Learn About The History Of North Plainfield NJ

North Plainfield: A Suburb Rich with History

Nestled amidst the many towns of central New Jersey, stands a small town brimming with both historical and modern day charm. North Plainfield which covers 2.8 square miles in Somerset county is home to residents who can enjoy many pleasures of small town life while being within commuting distances to New York City.

The land that North Plainfield rests on was originally settled prior the American Revolution. Located at the foot of the Watchung Mountains, the land was primarily farmlands. The area was known as the "Blue Hills" during the time of the American Revolution. When Washington and the Continental Army camped in the area during the battles of the region, he referred to the mountains as the Blue Hills.


The town was once a part of Warren Township but separated and became incorporated as North Plainfield Township in 1872. At that time it also included present day Watchung and Green Brook. The Central Jersey Railroad extension to the area contributed to the community to include residents who commuted to NYC and other neighboring towns for work. The town became a suburban community. As of the 2000 census, there were approximately 21,000 people living in North Plainfield.

Types of residences

The town has a variety of types of residences. There are many single-family homes, multifamily homes and apartment complexes. Still, even today there is much history visible within North Plainfield. A standout neighborhood is the Washington Park Historic District. This tree-lined neighborhood includes several streets with exceptionally well-preserved homes in late Victorian style architecture. There are as many as 200 homes in the neighborhood which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Washington Park Historic District Association works to protect, restore and rehabilitate the dwellings. Going through the area and viewing the collection of well-cared for residences with wooden trimmed porches, gables and windows can be like stepping back in time.

Vermeule Mansion

One of estates in the historic neighborhood is the well known Vermeule Mansion (aka Van Deventer/Brunson House). Located at 614 Green Brook Road, North Plainfield, NJ, the original dwelling is thought to have been constructed around 1840. However, over the many years and through the various owners many additions and renovations have been made. It stands today as a prominent property that houses the Vermeule Community Center. Currently the Fleetwood Museum of Art and Photography occupies part of the mansion. Visitors of the museum can view the exhibits and artifacts of more than 150 years of camera design and photo processing.


North Plainfield is a vibrant and diverse community rich with a variety of residences and residents. The small town, scenic town is home to a modernly accessible population linked by train and multiple roads like Route 22, 78 and nearby 287 to many surrounding towns. The proximity to New York City adds to the appeal of the tree-lined town attracting educated and professional residents to the community. With parks and cared for neighborhoods, the land that was once farmland is still full of beauty in a modern suburban way.