Summit is situated in New Jersey’s second Watchung Mountain, overlooking the State of New Jersey from a 450-foot elevation. Its site is one of the highest points within a 25-mile radius, west of New York.
The Leni-Lenape Indians were the area’s first settlers, followed by the Dutch in the 1600’s. The English took claim of the settlement in 1664. During the Revolutionary War, Summit was known as “Turkey Hill”. George Washington rode his horse from Morristown through Madison to Summit for the purpose of observing movements of the British Troops.
By the late 1770’s, early 1800’s, more and more people discovered the “salubrious mountain air” and healthful mineral waters and decided to leave the New York area for this mountain paradise during the summer. Over the years and decades, in surveys taken, Summit has consistently ranked in the top cities of New Jersey.
Shopping in Summit is special too! There are few communities of its size that can offer the charm and diversity of the downtown Summit center. The community has many prestigious businesses. A tradition of customer service runs deep through the many family owned and operated stores throughout the town.
The variety of shopping includes art galleries, interior design studios, gift shops, apparel stores for children and adults, sporting goods stores, florists, gourmet shops, family department store, antique shops and a variety of fine restaurants and informal dining places.
Summit is conveniently located with a New York City Mid-Town Direct train that is less than 30 minutes. Rail and buses are available to Newark and Manhattan and major highways including Routes 24 and 78 and the Garden State Parkway and Newark-Liberty International Airport make it very easy to get around! Summit also has many parking lots supplying that provide ample parking for commuters and downtown employees.
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The founding fathers and earliest settlers brought the New England, Connecticut, Long Island and British Isles Puritan heritage, which is dated from around 1710. Summit’s attraction was primarily due to it’s abundance in rabbits, turkey, timber for building and fertile land for growing wheat and corn. In addition, the Passiac River provided a plethora of fish to eat and water to float boats.
Summit’s original name of Summit was “Turkey Hill” which was created to differentiate it from “Turkey”, as New Providence was known until 1750. When Summit separated itself from New Providence in 1869, it was formally named, the “Township of Summit”. Thirty years later, in 1899, The City of Summit became incorporated.
Until 1837, Summit was primarily a farming community with approximately 300 people. This trend changed from rural farming and milling community to more of a commercial area. Post-Civil War, Summit became used as more of an affluent summer resort area as it offered mountain views, clean air and convenient travel to New York City.
source: City of Summit
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