History for Summit New Jersey
The region in which Summit is located was purchased from Native Americans on October 28, 1664. Summit’s earliest European settlers came to the area around the year 1710.
The original name of Summit was “Sunset Hill” to distinguish it from the area then known as “The land of the rising sun” (New Providence’s original name until 1759). During the American Revolutionary War period, Summit was known as “Beacon Hill”, because bonfire beacons were lit on an eastern ridge in Summit to warn the New Jersey militiamen of approaching British troops.
Summit was called the “Heights over Springfield” during the late 18th Century and most of the 19th Century, and was considered a part of New Providence. During this period, Summit was part of a regional government called Springfield Township, which eventually broke up into separate municipalities. Eventually only Summit and New Providence remained joined.
In 1837, the Morris and Essex Railroad, which became the Delaware Lackawanna and Western Railroad and is now the New Jersey Transit’s Morris and Essex Lines, was built over what was then called the “The Summit” hill, and the name was later shortened to Summit.
In 1869, Summit and New Providence separated and the Summit area became the “Township of Summit”. The present-day incarnation of Summit, known formally as the City of Summit was incorporated thirty years later on April 11, 1899.
In the 19th Century, Summit served as a nearby getaway spot for wealthy residents of New York City, who were in search of fresh air and a convenient weekend getaway. Weekenders would reach Summit via the railroad, and would relax at large grand hotels and smaller inns and guest houses.
Quiet, leafy neighborhoods make Summit attractive to affluent home buyers.Following World War II, the city experienced a great building boom, as living outside New York City and commuting to work became more common and the population of New Jersey grew. At this point, Summit took on its suburban character of tree lined streets and suburban houses that it is known for today.
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