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Harrison, New Jersey
Town of Harrison
View from Newark
View from Newark
"Beehive of Industry"
Location of Harrison within Hudson County and the state of New Jersey
Location of Harrison within Hudson County and the state of New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Harrison, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Harrison, New Jersey
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Hudson
Incorporated April 13, 1840 (as township)
Reincorporated March 25, 1869 (as town)
Named for William Henry Harrison
 • Type Town
 • Body Town Council
 • Total 1.319 sq mi (3.416 km2)
 • Land 1.203 sq mi (3.116 km2)
 • Water 0.116 sq mi (0.299 km2)  8.76%
Area rank 468th of 566 in state
9th of 12 in county
20 ft (6 m)
 • Total 13,620
 • Estimate 
 • Rank 183rd of 566 in state
9th of 12 in county
 • Density 11,319.3/sq mi (4,370.4/km2)
 • Density rank 25th of 566 in state
9th of 12 in county
Time zone UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC-4 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP code
Area code(s) 973
FIPS code 3401730210
GNIS feature ID 0885245

Harrison is a town in Hudson County, New Jersey, United States. It is a suburb of the nearby city of Newark, New Jersey.

As of the 2010 United States Census, Harrison's population was 13,620, reflecting a decline of 804 (−5.6%) from the 14,424 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 999 (+7.4%) from the 13,425 counted in the 1990 Census. Once considered "the beehive of industry", the town is undergoing a residential renewal, particularly along the Passaic River.


Colonial era – 1840s

The area that is now Harrison was a part of a charter granted to Captain William Sandford of Barbados. New Barbadoes Neck consisted of 30,000 acres (120 km2) and extended north from Newark Bay to present-day Rutherford, between the Passaic and Hackensack Rivers. Sandford sent his nephew, Major Nathanial Kingsland, to enter into an agreement for the purchase the land from the Unami Native Americans, a branch of the Leni Lenape.

In 1755, the first steam engine in North America was set up at the Schuyler Copper Mine in what is now North Arlington to help drain water from the mine.

A road to the Hudson Waterfront was completed in 1750, named for Douwe's Ferry which it met at its eastern end to cross the Haceknsack River. In 1790 the state legislature decided that "public good would be served by a 64-foot road from Paulus Hook to Newark Couthouse". By 1795, a bridge over the Hackensack 950 feet (290 m) long and another over the Passaic 492 feet (150 m) long (at the site of the Bridge Street Bridge) were built creating an uninterrupted toll road connection. It is now known as the Newark Turnpike.

In 1826, the New Jersey Legislature, Lodi Township was formed from the southern portion of New Barbadoes Neck in Bergen County. Since Lodi Township was part of Bergen County, matters dealing with the county government and courts had to be taken to Hackensack.

In 1840, the inhabitants of Lodi Township joined with present-day Secaucus, Bayonne, Jersey City, Hoboken, Weehawken, and Union City and petitioned for the creation of a new county due to the great distance which the petitioners had to travel to reach the county seat in Hackensack. This appeal resulted in the creation of Hudson County and the first mention of Harrison occurs in the law which was passed on April 13, 1840. Harrison Township was thereby established.

The first committee meeting of the Township of Harrison was held on April 16, 1840, and it is widely accepted that Harrison was named for President William Henry Harrison, who was elected that year.

1850s – present day

Union Township was created as of February 19, 1852, from portions of the township and became part of Bergen County.

General N. N. Halstead succeeded in getting the necessary laws passed in Trenton and April 8, 1867, Kearny became a separate Township from land that was a part of Harrison, which included East Newark at the time; East Newark later seceded from Kearny, establishing their own Borough.

On March 25, 1869, Harrison town was incorporated, replacing the township.

While campaigning for re-election in 1912, President William Howard Taft told residents gathered for a rally that "you have reason to be proud of this Hive of Industry", from which was coined the town's motto, "The Beehive of Industry", which is still used today.

The town's proximity to rail lines and a large waterfront made Harrison favorably situated for trade. Some of the industries which called Harrison home included the Edison Lamp Works, Worthington Pump and Machinery, the RCA Company, the Peter Hauck Brewery, Driver-Harris Company, Crucible Steel Company, Otis Elevator, Hartz Mountain, Remco Industries, Nopco Chemical and Hyatt Roller Bearing.

As the U.S. moved into the 20th century, these facilities played a major role in the development of new products for both the private and public sector, peaking during World War II. The small town of about only 14,000 residents had more than 90,000 workers commuting into it on a daily basis. In the 21st century the town is undergoing a transformation from a manufacturing center to a residential and service sector town.


According to the United States Census Bureau, the town had a total area of 1.319 square miles (3.416 km2), including 1.203 square miles (3.116 km2) of land and 0.116 square miles (0.299 km2) of water (8.76%).

Unincorporated communities located partially or completely within Harrison include Manhattan Transfer.

The town borders the municipalities of East Newark and Kearny in Hudson County; and Newark in Essex County.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 1,344
1860 2,556 90.2%
1870 4,129 61.5%
1880 6,898 67.1%
1890 8,328 20.7%
1900 10,596 27.2%
1910 14,498 36.8%
1920 15,721 8.4%
1930 15,601 −0.8%
1940 14,171 −9.2%
1950 13,490 −4.8%
1960 11,743 −13.0%
1970 11,811 0.6%
1980 12,242 3.6%
1990 13,425 9.7%
2000 14,424 7.4%
2010 13,620 −5.6%
Est. 2015 15,474 13.6%
Population sources: 1850–1920
1850–1900 1850–1870
1850 1870 1880–1890
1890–1910 1870–1930
1930–1990> 2000 2010

Census 2010

As of the census of 2010, there were 13,620 people, 4,869 households, and 3,262 families residing in the town. The population density was 11,319.3 per square mile (4,370.4/km2). There were 5,228 housing units at an average density of 4,344.9 per square mile (1,677.6/km2)*. The racial makeup of the town was 58.30% (7,941) White, 2.18% (297) Black or African American, 0.56% (76) Native American, 16.28% (2,217) Asian, 0.01% (2) Pacific Islander, 18.48% (2,517) from other races, and 4.19% (570) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 44.18% (6,017) of the population.

There were 4,869 households out of which 31.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.2% were married couples living together, 15.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.0% were non-families. 22.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.8% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.80 and the average family size was 3.23.

In the town, the population was spread out with 20.8% under the age of 18, 10.9% from 18 to 24, 35.0% from 25 to 44, 24.0% from 45 to 64, and 9.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34.0 years. For every 100 females there were 105.7 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 105.7 males.

Census 2000

As of the 2000 United States Census there were 14,424 people, 5,136 households, and 3,636 families residing in the town. The population density was 11,811.1 people per square mile (4,564.9/km2). There were 5,254 housing units at an average density of 4,302.2 per square mile (1,662.8/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 66.10% White, 0.98% African American, 0.40% Native American, 11.89% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 15.96% from other races, and 4.65% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 36.97% of the population.

As of the 2000 Census, 7.22% of Harrison's residents identified themselves as being of Chinese ancestry. This was the fifth-highest percentage of people with Chinese ancestry in any place in New Jersey with 1,000 or more residents identifying their ancestry.

There were 5,136 households out of which 33.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.8% were married couples living together, 13.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.2% were non-families. 22.5% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.81 and the average family size was 3.27.

In the town, the population was spread out with 21.5% under the age of 18, 10.6% from 18 to 24, 36.8% from 25 to 44, 20.9% from 45 to 64, and 10.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 104.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 101.2 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $41,350, and the median income for a family was $48,489. Males had a median income of $33,069 versus $26,858 for females. The per capita income for the town was $18,490. About 10.1% of families and 12.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 15.5% of those under age 18 and 10.8% of those age 65 or over.


The Harrison Fire Department operates out of a fire station located at 634 Sussex Street and operates a fire apparatus fleet of three engines, one ladder, and several special, support and reserve units. Due to cutbacks, the HFD usually is able to staff one engine with three members and one ladder with three members and one tour commander on duty. The HFD has a table of organization of 29 firefighters. In April 2013, officials from neighboring municipalities and fire departments expressed their frustration at the stresses placed on their firefighters in covering fires in Harrison.

  • Engine 1 (Reserve) 1994 Emergency-One Sentry 1250/750
  • Engine 2 (Reserve) 1994 Emergency-One Sentry 1250/750
  • Engine 3 2006 Emergency-One Typhoon 1500/720/10/30
  • Ladder 1 1991 Duplex/LTI 110' Tillered Aerial
  • Duty Chief 2005 Ford Excursion


As of January 1, 2014, Monmouth Ocean Hospital Service Corporation (MONOC) EMS provides 9-1-1 ambulance service to the city of Harrison and nearby East Newark. As part of the agreement, MONOC pays a $1,500 monthly fee for its use of the firehouse on Cleveland Avenue that had previously been used by Kearny Emergency Management Services.


Roads and highways

As of May 2010, the town had a total of 18.15 miles (29.21 km) of roadways, of which 15.23 miles (24.51 km) were maintained by the municipality, 1.57 miles (2.53 km) by Hudson County and 1.35 miles (2.17 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

By car, Harrison depends on Interstate 280 which runs through town. Westward, I-280 leads to Route 21, the Garden State Parkway, and Interstate 80. Eastward, it leads to Route 7 and the New Jersey Turnpike.

Replacement of Interstate 280's partial access in central Harrison with service roads, a new interchange, and an overpass (to improve access to Harrison Avenue, the PATH station, and Red Bull Arena, and to give north-south passage to local street traffic) is in the planning stages.

Public transportation

The Harrison station on the PATH rapid transit system offers service to Newark, Jersey City, Hoboken and New York City. Built in 1913 and relocated to its present location in 1936, its major reconstruction was approved on March 28, 2012, and was scheduled to run from January 2013 to April 2017. The completion target was tentatively moved to 2018, and settling a required right-of-way renewal with Amtrak may delay the completion further.

The Northeast Corridor, built in the 19th century by the Pennsylvania Railroad and now owned by Amtrak, carries NJ Transit trains, and passes through the city on the same alignment as the PATH. There was a stop on the Northeast Corridor in Harrison, but it was eliminated due to the ease of picking up trains in Newark at Penn Station.

Harrison is served by buses operated by several bus companies. NJ Transit offers service within New Jersey on the 39, 30, 40 and 43 routes.

The closest airport in New Jersey with scheduled passenger service is Newark Liberty International Airport, located 4.8 miles (7.7 km) away in Newark and Elizabeth.

Harrison Waterfront Development Plan

Old and new on the Passaic

The Harrison Waterfront Redevelopment Plan invited developers to submit plans that capitalize on the presence of the Harrison PATH Station and the Passaic River within a 275-acre (1.11 km2) area that covers 35% of the whole town. The Plan seeks to unite the developers' proposals with a design theme that includes motifs from Harrison's industrial, cultural, and environmental history as a means of fostering a new identity for Harrison that provides a variety of mixed-use, transit-oriented, pedestrian-scale development that will make Harrison a regional destination.

Red Bull Arena

Le Red Bull Arena
The waterfront across from Newark has been cleared of industrial buildings and is being redeveloped

After years of delay, Red Bull Arena opened on March 20, 2010, with an exhibition game against the Brazilian club Santos FC. The soccer-specific stadium (SSS) was constructed at a cost of $200 million and has a capacity of approximately 25,000, with a natural grass field, featuring a full wavy translucent European-style roof that covers all of the seats in the stadium but not the field. The stadium sits alongside the Passaic River with a view of the Newark skyline, and is accessible via public transportation at the PATH train stop in Harrison. The stadium is owned and operated by Red Bull GmbH.

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