Luxury Homes For Sale in Edgewater New Jersey
History Of Edgwater NJ
Native American people are known to have lived in the vicinity before the arrival of colonists in the 17th century. The Lenape were a local tribe of Native Americans associated with the neighboring borough of Fort Lee. David Pietersz Devries (also transliterated as David Pietersen de Vries), the first European settler, bought 500 acres (202 ha) of land from the Tappan tribe and established the settlement of Vriessendael in what is now Edgewater. A historical plaque placed in Veteran's Field by the Bergen County Historical Society names Vriessendael as the first known colony in Bergen County with a founding date of 1640. Vriessendael was destroyed in 1643 in Kieft's War by Indians reacting to foolish actions by the Director General of the Dutch West India Company, who lived across the river in New Amsterdam, as Manhattan was then known. In pioneer days, River Road was known as the Hackensack Turnpike, and Ox [sic] Hill Road was an important route to the top of the Palisades Cliff. While Oxen Hill Road still exists as a thoroughfare, another Colonial hallmark and major local industry has only recently disappeared: shad fishing. The Undercliff section in the northern section of Edgewater was originally a colony of fishermen. In the 1980s there were still about 100 commercial fishermen in New Jersey harvesting shad from their annual spring run from the Atlantic Ocean up the Hudson River to spawn. Now there are none.
Etienne Burdett began ferry service between north Edgewater and the island of Manhattan in 1758. His gambrel-roofed house in what is now the Edgewater Colony stood until 1899. The ferry service at Burdett's Landing, which was located at the southern base of the bluff of Fort Lee, proved valuable to the American cause during the Revolutionary War. The ferry functioned as the link for supplies, information and transportation between Fort Lee on the New Jersey side of the Hudson River and Fort Washington on the New York side. In the century following the Revolutionary war, north Edgewater developed into a resort area with large hotels built in the mid- and late 19th century. It was in the 19th century that Burdett's Landing became known as "Old Stone Dock", as cobblestones quarried from the Palisades Cliffs by Russell & Read were shipped across the Hudson to fill the demand for paving Manhattan streets. Concern over the destruction caused by quarrying operations led to the formation of the Palisades Interstate Park in 1900, which was effective in preserving the cliffs. Although the first chemical plant was founded in 1843 in the south section of the borough, throughout the 19th century the town retained a bucolic character. Early in the 20th century the addition of landfill to the Hudson River changed the borough's appearance. Until that time, the Hudson River lay closer to River Road from just above Veteran's field southward to what is now the Binghamton Ferry Plaza.
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