Cedar Grove Township
is a Township
in north central Essex County
, New Jersey
, United States
. As of the United States 2000 Census
, the township population was 12,300. In 2006, the population went up to 12,848.
What is now Cedar Grove was originally incorporated by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature as the Township of Verona on February 7, 1892, from portions of Caldwell Township. Portions of the township were taken to create Verona borough, based on the results of a referendum held on April 30, 1907. On April 9, 1908, the name was formally changed to Cedar Grove.
New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Cedar Grove as its 4th best place to live in Essex County and 17th best place overall to live in its 2008 rankings of the "Best Places To Live" in New Jersey.
Cedar Grove is located at (40.855854, -74.228981). It is located between the First and Second Watchung Mountains
. The center of the township is in a valley that is about above sea level. However, many sections of Cedar Grove are well above , including the Park Ridge Estates, the abandoned Essex County Hospital Center
, and the eastern, southeastern and southern sections of Cedar Grove. Cedar Grove's highest peak is on Hilltop, where elevations reach and above. Cedar Grove is located approximately west of Midtown Manhattan
and northwest of Newark.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township has a total area of 4.3 square miles (11.3 km²), of which, 4.2 square miles (10.9 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.3 km²) of it (2.99%) is water.
Cedar Grove's population density is less than the surrounding towns of Montclair, Verona, and Little Falls. This is mainly because Cedar Grove has vast amounts of property owned or previously owned by county or city governments. The Essex County Hospital Center took up a good amount of land and was owned by Essex County. Also, Mills Reservation is a county owned park, and the Cedar Grove Reservoir property is owned by the City of Newark.
Cedar Grove is bordered by North Caldwell, Little Falls, Montclair, and Verona.
Cedar Grove has a temperate climate
, with warm/hot humid summers and cool/cold winters. The climate is slightly cooler overall during the summer than in New York City
because there is no urban heat island
January tends to be the coldest month, with average high temperatures in the upper 30's and lows in the lower 20's. July is the warmest months with high temperatures in the mid 80s and lows in the mid 60's. From April to June and from September to early November, Cedar Grove enjoys temperatures from the lower 60s to upper 70s. Rainfall is plentiful, with around a year. Snowfall is common from mid January to early March and noreaster's can bring a lot of snow. In January 1996, Cedar Grove received about of snow from the Blizzard of 1996.
As of the census
of 2000, there were 12,300 people, 4,403 households, and 3,240 families residing in the township. The population density
was 2,913.1 people per square mile (1,125.4/km²). There were 4,470 housing units at an average density of 1,058.7/sq mi (409.0/km²). The racial makeup of the township was 90.05% White
, 2.99% African American
, 0.05% Native American
, 5.42% Asian
, 0.02% Pacific Islander
, 0.46% from other races
, and 1.00% from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 3.20% of the population.
As of the 2000 Census, 29.7% of Cedar Grove's residents identified themselves as being of Italian ancestry, the 18th highest of all municipalities in New Jersey. There is also a large Irish population, accounting for 21.7% of the population in the 2000 census, with another 12.1% of German ancestry.
There were 4,403 households out of which 28.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 63.4% were married couples living together, 7.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.4% were non-families. 23.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.57 and the average family size was 3.05.
In the township the population was spread out with 19.2% under the age of 18, 5.3% from 18 to 24, 27.0% from 25 to 44, 26.0% from 45 to 64, and 22.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44 years. For every 100 females there were 87.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.6 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $78,863, and the median income for a family was $94,475. Males had a median income of $66,197 versus $40,582 for females. The per capita income for the township was $36,558. About 1.1% of families and 2.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.8% of those under age 18 and 3.2% of those age 65 or over.
Cedar Grove operates under the Faulkner Act (Council-Manager)
form of municipal government. Cedar Grove is governed by a five-member Township Council. Council members are elected at-large for four-year terms, by the voters of the municipality through a municipal election held the 2nd Tuesday in May, in odd-numbered years.
Members of the Township Council are Mayor Paul Lee, Deputy Mayor Joseph Chiusolo, E. Romeo Longo, Robert O'Toole and Peter H. Tanella.
Federal, state and county representation
Cedar Grove is part of New Jersey's 40th Legislative District and is in the Eighth Congressional District.
On the national level, Cedar Grove leans toward the Republican Party. In 2004, Republican George W. Bush received 60% of the vote here, defeating Democrat John Kerry, who received around 39%.
The Cedar Grove Schools
serve public school students from kindergarten through twelfth grade. The district has two elementary schools, one middle school, and one high school. Schools in the district (with 2005-06 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics
) are South End
(327 students) and North End
(339) elementary schools for kindergarten through fourth grade; The Cedar Grove Memorial Middle School
(486) serves from grades five through eight; and The Cedar Grove High School
(415) serves students in grades nine through twelve.
The only private schools located in Cedar Grove are the Washington Academy, which serves pupils with special needs, and the Catholic school, St. Catherine's. Washington Academy is located in the old Leonard R. Parks Elementary School on Route 23, while St. Catherine's is located on Bradford Avenue.
Cedar Grove was part of the Horseneck Tract
, which was an area that consisted of what are now the municipalities of Caldwell
, West Caldwell
, North Caldwell
, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells
, and portions of Livingston
and West Orange
In 1702, settlers purchased the 14,000 acre (57 km²) Horseneck Tract — so-called because of its irregular shape that suggested a horse's neck and head — from the Lenni Lenape Native Americans for goods equal to $325. This purchase encompassed much of western Essex County, from the First Mountain to the Passaic River.
Cedar Grove was originally a small farming community. In 1896, Essex County built the county mental institution in Cedar Grove known as Overbrook. In 1908, Cedar Grove was incorporated as a township. In the 1950s and 60s, Cedar Grove became one of the destination suburbs in Essex County among those looking to escape urban living from Newark and New York City.
Most of the commercial zone in Cedar Grove is located on Route 23. The central business district starts at about Sweetwood Dr and extends to Little Fall Road just after the railroad bridge. Well known businesses in the center of town include CVS
, Jim Dandy's, Burger King
, PNC Bank
, Bank of America
, Valley National Bank
, Sovereign Bank
, Dunkin Donuts
. There are many other small businesses, ranging from Chinese restaurants, pizza parlors, delis, hairdressers and barbers, and clothing stores.
Past Little Falls Road, going north, there are still many businesses located along Route 23, including another CVS
, a dog kennel, several hairdressers, a garden center, and an auto body shop.
Although Cedar Grove is not known as an industrial town, the township has an industrial district located along Commerce Road, which is off Route 23. In this district, there are light industrial factories and different types of commercial businesses.
bisects Cedar Grove, making the township conveniently located to major highways including Interstate 80
, Interstate 280
, U.S. Route 46
, Route 3
, and the Garden State Parkway
. Cedar Grove is also centrally located to New York City
, and Morristown
Cedar Grove is also served by New Jersey Transit
bus service. The 11
bus lines provide service to Newark. The 195
bus line provides transportation to the Port Authority Bus Terminal
in Midtown Manhattan
. Nearby train stations are located in the neighboring towns of Little Falls and Montclair. The Erie Railroad
Had a railway here running between Little Falls and West Caldwell, but trains were sparsely scheduled and the line was destroyed in the 1970s.
Parks and Recreation
Cedar Grove has several parks and recreational areas within the township. These include county parks, town parks, and recreational areas.
There are two county parks located in Cedar Grove.
- Mills Reservation, a county park, consisting of a 157.15-acre protected wooded area with trails for walking and an overlook of New York City.
- Hilltop Reservation, composed of lands in the grounds of the former Essex County Hospital Center, Opened spring 2003.
- Cedar Grove Park, This park is located near the center of the town off Little Falls Road. It features a baseball field, barbecue area, and a playground.
- South End School Park, This park/playground is located on the grounds of South End Elementary School on Harper Terrace. Features include basketball courts, a softball field, and a playground.
- North End School Park, This area is nearly identical to South End School's park.
- Cedar Grove High School, in the back of the high school, there is a quarter mile track for running or walking. There is also a football field, soccer field, and baseball field.
- Tennis Courts, there are various tennis courts located along Little Falls Road, all for public use.
- Cedar Grove Community Pool, a community pool which opened in 1963. It features a large pool with 50 meter lanes and 25 meter lanes, three diving boards (a small, medium, and large one), and a sliding board. Also, there is a baby pool for children under five. There is a snack bar for refreshments, sun decks for sunbathing, and basketball courts. The pool is opened from the Saturday before Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Notable current and former residents of Cedar Grove include:
- Ralph L. Brinster (born 1932), internationally renowned genetic research pioneer.
- Jack Cafferty (born 1942), CNN commentator and host.
- Allen B. DuMont (1901-1965), American scientist and inventor best known for improvements to the cathode ray tube in 1931 for use in television receivers, manufacture of the first commercially-successful electronic televisions and founder of the first licensed TV network, DuMont Television Network.
- Amanda Lepore, transgender icon who has received attention for her modelling, fashion, partying, and business skills.
- Marty Liquori (born 1949), born and raised in Cedar Grove; competed in the 1968 Summer Olympics in Track and Field. Ranked #5 on the Sports Illustrated list of The 50 Greatest New Jersey Sports Figures.
- C. Edward McVaney (born 1940), co-founder of J.D. Edwards.
- Todd Pettengill, co-host to the WPLJ morning show "the Big Show".
- Michael Uslan (born 1951), originator of the Batman movies and the first professor to teach "Comic Book Folklore" at an accredited university.
- Cedar Grove was once home to the Frank Dailey's Meadowbrook Ballroom, which regularly hosted well-known bands and vocalists, including Buddy Rich, Glenn Miller, Jimmy and Tommy Dorsey, Frank Sinatra, and Jo Stafford. The ballroom, located on the old Pompton Turnpike, still stands, and is used by a local church.
- Cedar Grove is celebrating its 100th year anniversary in 2008.