Allamuchy Township

New Jersey

  • Population: 4,467
  • Size: 21 sq miles (54.39 km2)
  • Established: 1873
  • Distance from NYC: 55 miles
  • Distance from Philadelphia: 94 miles
  • Distance from Newark: 41 miles

Allamuchy Township, NJ real estate market

Market news - September 2019

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Allamuchy Township Biography
Real Estate
Parks and Recreation
Points of Interest

About Allamuchy Township

Allamuchy has the distinction of being the oldest community in Warren County with its original name. This rural township in the northeastern part of the county honors the Native American Leni Lenape settlement of Allamuchahokkingen (meaning “place within the hills”) which dated to the early 1700s.

Measuring 21 square miles, Allamuchy is about 55 miles west of New York City. An exit along Interstate 80 in the eastern part of the township is a vital access point for Manhattan-bound commuters or those headed to corporate campuses in the region. 
This bucolic township is bordered by Green Township in Sussex County, Mount Olive Township in Morris County, and Knowlton, Independence Township, Hackettstown and Frelinghuysen in Warren County. Contributing to the natural beauty in Allamuchy are the Pequest and the Musconetcong Rivers and a portion of Allamuchy Mountain State Park.  Most of the land in Allamuchy consists of active farmland and wooded forests. Township officials are committed to saving as much open space as possible, and they actively pursue Green Acres acquisitions.

The 2010 census reported a population of 4,323 residents in Allamuchy, where leafy woodlands, scenic meadows and gently rolling hills characterize the picturesque landscape.  The township’s largest residential development is Panther Valley, a gated community of single-family homes, townhouses and condominiums. Panther Valley also has a Colonial-style shopping center on Route 517 with about 20 stores, restaurants and services. For more extensive shopping or dining options, residents head to Hackettstown for a variety of small shops as well as large chain stores on the outskirts including Target and Lowe’s. Rockaway Townsquare Mall in Morris County is 15 miles east of Allamuchy for an even greater number of shops and services.

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Allamuchy’s first European settlers were Quakers who arrived from Hunterdon County before 1745. Many of these early settlers brought wood beams with them to support their homes created from local stone. In the mid-1800s, the Quaker Settlement was a station on the Underground Railroad used by slaves on their way to freedom in Canada.

By 1834, Allamuchy had saw and grist mills, a distillery, tavern, general store and a handful of homes. The area was incorporated as a township by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature in 1873. The Lehigh & Hudson River Railway provided train service to Allamuchy from 1882 to 1933. Today, the restored circa 1906 Allamuchy Freight House is listed on the National Register of Historic Places; it can be seen along Route 612.

The Rutherfurd family played an important role in Allamuchy’s history, especially concerning the conservation of open space in the township. John Rutherfurd, a grandson of surveyor-general James Alexander and one of the East Jersey Proprietors, established a massive land holding and estate at Tranquility and Allamuchy. A statesman and powerful politician, Rutherfurd was a member of the New Jersey State Legislature in 1788 and 1790. In 1791 he was elected as New Jersey’s representative to the United States Senate, a seat he held until 1798. His vast estate was subsequently taken over by Mr. Rutherfurd Stuyvesant, a descendant John Rutherfurd and Peter Stuyvesant, the Dutch governor of New York.  Rutherfurd Stuyvesant acquired additional land, expanding the ancestral estate he called Tranquility Farms to 5,000 acres. His kennels won many prizes, and his sheep were unequaled in the United States. Stuyvesant’s game preserve introduced English pheasants to the United States, and its 1,000-acre deer and elk park spanned the acreage.  

In 1865, Lewis Morris Rutherfurd took photographs of the moon and stars from the Rutherfurd property using a telescope and camera, bringing him fame as an astrophysicist.

Rutherfurd Hall stands as a testament to those early days. A National and State Historic Landmark built in 1902, this three-story Tudor country home was designed by one of the key architects of Grand Central Station, Whitney Warren. Located on Route 517 just south of Interstate 80, Rutherfurd Hall was commissioned by Winthrop Rutherfurd, the brother of Rutherfurd Stuyvesant and son of Lewis Morris Rutherfurd and Margaret Stuyvesant, another descendant of Peter Stuyvesant.

In 1941, Clendenin Ryan bought the Rutherfurd estate, adding property in Sussex and Warren Counties. President Franklin D. Roosevelt visited his friend, Lucy Mercer (the second wife and widow of W. C. Rutherfurd), at Rutherfurd Hall in 1944. After Lucy Mercer’s death, the mansion was donated to Catholic Sisters and used as a retirement home. An addition was built to the mansion, and the site became known as Villa Madonna.

In the late 1960s, New Jersey purchased land for Interstate 80, splitting the estate in two.  The state later obtained the Allamuchy Mountain section of the estate with Green Acres funding in the 1970s. Today, Rutherfurd Hall is used as a non-profit museum and community education facility open to the public. Also on the Rutherfurd Hall site is Mountain Villa School, a public pre-kindergarten to grade one school for Allamuchy students.

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The Allamuchy Township School District’s Board of Education maintains two schools for students from pre-kindergarten to grade eight. The Allamuchy Township School at 20 Johnsonburg Road serves students in grades two to eight, while the Mountain Villa School opened in 2010 for pre-kindergarten to grade one students. Mountain Villa School is located just south of the intersection of Interstate 80 along Route 517.

High school students living in Allamuchy attend Hackettstown High School which also serves students from Hackettstown, Independence and Liberty. Located at 701 Warren Street, Hackettstown High School offers honors classes in English, math, social studies, world language and science. Advance placement courses are offered in English, calculus, biology, physics, chemistry, history and world language. Senior projects, independent study and online Virtual High School courses are also available to students interested in topics that go beyond regular course offerings. 91% of the graduating class of 2011 planned to continue their studies at a two- or four-year college.

Centenary College in neighboring Hackettstown offers undergraduate and graduate degree programs as well as an adult studies program. The college has a lively theatrical program at the Centenary Stage, a television station and a public radio station, WNTI. Debbie Harry, the lead singer of the punk rock band Blondie, is a Centenary graduate.

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Exit 19 off Interstate 80 accesses Allamuchy Township at Route 517, making it easily accessible for commuters to Morris County, New York City or Pennsylvania. Allamuchy is a popular and convenient place for employees of M & M Mars, which is headquartered in nearby Hackettstown.

The Warren County Shuttle offers transportation, Monday through Friday, from Hackettstown to Washington and back for a nominal fee. 

Martz Trailways provides daily bus service from Panther Valley Mall to Port Authority in midtown Manhattan, a trip of about 90 minutes. Commuters can also ride the NJ Transit train from neighboring Hackettstown for service to Hoboken, Newark or New York.

Two international airports are within driving distance of Allamuchy. Lehigh Valley International Airport in Allentown, Pennsylvania is located about 45 miles west, and Newark Liberty International Airport is about 60 miles southeast.

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Real Estate

A master-planned, gated community, Panther Valley was developed in the mid-1970s although there are many newer single-family homes, condominiums and town homes in this 1,700-acre enclave. It is located a mile south of Interstate 80 just off Route 517. The community’s 20 miles of winding streets are named for birds and mountains, including Mallard Drive, Rainier Court and Mockingbird Road. On-site amenities are the 18-hole Panther Valley Golf and Country Club, two lakes, two swimming pools and tennis courts.

Near Interstate 80 is the small village portion of Allamuchy, where a general store, gas station and several other businesses are located. Real estate in the township includes antique farmhouses, newer Colonials, contemporary styles, stone homes, ranches, Cape Cods and beautifully restored examples of classic architecture. Winding country roads and byways traverse through the township past corn fields, old barns, farm stands and newer developments. Some of the original roads were established by early Quaker settlers who were careful to follow the property lines; the results can be seen today in the many bending and twisting roadways that pass through the bucolic scenery.

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Parks and Recreation

Allamuchy Mountain State Park is a 8,683-acre park about one-third of which is located in the southern portion of the township. The park has hiking trails that are also used for mountain bikes and horseback riding. It includes the Deer Park Pond, which is stocked with bass, pickerel and perch.

Allamuchy Natural Area on Deer Park Road contains a variety of different natural habitats and about 15 miles of trails along the White Trail System. The trail system takes in views of mixed oak hardwood forests, hemlock-spruce forests, fields, swamp-hardwood forests and northern marshlands. One trail leads to a scenic area above Interstate 80 east, overlooking the Delaware Water Gap and Jenny Jump Mountain. Lady Bird Johnson noted that this was one of the best views in New Jersey. As well as being an ideal place for exploring nature, the natural area hosts recreational activities like hiking, horseback riding, jogging and cross-country skiing. Allamuchy Pond has plentiful bass and pickerel fishing.

Green Acres Park off Alphano Road is a 10-acre park that includes baseball diamonds, basketball and tennis courts, a volleyball court and playground.

Stephens State Park consists of 805 acres of land situated along the Musconetcong River on Route 604, two miles north of Hackettstown. Parts of the acreage were donated to the State of New Jersey for recreational purposes by the late Marsena and Augustus Stephens in 1937.

Allamuchy Recreation Department offers youth recreational programs and sports clinics open to Allamuchy residents. On the schedule are boys and girls basketball, cheerleading, a ski club, T-ball, fall and spring baseball, softball, field hockey, flag football, wrestling club, and fall and spring soccer leagues. 

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Points of Interest

Rutherfurd Hall is the circa 1902 historic mansion serving the community. A collaborative effort of the Allamuchy Township Board of Education, Allamuchy Township Education Foundation, Allamuchy Historical Society, Allamuchy Township, Allamuchy State Park, private donors and other organizations contribute to its ongoing restoration process.  Programs and events focus on history, art and culture, environmental sciences, and health and wellness.

The Morris Canal is within a portion of Stephens State Park. The original canal was a 90-mile link running from Newark to Phillipsburg. During the 19th century, coal was in great demand for northern New Jersey iron industries, and the Morris Canal was the primary means of transporting coal and iron across the state. With the development of the Morris and Essex Railroad in the late 1800s, coal could be delivered in just eight hours compared to a five-day trip on the canal. Since the canal could not compete with the railroad, it was eventually abandoned. The State of New Jersey received Lake Hopatcong, Lake Musconetcong and the canal corridor from the Morris Canal and Banking Company in 1922. Today, remains of the old canal can be seen at Waterloo Village and Saxton Falls Dam.

Saxon Falls is less than one mile upstream from Stephens State Park. The falls contain the remains of one of the Morris Canal’s 28 locks with a section of the old canal’s towpath. This part of the Musconetcong River also contains some favorite trout pools for anglers.

The Panther Valley Golf & Country Club on Forest Drive was originally a part of the estate of Clendenin James Ryan Jr., grandson of Thomas “Fortune” Ryan, a New York City financier who was recorded as the last of the robber barons of Wall Street. The estate was known as Panther Ledge Farm, a 4,000 acre cattle farm where black angus cows were bred and raised. Robert Trent Jones designed the existing 18-hole championship golf course in 1967, which was opened in 1969. Today, this members-only club has facilities including a pro shop, clubhouse for dining and special events, plus a pool and tennis complex.

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