Millburn Township has a rich tradition that reaches back to the mid-19th century. Many examples of its history are represented by a number of architecturally significant homes and historic districts. As a 21st century community, Millburn Township is widely known as one of the country’s most desirable towns in which to live, work and do business.
Once part of the Elizabethtown and Newark settlements created in the 1660s, Millburn became a separate township within Essex County in 1857. In 2007, the township celebrated its 150th anniversary, which it marked with numerous special events and activities.
After the Revolution, the area gradually changed from one of farms to one of grist, lumber and paper mills, including the one that is now the site of the famed Paper Mill Playhouse.
With the Morris and Essex Railroad completed in 1835, Millburn and its local industries became linked to the big cities in the east and the coal regions in the northwest. The name “Millburn” was decided upon partly because many of the town’s residents hailed from Scotland, and the mill and burn (Scottish word for stream) reminded them of home.
Because of its location and railroad access, Millburn underwent a major change in the late 1800s when the areas of Millburn and Short Hills were developed within its borders. Stewart Hartshorn, inventor of the spring window shade, built his ideal village called “Short Hills” — the first planned commuter suburb in America.