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My Hometown: Cranford, New Jersey

When Doreen Schindler and her husband left city living behind for the suburbs, they chose a town with historic museums, an old-fashioned downtown area, and a river that runs through it.

By Caren Oppenheim

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The Schindler family
Jacob Snavely
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Cranford, New Jersey

Population: 22,578

Fun Fact: The Williams-Droescher Mill—built on the Rahway River in 1740 for producing grain, lumber, and barber supplies—now houses a yoga studio.

Our Cranford Family: Doreen and Charles; Olivia, 8; Natalie, 10; and Emily, 14.

My husband and I were born and raised in different parts of Brooklyn. A mutual friend set us up while we were in high school and after college we married and settled on Staten Island. But we wanted more space. Cranford, New Jersey, is less than an hour from Manhattan and we had extended family in the area, so it seemed like an ideal location. We moved into a house built in 1890 that has an interesting background: The second owners (we're the fourth) had a son who invented a device for tanks that contributed to the Allied success at Normandy. There's a plaque in town honoring him. This strong connection to American history is one of the many things about Cranford we fell in love with.

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