Chatham is a borough in Morris County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, Chatham’s population was 8,962, reflecting an increase of 502 (+5.9%) from the 8,460 counted in the 2000 Census.
The community that now is Chatham Borough was first settled by Europeans in 1710 within Morris Township, in what was then the Province of New Jersey. The community was settled because the site already was the location of an important crossing of the Passaic River, as well as being close to a gap in the Watchung Mountains and on the path of a well-worn Native American trail. The residents of the community changed its name from John Day’s Bridge to Chatham, New Jersey in 1773.
Chatham’s residents were active participants in the American Revolutionary War, which ended in 1783. Chatham Township was formed in the state of New Jersey on February 12, 1806, taking its name from this pre-revolutionary village. The new township governed the village of Chatham, which is included within the present-day borough, along with several other pre-revolutionary, colonial villages and large areas of unsettled lands connecting or adjacent to them. On August 19, 1892, Chatham adopted a new village form of government allowed within townships in the state after the revolution. The village of Chatham reincorporated for governance as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 1, 1897 with complete independence from the surrounding Chatham Township.
Chatham Borough is a pedestrian-friendly community that covers less than 2.5 square miles, including a central business district and railroad station within about a mile from its farthest boundary.
In July 2005, CNN/Money and Money magazine ranked Chatham ninth on its annual list of the 100 Best Places to Live in the United States. New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Chatham as its twenty-fifth best place to live in its 2008 rankings of the “Best Places To Live” in New Jersey.