The Borough of Harrington Park, in Northern New Jersey, had a population approx. 4,740 in 2000, with 1,583 homes. Local government consists of a Mayor and Council (six members), assisted by other Borough Officials.
The borough was incorporated in 1904. For a full history of the town see History of Harrington Park.
Harrington Township, from which Harrington Park was formed in 1904, was originally part of Old Hackensack Township from which it separated in 1775. Its earliest known settlers were the Harring family, and the earliest available reference to any individual is to Peter Harring who established a residence here in the early 17th century. A son, John, was born to the Harring family Dec. 20, 1633. Also prominently mentioned in early histories of the area are the Westervelts, the Blauvelts, the Ackermans, and the Ferdons.
Prior to the year 1898, Harrington Park offered no facilities for organized worship. At this time, Annie Lou Marks, the late Mrs. H. D. Demarest, appreciating the need for religious education, circularized the town in an effort to establish a local Sunday School for children. Dr. William T. La Roche, then the local dentist, donated the use of his office, located on the present site of the La Roche home, as a meeting place for this group. Miss Marks’ first Sunday School class consisted of eight adults. Within a year, the program was enlarged to include occasional afternoon services conducted by the Rev. Dr. Alfred Ward of Closter.
Business and Transportation
Any account of the history of industry and business in Harrington Park must start with two famous grist mills which were operated from the days of King George III of England and the days of the Revolution. The sites on which those famous old mills were located today are known as Bogert’s Mill, at the junction of Harriot Avenue and Bogert’s Mill Road, and the Mill Pond along Lafayette Road, north of the junction of the road with Harriot Avenue.
The grist mill on the spot known as Bogert’s Mill was built by Abram Myers who received a land grant from King George III in 1765 along the Hackensack River. Soldiers in the Revolutionary War received flour from this mill. John Jacob Bogert, a descendant of Myers, took over operation of the mill in 1839 and on his death the operation was continued for a time by his son, John J. Bogert, who became Harrington Park’s first mayor in 1904. The old mill remained standing until 1938 when the property was purchased by the Hackensack Water Company. A large home, not the original, stands today at Harriot Avenue and Bogert’s Mill Road, across from the site of the old mill.
The other famous mill on Lafayette Road was owned for many years by Peter Demarest, but little is known of the history previous to the operation by the Demarest family. The mill was finally torn down soon after the turn of the century.
In the years just before 1900 Harrington Park, then known as Harrington Township, consisted of several large farms, the better known being the Demarest farm at the Mill Pond, the La Roche farm, the Ward farm, the Eckerson farm and the Herron farm, which along with the Bogert property comprised most of the area of the township.
The first business in Harrington Township was a grocery store which was started in 1883 on Railroad Avenue by Gus Seise and a partner named Kuhn. Soon after the opening Kuhn dropped out of the partnership and Seise continued the business until about 1907 when it was purchased by John W. Haslop.
With the advent of the automobile the store installed gasoline tanks alongside the roadside and for many years was the only place in the area around Harrington Township where automobile fuel could be purchased. Herman Vanderbeck conducted a butcher store on Railroad Avenue, on property next to the Haslop property for a number of years. Later Frank A. Hallenbeck opened a real estate office between the Haslop store and the butcher shop. For a short time there was also a small grocery store, known as Williams’ Grocery, on the opposite side of the railroad tracks and south of the Haslop store.
If not many, Harrington Park has had a wide variety of business enterprises. In the early 1900s the old Demarest Mill building on Lafayette Road was used by the Major family as a glove factory. A business devoted to the charging of electric automobiles followed the glove business.