Morristown is a town in Morris County, in the northern part of the state of New Jersey. It benefits from a long history and a short distance to New York City (30 miles). It’s the county seat for Morris County.
Morristown is known as “the military capital of the American Revolution” because of its important role in the war for independence from Great Britain. Today this history lives on in a variety of locations throughout the town, and they comprise Morristown National Historical Park.
The Lenni Lenape native Americans lived in the area for an estimated 6,000 years before Morristown was settled around 1715 by English Presbyterians as the village of New Hanover. The village and surrounding county were named in 1739 for Lewis Morris, the first and then-sitting royal governor of the colony of New Jersey. By the mid-1700’s, 250 shared the village which had two churches, a courthouse, two taverns, two schools, several stores and numerous mills and farms nearby.
Morristown played a large role in the Revolutionary War. In 1777, General George Washington and the Continental Army marched from their victories in Trenton and Princeton to encamp near Morristown from January to May. The town was selected for its strategic location between Philadelphia and New York, and it’s also near New England.
It was also a good site because of the skills and trades of the residents, local industries and natural resources to provide arms and what was thought to be the ability of the community to provide enough food to feed the army. From December 1779 to June 1780, the Continental Army encamped a second time in Morristown.
Morristown was the scene of another revolution when Samuel F. B. Morse and Alfred Vail built the first telegraph at the Speedwell Ironworks in 1838. The first public demonstration of the invention was an early step toward the information age. This site was recently selected as the top historic attraction for Morris County.
In modern times the town’s population was 18,411 as of the 2010 census, which is a slight decline from the 2000 census. Morristown has a total area of just over three square miles, and about a third of that is water. It’s a pedestrian-friendly, walkable community with a regional rail station, easy access to highways; it has the conveniences of a city, but it’s definitely not a city.
Morristown’s downtown shopping and business district centers around a square park, known as the Morristown Green. It is a former market square from colonial times. Companies based in Morristown include Bayer, Covanta Energy, Schindler Group and the Morristown & Erie Railway, a local short-line freight railway. Morristown Medical Center, with 5,500 employees, is Morristown’s largest employer.
The Morris School District is the regional public school district serving the communities of Morristown and Morris Township and high school students from Morris Plains. In addition to a public school system, Morristown has several private schools.
Many local residents work in New York City or northern New Jersey. Their commute is aided by New Jersey Transit’s rail service at the Morristown station which offers service to Newark Broad Street, Secaucus Junction, New York Penn Station and Hoboken Terminal. The town benefited from shortened commuting times to New York City due to the “Midtown Direct” service New Jersey Transit started in the 1990’s. Interstate 287, which arcs north of New York, runs to the east of the Morristown Green downtown and provides access to Interstates 80 and 78.
In addition to its many historical sites, Morristown benefits from many arts institutions. The Mayo Performing Arts Center attracts global talent to its stage. It started as the Community Theatre, built in 1937 and at one time was part of a chain of movie theatres. By the 1980’s it had fallen into disrepair and sat idle for nearly a decade. In the early 1990’s, volunteers organized to save the building, and in 1994 it re-opened as a performing arts center.
The Morris Museum features the Murtogh D. Guinness Collection of finely crafted, animated mechanical musical instruments and automata. The museum also houses the Bickford Theatre and presents award-winning performances for all ages. If you or a loved one suffered an injury in Morristown due to the negligence of another party, schedule a free consultation with our office by calling us at (973) 358-6134 or by using our online quick connect form. Statutes of limitations apply, so contact us as soon as possible to learn about your legal rights and take action to protect your interests.