The area that is now Florham Park was first settled by the English sometime between 1680 and 1700, and the community was long recognized as a prime farming area. The area was known for the manufacture of quality brooms, which was the source of one of its names, Broomtown. Through its history, the area was known as Hoppingtown, Broomtown, Columbia, Afton, and finally Florham Park. It was part of Hanover Township, then Chatham Township before being incorporated as Florham Park in 1899.
Florence Adele Vanderbilt Twombly (1854–1952), granddaughter of Cornelius Vanderbilt, renowned as the richest man in America, and her husband, financier, Hamilton McKown Twombly, came to the Morris County countryside in 1887, joining over 100 other millionaires who owned sprawling country retreats. They fancied an English-style country mansion in a stately park setting. "Florham," built on 840 acres, one of America's finest Gilded Age homes, was the result. The couple named their new estate "Florham," a combination of their first names, Florence and Hamilton. The second part to the name "Florham Park" received its name from a second mansion in town that was on about 1,000 acres of land situated where the current Brooklake Country Club is located. Owned by Dr. Leslie Ward — one of the founders of the Prudential Insurance Company and the first vice president of the company — it was named "Brooklake Park", partially because of the beautiful lake that was on the property.
Both of these families were supporters of many civic projects including the petitioning of the State of New Jersey to create their own town. After the legislature voted on March 9, 1899, the governor signed the bill on March 20, making Florham Park a borough. The new town was named after Florence and Hamilton Twombly's and Dr. Ward's estates.
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