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200-year-old oak tree at Brooklake Country Club in Florham Park, New Jersey
The area that is now Florham Park was first settled by the English sometime between 1680 and 1700, and the community was long recognized as a prime farming area. The area was known for the manufacture of quality brooms, which was the source of one of its town names, Broomtown. Through its history, the area was known as Hoppingtown, Broomtown, Columbia, Afton, and finally Florham Park. It was part of Hanover Township, then Chatham Township before being incorporated as Florham Park in 1899.
Florence Adele Vanderbilt Twombly (1854-1952), granddaughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt, renowned as the richest man in America, and her husband, financier, Hamilton McKown Twombly, came to the Morris County countryside in 1887, joining over 100 other millionaires who owned sprawling country retreats. They fancied an English-style country mansion in a stately park setting. "Florham," built on 840 acres (3.4 km2), one of America's finest Gilded Age homes, was the result. The couple named their new estate "Florham," a combination of their first names, Florence and Hamilton. The second part to the name "Florham Park" received its name from a second mansion in town that was on about 1,000 acres (4.0 km2) of land situated where the current Brooklake Country Club is located. Owned by Dr. Leslie Ward — one of the founders of the Prudential Insurance Company and the first vice president of the company — it was named "Brooklake Park", partially because of the beautiful lake that was on the property.
Both of these families were supporters of many civic projects including the petitioning of the State of New Jersey to create their own municipality. After the legislature voted on March 9, 1899, the governor signed the bill on March 20, making Florham Park a borough. The new town was named after Florence and Hamilton Twombly's and Dr. Ward's estates.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 7.540 square miles (19.528 km2), including 7.288 square miles (18.875 km2) of land and 0.252 square miles (0.652 km2) of water (3.34%).
There were 4,003 households out of which 29.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.9% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.1% were non-families. 26.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.03.
In the borough, the population was spread out with 19.2% under the age of 18, 18.9% from 18 to 24, 20.7% from 25 to 44, 24.4% from 45 to 64, and 16.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38.1 years. For every 100 females there were 83.6 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 79.4 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $106,227 (with a margin of error of +/- $10,030) and the median family income was $121,316 (+/- $8,544). Males had a median income of $92,857 (+/- $17,466) versus $61,331 (+/- $12,613) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $46,564 (+/- $4,867). About 0.5% of families and 2.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.7% of those under age 18 and 7.7% of those age 65 or over.
There were 3,239 households out of which 30.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.7% were married couples living together, 7.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.6% were non-families. 20.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.62 and the average family size was 3.05.
In the borough the population was spread out with 21.7% under the age of 18, 5.0% from 18 to 24, 25.2% from 25 to 44, 27.7% from 45 to 64, and 20.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females, there were 86.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 80.6 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $88,706, and the median income for a family was $102,047. Males had a median income of $74,410 versus $49,551 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $42,133. About 2.4% of families and 5.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.8% of those under age 18 and 11.9% of those age 65 or over.
Florham Park is the North American headquarters of the BASF corporation, the world's largest chemical company.Nickel alloys producer VDM Metals USA (formerly operating under the name of ThyssenKrupp VDM USA and Precision Rolled Products) operates a melting plant in Florham Park.
Florham Park is governed under the borough form of New Jersey municipal government. The governing body consists of a mayor and a borough council comprising six council members, with all positions elected at-large on a partisan basis as part of the November general election. A mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The borough council consists of six members elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year in a three-year cycle. The borough form of government used by Florham Park, the most common system used in the state, is a "weak mayor / strong council" government in which council members act as the legislative body, with the mayor presiding at meetings and voting only in the event of a tie. The mayor can veto ordinances subject to an override by a two-thirds majority vote of the council. The mayor makes committee and liaison assignments for council members, and most appointments are made by the mayor with the advice and consent of the council.
As of 2018[update], the mayor of Florham Park is Republican Mark Taylor, serving a term of office ending on December 31, 2019. Members of the borough council are Council President William L. Zuckerman (R, 2019), Scott Carpenter (R, 2018), Carmen Cefolo-Pane (R, 2018), Charles A. Germershausen (R, 2020), Charles J. Malone Jr. (R, 2020) and Thomas B. Michalowski (R, 2019).
In May 2013, the borough council chose Council President Mark Taylor from a list of three candidates nominated by the Republican municipal committee to fill the vacant mayoral seat of R. Scott Eveland, who had resigned from office in March from a term expiring in December 2015. At the same meeting, the council selected Thomas Michalowski from the list of three candidates nominated to fill the vacant council seat of David Wikstrom, who had resigned in April from a term expiring in December 2013. In April 2013, the council chose William Zuckerman from the list of three nominees to fill Mark Taylor's vacant council seat expiring in December 2016.
Morris County is governed by a seven-member Board of Chosen Freeholders, who are elected at-large in partisan elections, to three-year terms on a staggered basis, with either one or three seats up for election each year as part of the November general election. The Freeholder Board sets policies for the operation of six super-departments, more than 30 divisions plus authorities, commissions, boards and study committees. Actual day-to-day operation of departments is supervised by County Administrator, John Bonanni. As of 2019[update], Morris County's Freeholders are
Freeholder Director Douglas Cabana (R, Boonton Township, 2019),
Deputy Freeholder Director Heather Darling (R, Roxbury, 2020),
Kathryn A. DeFillippo (R, Roxbury Township, 2019,
John Krickus (R, Washington Township, 2021),
Thomas J. Mastrangelo (R, Montville, 2019),
Stephen H. Shaw (R, Mountain Lakes, 2021), and
Deborah Smith (R, Denville, 2021).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 7,111 registered voters in Florham Park, of which 1,319 (18.5%) were registered as Democrats, 3,035 (42.7%) were registered as Republicans and 2,756 (38.8%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There was one voter registered to another party.
In the 2016 presidential election, Republican Donald Trump received 53.9% of the vote (3,175 cast), ahead of Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton with 43.2% (2,548 cast), and other candidates with 2.8% (170 votes). In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 59.8% of the vote (3,273 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 39.5% (2,165 votes), and other candidates with 0.7% (38 votes), among the 5,511 ballots cast by the borough's 7,810 registered voters (35 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 70.6%. In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 59.2% of the vote (3,384 cast), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 39.7% (2,270 votes) and other candidates with 0.7% (39 votes), among the 5,716 ballots cast by the borough's 7,330 registered voters, for a turnout of 78.0%. In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 61.4% of the vote (3,382 ballots cast), outpolling Democrat John Kerry with 37.8% (2,082 votes) and other candidates with 0.4% (28 votes), among the 5,509 ballots cast by the borough's 7,176 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 76.8.
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 73.6% of the vote (2,674 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 25.5% (927 votes), and other candidates with 0.9% (34 votes), among the 3,713 ballots cast by the borough's 7,664 registered voters (78 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 48.4%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 61.7% of the vote (2,410 ballots cast), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 29.6% (1,155 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 7.8% (304 votes) and other candidates with 0.1% (5 votes), among the 3,903 ballots cast by the borough's 7,118 registered voters, yielding a 54.8% turnout.
Portions of the College of Saint Elizabeth campus are in Florham Park, including the Villa of Saint Ann, a classical Greek amphitheater built into a hillside, and the original dairy farm for the complex. Portions of the Fairleigh Dickinson University's Florham Campus, also are located in Florham Park.
Route 24 eastbound in Florham Park
Roads and highways
As of May 2010[update], the borough had a total of 48.73 miles (78.42 km) of roadways, of which 37.56 miles (60.45 km) were maintained by the municipality, 8.01 miles (12.89 km) by Morris County and 3.16 miles (5.09 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
NJ Transit provides bus service from the borough to Newark on the 70 and 73 routes, with local service on routes 878 and 879. Service had been offered on the MCM8 route, which was suspended in 2010 after subsidies to the contract provider were eliminated as part of NJ Transit budget cuts.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Florham Park include:
^Welcome to BASF in North America, BASF. Accessed April 24, 2012. "BASF Corporation, headquartered in Florham Park, New Jersey, is the North American affiliate of BASF SE, based in Ludwigshafen, Germany. BASF has approximately 16,400 employees in North America, and had sales of $17.7 billion in 2010."
^Production capabilities, VDM Metals. Accessed November 08, 2017. "In addition to the conventional technology of open melting, we also use vacuum induction melting (VIM) furnaces in both our German melting plant and in our melting plant in Florham Park, New Jersey, which is operated by VDM Metals USA."
^Robinson, P.C. "Busy night as Florham Park presents new councilman, budget", Florham Park Eagle News, April 25, 2013. Accessed July 29, 2015. "Long-time borough volunteer fireman William Zuckerman, whose day job is that of chief financial officer for Sussex County's Vernon Township, was sworn in to fill the remaining months to the seat once occupied by Acting Mayor Mark Taylor."
^Staff. "Florham Park", FDU Magazine, Fall / Winter 2001. Accessed April 24, 2012. "In 1899, led by Mother Mary Xavier, the Sisters of Charity established the College of St. Elizabeth, the first New Jersey college to grant degrees of higher education to women. In 1901, the college's first building, Xavier Hall, was constructed, and it now serves as the main building for the Academy of St. Elizabeth. Florham Park solidified its reputation as a college town when Fairleigh Dickinson University purchased the splendid Twombly estate and opened a campus in 1958."
^James, George. "IN PERSON; The New Jersey Chronicles", The New York Times, May 10, 1998. Accessed December 18, 2012. "One recent morning, Mr. Cunningham, who had traveled from his home in Florham Park, Morris County, stood on the campus at Stevens Institute of Technology here, being videotaped for a New Jersey Network historical series called New Jersey Legacy, to be broadcast around Christmas."
^Pearce, Jeremy. "In Person; Don't Call Him a Historian", The New York Times, January 5, 2003. Accessed December 18, 2012. "'A century passes and it's not so long ago,' reflected John T. Cunningham, whose words were formed slowly and seemed to float for a moment before him.... For half a century, the words of the Florham Park social historian have reached children studying his textbooks and touched readers exploring his broader histories of the Garden State."
^Matzner, Frank A. "Mark Guiliana: New Beats", All About Jazz, April 8, 2008. Accessed May 27, 2014. "All About Jazz: You were born and raised in New Jersey, correct?... MG: I went to school at William Paterson. I'm from Morris County, a town called Florham Park."
^Sullivan, Joseph F. "LEGISLATURE TO CONFRONT INSURANCE BILLS", The New York Times, December 6, 1987. Accessed September 12, 2015. "The most controversial measure - sponsored by Assemblyman Ralph A. Loveys, Republican of Florham Park and chairman of the Insurance Committee - would forge a major shift in public policy."
^Staff. "Yanks Win By 9-8 On 5 Runs In 9th", The New York Times, April 5, 1964. Accessed October 29, 2017. "Richardson grounded to Minoso, who made his erratic peg to set up the game-winning situation for Moore, the bonus player from Florham Park, N. J., via Springfield (Mass.) College."
^Lowitt, Bruce. "Super Bowl notebook", St. Petersburg Times, January 18, 2001. Accessed August 31, 2015. "New Jersey native Tony Siragusa, a Ravens defensive tackle and resident of Florham Park, N.J., and Giants defensive end Michael Strahan, who lives in nearby Montclair, N.J., have been good friends since meeting two years ago at several charity functions."
^Griffith, Janelle. "Snooki buys new $2.6M Florham Park home", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, January 20, 2015. Accessed January 26, 2015. "Nicole 'Snooki' Polizzi is expanding her real estate portfolio. The Jersey Shore alum purchased a $2.6 million home in Florham Park with her husband Jionni LaValle, property records show."