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Basking Ridge, New Jersey
—  Unincorporated community  —
Presbyterian Church Cemetery

Basking Ridge, New Jersey is located in Somerset County, New Jersey
Basking Ridge, New Jersey
Location within the state of New Jersey
Coordinates: 40°42′22″N 74°32′58″W / 40.7062122, -74.5493233Coordinates: 40°42′22″N 74°32′58″W / 40.7062122, -74.5493233
Country United States
State New Jersey
County Somerset
Township Bernards
 • Total 13.46 sq mi (34.85 km2)
 • Land 13.44 sq mi (34.81 km2)
Elevation[1] 335 ft (102 m)
Population (2010 Census)[2]
 • Total 26,747
 • Density 2,000/sq mi (770/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)
ZIP code 07920, 07939[3][4]
FIPS code
GNIS feature ID

Map of Basking Ridge ZIP Code Tabulation Area (ZCTA) 07920

Basking Ridge is an unincorporated community located within Bernards Township in the Somerset Hills region of Somerset County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 Census, the population for the ZIP Code Tabulation Area (ZCTA) 07920 was 26,747.[2]

The area settled during colonial times. It was home to the old AT&T Headquarters, now owned by Verizon. Basking Ridge is the current headquarters for Verizon Wireless, Avaya, Applied Communication Sciences and Barnes & Noble College Booksellers.

The community of Basking Ridge is part of greater Bernards Township, which also includes Lyons, Liberty Corner, and West Millington.


Basking Ridge is located at 40°42′22″N 74°32′58″W / 40.7062122, -74.5493233 (40.7062122, -74.5493233).


As Basking Ridge is not an independent municipality, demographic data is based on the United States Census Bureau figures for the ZIP Code Tabulation Area (ZCTA) for the 07920 ZIP Code.

Census 2000[]

As of the 2000 United States Census[5] there were 24,600 people, 9,300 households, and 6,517 families residing in the ZCTA. The population density was 1,137.1 people per square mile (1830.0/km²). There were 9,537 housing units at an average density of 440.8/sq mi (709.3/km²). The racial makeup of the ZCTA was 89.2% Caucasian, 1.4% African American, 0.1% Native American, 7.8% Asian, 0.0% Pacific Islander, 0.4% from other races, and 1.1% from two or more races. 2.6% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.[6]

There were 9,300 households out of which 37.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.8% were married couples living together, 5.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.9% were non-families. 26.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.56 and the average family size was 3.15.[6]

In the ZCTA the population was spread out with 27.3% under the age of 18 , 3.2% from 18 to 24 , 31.2% from 25 to 44 , 25.4% from 45 to 64 , and 12.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39.3 years.[6]

The median income for a household in the ZCTA was $105,471, and the median income for a family was $131,618. Males had a median income of $93,436 versus $60,101 for females. The per capita income for the ZCTA was $54,753. 1.4% of the population and 0.6% of families were below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 1.2% of those under the age of 18 and 2.8% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.[6]

Demographic Basking
Population 21,424 308,745,538[7]
Median Age 37.13 years 37.2 years[7]
Median Household Income $93,946 $51,144[8]
% of Single Households 37.39% 30.22%
% of Married Households 62.61% 69.78%
% Families 70.72% 69.40%
Avg. Household Size 2.42 people 2.58 people
% College or Higher 59.76% 26.46%
% White Collar 82.53% 55.54%
Homes Owner Occupied 79.84% 57.72%
Avg. Dwelling Size 6 rooms 4.5 rooms


Basking Ridge was originally settled in the 1720s by British and Scottish people escaping religious persecution. The land was bought from the Lenape Native Americans. On December 13, 1776, General Charles Lee was captured by the British in his room in town. Lee had ranked next to Washington in command.

Historic sites[]

Historic oak tree, Basking Ridge, NJ (November 2012)

  • The Old Oak Tree is situated in the graveyard of the Presbyterian Church. This 600-year old white oak tree is a site where George Washington is said to have picnicked in the late 1770s. This tree did not sustain any damage from the October 2012 storm, Hurricane Sandy.
  • The Brick Academy was built as the Basking Ridge Classical School; its function was to prepare young men for the College of New Jersey (now known as Princeton University). It has also served as a public school, a union hall, and a town hall. It now serves as a historic museum for Basking Ridge.
  • The Van Dorn Mill was built in 1768 as a wooden structure; it was rebuilt in 1843 as the finest stone structure in New Jersey. Thousands of stones were hauled from the hedgerows of nearby farms. Builders were paid one dollar per day to build the stone mill. Altogether, this amounted to $5,000, a large amount of money in the 1800s. However, the mill paid for itself in the first year of operation.
  • The Basking Ridge Presbyterian Church is a Greek Revival church built in 1839 and is listed on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places and the National Register of Historic Places.
  • In the center of town is an oak tree that was recorded in General William Lane's diary during the American Revolutionary War. On its eastern side is engraved the letters "WL".
  • The Warren Kinney Memorial Oak Tree commemorates the life of a well-known dairy farmer and community leader from New Vernon, NJ. According to Mr. Kinney's 1975 obituary, he "helped lead a fight to prevent a jetport from being built on the Great Swamp Wildlife Refuge in Morris County," and was "a founding member of the Madison Square Club, and trustee of the New York Zoological Society."[9]
  • The Devil's Tree is a solitary oak with some dead limbs growing in an undeveloped field on Mountain Road, opposite Emerald Valley Lane. Local legend, documented in Weird NJ magazine and the book based on it, tells that the tree is cursed or the property of the Devil. The Tree has also been a site of lynchings for the Ku Klux Klan in the past.[10]


Basking Ridge has an annual event in May called Charter Day. Many rides are set up in the Oak Street field such as a bounce house, inflatable race tracks, and spinning rides. In 2013, there was an airbrush tattoo stand as well. Also, in the center of the town hundreds of stands are set up mostly promoting school sports, but there are also many kettle corn stands, which is a traditional food children eat during Charter Day. At night, the traditional Battle of the Bands takes place, which many teenagers sign up for to play their favorite songs.


Ridge High School was originally founded by the Bernards Township Board of Education in 1924. When Bernardsville separated from Bernards Township, the schools still remained one system until 1947 when the original high school became the property of Bernardsville. From 1948, however, township students continued attending Bernardsville High School as tuition students.[11] In 1960 a contract was issued for the construction of a new Ridge High School and Cedar Hill School which were built on approximately 60 acres (24 ha) of land.

William Annin Middle School was originally named after a colonial patriot who settled in Basking Ridge in 1722. Construction started in 1968 and the school was dedicated on September 28, 1969 as William Annin Junior High School and contained grades 5 through 8. It became a middle school in 1982. It currently contains grades 6 through 8.[12] The school is one of the few in the United States to have a seismograph.[13][14]

There are four elementary schools in Basking Ridge.

  • Liberty Corner School was built for a farming community in 1905. It is the oldest school in the district. Part of the original building still remains today. It is located in the Liberty Corner section of Bernards Township.[15]
  • Oak Street School was built in 1938, although it was completed late. It was dedicated on November 21, 1939 and opened on November 23, the day before Thanksgiving. Dr. Horatio Gates Whitnall originally owned the property on which Oak Street School was built. The land was used for farming and his home was what is now the Summit Bank. Over the years, the population rose rapidly. It serves downtown Basking Ridge which is the area around the Presbyterian Church and the Old Oak Tree.[16]
  • Cedar Hill School was built 1956. It is situated on land which was once the property of a succession of wealthy families: Owen, Lee, Bissell, and Astor. It was donated in the Mid 1950s by the Lees. It serves the area around William Annin Middle School and Ridge High School.[17]
  • Mount Prospect was built in 1999. The school was built because a new population rolled in by 2000. Basking Ridge was extended southward and a new subdivision was built: The Hills. Mount Prospect is the newest school in the district and serves the Hills.[18]



New Jersey Transit's Gladstone Branch runs through Basking Ridge. There are two stations that residents can use to get to New York City and Hoboken:

  • Basking Ridge: Built in 1912 by the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad, it serves downtown and north Basking Ridge.
  • Lyons: Built in 1931 by the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad, it serves the Hills, and south Basking Ridge in addition to Liberty Corner. Lyons gets more passengers than Basking Ridge.


Lakeland Bus Lines (Route 78) provides service to and from Manhattan during peak commuting hours.


Two Interstates are located near Basking Ridge:

National Register of Historic Places[]

The Basking Ridge Historic District was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994, it is district #94000817.[19] The Basking Ridge Classical School was added in 1976, it is building #76001185. The Alward Farmhouse was added in 1986, it is building #86000388.[20]

  • Alward Farmhouse, added March 13, 1986
  • Basking Ridge Classical School, added July 21, 1976
  • Coffee House, added November 7, 1977
  • Presbyterian Church in Basking Ridge, added December 31, 1974
  • Lord Stirling Manor Site, added June 22, 1978

Parks and recreation[]

There are several parks within the town. Four are county parks: Lord Stirling Park, Rebel Hill, Southard, and Harry Dunham. The fifth is Pleasant Valley Park which contains the town pool and miles of woodchip trails.

Notable people[]

Notable current and former residents of Basking Ridge include:

  • J. C. Chandor (born 1974), Academy award-nominated writer/director of the 2011 film Margin Call.[21]
  • Chris Daggett (born 1950), former regional administrator of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection who ran for Governor of New Jersey in 2009 as an independent.[22]
  • Scott Fischer (1955–1996), climber and guide who was the first American to climb Lhotse, the fourth-highest mountain in the world. He died on May 11, 1996 in an attempt to climb Mount Everest in the 1996 Everest Disaster.[23]
  • Patricia Lee Gauch (born 1934), author of over 30 works of children's literature who was inducted into the New Jersey Literary Hall of Fame in 1993.[24]
  • Jon Gutwillig (born 1974), guitarist of the Disco Biscuits.[25]
  • Tobin Heath (born 1988), soccer player and member of the United States women's national team who won a gold medal as youngest member of the US team in the 2008 Olympics.[26]
  • Page McConnell (born 1963), keyboardist best known for his work with Phish.[27]
  • Robert E. Mulcahy III (born 1932), former athletic director at Rutgers University.[28]
  • Samuel Lewis Southard (1787–1842), served as U.S. Senator, Secretary of the Navy, and the 10th Governor of New Jersey.[29]
  • LaDainian Tomlinson (born 1979) NFL Football Player for the New York Jets, 5 time Pro-Bowler and 2006 NFL Most Valuable Player.[30]
  • The founding members of punk rock band The Bouncing Souls grew up in Basking Ridge.


  1. ^ USGS GNIS: Basking Ridge , Geographic Names Information System. Accessed July 3, 2012.
  2. ^ a b DP-1 - Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 from 2010 Demographic Profile Data for ZCTA5 07920, United States Census Bureau. Accessed August 27, 2013.
  3. ^ Look Up a ZIP Code for Basking Ridge, NJ, United States Postal Service. Accessed July 3, 2012.
  4. ^ Zip Codes, State of New Jersey. Accessed August 27, 2013.
  5. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ a b c d DP-1 - Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2000 from Census 2000 Summary File 1 (SF 1) 100-Percent Data for ZCTA5 07920, United States Census Bureau. Accessed August 27, 2013.
  7. ^ a b 2010 Census Briefs: Age and Sex Composition
  8. ^ Household Income for States
  9. ^ "Warren Kinney Obituary", Daytona Beach Morning Journal, February 19, 1975 (page 13B). Accessed July 31, 2013.
  10. ^ Devil's Tree Weird NJ, Weird NJ.
  11. ^ Ridge High School, Bernards Township School District. Accessed March 27, 2011.
  12. ^ William Annin Middle School History, Bernards Township School District. Accessed March 27, 2011
  13. ^ Cooperative Seismographic Network, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Accessed October 17, 2012.
  14. ^ Hayes, Edward. "School in Bernards tracks earthquakes", Courier News, January 21, 201. Accessed October 17, 2012. "There are several colleges and universities that maintain seismology equipment for studying, tracking and monitoring earthquakes. And along with them is William Annin Middle School, which maintains its own seismograph for Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University in New York."
  15. ^ Liberty Corner Elementary School History, Bernards Township School District. Accessed September 25, 2012
  16. ^ Oak Street Elementary School, Bernards Township School District. Accessed September 25, 2012
  17. ^ Cedar Hill Elementary School History, Bernards Township School District. Accessed September 25, 2012
  18. ^ Mount Prospect Elementary School, Bernards Township School District. Accessed September 25, 2012
  19. ^ NEW JERSEY - Somerset County - Historic Districts, National Register of Historic Places. Accessed November 18, 2006.
  20. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  21. ^ Elstein, Aaron. "Capturing Wall Street on the silver screen; One reason Margin Call expertly captures how investment bankers and traders look, sound and see the world is that its writer and director, J.C. Chandor, is a son of Wall Street. He was also inspired by other movies about business.", Crain's New York Business, November 6, 2011. Accessed June 19, 2013. "As a youth growing up in Basking Ridge, N.J., Mr. Chandor hung out on the Merrill Lynch's trading floor in lower Manhattan while his father, an investment banker, worked the phones making deals."
  22. ^ Nutt, Amy Ellis. "Chris Daggett, ever the policy wonk, concentrates on the details", The Star-Ledger, October 11, 2009. Accessed May 15, 2011. "As an independent, Daggett straddles more than just political parties. He’s a child of the free-thinking, authority-mocking 1960s — and a buttoned-down, plow-ahead grinder. The life-long Basking Ridge resident graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he says his college thesis was 'something out of the ’60s, like the study of personhood.'"
  23. ^ Powers, Phil. "Scott Style: Adventure Student Makes Good", The Leader of the National Outdoor Leadership School, Winter 1992. Accessed May 15, 2011. "Fischer's mountaineering background began at the young age of 14 when he took a NOLS Adventure Course. His father was an outdoor enthusiast who called Scott in to watch a television program one night at their home in Basking Ridge, New Jersey."
  24. ^ Horner, Shirley. "ABOUT BOOKS", The New York Times, October 3, 1993. Accessed December 19, 2007. "The other inductees are Patricia Lee Gauch of Basking Ridge, who has written more than 30 children's books"
  25. ^ Spelling, Ian. "The Disco Biscuits will play the Nokia Theatre in Manhattan", The Record (Bergen County), December 23, 2009. Accessed December 4, 2011. "Gutwillig – who grew up in Morristown/Basking Ridge — and the boys are actually several bands."
  26. ^ Giase, Frank. "Basking Ridge native Tobin Heath selected No. 1 overall in WPS Draft", The Star-Ledger, January 15, 2010. Accessed December 4, 2011. "Basking Ridge native Tobin Heath was selected with the first pick in the Women’s Professional Soccer Draft today at the Philadelphia Convention Center."
  27. ^ Page McConnell, Legacy Recordings. Accessed November 11, 2008.
  28. ^ Caldwell, Dave. "IN PERSON; Renaissance Man", The New York Times, December 4, 2005. Accessed January 24, 2008. "The taciturn Mulcahy, who graduated from Millburn High School and lives in Basking Ridge, did much of the groundwork that let Schiano, after a few tough seasons, become a success in his home state -- their home state."
  29. ^ Samuel Lewis Southard, Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed July 29, 2007.
  30. ^ Bishop, Greg. "Tomlinson Relishes New Home, and New Opportunity", The New York Times, June 8, 2010. Accessed August 21, 2010. "Tomlinson Relishes New Home, and New Opportunity"

External links[]

This page uses content from the English language Wikipedia. The original content was at Basking Ridge, New Jersey. The list of authors can be seen in the page history. As with this Familypedia wiki, the content of Wikipedia is available under the Creative Commons License.