Getting to Know Preakness, NJ

The car accident lawyers in Preakness, NJ at Garden State Justice Group would like to share some of the town's dynamic history.


The unincorporated community of Preakness is located in the township of Wayne in Passaic County, New Jersey. Some neighboring communities are Totowa, Packanack Lake, Hillcrest, Haledon, and Mountain View. The intersection of Valley Road and Preakness Avenue is in the center of the community. The Preakness Brook flows through the community before heading down into the Passaic River. 


The town was named after a historic racehorse that caught the heart of race enthusiasts nationwide. Preakness was born in 1867 to a mare named Bay Leaf and a famed thoroughbred stud named Lexington in the state of Kentucky. The horse was purchased by Milton Holbrook Sanford, a successful Jute manufacturer, for $4,000 and named after Sanford’s stables in Wayne, New Jersey. Sanford was one of the wealthiest men in New England during the time and loved horse racing. 

Sanford purchased 70 acres of land in the area that is now the Gregg Froehner Memorial Park, located on Runnymeade Drive. He raised and trained the horse, despite the horse's stubborn disposition. Sanford refuted any suggestion to get rid of the horse and had grown a bond with him. Sanford stood behind the horse's abilities, and although he was not a favorite to win the race in 1870, he won by a wide margin bring in $18,000. This was one of the largest amounts of the time for horse racing. During the 1870s, he made a name for himself and dominated the races. Not only was he famous in the United States but across the world. 

Financial difficulties forced Sanford to sell the horse in 1876 to the Duke of Hamilton. Unfortunately, the Duke did not share the same bond with the horse and found his stubbornness to be a burden. At one point, the horse failed to comply with an order, and the Duke struck him in the nose, which caused the horse to retaliate by headbutting the man. The Duke became enraged and shot the horse. News traveled across the nation, leading to increased animal rights laws being passed in England and the United States. Sanford did not deal with the tragic news well but donated his trophies in honor of his lost friend. 


The neighborhood is home to the Dey Mansion, also known as Washington's Headquarters. The home is open during specific times during the year for guided tours. It was built during the 1770s by Colonel Theunis Dey. His Dutch family had purchased 600 acres of the area in 1641. General George Washington stayed in the home and used it as his headquarters in 1780. 


Approximately 68.7% of the community's residents speak English as their primary language, in addition to Spanish, Langs. of India, and Italian. As many as 17.7% of the townspeople were born in countries other than the United States. The ancestries that are commonly identified within the community include: 

  • 29.1% Italian
  • 14.9% Irish
  • 12.1% German
  • 9.2% South American
  • 6.9% Polish

The median income for households in the greater area was $100,638 in 2010 and was $117,745 for families. The breakdown of occupations within the employed adult residents was the following:

  • 68.5% executive, management, and professional roles
  • 13.4% clerical, assistant, and tech support positions
  • 10.8% sales and service occupations
  • 7.2% manufacturing and laborer professions

Learn more: An Overview of Hillcrest, NJ

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If you have recently sustained critical injuries from a car or motorcycle accident, you may be entitled to financial compensation. The Preakness, NJ car accident lawyers at Garden State Justice Group understand the stress that follows a car accident and are here to offer legal guidance. Call for your free case review today.

Garden State Justice Group
2035 Hamburg Turnpike STE K
Wayne, NJ 07470
(862) 310-6392

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Date Published: June 16, 2021
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This website is by DiLeonardo Law LLC d/b/a Garden State Justice Group. We have offices throughout the state of New Jersey with attorneys licensed to practice law in New Jersey. Use of this site does not form an attorney-client relationship and information herein shall not be construed as legal advice. This website is to be considered as ATTORNEY ADVERTISING. Past settlement and verdict values are no guarantee of similar future outcomes. This firm may retain local counsel for prosecuting cases. Results may vary from case to case depending on the specific circumstances of the case. This website has not been approved by the Supreme Court of New Jersey.
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