About Essex Fells
Essex Fells was incorporated as a borough by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 31, 1902, from portions of Caldwell Township (now Fairfield Township). In 1981, Essex Fells became a township to take advantage of federal revenue sharing policies. Effective January 1, 1992, it again became a borough.
New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Essex Fells as its 10th best place to live in its 2008 rankings of the “Best Places To Live” in New Jersey.
Essex Fells is located at 40°49’39?N 74°16’51?W (40.827499, -74.280918).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 1.4 square miles (3.7 km2), all of it land.
Grover Cleveland Park, the seventh largest park in the Essex County park system, is a heavily wooded park covering 41.48 acres (167,900 m2) in the western section of the county along the Caldwell-Essex Fells border.
As of the census of 2000, there were 2,162 people, 737 households, and 605 families residing in the borough. The population density was 1,534.0 people per square mile (592.0/km2). There were 761 housing units at an average density of 540.0/sq mi (208.4/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 96.95% White, 0.46% African American, 0.19% Native American, 1.02% Asian, 0.14% from other races, and 1.25% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.20% of the population.
There were 737 households out of which 40.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 75.3% were married couples living together, 5.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.9% were non-families. 15.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.4% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.93 and the average family size was 3.28.
In the borough the population was spread out with 29.7% under the age of 18, 3.6% from 18 to 24, 24.5% from 25 to 44, 27.5% from 45 to 64, and 14.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 96.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.6 males.
The median income for a household in the borough was $148,173, and the median income for a family was $175,000. Males had a median income of $100,000 versus $52,266 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $77,434. About 0.3% of families and 1.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.9% of those under age 18 and 0.6% of those age 65 or over.
Essex Fells was part of the Horseneck Tract, which was an area that consisted of what are now the municipalities of Caldwell, West Caldwell, North Caldwell, Fairfield, Verona, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Roseland, and portions of Livingston and West Orange.
In 1702, settlers purchased the 14,000 acre (57 km2) Horseneck Tract — so-called because of its irregular shape that suggested a horse’s neck and head — from the Lenni Lenape Native Americans for goods equal to $325. This purchase encompassed much of western Essex County, from the Orange, or First Mountain in the Watchung Mountain range to the Passaic River
Based on an ordinance passed in 1928, commercial activity in the borough is limited to a single three-story building constructed to look like a house and two small workshops on a dead end. As of 2000, Essex Fells had 750 houses, most of which were custom built, with many occupying lots several acres in size. The borough has no apartment buildings, condos, office buildings or traffic lights. The only units available for rental are in carriage houses and other ancillary structures.
The Essex Fells School District serves public school students in kindergarten through sixth grade. Essex Fells School had an enrollment of 268 students as of the 2005-06 school year.
Students in public school for grades 7 – 12 attend the West Essex Regional School District, a regional school district serving students from four municipalities in western Essex County, New Jersey. Communities served by the district’s schools are Essex Fells, Fairfield, North Caldwell and Roseland. Schools in the district (with 2005-06 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are West Essex Junior High School (grades 7-9; 833 students) and West Essex High School (grades 10-12; 729 students).
Glen Ridge High School houses students in grades 7-12. Excellence in academic preparation is valued in both the school and community cultures. Standardized test scores far exceed both the state and national averages. More than 98% of the graduates from the Class of 2004 went on to study at four or two year colleges and universities. The remaining graduates continue their education in trade or technical schools, or in the armed services, while others find employment. The Class of 2004 average SAT scores were 583 on the math section and 591 on the verbal section. (Compared to a New Jersey average of 514 math, 501 verbal and USA average of 518 math, 508 verbal.) Over the past four years the graduation rate has been approximately 99%, while 100% of students pass the New Jersey High School Proficiency Assessment (HSPA). The High School is accredited by the Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools and has been cited for excellent curricular and co-curricular programs.
New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Glen Ridge High School as the 5th best high school in New Jersey in its 2008 rankings of the “Top Public High Schools” in New Jersey