North Haledon, Hawthorne, Haledon, Prospect Park, Paterson, Wayne, Ringwood, West Milford, Franklin Lakes, Oakland, Midland Park, Wyckoff, Mahwah, Waldwick, Ho-Ho-Kus, Allendale, Upper Saddle River, Saddle River, Ridgewood, Ramsey, Glen Rock, Fairlawn, Elmwood Park, Garfield

Serving North Haledon, Hawthorne, Haledon, Prospect Park, Paterson,Wayne, Ringwood, West Milford, Franklin Lakes, Oakland, Midland Park, Wyckoff, Mahwah, Waldwick, Ho-Ho-Kus, Allendale, Upper Saddle River, Saddle River, Ridgewood, Ramsey, Glen Rock, Fairlawn, Elmwood Park, Garfield

Bloomfield, New Jersey

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Bloomfield Public Schools

 
 
 

A Brief History

 
In 1900, Bloomfield became a town with a Mayor-and-Council-type of government under the Town Act of the New Jersey State Legislature. In 1955, a revision of this form was passed by local referendum which set up a municipal government composed not only of a Mayor and six members of a Town Council, all elected by popular vote, but also a Town Administrator appointed by the Mayor and Council. This is the form Bloomfield is operating under today (1983). In July of 1981, by a special election, it changed its designation to "Township" again. The population in 1900 was 9,668; in 1910 it was 15,070.

During World War 1, there were 1,200 men and 15 nurses on active duty, giving the town a bigger percentage of participation than the average in the country. Women as well as men worked in munition factories, industrial firms and government agencies. Volunteers, young and old, accomplished many tasks for the war effort. The population in 1920 was 22,019.

By 1930, the population reached 38,000, with 68 industries employing 6,000. The Board of Trade had been set up in 1902 and became the Chamber of Commerce in 1923. The Police Department, which had been established around 1900, had the first officer assigned to traffic duty in 1909. During World War I, bus and trolley lines vied for passengers. In 1923, the bus from Paterson to Lackawanna Railroad along Broad Street opened Brookdale for residences instead of farms. In 1936 the De Camp Bus Line began a route through Bloomfield to New York City. Four- and five-story apartment buildings appeared among the houses.

New schools and churches were built to serve the enlarging population in new neighborhoods. The first Jewish temple was organized in 1915, and a second in 1955. Since 1902, the Jarvie Memorial Library, privately endowed, had served the townspeople, but in 1924 it offered the books and endowment to the town, and the Bloomfield Free Public Library was established. Its own building was completed in 1927, and an addition in 1967. It became the Northwest Area Library in 1965. The Board of Recreation evolved in 1928 from the Community House project of the World War Memorial Association. Many civic and service clubs were founded in the 1920's and 1930's.

World War II saw Bloomfield's industrial plants such as Charms Candy Company, General Electric, Lehn and Fink, Schering, Scientific Glass and Westinghouse rated among the upper 10% of those in the eastern part of the nation engaged in the production of vital war materials. Again, civic organizations and volunteers gave great support to the war effort. The population in 1940 was 41,623; in 1950, it was 49,313.

In the second half of the 20th Century, Bloomfield has remained a vital community, both residential and industrial in character. The completion of the Garden State Parkway in 1952 brought better automobile access. New housing included garden apartments and high-rise buildings. The town's Department of Planning and Development has implemented the Master Plan of 1949 and subsequent updates of 1965 and 1977. Another large company came to Bloomfield when the Lummus Corporation set up its international headquarters in 1968. The population in 1970 was 52,029; in 1980, it was 47,792.

Through the years, Bloomfield citizens have shown strong community spirit. There have been festive Independence Day celebrations each year. The Centennial Celebration in 1912 brought the Soldiers and Sailors Monument. The sesquicentennial in 1962 saw the start of the Historical Society of Bloomfield. The national bicentennial in 1976 led to the formation of the Cultural Commission and Oakside Cultural Center. In 1978, there was enthusiastic support for the Festival of Nations honoring the people from many ethnic groups who have contributed so much to Bloomfield. It continues with "pride in its past, faith in its future." (Ina Campbell, Reference Department, Bloomfield Public Library)