March 24, 2019

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Long Valley, N.J.: Verdant and Occupationally Diverse

Long Valley, N.J.: Verdant and Occupationally Diverse
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But there is an undeniable look of dishevelment. Several of the old stone and frame buildings in the historic district are rundown, and not in the poetic way of a New Jersey acropolis. The husk of a 19th-century blacksmith shop sits at the edge of the South Branch Raritan River, near the shored-up ruins of the 1774 Old Union Church. The 1832 schoolhouse that is now the Washington Township Historical Society museum is intact, but has been closed for months because winter cold overpowered the heating system. On the cheerier side, several spiffy vintage buildings operate with contemporary commercial uses, like the Long Valley Pub and Brewery, housed in an 18th-century stone barn that is part of a complex of four restaurants on Fairmount Road.

Its name notwithstanding, Long Valley occupies different altitudes in Washington Township. It rises from an actual valley to the top of Schooley’s Mountain, a 1,200-foot-high ridge to the north whose mineral springs made it a fashionable resort destination in the 19th and early 20th centuries. The community’s boundaries are commonly identified with the 07853 ZIP code.

10 NAUGHRIGHT ROAD | A five-bedroom, three-and-a-half-bathroom former farmhouse with a pool, horse barn and springhouse, dating to the mid 18th century, on 8.2 acres, listed for $995,000. 201-320-3014CreditTony Cenicola/The New York Times

Currently on the market are historic houses, like a former dairy farm on Naughright Road listed for $995,000; it has a dining room that dates to the 18th century and a stone cottage immersed in a spring-fed pond, where it was originally placed to keep milk cold.

Long Valley is also studded with midcentury ranches and bi-levels, as well as spacious properties that sprang up in the 1980s and later for executives at companies like AT&T and Warner-Lambert, said David Salmon, an agent with Keller Williams Towne Square Realty, in Basking Ridge, N.J. “The eight-room, four-bedroom, two-and-a-half-bathroom colonial became the most common home in the area,” he said.

Those who live in the area have access to parks, streams, fresh produce and cozy independent businesses. They get their nails done, their vision tested, their pumpkins picked and their hardware needs supplied locally. Even Long Valley Village, a strip mall on East Mill Road, is filled mainly with mom-and-pop ventures (as well as the Dunkin’, to which residents have appeared to come around).

144 WEST MILL ROAD | A four-bedroom, four-and-a-half-bathroom riverside colonial with a barn, built in 2001 on 7.68 acres, listed for $875,000. 908-963-3945CreditTony Cenicola/The New York Times

But not all demands can be met in the immediate vicinity. The only clothing store in town is a thrift boutique called Racks, operated by the Long Valley Junior Women’s Club, with the proceeds donated to community organizations. Big-box retailers are 10 minutes away in Chester and 15 minutes away in Hackettstown. Residents drive 20 miles east to Morristown for the food and entertainment, or continue on to New York City.

Long Valley is dominated by single-family houses. The median sale price in the 12 months preceding Feb. 19 was $456,000, a year-over-year increase of 5 percent, according to Trulia. The median monthly price of rentals in that period was $2,900.



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