Watchung Real Estate Listings and Information

Watchung

Watchung is a Borough in Somerset County, New Jersey.  As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough population was 5,801, and has a total area of 6.0 square miles, of which, 0.04 square miles of it (0.33%) is water.

Watchung was incorporated as a borough by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature in 1826 from portions of North Plainfield Township (now Green Brook Township).

Watchung enjoys densely wooded rolling hills, large residential lots, and a peaceful valley lifestyle.   State parks are nearby for expanded opportunities for outdoor recreation.   Private clubs, tennis courts, athletic fields, and local parks are close to home.

The name 'Watchung' comes from the Lenni Lenape Native Americans, meaning 'high hills'.  It is from the first ridge of the Watchung Mountains that George Washington surveyed the British troops in Perth Amboy many miles SSE.  The eastern reach of these ridges is to the Oranges in the direction of Newark.

The Stony Brook flows through Watchung borough. Making its way from Warren Township to the Watchung Lake, then through the gorge in the first Watchung mountain and over the Wetumpka Falls, on its way to the Green Brook.

It is roughly a 40 minute drive from New York City, and a 30 minute drive from Newark.  Major roads in the area are I-78 and Hwy 22.

Students in Kindergarten through eighth grade are educated by the Watchung Borough Schools. Schools in the district are Bayberry Elementary School with grades K - 4, and Valley View School with grades 5 - 8.

Watchung's students in public school for grades 9-12 attend Watchung Hills Regional High School in Warren Township together with students from the neighboring communities of Green Brook Township and Warren Township (in Somerset County) and Long Hill Township (in Morris County).

Points of Interest include--
- AT&T -- Located at 1592 Route 22 East, Watchung, is a major employer in town.
- Twin Brooks Golf Course -- Located at 600 Mountain Boulevard, providing golfing and country club enjoyment.
- Watchung Arts Center -- Located at 18 Stirling Road, is a central New Jersey venue for the performing arts. Concerts include jazz, classical, and folk music.
- Watchung Lake Development -- Formed by a concrete dam in 1894, the lake has fishing and open space opportunities.  Located off Mountain Blvd near Somerset St.
- Watchung Reservation -- Located in nearby Mountainside, a 2,065-acre preserve containing woodlands, fields,lakes, streams and more than 13 miles of hiking trails.

Some restaurants include--
- Water & Wine Ristorante (Italian) - 141 Stirling Road, Watchung
- Authentic Chengdu (Chinese) - 475 Watchung Avenue, Watchung
- Marino's Pizza (Italian) - 720 Somerset Street, Watchung
- Baja Fresh Mexican Grill (Mexican) - 1595 US Highway 22, Watchung, NJ
- Antonio's Restaurant & Pizza (Italian) - 67 Stirling Road, Watchung, NJ
- Paisano's Pizza & Restaurant (Italian) - 1511 US Highway 22, Watchung
- Watchung Gourmet Deli (Sandwiches/Subs) - 475 Watchung Ave, Watchung
- China Chef (Chinese) - 1701 US Highway 22 # A, Watchung, NJ

Watchung was formerly known as “Green Valley” and “Washingtonville.”  In the early 1900s, Washingtonville sought to gain its own post office.  It was discovered that another town by the name of Washingtonville existed in the state of New Jersey.  The village then changed its name to Watchung. 

In the 19th century, Watchung was a fairly wealthy section of the county due to its valuable stone quarries.  Wallace Vail opened the first quarry in 1864.  Stone was initially taken from the quarry to build local churches and hotels. It was later used for bridges and foundations of buildings throughout the state.  Stone from the quarry was also used to lay Route 22.  In 1894, a concrete dam was built on Watchung Lake that allowed for the development of a new industry in Watchung – ice cutting.

Watchung, from the 1900s was a semi-rural small community of about 3,200 people in comparison with the relatively much larger cities of Plainfield and Somerville.  Even as late as the 1960s, it was common for residents to know one another by name, with few moving in or out of the town.  The 1967 Plainfield riots, however, caused an exodus of the large upper-middle class population from the nearby cities to move to the Watchung Hills area to towns such as Watchung, Warren Township and Bridgewater Township.  It was at this time that Watchung became a bedroom community and the average income and median house prices soared.

In public fear which ensued after the 1938 radio broadcast of H.G. Wells' The War Of The Worlds, National Guard Troops were stationed around the hills in Watchung, as told on the vinyl record recording of news reports of the day.[citation needed]

The Legend Of Watchung--Around 1670, a group of Dutch settlers was traveling from the Amboys up an old Indian trail which is now Somerset Street.  They were under the leadership of Captain Michaelson.  The Watchung tribe of the Lenni-Lenape Indians was traveling the same trail for their summer trip to the ocean to fish and collect shells for wampum.

During the night the settlers were camped near what is now the center of the Borough.  Deer Prong, an advance scout for Chief One Feather's tribe, was shot when he surprised a sentry.  During the skirmish, Captain Michaelson was captured and was to be burned at the stake.  Princess Wetumpka, who was traveling with the Dutch, and had some years ago saved the life of Chief One Feather, intervened and saved the life of Captain Michaelson.  The Indians befriended the Dutch and allowed them to settle in the valley.  The legend ends with the full tribal ceremony marriage of the Princess and Chief.

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Watchung

Active Market Stats
  • 86 Listings For Sale
  • $980,101 Average Listing Price
  • $284 Average Listing Price per Square Foot
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  • 16 Properties Sold

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