A Stroll Through Califon’s Rich History

Califon is a borough located in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Its history dates back to 1849 when Jacob Neighbor, who had recently returned from the California Gold Rush, named the town “California.” Eventually, to avoid confusion with the state of California, the town’s name was changed to Califon NJ.

The borough is home to several well-preserved historic landmarks, such as the Nellie Hoffman House, the Fishing Cabin, the Califon Train Station, and the Califon Bridge. The Califon Historic District is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Overall, Califon’s rich history and historic architecture make it an important part of Hunterdon County’s cultural heritage.


The population of Califon currently sits at approximately 1,022, according to a 2023 estimate from World Population Review

Ethnic GroupPercentage
White (Non-Hispanic)96.2%
Two+ (Non-Hispanic)1.44%
White (Hispanic)1.1%
Asian (Non-Hispanic)0.929%
American Indian & Alaska Native (Hispanic)0.338%
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In Califon, the majority of residents identify as White (Non-Hispanic), accounting for 96.2% of the population. The average income for households in the borough is a healthy $100,750. The most common occupations include Management, Office & Administrative Support, and Education Instruction & Library, with the largest employment sectors being Educational Services, Retail Trade, and Health Care & Social Assistance.


Califon provides residents with easy access to major highways, making it convenient for daily commutes and weekend getaways. Public transportation options, while limited, connect Califon to neighboring towns and cities.


Califon is home to the Califon Borough School District, which includes Califon Public School. This district is dedicated to providing a high-quality education to students in grades K-8. After completing eighth grade, students typically attend Voorhees High School in the Voorhees Regional High School District. The area’s focus on education is reflected in the average school expenditure and the various school districts serving the community.


With a poverty rate of 4.67%, lower than the national average of 12.8%, Califon demonstrates a commitment to maintaining a healthy community. The largest demographic living in poverty is Males aged 45-54, followed by Females aged 35-44 and Females aged 45-54.

Popular Landmarks: Califon’s Must-See Spots

  • Columbia Trail: A 15-mile trail popular for hiking, biking, and horseback riding, running through Califon and neighboring towns.
  • Hacklebarney State Park: Located in Long Valley, near Califon, the park offers hiking trails, fishing, and picnic areas.
  • Califon Annual Street Fair: An early August event featuring live music, food vendors, and activities for all ages.
  • Califon Book Shop: An independent bookstore with a wide variety of books and events, such as author visits and book clubs.
  • Califon Farmers Market: Open Sundays from May to October, the market showcases local vendors selling fresh produce, baked goods, and more.
  • Califon Historic District: Home to several historic buildings, including the Califon Train Station, now a museum.
  • Hot Air Balloon Rides: Experience breathtaking views of the surrounding countryside with a hot air balloon ride offered by local companies.

From its rich history to its commitment to education, Califon offers a wealth of opportunities for both residents and visitors. With its picturesque landscapes and tight-knit community, this charming New Jersey town is a must-see destination.

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