Getting to Know Carlstadt, NJ

The personal injury lawyers in Carlstadt, NJ, at Garden State Justice Group present the following article on the area's history.


Carlstadt is a borough covering 2694.4 acres in the southern section of Bergen County, New Jersey. Moonachie and Wood-Ridge are the neighboring towns to the north. East Rutherford is just to the south, across Paterson Plank Road. Wallington is to the west, and the Hackensack River flows along the eastern edge. 


The town was at one time called the "friendly little German village on the hill." The German roots, influence, and heritage can be seen throughout the borough. During the early 1800s, the area was included in the Lodi Township. Dr. Carl Klein led a group of German Freethinkers into the area in 1876, buying the town's land. Klein was the German Democratic Land Association president. The town was named after him, meaning Carl's Town in German. 

In 1894 the town was incorporated as its own municipality. At this time, the association owned 140 acres of land that they purchased for $16,000. Initially, these German Freethinkers were only concerned with exercise and education for the townspeople, but some demanded a church. They built the first Evangelical church, the present-day First Presbyterian Church, on Division Avenue to keep it out of its residential area. In 1857, the Turnverein was established. This is an integral historical element to the town, as it served the community as a meeting place, a place for exercise, and a place for singing and socializing. The Turnverein building, still located on Broad Street, was built in 1900. 

The society established and provided funding for the first schools. These taught students both the English and German languages until after World War I. The town's earliest tradition, which started in 1866, was for each student to have a picnic at the end of each year. The tradition still carries on to the day. The first newspaper, The Carlstadt Free Press, was in German until the 20th century. The early townspeople held many professions, including:

  • farmers
  • factory workers
  • dairy producers
  • textile workers
  • button factory workers
  • bakers
  • delicatessen owners


Most of the real estate in the area was built before World War II. The Carlstadt Historical Society, formerly the firehouse, is located on Division Avenue and 6th Street. The museum holds a collection of photographs, written documents, clothing, and other items from as early as the 1800s. The building dated back to 1919 and was used by Hose Company 2, the second fire department established in 1904. As with many historic buildings and homes in the area, it was designed with a German architectural style. 


According to the census in 2010, the borough's population was 5,917, which consisted of 2,393 households and 1,593 families. The racial makeup of the residents was the following:

  • 88.90% white 
  • 1.37% African American
  • 7.99% Hispanic or Latino
  • 0.08% Native American
  • 6.19% Asian
  • 0.02% Pacific Islander
  • 2.13% other races
  • 1.32% two or more races

As many as 36.11% of the residents were born in countries outside of the United States. Some of the ancestries include: 

  • Italian
  • Irish
  • Polish
  • German
  • Hungarian

Keep reading: The History of Arlington, NJ

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Our experienced Carlstadt, NJ, personal injury lawyers at Garden State Justice Group have served the area for years. Call today for a free consultation and see how they can work for you.

Garden State Justice Group
18-20 Lackawanna Plaza suite 300
Montclair, NJ 07042
(551) 230-4999

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Date Published: June 11, 2021
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