The native people living in this area were the Raritans, of the Leni Lenape branch of the Delaware indians. They lived in a large village near what is now Shackamaxon Golf Course and in the Ashbrook golf course area. The land was first claimed by the Dutch in 1609 as a result of Henry Hudson's explorations.
The heartland of Scotch Plains was first owned by a Dutchman, Peter Sonmans, until the English conquest in 1664. Capt. John Baker bought the region from the Indians before 1684 paying one cent for every ten acres. In 1684 and 1685 the village was settled by Scotch immigrants under the leadership of George Scot - thus, the name Scot's Plains.
Early on Scot's Plains was part of West Fields (later Westfield) which in turn was part of Elizabethtown. At this time people traveled by horseback on Indian trails which were later adorned with wagon wheel tracks from stagecoaches and buggies. These paths became the present main streets: Front Street, Park Avenue, Martine Avenue, Raritan Road and Westfield Road. Scot's Plain, which included what is now Fanwood, grew slowly in population and was a farming community for 200 years.
Today the Township of Scotch Plains retains its small town image. It has been moving forward in providing diversified services and activities to meet the needs of its residents. Surrounding the Borough of Fanwood where there is a Train Station sending commuters and pleasure seekers to New York City, Scotch Plains offers easy accessibility to major State Highways, including Routes 22, 78 and 287, the Garden State Parkway and the New Jersey Turnpike.
Scotch Plains is family oriented featuring many parks for recreation as well as a park area in the Watchung Mountains. One Country Club, two golf courses and an amusement park add to the variety within the community. Many civic organizations are very active in providing assistance to youth and needy causes.
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