D. Stanton Hammond, J.D.
President of the Passaic County Historical Society
as taken from
“Passaic County Centennial Celebration and
Dedication of Administration Building,
June Fifth, Nineteen Hundred Thirty-seven”
Prepared for the program of the Centennial Celebration of Passaic County and the Dedication of the new Administrative Building under the auspices of the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders on June 5th, 1937.
1609 Henry HUDSON discovers, explores, and names the Hudson River
1614 The Dutch settle forts and trading posts on Manhattan Island, now New York City
1660 November – Dutch settle the town of Bergen (now Jersey City, NJ)
1664 English conquer New Netherlands and New Amsterdam becomes New York
1666 New-Ark settled by English Colonists from Connecticut.
1668 Captain Wm. SANDFORD bought New Barbadoes Patent between Passaic and Hackensack Rivers for 7 miles up from Newark Bay.
1669 Captain John BERRY buys Berry Patent for 6 miles further up Passaic River to present Passaic County Line
1678 July 15th – First land in Passaic County bought of the King’s Proprietors. The “Point Patent” of 278 acres adjoining Dundee Island.
1679 March 28 – Lenni Lenape Indians sold the Acquackanonk Patent rights to 14 Dutchmen.
1680 March 5 – Tuesday – First description of Passaic Falls by two missionaries, Jasper DANKERS and Peter SLUYTER.
1686 First Church in Passaic County. The Acquackanonk Dutch Reformed Church (now in Passaic). Rev. Wm. BARTHOLF, first pastor.
1693 Acquackanonk Township organized by law.
1695 November 11th – Arent SCHUYLER and Anthony BROCKHOLLS buy the Pompton Patent.
1701 Gotham and Wesel divisions made of the Acquackanonk Patent
1701 Old York Road laid out from Acquackanonk Landing (at Passaic Park) to Sussex County
1709 November 18 – Deed from the Indians for the Great Ramapo Tract – 42,500 acres for $1,452.
1710 Ponds Dutch Reformed Church probably organized. Met in a log building.
1714 Boght Patent mapped out within city limits of present Paterson
1715 May 1st – Deputy Surveyor John READING, Jr., visited Passaic Falls and makes notes in his Journal (NJ Hist. Soc. Library).
1719 Simeon VAN WINKLE first settler in Paterson near Park Avenue at Passaic River. Capt. Arent SCHUYLER discovered copper mine near Kingsland.
1720 BERDAN and DOREMUS Families settled at Preakness.
1725 Cornelius BOARD settled at Ringwood.
1730 (about) – KANOUSE, SCHULSTER, STRUBEL, and VREELAND families settled in West Milford Township.
1740 Ringwood Company organized by Newark capitalists, buying land from BOARD.
1755 First Reformed Dutch Church at Totowa (now Paterson) organized. Dominie David MARINUS, first pastor.
1755 Abraham GODWIN settled nearby and established first hotel near the Falls
1764 July 5th – Ringwood Company sold out its mines and lands to Peter HASENCLEVER as agent for the American Iron Company of London for 5,000 pounds
1768 October 23rd – First Roman Catholic baptism at Macopin by Rev. Father (Ferdinand) FARMER.
1771 June 5th – Robert ERSKINE arrives in America to superintend the Ringwood Iron Mines for the London Capitalists.
1774 June 25th (Saturday) Protest meeting at Hackensack against Boston Port Bill.
1774 Colonel Theunis DEY named chairman of Committee of Correspondence and Safety.
1775 Committee for Correspondence and Safety elected for Acquackanonk Township. Henry GARRITSE named chairman.
1776 July 4th – Declaration of Independence of U.S.A.
1776 August 27th – Battle of Long Island won by British. WASHINGTON starts across New Jersey.
1776 November 20th – WASHINGTON and retreating Army at Hackensack.
1776 November 21st – WASHINGTON crosses Acquackanonk Bridge (at Passaic) after which John H. POST and band destroy bridge.
1776 November 21st – Capt. Daniel NEIL (of Passaic Park) joins WASHINGTON
1776 November 22nd – WASHINGTON retreats to Newark.
1776 December 25th – Crosses Delaware and wins victory at Battle of Trenton.
1777 January 3rd – WASHINGTON wins Battle of Princeton. Capt. Daniel NEIL killed in battle – only American Officer (from present Passaic County) killed in action in the American Revolution.
1777 January 4th to May – Army winter quarters at Morristown.
1777 July 1st – General SULLIVAN’s Division of American Army at Pompton
1777 July 27th – Robert ERSKINE commissioned Geographer and Surveyor General to the American Army.
1777 September – Colonel Aaron BURR’s raid on Arcola against the British.
1778 July 10th – WASHINGTON and aids visit the Passaic Falls. (MCHENRY’s Journal). The spot is at the SW corner of Hinchliffe Stadium.
1779 August 18th-19th – Major Henry LEE captures British Post at Powles Hook.
1780 June 21st – WASHINGTON moved main army from Short Hills, NJ to Pompton
1780 July 1st to 29th – WASHINGTON at DEY Mansion Headquarters
1780 October 2nd – Robert ERSKINE, the “Forgotten General” died at Ringwood, WASHINGTON there
1780 October 2nd – Execution of Major ANDRE at Tappan.
1780 October 9th to November 27th – WASHINGTON again at DEY Mansion at Preakness. Army encamped along Preakness Mountain.
1780 Marquis DE CHASTELLUX visited WASHINGTON (See Travels in North America.)
1781 January 20th – Mutiny of the Jersey Brigade at Pompton, two ringleaders executed.
1781 August 25th – French army moves through Pompton to join WASHINGTON at Yorktown, Virginia
1783 April 19th – WASHINGTON at Ringwood when armistice of American Revolution was announced to the American Army.
1790 January – Resolution in U.S. Congress asking report from Alexander HAMILTON about need of manufactures in USA.
1791 November 22nd – Charter of S.U.M. (Society for Establishing Useful Manufactures) passed by New Jersey Legislature.
1791 December 5th – Alexander HAMILTON’s famous report to Congress on Manufactures in the U.S.A.
1792 July 4th – 8 a.m. – Meeting of S.U.M. Directors at Passaic Falls under Colonel Alexander HAMILTON, decided to locate “National Manufactory” at Paterson. Major Pierre L’ENFANT’s plans not used and Peter COLT of Connecticut appointed Supt. of S.U.M. Raceways built around the Great Falls for power for mills.
1793 “Bull” Mill first factory in Passaic County on Mill Street, Paterson. Spun and wove cotton.
1793 First Masonic Order in Passaic County called Paterson Orange Lodge.
1794 April – Sarah COLT organized first Sunday School in Passaic County.
1797 Pompton Township organized.
1802 First paper mill in Passaic County erected by Charles KINSEY and Israel CRANE and in 1804 KINSEY invented the process to make endless sheet of paper
1804 Methodist Episcopal circuit riders held church in old Essex Mill.
1807 First Roman Catholic Chapel on Broadway near Mulberry Street.
1809 John CLARK of Scotland built “Little Beaver Mill” – first Passaic County Machine Shop.
1812 “Old Nail Mill” built by Samuel and Roswell I. COLT; latter was elected Governor of S.U.M. in 1814 and served until death in 1856. Many mills started in Paterson particularly.
1815 First Bank of Passaic County, named “The Paterson Bank,” Failed in 1829.
1816 Passaic County’s first newspaper “The Paterson Bee.” Lasted 1 year.
1820 Methodist Episcopal Church incorporated. Church met on Cross Street and completed building in May, 1837, where County Courts met for two years before new Court House was built.
1821 S.U.M. gave plot to build St. John’s R.C. Church.
1821 Phoenix Flax Mill for linen sail cloth organized by John TRAVERSE.
1821 Godwin, Rogers & Co. establish machine shop.
1824 First Baptist Church organized and converts immersed in Passaic River at foot of Mulberry Street, Paterson
1825 Horatio MOSES put up his “Brass Dog” as advertisement over his brass and tine shop. Relic now in Lambert Castle Museum of the Passaic County Historical Society.
1825 Cotton Bleachery at Clifton run by John NIGHTINGALE, moved to Paterson in 1830.
1825 “Paterson Intelligencer” started and lasted as a newspaper 31 years (to 1856).
1827 John COLT made first cotton duck in the world for sails, etc.
1827 April 7th – First Free Public School in Passaic County – opened July 2, 1827
1831 Paterson Township organized by law.
1831 Rogers, Ketchum & Grosvenor Co. organized as machine works.
1832 Paterson & Hudson River R.R. opened for service.
1832 Dundee Water Power & Land Co. organized. Took 30 years to build Dundee Dam.
1834 West Milford Township organized by law.
1835 May 19th – First locomotive built by Paul & Beggs at Paterson destroyed by fire before used.
1836 The “McNeill” first locomotive brought to Paterson in pieces, studied by Thomas ROGERS and Wm. SWINBURNE.
1836 The “Passaic Guardian” first published.
1836 The “Gun Mill” built by Samuel COLT for manufacture of revolving firearms.
1837 February 7th – Passaic County established by act of N.J. Legislature April 11th date set for courts and officers. Manchester Township organized by same law.
1837 April 25th First term of Court began
1837 May 11th – First Meeting of Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders met in hotel of Jacob RUTAN (lately Barney I. SPEER’s).
1837 July 12th – Thomas ROGERS filed first patent on locomotives in U.S. Patent Office.
1837 October 6th – “Sandusky,” first Passaic County built locomotive, ran successful trail to New Brunswick and back, later shipped to Ohio.
1839 May 8th – First Freeholders Meeting in new Passaic County court House.
1839 First silk mill in Passaic County started by Christopher COLT. Bought out in November, 1839 by George W. MURRAY with John RYLE as superintendent.
1842 John RYLE set up battery of silk looms.
1845 First Colored M.E. Church organized.
1846 John and William RYLE bought out George MURRAY and started as silk manufactures.
1847 Wayne Township organized.
1847 First Jewish Congregation organized “The Congregation of B’Nai Jeshurun.”
1847 First Gas Works – Paterson Gaslight Co.
1847 Charles Danforth & Co. organized to manufacture machinery.
1848 Ivanhoe Paper Mill erected in Paterson by Henry V. BUTLER.
1849 Passaic County Water Co. – First Water Works.
1850 January 9th – Passaic County’s first murder. County Judge John S. VAN WINKLE by farmhand, John JOHNSON, white man.
1850 March 5th – First Murder Indictment by Grand Jury
1850 March 9th – First Murder Trial
1850 March 11th – First Murder conviction.
1850 April 30th – First Hanging in Passaic County. Sheriff Nathaniel LANE carried out the execution
1851 City of Paterson incorporated.
1851 Watson Machine Co. organized
1853 Dexter, Lambert Co. organized. Silk manufactures.
1853 March 8th – First Locomotive finished by Danforth Works.
1854 and 1855 – Manchester village annexed to Paterson City. County Jail rebuilt on Main Street, Paterson.
1855 April – Hamil & Booth silk firm organized. Todd and Rafferty organized. Important machinists.
1860 First velvet woven in Passaic County by John FLETCHER of Paterson
1861 April 23rd – Passaic County’s first public meeting about Civil War held at City Hall, Paterson. National Guard reorganized that evening in Derrom’s Hall. First Brigade of NJ Volunteers mustered into three years service.
1862 September 17th – Capt. Hugh C. IRISH killed in Battle of Antietam.
1862 John ROYLE started machine shop.
1863 September 19th – “Paterson Press” first published.
1863 Paterson Horse R.R. Co. – First street cars in Passaic County
1863 Passaic Rolling Mills started. In 1868 were bought by Watts Cooke and brothers, later building NY Elevated Railroad from Battery to Central Park.
1864 Barbour Flax Spinning Co. organized, buying their present plant in 1877.
1864 January 29th – First National Bank at Paterson was first of its kind in Passaic County.
1865 Dale Manufacturing Co. started. Built Dale Mill. Manhattan Shirt Mills started on River Street, Paterson.
1867 St. Joseph’s Hospital founded by Sisters of Charity, first in County.
1867 Grant Locomotive Works started.
1867 First silk Dye Shop in Passaic Co. started by Claude GREPPO.
1868 Little Falls Township organized.
1868 Wm. Strange & Co. started silk mill
1869 March 10th – R & H Adams Harmony Cotton Mill Fire – Loss $100,000.
1870 St. John’s R.C. Church dedicated at Main and Grand Streets, Paterson
1871 February 1st – First High School in Passaic County opened in School No. 6, Paterson
1871 April 10th – Paterson Ladies’ (General) Hospital opened.
1872 “Passaic City Herald” started as newspaper.
1872 George MORLOT established silk dyeing plant in Paterson
1873 Panic of 1873.
1873 “City of Passaic” incorporated. Had been a village since 1868. Benjamin EASTWOOD started manufacturing silk machinery.
1877 August 1st – “Passaic City Daily News” started as a daily paper.
1877 Jacob WEIDMANN in partnership with Claude GREPPO, later establishing Weidmann Silk Dyeing Co. in 1882.
1878 John Philip HOLLAND builds first successful submarine. Trials made in Passaic River above Falls. Submarine abandoned on bank and dug up in 1927. Now in Paterson City Museum.
1880 May 2nd – Sunday – Garret Mountain Riot.
1883 Terrible Smallpox Plague in Passaic County, particularly Paterson.
1885 “Paterson Morning Call” started.
1890 “Paterson Evening News” started
1892 July 4th – Centennial Celebration of S.U.M. and founding of City of Paterson
1895 Borough of Pompton Lakes organized by law.
1896 November Election – Garret A. HOBART of Paterson, elected Vice President as running mate of Wm. MCKINLEY, President of the U.S.A.
1898 Borough of Hawthorne and Totowa incorporated by law.
1898 May 2nd – Passaic County National Guardsmen arrived at Sea Girt, NJ for the Spanish American War.
1901 Borough of Prospect Park and North Haledon incorporated by law.
1902 February 8, 9, and 10th – Great Paterson Fire.
1902 March 2nd – Great Flood of Passaic River doing millions in damage.
1903 October 10th – Great Floor of Passaic River
1908 Borough of Haledon incorporated by law.
1913 Silk Strikes in Paterson
1917 City of Clifton incorporated by law.
1917 Passaic County Militia merged mainly in the 29th Division, Blue and Gray, of the A.F.F. Passaic County furnished over 16,000 men for the various branches of the U.S. Army and Navy.
1918 Boroughs of Bloomingdale, Ringwood, and Wanaque incorporated by law.
1918 West Milford the only original township left in Passaic County.
1926 March – Passaic County Historical Society incorporated.
1926 July 3rd – Passaic County Park Commission appointed for preliminary study.
1926 Wright Aeronautical Corporation came to Paterson
1927 May 20th – LINDBERG flew Wright Motor in his airplane, Spirit of St. Louis, in NY to Paris flight solo.
1927 November 8th – Referendum adopts Passaic County Park System. Now has 1,200 acres in five parks; Garret Mountain with Lambert Castle, Goffle Brook, Weasel Brook, Preakness Valley with Dey Mansion, and Pompton Aquatic Parks.
1929 Valley View Hospital established by Passaic County
1934 October 8th – DEY Mansion WASHINGTON’s Headquarters dedicated as Revolutionary War shrine by Passaic County Park Commissioners, and Passaic County Historical Society establishes Library and Museum in Lambert castle.
1936 Passaic County Welfare Home dedicated
1937 June 5th – Centennial Celebration of Passaic County. Former U.S. Post Office of Paterson rebuilt and dedicated as Passaic County Administrative Building and annexed to Passaic County Court House.
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