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Edison

Edison NJ  


Edison Township (usually known as Edison) is a township in Middlesex County, New Jersey.  As of the 2010 United States Census, Edison had a total population of 99,967, making it the fifth largest municipality in New Jersey; and the township has a total area of 30.7 square miles, of which only 0.6 square miles (1.86%) is water.

What is now Edison Township was originally incorporated as Raritan Township by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature in 1870, from portions of both Piscataway Township and Woodbridge Township. Portions of the township were taken to form Metuchen Borough in 1900 and Highland Park in 1905.

Edison was the home of Thomas Alva Edison’s famed Menlo Park laboratory where the incandescent light bulb was perfected and sound was first recorded.  The township name was officially changed to Edison Township in 1954, in honor of him, and it also reduced confusion with the current-day Raritan Township in Hunterdon County.

Edison, along with Plainfield, is on the east side of the Raritan Valley, which contains a line of cities in central NJ.   Also, Edison Township completely surrounds the Borough of Metuchen.  Within its 30+ acres, Edison Township has five zip codes: 08817, 08818, 08820, 08837 and 08899.

As the fifth-largest township in the State of New Jersey, Edison is a vibrant community, rich in history and energized by development and growth. It is one of the fastest growing communities in New Jersey.

Edison was ranked the 28th most livable small city in the United States by CNN Money Magazine, and the 2nd in New Jersey in 2006 in Money Magazine's "Best Places To Live".  In 2008 two years later, Money Magazine changed the town's ranking to 35 out of the top 100 places to live in the United States of America.

In the 2006 survey of America's Safest Cities, the township was ranked 23rd, out of 371 cities included nationwide, in the 13th annual Morgan Quitno survey.

In 2009, Edison was ranked as one of "America's 10 Best Places to Grow Up" by U.S. News and World Report. The rankings focused on low crime, strong schools, green spaces, and abundance of recreational activities.

High achieving public schools, central location, vibrant business environment and diverse community make Edison a great place to live, work and raise a family.  Close proximity to New York and Philadelphia and a half hour to the largest port on the east coast, make Edison an outstanding setting for businesses of all sizes.

Edison also s centrally located for easy access to the Jersey Shore, Atlantic City, Manhattan’s Broadway Theatre District, historic Philadelphia, cultural centers of New Brunswick and Newark and other exciting destinations.

Edison public schooling separates the township between the two public high schools for the South and North ends of Edison.  In the Edison High School zone to the south, there are six K – 5 elementary schools, while to the north, in the J.P. Stevens High School zone there are five K-5 elementary schools.

Schools in the district have 11 elementary schools covering grades PreK-5 — Benjamin Franklin Elementary, Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary (grades PreK-5), Lincoln Elementary, Lindeneau Elementary, James Madison Primary School (grades PreK-2), who then move on to James Madison Intermediate School (grades 3–5), John Marshall Elementary, Menlo Park Elementary, James Monroe Elementary, Washington Elementary (grades PreK-5) and Woodbrook School with — John Adams Middle School (from James Madison Intermediate and MLK Jr.), Herbert Hoover Middle School (from Franklin, Lincoln and Monroe), Thomas Jefferson Middle School (from Lindeneau, Marshall and Washington) and Woodrow Wilson Middle School (from Menlo Park and Woodbrook) for grades 6–8 and both Edison High School (from Hoover and Jefferson) and J. P. Stevens High School (from Adams and Wilson) for grades 9–12.

J.P. Stevens was the 65th-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 322 schools statewide, in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2010 cover story on the state's "Top Public High Schools", after being ranked 52nd in 2008 out of 316 schools.  Edison High School was ranked 169th in 2010 and 177th in 2008.

Middlesex County College (or MCC) is a public, two-year community college located in Edison at the intersection of Woodbridge Avenue and Mill Road.

Rutgers University's Livingston campus is located on the former Kilmer Army Base, partially located in Edison.

Middlesex County College is also home to the Middlesex County Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Technologies, an engineering-based high school, which is part of the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical High Schools.  The high school is free for all Middlesex County residents, but admission is based on a test, past grades, and other academic and extracurricular activities.  About 160 students, 40 per grade from around the county attend the Academy.

There are many private schools in Edison, including the Wardlaw-Hartridge School, Bishop George Ahr High School, Rabbi Jacob Joseph School, Yeshiva Shaarei Tzion, Rabbi Pesach Raymon Yeshiva, St. Helena School, St. Matthew School, Lakeview School and Our Lady Of Peace School.

Additionally, the private for-profit technical school Lincoln Tech (formerly the Cittone Institute) has a campus on Oak Tree Road in Edison. Lincoln Tech in Edison offers various programs in Nursing, Medical and Computer and Networking.

In Edison, the sizable Asian/Chinese population had pushed for years to establish a Chinese School where students could learn the Chinese language.  In 1998, Huaxia Edison Chinese School (which teaches Simplified Chinese) was established in Thomas Jefferson Middle School. Huaxia currently resides in Edison High School.  However, many families from Taiwan send their children to Edison Chinese School, located at John Adams Middle School, or Tzu Chi, located at Woodrow Wilson Middle School.  These schools both teach Traditional Chinese.  JP Stevens High School also offers Hindi as an elective language for students that are interested in learning it.

Edison is a transportation hub, with an extensive mass transit and a network of highways passing through the township and connecting to major Northeast cities, New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Trenton, Washington, D.C. and others.

Edison station, located in South Edison, is served by New Jersey Transit northbound trains to Newark Penn Station and Penn Station New York, and southbound to the Trenton Transit Center via the Northeast Corridor Line, with connecting service to Amtrak. Some passengers in North Edison may actually live closer to, and prefer to use, the Metropark (in neighboring Iselin) or Metuchen stations.

NJ Transit bus service is provided on the 62 route to Newark; on the 801, 804, 805, 810, 813, 814, and 819 local routes.

Edison also offers a Light Transit bus service to the Edison train station. This bus route services the apartment communities along Plainfield Avenue and other commuters on Ethel Road. The schedule and route map are available here: Edison Light Transit.

In addition, China Airlines provides private bus service to John F. Kennedy International Airport from the Kam Man Food Inc. at 511 Old Post Road in Edison to feed its flight to Taipei, Taiwan.

Edison Township hosts state roads Route 27 and 440; U.S. Route 1; and Interstate 287 passes through Edison, where it houses its southern end at I-95. 

Edison also houses about a 5-mile (8.0 km) section of the New Jersey Turnpike (Interstate 95).  Exit 10 is located in Edison, featuring a 13-lane toll gate and a “unique” interchange design.  When the “dual-dual” setup of the turnpike was created, it first started in Edison Township, and continued north to Exit 14 in Newark; and then in 1973 that the “dual-dual” was extended south of 10 to Exit 9 in East Brunswick Township and then extended further south in 1990 to Exit 8A in Monroe Township.

Since Interstate 287 connects to Interstate 87 (the New York State Thruway), Exit 10 (of the turnpike) is one of the busiest interchanges to be used by tractor-trailers as it connects the New Jersey Turnpike to the New York Thruway.  For truck drivers, it is the only connection they have to the Thruway as the Garden State Parkway, which has its northern terminus at the Thruway, prohibits trucks from using the roadway north of Exit 105.  Due to Interstate 95's discontinuity in New Jersey, U.S. 1 serves as a regional artery linking the New Jersey Turnpike and Interstate 287 to Interstate 95 and Interstate 295.

Majesco Entertainment, a video game company, has its corporate headquarters in Edison.  Also, Model Rectifier Corporation, a hobby equipment company, has its main headquarters in Edison. Other companies have warehouse operations within Edison. These companies include the regional hubs for Fedex, UPS, and Newegg.

Recent politics in Edison have concerned plans for zoning the township to facilitate the creation of "walkable" communities that will attract businesses, while still maintaining open spaces and parks and easy access to commuter transit. This strategy is meant to encourage "Smart Growth."

Points of interest include--
    * Udipi Sri Krishna Temple housing First Mrithika Brindavana of Guru Raghavendra is a Hindu temple on May Street
    * Bochasanwasi Shri Akshar Purushottam Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) has a Hindu temple on Woodbridge Avenue
    * Bonhamtown, a neighborhood which is the site of an old Native American village and later a Continental Army camp and battleground during the Revolutionary War.
    * Camp Kilmer, a World War II era army post, was partially located in what is now Edison.
    * The Clara Barton downtown area.
    * Dismal Swamp, preserved wetlands area.
    * Durham Woods, a complex of several apartment buildings and scene of the Durham Woods Fire in 1994
    * Edison Landfill, closed landfill site undergoing environmental cleanup
    * Edison has three public libraries: the Main Library is on Plainfield Avenue in South Edison, near Edison station; North Edison Branch is on Grove Avenue, and the Clara Barton Branch is in the Clara Barton downtown area, on Hoover Avenue. Library service also includes a popular Bookmobile.
    * The Edison Municipal Complex, located off Route 27 next to the Edison Square/Clarion Hotel office park.
    * Edison Station in south Edison
    * Ford Motor Company had a plant here, the Ford Assembly Plant on U.S. Route 1, assembling the Ford Ranger and Mazda B-Series trucks. The plant closed in 2004, with about 1,420 workers losing their jobs.  Hartz Mountain purchased the property and is proposing a mixed-use retail center to begin construction in 2007. Township officials have negotiated no housing on the site, to be called "Edison Towne Square." Instead, it is hoped that a community center can be built at no cost to taxpayers alongside the retail and commercial space.
    * John F. Kennedy Hospital, located on James Street off Parsonage Road.
    * ILR Landfill, closed landfill site owned by Industrial Land Reclaiming (ILR) providing power to Middlesex County's wastewater treatment operations from methane gas recovery.
    * Inman Sports Club, Located off Inman Avenue. Some of the best in the world make appearances here, for the wrestling promotion, Ring of Honor
    * Jewish Community Center/YMCA or Community Campus located off Oak Tree Road.
    * Nixon Park, a large neighborhood surrounding Lincoln School. A "cookie-cutter" development of 3-bedroom homes built in the very early 1950s, homes there were largely purchased by WWII veterans using the GI Bill. Constructed at the same time, and adjoining Nixon Park, were the Lincoln Village, Vineyard Village and Washington Park developments. Children from Lincoln and Vineyard Villages attended Lincoln School. Washington Park surrounded both the Washington School and the Saint Matthew's Catholic School (grades 1–8).
    * Kin-Buc Landfill, former landfill and Superfund site site where 70 million gallons of hazardous waste was dumped.
    * Menlo Park Mall, one of the more popular malls in New Jersey, located at the intersection of Route 1 and Parsonage Road.
    * Oak Tree Pond, site of a minor battle of the American Revolutionary War and whose conversion into a park ended a real estate development controversy.
    * Oak Tree Road in Edison and Iselin is known for its large concentration of Indian stores and restaurants.
    * Raritan Center, a major industrial park anchored by the New Jersey Convention and Exposition Center.
    * Roosevelt Hospital, a hospice located just East of Roosevelt Park.
    * Roosevelt Park, located between Parsonage Road and Route 1, west of the Mall.
    * St. Helena Roman Catholic Church, off New Dover Road.
    * The Thomas Alva Edison Memorial Tower and Museum, in Menlo Park.
    * Woodbrook Corners, a residential area near Woodrow Wilson Middle School and Woodbrook Elementary School
    * Edison Farmers' Market, located at 925 Amboy Avenue, Edison (Parking lot of Jade Dynasty Restaurant), on summer and fall Sundays, 8am - 2pm.

Some restaurants include--
- Wonder Seafood (Dim Sum, Seafood), 1984 Rte. 27, Edison
- Meemah (Chinese, Malaysian), 9 Lincoln Hwy., Edison
- LouCás (Italian), 9 Lincoln Hwy., Edison
- Skylark (Diner, Eclectic / Int'l), 17 Wooding Ave., Edison
- Penang (Malaysian, Thai), 505 Old Post Rd., Edison
- Five Guys (Hamburgers), 561 Rte. 1, Edison
- Akbar (Indian), 21 Cortland St., Edison
- Tastee Sub Shop (Sandwiches/Subs, French, and Soup), 267 Plainfield Ave, Edison
- Harold's New York Deli (Sandwiches/Subs, American and Cheesesteak), 3050 Woodbridge Ave, Edison
- Ichi Umi (Japanese, Buffet and Sushi), 352 Menlo Park Mall, Edison
- Sushi Palace (Japanese and Sushi), 1089 Inman Ave, Edison

Historically, Edison Township was settled in the 17th Century.  The earliest village was Piscatawaytown, which is centered around St. James Church and the Piscatawaytown Common near the intersection of Plainfield and Woodbridge avenues in south Edison.

But people have lived in the Edison area since prehistoric times. Skull and bone fragments from the Stone Age have been discovered in the Piscatawaytown area, and arrowheads and cooking implements, ascribed to Native Americans living in the area, were found in an archeological dig in the Dismal Swamp.

Old Post Road, the earliest public road in eastern New Jersey, passes through Edison and is said to have been used by President George Washington as he traveled through the state on the way to his inauguration in New York City in April 1789.

The Bonhamtown area of Edison, on Old Post Road, is named after Nicholas Bonham, a freeholder from 1682 to 1683. The hamlet is said to have been the site of an old Native American village and later a Continental Army camp and battleground during the Revolutionary War.

Revolutionary War skirmishes took place in Bonhamtown, Piscatawaytown and along what is now Woodbridge Avenue.  The St. James Episcopal Church building served as a hospital for wounded British soldiers during the war.  Six British soldiers killed in one of the area's skirmishes are buried in the cemetery at the church.

In 1777, the local militia engaged in a battle with British and Hessian troops who were advancing toward Gen. Washington's troops. Washington's troops had taken refuge in the nearby Watchung Mountains.  This battle, which is part of the Battle of Short Hills, is known as The Oak Tree Engagement.  It took place at the intersection which is now Oak Tree and Plainfield roads.

Edison is also home to the second oldest Baptist Church in New Jersey and the 10th oldest in the nation.  Stelton Baptist Church was formed in the spring of 1689, and among its original members was the Stelle family, after whom the Stelton section of Edison is named.  Through 1875, however, the church was known as the First Baptist Church of Piscataway.

Edison grew in the second half of the 19th century as the attractiveness of the rural landscape became more accessible with the opening of the Pennsylvania Railroad and the Easton and Amboy lines. By the late 1800's, many residents commuted to jobs in New York and other parts of New Jersey.

In 1876, one of the passengers carried on the Pennsylvania line to Edison was Thomas Alva Edison, later to be known as the "Wizard of Menlo Park".  It is said that he chose the Menlo Park site for his laboratories because it was the highest point along the Pennsylvania Railroad between New York and Philadelphia, but he set up his home and research laboratory on the site of an unsuccessful real estate development in Raritan Township called Menlo Park.

The establishment of Thomas Edison's industrial research laboratory - he preferred calling it his "invention factory" - in 1876 brought global fame to the township as it became the site for some of the most innovative research and manufacturing feats in world history.

Menlo Park inventions include the phonograph, the electric railway (which incidentally, ran along present day Middlesex Avenue) and the incandescent lamp. Christie Street, on which the Edison Memorial Tower now stands, was the first street to be illuminated by incandescent lamps, and Mrs. Jordan's Boarding House, home to many of Thomas Edison's workers, was the first residence to be lighted that way.

His Menlo Park lab has been called one of the greatest laboratories ever.  Edison subsequently left Menlo Park and moved his home and business to West Orange in 1886.  When Edison moved out of Menlo Park, the buildings fell into delapidation, and the labratory was even used as a chicken coop for a while before it fell down.

Near Piscatawaytown village, a portion of the Township was informally known as "Nixon," after Lewis Nixon, a manufacturer and community leader.  Soon after the outbreak of World War I, Nixon established a massive volatile chemicals processing facility there, known as the Nixon Nitration Works.  It was the site of the 1924 Nixon Nitration Works disaster, a massive explosion and resulting fire that killed twenty persons and destroyed several square miles of the Township.

In 1937, the Edison Memorial Tower was erected to commemorate the years Thomas Edison spent at Menlo Park.  In 1986, the Edison Township Historical Society erected 12 period street lamps surrounding the tower to commemorate the illumination of Christie Street.  The Edison Memorial Tower is located on the National Register of Historic Places. 
 
The laboratory of Edison, where he invented the first commercially practical lightbulb was replicated to be part of the Henry Ford Museum and Greenfield Village, and be more formally titled as the Edison Institute, in the Metro Detroit suburb of Dearborn, Michigan, USA.  The Ford Museum is the nation's "largest indoor-outdoor history museum" complex.

From a rural-residential community in the 1920's, Edison has grown in population, commercial and industrial center.  Raritan Center, located in the southeast section of Edison, is the largest industrial park east of the Mississippi River. The daytime population of Raritan Center is approximately 45,000, rivaling the population of many nearby communities.  Edison is a hub of rail and highway networks for the distribution of numerous goods and services.

Edison is primarily a middle-class and upper middle-class community with more than 75 ethnic communities represented.  Edison has a large Jewish community next to Highland Park, with multiple synagogues located in Edison. 

Edison is one of the more diverse townships in New Jersey. It and the surrounding communities of Middlesex County are commonly known throughout the state and the New York metro area as being one of the region's main centers of Asian American cultural diversity.

Edison has a growing Indian community and a number of temples serving the religious needs of the community.  Reflecting the number of Edison's residents from India and China, the township has sister city arrangements with Shijiazhuang, China, and Baroda, India.

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