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Little Ferry, New Jersey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Little Ferry, New Jersey
Borough of Little Ferry
Winant Avenue Bridge
Map highlighting Little Ferry's location within Bergen County. Inset: Bergen County's location within New Jersey
Map highlighting Little Ferry's location within Bergen County. Inset: Bergen County's location within New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Little Ferry, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Little Ferry, New Jersey
Little Ferry is located in Bergen County, New Jersey
Little Ferry
Little Ferry
Location in Bergen County
Little Ferry is located in New Jersey
Little Ferry
Little Ferry
Location in New Jersey
Little Ferry is located in the United States
Little Ferry
Little Ferry
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 40°50′36″N 74°02′03″W / 40.843431°N 74.034239°W / 40.843431; -74.034239[1][2]
Country United States
State New Jersey
County Bergen
IncorporatedSeptember 18, 1894
 • TypeBorough
 • BodyBorough Council
 • MayorMauro D. Raguseo (D, term ends December 31, 2023)[3][4]
 • AdministratorPaula Cozzarelli[5]
 • Municipal clerkBarbara Maldonado[6]
 • Total1.67 sq mi (4.32 km2)
 • Land1.48 sq mi (3.83 km2)
 • Water0.19 sq mi (0.50 km2)  11.44%
Area rank433rd of 565 in state
55th of 70 in county[1]
Elevation3 ft (0.9 m)
 • Total10,626
 • Estimate 
 • Rank230th of 566 in state
34th of 70 in county[13]
 • Density7,200.1/sq mi (2,780.0/km2)
 • Density rank57th of 566 in state
17th of 70 in county[13]
Time zoneUTC−05:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−04:00 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP Code
Area code(s)201[16]
FIPS code3400340680[1][17][18]
GNIS feature ID0885281[1][19]

Little Ferry is a borough in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 10,626,[9][10][11] reflecting a decline of 174 (-1.6%) from the 10,800 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 811 (+8.1%) from the 9,989 counted in the 1990 Census.[20]


Little Ferry was formed by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on September 18, 1894, from portions of Lodi Township and New Barbadoes Township, based on the results of a referendum held two days earlier.[21][22] The borough was formed during the "Boroughitis" phenomenon then sweeping through Bergen County, in which 26 boroughs were formed in the county in 1894 alone.[23]

During the colonial era, the borough was the site of an important ferry crossing between the region's towns at Bergen and Hackensack, which was operated by rope on the site starting in 1659, continuing until 1826 when it was replaced by a bridge on the Bergen Turnpike.[24][25][26]

Gethsemane Cemetery, an African burial ground, was opened in 1860 and was used for interments until 1924.[27] The site was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1994.[28]

361 Main Street following the Fox vault fire
361 Main Street following the Fox vault fire

In the earlier 20th nearby Fort Lee on the Hudson Palisades was home to many film studios of America's first motion picture industry.[29][30][31] On July 9, 1937, a major fire broke out in a 20th Century-Fox film storage facility in Little Ferry. Flammable nitrate film had previously contributed to several fires in film industry laboratories, studios and vaults, although the precise causes were often unknown; in the Little Ferry fire, temperatures of 100 °F (38 °C) and insufficient venting were the proximate causes.[32]

Rosie's Diner (formerly the Farmland Diner) was used in the 1970s for the filming of Bounty paper towel commercials featuring Nancy Walker as Rosie the Waitress.[33]

New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Little Ferry 35th in its 2008 rankings of the "Best Places To Live" in New Jersey.[34]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 1.67 square miles (4.32 km2), including 1.48 square miles (3.83 km2) of land and 0.19 square miles (0.50 km2) of water (11.44%).[1][2]

The borough borders the Bergen County municipalities of Hackensack, Moonachie, Ridgefield, Ridgefield Park, South Hackensack and Teterboro.[35][36][37]

The borough lies near the confluence of the Hackensack River and Overpeck Creek in the New Jersey Meadowlands.[38]


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)10,739[12][39][40]1.1%
Population sources: 1880-1890[41]
1890-1920[42] 1890-1910[43]
1910-1930[44] 1900-2010[45][46][47]
2000[48][49] 2010[9][10][11]

Census 2010

The 2010 United States census counted 10,626 people, 4,239 households, and 2,730 families in the borough. The population density was 7,200.1 per square mile (2,780.0/km2). There were 4,439 housing units at an average density of 3,007.8 per square mile (1,161.3/km2). The racial makeup was 60.78% (6,458) White, 3.94% (419) Black or African American, 0.30% (32) Native American, 24.24% (2,576) Asian, 0.04% (4) Pacific Islander, 7.05% (749) from other races, and 3.65% (388) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 22.98% (2,442) of the population.[9] Korean Americans accounted for 12.0% of the population.[9]

Of the 4,239 households, 26.5% had children under the age of 18; 47.9% were married couples living together; 11.4% had a female householder with no husband present and 35.6% were non-families. Of all households, 31.0% were made up of individuals and 9.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.19.[9] Same-sex couples headed 27 households in 2010, an increase from the 24 counted in 2000.[50]

19.7% of the population were under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 30.3% from 25 to 44, 29.4% from 45 to 64, and 13.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.2 years. For every 100 females, the population had 94.6 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 92.8 males.[9]

The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $57,276 (with a margin of error of +/- $6,389) and the median family income was $74,000 (+/- $10,299). Males had a median income of $52,898 (+/- $3,123) versus $40,934 (+/- $3,050) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $29,257 (+/- $2,542). About 4.8% of families and 6.5% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.1% of those under age 18 and 3.4% of those age 65 or over.[51]

Census 2000

As of the 2000 United States Census[17] there were 10,800 people, 4,366 households, and 2,785 families residing in the borough. The population density was 7,075.2 people per square mile (2,725.4/km2). There were 4,449 housing units at an average density of 2,914.6 per square mile (1,122.7/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 68.76% White, 4.71% African American, 0.15% Native American, 17.10% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 5.75% from other races, and 3.47% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.19% of the population.[48][49]

There were 4,366 households, out of which 27.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.3% were married couples living together, 10.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.2% were non-families. 31.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 7.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 3.16.[48][49]

In the borough the population was spread out, with 20.2% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 36.3% from 25 to 44, 23.6% from 45 to 64, and 12.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 37 years. For every 100 females, there were 95.0 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 91.7 males.[48][49]

The median income for a household in the borough was $49,958, and the median income for a family was $59,176. Males had a median income of $42,059 versus $34,286 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $24,210. About 5.9% of families and 6.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.4% of those under age 18 and 6.3% of those age 65 or over.[48][49]


Local government

Little Ferry is governed under the Borough form of New Jersey municipal government, one of 218 municipalities (of the 565) statewide that use this form, the most common form of government in New Jersey.[52] The governing body is comprised of the Mayor and a Borough Council, with all positions elected at-large on a partisan basis as part of the November general election. A Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The Borough Council is comprised of six members elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year in a three-year cycle.[7] The Borough form of government used by Little Ferry is a "weak mayor / strong council" government in which council members act as the legislative body with the mayor presiding at meetings and voting only in the event of a tie. The mayor can veto ordinances subject to an override by a two-thirds majority vote of the council. The mayor makes committee and liaison assignments for council members, and most appointments are made by the mayor with the advice and consent of the council.[53][54]

As of 2020, the Mayor of Little Ferry is Democrat Mauro D. Raguseo, whose term of office ends December 31, 2023. The Borough Council is composed of Council President Peggy Steinhilber (D, 2020), Ronald Anzalone (D, 2021), Jenifer Lange (D, 2020), Stephen Lanum (D, 2022), George J. Muller (D, 2021), Thomas Sarlo (D, 2022).[3][55][56][57][58][59]

In the 2011 election, Mauro Raguseo was re-elected, defeating Republican Bernard Sobolewski, while council incumbents Roberta Henriquez and Peggy Steinhilber earned new terms in office, fending off Republican challengers Eileen De Leeuw and Stephen Lanum.[60] In the 2010 general election, incumbents Thomas Sarlo and Sue Schuck were re-elected to three-year terms of office, knocking off Republican challengers Foster Lowe and Claudia Zilocchi.[61]

Federal, state and county representation

Little Ferry is located in the 9th Congressional District[62] and is part of New Jersey's 36th state legislative district.[10][63][64] Prior to the 2011 reapportionment following the 2010 Census, Little Ferry had been in the 38th state legislative district.[65]

For the 117th United States Congress, New Jersey's Ninth Congressional District is represented by Bill Pascrell (D, Paterson).[66][67] New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2027)[68] and Bob Menendez (Harrison, term ends 2025).[69][70]

For the 2020–2021 session (Senate, General Assembly), the 36th Legislative District of the New Jersey Legislature is represented in the State Senate by Paul Sarlo (D, Wood-Ridge) and in the General Assembly by Clinton Calabrese (D, Cliffside Park) and Gary Schaer (D, Passaic).[71][72]

Bergen County is governed by a directly elected County Executive, with legislative functions performed by the seven-member Bergen County Board of County Commissioners (formerly the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders). The freeholders are elected at-large in partisan elections on a staggered basis, with two or three seats coming up for election each year; a Chairman, Vice Chairman and Chairman Pro Tempore are selected from among its seven members at a reorganization meeting held every January. Other Bergen County Constitutional Offices include County Clerk, Sheriff, and Surrogate. These offices all have 3 year terms, and are elected on a partisan basis.

As of July 2021, the County Executive is Democrat James J. Tedesco III of Paramus, whose term of office ends December 31, 2022.[73] The current members of the Bergen County Board of Commissioners are Freeholder Chairman Steven A. Tanelli (D, North Arlington, 2021),[74] Freeholder Vice-Chairwoman Tracy Silna Zur (D, Franklin Lakes, 2021),[75] Freeholder Chairman Pro-Tempore Dr. Joan Voss (D, Fort Lee, 2023)[76] Mary J. Amoroso (D, Mahwah, term as freeholder ends 2022),[77] Germaine M. Ortiz (D, Emerson, term as freeholder ends 2022),[78] Ramon M. Hache, Sr. (D, Ridgewood, 2023),[79] and Thomas J. Sullivan Jr., (D, Montvale, term as freeholder ends 2022),[80]

Bergen County's constitutional officials are County Clerk John S. Hogan (D, Northvale, 2021),[81] Sheriff Anthony Cureton (D, Emerson, 2021)[82] and Surrogate Michael R. Dressler (D, Cresskill, 2021).[83]


As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 5,008 registered voters in Little Ferry, of which 1,511 (30.2% vs. 31.7% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 634 (12.7% vs. 21.1%) were registered as Republicans and 2,860 (57.1% vs. 47.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 3 voters registered to other parties.[84] Among the borough's 2010 Census population, 47.1% (vs. 57.1% in Bergen County) were registered to vote, including 58.7% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 73.7% countywide).[84][85]

In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 2,024 votes (64.1% vs. 54.8% countywide), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 1,091 votes (34.5% vs. 43.5%) and other candidates with 25 votes (0.8% vs. 0.9%), among the 3,159 ballots cast by the borough's 5,344 registered voters, for a turnout of 59.1% (vs. 70.4% in Bergen County).[86][87] In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 2,237 votes (58.2% vs. 53.9% countywide), ahead of Republican John McCain with 1,537 votes (40.0% vs. 44.5%) and other candidates with 38 votes (1.0% vs. 0.8%), among the 3,844 ballots cast by the borough's 5,393 registered voters, for a turnout of 71.3% (vs. 76.8% in Bergen County).[88][89] In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 2,064 votes (54.9% vs. 51.7% countywide), ahead of Republican George W. Bush with 1,645 votes (43.8% vs. 47.2%) and other candidates with 29 votes (0.8% vs. 0.7%), among the 3,759 ballots cast by the borough's 5,335 registered voters, for a turnout of 70.5% (vs. 76.9% in the whole county).[90]

In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 62.7% of the vote (1,226 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 36.6% (716 votes), and other candidates with 0.7% (13 votes), among the 2,012 ballots cast by the borough's 5,051 registered voters (57 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 39.8%.[91][92] In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 1,160 ballots cast (52.1% vs. 48.0% countywide), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 908 votes (40.8% vs. 45.8%), Independent Chris Daggett with 114 votes (5.1% vs. 4.7%) and other candidates with 13 votes (0.6% vs. 0.5%), among the 2,225 ballots cast by the borough's 5,180 registered voters, yielding a 43.0% turnout (vs. 50.0% in the county).[93]


The Little Ferry Public Schools serve students in kindergarten through eighth grade. As of the 2018–19 school year, the district, comprised of two schools, had an enrollment of 900 students and 78.6 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 11.5:1.[94] The district's two school buildings are located across the street from each other.[95] Schools in the district (with 2018–19 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics[96]) are Washington Elementary School[97] with 466 students in grades PreK-4 and Memorial Middle School[98] with 401 students in grades 5-8.[95][99]

Since Little Ferry does not have its own high school, students in public school for ninth through twelfth grades attend Ridgefield Park High School, in Ridgefield Park only a couple of minutes away, as part of a sending/receiving relationship with the Ridgefield Park Public Schools that has been in place since 1953.[95][100][101] As of the 2018–19 school year, the high school had an enrollment of 1,196 students and 89.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.4:1.[102]

Public school students from the borough, and all of Bergen County, are eligible to attend the secondary education programs offered by the Bergen County Technical Schools, which include the Bergen County Academies in Hackensack, Applied Technology High School, located at Bergen Community College in Paramus, and the Bergen Tech campus in Teterboro, Paramus. The district offers programs on a shared-time or full-time basis, with admission based on a selective application process and tuition covered by the student's home school district.[103][104]


View west along US 46 just west of the former Little Ferry Circle in Little Ferry
View west along US 46 just west of the former Little Ferry Circle in Little Ferry

Roads and highways

As of May 2010, the borough had a total of 20.20 miles (32.51 km) of roadways, of which 15.95 miles (25.67 km) were maintained by the municipality, 3.42 miles (5.50 km) by Bergen County and 0.83 miles (1.34 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.[105]

The Little Ferry Circle connected U.S. Route 46 and Bergen Turnpike. The circle was originally constructed in 1933 in conjunction with the nearby Route 46 Hackensack River Bridge, which crosses the river to Ridgefield Park and beyond to the George Washington Bridge.The circle was largely reconstructed in 1985, allowing vehicles traveling on Route 46 to pass directly through the circle. The circle has been a constant site of accidents, with 40-50 accidents per year at the circle each year from 2004 through 2006.[106][107] In March 2007, the New Jersey Department of Transportation proposed its latest plan to address issues at the circle. The plan would realign the circle into a straight intersection, complete with turning lanes; prohibit left turns onto many residential streets; and would include construction of a pump station to move water off the oft-flooded highway and into the Hackensack River.[107][108] This plan was later completed, with the circle no longer in existence.

Public transportation

NJ Transit bus routes 161 and 165 provide service between Little Ferry and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan, with local service on the 772 route.[109][110]

The Little Ferry Seaplane Base (FAA LID: 2N7) is a public-use seaplane base located 1-mile (1.6 km) east of the borough's central business district, on the Hackensack River. The base is privately owned.[111]

Notable people

People who were born in, residents of, or otherwise closely associated with Little Ferry include:


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  3. ^ a b Elected officials, Borough of Little Ferry. Accessed May 6, 2020.
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  111. ^ FAA Airport Form 5010 for 2N7 PDF, effective December 20, 2007.
  112. ^ Levin, Jay. "Retired Giants executive Thomas Boisture of Little Ferry dead at 79", The Record, March 17, 2011. Accessed May 12, 2016. "Tom Boisture never made a tackle or caught a pass for the Giants but he wore a Super Bowl XXI ring on his left hand and a Super Bowl XXV ring on his right. The Little Ferry resident, who died last Friday at 79, headed the Giants' player personnel for 20 years."
  113. ^ Waggoner, Walter H. "Taking License With Plates", The New York Times, October 24, 1976. Accessed June 7, 2012. "Ohio has a 'GAMBLE,' which happens to be the license on the car owned by Oscar Gamble, the New York Yankee outfielder now living in Little Ferry."
  114. ^ Aitken, Robert. "MMA: Little Ferry’s Phil Hawes not afraid to enter the cage", The Record, July 28, 2016. Accessed May 9, 2021. "For nearly two years, they kept Phil Hawes from fighting his next professional MMA bout. That wait finally ended June 17, when the Little Ferry resident made his debut with the World Series of Fighting."
  115. ^ Staff. "Fate Pursues Girl Of Slum: Anna Lonergan's Hopes Fade Before Ill Luck Widow of Gangster, She Marries Another Dead Man's Friends Avenge Slight With Blood", Los Angeles Times, September 3, 1924. Accessed June 7, 2012. "Anna and her tired mother and her liability of a husband moved into a cottage at Little Ferry, N.J. Here Bill worked in the garden and grew better and they were happy."
  116. ^ McNamara, Joseph. The Justice Story: True Tales of Murder, Mystery, Mayhem, p. 176. Sports Publishing LLC, 2000. ISBN 9781582612850. Accessed December 9, 2013. "After his marriage to Peg Leg's sister, Anna, the much-feared Lovett retired from the day-to-day supervision of White Hand activities and moved to Little Ferry, N.J."
  117. ^ Herrera, Isabelia. "Ambar Lucid’s Arena-Sized Soul Will Help You Overcome; People used to tell this teenage singer-songwriter she wouldn’t make it because she is Latina. Here, she talks about proving them wrong.", Pitchfork (website), April 14, 2020. Accessed April 20, 2020. "Ambar is waiting out the pandemic with her family at her childhood home in Little Ferry, a New Jersey suburb that she’s just returned to after spending a year and a half chasing her musical aspirations in Los Angeles."
  118. ^ Ruby, Walter. "The Pope's Defender; A Morristown nun leads a one-woman crusade to change minds about Pius XII's role in the Shoa" Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine, New Jersey Jewish News, February 15, 2007. Accessed December 9, 2013. "Marchione was born in Little Ferry in 1922 to a family of Italian immigrants."
  119. ^ Pete Michels Interview, Animation Insider, March 18, 2015. Accessed December 31, 2020. "Where are you from and how did you get into the animation business? I’m from Little Ferry, New Jersey… a suburb of New York City that’s located just south of Hackensack."
  120. ^ Yorio, Kara. "Canadian born, former Islander, Flyer and Devil has become a Jersey guy", The Record, October 13, 2013. Accessed December 9, 2013. "Before Lyndhurst the Resches lived in Little Ferry, and Ridgewood during his playing days, but Lyndhurst feels most like home, Chico said."
  121. ^ Staff. "The Cake Boss returns to Little Ferry" Archived 2013-12-13 at the Wayback Machine, Little Ferry Local, May 7, 2010. Accessed August 22, 2012. "Cake Boss Buddy Valastro returned to Little Ferry on April 27 to accept the 'keys to the city' during ceremonies at Borough Hall. Valastro, who grew up in town, is best known for his starring role on the TLC television program The Cake Boss."


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