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Mahwah, New Jersey
Township
Township of Mahwah
Ramapo College arch
Ramapo College arch
Map highlighting Mahwah's location within Bergen County. Inset: Bergen County's location within New Jersey
Map highlighting Mahwah's location within Bergen County. Inset: Bergen County's location within New Jersey
Mahwah, New Jersey is located in the United States
Mahwah, New Jersey
Mahwah, New Jersey
Location in the United States
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Flag of Bergen County, New Jersey.gif Bergen
Incorporated April 9, 1849 (as Hohokus Township)
Reincorporated November 7, 1944 (to Mahwah)
Government
 • Type Faulkner Act (mayor–council)
 • Body Township Council
Area
 • Total 25.88 sq mi (67.04 km2)
 • Land 25.39 sq mi (65.76 km2)
 • Water 0.49 sq mi (1.27 km2)  1.90%
Area rank 102nd of 565 in state
1st of 70 in county
Elevation
246 ft (75 m)
Population
 • Total 25,890
 • Estimate 
(2019)
26,200
 • Rank 95th of 566 in state
9th of 70 in county
 • Density 1,007.7/sq mi (389.1/km2)
 • Density rank 380th of 566 in state
66th of 70 in county
Time zone UTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP Code
07430, 07495
Area code(s) 201
FIPS code 3400342750
GNIS feature ID 0882312

Mahwah is the northernmost and largest municipality by geographic area (26.19 square miles (67.8 km2)) in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the population of the township was 25,890, an increase of 1,828 (+7.6%) from the 24,062 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 6,157 (+34.4%) from the 17,905 counted in the 1990 Census. The name "Mahwah" is derived from the Lenape language word "mawewi" which means "Meeting Place" or "Place Where Paths Meet".

The area that is now Mahwah was originally formed as Hohokus Township on April 9, 1849, from portions of the former Franklin Township (now Wyckoff). While known as Hohokus Township, territory was taken to form Orvil Township (on January 1, 1886; remainder of township is now Waldwick), Allendale (November 10, 1894), Upper Saddle River (November 22, 1894), and Ramsey (March 10, 1908). On November 7, 1944, the area was incorporated by an act of the New Jersey Legislature as the Township of Mahwah, based on the results of a referendum held that day, replacing Hohokus Township. New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Mahwah as its ninth best place to live in its 2008 rankings of the "Best Places To Live" in New Jersey.

History

The Lenape and ancestral indigenous peoples were the original inhabitants of Mahwah (the meeting place) and surrounding area. Their descendants have combined with other Native Americans and ethnicities and were recognized in 1980 by the state as the Ramapough Mountain Indians. They number approximately 5,000 people living around the Ramapo Mountains of northern New Jersey and southern New York. The tribe is officially recognized by New Jersey, but does not have federal recognition. Their tribal office is located on Stag Hill Road in Mahwah, and the Chief of the Ramapough Lenape Indian Nation is Dwaine Perry (as of March 2007).

For 25 years, beginning in 1976, Mahwah hosted the A&P Tennis Classic, a tune-up for the U.S. Open tennis tournament held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in New York City's Flushing Meadows–Corona Park.

The 75-room, three-story Darlington, aka the Crocker Mansion, was built in 1901 for George Crocker, son of railroad magnate Charles Crocker. The estate, located at Crocker Mansion Drive, is one of New Jersey's historical landmarks.

Ford Motor Company operated the Mahwah Assembly plant from 1955, producing 6 million cars in the 25 years it operated before the last car rolled off the line on June 20, 1980. At the time of its completion, it was the largest motor vehicle assembly plant in the United States. The Ford plant, along with other businesses such as American Brake Shoe and Foundry Company, helped contribute to the economic development of the town and its reputation for low home property taxes. The Mahwah town sports teams remain named Thunderbirds in honor of the Ford plant.

Due to contractors' dumping of hazardous wastes at the Ringwood Mines landfill site before federal regulation, it has been designated as an EPA Superfund site which needs extensive environmental cleanup. In 2006, some 600 Ramapough Indians filed a mass tort claim against Ford for damages.

Mahwah, and the closure of the Ford plant, is mentioned in the opening line of the 1982 Bruce Springsteen song "Johnny 99".

Mahwah New Jersey
Franklin Turnpike in Mahwah with the Manhattan skyline 30 miles (48 km) distant.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 26.191 square miles (67.835 km2), including 25.693 square miles (66.545 km2) of land and 0.498 square miles (1.290 km2) of water (1.90%). It is the largest municipality in Bergen County by area, more than 2½ times larger than the next-largest municipality, Paramus, and covering 10.6% of the total area of the entire county.

Mahwah is near the Ramapo Mountains and the Ramapo River. Interstate 287 passes through Mahwah, but the only point of access is at the New Jersey–New York border, where 287 meets Route 17. U.S. Route 202 runs through Mahwah from Oakland to Suffern, across the state line.

Several state and county parks are located in Mahwah, including Campgaw Mountain Reservation, Darlington County Park and Ramapo Valley County Reservation, all operated by Bergen County. The Ramapo River runs through the western section of Mahwah.

Mahwah is bordered by the towns of Upper Saddle River, Ramsey, Allendale, Wyckoff, Franklin Lakes, and Oakland in Bergen County; Ringwood in Passaic County; and Airmont, Hillburn, Ramapo and Suffern in Rockland County, New York.

Unincorporated communities, localities, and place names located partially or completely within the township include the residential areas of Ackermans Mills, Bear Swamp, Bogerts Ranch Estates, Cragmere, Cragmere Park, Darlington, Fardale, Halifax, Havemeyers Reservoir, Masonicus, Mountainside Farm, Pulis Mills, Ramapo Farm and Wanamakers Mills, along with the mixed residential and commercial area of West Mahwah.

Climate

Mahwah has a humid subtropical climate (Köppen climate classification Cfa).

Climate data for Mahwah
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 37
(2.8)
40
(4.4)
47
(8.3)
60
(15.6)
70
(21.1)
79
(26.1)
84
(28.9)
82
(27.8)
74
(23.3)
64
(17.8)
53
(11.7)
42
(5.6)
61
(16.11)
Average low °F (°C) 18
(-7.8)
21
(-6.1)
29
(-1.7)
40
(4.4)
49
(9.4)
58
(14.4)
64
(17.8)
62
(16.7)
54
(12.2)
43
(6.1)
35
(1.7)
26
(-3.3)
41.6
(5.32)
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.11
(79)
2.99
(75.9)
3.85
(97.8)
4.21
(106.9)
4.09
(103.9)
4.64
(117.9)
4.42
(112.3)
4.41
(112)
4.42
(112.3)
4.49
(114)
4.06
(103.1)
3.92
(99.6)
48.61
(1,234.7)

Parks and recreation

Campgaw Mountain Reservation is a Bergen County accredited park, covering 1,351 acres (547 ha) in Mahwah and portions of Oakland, that has campgrounds and ski slopes for skiing.

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1850 2,274
1860 2,352 3.4%
1870 2,632 11.9%
1880 2,920 10.9%
1890 2,373 −18.7%
1900 2,610 10.0%
1910 1,881 −27.9%
1920 2,081 10.6%
1930 3,536 69.9%
1940 3,908 10.5%
1950 4,880 24.9%
1960 7,376 51.1%
1970 10,800 46.4%
1980 12,127 12.3%
1990 17,905 47.6%
2000 24,062 34.4%
2010 25,890 7.6%
2019 (est.) 26,200 1.2%
Population sources: 1850–1920
1850–1870 1850 1870
1880–1890 1890–1910
1910–1930 1900–2010
2000 2010
* = Lost territory in previous decade.

2010 Census

As of the census of 2010, there were 25,890 people, 9,505 households, and 6,245 families residing in the township. The population density was 1,007.7 per square mile (389.1/km2). There were 9,868 housing units at an average density of 384.1 per square mile (148.3/km2)*. The racial makeup of the township was 85.67% (22,180) White, 2.62% (678) Black or African American, 0.56% (146) Native American, 7.81% (2,021) Asian, 0.01% (2) Pacific Islander, 1.40% (363) from other races, and 1.93% (500) from two or more races. [[Hispanic (U.S. Census)|Hispanic or Latino of any race were 6.26% (1,622) of the population.

There were 9,505 households out of which 28.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 54.1% were married couples living together, 8.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 34.3% were non-families. 30.1% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.05.

In the township, the population was spread out with 19.8% under the age of 18, 16.2% from 18 to 24, 20.3% from 25 to 44, 29.4% from 45 to 64, and 14.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.4 years. For every 100 females there were 87.1 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and old there were 82.6 males.

The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $92,971 (with a margin of error of +/- $5,209) and the median family income was $107,977 (+/- $7,049). Males had a median income of $85,873 (+/- $6,728) versus $54,111 (+/- $3,935) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $53,375 (+/- $3,851). About 2.2% of families and 3.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.7% of those under age 18 and 4.3% of those age 65 or over.

Same-sex couples headed 49 households in 2010, an increase from the 27 counted in 2000.

Transportation

2021-06-30 14 03 38 View north along Interstate 287 and New Jersey State Route 17 from the overpass for the ramp from Jaguar Land Rover Way in Mahwah Township, Bergen County, New Jersey
View north along I-287 and Route 17 in Mahwah, just south of the New York state line

Roads and highways

As of May 2010, the township had a total of 110.29 miles (177.49 km) of roadways, of which 81.91 miles (131.82 km) were maintained by the municipality, 20.59 miles (33.14 km) by Bergen County and 7.79 miles (12.54 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.

Interstate 287 and Route 17 merge in Mahwah, and U.S. Route 202 also passes through. The northern terminus of County Route 507 is also in Mahwah. Interstate 87, the New York Thruway, is just outside the state in Suffern, New York.

Interstate 287 heads north from Franklin Lakes, continuing for 5.3 miles (8.5 km) to the New York State border. U.S. Route 202 heads north for 5.7 miles (9.2 km), running from Oakland to the New York State border.

Route 17 extends 2.5 miles (4.0 km) from Ramsey until it forms a concurrency where it merges with Interstate 287. County Route 507 runs 2.0 miles (3.2 km) across the northeastern portion of the township, from Ramsey to an intersection with U.S. Route 202 near the state line.

Mahwah Station - southbound
The 1913 Mahwah NJ Transit Station building is visible on the right.

Public transportation

NJ Transit rail service is available from the Mahwah station to Secaucus Junction, Hoboken Terminal, and Newark on the Main Line and Bergen County Line. Passengers may also take advantage of express service on the same line from the Ramsey Route 17 station located on Route 17 South and the Suffern station, just across the New York state line.

Short Line Bus offers service to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan and intermediate locations.

Economy

Corporate residents of Mahwah include:

Sheraton Crossroads
Sheraton Crossroads
  • Nuance Communications, voice, natural language understanding, reasoning and systems integration
  • DialAmerica Marketing corporate headquarters.
  • Inserra Supermarkets, a member of the ShopRite retail cooperative, operating approximately 22 stores. It is a family-owned business and is one of the 500 largest private companies in the United States.
  • Jaguar Cars and Land Rover vehicles North American Headquarters.
  • Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, book publisher.
  • Maquet Datascope Corporation – manufacturer of intra-aortic balloon pumps and sterile collagen products.
  • Mindray Medical North America headquarters – manufacturer of patient monitoring devices.
  • New York – New Jersey Trail Conference headquarters, Darlington Schoolhouse
  • New York Stock Exchange Data Center – one of the world's most robust and secure data centers.
  • Radware Inc. North American headquarters.
  • Radwin North American headquarters.
  • Stryker Corporation's orthopedic business.
  • UPS world technology headquarters.
  • Mahwah Mall, which is to be built at the site of the Sheraton Crossroads Hotel. Many Mahwah citizens were against the mall being built because the mall would cause high congestion, increased crime rate, and increased pollution, but the planning board approved the plan in January 2014 for a mall that would include 600,000 square feet (56,000 m2) of selling space.

Education

Public schools

The Mahwah Township Public Schools provides public education for students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. As of the 2019–20 school year, the district, comprised of six schools, had an enrollment of 2,913 students and 262.6 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.1:1. Schools in the district, with 2019–20 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics, are Lenape Meadows Elementary School with 328 students in grades PreK-3, Betsy Ross Elementary School with 241 students in grades K-3, George Washington Elementary School with 189 students in grades K-3, Joyce Kilmer Elementary School with 414 students in grades 4–5, Ramapo Ridge Middle School with 685 students in grades 6-8 and Mahwah High School with 900 students in grades 9-12.

The district's newest building, Lenape Meadows, was opened in 2002 and changed the way the district divided up grade levels. Since the K-3 grades are broken up by location in the township which determines the elementary school to attend, before Lenape Meadows was built, students of that section of town attended Commodore Perry School. Commodore Perry School, Betsy Ross, and George Washington originally only housed the K-2 grades and the entire 3rd grade class attended Joyce Kilmer. The construction of Lenape Meadows added enough room for 3rd grade students as well, allowing Betsy Ross and George Washington room to house their students for 3rd grade, too.

Public school students from the township, 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.

Private school

Young World Day School serves students in pre-kindergarten through fifth grade using Montessori and traditional educational methods.

Higher education

  • Ramapo College is a public university founded in 1969 with more than 6,000 students.

Vocational schools

  • Lincoln Technical Institute

Notable people

See also (related category): People from Mahwah, New Jersey

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

  • Roger Nash Baldwin (1884–1981), one of the founders of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
  • Gilbert Wheeler Beebe (1912–2003), epidemiologist and statistician known for his studies of radiation-related mortality and morbidity among populations exposed to ionizing radiation from the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and the Chernobyl reactor accident.
  • Jill Biden (born 1951), educator who is First Lady of the United States.
  • Stephen Birch (1872–1940), a leader of Kennecott Copper whose 730-acre (3.0 km2) farm was sold to the state and became the site of Ramapo College.
  • Curt Blefary (1943–2001), American League Rookie of the Year, 1965.
  • Lawrence Boadt (1942–2010), Roman Catholic priest and publisher.
  • Foxy Brown (born 1979), rapper.
  • Chris Caffery (born 1967), musician and songwriter.
  • Frank Chamberlin (1978–2013), NFL linebacker.
  • Alan Geisler (1931–2009), food chemist best known for creating a popular hot dog sauce.
  • Joe Graf Jr. (born 1998), racecar driver in NASCAR and the ARCA Menards Series.
  • Alice Guy-Blaché (1873–1968), filmmaker who has been considered the first woman director in the motion-picture industry.
  • Kevin Haslam (born 1986), former NFL offensive tackle who played for the Oakland Raiders.
  • Henry Osborne Havemeyer (1847–1907), art collector and entrepreneur who founded the American Sugar Refining Company.
  • James Hoch, poet.
  • Vlad Holiday (born 1989), singer, songwriter, producer and multi-instrumentalist who is the lead singer and founder of the New York City-based indie band Born Cages.
  • John Hollinger (born 1971), basketball analyst and writer for ESPN.com.
  • Joyce Kilmer (1886–1918), poet who lived with his family in Mahwah until his service and death in World War I.
  • Bob Kratch (born 1966) former guard on the Super Bowl XXV Champion New York Giants.
  • Ernst Lieb (born 1955), President and CEO of Mercedes-Benz USA.
  • Carl "Spider" Lockhart (1943–1986), safety who played his entire career with the New York Giants.
  • Leonard Marshall (born 1961), former defensive end for the New York Giants.
  • Bill McCutcheon (1924–2002), Emmy and Tony Award-winning actor.
  • Krysten Moore (born 1989), anti-bullying advocate who won the 2007 Miss Teen New Jersey International pageant and the 2008 National American Miss New Jersey Teen pageant.
  • Patrick Murray (born 1991), placekicker for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers of the National Football League.
  • Ariel Nicholson (born 2001/2002), fashion model and LGBT rights activist.
  • Les Paul (1915–2009), guitarist and inventor.
  • Maria Pitillo (born 1966), actress who appeared in the 1998 film Godzilla.
  • Randy Reutershan (born 1955), football player who played for a single NFL season with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
  • Al Sima (1921–1993), pitcher for the Washington Senators and other teams.
  • Evelyn Terhune (1932-1981), fencer and fencing coach who competed in the women's individual and team foil events at the 1960 Summer Olympics.
  • Charley Williams (born 1928), former professional boxer.
  • Maia Wojciechowska (1927–2000), children's author and winner of the Newbery Medal for her novel Shadow of a Bull.
  • Chris Wragge (born 1970), anchor, CBS News New York.
  • Walt Zembriski (born 1935), golfer who played on the PGA Tour and the Senior PGA Tour.
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