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Community Welcome

Community Welcome

Nestled within the picturesque rolling hillsides of northeastern New Jersey is the vibrant county of North Essex—a friendly area composed of the nine communities of the Caldwells (Caldwell, North Caldwell and West Caldwell), Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Fairfield, Montclair, Roseland, and Verona.

North Essex’s storied history begins with the official establishment of Essex County in 1682, making it one of the state’s four original counties. Settlers first began exploring this portion of the county by the turn of the century, and by 1701, a group of Newark colonists purchased around 14,000 acres of land in northern Essex County from the Lenape Indians. This area, known as “The Horseneck” due to its unusual form, consisted of several of North Essex’s modern-day communities, as well as nearby portions of Livingston and West Orange. Unfortunately, clear titles to the land of the Horseneck Tract were obscure, leading to the Horseneck Riots of the 1740s. By the late 1790s, the land referred to as the Horseneck became Caldwell Township—a name given in honor of Reverend James Caldwell, “the fighting parson” of the American Revolution.

Remarkable changes came with the start of the 19th century, thanks to the construction of Bloomfield Avenue, which provided a direct link to markets in Newark. People also began discovering the beautiful scenery, pure water and clear air of North Essex, resulting in a surge of seasonal visitors to the “Denver of the East.” The advent of the railroad in 1891 provided a further link to major population centers to the east and west, and the industrial and residential demands soon led to major development of the communities of North Essex.

While the county has grown immensely since those days, and continues to experience new development today, it has retained the unique charm and hospitality of those early days. With its scenic beauty and quality of life, the nine communities comprising North Essex County still supply a pleasant relief from the hectic urban living of nearby New York City. Superior schools, unequaled recreational and cultural outlets, a varied housing market, and a lucrative economy add to the appeal of living and doing business in North Essex County.

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