing units in Springfield are owner occupied. Two-thirds of Springfield's housing was built before 1960.
. . .Important transportation arteries skirt the edges of and have shaped the development of our community. Morris Avenue (Route 82) dates from the colonial era as the Morris & Essex Turnpike and anchors Springfield's well defined downtown in the northeastern part of the township. Route 22, a divided state highway developed probably during World War I, cuts a highway commercial strip swath, including a wide, commercially developed median, across the southern part of the township. This state highway provides high regional accessibility for the adjacent light industrial areas of Springfield. Interstate 78, opened in the late 1980s, sweeps across western-northern Springfield, its Exits 48 and 49 providing access to-from Springfield.
. . .The world famous Baltusrol Golf Club, formed in 1895, occupies a large 470 acre hillside in central-western Springfield on the eastern flank of the First Watchung Mountain. This private open space, accounts for 14% of the township's land area. Springfield also has significant public open space, with several major components of the Union County park system.
. . .Over 30% of the population in the United States live within 250 miles of Springfield, NJ
. . .Distances from Springfield
to major points:
New York City
. . .Our Springfield is one of 29 "Springfields" in the United States. Of the others, Springfield, Illinois is best known because of Lincoln's residence there. We feel that our Springfield was the turning point of the Revolution, and therefore deserves a place in national history of equal importance. Here, under the leadership of General Washington, our freedom was achieved by the sacrifice of those who found the cost of liberty not too great.
Good to Know:
Springfield Council: springfield-nj.us
Springfield Recreation Dept. springfield-nj.us
Springfield Building Dept: springfield-nj.us
Springfield Public Works Dept: springfield-nj.us
Springfield Fire Dept: firedepartment.net
Springfield Police Dept: springfield-nj.us
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