Created by an Act of the State Legislature on March 15, 1738 separating it from Hunterdon County, the county derived its name from Colonel Lewis Morris, then Governor of the Province of NJ. The county is known as the "Military Capital of the Revolution", and each of its 39 municipalities played some part in the war effort and contains something of historical importance to this day. Preserving this proud heritage falls to the Morris County Heritage Commission, Historical Society and numerous other groups.
In 1806, the Township of Chatham was incorporated and included the areas that are now the Borough of Chatham, Madison and Florham Park. It was named Chatham in honor of Sir William Pitt, the elder Earl of Chatham, who had spoken in favor of the colonists in Parliament prior to the Revolution.
These areas were connected by turnpikes and toll roads originally built by private corporations to transport their goods to market. Local residents later built Shunpike Road to avoid paying tolls. The most important transportation development was the coming of the Morris and Essex Railroad in 1837. This led to sharp increases in the population, which resulted in incorporating Chatham, Madison and Florham Park as separate boroughs.
Photo of Great Swamp