The History of Garfield, NJ

The personal injury lawyers in Garfield, NJ, at Garden State Justice Group, have sponsored the following article sharing some historical details of the neighborhood.


The city of Garfield is located in the northern region of Bergen County, New Jersey. It is south of Elmwood Park and north of Wallington. Athenia is located just west of the Passaic River that forms the neighborhood's western border. The area covers 1401.6 acres, and the Saddle River flows along its southern edge. The main roadways include Midland Avenue, River Drive, Passaic Street, and Outwater Lane. 


Originally the area was known as East Passaic and was formed in 1873. However, one account suggests that in 1881 the founder changed the name to Garfield in honor of the 20th presidency. It is said that President Garfield was going to be the one to lead the nation to prosperity. Unfortunately, the 20th President was assassinated just four months into his presidency. Other historians believe that the train station, Garfield Station located on Passaic Street, was named in honor of the President, and the town quickly became associated with the name. 

However the naming fell into place; the area was incorporated into a borough in 1898, taking from both the Saddle River Township and portions of Wallington. It would be officially a city in April of 1917. 

Parks and Recreation

The area is home to many parks for the residents to enjoy. Some of these include:

  • Dahnert's Lake County Park - located on Midland Avenue
  • 20th Century Field - located on Elizabeth Street
  • Belmont Hill Park - located on Botany Street
  • Spring Street Park - located on Spring Street 
  • Columbus Park - located on Midland Avenue
  • Malcolm Avenue Playground - located on Malcolm Avenue


As per the 2010 census, the neighborhood's population was 30,487 and consisted of 11,073 households and 7,718 families. This was a 2.4% increase in population from 2000. The racial makeup of the community was the following:

  • 76.73% white
  • 6.50% African American
  • 32.24% Hispanic or Latino
  • 2.22% Asian
  • 0.43% Native American
  • 0.01% Pacific Islander
  • 10.85% other races
  • 3.26% two or more races

As many as 42.97% of the town's citizens were born in countries other than the United States. Many speak Spanish and Polish. Some common ancestries that the residents identify with include the following:

  • Polish
  • Italian
  • Irish
  • German
  • Russian

The median household income of the community was $51,407, down from $51,654 in 2000. The occupational breakdown of the employed residents is the following:

  • 15.43% office and administrative support roles
  • 8.97% sales and service jobs
  • 8.26% management and executive occupations

Keep reading for more interesting details about the neighboring community: An Abridged History of Wallington, NJ

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Date Published: May 14, 2021
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