The Chathams

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The History of Chatham

Chatham is a community of 18,718 people and technically is comprised of two municipalities known as ‘The Chathams’. Located in Morris County, Chatham Borough was originally known to settlers as John Day’s Bridge due to the bridge he built at that section of the Passaic River. The town was eventually renamed Chatham in honor of Sir William Pitt, the elder Earl of Chatham (in Great Britian). An Important part of Chatham history, Pitt was openly out spoken in favor of the colonists in English Parliament. In 1806, the township was formed taking its name from the nearby Chatham Borough.

Town Basics

Comprised of two zip codes 07928 and 07932, the two towns are a total of 11.75 sq miles. With the Borough being only 2.41 of those sq miles it is the more densely populated area of the two. The Chathams are approximately 25 miles west of New York City and are bordered by several other communities including Madison, Florham Park, New Providence, Summit and New Vernon. In July 2005, CNN/Money and Money magazine ranked Chatham ninth on its annual list of the 100 Best Places to Live in the United States. New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Chatham as its twenty-fifth best place to live in its 2008 rankings of the “Best Places To Live” in New Jersey

Chatham is really know for the Great Swamp. At one point the area consisted of a glacial lake known as Lake Passaic. It was ten miles wide, 30 miles long and 200 feet deep. As the lake eventually began to drain away, the swampy lands were left behind. An 8,000 acre section of the march is called the Great Swamp. The swamp is home to more than 200 species of birds and 30 different animals. It is estimated that 300,000 visitors explore the swamp and its trails each year.

Pools, Pools, Pools

The Chathams have them galore! There is a little something different for everyone. The Chatham Fish & Game Swim & Racquet Club has been a boro icon for over 125 years. Located by the train station, this members only club sits on 3.5 acres of land and offers a 25 yard pool with diving area as well as a separate baby pool. In addition to swimming the facility also houses tennis and paddle courts and lots of recreational clubs.

The Colony Pool Club, located at School Ave and Spring Street offers family fun in over 8,300 sq feet of beach sand surrounding 300,000  sq feet lake like pool.  There are 26 swimming lanes, diving boards, water slides and more. In addition to the pool there are lots of fun events including ladies night, an adult luau, 4th of July treasure hunt, movies on the beach and more!

The Chatham Memorial Park Pool is located by Main and Passaic Ave. The complex offers a shallow entry wading pool, a larger pool and covered picnic area. Swim lessons are available to member children.

Chatham Demographics

  • 17% Single Residents
  • 87% Homeowners
  • 40 Median Age
  • $150,00 Median Household Income
  • 78% College Educated
  • 7.6% Work from Home
  • 21.2% Take Public Transportation to Work
  • Ancestries: Irish (20.3%), German (13.3%), Italian (12.8%), English (7.3%), Polish (5.3%), Russian (1.8%).

Top in Education

  • Students attend one of three Elementary schools Southern Boulevard, Washington Avenue or Milton Avenue and move to Chatham Middle School for junior high. With all three schools rankeing above average by GreatSchools ratings (which are based on a comparison of test results for all schools in the state).
  • Chatham Teens attend Chatham High School. New Jersey Monthly ranked the school number 1 on on their top public high school list in 2014 and 1 in 2016.

Did You Know?

The number of people who take public transportation in Chatham is 337% higher than the national average!


The Chatham train station is on the NJ Transit Morristown Line. and centrally located on Front Street between Fairmount and Washington Ave. 1 block off Rt. 124. This line also makes stops in Newark and Secaucus for commuters who need to get to Hoboken or Jersey City.

There are 2 available lots for commuters. Lot 1 is the largest lot with 289 spaces.  Daily parking for both residents and non residents costs $5 a day. Permit parking is offered for residents at $425 a year. The lot is free daily after 4pm and on weekends! Lot 2 offers 113 spaces and the same pricing options as lot 1.

Featured Listings in The Chathams

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Home Values

The median home value in Chatham Township is $856,000. Home values have gone up 3.6% over the past year and Zillow predicts they will rise 2.7% within the next year. Also important to know, the median list price per square foot is $442, which is higher than the New York Metro average of $246. Lastly, the median price of homes currently listed in Chatham Township is $1,490,000, with an average property tax in 2014 of $13,251.