Ridgefield, New Jersey
|Ridgefield, New Jersey|
|Borough of Ridgefield|
Map highlighting Ridgefield's location within Bergen County. Inset: Bergen County's location within New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Ridgefield, New Jersey
|Coordinates: Coordinates: |
|Incorporated||May 26, 1892|
|• Body||Borough Council|
|• Mayor||Anthony R. Suarez (D, term ends December 31, 2019)|
|• Administrator||Ray Ramirez|
|• Municipal clerk||Linda Silvestri|
|• Total||2.854 sq mi (7.394 km2)|
|• Land||2.551 sq mi (6.608 km2)|
|• Water||0.303 sq mi (0.786 km2) 10.62%|
|Area rank||347th of 566 in state
31st of 70 in county
|Elevation||10 ft (3 m)|
|Population (2010 Census)|
|• Estimate (2016)||11,357|
|• Rank||223rd of 566 in state
32nd of 70 in county
|• Density||4,323.7/sq mi (1,669.4/km2)|
|• Density rank||137th of 566 in state
34th of 70 in county
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||Eastern (EDT) (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||0885367|
Ridgefield is a borough in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 11,032, reflecting an increase of 202 (+1.9%) from the 10,830 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 834 (+8.3%) from the 9,996 counted in the 1990 Census.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Government
- 5 Education
- 6 Transportation
- 7 Notable people
- 8 In popular culture
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 Sources
- 12 External links
At the time of European colonization, the area was home to the Hackensack tribe of the Lenape Native Americans, who maintained a large settlement to the north on Overpeck Creek. Their name is an exonym taken from the territory and is translated as place of stony ground  which describes the diminishing Hudson Palisades as they descend into the Meadowlands becoming the ridgefield that is part of Hackensack River flood plain.
In 1642, Myndert Myndertsen received a patroonship as part of the New Netherland colony for much the land in the Hackensack and Passaic valleys. He called his settlement Achter Kol, or rear mountain pass, which refers to its accessibility to the interior behind the Palisades. Originally spared in the conflicts that begin with the Pavonia Massacre, the nascent colony was later abandoned. In 1655, Oratam, sachem of the Hackensack, deeded a large tract nearby to Sara Kiersted, who had learned the native language and was instrumental in negotiations between Native Americans and the settlers. In 1668, much of the land between Overpeck Creek and the Hudson River was purchased by Samuel Edsall, and soon became known as the English Neighborhood, despite the fact most of the settlers were of Dutch and Huguenot origin.
The opening of the West Shore Railroad and Erie Railroad's Northern Branch in the mid 19th century brought suburbanization to the region, and in Ridgefield, significant industry and manufacturing. Grantwood was an artist's colony established in 1913 by Man Ray, Alfred Kreymborg and Samuel Halpert and became known as the "Others" group of artists. The colony consisted of a number of clapboard shacks on a bluff. To this day the names of the streets in this part of the town — Sketch Place, Studio Road and Art Lane — pay homage to Grantwood's history. Kreymborg moved to Ridgefield and launched Others: A Magazine of the New Verse with Skipwith Cannell, Wallace Stevens, and William Carlos Williams in 1915.
The initial 118 miles (190 km) of the New Jersey Turnpike were completed in 1952, with the original northern terminus at an interchange connecting to Route 46 in Ridgefield. An additional four-mile stretch of road connecting the Turnpike from Ridgefield to Interstate 80 in Teaneck and from there to the George Washington Bridge was completed in 1964. The western spur was added in the 1970s, with its two spurs re-connecting in the western side of the borough.
In the 1970s, the area came under the auspices of the Hackensack Meadowlands Development Commission, meant to set parameters and balance development in the ecologically sensitive region. Some parts of the low-lying areas, including Skeetkill Creek Marsh, have been set apart as nature reserves and extension of system that connects to the Overpeck Reserve and Overpeck County Park.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 2.854 square miles (7.394 km2), including 2.551 square miles (6.608 km2) of land and 0.303 square miles (0.786 km2) of water (10.62%).
The borough is informally divided into three sections based on the geographical contour of the land. The first section is known as Ridgefield, and lies partly in the valley on both the east and west sides and partly on the first hill. The second section is known as Morsemere, and is located in the northern part of the borough. The third section is Ridgefield Heights, on the second hill at the extreme eastern part of the borough, running north and south.
Morsemere was named by a real estate development company in honor of Samuel F. B. Morse, inventor of the telegraph and Morse code. During the middle of the 19th century, Morse owned vast tracts of land in the Ridgefield section of the borough. Ridgefield's telephone exchange was Morsemere 6 until dial service arrived in the mid-1950s.
The borough shares borders with Carlstadt, Cliffside Park, Fairview, Fort Lee, Little Ferry, Palisades Park, Ridgefield Park and South Hackensack in Bergen County and North Bergen in Hudson County.
As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 11,032 people, 3,905 households, and 2,995 families residing in the borough. The population density was 4,323.7 per square mile (1,669.4/km2). There were 4,145 housing units at an average density of 1,624.5 per square mile (627.2/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 62.31% (6,874) White, 1.20% (132) Black or African American, 0.18% (20) Native American, 29.06% (3,206) Asian, 0.02% (2) Pacific Islander, 4.66% (514) from other races, and 2.57% (284) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 21.41% (2,362) of the population. Korean Americans accounted for 25.7% of the population.
There were 3,905 households out of which 33.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 58.9% were married couples living together, 13.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.3% were non-families. 19.9% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.82 and the average family size was 3.25. Same-sex couples headed 31 households in 2010, an increase from the 24 counted in 2000.
In the borough, the population was spread out with 21.6% under the age of 18, 8.2% from 18 to 24, 25.6% from 25 to 44, 30.3% from 45 to 64, and 14.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41.5 years. For every 100 females there were 92.0 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 89.5 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $59,784 (with a margin of error of +/- $12,149) and the median family income was $76,618 (+/- $5,428). Males had a median income of $51,682 (+/- $4,297) versus $39,178 (+/- $5,838) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $28,107 (+/- $2,625). About 3.7% of families and 5.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.2% of those under age 18 and 7.5% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 10,830 people, 4,020 households, and 2,966 families residing in the borough. The population density was 4,149.8 people per square mile (1,602.1/km²). There were 4,120 housing units at an average density of 1,578.7 per square mile (609.5/km²). The racial makeup of the borough was 75.87% White, 0.77% African American, 0.08% Native American, 17.42% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 3.50% from other races, and 2.32% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.80% of the population.
As of the 2000 Census, 16.31% of Ridgefield's residents identified themselves as being of Korean ancestry, which was the sixth highest in the United States and fourth highest of any municipality in New Jersey — behind Palisades Park (36.38%), Leonia (17.24%) and Fort Lee (17.18%) — for all places with 1,000 or more residents identifying their ancestry. In the same census, 3.0% of Ridgefield's residents identified themselves as being of Croatian ancestry. This was the third highest percentage of people with Croatian ancestry in any place in New Jersey with 1,000 or more residents identifying their ancestry. 2.4% of Ridgefield's residents identified themselves as being of Armenian ancestry, the 16th highest percentage of Armenian people in any place in the United States with 1,000 or more residents identifying their ancestry. As of the 2000 Census, 1.3% of residents identified themselves as being of Turkish American ancestry, the seventh-highest of any municipality in the United States and fifth-highest in the state.
There were 4,020 households out of which 32.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 59.7% were married couples living together, 9.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.2% were non-families. 23.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 11.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.69 and the average family size was 3.19.
In the borough, the population was spread out with 21.8% under the age of 18, 6.3% from 18 to 24, 31.5% from 25 to 44, 23.3% from 45 to 64, and 17.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 93.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.8 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $54,081, and the median income for a family was $66,330. Males had a median income of $47,975 versus $36,676 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $25,558. About 4.7% of families and 6.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 6.4% of those under age 18 and 6.7% of those age 65 or over.
Ridgefield is governed under the Borough form of New Jersey municipal government. The governing body consists of a Mayor and a Borough Council comprising six council members, with all positions elected at-large on a partisan basis as part of the November general election. A Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The Borough Council consists of six members elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year in a three-year cycle. The Borough form of government used by Ridgefield, the most common system used in the state, is a "weak mayor / strong council" government in which council members act as the legislative body with the mayor presiding at meetings and voting only in the event of a tie. The mayor can veto ordinances subject to an override by a two-thirds majority vote of the council. The mayor makes committee and liaison assignments for council members, and most appointments are made by the mayor with the advice and consent of the council.
As of 2017[update], the Mayor of Ridgefield Borough is Democrat Anthony R. Suarez, whose term of office ends on December 31, 2019. Members of the Ridgefield Borough Council are Council President Russell Castelli (D, 2017), Javier Acosta (D, 2017), Hugo Jimenez (D, 2019), James V. Kontolios (D, 2019), Ray Penabad (D, 2018) and Dennis Shim (D, 2018).
Federal, state and county representation
Ridgefield is located in the 9th Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 36th state legislative district. Prior to the 2011 reapportionment following the 2010 Census, Ridgefield had been in the 38th state legislative district.
New Jersey's Ninth Congressional District is represented by Bill Pascrell (D, Paterson). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2021) and Bob Menendez (Paramus, 2019).
For the 2016–2017 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 36th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Paul Sarlo (D, Wood-Ridge) and in the General Assembly by Marlene Caride (D, Ridgefield) and Gary Schaer (D, Passaic). The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham Township). The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).
Bergen County is governed by a directly elected County Executive, with legislative functions performed by a seven-member Board of Chosen Freeholders. As of 2015[update], the County Executive is James J. Tedesco III (D, Paramus; term ends December 31, 2018). The seven freeholders are elected at-large in partisan elections on a staggered basis, with two or three seats coming up for election each year, with a Chairman, Vice Chairman and Chairman Pro Tempore selected from among its members at a reorganization meeting held each January. Bergen County's Freeholders are Freeholder Chairwoman Joan Voss (D, 2017; Fort Lee), Vice Chairman Steve Tanelli (D, 2015; North Arlington) Chairman Pro Tempore John A. Felice (R, 2016; River Edge), David L. Ganz (D, 2017; Fair Lawn), Maura R. DeNicola (R, 2016; Franklin Lakes) Thomas J. Sullivan Jr., (D, Montvale, 2015; serving the unexpired term of office that had been occupied by James Tedesco before he was sworn in as County Executive) and Tracy Silna Zur (D, 2015; Franklin Lakes). Countywide constitutional officials are County Clerk John S. Hogan (D, Northvale), Sheriff Michael Saudino (R) and Surrogate Michael R. Dressler (D, Cresskill).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 5,467 registered voters in Ridgefield, of which 1,810 (33.1% vs. 31.7% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 1,098 (20.1% vs. 21.1%) were registered as Republicans and 2,558 (46.8% vs. 47.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There was one voter registered to another party. Among the borough's 2010 Census population, 49.6% (vs. 57.1% in Bergen County) were registered to vote, including 63.2% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 73.7% countywide).
In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 2,320 votes here (58.3% vs. 54.8% countywide), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 1,570 votes (39.4% vs. 43.5%) and other candidates with 42 votes (1.1% vs. 0.9%), among the 3,980 ballots cast by the borough's 5,848 registered voters, for a turnout of 68.1% (vs. 70.4% in Bergen County). In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 2,319 votes here (53.0% vs. 53.9% countywide), ahead of Republican John McCain with 1,960 votes (44.8% vs. 44.5%) and other candidates with 40 votes (0.9% vs. 0.8%), among the 4,372 ballots cast by the borough's 5,853 registered voters, for a turnout of 74.7% (vs. 76.8% in Bergen County). In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 2,172 votes here (51.0% vs. 51.7% countywide), ahead of Republican George W. Bush with 2,038 votes (47.8% vs. 47.2%) and other candidates with 23 votes (0.5% vs. 0.7%), among the 4,262 ballots cast by the borough's 5,845 registered voters, for a turnout of 72.9% (vs. 76.9% in the whole county).
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 56.8% of the vote (1,410 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 41.9% (1,040 votes), and other candidates with 1.3% (33 votes), among the 2,625 ballots cast by the borough's 5,586 registered voters (142 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 47.0%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 1,390 ballots cast (48.0% vs. 48.0% countywide), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 1,281 votes (44.2% vs. 45.8%), Independent Chris Daggett with 135 votes (4.7% vs. 4.7%) and other candidates with 18 votes (0.6% vs. 0.5%), among the 2,898 ballots cast by the borough's 5,658 registered voters, yielding a 51.2% turnout (vs. 50.0% in the county).
The Ridgefield School District serves public school students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. As of the 2011-12 school year, the district's four schools had an enrollment of 1,639 students and 162.6 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 10.08:1. Schools in the district (with 2011-12 enrollment from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Shaler Academy (Pre-K and K; 194 students), Bergen Boulevard School (1-2; 204), Slocum-Skewes School (3-8; 661) and Ridgefield Memorial High School (9-12; 580).
Public school students from the borough, and all of Bergen County, are eligible to attend the secondary education programs offered by the Bergen County Technical Schools, which include the Bergen County Academies in Hackensack, and the Bergen Tech campus in Teterboro or Paramus. The district offers programs on a shared-time or full-time basis, with admission based on a selective application process and tuition covered by the student's home school district.
As of May 2010[update], the borough had a total of 31.00 miles (49.89 km) of roadways, of which 21.10 miles (33.96 km) were maintained by the municipality, 3.45 miles (5.55 km) by Bergen Countyand 3.52 miles (5.66 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 2.93 miles (4.72 km) by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.
The New Jersey Turnpike (Interstate 95) passes through Ridgefield. The Turnpike's Vince Lombardi service area is located between Interchanges 18E/18W and the George Washington Bridge at mileposts 116E on the Eastern Spur and 115.5W on the Western Spur.
NJ Transit provides bus service to and from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan on the 127, 154, 165, 166, 168 and the 321 (an 18-minute ride from the Vince Lombardi Park & Ride) routes and to Jersey City on the 83 route.
Original plans for the Hudson–Bergen Light Rail included a northern terminus at the park and ride. Plans for an extension through the town called the Northern Branch Corridor Project call for a station in the borough along the Northern Branch right-of-way at Hendricks Parkway.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Ridgefield include:
- Marlene Caride (born 1963), member of the New Jersey General Assembly since 2012.
- Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968), French artist.
- Samuel Halpert (1884–1930), painter.
- Thomas H. Herring, President of the New Jersey Senate in 1859 as well as the President of the Northern Railroad starting in 1859.
- Alfred Kreymborg (1883–1966), poet and novelist.
- Joseph Lagana (born 1978), politician who has represented the 38th Legislative District in the New Jersey General Assembly since January 2014.
- Man Ray (1890–1976), one of the most important painters and photographers of the Surrealist and Dada movements, had a house in an artists' colony that once existed in Ridgefield.
- Judd Sergeant, contestant on the eleventh season of Survivor.
- Bob Schroder (born 1944), MLB infielder who played for the San Francisco Giants.
- Alexander Shaler (1827–1911), Union Army general in the American Civil War who later served as Mayor of Ridgefield, New Jersey.
- William Carlos Williams (1883–1963), poet.
In popular culture
- Ridgefield is the setting for the 1998 Adam Sandler film (and subsequent 2006 musical) The Wedding Singer.
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- 2008 Presidential General Election Results: Bergen County, New Jersey Department of State Division of Elections, December 23, 2008. Accessed December 15, 2013.
- 2008 General Election Results for Ridgefield, The Record (Bergen County). Accessed January 5, 2012.
- 2004 Presidential Election: Bergen County, New Jersey Department of State Division of Elections, December 13, 2004. Accessed December 15, 2013.
- "Governor - Bergen County" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Elections. January 29, 2014. Retrieved December 24, 2014.
- "Number of Registered Voters and Ballots Cast - November 5, 2013 - General Election Results - Bergen County" (PDF). New Jersey Department of Elections. January 29, 2014. Retrieved December 24, 2014.
- 2009 Governor: Bergen County, New Jersey Department of State Division of Elections, December 31, 2009. Accessed December 15, 2013.
- District information for Ridgefield School District, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed August 4, 2014.
- School Data for the Ridgefield School District, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed August 4, 2014.
- Shaler Academy, Ridgefield School District. Accessed July 29, 2013.
- Bergen Boulevard School, Ridgefield School District. Accessed July 29, 2013.
- Slocum-Skewes School, Ridgefield School District. Accessed July 29, 2013.
- Ridgefield Memorial High School, Ridgefield School District. Accessed July 29, 2013.
- New Jersey School Directory for the Ridgefield School District, New Jersey Department of Education. Accessed December 29, 2016.
- About Us, Bergen County Technical Schools. Accessed December 15, 2013.
- Admissions, Bergen County Technical Schools. Accessed December 29, 2016.
- Bergen County Mileage by Municipality and Jurisdiction, New Jersey Department of Transportation, May 2010. Accessed December 15, 2013.
- Travel Resources: Interchanges, Service Areas & Commuter Lots, New Jersey Turnpike Authority. Accessed July 29, 2013.
- Bergen County Bus / Rail Connections, NJ Transit, backed up by the Internet Archive as of January 11, 2010. Accessed January 5, 2012.
- Bergen County System Map, NJ Transit. Accessed September 14, 2016.
- Berliner, Harvey L.; Campo, David, W.; Dickerson, Charles N.; and Mack, Glenn. "Design and Construction of the Weehawken Tunnel and Bergenline Avenue Station for the Hudson–Bergen Light Rail Transit System", Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglas, Inc. and NJ Transit, backed up by the Internet Archive as of January 14, 2016. Accessed September 14, 2016.
- Assemblywoman Marlene Caride (D), New Jersey Legislature. Accessed December 15, 2013.
- "Icons of twentieth century photography come to Edinburgh for major Man Ray exhibition", ArtDaily. Accessed June 26, 2013. "He initially taught himself photography in order to reproduce his works of art but in 1920 began to work as a portrait photographer to fund his work in other media. In 1915, whilst at Ridgefield artist colony in New Jersey, he met the French artist Marcel Duchamp and together they tried to establish a New York outpost of the Dada movement."
- Northern Branch DEIS, Northern Branch Corridor. Accessed May 6, 2017. "Ridgefield: The arrival of the Northern Railroad of New Jersey in Ridgefield in 1859 made this area, with its hills providing scenic vistas, accessible to New York City and ripe for suburban development. Several persons with interests in the railroad lived in Ridgefield. They included Thomas H. Herring, who, according to Poor's Atlas, in 1859 was the President of the Northern Railroad."
- Wassel, Bryan. "Incumbents face challenge for council seats in Paramus", Town News, November 7, 2011. Accessed May 6, 2017. "Lagana was raised in Ridgefield, and moved to Paramus in April 2009.... Lagana has served on various boards, including the Ridgefield Planning Board, the Bergen County Committee for Community Development and currently serves on the Paramus Environmental Commission."
- Staff. "Man Ray Is Dead in Paris at 86; Dadaist Painter and Photographer", The New York Times, November 19, 1976. Accessed January 5, 2012. "His style changed in 1915 to 'reducing human figures to flat-patterned disarticulated forms.' He was living at the time in Ridgefield, N. J."
- Schwarz, Marc. "TALKING TO JUDD SERGEANT", The Record (Bergen County), December 5, 2005. Accessed May 4, 2008. "Judd Sergeant, the 35-year-old doorman from Ridgefield, was loud, aggressive and one of the most talked-about contestants on 'Survivor: Guatemala.'"
- Bob Schroder, Society for American Baseball Research. Accessed May 6, 2017.
- "GEN. A. SHALER DEAD IN HIS 84TH YEAR; Distinguished Civil War Veteran and Long Prominent in State National Guard.", The New York Times, December 28, 1911. Accessed July 10, 2008.
- "Williams, William Carlos", Pennsylvania Center for the Book at Pennsylvania State University. Accessed January 5, 2012. "William Carlos Williams began spending time at Grantwood in New Jersey. There he and other poets would work on their crafts. In 1916, he edited an episode of The Others, a poetry magazine based in Grantwood. He became friends at that time with Marianne Moore, who had very much in common with WCW, as she had studied biology in college. Williams would continue his involvement in Grantwood and The Others until the magazine failed due to funding shortages in the twenties and the group disbanded shortly thereafter."
- Nash, Margo. "THEATER; To Recreate Ridgefield, It's All in the Local Detail", The New York Times, April 16, 2006. Accessed January 5, 2012. "IT may not have A. W. Meyer Hardware sitting on Broad Avenue or that tricky traffic circle, but Ridgefield, 1985, is being recreated on Broadway in The Wedding Singer, based on the Adam Sandler movie about a local rocker who has a day job as a wedding singer."
- Municipal Incorporations of the State of New Jersey (according to Counties) prepared by the Division of Local Government, Department of the Treasury (New Jersey); December 1, 1958.
- Clayton, W. Woodford; and Nelson, William. History of Bergen and Passaic Counties, New Jersey, with Biographical Sketches of Many of its Pioneers and Prominent Men., Philadelphia: Everts and Peck, 1882.
- Harvey, Cornelius Burnham (ed.), Genealogical History of Hudson and Bergen Counties, New Jersey. New York: New Jersey Genealogical Publishing Co., 1900.
- Van Valen, James M. History of Bergen County, New Jersey. New York: New Jersey Publishing and Engraving Co., 1900.
- Westervelt, Frances A. (Frances Augusta), 1858-1942, History of Bergen County, New Jersey, 1630-1923, Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1923.