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Belleville, New Jersey
Township
Township of Belleville
Wesley United Methodist Church
Wesley United Methodist Church
Nickname(s): 
Cherry Blossom Capital of America
Location in Essex County and the state of New Jersey.
Location in Essex County and the state of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Belleville, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Belleville, New Jersey
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Coordinates: 40°47′37″N 74°09′40″W / 40.793481°N 74.161159°W / 40.793481; -74.161159Coordinates: 40°47′37″N 74°09′40″W / 40.793481°N 74.161159°W / 40.793481; -74.161159
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Essex
Incorporated April 8, 1839
Named for French language for "beautiful city"
Government
 • Type Faulkner Act (council–manager)
 • Body Township Council
Area
 • Total 3.37 sq mi (8.71 km2)
 • Land 3.30 sq mi (8.54 km2)
 • Water 0.07 sq mi (0.18 km2)  2.05%
Area rank 319th of 565 in state
14th of 22 in county
Elevation
161 ft (49 m)
Population
 • Total 35,926
 • Estimate 
(2019)
36,497
 • Rank 64th of 566 in state
7th of 22 in county
 • Density 10,755.7/sq mi (4,152.8/km2)
 • Density rank 31st of 566 in state
5th of 22 in county
Time zone UTC– 05:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC– 04:00 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP Code
07109
Area code(s) 862/973
FIPS code 3401304695
GNIS feature ID 1729713

Belleville (French: "Belle ville" meaning "Beautiful city / town") is a township in Essex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the township's population was 35,926, reflecting a decline of 2 (0.0%) from the 35,928 counted in the 2000 Census. The population had increased by 1,715 (+5.0%) from the 34,213 counted in the 1990 Census.

History

Hillside Pleasure Park - Belleville, New Jersey
Hillside Pleasure Park in Belleville, c. 1905

Originally known as "Second River" or "Washington", the inhabitants renamed the settlement "Belleville" in 1797. Belleville was originally incorporated as a township by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on April 8, 1839, from portions of Bloomfield. Portions of the township were taken to create Woodside Township (March 24, 1869, now defunct) and Franklin Township (February 18, 1874, now known as Nutley). The independent municipality of Belleville city was created within the township on March 27, 1874, and was dissolved on February 22, 1876. On November 16, 1910, Belleville was reincorporated as a town, based on the results of a referendum held eight days earlier.

In 1981, the town was one of seven Essex County municipalities to pass a referendum to become a township, joining four municipalities that had already made the change, of what would ultimately be more than a dozen Essex County municipalities to reclassify themselves as townships in order take advantage of federal revenue sharing policies that allocated townships a greater share of government aid to municipalities on a per capita basis.

Frankie Valli and the band The Four Seasons formed in Belleville.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 3.399 square miles (8.805 km2), including 3.340 square miles (8.651 km2) of land and 0.059 square miles (0.154 km2) of water (1.74%).

Silver Lake (2010 total population of 4,243) is an unincorporated community and census-designated place (CDP) defined by the United States Census Bureau as of the 2010 Census that is split between Belleville (with 3,769 of the CDP's residents) and Bloomfield (474 of the total).

Other unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the township include Belwood, Big Tree and Soho.

The Second River forms much of the border between Belleville and Newark as it runs through Branch Brook Park.

The township of Belleville has given itself the nickname the Cherry Blossom Capital of America, with an annual display that is larger than the famed Tidal Basin in Washington, D.C., site of the National Cherry Blossom Festival.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1840 2,466
1850 3,514 42.5%
1860 3,969 12.9%
1870 3,644 −8.2%
1880 3,004 −17.6%
1890 3,487 16.1%
1900 5,987 71.7%
1910 9,891 65.2%
1920 15,660 58.3%
1930 26,974 72.2%
1940 28,167 4.4%
1950 32,019 13.7%
1960 35,005 9.3%
1970 37,629 7.5%
1980 35,367 −6.0%
1990 34,213 −3.3%
2000 35,928 5.0%
2010 35,926 0.0%
2020 38,222 6.4%
Population sources:
1840–1920 1840 1850–1870
1850 1870 1880–1890
1890–1910 1910–1930
1930–1990 2000 2010 2020
* = Lost territory in previous decade.

2010 Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 35,926 people, 13,395 households, and 9,001 families residing in the township. The population density was 10,755.7 per square mile (4,152.8/km2). There were 14,327 housing units at an average density of 4,289.3 per square mile (1,656.1/km2)*. The racial makeup of the township was 60.55% (21,753) White, 9.12% (3,277) Black or African American, 0.35% (126) Native American, 12.00% (4,312) Asian, 0.05% (18) Pacific Islander, 13.97% (5,018) from other races, and 3.96% (1,422) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 39.34% (14,133) of the population.

There were 13,395 households out of which 30.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.3% were married couples living together, 16.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.8% were non-families. 27.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.68 and the average family size was 3.29.

In the township, the population was spread out with 21.7% under the age of 18, 9.2% from 18 to 24, 31.1% from 25 to 44, 26.3% from 45 to 64, and 11.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37.2 years. For every 100 females there were 93.1 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 89.0 males.

The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $60,127 (with a margin of error of +/- $2,658) and the median family income was $69,181 (+/- $4,525). Males had a median income of $46,656 (+/- $2,959) versus $42,237 (+/- $2,818) for females. The per capita income for the township was $27,668 (+/- $1,357). About 3.7% of families and 6.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.0% of those under age 18 and 6.6% of those age 65 or over.

Transportation

Roads and highways

As of May 2010, the township had a total of 67.17 miles (108.10 km) of roadways, of which 57.22 miles (92.09 km) were maintained by the municipality, 6.21 miles (9.99 km) by Essex County and 3.74 miles (6.02 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

Route 7 and New Jersey Route 21 as well as County Route 506 all pass through Belleville. The Belleville Turnpike Bridge (also known as the Rutgers Street Bridge) crosses the Passaic River, connecting Belleville to North Arlington. The bridge was formally renamed on July 4, 2013, as the "Lance Corporal Osbrany Montes de Oca Memorial Bridge" in memory of a United States Marine Corps soldier killed in February 2012 while serving in Afghanistan.

Public transportation

The Silver Lake station provides service to Newark Penn Station on the Newark City Subway.

Until 1966, the Newark Branch of the Erie-Lackawanna Railroad (EL) provided stations at Belleville and Cleveland Street. The New York and Greenwood Lake Railway, later the Boonton Line, also served the township.

NJ Transit bus service is available to and from Newark on the 13, 27, 72, 74, 90, 92, 93 and 94 bus lines.

Places of interest

Dutch Reform Ch military monument Belleville jeh
Military monument, Second River Dutch Church
  • Clara Maass Medical Center is a 469-bed teaching hospital that is part of the Barnabas Health system, founded in 1868 as Newark German Hospital, and named for Clara Maass, a nurse who died after volunteering for medical experiments to study yellow fever
  • Reformed Dutch Church of Second River - The church's original building was constructed in 1697 and replaced in 1725. A new structure was erected in 1807 after a tornado destroyed the previous church building, and the current church dates to 1853. More than 60 Continental Army soldiers are buried in the cemetery that adjoins the church.

1996 Torch Relay

On June 18, 1996, the Olympic Torch Relay came through the township of Belleville. The relay entered Belleville from Rutgers, made a left onto Washington Avenue, passing the Belleville Town Hall, a right onto Belleville Avenue and stayed on Belleville into the township of Bloomfield. The torch relay ended at Atlanta, Georgia for the 1996 Summer Olympics.

Education

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School Number 7
Bellville Middle School 279 Wash Av & Joralemon St cloudy jeh
Bellville Middle School

The Belleville School District serves public school students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. As of the 2017–18 school year, the district, comprised of nine schools, had an enrollment of 4,583 students and 328.5 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 14.0:1. Schools in the district (with 2017–18 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are School 3 (grades K-5; 344 students), School 4 (PreK-5; 319), School 5 (K-5; 351), School 7 (PreK-5; 381), School 8 (K-5; 442), School 9 (K-5; 125), School 10 (K-5; 171), Belleville Middle School (6–8; 973) and Belleville High School (9–12; 1,397).

The Belleville Public Library and Information Center had a collection of 105,452 volumes.

Notable people

People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Belleville include:

  • Platt Adams (1885–1961), winner of gold and silver Olympic medals.
  • Russell Baker (born 1925), Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Growing Up.
  • Chico Borja (born 1959), former professional soccer player.
  • Lonnie G. Bunch III (born 1952), museum director and historian.
  • Gilbert Luis R. Centina III (born 1947), Roman Catholic priest and author.
  • Ralph R. Caputo (born 1940), member of the New Jersey General Assembly who has represented the 28th Legislative District.
  • Kacy Catanzaro (born 1990) is a gymnast noted for being the first woman to qualify for the finals of the television sports challenge American Ninja Warrior.
  • Samuel Cornish (1795–1858), abolitionist and publisher of the first newspaper in the United States owned by African Americans.
  • Bob Crewe (1930–2014), songwriter, dancer, singer, manager, record producer and fine artist best known for producing, and co-writing together with Bob Gaudio, a string of Top 10 singles for The Four Seasons.
  • Robert Curvin (1934–2015), researcher and theorist on issues related to urban poverty.
  • The Delicates, the late 50s / early 60s girl group made up of Denise Ferri, Arleen Lanzotti and Peggy Santiglia Davison.
  • Michael Devaney (1891–1967), track and field athlete who competed in the 1920 Summer Olympics and in the 1924 Summer Olympics, and was part of the team that won the gold medal in 1920 in the 3000 metre steeplechase competition.
  • Tommy DeVito (born 1936), musician and singer.
  • Dennis Diken (born 1957), drummer with The Smithereens.
  • Cornelius Ennis (1813–1899), cotton shipper and railroad executive who served as Mayor of Houston, Texas.
  • Connie Francis (born 1938), singer.
  • Dany Garcia (born 1969), businessperson, professional bodybuilder and film / television producer.
  • Bob Gaudio (born 1942), singer, songwriter and producer.
  • Kay Gardella (1923–2005), reporter, critic and columnist for almost 60 years at the New York Daily News.
  • Frances Goodrich (1890–1984) was an American dramatist and screenwriter, best known for her collaborations with her partner and husband Albert Hackett.
  • Scott Graham (born 1965), Philadelphia Phillies broadcaster.
  • David Grant (born 1965), former NFL player.
  • Phil Grippaldi (born 1946) was an Olympic weightlifter who competed for the United States at the games in 1968, 1972 and 1976.
  • Creighton Gubanich (born 1972), catcher who played professionally in 15 games for the Boston Red Sox in 1999 and had a grand slam as his first career hit and only career home run.
Gen. Lewellyn F. Haskell - NARA - 528379 Restored
Gen. Llewellyn F. Haskell

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