In some uses The Chathams may refer to two neighboring municipalities in Morris County, New Jersey – Chatham and Chatham Township. The two are separate municipalities, the first one was settled in 1710 as a colonial English village in the Province of New Jersey. The second entity was formed in 1806 as an American governmental form, a township form peculiar to the state of New Jersey, for a region including several communities that initially, included the village.
All except one of the communities included in the governmental district seceded from it when other forms of government became available, leaving an undefined rural district that has experienced extensive residential development since 1960.
Two community services have been extended from Chatham to Chatham Township: since 1974 they have shared its library services and in 1986 a joint school district was created and extended to most portions of Chatham Township for all grades, they having sent their students to the Chatham schools for junior and senior high for many decades. Some of the Chatham Township areas send their students to the Madison schools.
Since it became feasible using motor vehicle transportation, Chatham always has shared its federal post office service via rural delivery to the portions of Chatham Township without separate post offices, such as Green Village and New Vernon.
Chatham and Chatham Township held elections in November 1986 to consider joining their separate school districts. This proposal was supported by the voters of both municipalities and since then, they now share a regionalized school district, the School District of the Chathams.
The library joined the Morris Automated Information Network (MAIN), an electronic database linking together all the public libraries in Morris County, in 1985. Recently, an expansion costing nearly $4,000,000 was completed (with the governments of the borough and township contributing a combined $2,000,000). The project was completed and dedicated on January 11, 2004.