Paterson City, New Jersey: History and Boundaries


The author of website ‘Paterson,_New_Jersey’ says, “Paterson is a city said to be located at the Great Falls of the Passaic River in New Jersey. It is where the river cuts through the edge of Wachung Mountains and drops almost 80 feet. It was once one of the mightiest industrial cities of the United Sates. It became the Nation’s first planned industrial city and contained some of the country’s oldest textile mills businesses. “Paterson was founded in 1791 by the Society fro Establishing useful manufactures (S.U.M.)a group championed by statesman Alexander Hamilton”, Funk and Wagnall’s New Encyclopedia. This settlement was named for governor of New Jersey and a signer of the US Constitution, William Peterson (1746-1806).

Alexander was regarded as the “Founder of the city of Paterson” because of his vision that he had in July of 1778.Great power of the waterfalls drove Paterson to become one of the first industrial centers in US. Most of the entrepreneurs, artisans, engineers and inventors were drawn to this new technology center. For example; Inventor John Philip Holland emigrated from Ireland to Paterson in 1873 with an idea of an underwater boat which was originally rejected by the United States Navy. Nearly fifty percent of silk made in United States was being produced in Paterson by 1870. But at the beginning of the twentieth century, the silk mills of Paterson fell victim to labor strife and were unable to recover. There is an affluence created by Paterson’s silk industry found just over the city border in Garret Mountain Reservation.” “The history of Paterson and the industrial revolution in America is preserved today as the Great Falls National Historic Landmark”, says Funk and Wagnall’s New

Demographics and Housing

The author continues to say, “In the year 2000, there were 149,222 people, 44,710 households, and 33,353 families residing in the city of Paterson. Population density was 6,826.4/km² (17,675.4/mi²). This made the city the second most densely populated large city (i.e., with a population of 100,000 or more) in the United States, only after City. It spread out with 29.8% under the age of 18, 11.2% from 18 to 24, 32.0% from 25 to 44, 18.7% from 45 to 64, and 8.3% who were 65 years of age or older, median age being 30 years. The results again clearly showed that in every 100 females there were 94 males and for every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.1 males. According to statistics, the median income for a household in the city was $32,778, and the median income for a family was $35,420.

The median income for Males was $27,911 versus $22,733 for females. In addition, the per capita income for the city was said to be $13,257. It was also discovered that about 19.2% of families and 22.2% of the population were below the line. This included 29.0% of those under age 18 and 19.1% of that age 65 or over. There were also 47,169 housing units at an average density of 2,157.8/km² (5,587.2/mi²). Results further showed that there was a racial makeup of 32.90% of the city; African American, 13.20% White, 0.60% Native American, 1.90% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 27.60% from other races, and 6.17% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race was about 50.1% of the population. The census finally could show that the majority of Hispanics were Peruvian, Colombian, Dominican and Puerto Rican”.

Ethnicity and Recreation

Frunk continues to say, “There exists a premiere historic landmark in the city of Paterson called Lambert Castle Museum which was built in 1893. The structure is the former home of Catholina Lambert, the owner of a prominent silk mill in the city. It is constructed in the Medieval Revival architectural style resulting in a museum and library. The residents enjoy many opportunities throughout the year to celebrate the city’s ethnic diversity. The city is said to have different celebrations: African-American Day Parade, a Puerto Rican Day Parade, a Dominican Day Parade, a Turkish-American Day Parade, and a Peruvian Day Parade in every summer. The Peruvian community also celebrates an annual ten-day October festival known as “El Señor de los Milagros” (translation: “Our Lord of Miracles”)”.Within an hour from Paterson are several things to see and do like the Empire State Building, the American Museum of Natural History, the Javits Center, Madison Square Garden, Manhattan’s Central Park, the Rockefeller Center, Carnegie Hall, Battery Park, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Chrysler Building, the Bronx Zoo, the Apollo Theater, and of course, the Statue of Liberty. New York and New Jersey are also engage in sporting activities like: football, Baseball, Basketball, Hockey, Women’s Basket ball, Soccer and Lacrosse”.

Religion, Values and Beliefs

Wagnall in company with Fruck discusses the religious, values and beliefs of the community of Paterson. In their website ‘’, he says, “like any other city, Paterson city also has different religions, which have different values and beliefs. There are Muslims and Christians which observe different holy days”.

Health and Social Services

Another author, William Nelson, wrote a book, ‘History of Paterson and Its Envrions(the silk city)’. In his book he said, “for the last 97 years, Barnert Hospital has grown to include 256 licensed beds serving the Bergen and Passaic county communities. It runs the gamut from adolescent sexual behavior issues to oncology and geriatrics. This Health Center provides diagnosis and treatment of work-related issues related to asbestos and hazardous waste, hearing loss, employment physicals, and injury prevention. It is also a center for pain management, sleep disorders, and breast health supplements the trauma facilities of the hospital. There are also outreach services that include the Family and Child Education project operated in conjunction with the Paterson Public School District, with an eye toward prevention of health problems particularly among economically disadvantaged populations. There is a Medical Center sponsored by the Sisters of Charity in Convent Station, New Jersey, and serves the entire northern New Jersey area. This hospital is licensed for 792 beds; more than 30,000 inpatients are admitted yearly and another 350,000 outpatients are cared for. It specializes in craniofacial reconstruction and surgery, oncology, trauma care and radiology. There is also a medical center that deals with feeding and swallowing, a child development, and medical personnel specializing in everything from asthma to urology”.

Physical Environment and Economy

William has continued to describe the city in his book and he says,” the City of Paterson has eventually created great wealth from the combination of waterpower, machines, labor, and capital. Paterson achieved prominence in the national economy undreamed of by its founder. The waterpower system has fostered many technological advances in industry, such as the first cotton duck cloth for sails, the first continuous sheet paper, the first evolver by Samuel Colt, and the first practical submarine by John Holland. The city has become the world’s center for the production of cotton, silk and locomotives thus attracting skilled artisans from all over Europe and the tremendous economic activity that arose here triggered the “Silk Strike” of 1913, when the skilled workers demanded an eight-hour day. This is truly an important emergence of America’s industrial prosperity and the labor rights movement”.

Transportation and Safety

Another write who has provided information about the city is Jerri Burket in her book, ‘History of The City of Paterson and Passaic’ where she states that, “the city has provision of safety transportation to avoid injury or incident in their subway stations or on bard their trains and buses.

Security is highly maintained by the police men who have used equipment in technology that can be useful”.

Government and Politics

William further tells us that the City of Paterson Municipal Council was created with a decision to change its form of government from a 1907 statute-based form, to a Faulkner Act Plan-D Mayor-Council form. He continues and says that the 1907 statute-based form consists of various boards: a board of Aldermen, Board of Finance, Board of Health, Board of Public Works, Board of Fire and Police Commissioners.

Communication, Education and Residents perception

Jerri further tells us that, “there are public schools that serve students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. The school system has over thirty thousand students who speak 25 different languages. The city receives news from The Herald News or The Record, two daily papers that cover local, state, national, and international happenings. There is an electronic newspaper, PatersonOnline.Net that focuses on local news, sports, and weather. The city also has its own Latino religious AM radio station, and Newark broadcasts National Public Radio on an FM frequency.”


History of Paterson and Its Environs (the Silk City by By William Nelson.

History of the City of Paterson and Passaic by Jerri Burket.

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