WHERE in New Jersey?

A news story making international headlines Thursday has opened my personal Pandora’s box of pet peeves.  I’m sure you have seen the video of the stately 72-foot tall spruce that is heading to the Big Apple to grace the grounds of Rockefeller Center for its glittery annual holiday extravaganza.  The 77-year old Christmas-tree-to-be comes from Tree King Nursery in Hamilton, New Jersey. 

WHAT? WHERE?   Any Jersey girl or guy worth their Bruce Springsteen CD’S knows there’s more than one Hamilton in the Garden State.  In the NBC10 viewing area, there’s the Hamilton Township near the shore in Atlantic County (the Hamilton mall, remember?).  And there’s the Hamilton Township in Mercer County, east of Trenton.  M y quick scan of MapQuest and my favorite “site” site Epodunk.com found a Hamilton in Monmouth County and another in Somerset County as well.

As an NBC10 news writer and producer, I have long learned that people absolutely hate it when you mess up where live.  My co-workers don’t call me Jersey Jane for nothing!  The odds are sometimes against us, when we’re up against deadline and trying to figure out where a place is really located.  If you think Hamilton is tricky, try Washington Township.  We all know the super-sized sprawl in Gloucester County, but there are six other Washington Townships in New Jersey.  Among them, one is in Burlington County and one is in Mercer County. 

Oh, I’m not done yet!  Or should I say George Washington isn’t finished by a long shot.  Cross the river and there are 22 Washington Townships in Pennsylvania.  And that’s not including town and borough names like Washington’s Crossing.  Here’s another township that always trips the struggling news scribes.  There’s a Springfield Township in Delaware County, in Montgomery County and in Bucks County, along with six other locations in PA.

Back to the bucolic tree farm, somewhere in New Jersey.  The Internet served me only so far in my all-out search to find the place.  So I resorted to good old-fashioned journalism and picked up the phone. And excited employee informed me they were located in Mercer County and he told him if I ever did stop by; please make sure not to leave without picking a pumpkin!

Jane Matheson is an NBC10 writer/producer.

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