The History of Paramus, NJ

The personal injury attorneys in Paramus, NJ, at Garden State Justice Group, have sponsored the following article about the area.


The borough of Paramus is located in Bergen County, New Jersey. It is just 11.5 miles from Paterson and 20 miles west of the Bronx, New York. The Garden State Parkway and NJ Rte 17 run through north and south through its center. 


Initially inhabited by the Lenape Native Americans, the area received its name based on the massive population of wild turkeys. Their Native American language word Peremessing would be anglicized into Paramus by the European settlers. The first settlers in the area after the natives were Dutch. In 1662, polish settler Albert Saboroweski moved to the region today known as Hackensack. The Lenape tribe members kidnapped his son, after fifteen years, they returned him to his family. The natives explained that they did this so they could teach him their language. So there would not be any hard feelings, they awarded Soboroweski 2,000 acres that now make up Paramus. 

During the Revolutionary War, Paramus would become a headquarter for General George Washington. Troops would march through the area after the British raided Hackensack. Although no fighting would actually take place in Paramus, Washington would reside in the area several times, including the following:

  • December 1778
  • July 1780
  • December 1780

In the early 18th century, a segment of the town would serve as a community for free African Americans. The present-day Dunkerhook, which means dark corner in Dutch, would be home to many houses owned by the freed slaves. Most of these houses were built by the Zabriskie family and given to their former slaves and farmland. 

Retail Boom

In 1969 two major retail centers replaced the farmland that once covered the town. New Jersey did not have a sales tax like its neighbor New York, so shoppers flocked to the area, searching for lower prices. The area had a massive population growth due to this development, and between 1950 to 1960, they saw an increase of 16,970 residents. 

The Paramus Park Mall was the first of three indoor malls build in the town. The county follows the restrictions of Blue Laws, which dictates that most retail be closed for business on Sundays. These restrictions do not hinder the revenue generated by the Paramus Park Mall as it still receives 6 million shoppers yearly to its 107 stores. In addition to this mall, there are the following shops that help the town bring in $5 billion in annual retail sales:

  • Westfield Garden State Plaza
  • The Outlets at Bergen Town Center
  • Fashion Center


The population in Paramus in 2010 was 26,342. The average income per household was $104,986. The racial breakdown of the area was:

  • 72.29% white
  • 1.42% African American
  • 7.26% Hispanic or Latino
  • 22.28% Asian
  • 6.9% Korean-American
  • 0.11% Native American
  • 0.05% Pacific Islander
  • 1.39% other races
  • 2.47% two or more races

Keep reading here: An Overview of Rochelle Park, NJ

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Date Published: April 2, 2021
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