The Showcase Magazine – April 2015

Spotlight on Millington

Located in Long Hill Township in Morris County, Millington is a hidden jewel amongst the larger towns that surround it.  Despite being a small town, there are some interesting things to do and see.

Bring the family and walk through The Raptor Trust, which is one of the best wild bird rehabilitation centers in the United States. Birds of all species are kept in large cages on the 15-acre grounds which is surrounding by woods.  There is even a bird hospital with state-of-the-art medical facilities, and they accept injured birds from all over.  There is also an education building, where they host many educational seminars and classes to learn all about these birds of prey. The Raptor Trust is open seven days a week (unless the weather makes the trails impassable), and is absolutely free although donations are most welcome. They rely on private contributions to enable them to run their operation.  The Raptor Trust is a private, non-profit, tax-exempt corporation.

Millington also borders the Great Swamp Wildlife Refuge, which is another great place to learn about nature.  This 450-acre park is a National Natural Landmark where you can hike through its meadows, pass by swamps and marshes, and seeing an abundance of wildlife.  The Passaic River also borders this area, along with a great number of ponds.

Traveling in and out of Millington is quite convenient.  There is a NJ Transit rail station right in town, and Routes 78 and 287 are close by.

Speaking of the railroad station, it is now a café, and the actual building was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984.  Another registered historic site is the Boyle/Hudspeth-Benson House built in 1750.  Solomon Boyle, whose sons helped develop the area and built many of the mills for which Millington is named, lived in the house until the 1730’s.  Later on, Mary Hudspeth-Benson bought the place.  She was a philanthropist, and was known for testifying at the Abraham Lincoln assassination trials.  The home was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1975.

Another building in town with a lot of history is a one room school house, originally built in the 19th century. It was used until 1926 with one teacher instructing eight grades; it later housed the town library until 1958.  Additionally, between 1928 and 2003 it also functioned as the town hall.   When it was built, it was the only school house in the town.  Today, Millington School is the only active school in the town, and provides instruction for grades two through five.  Most students attend the Long Hill Township school system, while high school students go to Watchung Hills Regional High School, which also teaches kids from Warren, Watchung and Green Brook.

If you get hungry while in town, besides the station café, there are restaurants that serve pizza and Chinese food.  Some of the other businesses include a bank, a gymnastics and cheerleading academy, an auto repair shop, and one of the largest fireworks manufacturers, Garden State Fireworks, which was founded in 1890.

So take some time out of your busy week to visit this friendly, family-oriented town.  You’ll find it worth your while.

 

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