Princeton, New Jersey

Princeton, New Jersey

Princeton Borough, New Jersey Princeton Township, New Jersey this allows to disambiguate-->Princeton, New Jersey is located in Mercer County, New Jersey, United States. Princeton University has been sited in the town since 1756. Although Princeton is a "college town", there are other important institutions in the area, including the Institute for Advanced Study, Educational Testing Service (ETS), Opinion Research Corporation, Siemens Corporate Research, Sarnoff Corporation, FMC Corporation, The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Princeton Theological Seminary, Westminster Choir College, Church and Dwight and Dow Jones & Company.

The town is roughly equidistant between New York and Philadelphia. Princeton has been home to New York commuters (via Princeton Junction) since the end of World War II. [ Housing development boomed as postwar employment expanded in Princeton and nearby communities and as commuting to New York became more affordable and practical.] The town is close to many major highways that can take residents to both cities. While the Amtrak ridetime is similar to each city, the more usual commuter train ride to New York via the New Jersey Transit Northeast Corridor Line, is generally much shorter than the equivalent train ride to Philadelphia, which involves a transfer to SEPTA trains in Trenton. Princeton receives TV and radio from both cities.

New Jersey's State capital is the city of Trenton, but the Governor's official residence has been in Princeton since 1945, when Morven became the first Governor's mansion. It was later replaced by the larger Drumthwacket, a larger colonial mansion also located in Princeton. Morven became a museum property of the New Jersey Historical Society.

Princeton was named #15 of the top 100 towns in the United States to Live and Work In by "Money" Magazine in 2005. [ [ Best Places to Live 2005: No. 15 - Princeton, NJ] , "Money (magazine)", accessed November 2, 2006]

Although residents of Princeton ("Princetonians") traditionally have a strong town-wide identity, legally there is not one municipality, but two: a township and a borough. The central borough is completely surrounded by the township. The Borough seceded from the Township in 1894 in a dispute over school taxes; the two municipalities later formed the Princeton Regional Schools, and some other public services are conducted together. There have been three referenda proposing to reunite the two Princetons, but they have all been narrowly defeated. The Borough contains Nassau Street, the main commercial street, most of the University campus, and incorporated most of the urban area until the postwar suburbanization. Borough and Township now have roughly equal populations, together approaching 30,000.

United States Postal Zip Codes for Princeton include 08542 (largely the Borough), 08544 (the University), and 08540. The latter covers areas outside Princeton proper, including portions of Lawrence and West Windsor Townships in Mercer County, Montgomery and Franklin Townships in Somerset County, and Plainsboro and South Brunswick Townships in Middlesex County. The resulting ambiguity is exploited by local realtors who will often advertise a property in these neighboring communities as having a "prestigious Princeton address". [ [ Garden Homes of New Jersey ] ] [ [ The Estates at Princeton Junction - Heritage Collection - New Homes in Princeton, NJ by Toll Brothers ] ] Further adding to confusion is the spread of "Princeton" as part of business, church and residential development even further beyond the boundaries of the Township and Borough. Princeton lies at latitude 40°21' North, longitude 74°40' West.


During the War for Independence, British and American armies crossed New Jersey several times. On January 3, 1777, the American forces led by George Washington scored an important victory over British forces led by Charles Cornwallis in the Battle of Princeton. British forces marching from New York to respond to the raid on Trenton (December 26, 1777) were spotted by Washington's troops about two miles west of what was then Princeton (now the very center of the town). In one engagement Washington's forces defeated the British rear guard, although Brigadier General Hugh Mercer was killed commanding the unit. The site is preserved as Princeton Battlefield State Park. In a series of other engagements Washington scattered the British in Princeton and achieving a decisive, if minor, victory.

In the summer of 1783, the Continental Congress met in Nassau Hall at Princeton University, making Princeton the capital of the United States for four months. It was there that the Continental Congress learned of the signing of the Treaty of Paris (1783) which ended the war. The area was agricultural at that time, Nassau Hall and a few houses comprising the entire University.

In 1840, Joseph Henry operated one of the first telegraphs here. Henry was a professor at the College of New Jersey, and used the invention to contact his servants at home while he was working in his laboratory on the campus, a few blocks away.

Princeton was a stopping point on the colonial-era Post Road from New York to Philadelphia. The historic route follows New Jersey Route 27 into Princeton from Kingston, and then follows Stockton Street (U.S. Route 206) towards Lawrenceville. Between 1830 and 1834 the Delaware and Raritan Canal was built, operating less than a mile from the center of town on the far side of the Millstone River.

At the same time, The Camden & Amboy Railroad, the earliest New York-Philadelphia rail line, was laid on the east bank of the canal and river. In 1863 the railroad built a new, straighter alignment further east, going through Princeton Junction. The old alignment was used by some trains until 1865, when the Princeton Branch line was opened connecting Princeton Junction with a station in the borough of Princeton. The train, called the "Dinky," remains a cherished, one-of-a-kind asset. Both lines were absorbed by the Pennsylvania Railroad in 1871, and are now operated by New Jersey Transit.

A trolley line ran from Trenton to Princeton between 1900 and 1941, the line running north of the Lawrenceville-Princeton Road. It operated as a steam freight railroad (the Trenton, Princeton and Lawrenceville) for some of its length, and as an electric trolley for the remainder [ [] New York Times article on new steam railway 1899] . Trolley magnate A L Johnson planned to make a trolley route through Princeton to New York in 1901, but died before the project could be completed. [ [] April 1901 NY Times article on original plan] [ [] July 1901 notice of Johnson's death] The line, which has since been removed and largely reverted from right of way, followed what is now Paul Robeson Place into the center of town.

In 1894, during his second term as President, Grover Cleveland bought a house in Princeton, which he named Westland, and became a fixture of the Princeton community, including the University. He later died in Princeton. After his death, he was buried in Princeton Cemetery.

In 1912, Woodrow Wilson, a former professor (and University president of Princeton) and Governor of New Jersey, was elected President of the United States. He served two terms as President, wrote the Fourteen Points and was President during World War I.

Princeton High School opened in 1915, at time when racial segregation was the norm in the area. Despite this, and the fact that there was a separate elementary school for black Princetonians, the school admitted students of all races. ['The Princeton Plan' Fifty years of school desegregation. By Louise Handelman. Princeton Packet. Tuesday, June 8, 1999]

In 1933, Albert Einstein arrived at Princeton, where he was affiliated with the Institute for Advanced Study. Shortly after his arrival, in a private correspondence, Einstein described Princeton as "a quaint and ceremonious village of puny demigods on stilts." Over time, he came to appreciate the environment provided by the town and the Institute, and in many ways became more at home in Princeton than in any of his previous residences. He stayed until his death in 1955.

In the academic year 1948–1949, following the mandate of the 1947 New Jersey State Constitution, which prohibited segregation in the public schools and the state militia, Princeton's lower schools were finally integrated. This was accomplished by an overhaul of the entire system, called the 'Princeton Plan', so that all the building, students, and teachers of the previously all African-American school were incorporated into the new town wide system.

The area was implicated in the transmission of anthrax tainted mail on September 18, 2001 to certain publications, such as the National Enquirer.Fact|date=May 2008


Colleges and universities

Princeton University, located in both the borough and the township and in West Windsor Township, serves as a prominent feature of Princeton.

Westminster Choir College, part of Rider University, is located in the Borough.

Princeton Theological Seminary's academic campus is located in the Borough, and a residential campus is located just outside the Township in West Windsor Township.

The Institute for Advanced Study is in the Township and maintains extensive land holdings (the "Institute Woods") in the Township.

Mercer County Community College in West Windsor is the nearest public college to serve Princeton residents.

Primary and secondary schools

Public schools

The six public schools of the Princeton Regional Schools district serve both the borough and the township: four elementary schools ( [ Community Park] , [ Johnson Park] , [ Littlebrook] and [ Riverside] ), John Witherspoon Middle School, and
Princeton High School. In the early 1990s, redistricting occurred between the Community Park and Johnson Park School districts, as the population within both districts had increased due to residential development. Concerns were also raised about the largely white, wealthy student population attending Johnson Park and the more racially and economically diverse population at Community Park. As a result of the redistricting, the wealthy Hodge Road/Library Place neighborhood was redistricted to CP, and portions of the racially diverse John Witherspoon Neighborhood were set to be bused to JP. The high school is located in the borough; the other schools are in the township. The high school also serves students from Cranbury Township as part of a sending/receiving relationship. [ [ Princeton Regional Schools 2007 Report Card Narrative] , New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed July 9, 2008. "Students from three communities in Central Jersey (Princeton Borough, Princeton Township, and Cranbury Township) attend the schools. (Cranbury students attend only the high school.)"]

The Princeton Charter School (grades K-8) is located in the township. The school operates under a charter granted by the Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Education. The school is a public school that operates independently of the Princeton Regional Schools, and is funded on a per student basis by locally-raised tax revenues.

Private schools

Several private schools are located in the Township, including the American Boychoir School, Hun School of Princeton, Princeton Academy of the Sacred Heart, Princeton Day School, Princeton Friends School, and Stuart Country Day School of the Sacred Heart. St Paul School and The Lewis School and Diagnostic Clinic are located in the Borough.

Schools that are outside the Township and Borough but have Princeton mailing addresses include Chapin School and Princeton Junior School in Lawrence Township, the Waldorf School of Princeton and Princeton Montessori School in Montgomery Township, and Eden Institute in West Windsor Township.

Public libraries

The Princeton Public Library, located in the borough, serves the borough and the township. The facility was opened in April 2004 as part of the on-going downtown redevelopment project taking shape and replaced a building dating from 1966. The library itself was founded in 1909.

Noteworthy Princetonians

"Note: this list does not include people whose only time in Princeton was as a student. Only selected faculty are shown, whose notability extends beyond their field into popular culture. See Faculty and Alumni lists above."

*Samuel Davies Alexander, (1819–1894), born in Princeton, noted Presbyterian clergyman and author cite book | title = Who Was Who in America, Historical Volume, 1607-1896 | publisher = Marquis Who's Who | location = Chicago | date = 1963]
*Svetlana Alliluyeva, daughter of Joseph Stalin, defected to United States and lived in Princeton.
*John Altman (1952-), mystery writer.
*Trey Anastasio (1964-), of the band Phish. Anastasio lived in Princeton with his family and attended Princeton Day School, before attending the Taft School in Watertown, Connecticut, and later the University of Vermont.
*Milton Babbitt, composer and Princeton University professor.
*Chris Barron, lead singer of the Spin Doctors, grew up in Princeton, attended Princeton High School.
*Saul Bellow, writer and Princeton University professor.
*Ben Bernanke, Chairman of the Board of Governors of the United States Federal Reserve, Princeton University professor.
*Michael Bradley, soccer player, born in Princeton.
*George Harold Brown (1908-1987), Research Engineer at RCA, lived in Princeton.
*Aaron Burr (1756-1836), Third Vice President of the United States (under Thomas Jefferson); killed Alexander Hamilton in duel, grew up in Princeton and buried there.
*Aaron Burr, Sr. (1715-1757), co-founder of Princeton University and its second president.
*Sim Cain (1963-), drummer for Rollins Band, grew up in Princeton.
*Frances Folsom Cleveland, First Lady, died in and buried in Princeton.
*Grover Cleveland (1837-1908), 22nd and 24th President of the United States, retired to, died in, and buried in Princeton.
*Ruth Cleveland, Daughter of Grover and Frances Cleveland born between Cleveland's two terms in office. Died at age 12 and buried at Princeton Cemetery.
*Chris Conley, lead singer of Saves the Day, born and grew up in Princeton.
*Mary Chapin Carpenter, country/folk singer, born and grew up in Princeton.
*Whitney Darrow, Jr, "New Yorker" cartoonist, born in Princeton.
*Freeman Dyson, theoretical physicist and fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study.
*Jonathan Edwards, Congregationalist Church theologian and Princeton University's third president.
*Albert Einstein, physicist, fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study.
*Charles Evered, playwright/screenwriter and director, resident of Princeton.
*Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and president of Ricks College, born in Princeton.
*Richard Ford, writer, taught at Princeton University and has written several books set in a fictionalized Princeton.
*George Gallup, Statistician and creator of the Gallup poll, lived and is buried in Princeton.
*Kurt Gödel, Austrian-American logician, mathematician and philosopher, fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study.
*Michael Graves, architect, lives and works in Princeton.
*Ethan Hawke (attended West Windsor-Plainsboro High School, graduated from The Hun School [ [ Ethan Hawke IMDB bio] ] .
*Joseph Hewes, signer of the Declaration of Independence, born in Princeton.
*Charles Hodge, theologian and Principal of Princeton Theological Seminary.
*Robert Wood Johnson II, Chairman of Johnson & Johnson, and his wife Basia Johnson, lived in Princeton.
*Indiana Jones, movie and television character, born in Princeton but attended University of Chicago. []
*George F. Kennan, diplomat, historian, fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study.
*Chang-Rae Lee, writer, Princeton University professor.
*John Lithgow, actor, lived in Princeton in his late teens.
*Henry Martin, "New Yorker" cartoonist, lived and worked in Princeton.
*John McPhee, writer, lives in Princeton.
*Lyle and Erik Menendez, murderers, grew up in Princeton.
*Toni Morrison, writer, Princeton University professor.
*John Nash, mathematician, subject of A Beautiful Mind, Princeton University professor.
*Bebe Neuwirth, actress, grew up in Princeton.
*Joyce Carol Oates, writer, Princeton University professor.
*John O'Hara, writer, lived and is buried in Princeton.
*Charles Smith Olden, governor of New Jersey during the American Civil War, born and buried in Princeton.
*J. Robert Oppenheimer theoretical physicist, director of the Institute for Advanced Study
*Christopher Reeve, actor, grew up in Princeton
*Paul Robeson, singer, actor, athlete, civil rights activist, born and grew up in Princeton
*Ralph Schoenstein, writer, lived in Princeton up to his death.
*Roger Sessions, composer, Princeton University professor, died in Princeton
*Andrew Shue, actor and professional soccer player, grew up in central New Jersey with sister, actress Elisabeth Shue, lives in Princeton.
*Michael Showalter, comedian, actor, writer, and director, born in Princeton, attended Princeton High School.
*Barbara Boggs Sigmund, mayor of Princeton.
*Peter Singer, bioethicist, Princeton University professor.
*Betsey Stockton, educator and missionary, manumitted from slavery and later retired to and died in Princeton.
*John P. Stockton, U.S. Senator from New Jersey, lived in Princeton.
*Richard Stockton (1730-1781), signer of the United States Declaration of Independence, lived in Princeton, buried in Princeton.
*Richard Stockton (1764–1828), U.S. Senator from New Jersey, lived in Princeton.
*Robert Stockton, United States Navy commodore, first territorial governor of California, lived in Princeton.
*Jon Tenney, actor, born and grew up in Princeton.
*Andrew Wiles, mathematician who solved Fermat's Last Theorem, Princeton University professor.
*Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States, 13th president of Princeton University and Governor of New Jersey
*John Witherspoon, signer of the United States Declaration of Independence, president of Princeton University.
*Boris Zubry, author, poet, inventor, educator, lives in Princeton.

*All of the members of Blues Traveler, as well as Chris Barron (see above) are from Princeton and were high school friends.
*All sitting New Jersey governors since 1945 have had their official residence in Princeton, first at Morven and since 1982 at Drumthwacket, but not all have actually lived in these houses.

Princeton in popular culture


Princeton was the setting of the Academy Award-winning "A Beautiful Mind" about the schizophrenic mathematician John Nash. It was largely filmed in central New Jersey, including some Princeton locations.

The 1994 film "I.Q.", featuring Meg Ryan, Tim Robbins, and Walter Matthau as Albert Einstein, was also set in Princeton, and was filmed in the area. It includes some geographic stretches (including Matthau looking through a telescope from the roof of Princeton Hospital to see Ryan and Robbins' characters kissing on the Princeton Battlefield.

Historical films which used Princeton as a setting but were not filmed there include "Wilson", a 1944 biographical film about Woodrow Wilson.

TV and radio

The 1938 Orson Welles radio broadcast of "The War of the Worlds", is set partly in nearby Grover's Mill, and includes a fictional professor from Princeton University as a main character, but the action never moves directly into Princeton.

The TV show "House" is located in Princeton, at the fictional Princeton-Plainsboro Teaching Hospital, and establishing shots for the hospital display the Frist Campus Center of Princeton University.

The 1980 television miniseries "Oppenheimer' is partly set in Princeton.


Princeton University's Creative Writing program includes several nationally and internationally prominent writers, making the town a hub of contemporary literature.

Many of Richard Ford's novels are set in Haddam, New Jersey, a fictionalized Princeton. The Rule of Four by Ian Caldwell and Dustin Thomson is largely set at Princeton University.

Joyce Carol Oates 2004 novel "Take Me, Take Me With You" (written pseudonymously as Lauren Kelly) is set in Princeton. [cite news | first=Jennifer Greenstein | last=Altmann | coauthors= | title=Oates chooses fresh identity but familiar setting for novel | date=2004-10-11 | publisher=Princeton University | url = | work =Princeton Weekly Bulletin | pages = | accessdate = 2008-09-18 | language = ]

Points of interest

*American Boychoir School
*The D&R Canal State Park
*Forrestal Village
*Herrontown Woods Arboretum
*Hun School of Princeton
*Institute for Advanced Study and Institute Woods
*Lake Carnegie
*McCarter Theatre
*Nassau Hall
*Palmer Square
*Princeton Battlefield State Park
*Princeton Cemetery
*Princeton Day School
*Princeton High School
*Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory
*Princeton Record Exchange
*Princeton Theological Seminary
*Princeton University
*Princeton University Art Museum
*Stony Brook Meeting House and Cemetery
*Stuart Country Day School
*The Washington Oak
*Westminster Choir College



*Clark, Ronald W. (1971) "Einstein: The Life and Times". ISBN 0-380-44123-3
*Gambee, Robert. (1987) "Princeton" ISBN 0-393-30433-7

See also

*Town Topics

External links

* [ Princeton Township Municipal Web Site (Government)]
* [ Princeton Online (Local Online Community)]
* [ The Princeton Packet (Local Newspaper)]
* [ Princeton Regional Schools]
*NJReportCard|21|4255|0|Princeton Regional Schools
* [ Data for the Princeton Regional Schools] , National Center for Education Statistics
* [ Guide to Princeton Area]
* [ Photographic tour of Princeton Cemetery.]

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