History of the Borough
Florham Park was incorporated by the State Assembly on March 20, 1899, and operates under a Borough form of government. The Mayor and six Councilmen, all elected at large, serve without pay and constitute the Borough Council. Council members are elected to a three year term and the Mayor to a four year term. Each Council member serves as the Chairman of one committee. Council meetings are held at 8 p.m. in the Council Chambers on the third Tuesday of each month and Work sessions are held every Tuesday at 7:00 p.m.
OUR guide through this booklet will be Miss Geneva Prudden, who was perhaps the most famous person associated with Florham Park's Little Red School House. Miss Prudden was hired as a teacher in 1887, two years before the Borough was incorporated, and quickly became known for her strictness (she was known to keep a horsewhip in the class); her creative teaching and her concern for the appearance of the school and its grounds. She taught all grades in the Little Red School House until 1904, when another teacher was hired to teach the lower four grades. Miss Prudden was then made Principal and continued teaching the fifth through eighth grades. She retired from her teaching and principal's post in 1919. She was appointed Borough Tax Collector in 1924 and later Financial Advisor to the Mayor, where she continued to have an effect on Florham Park until she retired in 1931. Even today, there are still a few residents in the Borough who were pupils of Miss Prudden. Now, with Miss Prudden's help let us bring you up to date on what you should know about Florham Park...
Drawings courtesy of Pat Longley
The Borough of Florham Park is located in the South Eastern part of Morris County and is bordered on the South by Madison and Chatham Boroughs; on the North by Hanover and East Hanover Townships; on the West by Morris Township; and on the East by the Passaic River.
First settled by the English sometime between 1680 and 1700, the community was long recognized as a prime farming area. In 1817 its bisection by the Newark and Morris Turnpike (State Highway #510) brought an influx of residents and businesses, including the making of whiskey and bricks, as well as the broom industry which gave Florham Park it's nickname of Broomtown. Once the site of two major estates, one now a private golf club and the other a suburban campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University, the 7.6 square mile Borough provides a large municipal recreation area, a private golf course and a public golf course; one municipal swim club; numerous businesses; professional office buildings; light industry and residential development. Subdivisions with split level, ranch and colonial type homes, and four condominium complexes house over 8,521 people in approximately 2,400 homes (mostly owner occupied). In recent years there has been a growth of prestige offices, research and light manufacturing in the Borough, all in carefully zoned areas.
The expanding business center contains restaurants, branch banks, a supermarket, pharmacies and numerous retail stores.
There are three modern elementary schools; Briarwood, Brooklake, Holy Family, and one middle school; Ridgedale School. High School students attend Hanover Park Regional High School or a number of private secondary schools in adjacent towns. In addition, Fairleigh Dickinson University and the College of St. Elizabeth, a private girls school, are situated on beautiful campuses in the Borough.
Five places of worship are situated in Florham Park; three Protestant, one Catholic and one Jewish. The area abounds in cultural opportunities with the Morris Museum in Morris Township, an excellent library in town and the County Library in nearby Hanover Township.
Bus service to New York City goes through the Borough and Conrail has a station in Madison, approximately two miles away, serving New York City. The new Rt. 24 makes it easy to access Newark Airport.
Many civic and social organizations help create the friendly atmosphere which is characteristic of Florham Park.
The colonial style Borough Hall is located at 111 Ridgedale Avenue on the 70 acre Borough Complex. Housed in the Borough Hall are the Administration, Tax, Public Works, Board of Health, Municipal Court, Police and Building offices. The complex is also the center of cultural and recreational activities for the Borough. The grounds contain the Municipal Pool, playing fields, tennis courts, paddle courts, ice skating rink, Community Center, Recreation offices, the Gazebo as well as the Florham Park Library.