History

Bernardsville is located in the northern part of Somerset County with Morristown to the north and Somerville to the south. Known for its equestrian

farms, historical mansions and recreational facilities, it was originally the Vealtown section of Bernards Township. During the 1700s many Scottish, Irish, English and German settlers arrived in the area.

Soldiers under the command of Gen. George Washington encamped in Morristown and regularly visited Vealtown Tavern, which later became the Bernardsville Library, which with its rich history, is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Over the years, it expanded several times. In the early 1980s, the Library Association donated the library and its property to the borough. Plans for constructing a new library began in the mid-1980s.

When the borough purchased land on Anderson Hill Road for this purpose in the early 1990s, the association began a fund drive. It raised more than $2 million for construction and furniture, resulting in the new facility in use today.

Borough Hall, a circa 1800 building, formerly was known as Bunn’s Mill and operated as a gristmill, sawmill, cider mill and distillery in the mid 1800s.

In 1840, Vealtown’s name was changed to Bernardsville, in honor of Sir Francis Bernard, Colonial governor of New Jersey from 1758 to 1760. During the late 1860s, settlers from New York began building mansions on Bernardsville Mountain as summer estates and later as permanent homes. The railroad extension from New York City through the area in 1872 brought more new residents and contributed to the development of the downtown.

It wasn’t until 1924, nearly 25 years after a campaign began to successfully separate from Bernards Township and establish the Borough of Bernardsville, that voters approved the proposition.

Bernardsville formed its own school district in 1948 and created the Somerset Hills School District with Far Hills and Peapack-Gladstone in 1994. Children from all three towns attend Bedwell Elementary School, Bernardsville Middle School and Bernards High School.

The borough recently began a biannual newsletter to keep its citizens informed of upcoming events and issues. An elected mayor and six-member council govern the borough.

http://www.bernardsvillelibrary.org/local has interesting information on Bernardsville and the area.

Have you noticed the Millicent Fenwick statue near the railroad station?

The Daughters of the American Revolution has erected a sign in front of the old library  on Route 202:

“By this route Washington with his Army retired to Morristown After his Victory at Princeton January 1777”