Bernardsville, characterized by its fascinating past, varied population, robust economy, top-notch schools, and accessible transport, presents a multitude of offerings for all. Coupled with a range of prominent landmarks, recreational activities, and vibrant community events, it’s easy to see why Bernardsville attracts residents and tourists alike.
Bernardsville, a Somerset County gem in New Jersey, possesses a fascinating history rooted in the Revolutionary War. Key historic landmarks like the John Parker Tavern and the Olcott Avenue Historic District showcase the region’s rich past.
The origins of Bernardsville date to the early 1700s when European settlers arrived. Initially, it was part of Bernards Township, which was established in 1760. During the Revolutionary War, Bernardsville was known as Vealtown and served as an encampment site for the Continental Army. By 1847, it adopted the name Bernardsville, honoring Sir Francis Bernard, New Jersey’s Royal Governor from 1758 to 1760.
The introduction of the railroad in the late 19th century spurred economic growth, turning Bernardsville into an attractive summer destination for affluent New York City families. This era witnessed the construction of numerous grand mansions and estates, many of which still stand today as architectural gems.
Bernardsville achieved autonomy from Bernards Township in 1924, becoming an independent borough with its own unique identity.
The population of Bernardsville currently stands at 7,641 residents, reflecting a small decrease from the previous year.
|American Indian & Alaska Native (Hispanic)||2.5%|
Demographics: A Thriving Locale
Nestled within the Raritan Valley, Bernardsville boasts a strong local economy with a median household income of $161,655. A thriving real estate market defines Bernardsville, exhibiting a median property value of $655,300 and a substantial 87.1% homeownership rate.
Bernardsville’s residents enjoy easy access to public transportation through NJ Transit. The Bernardsville Station offers train services to Hoboken Terminal, Newark Broad Street Station, Secaucus Junction, and Penn Station in Midtown Manhattan. Additionally, Lakeland Bus Lines provides rush-hour bus services to the Port Authority Bus Terminal. The borough’s connectivity is further enhanced by its proximity to major highways such as U.S. Route 202, County Route 525, and Interstate 287.
The Somerset Hills Regional School District caters to the educational needs of pre-K through 12th-grade students in the area. The district comprises three schools:
- Bedwell Elementary School: Serving students in pre-kindergarten through 4th grade.
- Bernardsville Middle School: Catering to 5th through 8th-grade students.
- Bernards High School: Providing education for 9th through 12th-grade students.
The schools in Bernardsville are known for their high-quality education and a strong focus on academic achievement. Bernards High School, in particular, consistently receives high rankings and recognition for its performance.
In addition to the public schools, Bernardsville also hosts the School of St. Elizabeth, a private Roman Catholic institution offering education to pre-K through 8th-grade learners.
Residents of Bernardsville have access to various healthcare facilities in the surrounding area. Bernardsville lacks major hospitals within its borders, but nearby options include:
- Morristown Medical Center: A distinguished facility situated about 9 miles away in Morristown. It provides comprehensive medical services and is affiliated with the Atlantic Health System.
- Overlook Medical Center: Situated in Summit, around 12 miles from Bernardsville, this hospital is part of the Atlantic Health System and offers a wide range of healthcare services.
- Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital Somerset: Located in Somerville, approximately 13 miles from Bernardsville, this hospital is a member of the RWJBarnabas Health system and provides various medical services to the community.
In addition to these hospitals, Bernardsville residents have access to numerous primary care physicians, specialists, and other healthcare providers in the area.
Popular Landmarks: Celebrating Local Treasures
Bernardsville offers a variety of attractions for visitors and locals alike.
- Cross Estate Gardens: A historic public garden featuring various flora and fauna, including a wildflower meadow, a walled garden, and several walking trails. Perfect for a relaxing stroll or a quiet afternoon among nature.
- Raptor Trust: A wildlife rehabilitation center specializing in the care and release of injured birds of prey. Home to over 50 species of raptors, the Raptor Trust offers educational programs and tours for visitors.
- J.M. Stringer Gallery: The J.M. Stringer Gallery displays a variety of contemporary art, featuring paintings, sculptures, and pieces from both renowned and up-and-coming artists.
- Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary: A serene sanctuary dedicated to preserving the local wildlife, particularly birds. The sanctuary offers hiking and birdwatching opportunities on its network of trails, as well as educational programs and events.
- The Episcopal Church of St. John on the Mountain: A historic church dating back to the 19th century, featuring beautiful stained glass windows and a pipe organ. The church is an architectural gem and an important part of Bernardsville’s history.
- Somerset Hills Country Club: For recreation, the Somerset Hills Country Club offers a private setting with a pristine golf course, tennis courts, and a swimming pool. The club is a popular venue for social events and offers recreational activities for its members.
- Bernardsville Cinema 3: A small-town movie theater with three screens, showcasing a mix of the latest releases and classic films. This quaint cinema provides an intimate and nostalgic movie-going experience.
- Washington House Restaurant: Located in nearby Basking Ridge, this historic restaurant offers American cuisine in a 19th-century building. With a rich history and charming atmosphere, the Washington House is a popular dining destination.
- Frelinghuysen Arboretum: Situated in Morristown, about 8.5 miles from Bernardsville, this expansive arboretum features over 3,000 varieties of plants. The arboretum offers a peaceful retreat and hosts various events and educational programs throughout the year.