A Quick History of Emerson, NJ

The following details about the area have been brought to you by the car accident attorneys in Emerson, NJ, at Garden State Justice Group.


The borough of Emerson is located in the central region of Bergen County in the state of New Jersey. The community takes up 1,548.8 acres, of which 7.85% or 121.6 acres are water, such as the Pascack Brook. The Oradell Reservoir forms part of the southern border as the Pascack Brook helps create the eastern edge. Some of the main roadways within the area include Ackerman Avenue, Linwood Avenue, Soldier Hill Road, Forest Avenue, and Kinderkamack Road. The nearby communities that share borders with the borough include Oradell, Westwood, Haworth, and Ridgewood. 


One of the first European settlers to build a home in the area was William Rutan. Rutan settled on a patch of land west of the present-day Old
Hook Farm, sometime around 1748. Shortly followed by Abraham Hopper, who purchased a tract of land approximately 90 acres along Kinderkamack Road. 

Early land was used as agricultural and nearly entirely populated by the Jersey Dutch, who, despite the name, were not all Dutch. However, they shared the Dutch Reformed religion. Some of these families were French and Polish, such as:

  • Demarest
  • DeBaun
  • Lozier
  • Zabriskie

John H. Ackerman opened the area's first general store in the early 1870s. George W. Wallace built the Etna House around the same time, which would later be bought by August Block and called Block's Hotel before being donned Emerson Hotel. 

The railroad changed the area drastically, and as the Jersey Dutch culture was fading away, the New York and New Jersey Investment Company was marketing to immigrant families. The main groups to move to the area were from Italy and Germany. Churches were erected on Linwood Avenue, the Assumption Parish, and the Union Chapel Church. The Assumption Parish, which now has the Assumption Academy, was established in 1905 and appealed to the Italian Catholic residents. The Union Chapel Church was established in 1900 and provided a place for the German Protestant population to worship. 

The community would officially become the borough of Etna in 1903 but would change its name to Emerson six years later. Following World War II, the borough's population would increase by nearly 300%, from 1,744 to 6,819 in 1950. Development took off to provide housing for all the returning veterans. 


The borough had a population of 7,401 residents, which made up 2,480 households and 1,967 families within its 2,552 housing units. The ethnic breakdown of the community members included the following: 

  • 87.31% white 
  • 1.08% African American
  • 8.36% Hispanic or Latino
  • 0.04% Native American
  • 8.55% Asian
  • 0.11% Pacific Islander
  • 1.15% other races
  • 1.76% two or more races

The average income per household was $99,292 in 2010. A family income averaged $108,300. Men earned on average an income of $71,868, and women earned $69,271. The top professions held by the working class adults included the following:

  • 17.3% Healthcare
  • 14.0% Education
  • 9.3% Manufacturing
  • 7.8% Wholesalers
  • 7.8% Retail
  • 6.7% Finance & Insurance
  • 5.9% Entertainment

Continue reading to learn more about the greater area: The History of Dumont, NJ

Our Local Office

For years, the experienced Emerson, NJ, car accident attorneys at Garden State Justice Group have represented injured residents in the greater area. Call now to schedule your free no-obligation case evaluation if you have recently been in a car or motorcycle accident and have sustained injuries. You may be entitled to compensation.

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Hackensack NJ, 07601
(551) 290-2500

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Shane Sullivan, Esq.
Date Published: August 20, 2021
Shane Sullivan, Esq. is a New Jersey Board Certified Civil Trial Lawyer that represents those who were injured or the family's of those killed by the negligence of others in personal injury lawsuits throughout New Jersey.
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