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Warren County, New Jersey
Seal of Warren County, New Jersey
Map of New Jersey highlighting Warren County
Location in the state of New Jersey
Map of the U.S. highlighting New Jersey
New Jersey's location in the U.S.
Founded November 20, 1824
Seat Belvidere
Largest city Phillipsburg
 - Total
 - Land
 - Water

363 sq mi (940 km²)
358 sq mi (927 km²)
5 sq mi (13 km²), 1.35%
 - (2010)
 - Density

303/sq mi (117/km²)

Warren County is a county located in the U.S. state of New Jersey. As of the 2010 Census, the population was 108,692. Its county seat is Belvidere[1]. It is part of the Allentown-Bethlehem-Easton, PA-NJ metropolitan area and is generally considered the eastern border of the Lehigh Valley.

Warren County was incorporated by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on November 20, 1824, from portions of Sussex County. At its creation, the county consisted of the townships of Greenwich, Independence, Knowlton, Mansfield, Oxford, Pahaquarry (now defunct).[2]


According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the county has a total area of 363 square miles (940 km2), of which, 358 square miles (930 km2) of it is land and 5 square miles (13 km2) of it (1.35%) is water. Warren County is mountainous, with the Kittatinny Ridge providing a hard backbone to the county in the west. Allamuchy Mountain and Jenny Jump Mountain are part of the Highlands, also known as the Reading Prong.

Warren County is located in two valleys of the Great Appalachian Valley. The first is the Kittatinny Valley, which is in the northern part of the county, and the Lehigh Valley, which is in the southern part of the county.

The Lehigh Valley starts at the terminal moraine of the Wisconsin Glacier slightly north of Belvidere. It extends from the Delaware River south to where the Musconetcong River goes into the Delaware River, northeast to the Jenny Jump Mountains and then along Route 80 to the Allamuchy Mountains to the terminal moraine near Hackettstown.

The Kittatinny Valley is north of the terminal moraine; it runs north of Belvidere, to south of Great Meadows, then east to the north of Hackettstown. Towns such as Blairstown, Johnsonburg, Hope and Allamuchy are in the Kittatinny Valley

The highest elevation is 1,600 feet (487.6 m) above sea level on the Kittatinny Ridge, at two areas just south of Upper Yards Creek Reservoir, west of Blairstown; the lowest point is the confluence of the Delaware and Musconetcong rivers at the county's southern tip, at 160 feet (49 m) of elevation.

The highest elevation on Allamuchy Mountain is 1,240 feet (380 m) on the ridge northeast of Allamuchy. On Jenny Jump Mountain the highest point is 1,134 feet (346 m) east of the Shiloh area or south of Route 80. Sunfish Pond has an elevation of 1,379 feet (420 m) and upper Yards Creek Reservoir is at 1,555 feet (474 m).


Around four hundred fifty million years ago, a chain of volcanic islands collided with proto North America. The chain of islands went over the North American plate, thus the Highlands were created from the island rock and so was the Great Appalachian Valley. The Highlands is Allamuchy Mountains and the Jenny Jump Mountains. Thus, Warren County was born.

Around four hundred million years ago a small continent that was long and thin collided with proto North America. This created the Kittatinny Mountains, as the land was compressed from the collision. The quartzite that was lying in a shallow sea over top of the Martinsburg shale, folded and faulted due to pressure and heat. The quartzite lifted, thus the Kittatinny Mountain was born.

The final collision was when the African plate collided with the North American plate. This was the final episode of the building of the Appalachian Mountains. Then the African plate tore away from North America.

Then the Wisconsin Glacier covered the northern part of the county from 21,000 to 13,000 BC. This glacier covered the top of Kittatinny Mountain and carved the terrain in the northern part of the county. The terminal moraine runs from north of Belvidere to south of Great Meadows to north of Hackettstown, to north of Budd Lake. Blairstown Twp., Hope Twp., half of Independence Twp., part of White Twp., and all of Allamuchy Twp was covered by the Glacier. When the glacier melted, a lake was formed at Great Meadows. Slowly the lake drained leaving a large flat area filled with organic material.

The county is drained by three rivers. All three rivers are shallow and narrow. They are fresh water rivers that are excellent for fishing. The Paulinskill drains the western portion of the county. The river flows from Newton to Blairstown Twp, and then through Knowlton Twp where it drains into the Delaware River. The Pequest River drains the middle of the county flowing from Andover Twp. through Allamuchy, then to Independence Twp where it turns west and flows through White Twp. and then empties into the Delaware River at Belvidere. The third river is the Musconetcong. Starting at Lake Musconetcong, the river divides the county from Morris and Hunterdon. This river drains the southern portion of the county and empties into the Delaware River near Warren Glen.

Paleo Indians and Native Americans[]

After the Wisconsin Glacier melted around 13,000 B.C., the area slowly warmed. At first the area was Tundra, and later changed to Taiga/Boreal Forests. Water was everywhere in the northern part of the county due to the glacier melt. The water drained slowly and grasses grew. There was a big lake at Great Meadows. The area was still cold, so coniferous forests and grasslands grew. Big game such as mastodons came into the area. This is when Paleo Indians moved into the area. Paleo Indians lived in small groups and traveled in search of game and plants to eat. They were hunter-gathers. They made spear points of jasper and black chert. They lived near water and moved after game became scarce in the area. Their camp sites are many feet below the present ground surface,. This is why they are difficult to locate.

Native Americans moved into the area but their time of arrival is unknown. Eventually ancestors of the Algonquian-speaking Lenape moved into the area, perhaps as early as 1000 A.D. Clay pottery and the bow and arrow was being invented around 1000 A. D. Agriculture also started around that time, with the cultivation of varieties of corn, beans and squash. Settlements of family groups became more stable, as they could store food, as well as procure more game with the bow and arrow. Agriculture contributed to the rise of population density in areas where crops could be grown. The Lenape would tend their oval gardens during the spring and summer months. They fished with nets or by hand in the shallow rivers. The Lenape trapped game with deadfalls and snares.

Problems developed in the early 17th century when the Little Ice Age came to North America. With late frost in May and June and frosts in early August or September, made the growing of crops difficult. Cold weather also made game more difficult to find. Also nut crops from oak, hickory, beech, walnut, chestnut, failed at times making the supply of food scarce. All these factors along with diseases contacted from Europeans made the Native populations decline dramatically.

European settlement[]

The Dutch started to settle the Hudson River valley in the early 17th century, from Manhattan Island to slightly north of present-day Albany, New York. Due to differing interpretations of land uses and vastly different cultures, the Dutch and Native Americans had increasing misunderstandings. In the middle of the 17th century, there were three wars between the Dutch and Native Americans. Due to the conflicts, Europeans did not move into the interior of New Jersey for settlement for decades. By this time, the English had taken control of the area which the Dutch called New Netherlands. Relations between the British and Native American improved for a while.

In the present-day Phillipsburg area, European settlement occurred in the late 17th century. Surveyors from Philadelphia went north along the Delaware River to survey land. Settlers from Philadelphia moved north into present-day Warren County after colonists purchased land from the Native Americans. Their population had declined after epidemics of infectious diseases, for which they had no acquired immunity, as these were endemic among European settlers and new to North America. Many Native American populations were weakened from starvation due to the Little Ice Age, which was coldest during the 17th century. Their important corn, bean and squash crops failed. Big and small game became scarce due to the cold weather. Rivers froze early and prevented fishing. As the Native American population declined, more land was available for European settlement.

Hunting and fishing[]

Warren County has many areas for hunting and fishing. The five major rivers or creeks for fishing in Warren County are the Paulinskill, the Pequest, the Musconetcong, Pohatcong Creek, and the Delaware River. These are the premier fishing streams of the county. They are stocked with trout and other fish. Also there is Merrill Creek Reservoir which is stocked with fish and is very deep. Pohatcong Creek is also popular for trout fishing in the spring.

The Pequest Fish Hatchery which produces trout and other fish is located in Warren County about five miles northeast of Oxford. Thousands of trout are raised in this hatchery.

There are several Wildlife Management areas for hunting, White Lake, Oxford Lake, and the Pequest River W.M.A.

The Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area is also for hunting and fishing.

Adjacent counties[]

National protected areas[]

  • Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area (part)
  • Middle Delaware National Scenic River (part)


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1830 18,627
1840 20,366 9.3%
1850 22,358 9.8%
1860 28,433 27.2%
1870 34,336 20.8%
1880 36,589 6.6%
1890 36,553 −0.1%
1900 37,781 3.4%
1910 43,187 14.3%
1920 45,057 4.3%
1930 49,319 9.5%
1940 50,181 1.7%
1950 54,374 8.4%
1960 63,220 16.3%
1970 73,960 17.0%
1980 84,429 14.2%
1990 91,607 8.5%
2000 102,437 11.8%
2010 108,692 6.1%
historical census data source:[3][4][5]

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 102,437 people, 38,660 households, and 27,487 families residing in the county. The population density was 286 people per square mile (111/km²). There were 41,157 housing units at an average density of 115 per square mile (44/km²). The racial makeup of the county was 94.54% White, 1.87% Black or African American, 0.11% Native American, 1.21% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.01% from other races, and 1.24% from two or more races. 3.66% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race. 18.4% were of Italian, 18.2% German, 14.6% Irish, 7.2% Polish, 6.8% English and 5.2% American ancestry according to Census 2000.

There were 38,660 households out of which 34.70% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.20% were married couples living together, 9.20% had a female householder with no husband present, and 28.90% were non-families. 24.00% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.00% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.61 and the average family size was 3.12.

In the county the population was spread out with 26.10% under the age of 18, 6.30% from 18 to 24, 31.30% from 25 to 44, 23.50% from 45 to 64, and 12.90% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 94.90 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.10 males.

The median income for a household in the county was $56,100, and the median income for a family was $66,223. Males had a median income of $47,331 versus $31,790 for females. The per capita income for the county was $25,728. About 3.60% of families and 5.40% of the population were below the poverty line, including 5.90% of those under age 18 and 6.70% of those age 65 or over.


Warren County is governed by a three-member Board of Chosen Freeholders. The members are elected at large to serve three-year terms. One Freeholder seat comes up for election each year, and the three-year term of office starts (and ends) on January 1.

The Freeholder Board is the center of legislative and administrative responsibility and, as such, performs a dual role. As legislators they draw up and adopt a budget, and in the role of administrators they are responsible for spending the funds they have appropriated.

As of 2010, Warren County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director Richard D. Gardner (term expires January 1, 2012), Freeholder Deputy Director Everett A. Chamberlain (January 1, 2013), and Freeholder Jason Sarnoski (January 1, 2014). "Board of Chosen Freeholders". Warren County, New Jersey. Retrieved 2009-04-26. </ref>

Other elected officials in Warren County are County Clerk Patricia J Kolb, Sheriff David Gallant, Surrogate Susan A. Dickey. Prosecutor Thomas S. Ferguson is appointed by the Governor.

Former Freeholders[]

  • 2011-13 - Jason Sarnoski (R)
  • 2010 - Angelo Accetturo (R)
  • 2003-12 - Everett Chamberlain (R)
  • 2002-14 - Richard Gardner (R)
  • 2001-09 - John DiMaio (R)
  • 2000-02 - James DeBosh (D)
  • 1997-99 - Stephen Lance (R)
  • 1996-00 - Ann Stone (D)
  • 1993-01 - Susan Dickey (R)
  • 1989-94 - Jacob Matthenius (R)
  • 1988-96 - Kenneth Miller (R)
  • 1986-88 - Anthony Fowler (R)
  • 1984-87 - Charles Lee (R)
  • 1981-83 - George Thompson (R)
  • 1978-80 - Garabed Haytaian (R)
  • 1977-79 - Christopher Maier (D)


Warren County has been a consistently Republican county in state and national elections. In the 2004 U.S. Presidential election, George W. Bush carried the county by a 24% margin over John Kerry, the second-highest margin for Bush in the state behind Sussex County.[7] In the 2008 U.S. Presidential election, John McCain carried Warren County by a 14% margin over Barack Obama, with Obama winning statewide by 15.5% over McCain.[8] In the state's 2005 gubernatorial election, Warren County voted for Doug Forrester by 21 points over statewide winner Jon Corzine.[9] In the 2009 Gubernatorial Election, Republican Chris Christie received 61% of the vote, defeating Democrat Jon Corzine, who received around 26%.


While Warren County only has one New Jersey Transit train stop in the entire county (Hackettstown), Warren has a number of state routes, a few U.S. Routes, and two interstates. Warren houses Route 31, Route 57, Route 94, Route 173 and Route 182. The US Routes are U.S. Route 22, and U.S. Route 46. The two interstates that pass through the county are the Phillipsburg-Newark Expressway (Interstate 78), and the Bergen-Passaic Expressway (Interstate 80).

By air, the county is served by Lehigh Valley International Airport.


Index map of Warren County municipalities (click to see index key)

  • Allamuchy Township
    • Allamuchy-Panther Valley
  • Alpha
  • Belvidere
  • Blairstown Township
  • Franklin Township
  • Frelinghuysen Township
  • Greenwich Township
  • Hackettstown
  • Hardwick Township
  • Harmony Township
  • Hope Township
  • Independence Township
    • Great Meadows-Vienna
  • Knowlton Township
  • Liberty Township
  • Lopatcong Township
  • Mansfield Township
    • Beatyestown
    • Port Murray
  • Oxford Township
    • Oxford
  • Phillipsburg
  • Pohatcong Township
  • Washington
  • Washington Township
    • Brass Castle
  • White Township


  • Blair Academy is a prestigious college preparatory school located in Blairstown, New Jersey.
  • Centenary College is a private college affiliated with the United Methodist Church and in Hackettstown, New Jersey.
  • Warren County Community College, in Franklin Township, offers degree programs and certificate programs. The College serves approximately 1,700 full-time and part-time students, in addition to students in non-credit programs and courses.

See also[]

  • List of people from the Lehigh Valley
  • List of shopping malls in the Lehigh Valley
  • National Register of Historic Places listings in Warren County, New Jersey
  • Media in the Lehigh Valley
  • Warren Hills AVA


  1. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  2. ^ "The Story of New Jersey's Civil Boundaries: 1606–1968", John P. Snyder, Bureau of Geology and Topography; Trenton, New Jersey; 1969. p. 245.
  3. ^ "New Jersey Resident Population by County: 1880–1930". 
  4. ^ "Geostat Center: Historical Census Browser". University of Virginia Library. Retrieved 2007-03-02. 
  5. ^ "The Counties and Most Populous Cities and Townships in 2010 in New Jersey: 2000 and 2010". U.S. Census Bureau. 2011-02-03. Retrieved 2011-02-05. 
  6. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^ New Jersey Presidential Election Returns by County 2004, Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University. Accessed August 28, 2008.
  8. ^ U.S. Election Atlas
  9. ^ 2005 Gubernatorial General Election Results – Warren County, NJ, Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections. Accessed August 28, 2008.

External links[]

Coordinates: 40°54′N 75°00′W / 40.9, -75.0

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