Welcome to Summit!
Summit is one of New Jersey's most economically and culturally diverse communities with approximately 21,000 residents. This town is nestled in the hills of the Watchung Reservation with six square miles of hills, tree-lined streets, open spaces, and an active community-oriented business district.
Summit boasts numerous rail and bus links to Newark, Manhattan, and Newark-Liberty International Airport via Route 24, Interstate 78 and the Garden State Parkway. Commuters find this thriving community a perfect place to settle. The Mid-town Direct train is a 35-minute express ride to Penn Station.
Summit's Downtown Business District is a tapestry of retail and commercial businesses with an abundance of specialty and gift shops, clothing stores, home furnishings, restaurants, bakeries, fine wine outlets, and a movie theater, all within short walking distances. There are numerous parking garages and ample parking for resident commuters and downtown employees. There is also the Summit Farmers Market, which showcases local produce as well as products from Hoboken and other New Jersey towns.
In 2000 the city's downtown business district underwent a complete utility infrastructure and beautification project which included the widening of sidewalks for pedestrian traffic, improved street and sidewalk lighting, festive space for markets and special events and seasonal plantings.
Summit's local area non-profit organizations help residents of all ages participate in a variety of activities, including fitness, family fun, cultural, intellectual and healthy leisure pursuits. Check out the Summit YMCA’s website for great local programs.
A little History
The region passed from Indian to Colonial possession by purchase on October 28, 1664, for "twenty fathoms of trading cloth, two made coats, two guns, two kettles, ten bars of lead and twenty handfuls of powder."
Summit's earliest settlers came around 1710, drawn by the abundance of timber for building cabins, rabbits for food and pelts, plentiful turkey, and a fertile valley for growing wheat and corn. The Passaic River was full of fish to eat and made boat transportation easy.
In 1837, the railroad came over the "The Summit" hill, changing Summit from a cozy farming community populated by about 300 people to a more commercial and industrial town. After the Civil War, Summit became a summer resort area because of its crisp, clean mountain air and proximity to New York City. Summit attracted extremely wealthy people who built extensive summer estates. Many Summit residents have attributed significantly to the world's business, industrial and government affairs over the years.
Summit has a wide variety of schooling offered for children. Summit's public school system has been nationally ranked and includes one high school (ranked 25th in NJ), one middle school, and five elementary schools. Private schools include Kent Place, Oak Knoll, Oratory Prep, St. Teresa, and Bilingual Buds Immersion School for Children. Summit also has additional preschool and daycare facilities.
Arts, Environment, Recreational & Cultural Enrichment
Summit offers a range of arts, environment, recreation and cultural programs, facilities, and events to engage and educate the community. The Summit Boards of Recreation and Education, the Summit YMCA, and many other non-profit organizations enable residents of all ages the ability to participate in leisure and health-related programs.
Summit has numerous playing fields to include baseball, football, soccer, basketball, tennis, running track and a 9-par Golf Course and a Municipal Pool.
Artistic and cultural traditions are strong in Summit, with its roots in the visual arts dating back to Worthington Whittredge, a painter of the Hudson River School who lived in Summit from 1880 - 1910. The Visual Arts Center of New Jersey is a commitment to the arts offering cultural activities, ranging from art exhibits and jazz concerts to courses for budding artists. The Summit Free Public Library offers an adverse array of cultural readings, movies, and special events.
For nature lovers, the Reeves-Reed Arboretum is a great place to visit with formal gardens and woodlands on its 13.5 acres site and is a New Jersey Registers of Historic Places.
Overlook Hospital was founded in 1906 as a 30-bed private hospital on its present site. In 1914, Overlook became a public institution and now serves as one of the leading hospitals in the New York metropolitan area and a very integral public service to the Summit area.
The Grand Summit Hotel, originally known as the Blackburn, played an important role in drawing people to Summit for summer retreats in Summit's early years and continues to be a preferred dining and hotel destination.
The Summit Historical Society is housed in the town's oldest house built in 1747 located at 90 Butler Parkway which is also the home of the town archives.
The Summit Opera House was erected in 1894 as a "dry entertainment" hall and currently functions as multiple purpose business and entertainment venue.
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