New Jersey May 21, 2018
Most People Don’t Know The Meaning Behind These 10 New Jersey Town Names
If you’re a regular reader of Only In New Jersey, you probably know that I’m a bit of a history buff. I’m fascinated by the past and have a particular interest in origin stories. How did things come to be? Why? While all history is fun for me, I’ve got a soft spot for Garden State Trivia. Today, I’m going to talk about the meaning behind 10 New Jersey town names. I hope you find their stories intriguing!
This scenic town doesn't have much in the way of industry but it was named after a business tycoon. Francis Kinney made his fortune in cigarettes, manufacturing automatic cigarette machines. He and his family once owned much of the town's land and the chapel he built for his wife (St. Hubert's) still remains today.
This unincorporated community was named after its founder, Michael Robert Buttz, in 1839. While tiny (the population is under 200), it is home to one of New Jersey's best hot dog joints - Hot Dog Johnny's.
3. Glen Rock
Glen Rock was named for a 570-ton boulder, believed to have been deposited by a glacier. Residents are well aware, but many New Jerseyans are not. The boulder still sits in the center of town.
Roebling, site of the Roebling Steel Mill, was founded by Charles Roebling, son of John A. Roebling. John A. Roebling & Sons company built and provided the steel for the Brooklyn Bridge and the Golden Gate Bridge, among others. The town is also home to the famous Roebling Engineering and Design Museum.
The borough's name derives from a Native American term meaning "high ground," though it may have been named for Nella, the wife of Lucious Parker, who developed Hi-Nella Estates in the late 1920's.
While the name isn't the most fascinating (it came from a local railroad terminal), the origin is. The land that was developed as Lawnside was purchased in 1840 by abolitionists for a community for freed and escaped slaves, as well as other African Americans. It was originally known as Free Haven.
While I would love if this town was named after Bruce Wayne (Batman), it is actually named after American Revolution General "Mad" Anthony Wayne. Another fun fact about Wayne? It's where General George Washington learned about Benedict Arnold's treason.
8. Cape May Court House
It may not come as a surprise that Cape May Court House is home to the Cape May County Court House, though you may be interested to learn that it was named after Dutch explorer, Captain Mey and is one of only a handful of four word census designated places in the United States.
One of the tiniest towns in New Jersey, Teterboro was named after Walter C. Teter, a New York investment banker. Once named Bendix Township (like the local diner), neighboring towns have tried to have Teterboro dissolved so that they might split its assets - numerous factories, a retail complex, and a popular airport.
Once inhabited by the Lenni Lenape Tribe, John and David Brainerd came to the area in 1778 and built a church to convert the local Native Americans to Christianity. The church was called Tabernacle in the Wilderness. While the church is long gone, the name remains.
Are you familiar with any New Jersey town name stories? Let us know in the comments! For the origins of our county names,