Sparta Township, New Jersey
|Township of Sparta|
Lake Mohawk Boardwalk in Sparta
Map of Sparta Township in Sussex County. Inset: Location of Sussex County highlighted in the State of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Sparta Township, New Jersey
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|Incorporated||April 14, 1845|
|• Type||Faulkner Act (Council-Manager)|
|• Body||Township Council|
|• Mayor||Gilbert A. Gibbs (term ends December 31, 2017)|
|• Manager||William E. Close|
|• Municipal clerk||Mary Coe|
|• Total||38.965 sq mi (100.920 km2)|
|• Land||36.942 sq mi (95.680 km2)|
|• Water||2.023 sq mi (5.240 km2) 5.19%|
|Area rank||58th of 566 in state|
5th of 24 in county
|Elevation||620 ft (190 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Rank||131st of 566 in state|
2nd of 24 in county
|• Density||533.9/sq mi (206.1/km2)|
|• Density rank||441st of 566 in state|
9th of 24 in county
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (Eastern (EDT))|
|Area code(s)||973 exchanges: 726, 729|
|GNIS feature ID||0882265|
Sparta Township is a township in Sussex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 19,722, reflecting an increase of 1,642 (+9.1%) from the 18,080 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 2,923 (+19.3%) from the 15,157 counted in the 1990 Census.
Sparta was organized as a township by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on April 14, 1845, from portions of Byram Township, Frankford Township, Hardyston Township and (the now-defunct) Newton Township. The township was named after the existing community of Sparta, which had been settled and named years before, the name likely coming from Sparta, Greece. Ogdensburg borough was incorporated on February 26, 1914, from portions of Sparta Township.
Pre-colonial Sparta was inhabited by the Lenape Native Americans. In the 1750s, Dutch explorers discovered red ores in the area and attempted to mine copper. No permanent settlers arrived until 1778, when Robert Ogden and his wife built their home and constructed an iron forge on lands he had acquired and "called their house and farm Sparta." The first public building in Sparta was the Presbyterian Church which was incorporated in 1786. Schools were established in Ogdensburg by 1806 and in Sparta by 1812.
Iron, zinc, and limestone supported a mining industry for over 100 years, but today the mining operations have ceased and the township is now a residential community served by retail, professional, and service small businesses. According to the 2000 census, 65% of Sparta Township workers commute to jobs outside of the county.
Robert Ogden settled in 1778 near the present town of Ogdensburg and built an iron forge, utilizing local ore from his Ogden Mine on Sparta Mountain. The Horseshoe mine was opened in 1772 by the Englishmen Spargo and Harvey who shipped ore by horse and mule to the forges at Sparta and Hopewell. It wasn't until 1868 that the Ogden Mine Railroad began operations and made it economical to ship zinc and iron ore to Nolan's Point on Lake Hopatcong where the Morris Canal had a marine terminal that could ship ore to Newark. In 1872, the New Jersey Midland Railroad (later known as the New York, Susquehanna & Western) extended to Ogdensburg and captured the zinc ore traffic.
In 1836, Henry Decker, along with Nelson Hunt and Lewis Sherman, began the manufacture of anchors at their forges in Sparta. Their success led to a small industry of forging anchors in Sparta, but by the end of the Civil War the forge industry in Sparta had come to an end.
In 1889, Thomas Edison invested $3.5 million in his Edison Ore-Milling Company to build iron operations on 2,500 acres (10 km2) of Sparta Mountain. Edison hoped to concentrate the mountain's vast quantities of low-grade ore and supply East Coast mills with raw material. At its peak Edison's operation employed 500 people, but after a 10 year effort he abandoned his attempt to compete with more economical ores from Minnesota's Mesabi Iron Range. The availability of the cheap Minnesota ores put an end to iron mining in Sparta.
In 1848 the New Jersey Zinc Company began operations at Sterling Hill. Earlier attempts to obtain iron from the mineral rich ore of the Sterling Hill failed because of manganese contamination, but zinc was recoverable and the ores at Sterling Hill were rich with it.
By 1868, both iron and zinc operations were in progress at Sterling Hill, but the numerous companies and claims were embroiled in continuous legal battles, the largest of which was a 12-year dispute between the New Jersey Zinc Company and the Franklin Iron Company over rights to mixed ores, each company having purchased the right to mine zinc and iron, respectively. In 1880 the Franklin Iron Company acquired the New Jersey Zinc Company's operations at Sterling Hill mine, ending the dispute. Large scale operations began in 1897 when the claims were consolidated under the New Jersey Zinc Company and by 1900 its mill was processing 1,500 tons of ore daily.
Zinc operations continued until 1986 when the Sterling Hill mine ceased operation. The Sterling Hill mine site is currently occupied by the Sterling Hill Mining Museum and is open to the public for tours.
After closing his iron operations, Thomas Edison recouped his losses by opening a quarry called Limecrest near Sparta in 1919. The lime quarry fed Edison's Portland cement operations, and was in continuous operation under various owners for more than 80 years until closed in 2003. During the years of its operation the limestone quarry was an important source of employment and tax revenue for Sparta. Limestone is no longer mined, but a limited amount of granite continues to be quarried by a handful of employees.
The New Jersey Midland Railroad opened to Ogdensburg in 1872 for zinc ore traffic, but in 1882 the line was extended to Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania and a station was built at Sparta, giving tourists easy access to the many boarding houses that served summer residents from the cities. Passenger service ended in 1935, but by then Sparta was well established as a summer destination. In 1926, the Arthur D. Crane Company along with developer and designer Herbert L. Closs constructed a 600-foot (180 m) dam across the Wallkill River to form 300-acre (1.2 km2) Lake Mohawk in 1928. The private resort community created by the Crane Company consisted primarily of summer homes, but the homes began to be winterized in the 1940s and the current membership of 2,600 families are largely year-round residents.
Lake Mohawk (with 8,092 out of the CDP's total 2010 Census population of 9,916 in the township) is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) split between Byram Township and Sparta Township.
Other unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the township include Ackerson, Edison, Hopewell, Houses Corner, Monroe, Sparta Junction, Sussex Mills, Upper Mohawk and Woodruffs Gap.
The township borders the Sussex County municipalities of Andover Township, Byram Township, Franklin borough, Hardyston Township, Hopatcong borough and Lafayette Township; and Jefferson Township in Morris County.
Sparta is in the Highlands which is composed of igneous and metamorphic rock. Folding and faulting occurred when a continent struck the North American plate. This is what created the mountains through Sparta and northwards. The Wisconsin Glacier created all the lakes and streams. The Franklin Marble goes though the township from Lime Crest Quarry to the New York line.
|Population sources: 1850-1920|
1850-1870 1850 1870
1880-1890 1890-1910 1910-1930
1930-1990 2000 2010
* = Lost territory in previous decade.
Sparta has been noted for the high number of pilots and their families who settle in the area. In his 1994 book The Airport: Terminal Nights and Runway Days at John F. Kennedy International, James Kaplan describes the home township of an interviewee as "thickly populated, for no particular reason, with pilots, many of whom do their flying out of Kennedy. The view out [the pilot's] picture window is of trees ... The lights and noise of Manhattan, fifty miles distant, attract flight attendants, single people mostly. Pilots like the woods."
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 19,722 people, 6,868 households, and 5,453.192 families residing in the township. The population density was 533.9 per square mile (206.1/km2). There were 7,423 housing units at an average density of 200.9 per square mile (77.6/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 94.15% (18,569) White, 1.00% (198) Black or African American, 0.11% (22) Native American, 2.49% (491) Asian, 0.02% (4) Pacific Islander, 0.70% (139) from other races, and 1.52% (299) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.34% (1,054) of the population.
There were 6,868 households out of which 41.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 69.6% were married couples living together, 6.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 20.6% were non-families. 17.4% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.87 and the average family size was 3.27.
In the township, the population was spread out with 28.9% under the age of 18, 6.1% from 18 to 24, 21.5% from 25 to 44, 32.4% from 45 to 64, and 11.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.5 years. For every 100 females there were 96.6 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 95.1 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $112,699 (with a margin of error of +/- $6,658) and the median family income was $127,669 (+/- $8,981). Males had a median income of $89,118 (+/- $5,949) versus $60,590 (+/- $5,416) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $50,115 (+/- $3,064). About 2.3% of families and 3.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.4% of those under age 18 and 5.5% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 18,080 people, 6,225 households, and 5,029 families residing in the township. The population density was 483.5 people per square mile (186.7/km²). There were 6,590 housing units at an average density of 176.2 per square mile (68.1/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 96.7% White, 0.3% African American, 0.1% Native American, 1.4% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.45% from other races, and 1.09% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.54% of the population.
There were 6,225 households out of which 44.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 72.9% were married couples living together, 5.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 19.2% were non-families. 16.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.90 and the average family size was 3.28.
In the township the population was spread out with 30.6% under the age of 18, 4.5% from 18 to 24, 30.0% from 25 to 44, 26.6% from 45 to 64, and 8.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 97.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.4 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $89,835, and the median income for a family was $100,658. Males had a median income of $74,293 versus $39,349 for females. The per capita income for the township was $36,910. About 1.0% of families and 1.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.6% of those under age 18 and 2.1% of those age 65 or over.
Sparta is home to many small businesses. Lake Mohawk houses many boutiques and gift shops that cater to a wide variety of shoppers. As well as these smaller businesses, Sparta home to multiple family-owned pizzerias and delis.
Rockaway Townsquare is located about 15 minutes away from Sparta and allows residents to find a wider variety of shops.
Sparta Township is governed within the Faulkner Act, formally known as the Optional Municipal Charter Law, under the Council-Manager (Plan B) form of municipal government, implemented based on the recommendations of a Charter Study Commission as of July 1, 1960. The five-member nonpartisan Council is elected at-large for four-year terms of office on a staggered basis with either two or three seats coming up for election every other year as part of the November general election. The council chooses a Mayor and Deputy Mayor from among themselves to serve one-year terms of office. The Township Council has the responsibility for all legislative matters.
The Council's responsibilities include enacting ordinances and resolutions, establishing policies, preparing the annual budget with the assistance of the Township Manager and the Treasurer, and levying taxes. Additionally, the Council makes appointments to both the policy and decision-making boards and various advisory committees in accordance with general law and Township ordinances and resolutions.
The council voted to shift its municipal elections from May to November, and voters approved a 2011 referendum that ended a requirement that a runoff election be held in June in the event that no candidate received a majority of votes in the May council election. The first election in which the candidates receiving the most votes won office was held in November 2012.
As of 2017[update], members of the Sparta Township Council are Mayor Gilbert A. Gibbs (whose term of office on the council ends December 31, 2018; term as mayor ends 2017), Deputy Mayor Joshua Hertzberg (term on council ends 2017; term as deputy mayor ends 2017), Jerry J. Murphy (2016), Christine Quinn (2020) and Molly Ann Whilesmith (2018).
Federal, state and county representation
Sparta Township is located in the 11th Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 24th state legislative district. Prior to the 2010 Census, Sparta Township had been split between the 5th Congressional District and the 11th Congressional District, a change made by the New Jersey Redistricting Commission that took effect in January 2013, based on the results of the November 2012 general elections.
For the 116th United States Congress, New Jersey's Eleventh Congressional District is represented by Mikie Sherrill (D, Montclair). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2021) and Bob Menendez (Paramus, term ends 2025).
For the 2018–2019 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 24th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Steve Oroho (R, Franklin) and in the General Assembly by Parker Space (R, Wantage Township) and Harold J. Wirths (R, Hardyston Township). The Governor of New Jersey is Phil Murphy (D, Middletown Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Sheila Oliver (D, East Orange).
Sussex County is governed by a Board of Chosen Freeholders whose five members are elected at-large in partisan elections on a staggered basis, with either one or two seats coming up for election each year. At an annual reorganization meeting held in the beginning of January, the board selects a Freeholder Director and Deputy Director from among its members, with day-to-day supervision of the operation of the county delegated to a County Administrator. As of 2014[update], Sussex County's Freeholders are Freeholder Director Richard Vohden (R, Green Township, 2016), Deputy Director Dennis J. Mudrick (R, Sparta Township, 2015), Phillip R. Crabb (R, Franklin, 2014), George Graham (R, Stanhope, 2016) and Gail Phoebus (R, Andover Township, 2015). Graham was chosen in April 2013 to fill the seat vacated by Parker Space, who had been chosen to fill a vacancy in the New Jersey General Assembly. Constitutional officers elected on a countywide basis are County Clerk Jeff Parrott (R, 2016), Sheriff Michael F. Strada (R, 2016) and Surrogate Gary R. Chiusano (R, filling the vacancy after the resignation of Nancy Fitzgibbons). The County Administrator is John Eskilson.
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 13,647 registered voters in Sparta Township, of which 2,393 (17.5% vs. 16.5% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 4,854 (35.6% vs. 39.3%) were registered as Republicans and 6,387 (46.8% vs. 44.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 13 voters registered to other parties. Among the township's 2010 Census population, 69.2% (vs. 65.8% in Sussex County) were registered to vote, including 97.3% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 86.5% countywide).
In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 6,370 votes (61.6% vs. 59.4% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 3,747 votes (36.3% vs. 38.2%) and other candidates with 188 votes (1.8% vs. 2.1%), among the 10,335 ballots cast by the township's 14,177 registered voters, for a turnout of 72.9% (vs. 68.3% in Sussex County). In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 6,462 votes (59.9% vs. 59.2% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 4,171 votes (38.7% vs. 38.7%) and other candidates with 103 votes (1.0% vs. 1.5%), among the 10,781 ballots cast by the township's 13,490 registered voters, for a turnout of 79.9% (vs. 76.9% in Sussex County). In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 6,622 votes (65.8% vs. 63.9% countywide), ahead of Democrat John Kerry with 3,311 votes (32.9% vs. 34.4%) and other candidates with 102 votes (1.0% vs. 1.3%), among the 10,070 ballots cast by the township's 12,537 registered voters, for a turnout of 80.3% (vs. 77.7% in the whole county).
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 72.8% of the vote (4,431 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 24.6% (1,496 votes), and other candidates with 2.6% (159 votes), among the 6,140 ballots cast by the township's 14,360 registered voters (54 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 42.8%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christiereceived 4,694 votes (65.2% vs. 63.3% countywide), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 1,844 votes (25.6% vs. 25.7%), Independent Chris Daggett with 593 votes (8.2% vs. 9.1%) and other candidates with 37 votes (0.5% vs. 1.3%), among the 7,202 ballots cast by the township's 13,308 registered voters, yielding a 54.1% turnout (vs. 52.3% in the county).
The Sparta Township Public School District serves students in public school from pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. As of the 2011-12 school year, the district's four schools had an enrollment of 3,697 students and 268.2 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.78:1. Schools in the district (with 2011-12 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Helen Morgan School (pre-K - grade 2; 734 students), Alpine Elementary School (grades 3-5; 838 students), Mohawk Avenue School (grade 3), Sparta Middle School (grades 6-8; 923) and Sparta High School (grades 9-12; 1,202 students).
The Sparta Education Foundation was founded in 2006 to help with budgetary issues in the Sparta school district and to bring extra funds to the public school district from concerned private citizens and groups. In 2009, the Foundation provided technology money for SMART boards and projectors in Alpine and Helen Morgan schools. The Board of Education office is located in the Mohawk Avenue School. Dennis Tobin is the Superintendent of Schools.
Sparta is home of Hilltop Country Day School, a private school for students in kindergarten through eighth grade. Veritas Christian Academy, a small private school, educates students in grades 9-12.
Roads and highways
As of May 2010[update], the township had a total of 132.81 miles (213.74 km) of roadways, of which 97.07 miles (156.22 km) were maintained by the municipality, 20.05 miles (32.27 km) by Sussex County and 15.69 miles (25.25 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
New Jersey Route 15 is the primary highway serving Sparta Township. Much of the original stretch of this highway within Sparta has been bypassed by a freeway, with the old route now designated New Jersey Route 181. New Jersey Route 94 and County Route 517 also pass through the township.
Sparta is served by the Skylands Connect bus, which provides service to Newton, Hamburg and Sussex. Lakeland Bus Lines provides commuter service to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan from the Sparta police station and Blue Heron Road park and rides on the Route 80 route.
The Sparta Police Department is headquartered in the Municipal Building. The department is led by the Chief of Police Neil Spidaletto. The department has 10 Ford Explorers., Sparta Dispatch located in Sparta Police Headquarters is staffed 24/7 by trained Telecommunicators and Emergency Medical Dispatchers. Sparta Dispatch handles Police, Fire and Emergency Medical Dispatch for the towns of Sparta, Franklin, Ogdensburg and Stanhope.
Emergency Medical Services
The Sparta Ambulance Squad was founded on July 11, 1947, by the Sparta VFW post #7248. Today, the squad is staffed by a combination of volunteers and paid EMTs. During the day, from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m., ambulances are staffed by two paid EMTs. From 6 p.m. to 6 a.m., Volunteer crews are on call to handle emergencies. If a crew is not found in Sparta, mutual aid agreements exist between Sparta, Franklin Borough, and Ogdensburg Borough. The squad and its more than 60 members operate four ambulances (4191, 4192, 4193 and 4194) and an Emergency Response Unit (4195). Sparta Ambulance Squad's building is located at 14 Sparta Avenue. In 2013, the squad responded to 1,425 calls.
The Sparta Fire Department serves the township, providing firefighting services along with vehicle extrication and HazMat services. The department's headquarters is located at 141 Woodport Road but it also has substations on Glen Road and Sparta Stanhope Road.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Sparta Township include:
- Greg Baty (born 1964), former NFL player.
- Mike Budnik (born 1974), former professional inline skater, and professional mixed martial arts fighter.
- Cassidy, musician who was the lead singer for the band Antigone Rising from 1999 through 2008.
- Deal Casino, four-member pop-rock band.
- Frank Dolce (born 1996), actor who appeared in Sons of Tucson on television and on Broadway in the role of Michael in Billy Elliot the Musical.
- Charles Joseph Fletcher (1922-2011), inventor and the owner and chief executive of an aeronautical equipment manufacturing and engineering company, Technology General Corporation.
- Chris Jent (born 1970), former NBA basketball player and current coach.
- F. Ross Johnson (born 1931), Canadian businessman and former CEO of RJR Nabisco.
- Jordan Lawlor (born 1992), musician, who has toured with the band M83.
- Jeff Lenosky (born 1971), US National Mountain Bike Champion and World Record Holder.
- Sean Maguire (born 1994), football quarterback.
- Wendy Mass (born 1967), author.
- Dan Miller (born 1981), mixed martial artist who is a UFC Contender, CFFC Middleweight Champion and IFL Middleweight Champion.
- Jim Miller (born 1984), mixed martial artist who is a UFC Contender, CFFC Lightweight Champion and Reality Fighting Featherweight Champion.
- Troy Murphy (born 1980), NBA basketball player.
- Sylvia Pressler (1934-2010), New Jersey court judge whose rulings included one allowing girls to participate in Little League Baseball.
- Tom Raney, Comics artist known for his work on Uncanny X-Men and The Outsiders.
- J. Allyn Rosser (born 1957), poet.
- Jack Thomas Smith, (born 1969), horror filmmaker.
- Tim Sweeney (born 1980), former professional baseball player who became a sports agent and participated in The Amazing Race 23.
- Arthur Tipton (1882-1942), football player and United States Army officer.
- Russ Van Atta (1906-1986), former Major League Baseball pitcher for the New York Yankees and the Saint Louis Browns who served as Sheriff of Sussex County and as a county freeholder.
- Harry Wright (1919-1993), football player and coach who played for the New York Giants and served as the mayor of the township.
- Kaplan, James (1994). The Airport: Terminal Nights and Runway Days at John F. Kennedy International. New York: William Morrow and Company.
- McCabe, Wayne T.; Gordon, Kate (1996). A Penny A View...An Album of Postcard Views...Sparta, N.J. Newton, New Jersey: Historic Preservation Alternatives.
- Pierson, Duane (1981). Images of Sparta. Newton, New Jersey: Minisink Press.
- Snell, James P. (1881). History of Sussex & Warren Counties, New Jersey with Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of its Prominent Men and Pioneers. Philadelphia, PA: Everts & Peck.
- Truran, William R. (2005). Sparta, NJ: Head of the Wallkill. Sparta, New Jersey: Trupower Press.
- 2010 Census Gazetteer Files: New Jersey County Subdivisions, United States Census Bureau. Accessed May 21, 2015.
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- Township Council Members, Sparta Township. Accessed June 22, 2017.
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- Township Clerk, Sparta Township. Accessed August 2, 2016.
- 2012 New Jersey Legislative District Data Book, Rutgers University Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, March 2013, p. 110.
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- DP-1 - Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 for Sparta township, Sussex County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed February 25, 2013.
- Municipalities Grouped by 2011-2020 Legislative Districts, New Jersey Department of State, p. 11. Accessed January 6, 2013.
- Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2010 for Sparta township, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development. Accessed February 25, 2013.
- PEPANNRES - Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2017 - 2017 Population Estimates for New Jersey municipalities, United States Census Bureau. Accessed October 23, 2018.
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- Snell, James P. (1881) History of Sussex and Warren Counties, New Jersey, With Illustrations and Biographical Sketches of its Prominent Men and Pioneers. (Centennial ed., Harmony, NJ: Harmony Press, 1981, p. 407)
- Hutchinson, Viola L. The Origin of New Jersey Place Names, New Jersey Public Library Commission, May 1945. Accessed October 8, 2015.
- Chambers, Theodore Frelinghuysen. Proceedings of the centennial anniversary of the Presbyterian church at Sparta, N.J., November 23, 1886, together with a history of the village., p. 69. The Williams Company, 1887 (New York). Accessed October 8, 2015.
- About Sparta, Sparta Township. Accessed April 15, 2015.
- Staff. "A Town Marks Its Ties to Edison; Invented Separator for Ore", The New York Times, October 20, 1979. Accessed October 25, 2018.
- Staff. "Zinc Mine Showcases a Disappearing World", The New York Times, October 8, 1992. Accessed October 8, 2015. "In 1848, the process to extract zinc from ore was developed there.The mine was owned by the New Jersey Zinc Company, a subsidiary of Horshead Industries of New York City, until it shut for financial reasons in 1986."
- Staff. "Limecrest Quarry changes hands", The Sparta Independent, September 26, 2012. Accessed October 8, 2015. "The quarry known as Limecrest, started by Thomas Edison more than 100 years ago, and subsequently operated by several different companies is now being run by the Braen Family."
- Staff. "Sparta Train Station burns to rubble; The 130-year-old station was the last of 15 built by NYS&W", The Sparta Independent, September 5, 2012. Accessed April 15, 2015.
- Benko, Dawn. "Simple times at boardwalk", Daily Record (Morristown), September 5, 2002. Accessed November 6, 2013. "On March 17, 1928, the valley filled and water ran over a spillway that had been built beneath the boardwalk."
- DP-1 - Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data for Lake Mohawk CDP, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed February 18, 2013.
- GCT-PH1 - Population, Housing Units, Area, and Density: 2010 - County -- County Subdivision and Place from the 2010 Census Summary File 1 for Sussex County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed February 19, 2013.
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- Raum, John O. The History of New Jersey: From Its Earliest Settlement to the Present Time, Volume 1, p. 271, J. E. Potter and company, 1877. Accessed February 25, 2013. "Sparta contained in 1850 a population of 1,919; in 1860, 2,062; and in 1870, 2,032."
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- Census 2000 Profiles of Demographic / Social / Economic / Housing Characteristics for Sparta township, Sussex County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed February 25, 2013.
- DP-1: Profile of General Demographic Characteristics: 2000 - Census 2000 Summary File 1 (SF 1) 100-Percent Data for Sparta township, Sussex County, New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed February 25, 2013.
- Kaplan, James. The Airport: Terminal Nights and Runway Days at John F. Kennedy International, William Morrow, Incorporated, 1994. ISBN 9780688092474.
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- Hardy, Fran. "Five candidates submit petitions for council seats; Both municipal and board of ed candidates will share November ballot", The Sparta Independent, September 5, 2012. Accessed February 25, 2013. "Sparta's last municipal election was in May of 2010, and subsequently the council joined the majority of Faulkner Act municipalities by voting to change their election date to November. Another change in this year's municipal vote is the elimination of the run-off election, which factored heavily in deciding the two previous council elections. In a special question which was included on the November 2011 ballot, Sparta voters opted to do away the run-off, which was held if no candidate received 50 percent plus one vote."
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- Wallace, William N. "Two Giants Receivers Dodge Major Injuries", The New York Times, October 24, 1989. Accessed June 28, 2011. "Baty, who could not beat out Cross for a job, was later cut by Tampa Bay, and now lives in Sparta, N.J."
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- Coach Mike Budnik Archived 2011-12-19 at the Wayback Machine, Triton Fight Academy. Accessed June 28, 2011. "Mike was a pro skater for 11 years, played some low level pro golf, and now is fighting as a pro MMA fighter. He grew up in the north east, Brooklyn and Sparta, and still misses it to death."
- Strauss, Robert. "Starbucks' Newest Flavor Has New Jersey Musicians", The New York Times, May 29, 2005. Accessed October 25, 2018. "'He's always looking for new and exciting things to do, so he had us play for the Starbucks people a stripped-down, acoustic version of our act,' said Cassidy, who grew up in Sparta and who now lives in rural Morris County."
- Olivier, Bobby. "Must-hear N.J.: Deal Casino touts polished pop-rock in Asbury Park", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, March 13, 2015, updated May 27, 2015. Accessed October 8, 2015. "The rollicking foursome, originally of Sparta, moved to Asbury Park in early 2014 and have since become one of the area's tireless rock factions."
- Sacharow, Fredda. "Class of 2018: Diverse, Accomplished and Largest Ever; Members of incoming class come from 40 states and more than 60 countries", Rutgers Today, September 2, 2014. Accessed October 8, 2015. "Frank Dolce of Sussex County, who is enrolling in the bachelor of fine arts program at the Mason Gross School of the Arts in New Brunswick, played the role of Michael in Billy Elliot the Musical, co-written by Elton John.... The experience allowed the Sparta resident to acquire friends from Poland, France, Austria, Finland, the Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia and Korea, he says."
- "Charles J. Fletcher Obituary", New Jersey Herald, April 22, 2011. Accessed October 8, 2015. "Charles J. Fletcher, 88, died Wednesday, April 20, 2011, at Saint Clare's Hospital, in Sussex.... He had resided in Sparta for 37 years before moving to Fredon 13 years ago. "
- Chris Jent, National Basketball Association. Accessed June 28, 2011. "Jent, a native of Sparta, N.J., graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in communications."
- Parker, Charles Whatley; and Greene, Barnet M. "F. Ross Johnson", Who's who in Canada:an illustrated biographical record of men and women of the time, Volume 73, p. 421, International Press Limited., 1982. ISBN 0-919339-02-6. Accessed June 28, 2011. "Residence: 210 East Mountain Road, Sparta, New Jersey 07871."
- Sparta New Jersey Musician Embarks on World Tour, Bill Wright's Guitar Studio, November 20, 2011. Accessed December 19, 2012. "20 year old multi-instrumentalist Jordan Lawlor from Sparta, NJ, a former student of Bill Wright's Guitar Studio, has just embarked on a major world tour as guitarist, bassist, keyboardist and vocalist with the band M83 in support of their latest album Hurry Up, We're Dreaming which debuted at number 21 on the billboard charts."
- Freud, Chris. "Smutok slides through in freeride finals at Vail Teva Games", Vail Daily, June 4, 2011. Accessed June 28, 2011. "Jeff Lenoski [sic], of Sparta, N.J., has been designing the freeride course at the Mountain Games for years and, each year, he tries to do something different."
- Lanni, Patrick. "Jameis Winston suspended: Sean Maguire, former Seton Hall Prep QB, to start for Florida State", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, September 17, 2014. Accessed November 7, 2017. "Former Seton Hall Prep quarterback Sean Maguire, now a redshirt sophomore at reigning national champion and top-ranked Florida State, will start Saturday's game against No. 22 Clemson in place of Heisman Trophy winner Jameis Winston, who was suspended for the first half by FSU coach Jimbo Fisher after making an obscene comment on campus. Seton Hall Prep coach John Finnegan said Maguire, a Sparta native, is prepared."
- Falkenstein, Michelle. "Jersey Footlights", The New York Times, July 4, 2004. Accessed June 28, 2011. "Wendy Mass, a writer who lives in Sparta, said she was in a library a few years ago when a book literally fell off the shelves and landed at her feet."
- McCullough, Andy. "Ex-Sparta High wrestlers Jim and Dan Miller make UFC a family affair", The Star-Ledger, March 26, 2010. Accessed June 28, 2011. "Day after day, Mike Miller heard his boys brawling. His two 20-something sons worked construction with him, on the job at 7 a.m., out in the sun during the summer. When work slowed, Jim and Dan tussled in basements and dumpsters, 'beating the crap out of each other,' Jim said. So Mike waited. He understood. The boys missed competition. Both had wrestled at Sparta High School."
- Brown, Clifton. "College Basketball; The Irish Pound Rutgers To Win Eighth in a Row", The New York Times, February 15, 2001. Accessed February 25, 2013. "It was a happy homecoming for Notre Dame's star junior forward, Troy Murphy (18 points, 5 rebounds), a native of Sparta, N.J."
- Weber, Bruce. "Judge Sylvia Pressler, Who Opened Little League to Girls, Dies at 75", The New York Times, February 17, 2010. Accessed November 6, 2013. "Sylvia B. Pressler, whose 1973 ruling as a hearings officer with the New Jersey Division on Civil Rights opened the door for girls to play Little League baseball, and who later rose to be the presiding administrative judge of the state's Appellate Division, died Monday at a family cottage in Sparta, N.J."
- Gustines, George Gene. "In Person; Pencil, Paper, Lake: At Work in Sparta", The New York Times, August 22, 2004. Accessed July 1, 2015. "SPARTA— TOM RANEY and his wife, Gina Going-Raney, are not typical residents of this conservative, largely family-centered exurb in Sussex County."
- J. Allyn Rosser, GPC 2006-2007, Georgia Poetry Circuit, Berry College. Accessed November 6, 2013. "J. Allyn Rosser was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and grew up in Sparta, New Jersey."
- Petaloudis, Greg. "One Time Screening: Jack Thomas Smith's New Horror Movie Infliction Anthology Film Archives New York", Horror Unlimited, April 3, 2014. Accessed March 13, 2016. "Jack Thomas Smith's family moved to Sparta, New Jersey when he was a teenager."
- Staff. "March 29-30, 2008 – Tim Sweeney Talks", Atlantic League Baseball News, March 29, 2008. Accessed November 6, 2013. "2008: Born in Denville, New Jersey and now living in Sparta — where he gives lessons at Dream Field — the former roommate of Bobby Brownlie and Val Majewski couldn't be happier to be playing close to home. 'I'm extremely, extremely excited to be a part of the Bears organization,' Sweeney told me."
- Cullum, George Washington; and Holden, Edward Singleton. Biographical Register of the Officers and Graduates of the U.S. Military Academy, at West Point, N.Y., from Its Establishment, 1902, to 1890: With the Early History of the United States Military Academy, Volume 6, Part 2, p. 1197. Seemann & Peters, 1920. Accessed October 8, 2015. "Engaged in Fruit and Dairy Farming at Sparta, Sussex County, N. J."
- Barbati, Carl via New Jersey Herald. "Barbati Column: VanAtta was a real local hero", WKOW, June 21, 2015. Accessed October 8, 2015. "But this is about Russ Van Atta, whose birthday is today and who's being honored at the ballpark before today's Sussex County Miners game.... He was living in a house in Sparta at the time, and there was a fire.... In the process, he badly injured his hand and wrist, and he would never be the same pitcher again."
- via Associated Press. "Harry C. Wright, Football Player, 73", The New York Times, March 13, 1993. Accessed October 25, 2018. "He also served terms in Sparta, N.J., as Mayor and a member of the Township Council."