Introduction to Montclair, New Jersey
Montclair Township is located in Essex County. Montclair is situated in the Watchung Mountains. Montclair was established as a township in 1868. The township offers impressive views including the New York City skyline. New York City is aproximately 12 miles from Montclair. The township is recognized for its historic architecture. Montclair includes six historic districts. Some of the structures featured in the township were designed by prominent architects such as Goldsmith, Charles Follen McKim, Van Vleck, Mead, Charles A. Platt and several other notable architects.
Before the settlers arrived, the Montclair area was home to the Lenape Indians. In the early stages of the 1700's John Speer constructed a house near the Montclair border that still exists today. Soon other settlers established farms in the area. The area which is now recognized as the northern portion of Montclair was named Speertown. The area experienced significant economic development in 1831 due to the completion of the Morris Canal.
In 1856 the railroad came to West Bloomfield. Over time, West Bloomfield became a commuter town and the residents eventually convinced officials at the post office to change the name to Montclair. In order to have an additional railroad provide service for the town, the residents secured a charter for another township and the Township of Montclair was established in 1868. Montclair Township experienced a significant expansion of the metropolitan area after the end of World War II.
The Montclair Art Museum features contemporary American art and Native American works of art. The museum contains more than 5,000 Native American art objects as well as more than 10,000 pieces of American art.
Presby Memorial Iris Gardens is recognized as a living museum focusing on iris flowers. It's considered to be the the biggest non-commercial gardens dedicated to iris flowers in the world. The garden was created in 1927 in tribute to Frank Presby, a prominent horticulturalist who helped to establish the American Iris Society. Other attractions in the area include:
- Howard Van Vleck Arboretum
- Yogi Berra Museum and Learning Center
- Crane House and Museum
- Van Vleck House and Gardens
Montclair State University has a campus situated in the township. Montclair State University contains the following colleges:
- College of Education and Human Services
- College of Humanities and Social Sciences
- College of Science and Mathematics
- College of Arts
- School of Business
- Graduate School