The town of Whippany is located within the boundaries of Morris County. It is a suburban tapestry of residential neighborhoods, parks and commercial and industrial businesses. Its population is about 14,000 and it borders the Townships of Morris, Parsippany-Troy Hills, East Hanover and the Borough of Morris Plains. The town is centrally located in the State of New Jersey, providing easy access to the metropolitan area and major highways.
This historic township was founded in 1676 and incorporated on March 25, 1740. It owes its rich heritage to the Lenape Native American tribe and its subsequent inhabitants, including New England settlers who were lured by the abundant natural resources in the region: fertile land, dense forests, veins of iron ore and the power of the Whippany River. Millwrights harnessed the river’s energy and laid the foundation for the commercial/industrial base of today’s Township, one of the largest in the region.
The earliest settlements were along the banks of the Whippany River, which lent its name to the community and the hamlet now known as Whippany. The community was the site of many firsts in Morris County, including the earliest iron forge, church, school and graveyard. It was also the home of the Seeing Eye, the world’s first guide dog school.
During colonial times, the Province of West Jersey was divided into several towns. Whippenny Township-or “Whippenny” as it was originally called-had a land area of over 500 square miles. It was the parent township of all 39 municipalities that make up Morris County today.
In addition to its rich history, the Township is a vibrant, contemporary center of business, cultural and recreational activity. Many national and international companies have headquarters in the Township, including Bayer, Tiffany and Company, Metlife, Wegmans and Barclays. The community is served by the second largest corporate airport in the state and is anchored by the Morristown Medical Center, a level-2 regional trauma center.
There are also a number of restaurants, breweries and coffee shops in the township and its hamlets, and several local shopping centers. In addition, the Morristown Green is a popular place for outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy the scenery.
The community of Whippany is often confused with its neighboring communities, notably Cedar Knolls and Hanover Township, which share the same zip code and some of the same amenities. Street signs and maps sometimes indicate the town of Whippany when it should actually be the town of Cedar Knolls or Hanover. A local scholar will explain the distinction at a free public talk hosted by the Morris County Library. The event takes place on April 25 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the library, 30 Hanover Ave., in Morristown.