Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey facts for kids
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Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey
|Borough of Ho-Ho-Kus|
The Ho-Ho-Kus Brook flowing through downtown Ho-Ho-Kus
Map highlighting Ho-Ho-Kus's location within Bergen County. Inset: Bergen County's location within New Jersey
|Incorporated||March 8, 1905 (as Orvil)|
|Reincorporated||October 12, 1908 (as Ho-Ho-Kus)|
|• Body||Borough Council|
|• Total||1.75 sq mi (4.53 km2)|
|• Land||1.74 sq mi (4.51 km2)|
|• Water||0.01 sq mi (0.03 km2) 0.63%|
|Area rank||425th of 565 in state
53rd of 70 in county
|Elevation||121 ft (37 m)|
| • Estimate
|• Rank||409th of 566 in state
63rd of 70 in county
|• Density||2,350.3/sq mi (907.5/km2)|
|• Density rank||259th of 566 in state
54th of 70 in county
|Time zone||UTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))|
|GNIS feature ID||0885258|
Ho-Ho-Kus is a borough in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 census, the borough's population was 4,078, reflecting an increase of 18 (+0.4%) from the 4,060 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 125 (+3.2%) from the 3,935 counted in the 1990 Census. The borough is the home of several historical landmarks, including the Ho-Ho-Kus Inn and The Hermitage.
Ho-Ho-Kus was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on October 12, 1908, from what had originally been the borough of Orvil, which was in turn created on March 8, 1905, from portions of Orvil Township.
As of the 2000 United States Census, Ho-Ho-Kus was the 15th-wealthiest community in New Jersey with a per capita money income of $63,594 as of 1999, an increase of 36.9% from the $46,451 recorded in 1989. The borough's median household income was $165,827 in 2013. In 2011, New Jersey Monthly magazine named Ho-Ho-Kus the best place to live in the state of New Jersey, citing its affluence, low crime rate and the quality of its school system, as well as its proximity to New York City and other major commercial destinations.
History of the name
The meaning of the name Ho-Ho-Kus is in dispute. From the official history on the borough's website, the most likely origin is a contraction of the Delaware Indian term "Mah-Ho-Ho-Kus" (or "Mehokhokus"), meaning "the red cedar."
Other meanings have been suggested over the years and are listed on the borough's website, including an Indian word for running water, a cleft in the rock or under the rock or hollow rock, the word "hohokes", signifying the whistle of the wind against the bark of trees, the Chihohokies Indians whose chief lived here, the Dutch Hoog Akers for "high acorns" or Hoge Aukers, Dutch for "high oaks", the Indian word hoccus meaning "fox", or woakus, "gray fox", or that the "Ho" part means joy or spirit, and the rest of the name from "hohokes," meaning a kind of bark of a tree.
Ho-Ho-Kus versus Hohokus
A constant source of confusion has been the manner in which the borough's name has been spelled, with each syllable capitalized and separated by hyphens. The confusion is only exacerbated by the existence of Hohokus Township, which comprised the area of present-day Ho-Ho-Kus and other surrounding communities, yet was spelled without the multiple capitalization or the hyphens. Ho-Ho-Kus is served by interchange 168 on the Garden State Parkway which spells the municipality as "Hohokus" on its exit signing.
The name "Ho-Ho-Kus" was used explicitly in the resolution requesting a change of name passed by the Borough Council on October 12, 1908 and submitted to the Secretary of State of New Jersey requesting "That the Borough now known as the Borough of Orvil be hereafter known as the Borough of Ho-Ho-Kus..."
A few theories have been offered for the hyphens and capitalization. One is that it was intended to differentiate between the borough and Hohokus Township, which was formed on April 9, 1849, and continued to exist until November 7, 1944, when a referendum was passed changing the name to present-day Mahwah. Another explanation was that it was meant to avoid confusion by postal clerks with mail being sent to Hoboken.
While efforts had been made in the ensuing decades to change the name or to alter the way in which the name of the borough is spelled, the borough remains as "Ho-Ho-Kus."
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 1.749 square miles (4.530 km2), including 1.735 square miles (4.494 km2) of land and 0.014 square miles (0.036 km2) of water (0.80%).
As of the census of 2010, there were 4,078 people, 1,401 households, and 1,154 families residing in the borough. The population density was 2,350.3 per square mile (907.5/km2). There were 1,462 housing units at an average density of 842.6 per square mile (325.3/km2)*. The racial makeup of the borough was 92.03% (3,753) White, 0.22% (9) Black or African American, 0.07% (3) Native American, 5.79% (236) Asian, 0.00% (0) Pacific Islander, 0.39% (16) from other races, and 1.50% (61) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 4.12% (168) of the population.
There were 1,401 households out of which 40.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 74.2% were married couples living together, 6.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.6% were non-families. 15.5% of all households were made up of individuals, and 9.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.91 and the average family size was 3.26.
In the borough, the population was spread out with 29.3% under the age of 18, 4.6% from 18 to 24, 18.8% from 25 to 44, 31.5% from 45 to 64, and 16.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 43.3 years. For every 100 females there were 95.5 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 89.7 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $155,030 (with a margin of error of +/− $14,301) and the median family income was $157,202 (+/− $13,820). Males had a median income of $93,750 (+/− $26,877) versus $83,636 (+/− $27,361) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $67,238 (+/− $11,693). About 1.9% of families and 1.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.6% of those under age 18 and 6.3% of those age 65 or over.
Same-sex couples headed 8 households in 2010, unchanged from 2000.
As of the 2000 United States Census there were 4,060 people, 1,433 households, and 1,199 families residing in the borough. The population density was 2,331.1 people per square mile (900.9/km2). There were 1,465 housing units at an average density of 841.2 per square mile (325.1/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 92.66% White, 0.59% African American, 0.10% Native American, 5.22% Asian, 0.20% Pacific Islander, 0.37% from other races, and 0.86% from two or more races. 1.97% of the population were Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There were 1,433 households, out of which 38.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 76.6% were married couples living together, 6.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 16.3% were non-families. Of all households 14.6% were made up of individuals, and 7.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.82 and the average family size was 3.11.
In the borough the population was spread out, with 27.5% under the age of 18, 3.3% from 18 to 24, 26.6% from 25 to 44, 27.3% from 45 to 64, and 15.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.2 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $129,900, and the median income for a family was $144,588. Males had a median income of $92,573 versus $54,091 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $63,594. Of the population 2.1% of the people and 2.6% of families were below the poverty line. Of those 0.7% under the age of 18 and 1.6% of those 65 and older were living below the poverty line.
Ho-Ho-Kus is primarily an upper-class and upper-middle class suburb of New York City, ranking 15th in the state of New Jersey in terms of per-capita income. According to the Forbes 2010 survey of the most expensive ZIP codes in America, Ho-Ho-Kus ranked 268th nationally, with a median home price of $901,841.
The Ho-Ho-Kus School District is classified in District Factor Group "J," the highest of eight categories, in both the 2000 and 1990 rankings. District Factor Groups are used in the state of New Jersey to rank school districts according to common socioeconomic characteristics. Northern Highlands Regional High School, which receives students from Ho-Ho-Kus, Allendale, Upper Saddle River, and part of Saddle River, is placed in the same category.
In popular culture
- Various scenes of the movie Lymelife were filmed in Ho-Ho-Kus in March 2008.
- Scenes from Far from Heaven and Analyze That were shot in Ho-Ho-Kus.
- The 1917 version of the film Polly of the Circus included scenes shot at the Racetrack; also filmed at the Racetrack was The Crowd Roars starring James Cagney.
- The Andrews Sisters launched a comical song called "Ho-Ho-Kus, N.J." in 1948 which included a visit to the borough.
- In the novel Just One Look by Harlan Coben, part of the action takes place in Ho-Ho-Kus. The borough is also mentioned in Long Lost by the same author.
- An animated Sesame Street skit involved a man called Uncle Gus "and all of us" (a group of kids, of which the narrator, Sonia Manzano, was a part) taking a ride on a bus to Ho-Ho-Kus. The back of the bus had a hippopotamus and a snuffleupagus. As the skit was written back when Mr. Snuffleupagus was still "imaginary" to the adults on the street, the kids naturally saw both animals, but Uncle Gus could see only the hippo.
Points of interest
- The Hermitage, site of Aaron Burr's marriage, listed on the National Register of Historic Places
- The Ho-Ho-Kus Inn (also known as Ho-Ho-Kus Inn & Tavern), is a historic landmark that is currently a restaurant.
Roads and highways
As of May 2010[update], the borough had a total of 26.52 miles (42.68 km) of roadways, of which 19.50 miles (31.38 km) were maintained by the municipality, 6.01 miles (9.67 km) by Bergen County and 1.01 miles (1.63 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
Route 17, County Route 507, and County Route 502 travel through Ho-Ho-Kus.
Ho-Ho-Kus can also be accessed via exit 168 on the Garden State Parkway in neighboring Washington Township.
Ho-Ho-Kus is served by NJ Transit at the Ho-Ho-Kus station, which is located at Brookside Avenue and 1st Street, one block from Franklin Turnpike. The station provides service on both the Bergen County Line and Main Line, which run north–south to Hoboken Terminal with connections via the Secaucus Junction transfer station to NJ Transit New York Penn Station and to other NJ Transit rail service. Connections are available at the Hoboken Terminal to other NJ Transit rail lines, the PATH train at the Hoboken PATH station, New York Waterways ferry service to the World Financial Center and other destinations and Hudson-Bergen Light Rail service.
Short Line provides service between the borough and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan from a stop at Route 17 and Hollywood Avenue, with limited service offered at a stop at Franklin Turnpike and Maple Avenue.
The Ho-Ho-Kus School District serves public school students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade at Ho-Ho-Kus Public School. As of the 2018–19 school year, the district, comprised of one school, had an enrollment of 599 students and 46.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.0:1. The school population increased more than 200 students in the decade through 2008.
Local secondary school students in public school attend Northern Highlands Regional High School in nearby Allendale, which serves students in the ninth through twelfth grades grades from Allendale, Ho-Ho-Kus, Upper Saddle River and some students from Saddle River, as part of sending/receiving relationships with the Ho-Ho-Kus district. As of the 2019–20 school year, the high school had an enrollment of 1,400 students and 111.9 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.5:1. New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Northern Highlands Regional High School as the 22nd-best high school of the 328 ranked schools in New Jersey in its 2012 rankings of the "Top Public High Schools" after being ranked 6th of 322 schools in 2010. The ten voting seats on the high school district's board of education are allocated based on a percentage of the enrollment coming from each constituent municipality, with one seat allocated to Ho-Ho-Kus.
After ending a long-standing sending relationship to Ridgewood High School in the mid-1970s, Ho-Ho-Kus students started attending Midland Park High School. The small size of the Midland Park school and the lack of electives led to efforts in the mid-1990s to find another high school to serve students from the borough. Since then, high school students from Ho-Ho-Kus have been attending Northern Highlands Regional High School. The send / receive agreement between Ho-Ho-Kus and Northern Highlands began in the 1990s. In 2016, the Ho-Ho-Kus and Northern Highlands districts reached an agreement to extend the send / receive agreement through 2026 under a fixed-price contract by which Ho-Ho-Kus would pay $3.6 million for the 2016–17 school year, escalating by 2% a year to $4.3 million in 2025–26, regardless of the number of students from the borough sent to the high school.
Public school students from the borough, and all of Bergen County, are eligible to attend the secondary education programs offered by the Bergen County Technical Schools, which include the Bergen County Academies in Hackensack, and the Bergen Tech campus in Teterboro or Paramus. The district offers programs on a shared-time or full-time basis, with admission based on a selective application process and tuition covered by the student's home school district.
The borough is home to the Ho-Ho-Kus Waldwick Cooperative Nursery School.
People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Ho-Ho-Kus include:
- Aaron Burr (1756–1836), third Vice President of the United States, was married at The Hermitage and briefly lived there.
- David Duffield (born 1941), businessman and founder of Information Associates, Integral Software Systems, Business Software, PeopleSoft, and Workday.
- Jim Fassel (1949–2021), head coach of the New York Giants.
- Dennis McNerney, former County Executive of Bergen County.
- Dan Reeves (1944-2022), former running back of the Dallas Cowboys, former head coach of the New York Giants.
- R. Tom Sawyer (1901–1986), engineer, writer and inventor of the first successful gas turbine locomotive.
- Twisted Sister, heavy metal band best known for the songs "We're Not Gonna Take It" and "I Wanna Rock".
- Metta Victoria Fuller Victor (1831–1885), novelist, credited with authoring of one of the first American detective novels who wrote more than 100 dime novels, pioneering the field.
- Orville James Victor (1827–1910), theologian, journalist, editor and abolitionist who has been called the creator of the dime novel.
- Richard Warch (1939–2013), 14th president of Lawrence University.
Images for kids
The Ho-Ho-Kus Inn, a historic landmark
Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.