The Hackensack and the Passaic are important and beautiful New Jersey rivers. Beyond their value as landscape elements, they are also notable for having been the cradle where the cities of River Edge and Paterson were born. These cities are interesting and remarkable indeed, so it seems appropriate to give a brief account of their history.
River Edge and Paterson Origins: When They Were Founded
The circumstances under which River Edge and Paterson were founded are entangled to the story of New Jersey as a whole.
Borough Mania: the Reasons Behind New Jersey Fragmented Map
Looking at the map of New Jersey, one notices a great number of small boroughs. The reason is a phenomenon known as Borough Mania: the birth, by referendum, of a great number of independent boroughs through the 1890s. Due to different views between long-time residents and new commuters, it was frequent then that the former or the latter decided to become independent. One of such groups founded, in 1894, River Edge. Initially called Riverside, it acquired its actual name in 1930.
River Edge: American Revolution and Beyond
River Edge played a role in the events which led to the birth of the United States, during the American Revolution. While retiring from British forces, November 20th 1776, George Washington directed his troops toward New Bridge Landing, a passageway across the Hackensack River of great strategic importance. One of the most famous historical sites in River Edge, Steuben House, owes its notoriety to Washington, since he used it as headquarters.
While Paterson is a bigger city, counting more than 146,000 inhabitants as of the 2010 United States Census, River Edge is a relatively small borough, with a population of about 11,000. The population of Paterson has slightly decreased in the last times, but River Edge has constantly grown in the past thirty years.
Both cities offer important recreational services to their citizens. Just to name some of the most famous, we might cite River Edge's portion of the beautiful Van Saun County Park and the Great Falls Historic District in Paterson.