Saddle River Township, New Jersey

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Map of Saddle River Township as of 1876

Saddle River Township was a township that existed in pre-American Revolutionary War times, that included all portions of Bergen County, New Jersey west of the Saddle River. After many departures, secessions and deannexations over the centuries, Saddle River Township exists today as Saddle Brook, which adopted its present name by a referendum passed on November 8, 1955.


The township was created in March 1716, making it one of the oldest townships in Bergen County. Saddle River Township was created from all of the territory in Bergen County west of the Saddle River, within the area that had been known as New Barbadoes Township, which itself had been set off from Essex County and added to Bergen County in 1710.[1]

Saddle River Township derived its name from its resemblance to a saddle before its boundaries were changed. It was bounded on the north by Ridgewood, south by Lodi, east by the Saddle River (named from the Township) and west by the Passaic River. In 1724, the Township formally seceded from New Barbadoes.[1]

Saddle River Township was split up in 1772 by royal decree with the northernmost half becoming Franklin Township.[1] The new township was named after Governor of New Jersey William Franklin, illegitimate son of Benjamin Franklin.

Pompton Township was established in 1797 from parts of both Franklin and Saddle River Townships west of the Ramapo River, leaving sections of both townships disconnected to the west of Pompton Township.[1]

The township was among the initial group of 104 municipalities formally incorporated under the Township Act of 1798.[1]

West Milford Township was formed from the discontinuous, western sections of both Franklin and Saddle River townships in 1834.[1]

In the initial wave of "Boroughitis," Glen Rock on September 14, 1894 (also included portions of Ridgewood Township) and Lodi on December 22, 1894 (also included portions of Lodi Township) were created. Wallington was formed on January 2, 1895 (including portions of Lodi Township) and Garfield on April 19, 1917 (including portions of Wallington). East Paterson was formed via referendum on April 18, 1916, and was renamed Elmwood Park on January 1, 1973. Fair Lawn was the last to leave, on April 5, 1924.[1]

The remaining portion of Saddle River Township was changed to Saddle Brook, which adopted its current name by a referendum passed on November 8, 1955.[1]

Notable people[edit]

People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Saddle River Township include:

  • Abraham Godwin (1724-1777), elected Town Collector of Saddle River Township in 1758.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h Snyder, John P. The Story of New Jersey's Civil Boundaries: 1606-1968, p. 86. Bureau of Geology and Topography; Trenton, New Jersey; 1969. Accessed March 6, 2017.
  2. ^ Nelson, William. History of Paterson and its environs, p. 278. Lewis Historical Publishing Company, 1920. Accessed September 6, 2017. "Godwin seems to have made a favorable impression on his neighbors, as a young man of energy, ability and probity, for in April, 1758, he was chosen town collector for Saddle River township, which then included all of the present townships of Manchester, Wayne, Pompton and West Milford, in Passaic county and all of Bergen county, west of the Saddle river."


External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°54′00″N 74°05′24″W / 40.900°N 74.090°W / 40.900; -74.090