Township of Saddle Brook, New Jersey
A Brief History
Saddle Brook was originally part of Saddle River Township which was created in the early
1700's within the area known as New Barbados. Barbadoes is an island in the British West
Indies, and New Barbadoes was the name chosen by the English settlers in that area.
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 Saddle River (named from the Township) and west by the Passaic
River. In a point organization, which was in 1716, it is among the
oldest Townships in Bergen County. In 1724, the Township seceded
from New Barbadoes. As time passed, other towns were carved from
Saddle River Township. Among the towns that were part of the original community were
Ridgewood, Ho-Ho-Kus, Franklin, Garfield, East Paterson (now known as
Elmwood Park), and Fair Lawn. Franklin separated from Saddle River
about 1772. Ridgewood and Ho-Ho-Kus seceded at this time also in order
to form their own governments. With each secession, the township was
being whittled down to its present size of 2.7 square miles.
The township was incorporated in 1798. Garfield seceded in 1898, East
Paterson in 1916, and Fair Lawn was the last to secede in 1924.
Agriculture and small scale dairy farming predominated here until the
first decade of the 20th century. Some of the large farms were the Leswings,
Ochs, Hubschmitt, DeChimony, Bowen, Coger and Pehle. Some of the dairy
farms were Clover Farms, Friesian Dairy, Midland Farms Dairy, and Wagner.
Chicken farming was also very popular, and Frank Meyer's Poultry Farm
supplied them fresh from his farm on Market Street.
At the time of the Revolutionary war, Saddle River Road was an Indian
trail and during the Colonial Era was a well traveled wagon route to Newark.
In those days, the road was called "Old Swamp Lane", a name that lived
several generations and was used on township maps earlier in the century. During
the Centennial celebration of 1876, the area was dotted with farms, Its
economy was based largely on the growing of fruits and vegetables to which the soil and
climate were suited.
The 1900's brought considerable change to the area. An increase in population
and commercial growth greatly altered the landscape of farms and woodlands.
In the 1920's cars replaced horse drawn carriages and bus service between the area and
other Bergen County towns began. During this same time period, streetlights replaced gas
lamps n Saddle River Road and sidewalks were constructed in 1929.
In the 1950's the township's population grew rapidly and the town fathers
wanted to establish a post office to serve private homes and attract new business.
A post office committee was formed by the Chamber of Commerce in 1953,
and its members learned that a name change was necessary since there were two
other towns with similar names in Bergen County (Upper Saddle River, and the Borough of
Saddle River). The citizens voted to change the name of the Township on November 8, 1955. The Saddle
Brook Post Office was dedicated on January 9, 1960.
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