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

Community Profiles

Click on a town on the map or town name below to get a brief description of the area:
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Bogota | Elmwood Park | Fairlawn | Garfield | Hackensack | Lodi | Maywood | New Milford | Oradell | Paramus | River Edge | Rochelle Park | Saddle Brook | Teaneck


Bogota

At the turn of the century, even though with a population of less than 400, Bogota boasted many companies that offered various employment opportunities.  Some of these companies included The Bogota Building & Loan Association, The Bogota Water & Light Company, The Riverside Planning Mill, and The Bogota Paper Company.  In April 1898, the Bergen Traction Company was granted a franchise to run a trolley terminating at River Road.  This trolley connected with Leonia, Englewood, Fort Lee, and the 125th Street Ferry.

The Borough of Bogota, bordered to the north and east by Teaneck, to the south by Ridgefield Park, and to the west by the Hackensack River, contains several well-kept parks for recreation and a private swim club.  With easy access to routes 4, 17, 80, and 46, any part of northern New Jersey is easily accessible from Bogota and is only 15 miles from New York City.

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Elmwood Park

In 1890, East Paterson had the only mile long racetrack in the state.   People from all over, including as far as Pennsylvania and New York State came to watch harness racing on a grandstand one block long. 

In 1972 Richard Mold of East Paterson was elected their new mayor.  One year into his productive term, voters of the 2.7 square mile community decided to change its name from East Paterson to Elmwood Park.

Today, buyers often choose Elmwood Park as their place to live.  Elmwood Park is about 8 minutes from Manhattan bordered on the west by Garfield and on the east by Saddle Brook.  An old fashioned business district on Market Street includes a florist, funeral parlor, a tiny diner, card store, and a deli.

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Fairlawn

Fair Lawn is an old Dutch settlement, gained attention as the site of Radburn, a world-famous experiment is post-automobile city planning.  The concepts behind Radburn, which was built in 1929 by Clarence Stein and Henry Wright have been widely influential in British and continental town planning.  Organized in super blocks, Radburn segregated cars from people and had the fronts of the houses face common greens.  Parking was close enough to a house to enable a shopper to carry groceries easily, but the children could walk to school without ever crossing a street.  The Depression interfered with the original completion of the plan, and many post- World War II houses coexist with the 1929 buildings.  To get a better sense of the original flavor, look at photographs in the lobby of the commercial building at Plaza Rd. and High Street.  The Radburn historic district includes Fair Lawn, Berdan, and Prospect Aves. and Plaza and Radburn Roads.

Just west of Plaza Road on Pollitt Drive is the Cadmus House, an early-19th-century Dutch stone house, moved to its present site.  Once part of a farm that covered half of present-day Fair Lawn, the house has been converted to a museum.  One room is furnished with Victorian pieces, another with old fire-fighting equipment, another with artifacts from a farmhouse destroyed to build a highway interchange.  The collection also includes a variety of local memorabilia.

West of Radburn near the Passaic River is the Garretson Forge and Farm Restoration.   The Garretson family left the Netherlands in 1660 and bought this land in 1668.   Six generations lived on the farm until Mary Garretson died in 1950.  The property was rescued from a developer and is currently being restored.  The main section of the 18th-century house was made of dressed stone; the sandstone blocks were held together with mortar made of river mud mixed with straw and hogs' hair.  The carriage shed and the kitchen wing with its beehive oven have also been restored.   Among the furnishings are a rope bed and a kas , and there are periodic displays of 19th- and 20th-century artifacts, including some from the Garretson family; early iron work; and antique farming tools, as well as cooking demonstrations, sheep-shearing festivals, and harvest festivals.

Oreos, the country's most popular cookie, are manufactured at the Nabisco Fair Lawn Bakery, as are animal crackers and Newtons.

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Garfield

Immigrants were originally attracted to the community of Garfield for its abundance in employment opportunities in the textile industry which flourished there at the turn of the century.  These textile factories supplied uniforms for most of the troops for both World Wars.  Immigrants today follow the ways of the past, flocking to Garfield in seek of employment.  In addition, housing is inexpensive, attracting immigrants with limited funds.

Recently, big companies have moved out of the area to make way for small independent businesses.  Garfield has an advantage of being close to several major highways.  Garfield's crime rate is comparable or even lower than New Jersey towns of larger populations.

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Hackensack

Situated on the Hackensack River and once a busy ocean port, Hackensack was first settled by Dutch traders in the 1640s.  The seat of Bergen County, it was until 1921 officially known as New Barbadoes.  During the Revolution, the Hackensack green was used as a camping ground for both Continental and British regiments.  The courthouse complex includes buildings dating from 1910 to 1933.   The courthouse is neoclassic, but the jail has medieval turreting.  The Administrative Building dates from the 1930s.

Also on the green is the First Reformed Church, built in 1791 and altered in the mid-19th century.  The congregation, organized in 1686, had its first building by 1696, and stones from this and the next church are worked into the present building.   Many revolutionary soldiers are buried in the Graveyard, as is General Enoch Poor.   George Washington and the marquis de Lafayette attended Poor's funeral.  On the northwest corner of Church St. and Washington Pl. is the Bank House, built in the 1830s for the first bank in Bergen County.  Traffic makes it hard to appreciate the green unless you leave your car.  Farther west on Essex St. is the Hackensack Medical Center, founded in 1888 and in the mid-1990s the largest in the state.

A big treat in Hackensack is the New Jersey Naval Museum.  There you can visit the USS Ling, a diesel-electric-powered World War II submarine commissioned in 1945.   After one patrol run, the Ling was decommissioned, and from 1962 to 1971 it was used as a training vessel at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.  Since 1973, the Ling has been berthed at the Hackensack River.  Renovated, it is open for tours.   Inside the museum are exhibits dealing with the history and science of submarines; models, including a working model of a German U-boat; and submarine-related memorabilia.   Outside are missiles, a mine, and an experimental fiberglass sail.

Much of Hackensack's downtown has a 1920s or 1930s flavor.  Note the stone Johnson Free Public Library, built in 1901 and enlarged in 1915 and 1967; the Oritani Field Club; and the group of 1930s Sears Roebuck stores, a prototype of post-World War II shopping centers.

The Hackensack River county park consists of 30 acres along the river behind the Riverside Square Mall.  Trails go through a tidal marsh and forested wetlands, and there are overlooks, bird blinds, and interpretive signs.

At Bergen County Technical School is a steam engine museum, recognized by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers as a regional historical mechanical-engineering landmark.   The collection includes operating stationary steam engines and steam powered equipment, and the museum is restoring two steam locomotives.  At midnight on New Years Eve there is an annual whistle blast.


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Lodi

The Borough of Lodi, bordered by Saddle Brook, Rochelle Park and Maywood to the north, Hackensack to the east, Hasbrouck Heights to the south, and Garfield to the west, features a state park, 4 public playgrounds, 2 athletic fields, a tennis court and a private swimming pool.

Lodi provides easy access to New York City and the rest of Bergen county via routes 80 and 46, as well as New Jersey Transit busses.

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Maywood

Among the scramble and roar of Bergen County traffic, due to routes 17, 4, 80 and various shopping centers, Maywood is surprisingly quiet and there is still a touch of hometown feeling without being isolated from the rest of New Jersey.  Maywoods' founders envisioned a commuter town, with railroads connecting to ferry services that would provide easy access to New York City.

Part of Maywood's old-fashioned charm derives from its beauty from numerous tree-lined streets.  Maywood has been named a Tree City: trees have been catalogued and the town makes a conscious effort to preserve and replace them.

The small downtown shopping district has mostly small, independently owned businesses.  Maywood has strong volunteer and community spirit, which, in times of crisis, the town rallies to raise funds.

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New Milford

New Milford was incorporated in March, 1922.  River Road in New Milford is probably one of the oldest streets in Bergen County, and one of the least changed from its original path.  It was, and still is the most direct route from Old Bridge to the jumping off points to New York City.

When Washington retreated his continental army via River Road and over New Bridge, the first invasion of the war came to New Milford.  For five years the New Milford Valley became the target, with invasion after invasion as both sides sought to reap the harvests of the rich land.

The territorial limits of New Milford are as follows: bounded northerly by the town of Oradell, easterly by Dumont and Bergenfield, southerly by the New Bridge Road and the township of Teaneck, and westerly by the Hackensack River.

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Oradell

One of Bergen County's many Dutch settlements. Oradell still has some of its early stone houses, particularly along Kinderkamack and Paramus roads.   On Midland Rd. you can also see an example of a Stickley house.  The Edward W. Vaill house was built in 1911 according to one of the plans published in the Craftsman and furnished completely in arts and crafts style.  The railroad station dates to 1890.  In a converted late-19th-century firehouse, the Bergen County Players, a community group founded in the early 1930s, presents eight shows each season,including a minimusical for children each December.

The hometown of Walter Schirra, the astronaut who orbited around the earth six times in 1962, Oradell is also the home of the Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum, an unusual museum devoted to a personal collection focusing on wildlife.  Housed in the former carriage house of the late-19th-century Blauvelt mansion, the collection includes examples of animals from around the world as well as paintings and sculpture related to animal themes.   Among the holdings is a rare Audobon edition.

Before the Revolution, a mill stood on the site on which the former Hackensack Water Company built a pumping station (1882) and other facilities.  Now that the water company no longer uses this location, a controversy has developed whether to keep the area for open space and a nature center or let it be used for development.

Just south of Oradell, in New Milford, is the Art Center of Northern New Jersey.   Housed in a former church built in the 1890s, the center sponsors exhibits in its gallery and offers classes in all media.

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Paramus

Settled in the mid-17th century by Dutch emigrants, Paramus may have derived its name from the Indian word "permessing", for "abundance of turkey's."  Over 50 years ago the town was described by the WPA guide to New Jersey as "an old Dutch farm community...growing vegetables for the city markets."  You can still find scattered about the town a half-dozen or so old Dutch stone houses, but any sense of being in anything as compact as a farm community is gone.

In fact, Paramus is noted among historians of the city for having led in the development of the post-World War II shopping mall.  The Garden State Plaza, which opened in 1957, was an early example of the open mall that served several regional community functions, and the Paramus Park Mall is an early example of the newer type of enclosed mall that for many has taken over some of the function's of the city's downtown.   Paramus Park Mall is architecturally interesting: the exterior is severe, yet the interior, with its waterfall, fountain, hanging shrubs, and diagonally intersecting skylights, is open and light.

The Bergen County Museum of Arts and Science is housed in a mid-19th-century brick building, once the Bergen County Almshouse and the County Old Folks Home.  The museum's science exhibits feature a well-known mastodon skeleton unearthed nearby, Lenape artifacts, minerals, fossils, and a nature room.  Art exhibits change every eight weeks and usually consist of one-person shows by artists from northern New Jersey and metropolitan New York City.  The museum also has a youth gallery devoted to work by students in the Bergen County schools; here the exhibits change roughly every six weeks.   Occasionally items from the permanent collection are on display, and the museum has an active schedule of children's educational programs and workshops.

Behind the museum in the same county complex is the award-winning Norman Bleshman State Regional Day School for the Handicapped, designed so that everything will be not only convenient but pleasurable for someone in a wheelchair.  The horticultural center in the same area, part of the county's vocational and technical school facilities, includes an old barn, a modern airplane-type windmill, buildings with solar panels, greenhouses, and a wood silo.

Van Saun Park, one of  Paramus' two county parks, is one of the county's most popular parks.  Van Saun can be crowded in the summer, and two of the parking lots are reserved for county residents.  Its ten acre zoo features some 200 animals representing 65 species from North and South America.  The zoo is involved in an endangered species program and has managed to use its small space so that the animals do not appear crowded.  A 4,000 square foot aviary constructed like a circus tent and covered with netting replicates the environment of the Meadowlands.  A boardwalk goes through the aviary over a 9,000 gallon artificial pond, which contains native fish turtles, and waterfowl.  The zoo offers a wide range of educational programs - some 10,000 children a year take part in the formal programs - as well as seasonal events like sheep shearing.  An 1860s Bergen County farmyard, complete with appropriate animals has been re-created, and during the summer months a miniature train with a replica of an 1866 locomotive runs around the zoo and the farmyard.  At Washington Spring Park, so called because Washington's army camped here in 1780 and according to legend took water from the natural spring, is a shade garden. There are also picnic grounds, a lake and boat basin, a bicycle-pedestrian path, sledding slopes, and a tennis center.

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River Edge

River Edge played a crucial part in the Revolution when George Washington, in November 1776, led his army over the Hackensack New Bridge after the surprise attack by the British at Fort Lee.  At that spot is the Steuben House, a state historic site that houses the museum of the Bergen County Historical Society.   The oldest portion of the sandstone house was probably built in 1713, making this the oldest extant house in the county, but there had been a gristmill on the site several years before that.  During the Revolution the house was owned by Jan Zabriskie, a leading merchant and a Tory. It was confiscated and offered to Major General Baron von Steuben in gratitude for his work in training the American troops.  The house had suffered considerable abuse during the war: because of its strategic location at the bridge it was used for various military purposes, including serving as a fort, throughout the Revolution.  According to legend, Steuben declined the offer because he didn't want to displace the Zabriskies; according to another, its condition made it undesirable.

The Steuben House has an idyllic setting, known as New Bridge Landing Historic Park.   There are other buildings in he park, including the Campbell Christie House, colonials and stone house moved from New Milford, and restored as a tavern by the Bergen County Historical Society.  The Demarest House, an early stone house, was also moved here from New Milford.  Once thought to have been built in the late 1670s by the Huguenot settler David des Marest, it is more likely a late-18th-century successor on that site.

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Rochelle Park

Rochelle Park, in 1871, was a small part of a larger Midland Township which consisted of 2 other areas.  Rochelle Park, the smallest and most urban, was known as Midland Township before the town's name was changed in 1929 to avoid confusion.  The first post office was established at the current station on Railroad Avenue and a year later pipes and telephone wire were laid.  By 1927, Rochelle Park even had its own airport.

With the construction of major highways in the area in the 1930s, Rochelle Park quickly became a large suburban community within easy reach of larger cities.  Bordered by Paramus to the north, Maywood to the east, Lodi to the south, and Saddle Brook to the west, Rochelle Park today is in close proximity to many shopping areas including the Garden State Plaza, Paramus Park Mall, and Bergen Mall.  Rochelle Park is also close to New Jersey Transit lines that go to and from New York City as well as other parts of Bergen County.

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Saddle Brook

Saddle Brook was once part of a larger entity, Saddle River Township, one of the oldest in Bergen County.  Saddle Brook was once the hub of several Indian trails that led to Hackensack and Newark.  Inns and Hotels sprang up in the beginning of the century due to the saw mills in the area. 

The towns annual picnic, which attracts almost 4,000 people, best defines sense of community in Saddle Brook.  75 local organizations and companies donate materials and time to support the event.

The densely populated, middle-class Bergen County Community works hard to maintain its sense of community.  Saddle Brook contains a Youth Advisory Board to help organize the picnic, holiday Christmas tree lighting, and many sporting events.

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Teaneck

Bergen County's largest community, Teaneck was settled by the Dutch in the 17th century. Some stone houses remain, particularly on Teaneck and Riverneck roads.  The 18th-century Brinkerhoff-Demarest house is a national historic landmark.   The source of the town's name is obscure: perhaps from the "Tekene," a Native American word for "the woods," perhaps from the Dutch "Tee Neck," referring to a curved piece of land alongside a stream.  In 1949 the town was chosen by the Army Corps of Engineers as a model American community, and material on Teaneck was used as part of the army's program to explain American democracy to the Japanese.  The town has since developed a reputation as a multi-ethnic community.   The mosque on Fabry Ct. was the first in the county, the Bahai center was visited by the grandson of the religion's founder in the early 20th century, and in 192 Teaneck elected the country's first Indian-born mayor

At Fairleigh Dickinson's Teaneck Hackensack campus is the community's first Equity theater.  The American Stage Company, founded in 1985 by Paul Sorvino, presents four American plays each season.

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