kids encyclopedia robot

Caldwell, New Jersey facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts
Quick facts for kids
Caldwell, New Jersey
Borough of Caldwell
Grover Cleveland Birthplace Historic Site
Grover Cleveland Birthplace Historic Site
Location in Essex County and the state of New Jersey.
Location in Essex County and the state of New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Caldwell, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Caldwell, New Jersey
Caldwell, New Jersey is located in Essex County, New Jersey
Caldwell, New Jersey
Caldwell, New Jersey
Location in Essex County, New Jersey
Caldwell, New Jersey is located in New Jersey
Caldwell, New Jersey
Caldwell, New Jersey
Location in New Jersey
Caldwell, New Jersey is located in the United States
Caldwell, New Jersey
Caldwell, New Jersey
Location in the United States
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Essex
Incorporated February 10, 1892
Named for James Caldwell
 • Type Borough
 • Body Borough Council
 • Total 1.18 sq mi (3.05 km2)
 • Land 1.18 sq mi (3.05 km2)
 • Water <0.01 sq mi (<0.01 km2)  0.08%
Area rank 490th of 565 in state
22nd of 22 in county
397 ft (121 m)
 • Total 7,822
 • Estimate 
 • Rank 294th of 566 in state
17th of 22 in county
 • Density 6,710.3/sq mi (2,590.9/km2)
 • Density rank 69th of 566 in state
8th of 22 in county
Time zone UTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP Codes
Area code(s) 973
FIPS code 3401309250
GNIS feature ID 2381010

Caldwell is a borough located in northwestern Essex County, New Jersey, about 16 miles (26 km) west of New York City and 6 miles (9.7 km) north-west of Newark. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 7,822, reflecting an increase of 238 (+3.1%) from the 7,584 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 35 (+0.5%) from the 7,549 counted in the 1990 Census.

Caldwell was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 10, 1892, from portions of Caldwell Township (now Fairfield Township), based on the results of a referendum held on the previous day. In 1981, the borough's name was changed to the "Township of the Borough of Caldwell", as 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. Effective January 26, 1995, it again became a borough.

Grover Cleveland, the 22nd and 24th President of the United States, and the only president to serve two non-consecutive terms, was born in Caldwell on March 18, 1837. His father, Rev. Richard Falley Cleveland, was pastor of the First Presbyterian Church. The Grover Cleveland birthplace—the church's former manse—is now a museum and is open to the public.

Though today the Caldwell area is considered to be a suburb of both Newark and New York City, the area originally developed as its own individual, self-contained community and economy rather than as urban sprawl from a larger city. When it was formed, miles of woods separated downtown Caldwell from Newark or any of its developing suburbs.

New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Caldwell as its third-best place to live in its 2010 rankings of the "Best Places To Live" in New Jersey.


In 1702, settlers purchased the 14,000 acres (57 km2) Horseneck Tract 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. Caldwell is located in the center of the Horse Neck Tract. Settlement began about 1740 by Thomas Gould and Saunders Sanders.

The Horseneck Tract consisted of modern-day Caldwell, West Caldwell, North Caldwell, Fairfield, Verona, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Roseland, and portions of Livingston and West Orange. This land was part of the larger purchase and had been referred to as the Horse Neck Tract until February 17, 1787, when the town congregation voted to change the name to Caldwell, in honor of the Reverend James Caldwell who pushed for their organization's creation.

Caldwell Township contained what is today the towns of West Caldwell and Caldwell. Soon after, the area of Caldwell Township just to the east of Caldwell Borough between Caldwell Borough and Montclair (present-day Verona and Cedar Grove) decided to follow Caldwell's lead and incorporated itself as its own borough, Verona. Some of the already developed eastern neighborhoods of Caldwell Township chose to become part of Montclair, as it was a rapidly developing suburb of Newark and Paterson. At around the same time, the area north of Caldwell Borough became its own town, North Caldwell. The wooded area directly to the south of downtown Caldwell Borough became Essex Fells. Meanwhile, the farmland to the south of the western portion of Caldwell township attempted to become its own municipality known as South Caldwell. This failed, as much of developed sections of that area lied on its southernmost and easternmost borders, along the expanding Newark suburbs of Livingston and West Orange respectively. Those areas were engulfed by those two towns once they became incorporated municipalities of several small villages and developments.

This left only the most rural farmland south of Caldwell Borough and Essex Fells to become its own township, Roseland. At this point, all that remained of the original Caldwell Township was a large piece of undeveloped land in the northwestern-most part of Essex County. In 1963, Caldwell Township changed its name to Fairfield in order to avoid being confused with Caldwell Borough.

Immediately following the separation of the original Caldwell, the western part of Caldwell Borough generally remained less developed than downtown Caldwell Borough and contained several farms and a large area of undeveloped swampland known as Hatfield Swamp. However, two individual settlements, known as Franklin and Westville, soon formed in the western part of Caldwell Borough. As development increased and population grew in the western part of Caldwell, the town's more rural western population and more urban east often could not reconcile their differences. This led to the areas of Franklin and Westville consolidating into their own township known as West Caldwell in 1904, leaving only the one square mile of original downtown Horseneck development as the borough of Caldwell. Lewis G. Lockward was elected the first mayor of Caldwell. In 1929, a failed attempt to consolidate the three Caldwells was rejected by voters.

This borough was one of the filming locations for the Columbia Pictures 1994 comedy film North.

Historical facts

  • George Washington and his staff made their way through the community during the Revolution. They stopped at the old stone house of Saunders Sanders (located near present-day Brookside Avenue), one of the two people to settle the original area, for lunch.
  • Marquis de Lafayette visited in 1824, featuring a celebration party at the Crane Tavern.
  • During the 1928 Presidential campaign, Herbert Hoover visited the Grover Cleveland Birthplace with his wife.
  • Grover Cleveland lived the first four years of his life in Caldwell.
  • In October 1897, a severe fire ripped through a large portion of Bloomfield Avenue, destroying buildings in its wake. These buildings were replaced, in part, by the Hasler Building, opposite the Presbyterian Church. This became Caldwell's first brick building.
  • In 1914, during a Fourth of July fireworks celebration, a bomb fell, injuring 20 people. Local churches raised funds to defray the medical bills of the injured.
  • In 1968, Caldwell's historic cannon was stolen off the town green. The cannon had been given to the borough by Colonel Peter Decatur in 1824. A replica was constructed and was placed at the site.
  • On July 14, 1974, the landmark Park Theatre was destroyed by fire.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 1.167 square miles (3.023 km2), including 1.166 square miles (3.019 km2) of land and 0.001 square miles (0.004 km2) of water (0.12%).

Caldwell is part of "The Caldwells", the group of three Essex County municipalities which all have the word Caldwell in their name. Together with North Caldwell and West Caldwell, these communities are named after the Reverend James Caldwell, a Patriot who played an active role supporting the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War, most notably his actions at the Battle of Springfield, where he gave the soldiers pages from hymn books to use as wadding for their rifle bullets. While each community has its own independent government, and the three municipalities have no shared governance (other than Essex County), the term is often used to refer to the area, including on highway exit signs. Signage for Exit 47B and 52 on Interstate 80 refer to "The Caldwells" as a destination. Fairfield Township was known as Caldwell Township until it abandoned its original name in 1963 in an effort to avoid confusion of mail distribution in the various Caldwells.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1900 1,367
1910 2,236 63.6%
1920 3,776 68.9%
1930 5,144 36.2%
1940 4,932 −4.1%
1950 6,270 27.1%
1960 6,942 10.7%
1970 8,677 25.0%
1980 7,624 −12.1%
1990 7,549 −1.0%
2000 7,584 0.5%
2010 7,822 3.1%
2020 9,027 15.4%
Population sources: 1900–1920
1900–1910 1910–1930
1930–1990 2000 2010 2020

In a report performed by the United Way of Northern New Jersey based on 2012 data, around 34% of Caldwell households were classified as "Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed" households (below a threshold of $50,000 for households below 65, below $35,000 for those over 65), struggling with basic necessities, such as housing, childcare, food, health care, and transportation, compared to 38% statewide and 47% in Essex County.

Census 2010

As of the census of 2010, there were 7,822 people, 3,359 households, and 1,797 families residing in the borough. The population density was 6,710.3 per square mile (2,590.9/km2). There were 3,510 housing units at an average density of 3,011.1 per square mile (1,162.6/km2)*. The racial makeup of the borough was 86.78% (6,788) White, 3.32% (260) Black or African American, 0.10% (8) Native American, 4.72% (369) Asian, 0.04% (3) Pacific Islander, 3.14% (246) from other races, and 1.89% (148) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 10.05% (786) of the population.

There were 3,359 households out of which 23.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.3% were married couples living together, 9.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 46.5% were non-families. 39.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.19 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the borough, the population was spread out with 18.5% under the age of 18, 11.1% from 18 to 24, 27.8% from 25 to 44, 26.5% from 45 to 64, and 16.1% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.4 years. For every 100 females there were 87.9 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 85.5 males.

The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $76,354 (with a margin of error of +/− $7,683) and the median family income was $99,898 (+/− $10,668). Males had a median income of $75,026 (+/− $12,328) versus $61,667 (+/− $20,342) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $45,693 (+/− $4,350). About 1.1% of families and 2.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.7% of those under age 18 and 5.7% of those age 65 or over.


2018-07-18 16 45 17 View east along Essex County Route 506 (Bloomfield Avenue) at Essex County Route 631 (Central Avenue) in Caldwell, Essex County, New Jersey
View east along CR 506 in Caldwell

Roads and highways

As of May 2010, the borough had a total of 18.41 miles (29.63 km) of roadways, of which 14.77 miles (23.77 km) were maintained by the municipality and 3.64 miles (5.86 km) by Essex County.

County Route 506 is the most significant roadway in Caldwell.

Public transportation

NJ Transit offers bus service to and from Caldwell on the 29 and 71 routes.

Commuter train service had been offered at Caldwell station on the Caldwell Branch, which ran from Great Notch to Essex Fells, with service offered starting in 1891. The borough of Caldwell bought the station in 1965 from the Erie Lackawanna Railway and demolished it later that year. Service at Caldwell station ended in October 1966, when Erie Lackawanna discontinued several commuter lines, in the face of unsuccessful legal action in the courts to keep the service operating. In 1979, the tracks on the Caldwell Branch were torn up.


The Caldwell-West Caldwell Public Schools is a public school district that serves students from Caldwell and West Caldwell. The roots of the district date back to 1872, though formal consolidation of the districts was established in 1904. As of the 2017–18 school year, the district, comprised of six schools, had an enrollment of 2,655 students and 218.8 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.1:1. Students are enrolled in an elementary school based on their home location, and students attend one middle school and one high school. Schools in the district (with 2017-18 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Harrison School (West Caldwell; 42 students; grades K-PreK), Jefferson Elementary School (West Caldwell; 274; K-5), Lincoln Elementary School (Caldwell; 247; K-5), Washington Elementary School (West Caldwell; 366; K-5), Wilson Elementary School (West Caldwell; 240; K-5), Grover Cleveland Middle School (Caldwell; 626; 6-8) and James Caldwell High School (West Caldwell; 812; 9-12).

The Essex County Vocational Technical Schools offers magnet school and vocational programs to students in eighth through twelfth grades from Caldwell and all of Essex County.

Private schools in Caldwell include Trinity Academy for grades PreK-8 which was founded in 1991 and Mount Saint Dominic Academy for grades 9–12, which both operate under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark. In 2015, Trinity Academy was one of 15 schools in New Jersey, and one of six private schools, recognized as a National Blue Ribbon School in the exemplary high performing category by the United States Department of Education.

The borough is home to Caldwell University, a catholic liberal arts college with 2,200 students. The West Essex Campus of Essex County College is located in West Caldwell.

Notable people

Grover Cleveland birthplace01
Cleveland's birthplace, in Caldwell, New Jersey
See also (related category): People from Caldwell, New Jersey

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

  • Madeline Cox Arleo (born 1963), United States District Judge of the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.
  • Alfred M. Best (1876–1958), actuary who founded A. M. Best Company, Inc. in 1899.
  • Whitey Campbell (1926-2015), head baseball coach at the University of Miami in 1958 and from 1960 to 1962.
  • Grover Cleveland (1837–1908), 22nd and 24th President of the United States.
  • Janine di Giovanni (born 1961), war correspondent.
  • Herbert O. Fisher (1909–1990), test pilot for Curtiss-Wright, executive at Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
  • Frank Handlen (born 1916), artist.
  • J. Henry Harrison (1878–1943), lawyer and politician who represented Essex County in the New Jersey Senate.
  • Gerald Henderson Jr. (born 1987), NBA basketball player for the Charlotte Bobcats.
  • Ka Kwong Hui (1922–2003), potter, ceramist and educator.
  • Camryn Manheim (born 1961), actress.
  • Kareem McKenzie (born 1979), offensive tackle for the NFL's New York Giants.
  • George DeGraw Moore, (1822–1891), Wisconsin State Senator and New Jersey jurist, was born in Caldwell.
  • Elizaveta Pletneva (born 2002), rhythmic gymnast who will represent the United States at the 2020 Summer Olympics.
  • Stuart Rabner (born 1960), Chief Justice of the New Jersey Supreme Court.
  • Steve Schindler (born 1954), guard who played in the NFL for the Denver Broncos.
  • Richard E. Stearns (born 1936), computer scientist.
  • Peter Stewart, former mayor of Caldwell who served as an Essex County Freeholder and in the New Jersey General Assembly.
  • Johnny Sylvester (1915–1990), childhood home of boy promised by Babe Ruth that he would hit a home run in the 1926 World Series.
  • Calvin Thomas (1885–1964), actor.
  • Claude Thornhill (1908–1965), pianist, arranger, composer and bandleader in the big band era.
  • Gus Troxler (c. 1871-1945), strong man, boxer, actor, sports promoter and physical-training expert.
  • Martin Wenick (1939–2020), employee of the United States Department of State who served as head of the National Council for Soviet Jewry.
  • Andy White (1930–2015), British session drummer who made three records with The Beatles, including Love Me Do.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Caldwell (Nueva Jersey) para niños

National Hispanic Heritage Month on Kiddle
Famous Hispanic artists
Alma López
Juana Martinez-Neal
William Villalongo
Teresita Fernández
kids search engine
Caldwell, New Jersey Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.