The region in which Summit is located was purchased from Native Americans on October 28, 1664. The original name of Summit was "Turkey Hill" later during the American Revolutionary War period, it was known as "Beacon Hill", because bonfire beacons were lit on an eastern ridge in Summit to warn the New Jersey militiamen of approaching British troops.
The City of Summit, located in Union County, New Jersey is home to more than 21,000 residents who speak over 35 languages, representing an economically and culturally diverse community.
In the 19th century, Summit served as a nearby getaway spot for wealthy residents of New York City in search of fresh air. Weekenders or summer vacationers would reach Summit by train and relax at large hotels and smaller inns and guest houses.
In the early 20th century, there was much building; in 1909, one report suggested at least 40 residences were being built making it "one of the greatest periods of building activity this place, the Hill City, has known."
Following World War II, the city experienced a great building boom, as living outside New York City and commuting to work became more common and the population of New Jersey grew. At this point, Summit took on its suburban character of tree lined streets and architect-designed houses that it is known for today.
Today the city of Summit features a large concentration of art galleries, antique shops and performance venues, making it a cultural destination in northern New Jersey. Summit is home to the Visual Arts Center of New Jersey, Reeves-Reed Arboretum, and the Summit Playhouse.
Summit is a one of few New Jersey cities with a unique architectural heritage, which includes building, structures, sites and streetscapes dating from the mid-18th century through the 19th, 20th and 21st centuries. As a result, the city has an old town with character which is what distinguishes it from newer suburban towns with tract developments; it makes Summit special and helps uphold its high real estate values.
New Jersey Transit Train service from Summit to NY Penn Station is 40 minutes express & 50 - 55 minutes local.