Today, March 14, is the 145th anniversary of the incorporation of the Township of Cranford. The town was officially established on March 14, 1871 (I vaguely remember the 100th anniversary celebrations as a 5 year old.) The town was originally referred to as Crane's Ford. John Crane built a mill on the Rahway River, which snakes throught the town, in 1720.
Today Cranford is home to nearly 24,000 residents. There are currently 8,583
homes in the town. Cranford is home to the only active vegetable farm in Union County, Dryer Farms. Dryer's has been in operation for more than one hundred years and several generations of Dryer family members are still running the farm today. Cranford also houses the main campus of Union County College, the oldest community college in New Jersey. It is a 2 year liberal arts college that has nearly 11,000 current students.
Cranford is also the home to 8 county or township parks. There are many scenic places to relax and have fun near the Rahway River or lakeside at Nomahegan Park, which hosts many events throughout the year. The school system in cranford consists of 8 schools and is a K-12 district. Cranford High School is ranked as the 51st (out of 328) best public High School in the state. There are also several religious and private schools within the town.
Downtown Cranford features a landmark that the town was built around. The train station. Located on the Raritan Valley Line of New Jersey Transit, direct trains are available to New York City's Penn Station (off peak hours only) and to Newark Penn Station for transfers into New York City via the PATH or NJT to Penn Station. New Jersey Transit Buses run along North and South Avenues making Cranford a great place for those who commute to NYC for work. It's also easy traveling if you're going in to the city to catch a show or a ball game. The downtown also features a movie theater, additionally there are several excellent restaraunts, bars and great shops found throughout the downtown area.
Cranford has been involved with the entertainment industry, it was the shooting location for season 3 of the Nickelodeon show The Adventures of Pete and Pete. Cranford was also the setting for the 2005 Ashton Kutcher and Bernie Mac film Guess Who, a "remake" of the Spencer Tracey-Sidney Poitier film, Guess Who's Coming to Dinner. Portions of Garden State, September 12 and Far From Heaven were also filmed in Cranford.
Some notable Cranfordites are Thomas Sperry, one of the founders of S&H Greenstamps. Carol Blazejowski who is in the Basketball Hall of fame and Orange is the New Black actress Maria Dizzia all grew up in Cranford. One of the great men to come from Cranford was Curtis Culin who invented the Hedgehog device used on tanks during World War II.
It's a great place to live, work and call home. Happy Birthday Cranford!!!
~ Wayne & Jean
Union County, NJ - a great place to live and work!
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