Belleville, New Jersey
|Belleville, New Jersey|
|— Township —|
|Nickname(s): Cherry Blossom Capital of America|
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|Incorporated||April 8, 1839|
|• Type||Faulkner Act (Council-Manager)|
|• Mayor||Raymond Kimble (term ends June 30, 2014)|
|• Manager||Kevin M. Esposito|
|• Clerk||Kelly Cavanagh|
|• Total||3.399 sq mi (8.805 km2)|
|• Land||3.340 sq mi (8.651 km2)|
|• Water||0.059 sq mi (0.154 km2) 1.74%|
|Area rank||317th of 566 in state
14th of 22 in county
|Elevation||161 ft (49 m)|
|Population (2010 Census)|
|• Rank||64th of 566 in state
7th of 22 in county
|• Density||10,755.7/sq mi (4,152.8/km2)|
|• Density rank||31st of 566 in state
5th of 22 in county
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||1729713|
Belleville (French: "Belle ville" meaning "Beautiful town") is a township in Essex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 35,926, reflecting a decline of 2 (0.0%) from the 35,928 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 1,715 (+5.0%) from the 34,213 counted in the 1990 Census.
Silver Lake (2010 total population of 4,243) is a census-designated place and unincorporated area defined by the United States Census Bureau as of the 2010 Census that is split between Belleville (with 3,769 of the CDP's residents) and Bloomfield (474 of the total).
Originally known as "Second River" or "Washington", the inhabitants renamed the settlement "Belleville" in 1797. Belleville was originally incorporated as a township by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on April 8, 1839, from portions of Bloomfield. Portions of the township were taken to create Woodside Township (March 24, 1869, now defunct) and Franklin Township (February 18, 1874, now known as Nutley). The independent municipality of Belleville city was created within the township on March 27, 1874, and was dissolved on February 22, 1876. On November 16, 1910, Belleville was reincorporated as a town, based on the results of a referendum held eight days earlier. Belleville adopted its current township form of government in 1981.
Belleville is located at United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 3.399 square miles (8.805 km2), of which, 3.340 square miles (8.651 km2) of it is land and 0.059 square miles (0.154 km2) of it (1.74%) is water. Today, the Second River forms much of the border between Belleville and Newark as it runs through Branch Brook Park.(40.795515,-74.16185). According to the
The township of Belleville has given itself the nickname the Cherry Blossom Capital of America, with an annual display that is larger than the famed Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C., site of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.
1930-1990 2000 2010
2010 Census 
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 35,926 people, 13,395 households, and 9,001 families residing in the township. The population density was 10,755.7 inhabitants per square mile (4,152.8 /km2). There were 14,327 housing units at an average density of 4,289.3 per square mile (1,656.1 /km2). The racial makeup of the township was 60.55% (21,753) White, 9.12% (3,277) Black or African American, 0.35% (126) Native American, 12.00% (4,312) Asian, 0.05% (18) Pacific Islander, 13.97% (5,018) from other races, and 3.96% (1,422) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 39.34% (14,133) of the population.
There were 13,395 households out of which 30.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.3% were married couples living together, 16.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.8% were non-families. 27.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.29.
In the township the population was spread out with 21.7% under the age of 18, 9.2% from 18 to 24, 31.1% from 25 to 44, 26.3% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37.2 years. For every 100 females there were 93.1 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.0 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $60,127 (with a margin of error of +/- $2,658) and the median family income was $69,181 (+/- $4,525). Males had a median income of $46,656 (+/- $2,959) versus $42,237 (+/- $2,818) for females. The per capita income for the township was $2,668 (+/- $1,357). About 3.7% of families and 6.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.0% of those under age 18 and 6.6% of those age 65 or over.
2000 Census 
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 35,928 people, 13,731 households, and 9,089 families residing in the township. The population density was 10,744.3 people per square mile (4,153.3/km2). There were 14,144 housing units at an average density of 4,229.8 per square mile (1,635.0/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 69.44% White, 5.36% African American, 0.17% Native American, 11.31% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, 9.83% from other races, and 3.82% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 23.68% of the population.
As of the 2000 Census, the most common ancestries listed were Italian (30.9%), Irish (9.4%), German (6.9%), Polish (4.5%), United States (2.6%) and English (2.2%).
There were 13,731 households out of which 29.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.0% were married couples living together, 13.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.8% were non-families. 27.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.60 and the average family size was 3.23.
In the township the population was spread out with 21.8% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 33.9% from 25 to 44, 22.2% from 45 to 64, and 13.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 36 years. For every 100 females there were 93.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.8 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $48,576, and the median income for a family was $55,212. Males had a median income of $38,074 versus $31,729 for females. The per capita income for the township was $22,093. About 6.3% of families and 8.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.9% of those under age 18 and 7.8% of those age 65 or over.
Local government 
Belleville is governed under the Faulkner Act (Council-Manager) form of New Jersey municipal government by a seven-member Township Council. Two members of the council are elected at-large, one is elected as a mayor, and one each from four wards. Members are elected to serve four-year terms of office on a staggered basis.
As of 2012[update], members of the Belleville Township Council are Mayor Raymond Kimble (term ends June 30, 2014), Deputy Mayor Steven Rovell (Ward 2; 2016), Marie Burke (Ward 1; 2016), Vincent Cozzarelli (Ward 3; 2016), Kevin G. Kennedy (at-large; 2014), Michael Nicosia (at-large; 2014) and John Notari (Ward 4; 2016). The Interim Township Manager is Kevin M. Esposito.
Federal, state and county representation 
Belleville is located in the 8th Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 29th state legislative district. Prior to the 2011 reapportionment following the 2010 Census, Belleville had been in the 28th state legislative district.
New Jersey's Eighth Congressional District is represented by Albio Sires (D, West New York). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Frank Lautenberg (D, Cliffside Park) and Bob Menendez (D, Hoboken).
The 29th District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Teresa Ruiz (D, Newark) and in the General Assembly by Alberto Coutinho (D, Newark) and L. Grace Spencer (D, Newark). The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).
Essex County is governed by a directly-elected County Executive, with legislative functions performed by the Board of Chosen Freeholders. As of 2013[update], the County Executive is Joseph N. DiVincenzo, Jr. The county's Board of Chosen Freeholders consists of nine members, four elected on an at-large basis and one from each of five wards, who serve three-year terms of office on a concurrent basis, all of which end in 2014. Essex County's Freeholders are Freeholder President Blonnie R. Watson (at large; Newark), Freeholder Vice President Patricia Sebold (at large; Livingston), Rufus I. Johnson (at large; Newark), Gerald M. Owens (At large; South Orange, filling the vacant seat after the resignation of Donald Payne, Jr.) Rolando Bobadilla (District 1 - Newark's North and East Wards, parts of Central and West Wards; Newark), D. Bilal Beasley (District 2 - Irvington, Maplewood and Newark's South Ward and parts of West Ward; Irvington), Carol Y. Clark (District 3 - East Orange, Newark's West and Central Wards, Orange and South Orange; East Orange) and Leonard M. Luciano (District 4 - Caldwell, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Fairfield, Livingston, Millburn, North Caldwell, Roseland, Verona, West Caldwell and West Orange; West Caldwell), and Brendan W. Gill (District 5 - Belleville, Bloomfield, Glen Ridge, Montclair and Nutley; Montclair). Constitutional elected countywide are County Clerk Christopher J. Durkin (West Caldwell, 2015), Sheriff Armando B. Fontoura (2015) and Surrogate Thomas N. Stephen, II (2016).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 19,684 registered voters in Belleville, of which 7,241 (36.8%) were registered as Democrats, 2,708 (13.8%) were registered as Republicans and 9,729 (49.4%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 6 voters registered to other parties.
In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 56.9% of the vote here (7,475 cast), ahead of Republican John McCain with 41.4% (5,444 votes) and other candidates with 0.8% (110 votes), among the 13,135 ballots cast by the township's 19,378 registered voters, for a turnout of 67.8%. In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 50.6% of the vote here (6,046 ballots cast), outpolling Republican George W. Bush with 48.0% (5,728 votes) and other candidates with 0.7% (130 votes), among the 11,940 ballots cast by the township's 17,411 registered voters, for a turnout percentage of 68.6.
In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 50.7% of the vote here (3,626 ballots cast), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 42.6% (3,041 votes), Independent Chris Daggett with 4.6% (329 votes) and other candidates with 1.0% (72 votes), among the 7,146 ballots cast by the Township's 19,313 registered voters, yielding a 37.0% turnout.
The Belleville School District serves public school students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. Schools in the district (with 2010-11 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are seven elementary schools — School 3 (grades K-6; 426 students), School 4 (PreK-6; 431), School 5 (K-6; 444) School 7 (PreK-6; 408), School 8 (K-6; 589), School 9 (K-6; 171) and School 10 (198) — Belleville Middle School for grades 7&8 (676), and Belleville High School for grades 9–12 (1,395).
The Belleville Public Library and Information Center had a collection of 105,452 volumes and is a member of the Bergen County Cooperative Library System, a consortium of municipal libraries in the northeastern New Jersey counties of Bergen, Hudson, Passaic and Essex.
The Silver Lake station on the Newark City Subway provides service to Newark Penn Station. Until 1966 the Newark Branch of the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad (EL) served the town. The New York and Greenwood Lake Railway, later the Boonton Line, also served the town.
Places of interest 
Belleville locations in The Sopranos 
- Episode 3 ("Denial, Anger, Acceptance"): Christopher Moltisanti's "mock execution" is on the pier in the Passaic River used by Belleville High School's crew team (technically, perhaps, in Kearny).
- Episode 28 ("Proshai, Livushka"): Livia Soprano's funeral is held at the Irvine-Cozzarelli Memorial Home, across the street from Belleville Middle School on Washington Avenue.
- Season 4- Even though Furio Giunta's house was stated to be in Nutley, its actual location was Belleville on Essex Street.
- Episode 54 ("Rat Pack"): Junior gets lost and tells the policemen who find him that he lives in Belleville.
- Episode 76 ("Cold Stones"): Rosalie Aprile briefly dates a much younger French motorcyclist named Michel, who hails from Belleville, Paris. Ro expresses a particular sense of kinship with Michel given his connection to a town with the same name as the New Jersey town where members of her inner circle live (e.g., Corrado Soprano) and do business (e.g., the Irvine-Cozzarelli Memorial Home).
1996 Torch Relay 
On June 18, 1996, the Olympic Torch Relay came through the township of Belleville. The relay entered Belleville from Rutgers, made a left onto Washington Avenue, passing the Belleville Town Hall, a right onto Belleville Avenue and stayed on Belleville into the township of Bloomfield. The torch relay ended at Atlanta, Georgia for the 1996 Summer Olympics.
Notable people 
Notable current and former residents of Belleville include:
- Platt Adams (1885–1961), winner of gold and silver Olympic medals.
- Russell Baker (born 1925), Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Growing Up.
- Moe Berg (1902–72), Major League Baseball catcher who also served as a spy for the United States.
- Chico Borja (born 1959), former professional soccer player.
- Samuel Cornish (1795-1858), abolitionist and publisher of the first newspaper in the United States owned by African Americans.
- Dennis Diken (born 1957), former Smithereens drummer.
- Tommy DeVito (born 1936), musician and singer.
- Connie Francis (born 1938), singer.
- Bob Gaudio (born 1942), singer, songwriter and producer.
- Scott Graham (born 1965), Philadelphia Phillies broadcaster.
- David Grant (born 1965), former NFL player.
- Frank Iero (born 1981), rhythm guitarist for the band My Chemical Romance, co-founder of "Skeleton Crew" Record Label, lead vocalist for the band Leathermouth and lead vocalist and guitarist for the band Pencey Prep.
- Nick Massi (1935–2000), early member of the Four Seasons.
- Tony Meola (born 1969), soccer goalie.
- Paul Mirabella (born 1954), MLB player for the Texas Rangers, New York Yankees, Toronto Blue Jays, Baltimore Orioles, Seattle Mariners, and the Milwaukee Brewers.
- Joe Pesci (born 1943), actor.
- Diane Ruggiero, That's Life series creator and Veronica Mars writer.
- Junior Sanchez, DJ, record producer and remixer.
- Reza Saberi, Iranian-American journalist arrested in Iran in February 2009.
- Peggy Santiglia Davison (born 1944), singer, songwriter; lead singer The Angels.
- Ray Toro (born 1977), lead guitarist of My Chemical Romance.
- Frankie Valli (born 1934), lead singer of The Four Seasons.
- The Delicates, the late 50s / early 60s girl group made up of Denise Ferri, Arleen Lanzotti and Peggy Santiglia Davison.
- Gerard Way (born 1977), lead singer of the band My Chemical Romance, writer of the comic series The Umbrella Academy and executive producer of the band LostAlone.
- Mikey Way (born 1980), bassist for the band My Chemical Romance and Gerard Way's brother.
Belleville characters in The Sopranos 
- Furio Giunta
- Junior Soprano, in the episode "Where's Johnny?", Junior gets lost and tells the policeman he lives in Belleville
- Vito Spatafore
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- New Jersey: 2010 - Population and Housing Unit Counts - 2010 Census of Population and Housing (CPH-2-32), United States Census Bureau, August 2012, p. III-3. Accessed November 4, 2012. "Silver Lake (formed from parts of deleted whole-township Belleville and Bloomfield CDPs)"
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- Rotella, Mark. "Straight Out of Newark", The New York Times, October 2, 2005. Accessed March 3, 2012. "You remember the Four Seasons, right? Their sound, the wail of Frankie Valli - "She-e-e-e-e-e-ry baby" - layered over solid three-part harmonies, was the music of the streets of urban New Jersey and New York. It was the sound of the projects of Newark and the poor Italian neighborhoods of Belleville... Sitting in the Waldorf-Astoria in a polo shirt and leather loafers, he was describing his neighborhood in Belleville in the 1950's when he, his brother Nick, and a friend named Nick Massi first formed the Variety Trio, then the Varietones."
- A HISTORY OF BRANCH BROOK'S CHERRY BLOSSOMS - Belleville: The Cherry Blossom Capital of America, Belleville Public Library and Information Center. Accessed November 8, 2011.
- Staff. "Editorial: Give Belleville tourists reason to stay", Belleville Times, April 21, 2011. Accessed April 21, 2011. Accessed November 8, 2011. "Each spring, people flock to Essex County's Cherry Blossom Festival in Branch Brook Park. The county park system has the largest variety of blossoms in the world.... Belleville already promotes itself as a cherry blossom capital, but perhaps more could be done, especially this time of year, when so many people descend on Branch Brook Park. It's one of the few major events attracting people outside the area to Belleville."
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- Lee, Eunice. "Labor leader from South Orange tapped as new Essex County freeholder", The Star-Ledger, December 19, 2012. Accessed January 9, 2013. "A longtime labor union leader from South Orange was sworn in this afternoon as the newest Essex County freeholder.Gerald Owens, 74, is a general organizer for the International Longshoremen's Association.... Owens is filling the seat vacated by former at-large freeholder Donald Payne Jr., who stepped down from the post last month after securing the 10th Congressional District seat left open by his late father."
- Rolando Bobadilla, Essex County, New Jersey. Accessed January 9, 2013.
- D. Bilal Beasley, Essex County, New Jersey. Accessed January 9, 2013.
- Carol Y. Clark, Essex County, New Jersey. Accessed January 9, 2013.
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- Rowe, Jonathan. "The Gap Between Us", the Christian Science Monitor, January 24, 1991. Accessed August 14, 2007. "IN his book Growing Up, Russell Baker; the New York Times columnist, described the kitchen table of his child hood. It was in Belleville, N.J., during the depths of the Depression."
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- "Scholar-Player Moe Berg Dies". Chicago Tribune. June 1, 1972. Retrieved February 13, 2011.
- Staff. "Results Plus", The New York Times, November 18, 1992. Accessed July 11, 2012. "Jeff Agoos and Chico Borja of Belleville, N.J., scored two goals each as the United States beat Russia, 8-3, last night in its opening match of the FIFA world indoor championship in Hong Kong."
- Di Ionno, Mark. "N.J.'s Lonnie Bunch: History in the making at African-American museum", The Star-Ledger, February 13, 2011. Accessed April 14, 2013. "Not the first, though. Many years later, as a historian, Bunch learned Belleville had been a place where free blacks from New York City bought land for country houses in the 19th century. 'One was Samuel Cornish, owner and publisher of the first black-owned paper in the United States (founded 1832),' Bunch said."
- "You Say It's Your Birthday: The Smithereens' Dennis Diken", MTV News, February 25, 1997. Accessed April 14, 2013. "Today is the birthday of Smithereens drummer Dennis Diken, who was born in 1957 in Belleville, New Jersey."
- Glassberg, Lauren. "A Sneak Peek At Broadway's 'Jersey Boys'", WABC-TV, December 5, 2005. Accessed September 25, 2007. "The music is contagious and the story about four guys from Belleville, New Jersey is more intriguing than you may have expected. It's Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.... Here's a bit of trivia: Joe Pesci the actor introduced Tommy Devito, Nick Massi, Frankie Valli and Bob Gaudio in 1959."
- Bondy, Halley. "Belleville to honor hometown girl, the resilient Connie Francis", The Star-Ledger, October 22, 2009. Accessed January 3, 2011.
- Staff. "Sicklerville's versatile Scott Graham is quickly forging a career in sports announcing", Courier Post, May 11, 2000. Accessed November 4, 2012. "This summer, the Belleville, Essex County, native will spendmost of his on-air time with the Phillies."
- via Associated Press. "Seminar stresses school to college-bound athletes", Lawrence Journal-World, June 25, 1983. Accessed January 3, 2011.
- Bruder, Jessica. "Loud, Proud and Important", The New York Times , May 29, 2005. Accessed March 28, 2008. "Among some of the station's most ardent fans are the bands that WSOU has boosted. That's all I listen to when I go home, said Frank Iero, a guitarist in My Chemical Romance and a Belleville native."
- Jersey-kid Meola ready for KC, The Kansas City Star, February 6, 1999, "Born and raised in Belleville, N.J...."
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- Colford, Paul D. "FLASH! The latest entertainment news and more", Newsday, August 19, 1998. Accessed January 3, 2010. "Pesci, a high school dropout who grew up in Belleville, NJ..."
- Sato, Steven. "CBS' 'That's Life' Is All That: Paul Sorvino, Creator Diane Ruggiero Talk About New Show", WEWS-TV. Accessed July 14, 2008. "Cinderella had nothing on a young woman named Diane Ruggiero. Ruggiero, a native of Belleville, N.J., was working as a waitress and a part-time writer."
- Staff. Junior Sanchez, The Beat, September 8, 2012. Accessed February 4, 2013. "Originally from suburban Belleville, New Jersey, Junior Sanchez had his DJ beginnings with a jerry rigged DJ set made up of his parent’s two stereo systems when he was 11."
- Stephey, M.J. (May 7, 2009). "Imprisoned Journalist Roxana Saberi". Time. Archived from the original on 10 May 2009. Retrieved June 15, 2009. "Born April 26, 1977 in Belleville, New Jersey to a Japanese mother and Iranian father. When she was 6 months old, the family moved to Fargo, North Dakota."
- Childs, Marti Smiley; and March, Jeff. "Then and Now: Peggy Santiglis", Echoes of the Sixties, p. 85, Billboard Books, 1999. ISBN 0-8230-8316-0. Accessed May 15, 2011. "Raised in Belleville, New Jersey, Peggy grew up in a musical household."
- LaGorce, Tammy. "Bellowing Like Iron Maiden, but Very, Very Sensitive", The New York Times, November 7, 2004. Accessed May 15, 2011. "Wait too long, and the cartoonish geek punk who leads My Chemical Romance -- the guy dipped in the requisite all black, with thick mascara and smudges of orange shadow beneath both eyes before a recent show at Irving Plaza in Manhattan -- overtakes the boyish 27-year-old from Belleville given to explaining the band's progression through stories about his grandma and his Dungeons and Dragons addiction."
- clemente, John. Girl Groups: Fabulous Females that Rocked the world, p. 13. Krause Publications, 2000. Accessed November 4, 2012. " The belles from Belleville, The Delicates, 1959, (L-R) Arlene Lanzotti, Peggy Santiglia, Denise Ferri."
- Michel, Sia. "Fresh From the Garden State, in Black Leather and Eyeliner", The New York Times, October 22, 2006. Accessed July 11, 2012. "Perhaps the key to understanding the band's macabre nature is a dim basement apartment with low ceilings. It was there that Gerard and Mikey Way, the band's singer and bassist, grew up, in the belly of a two-family home in Belleville, N.J., a blue-collar town about 10 miles from Manhattan."
- Township of Belleville
- Belleville School District
- Belleville School District's 2010–11 School Report Card from the New Jersey Department of Education
- Data for the Belleville School District, National Center for Education Statistics
- Belleville Public Library
- Belleville Historical Website History of Belleville, including famous residents
- Belleville Community Website
- Belleville, NJ History
- Belleville, NJ Historical Photos