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|Maplewood, New Jersey|
|— Township —|
|Incorporated||April 1, 1861 as South Orange Township|
|Renamed||November 7, 1922 as Maplewood township|
|• Mayor||Victor Deluca|
|• Administrator||Joseph F. Manning|
|• Total||3.8 sq mi (10.0 km2)|
|• Land||3.8 sq mi (10.0 km2)|
|• Water||0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)|
|Elevation||430 ft (131 m)|
|Population (2010 Census)|
|• Density||6,207.1/sq mi (2,396.6/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||1729719|
When surveying the area now known as Maplewood, Robert Treat found several trails used by Lenape tribes of Algonquian Native Americans, though there was only sparse pre-European settlement. These paths form the basis for what are the town's main thoroughfares today.
The first European settlers arrived around 1675, primarily English, Dutch, and French Puritans who had earlier settled Hempstead, Long Island, and Stamford, Connecticut, via Newark and Elizabeth. They had acquired most of today’s Essex County from the Native Americans and followed three trails that roughly correspond to South Orange Avenue, Springfield Avenue, and Ridgewood Road. These three routes resulted in three separate communities that merged into Maplewood and South Orange.
Those who came from Newark on the trail that now corresponds to South Orange Avenue settled the area that became South Orange Village.
Six families (with last names of Smith, Brown, Pierson, Freeman, Ball, and Gildersleeve) came up today’s Ridgewood Road and established scattered farms around a center that became Jefferson Village, named after Thomas Jefferson. This village, which roughly corresponds to downtown Maplewood today, developed several mills and orchards. John Durand, the son of Hudson River school painter Asher Brown Durand (who was born in Maplewood in 1796), describes the place as a picturesque but slightly backwards community with close ties to Springfield. The apple harvest was apparently quite impressive and included “Harrison” and “Canfield” varieties. By 1815, there were approximately 30 families in the village. Although the residents of the area were predominantly Presbyterian, the first house of worship was a Baptist chapel in 1812. This was in use until 1846 and fell into disrepair until 1858, when it was taken into use as a Methodist Episcopal church.
Those who came up today’s Springfield Avenue settled on a hill crest near today’s intersection between Tuscan and Springfield Avenue and established a hamlet known as North Farms. Over time, this community became known as the Hilton section. It became a stagecoach stop between Newark, Jersey City (then Paulus Hook), and Morristown and thereby a center for trade and light manufacturing. The village changed its name from North Farms to Middleville in 1830, and then to Hilton in 1880 when it was granted a post office. In 1855, Seth Boyden settled in what was then Middleville to retire but innovated a number of agricultural products, especially berries. Boyden also built and put into operation the first steam engines to service the railroad through Maplewood. The area became known for its orchards and related industries, including cider mills and distilleries of rum, but also honey and some livestock.
In 1802, Jefferson Village and North Farms were named as districts under the Township of Newark.
The three communities operated independently, each establishing their own school associations: South Orange established the Columbian school in 1814, which would form the basis for today’s Columbia High School; North Farms established the North Farms Association in 1817; and Jefferson Village the Jefferson Association in 1818. In 1867, when the State of New Jersey established public education through the School Law, the newly appointed County Superintendent merged the three associations into one school district, which was formalized in 1894 as the South Orange-Maplewood School District. James Ricalton, a teacher born in Waddington, New York of Scottish parents, set the high standard of education that persists in the school district to this day.
Maplewood was originally formed as South Orange Township, which was created on April 1, 1861, from portions of Clinton Township and what was then the Town of Orange. The name of the township was changed to Maplewood on November 7, 1922.
When the Morris and Essex Railroad from Newark was extended to the area in 1838, a land speculator by the name of John Shedden built a railroad station in Jefferson Village and named it Maplewood. This name came to comprise areas known as Hilton, Jefferson Village, and areas previously part of Springfield. In 1868, farms were divided into parcels for residential housing. The 1920s saw significant growth in new residents and structures, foreshadowing a complete suburb.
Maplewood is located at (40.728901, −74.268213).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 3.8 square miles (9.8 km2).A pond is in Memorial Park, the Rahway River runs through the town, and there is a municipal pool club with four man-made pools of water; the remainder of the area is land.
Maplewood shares a border with the following municipalities: West Orange and South Orange to the north, Newark and Irvington to the east, Union to the south, and Millburn to the west.
|Climate data for Maplewood|
|Average high °F (°C)||39
|Average low °F (°C)||18
|Precipitation inches (mm)||4.13
Many of the more recognizable buildings and spaces were the work of famous architects and landscape designers. Most of the schools and the Municipal Building were the work of Guilbert & Betelle. The center of town is dominated by Memorial Park, a design of the Olmsted Brothers. The Olmsted firm was also responsible for the landscaping at Ward Homestead, designed by John Russell Pope, and now known as Winchester Gardens, located on Elmwood Avenue. On the opposite side of town is another Olmsted work, South Mountain Reservation. The Maplewood Theater, where Cheryl Crawford first revived Porgy and Bess, was designed by William E. Lehman.
There are approximately 226 streets covering 60 miles (97 km) within Maplewood. One thoroughfare, Springfield Avenue, is a state highway (Route 124, from Irvington to Morristown), and four thoroughfares (Valley Street, Millburn Avenue, Irvington Avenue and Wyoming Avenue), are Essex County roads.
The Maplewood Township Committee is in negotiations to sell the former Police Station site at 125 Dunnell Road, which is across the street from, and overlooks, Memorial Park. Some residents are concerned that redeveloping the Police Station property with a residential use will significantly alter the Memorial Park area. The Township Committee has approved a plan that will allow a building with a maximum height of 50 feet (15 m) on the site. There have been some discussions about bringing greater density to the area around the park and Maplewood Village, and some residents are concerned by the possibility of additional density as well.
As of the census of 2000, there were 23,868 people, 8,452 households, and 6,381 families residing in the township. The population density was 6,207.1 people per square mile (2,393.6/km2). There were 8,615 housing units at an average density of 2,240.4 per square mile (864.0/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 58.78% White, 32.63% African American, 0.13% Native American, 2.86% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.56% from other races, and 4.01% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.23% of the population.
Estimated median house/condo value in 2005: $399,700 (it was $222,700 in 2000).
There were 8,452 households out of which 40.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.2% were married couples living together, 13.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 24.5% were non-families. 20.4% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.81 and the average family size was 3.27.
In the township the population was spread out with 28.0% under the age of 18, 5.6% from 18 to 24, 30.2% from 25 to 44, 24.0% from 45 to 64, and 12.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 90.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 86.1 males.
According to a 2007 estimate, the median income for a household in the township was $94,253, and the median income for a family was $111,725. Males had a median income of $57,572 versus $41,899 for females. The per capita income for the township was $36,794. 4.4% of the population and 3.4% of families were below the poverty line. 4.9% of those under the and 6.0% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.
Maplewood is governed under the Township form of government with a five-member Township Committee. The Township Committee is elected directly by the voters in partisan elections to serve three-year terms of office on a staggered basis, with one or two seats coming up for election each year. At an annual reorganization meeting, the Township Committee selects one of its members to serve as Mayor for a one year term, and another to serve as Vice Mayor. The Mayor has the responsibility of Chair for the Township Committee meetings with voice and vote. The Mayor is considered the head of the municipal government.
The Township Committee is the legislative body of the municipality. It is under these powers that the Township Committee has the responsibility for passing laws that effect the Township. The Township Committee is also an executive body.
Under this form of government, the elected Township Committee sets policy and overall direction for the Township. The Township staff, under the direction of the Township Administrator, carries out Committee policy and provides day to day services. The Township Administrator serves as the chief administrative officer and is accountable to the Township Committee.
New Jersey's Tenth Congressional District was represented by Donald M. Payne (D, Newark), until his death on March 6, 2012. New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Frank Lautenberg (D, Cliffside Park) and Bob Menendez (D, Hoboken).
The 27th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Richard Codey (D, Roseland) and in the General Assembly by Mila Jasey (D, South Orange) and John F. McKeon (D, West Orange). The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).
Essex County's County Executive is Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. The executive, along with the Board of Chosen Freeholders administer all county business. The county's Board of Chosen Freeholders consists of nine members, four elected on an at-large basis and one from each of five wards, who serve terms of office on a concurrent basis. As of 2011 Essex County's Freeholders are Freeholder President Blonnie R. Watson (at large), Freeholder Vice President Ralph R. Caputo (District 5), Rufus I. Johnson (at large), Donald Payne Jr. (at large), Patricia Sebold (at large), Samuel Gonzalez (District 1), D. Bilal Beasley (District 2), Carol Y. Clark (District 3) and Linda Lordi Cavanaugh (District 4).
Maplewood prides itself on being a diverse and family-friendly community. In a number of surveys it is ranked among the most desirable places to live in the United States. The township has a downtown area alternatively known as "the village" or "Maplewood Center" with its own movie theater, several upscale and mid-scale restaurants, a small supermarket, independent café, two liquor stores, a toy store and a small bookstore. Maplewood is served by a New Jersey Transit rail station which is named after it. The structure of the village is largely unchanged since the 1950s.
Maplewood schools are part of the unified South Orange-Maplewood School District, together with the neighboring community of South Orange. Schools in the district (with 2008–09 school enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are six elementary schools serving grades K-5 — Seth Boyden Elementary School (grades K-5, 482 students), Clinton Elementary School (K-5, 453), Jefferson Elementary School (3–5, 418), Marshall Elementary School (K-2, 443), South Mountain Elementary School and Annex (K-5, 578) and Tuscan Elementary School (K-5, 591) — Maplewood Middle School (707) and South Orange Middle School (650) for grades 6–8 and Columbia High School (1,866 students) for grades 9–12.
The township owns and operates the Burgdorff Center for the Performing Arts at 10 Durand Road. The Center, a former Christian Science Church, was donated to the town by Jean Burgdorff, a local real estate entrepreneur. The building was transferred to the town on October 15, 1988. The township recently committed to a $130,000 plan to improve the building.
Every year, during the weekend following the weekend closest to July 4, there is a concert in town called Maplewoodstock. The free concert consists of local and national bands performing alongside various stalls showcasing local businesses.
Notable current and former residents of Maplewood include:
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