Short Hills is an unincorporated community located within Millburn Township, in Essex County, New Jersey, United States. It is a popular commuter town for residents who work in New York City. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population was 13,165.
It is notable for being an affluent community. The median listing price of its homes was $1.75 million in February 2012, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal, citing data from Zillow. In 2014, Time magazine named it the “Richest Town in America” with seven in ten household incomes above $150,000 per year, the highest percentage in the United States.
Short Hills began as a planned community, when Stewart Hartshorn (who became wealthy from developing, perfecting and manufacturing the self-acting shade roller) purchased 13 acres of land in Millburn Township, near the present Hobart Avenue, Parsonage Hill Road, and Chatham Road. Hartshorn’s purpose was to create “a harmonious community for people who appreciated nature,” and “where natural beauty would not be destroyed by real estate developments, and where people of congenial tastes could dwell together.” He later increased his land holdings to 56 acres for himself and 1,552 acres for the whole village, with each plot not owned by Hartshorn being no larger than 1/2 acre.
Hartshorn chose the name “Short Hills” because it reflected the topography of the region, and also because the local Lenape Native Americans used that same name to describe the region. One local resident suggested that he call his village “Hartshornville,” but he refused, quietly content with Short Hills sharing his initials.