"The Chathams" is a term used in reference to shared services for two neighboring municipalities in Morris County, New Jersey, United States – Chatham Borough and Chatham Township. The two are separate municipalities. The first, a town that was settled in 1710 as a colonial English village in the Province of New Jersey, that in 1773 adopted a name change to "Chatham". There are numerous references to this village as "Chatham, New Jersey" dating from that time.
The second, more southern, without a town center, and less densely populated, is the vestige of a regional government that was formed in 1806 as a township, a form of municipal government peculiar to the state of New Jersey. It had jurisdiction over a region including a large area of open space and several villages. One of those, the village of Chatham, dating from 1710, was the source for its name, Chatham Township.
Chatham Township shares various joint public services with Chatham Borough: the school district, the library, the municipal court, the medical emergency squad, and recreation program.
The newly established, post-revolutionary war, state of New Jersey went through several stages setting out how its local governments would be structured. Once boroughs became available after 1878, Chatham Township lost between 1889 and 1899 all but one of the villages, including Chatham Borough (settled in 1710), that had been drawn into it in 1806 as they seceded.〔Snyder, John P. (''The Story of New Jersey's Civil Boundaries: 1606-1968'' ), Bureau of Geology and Topography; Trenton, New Jersey; 1969. pp. 191-2. Accessed April 25, 2012.〕
Only Green Village, another early town like Chatham that dates to colonial times, was left under jurisdiction of "Chatham Township".
On August 19, 1892, the citizens of Chatham reincorporated with another type of village government offered as an alternative within townships by New Jersey. The village of Chatham then reincorporated for governance as a borough by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 1, 1897 with complete independence from Chatham Township.〔Snyder, John P. (''The Story of New Jersey's Civil Boundaries: 1606-1968'' ), Bureau of Geology and Topography; Trenton, New Jersey; 1969. p. 191. Accessed April 25, 2012.〕
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