Borough of Glen Ridge Timeline
1806: Dury Bromley and Thomas Oakes buy a mill in the lower Glen, built before 1800 by Abijah Dodd
1806: Newark and Pompton Turnpike (present-day Bloomfield Avenue) is chartered.
1812: Town of Bloomfield separates from Newark and is incorporated.
1830: Steep hill on Turnpike (Bloomfield Avenue) east of present-day Ridgewood Avenue is cut down to present grade (date approximate).
1832: Morris Canal is completed, opening access for the mills and for the quarry north of Bloomfield Avenue (between the present-day High Street and Hillside Avenue). James Moffett (in association with Samuel Benson) assumes control of old mill in upper Glen. Manufactures copper during Civil War.
1852: Samuel Benson builds his own mill across the street from Moffett’s. Known later as Hayden’s Mill.
1856: Prospect Street (Ridgewood Avenue) is opening south of Bloomfield Avenue. The Newark & Bloomfield Railroad begins operation as a single track between Newark and Montclair. One stop a day each way at Moffett’s Mill. John Rassbach establishes a florist business, the first in Essex County buying five acres on Midland Avenue for $1,000.
1858: Christ Church (Episcopal) is established on Liberty Street in Bloomfield.
1860: N&B Railroad builds a platform at Prospect Street with regular stops. Called “Ridgewood,” after the name of the Rev. Joseph S. Gallagher estate nearby.
1863: Peter Hayden buys Samuel Benson’s mill on the Hurrell Field site; Benson remains as manager.
1866: Henry Woodbridge buys the abandoned Bromley Mill in the lower Glen and restores it to productivity.
1868: “West Bloomfield” secedes in a dispute over financing N.Y. and Greenwood Lake Railroad line, and incorporates as Montclair.
1869: Original Newark & Bloomfield Railroad becomes part of the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western (D.L. & W.) Railroad.
1871: Robert Peele acquires property on Midland Avenue and begins first large-scale (five-house) speculative residential development in Glen Ridge.
1872: Ridgewood Station acquires a wooden platform on the banks of the Glen, with a ticket window, agent residence, and barber shop. N.Y. & Greenwood Lake Railroad begins operation with a single track and station located at Ridgewood Avenue; later moved to Highland Avenue.
1873: Prospect Street (Ridgewood Avenue) is widened from 60 to 89 feet, and a stone bridge is built over the Glen.
1874: Hillside Avenue is opened as a public street.
1876: A horse-drawn trolley line is established along Bloomfield Avenue between Bloomfield and Newark.
1877: A.G. Darwin moves to Bloomfield.
1878: Samuel Benson builds his third mill (Benson’s Mill) at the corner of Sherman and Belleville Avenues.
1882: Samuel Benson dies. His son, Henry King Benson, continues to operate Benson’s Mill.
1883: The name “Glen Ridge” is adopted by the new U.S. Post Office in the Ridgewood Station. Chestnut Hill Station (later Benson Street Station; private residence today) is built by E. S. Wilde for N.Y. & Greenwood Lake Railroad. Wildwood Terrace is opened as a public street; E.S. Wilde begins building a home for his family at No. 27 in 1886.
1884: Robert S. Rudd and his family purchase 276 Ridgewood Avenue and become residents of Glen Ridge in the spring of 1885.
1885: Glen Ridge Club (the Men’s Club) is established with 36 members. Winsor Place is opened as a public street.
1886: Men’s Club building erected on Ridgewood Avenue. A.G. Darwin purchases 40 acres from heirs of the Rev. Gallagher and begins development south of D.L. & W. Railroad.
1887: A. G. Darwin builds present Ridgewood Avenue Station. “Old Road” to Montclair is renamed Glen Ridge Avenue by the Bloomfield Town Council. Miss Northall’s School opens “for little boys and girls, whose parents think the distance too great to send them to the school in Bloomfield.” The “Ink Factory” is under construction on Midland Avenue.
1888: The Congregational Church is organized; services are held in the Ridgewood Avenue Station. “Blizzard of ’88.” Snow completely fills the D.L. & W. Railroad cut; train service is suspended for a week.
1889: The Brower Mill in the lower Glen is destroyed by fire and not rebuilt; only the waterwheel is left standing. Douglas Road is opened from Lincoln Street to Woodland Avenue. William F. Upson, a New York lawyer builds the first house (No. 61). Hawthorne Avenue is opened as a public street, from Washington Street south to Maolis Avenue.
1890: First worship service in the new Congregational Church. The Clio Society and Utopian Club are organized. Clio begins assembling a reading library.
1890: The Glen Ridge Hall (222 Ridgewood Avenue) is built by A. G. Darwin as his real estate office. The St. Mark’s Society is formed by dissident Christ Church members seeking relocation to Glen Ridge. Separate Sunday School meetings are held at the D.L. & W. Station on Ridgewood Avenue. The first issue of the Glen Ridge Original is published; it folds after a year. Osborne Street, Essex Avenue and Appleton Place are opened as public streets.
1891: A lot on the west side of Hamilton Road is donated to the St. Mark’s Society for a new Episcopal Church. Mountainside Hospital opens on a site in Montclair near its present location in Glen Ridge.
1892: A.G. Darwin dies. His development projects are continued for a while by his son. The Clio Society library collection, having outgrown its room in Miss Northall’s home, is moved to the Glen Ridge Hall. Hamilton Road is opened and Douglas Road is extended from Washington Street to Lincoln Street.
1893: The Glen Ridge Literary Association is establish to operate the Clio Society’s library by subscription. Christ Church in Bloomfield is destroyed by fire. A new church is begun at the corner of Park and Bloomfield Avenues. The first service is held on Easter Sunday in 1894.
1894: A golf club is organized, one of the oldest in the U.S. with an initiation fee of $2 and annual dues of $5. Glen Ridge residents begin legal efforts to secede from Bloomfield.
February 12, 1895: Secession vote passes, 165 – 142.
1895: Population of Glen Ridge is 1,150 at the time of separation from Bloomfield. First budget adopted and first officers nominated April 5. First election of officers April 9. Robert S. Rudd chosen Mayor, and Abijah R. Brewer President of the Borough Council. A Hose Company is organized May 14; beginnings of the separate Glen Ridge fire department. The members of the first Board of Education, authorized by the State Superintendent of Education, are appointed (spring). Bloomfield’s legal challenge to the incorporation of Glen Ridge is dismissed by the Court of Errors and Appeals on June 20. Incorporation becomes final. First school budget ($7,000) unanimously adopted July 19 (52 persons voted). First bond issue ($97,000) approved, for road and sewer work. School bonds approved but not issued because of concern about excessive borrowing. Electric trolley franchise granted to North New Jersey Street Railway Company on November 29; construction of poles and tracks begins immediately on Bloomfield Avenue.
1896: First Borough offices opened in building on Herman Street. Hand-drawn hook and ladder truck purchased. With Hose and Hook & Ladder Companies organized, the Borough terminates its contract with Bloomfield for fire protection service.
1897: Committee appointed (led by Abijah R. Brewer) to negotiate with Bloomfield in apportioning assets and liabilities between the two towns. $60,000 road improvement bonds issued and road work begun, including culverts and gutters. James Moffett (son of original mill owner) dies; Moffett’s Mill declines thereafter. Woodbridge (Bromley) Mill is sold and replaced by a “modern” factory building. Bicycle chains, road asphalt and metal polishes are made here at various times. First new streets since incorporation are opened: Argyle Street, High Street (to Belleville Avenue), Summit Street and Hillcrest Road.
1898: Bloomfield offers settlement of property issues and Glen Ridge accepts. Borough negotiates separate water supply contract with Orange Water Company; water no longer supplied through Bloomfield.
1899: Construction of sanitary sewers begun. Glen Ridge Park Association organizes and purchases the Brower Mill for $7,000. Another group, led by Mayor Rudd, purchases Moffett’s Mill for $9,000. Completion of project to pave all Borough roads where water and sewer lines were already installed. $80,000 school bond approved. Site at northeast corner of Ridgewood and Bloomfield Avenues purchased for $14,600.
1900: Population of Glen Ridge is 1,900. First Glen Ridge school building opens. Architects: Boring & Tilton, New York. Cost of construction: $65,000. First clubhouse for Glen Ridge Golf (later Country) Club built on Oxford Street. Clinton Road opened as a public street. Cost of a new home site: $5 for opening and $5 for grading. Rudd group transfers Moffett’s Mill property to Glen Ridge Park Association at cost (December 31).
1901: $35,000 bond issue to buy parkland in the Glen. Glen Ridge Park Association deeds Brower and Moffett’s Mill sites and other land to the Borough for $17,500. Hayden’s Mill (on site of Hurrell Field) sold to Thomas Edison for $19,000. Site of experiments on batteries for electric cars. Congregational Church is remodeled and enlarged to present form.
1902: Abijah R. Brewer appointed Mayor after Robert Rudd resigns. Nevins-Church Press established at 92 Midland Avenue. Manufactured folding cartons and labels for products such as Gillette razors and Heinz foods until 1954.
1903: Robert Rudd dies of typhoid October 22, age 47. County opens Park Way (now Freeman Parkway) with bridge across the upper Glen.
1905: Women’s Club organized. Glen Ridge (Men’s) Club enlarged. New bridge opened across railroad at Highland Avenue, replacing earlier bridges at Highland and Baldwin Street.
1906: N.Y. & Greenwood Lake Railroad double-tracked and placed in earth cut that severs Sherman Avenue. Arthur J. Lockwood begins term as Mayor. Spectacular fire destroys “torpedo factory” on Midland Avenue at Carteret Street, formerly owned by Thomas Edison. First extension of Hawthorne Avenue, south of Maolis Avenue.
1907: Rudd Court opened as a public street and Hillside Avenue extended across Bloomfield Avenue to Bellville Avenue. School building expanded and site between High Street and Hillside Avenue purchased for a playground. Glen Ridge Garage (Ridgewood Avenue opposite the Station)advertises “The Silent Servitor,” a “Gentleman’s runabout:” friction drive, 20 h.p. motor, speeds of 4-35 m.p.h., and driving lessons from Mr. S.F. Rogers, an “amateur anatomist.”
1908: George C. White begins term as Mayor. Borough divided into two voting districts, when population exceeds 3,000. Former Methodist Church at Highland and Bloomfield Avenues moves west on Bloomfield Avenue to become Temple Shomrei Emunah.
1909: Nolen Report presented to Mayor and Council. Mayor White resigns (July 10). Succeeded by Giles W. Mead. Additional parkland in the lower Glen, east of Hillside Avenue, purchased for $5,000. Edgewood Road and Cross Place opened as public streets.
1910: First contested election for Borough office since secession in 1895, when Frank S. Benson defeats Harry D. Smith for tax assessor. Final litigation between Bloomfield and Glen Ridge over financial aspects of secession resolved in Borough’s favor. Building Code adopted (one of the first in the state). North Side Association formed. High Street extended to Wildwood Terrace.
1911: The Glen Ridge Stores building (the Arcade) is opened by group of prominent residents, including Henry Chapman, Abijah R. Brewer, and E.P. Mitchell. Borough offices move to second floor. Mrs. Mary L. Hinrichs elected to the Board of Education; first woman on any Glen Ridge governing body. Country Club incorporated and construction of present clubhouse at north end of Borough begun. Linden Avenue School opens (September). The first Boy Scout troop is organized.
1912: Population reaches 3,260 (almost triple that of 1895). Abijah R. Brewer founds Glen Ridge Trust Company, using space in the front part of the Glen Ridge Hall. The D.L. & W. line is double-tracked and the dangerous grade-crossing at Hillside Avenue is eliminated. David H. Standish begins term as Mayor. Borough purchases water distribution system from Orange Water Co. for $43,669.52. The Fire Department takes delivery of its motorized Knox-Kanawha chemical & hose truck. Literary Association subscription library presented to Borough and incorporated as Free Public Library. Moves to second floor of Glen Ridge Hall. Bloomfield Avenue overpass constructed at Montclair line, eliminating dangerous railroad grade-crossing. Appleton Road opened as a public street.
1913: The Civic Conference Committee (CCC) formally organized (May) and endorses first candidates for Borough offices. All CCC candidates win until 1980. Police Department purchases motorcycle to apprehend speeders (speed limit: 10 mph.) King Street opened as a public street (across site of present-day Hurrell Field). Sherman Avenue School opened. Adams Place (originally Llewellyn Place) opened as a public street.
1915: Mountainside Hospital expands from Montclair into Glen Ridge. North extension of Glen Ridge School opens. Home and School Association formed.
1916: Henry S. Baggage is Mayor. Concrete laid on Ridgewood Ave., second concrete road in state. Carteret Street opened and incinerator built.
1918: Glen Ridge Public Library opens.
1919: Battalion Forum organized.
1920: Leigh H. Davey is Mayor. Population: 4,620. First automobile jitney buses begin regular service.
1921: First zoning ordinance. Sherman Avenue (north of Bay), Roswell Terrace and Inness Place become public streets. Hawthorne Avenue extended southward.
1923: Cambridge Road and Tuxedo Road opened. King Street closed.
1924: Charles L. Doe is Mayor. Mountainside Hospital Nurses Residence built on site of George Inness, Jr., estate.
1925: Central School opened on High Street. Cost: $190,000. Women’s Club building dedicated. Glen Ridge Community Chest organized and $21,643.95 is raised. Darwin Place opened over Mayor’s veto. Part of Benson Street renamed Mead Terrace.
1928: Alfred E. Hurrell is Mayor. Linden Avenue School expanded. Sherwood School (private) founded; later moves to “Sunnycrest.”
1929: Forest Avenue School opened. System of rear-yard garbage collection is begun.
1930: Population: 7,365. Madison and Lorraine Streets, Chapman Place and Spencer Road opened.
1931: New Municipal Building dedicated. Cost: $289,000. Sommer Avenue opened.
1932: Old Oak Road opened. John H. Koch is Mayor. Men’s Club ceases operation.
1933: Municipal incinerator closed.
1934: Robert Johnstone’s synthetic chicle (gum) factory, at Linden and Ridgewood Avenues, is torn down after the business fails because Johnstone died without revealing his secret formula. South End Association formed.
1936: Frank E. Barrows is Mayor. He later leaves large collection of historical photographs to Borough.
1937: New Post Office dedicated. Clock tower on Municipal Building donated by Robert E. Moss.
1939: Final section of Hawthorne Avenue is opened.
1940: Alexander H. Elder is Mayor. Population: 7,331.
1943: Sherman Avenue School closed.
1944: George T. Minasian is Mayor.
1947: Temporary housing built for war veterans on Clark Street, Baldwin Street, and in Sherman Avenue School.
1948: R. Karl Honaman is Mayor. Ballard Williams’ painting of the Glen is installed in Council chambers. Voters defeat bond proposal for new high school.
1949: Glen Ridge Taxpayers Association is formed.
1950: Population: 7,640. Freeman Field House opens, a gift of Mr. and Mrs. Clayton Freeman. Glen Ridge Athletic Association formed.
1952: A. Lionel Reid is Mayor. Ridger Horace Ashenfelter wins the 3,000 meter steeplechase in record time at the Helsinki Olympics.
1954: Thomas C. Butler begins term as Mayor.
1955: Congregational Church enlarged to current size.
1956: Country Club adds swimming pool.
1957: Pilgrim Nursery School established.
1958: Paul Klemtner begins term as Mayor.
1959: Baby boom forces addition of six elementary school classrooms, four at Forest and two at Linden.
1960: Population: 8,322.
1962: Chauncey L. Grant begins term as Mayor. Planning Board established and first Master Plan developed. Completion of new girls’ gym at High School. Final addition to original Borough school building.
1963: Herman Street parking lot built after old municipal building demolished.
1964 Sherman Avenue School site sold for $52,000 and construction of Medical Arts Building approved.
1965: Wells Court opened. Parkway House, Glen Ridge’s first apartment house, opens.
1966: Herbert H. Johnson begins term as Mayor. Bond issue of $2,790,000 approved for new high school. Montclair Branch train service reduced from 26 daily round trips to four. Weekend service eliminated.
1967: First Borough Recreation Committee established. Christ Church Nursery School established.
1968: Freeman Gardens dedicated. New High School building opens.
1970: Walter E. Frohboese begins term as Mayor. Population: 8,518.
1972: John B. Van Zoeren begins term as Mayor.
1976: Harry P. St. Clair begins term as Mayor, but resigns in August because of health problems. Donald W. Bourne succeeds him.
1977: John M. Cole elected to finish Mayor St. Clair’s term. Glen Ridge Historical Society formed. First running of Ridgers’ Romp, 3-mile race from Watchung Avenue to Carteret Street.
1978: American Youth Soccer Organization (AYSO) League established in the Borough.
1979: First Village Arts Festival.
1980: Donald E. Lane is Mayor. Population: 7,593. Linden Avenue School fire (May) complicates school-closing issue.
1982: Glen Ridge Historic District listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. Mandatory recycling begins. School controversy resolved.
1983: Louise Grimes becomes first female police officer in Borough.
1984: Edward M. Callahan is Mayor. Full-day kindergarten begins.
1985: Cable TV comes to Borough.
1986: Glen Ridge Community Television established.
1987: Historic Preservation Ordinance adopted. Mountainside Hospital completes major expansion.
1989: Sexual assault charge involving high school students touches off firestorm of national media attention. Expanded Historic District listed on State and National Registers.
1990: Population: 7,076. Glen Ridge contracts with Montclair for firefighting service. Citizens for Representative Government Founded.
1992: Carolyn A. (Midge) Bourne begins term as Mayor, the first woman to serve.
1994-5: Centennial Year.