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Rutherford, New Jersey

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Rutherford, New Jersey
Borough of Rutherford
Welcome to Rutherford sign
Welcome to Rutherford sign
Official seal of Rutherford, New Jersey

"Borough of Trees"[1][2]
"First Borough of Bergen County"[3]
Map highlighting Rutherford's location within Bergen County. Inset: Bergen County's location within New Jersey.
Map highlighting Rutherford's location within Bergen County. Inset: Bergen County's location within New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Rutherford, New Jersey
Census Bureau map of Rutherford, New Jersey
Rutherford is located in Bergen County, New Jersey
Location in Bergen County
Rutherford is located in New Jersey
Location in New Jersey
Rutherford is located in the United States
Location in the United States
Coordinates: 40°49′13″N 74°06′22″W / 40.820314°N 74.106041°W / 40.820314; -74.106041Coordinates: 40°49′13″N 74°06′22″W / 40.820314°N 74.106041°W / 40.820314; -74.106041[4][5]
Country United States
State New Jersey
IncorporatedSeptember 21, 1881
Named forJohn Rutherfurd
 • TypeBorough
 • BodyNovember 14, 2015
 • MayorJoseph DeSalvo Jr. (R, term ends December 31, 2019)[6][7]
 • AdministratorRobert J. Kakoleski[8][9]
 • Municipal clerkMargaret "Missy" Scanlon[10]
 • Total2.942 sq mi (7.618 km2)
 • Land2.806 sq mi (7.267 km2)
 • Water0.136 sq mi (0.352 km2)  4.61%
Area rank337th of 566 in state
28th of 70 in county[4]
Elevation66 ft (20 m)
 • Total18,061
 • Estimate 
 • Rank143rd of 566 in state
16th of 70 in county[17]
 • Density6,437.4/sq mi (2,485.5/km2)
 • Density rank73rd of 566 in state
21st of 70 in county[17]
Time zoneUTC−5:00 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4:00 (Eastern (EDT))
ZIP Code
Area code(s)201[20]
FIPS code3400365280[4][21][22]
GNIS feature ID0885383[4][23]

Rutherford is a borough in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 18,061,[13][14][15] reflecting a decline of 49 (−0.3%) from the 18,110 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 320 (+1.8%) from the 17,790 counted in the 1990 Census.[24]

Rutherford was formed as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on September 21, 1881, from portions of Union Township, based on the results of a referendum held on the previous day.[25] The borough was named for John Rutherfurd, a U.S. Senator who owned land in the area.[26][27]

Rutherford has been called the "Borough of Trees"[28] and "The First Borough of Bergen County".[29]


The ridge above the New Jersey Meadowlands upon which Rutherford sits was settled by Lenape Native Americans long before the arrival of Walling Van Winkle in 1687. Union Avenue, which runs from the Meadowlands to the Passaic River, may have been an Indian trail, but was more likely a property boundary line; it was referenced in the 1668 grant of land by proprietary Governor Philip Carteret to John Berry.

Bird's-eye view of Rutherford in 1904
Bird's-eye view of Rutherford in 1904

During the early days of settlement, the land that is now Rutherford was part of New Barbadoes Township, as Berry had lived in Barbados, another English colony, before claiming his grant in New Jersey. New Barbadoes was part of Essex County from 1693 to 1710, when Bergen County was formed. In 1826, the land became part of Lodi Township (of which today's remaining portion is now South Hackensack). When Hudson County was formed in 1840, the area that is today North Arlington, Lyndhurst, Rutherford and East Rutherford became part of Harrison Township (of which today's remaining portion is Harrison town). However, the area reverted to Bergen County in 1852 and became known as Union Township.[25]

Part of the region was known as Boiling Springs for a powerful and ceaseless spring located in the vicinity. Despite its name, the spring actually consisted of cold groundwater seeps rather than hot springs.[30]

The Erie Railroad built its Main Line from Jersey City across the Meadowlands in the 1840s. Daniel Van Winkle, a descendant of Walling, donated land in 1866 for a train station at Boiling Springs. Several resorts were built along the Passaic, with guests disembarking at Boiling Springs station and taking Union Avenue to the river. Later, the railroad opened a station closer to the river, at Carlton Hill.

At the time, much of the property in Rutherford was farmland owned by the estate of John Rutherfurd, a former New Jersey legislator and U.S. Senator, whose homestead was along the Passaic River, near present-day Rutherford Avenue.[31] Van Winkle opened a real estate office at Depot Square (now Station Square) to sell the land of the Rutherfurd Park Association, and began to lay out the area's street grid. The main roads were Orient Way, a wide boulevard heading south-southwest from Station Square, and Park Avenue, which headed west-southwest from Station Square to bring traffic to the new Valley Brook Race Course in what is now Lyndhurst.

In the 1870s, the area began to be called "Rutherford". The definitive reason for the change in spelling of the final syllable from "furd" to "ford" is unknown, though the change may have been the result of name recognition of the Ohio politician Rutherford B. Hayes, who was elected President in 1876, or could have been because of a clerical error done by the United States Postal Service.[32] The Post Office opened a facility called "Rutherford" in 1876. On September 21, 1881, the Borough of Rutherford was formed by formal vote of secession from Union Township.[25] By then, the community had about 1,000 residents.

Historic sites

Rutherford is home to the following locations on the National Register of Historic Places:

  • Iviswold – 223 Montross Avenue (added 2004). Located on the campus of Felician College, a $9 million renovation project of the Iviswold castle that took 14 years was completed in 2013. Originally constructed by Floyd W. Tomkins in 1869, the house was expanded to three levels, 25 rooms and 18,000 square feet (1,700 m2) by textbook publisher David Brinkerhoff Iverson after he acquired the home in 1887, based on a design by architect William H. Miller.[33]
  • Kip Homestead – 12 Meadow Road (added 1983).[34]
  • Rutherford station – Station Square (added 1984). New Jersey Transit initiated a $1 million project in 2009 to renovate the station, which had been constructed in 1898, to restore the interior of the structure.[35]
  • William Carlos Williams House – 9 Ridge Road (added 1973).[36]
  • Yereance-Berry House – 91 Crane Avenue (added 1983).[37]


According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 2.942 square miles (7.618 km2), including 2.806 square miles (7.267 km2) of land and 0.136 square miles (0.352 km2) of water (4.61%).[4][5]

Rutherford is an inner-ring suburb of New York City, located 8 miles (13 km) west of Midtown Manhattan.[38]

The borough is bounded by the Passaic River bordering Clifton and Passaicin Passaic County to the west, the Erie Railroad bordering East Rutherford to the north and east, the Hackensack River bordering Secaucus to the southeast, and Berrys Creek, Wall Street West and Rutherford Avenue bordering Lyndhurst to the south and southwest.[39]


Historical population
Census Pop.
Est. 201818,460[16][40][41]2.2%
Population sources: 1880-1920[42]
1880-1890[43] 1890-1910[44]
1890-1930[45] 1900-2010[46][47][48]
2000[49][50] 2010[13][14][15]

2010 Census

As of the 2010 United States Census, there were 18,061 people, 6,949 households, and 4,662.779 families residing in the borough. The population density was 6,437.4 per square mile (2,485.5/km2). There were 7,278 housing units at an average density of 2,594.1 per square mile (1,001.6/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 77.57% (14,010) White, 2.92% (527) Black or African American, 0.07% (13) Native American, 13.08% (2,362) Asian, 0.01% (1) Pacific Islander, 3.68% (664) from other races, and 2.68% (484) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 14.08% (2,543) of the population.[13]

There were 6,949 households out of which 29.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 52.8% were married couples living together, 10.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.9% were non-families. 27.4% of all households 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 2.56 and the average family size was 3.17.[13]

In the borough, the population was spread out with 21.0% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 27.6% from 25 to 44, 29.3% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40.3 years. For every 100 females there were 92.7 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 90.2 males.[13]

The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $85,783 (with a margin of error of +/− $4,632) and the median family income was $104,293 (+/− $6,102). Males had a median income of $70,071 (+/− $8,275) versus $55,080 (+/− $4,045) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $41,662 (+/− $3,383). About 3.6% of families and 4.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 4.5% of those under age 18 and 5.3% of those age 65 or over.[51]

Same-sex couples headed 65 households in 2010, an increase from the 48 counted in 2000.[52]

2000 Census

As of the 2000 United States Census[21] there were 18,110 people, 7,055 households, and 4,670 families residing in the borough. The population density was 6,451.7 people per square mile (2,488.4/km2). There were 7,214 housing units at an average density of 2,570.0 per square mile (991.2/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 81.99% White, 2.70% African American, 0.04% Native American, 11.34% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 1.86% from other races, and 2.03% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.59% of the population.[49][50]

There were 7,055 households out of which 28.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 53.5% were married couples living together, 9.2% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.8% were non-families. 28.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.16.[49][50]

In the borough the population was spread out with 20.8% under the age of 18, 7.4% from 18 to 24, 32.6% from 25 to 44, 24.6% from 45 to 64, and 14.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females, there were 92.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.3 males.[49][50]

The median income for a household in the borough was $63,820, and the median income for a family was $78,120. Males had a median income of $51,376 versus $39,950 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $30,495. About 2.3% of families and 3.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 3.1% of those under age 18 and 6.9% of those age 65 or over.[49][50]


Rutherford is the site of Architectural Window Manufacturing Corporation's plant[53] and Boiling Springs Savings Bank's corporate headquarters.[54]

Rutherford, together with Lyndhurst and North Arlington, was the site of the EnCap project, an effort to remediate landfills on the 785-acre (3.18 km2) site and construct homes and golf courses on top of the remediated site. On May 27, 2008, the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission terminated its agreement with EnCap Golf Holdings, the company that had the contract to redevelop the site, after the company had missed targets to clean up the landfills as part of the project.[55]

The Highland Cross Development is a proposed project that is to consist of 800 units of housing, including 160 affordable units, two hotels and a large retail component. Rutherford officials have been working to get approval for the project in the face of opposition from the 14 mayors of the Hackensack Meadowlands Municipal Committee.[56]

Arts and culture

William Carlos Williams, the Pulitzer Prize–winning poet who died in 1963, was born in Rutherford in 1883. For most of his adult life, he maintained a physician's office in the house in which he lived, at 9 Ridge Road, at the corner of Park Avenue, even as he continued his artistic endeavors.[57]

The Rivoli Theatre was opened in 1922 as a vaudeville house but was quickly converted into a movie palace. It was known for a large crystal chandelier suspended from the center of the auditorium. On January 9, 1977, the Rivoli was severely damaged in a fire.[58] Soon afterward, a plan was developed to restore the Rivoli and turn it into a performing arts center. The William Carlos Williams Center for the Performing Arts opened in 1981 and contains three movie screens as well as two performance halls.[59] Since 1995, the Williams Center's primary focus has been on concerts, ballet, opera, and theater for children.

The Yereance-Berry House in 1938. Home of the Meadowlands Museum.

The Meadowlands Museum, which focuses on local history and began as a project of parents of children in the public schools in 1961 and was originally based in a room at Sylvan School,[60] moved to the Yereance-Berry House at 91 Crane Avenue in 1974.

The GFWC Woman's Club of Rutherford is a non-profit volunteer organization that was organized in 1889. The club is located in the former Iviswold carriage house.[61]

The Rutherford Community Band was founded in 1941 and performs free concerts at venues throughout the borough, including the Hutzel Memorial Band Shell in Lincoln Park.[62][63]

Annual cultural events

Rutherford holds an annual street fair on Labor Day which is the longest running street fair in New Jersey and usually attracts 20,000 people.[64][65]

The first annual Rutherford West End Festival was held October 3, 2009, in the West End section of town.[66]

The Rutherford Multicultural Festival is an annual event that provides traditional entertainment and food from around the world.[67]

In 2017, the first annual Rutherford Downhill Derby will provide kids and adults with the opportunity to design, build and race gravity powered race carts.[68]

In 2018, the Rutherford Pride Alliance was founded. A year later, the Rutherford council unanimously approved of raising the LGBTQ flag to celebrate the 50th anniversary of Stonewall.

Parks and recreation

Rutherford Memorial Park, in the northwest corner of town along the Passaic, was set aside as parkland by the voters in 1951. Its 30 acres (120,000 m2) include two baseball diamonds, five softball diamonds, a Little League Baseball field, a football stadium, five tennis courts, two basketball courts, and three playgrounds. Other active recreation parks include Tamblyn Field, near Route 3.[69]

The borough also has several smaller passive parks, including Lincoln Park across from borough hall, which was renovated in 2004. It includes a band shell and several monuments, including a cannon dating to the Spanish–American War, and is home to the borough's 9/11 memorial, containing a piece of steel debris recovered from the site of the attacks.[70] Sunset Park is located just north of the intersection of Union and Jackson Avenues and is on the western-facing side of a rather steep hill. A plan to redesign the park is currently being developed.[71] Firefighters' Memorial Park is a pocket park located at the intersection of Park and Mortimer Avenues.[72]

Lincoln Park has been host to town events, concerts, and memorials for decades. The Rutherford Community Band plays concerts during the summer. Other summer concerts are sponsored by the borough, as well as several movie nights in the park. In the fall, it has hosted the Bergen County Cultural Festival, which is funded and run by the Civil Rights Commission.

The Nereid Boat Club occupies a former boat sales building on the Passaic, at the foot of Newell Avenue. The rowing club, established in Nutley in 1875, relocated to Rutherford in 1996.[73]


Local government

Rutherford is governed under the Borough form of New Jersey municipal government. The governing body consists of a Mayor and a Borough Council comprising six council members, 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 consists 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.[11] The Borough form of government used by Rutherford, the most common system used in the state, 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.[74][75] The Borough operates with numerous committees to assist the government in carrying out its responsibilities. In addition to statutory bodies such as the planning board and zoning board of adjustment, dozens of volunteers staff other committees appointed annually, providing recommendations to the council.

As of 2019, the Mayor of the Borough of Rutherford is Joseph DeSalvo Jr. a Democrat, whose term of office ends December 31, 2019; DeSalvo was elected as a Republican in 2015, but switched his party affiliation to Democratic in 2019.[76] Members of the Rutherford Borough Council are Council President Stephanie McGowan (D, 2020), Maria Begg-Roberson (D, 2021), Mark Goldsack (D, 2019), Thomas Mullahey (D, 2019), Edward C. "Eddie" Narucki (D, 2020) and Frank Nunziato (D, 2021).[6][77][78][79][80][81][82]

Federal, state and county representation

Rutherford is located in the 9th Congressional District[83] and is part of New Jersey's 36th state legislative district.[14][84][85]

For the 116th United States Congress, New Jersey's Ninth Congressional District is represented by Bill Pascrell (D, Paterson).[86][87] New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Democrats Cory Booker (Newark, term ends 2021)[88] and Bob Menendez (Paramus, term ends 2025).[89][90]

For the 2018–2019 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 Gary Schaer (D, Passaic) and Clinton Calabrese (D, Cliffside Park).[91][92] Calabrese was sworn into office on February 8, 2018 to fill the seat of Marlene Caride, who had resigned from office on January 16, 2018 after being nominated to head the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance.[93][94]

Bergen County is governed by a directly elected County Executive, with legislative functions performed by a seven-member 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 each January.[95][96] As of 2018, the County Executive is Democratic James J. Tedesco III of Paramus, whose term of office ends December 31, 2018.[97] Bergen County's Freeholders are Freeholder Chairman Thomas J. Sullivan Jr., (D, Montvale, term as freeholder ends 2019; term as freeholder chairman ends 2018),[98] Freeholder Vice-Chairwoman Germaine M. Ortiz (D, Emerson, term as freeholder ends 2019; term as freeholder vice-chairwoman ends 2018),[99] Freeholder Chairman Pro-Tempore Mary J. Amoroso (D, Mahwah, term as freeholder ends 2019; term as freeholder chairman pro-tempore ends 2018),[100] David L. Ganz (D, Fair Lawn, 2020),[101] Steve Tanelli (D, North Arlington, 2018),[102] Joan Voss (D, Fort Lee, 2020)[103] and Tracy Silna Zur (D, Franklin Lakes, 2018),[104][105][106][95] Bergen County's constitutional officials are County Clerk John S. Hogan (D, Northvale, 2021),[107][108] Sheriff Michael Saudino (D, Emerson, 2019)[109][110] and Surrogate Michael R. Dressler (D, Cresskill, 2021).[111][112][95][113]


As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 10,609 registered voters in Rutherford, of which 3,436 (32.4% vs. 31.7% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 2,287 (21.6% vs. 21.1%) were registered as Republicans and 4,875 (46.0% vs. 47.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 11 voters registered to other parties.[114] Among the borough's 2010 Census population, 58.7% (vs. 57.1% in Bergen County) were registered to vote, including 74.3% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 73.7% countywide).[114][115]

In the 2012 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 4,771 votes (57.7% vs. 54.8% countywide), ahead of Republican Mitt Romney with 3,313 votes (40.1% vs. 43.5%) and other candidates with 111 votes (1.3% vs. 0.9%), among the 8,266 ballots cast by the borough's 11,229 registered voters, for a turnout of 73.6% (vs. 70.4% in Bergen County).[116][117] In the 2008 presidential election, Democrat Barack Obama received 4,824 votes (53.7% vs. 53.9% countywide), ahead of Republican John McCain with 3,973 votes (44.2% vs. 44.5%) and other candidates with 117 votes (1.3% vs. 0.8%), among the 8,984 ballots cast by the borough's 11,275 registered voters, for a turnout of 79.7% (vs. 76.8% in Bergen County).[118][119] In the 2004 presidential election, Democrat John Kerry received 4,539 votes (52.2% vs. 51.7% countywide), ahead of Republican George W. Bush with 4,030 votes (46.3% vs. 47.2%) and other candidates with 96 votes (1.1% vs. 0.7%), among the 8,698 ballots cast by the borough's 11,077 registered voters, for a turnout of 78.5% (vs. 76.9% in the whole county).[120]

In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 56.6% of the vote (2,918 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 42.2% (2,174 votes), and other candidates with 1.1% (59 votes), among the 5,299 ballots cast by the borough's 10,653 registered voters (148 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 49.7%.[121][122] In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Democrat Jon Corzine received 2,910 ballots cast (48.0% vs. 48.0% countywide), ahead of Republican Chris Christie with 2,642 votes (43.6% vs. 45.8%), Independent Chris Daggett with 421 votes (6.9% vs. 4.7%) and other candidates with 32 votes (0.5% vs. 0.5%), among the 6,062 ballots cast by the borough's 10,957 registered voters, yielding a 55.3% turnout (vs. 50.0% in the county).[123]


Roads and highways

Intersection of Routes 3 and 17 in Rutherford
Intersection of Routes 3 and 17 in Rutherford

As of May 2010, the borough had a total of 46.84 miles (75.38 km) of roadways, of which 36.52 miles (58.77 km) were maintained by the municipality, 6.48 miles (10.43 km) by Bergen County, 3.36 miles (5.41 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation and 0.48 miles (0.77 km) by the New Jersey Turnpike Authority.[124]

The New Jersey Turnpike (I-95) northbound in Rutherford
The New Jersey Turnpike (I-95) northbound in Rutherford

In the 1920s, the original Route 17 came through downtown Rutherford. Following the 1927 New Jersey State Highway renumbering, the new New Jersey Route 2 (later Route 17) was built in 1928, skirting the southeast edge of the borough, between the residential area and the New Jersey Meadowlands.

In 1948, a new bypass road along the southwest edge of the borough was built to bring traffic from Clifton and points west to the Lincoln Tunnel. The construction of the highway spur Route S3 (now Route 3) caused the demolition or relocation of numerous borough homes. In 2013, the Route 3 bridge over the Passaic River was replaced, and further improvements were made to the Rutherford section of the highway. The swing span of the Union Avenue Bridge over the Passaic was replaced in June 2002 as part of a $9.5 million project.[125]

A short portion of the New Jersey Turnpike Western Spur (Interstate 95) passes through the southern section of Rutherford, but the closest interchange is located in neighboring East Rutherford (exit 16W).[126]

Public transportation

Thanks to its easy access to New York City by rail, Rutherford became an early bedroom community. Following the initial wave of settlement in the late 19th century, an additional building boom occurred in the 1920s, when the majority of the borough's current housing stock was constructed.

Public Service Railway brought trolley lines into Rutherford around the start of the 20th century. The lines extended east to Jersey City, south to Newark, north to Hackensack, and west to Passaic. By the late 1940s, the trolleys were replaced by bus service.

After the opening of the Lincoln Tunnel in 1937, the Inter-City Bus Company began bus service direct from Paterson to New York City. The line was taken over by NJ Transit in the early 1980s.

Today, NJ Transit offers service to and from New York City's Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan on several routes. The 163 offers rush hour service only, as Rutherford is not typically along its route. The 190 offers local service along Union Avenue and Orient Way. The 191, 192 and 195 routes all serve the portion of Rutherford that is adjacent to NJ-3, as well as the portion of NJ-17 that goes through Rutherford. The 76 bus provides service between Hackensack and Newark.[127][128]

Rutherford's train station, which was built by the Erie Railroad in 1898, serves passengers on NJ Transit's Bergen County Line.[129] Service is available to Suffern and various stations along Metro-North Railroad's Port Jervis Line, as well as all other Bergen County Line stations as Rutherford is the last stop before Secaucus Junction. Service is also provided to Hoboken Terminal with connections to Hudson–Bergen Light Rail, PATH, and NY Waterway service, and customers can connect at Secaucus for trains to New York Penn Station, Newark Liberty International Airport, and points west and south along the Morris & Essex Lines, North Jersey Coast Line, Northeast Corridor Line, and Montclair-Boonton Line. Access to the Raritan Valley Line is available at either Hoboken or at Newark Penn Station via Secaucus.[130]

Emergency services



The Rutherford Police Department (RPD) provides emergency and protective services to the borough of Rutherford. The RPD consists of 33 officers and five cadets currently in training. The current chief is John Russo who was appointed on March 26, 2013. The RPD responds to approximately 11,000 calls per year and conducts criminal investigations through its detective bureau.[131]

The police department was originally organized in June 1879 as the Rutherford Protective and Detective Association.[132]


The Rutherford Fire Department (RFD) is an all-volunteer fire department. The RFD was organized in May 1871 and consists of one Chief, one deputy chief and three assistant chiefs. There are five fire companies in three fire houses. Each company has a Captain and a Lieutenant. The department is staffed by 75 fully trained firefighters. The RFD utilizes three Engines, a Ladder truck, a Heavy Rescue, a Special Service Unit and two boats.[133]

Two of Rutherford's firefighters—Edwin L. Ward in 1965 and Thomas E. Dunn in 1994—have died in the line of duty.[134]



The Rutherford First Aid-Ambulance Corps is a volunteer service that was organized in 1949. The corp consists of 40 members that operate under the supervision of the Captain, First Lieutenant and Second Lieutenant. The corps provides basic life support, and is staffed primarily by certified Emergency Medical Technicians. CPR-trained drivers are also sometimes on duty. They operate three Type III ambulances.[135]


The Rutherford School District serves the borough's public school students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. Public education began in Rutherford prior to 1900, but the oldest school structure that is still standing is the former Park School, built in 1902. It is currently the home of the Rutherford borough hall, on Park Avenue. As of the 2014-15 school year, the district and its five schools had an enrollment of 2,606 students and 207.4 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.6:1.[136] Schools in the district (with 2014-15 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics[137]) are Kindergarten Center[138] (opened in 2014), Lincoln School[139] (475 students; in grades 1-3), Washington School[140] (269; 1-3), Pierrepont School[141] (516; 4-6), Union School[142] (484; 7-8) and Rutherford High School[143] (748; 9-12), built in 1922 and expanded in 1959 and 2005.[144]

Rutherford formerly had three "neighborhood" schools for grades K–5 (Washington, Lincoln, and Sylvan) which fed into two "magnet" schools for 6-8. The magnet schools also served as elementary schools for their neighborhoods. Sylvan School was closed at the end of the 2004–2005 school year and has become a handicapped preschool, as well as office space for the special services department.

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, and the Bergen Tech campus in Teterboro or 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.[145][146]

Iviswold Castle located on the Felician College campus.
Iviswold Castle located on the Felician College campus.

St. Mary's Roman Catholic Church was established in Rutherford in the 1890s and opened a school shortly thereafter. The parish offers The Academy at Saint Mary for preschool through eighth grade[147] and St. Mary High School, founded in 1929.[148] Both schools are operated under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark.[149]

In 1942, Fairleigh Dickinson University was founded in Rutherford as a two-year college, anchored by the Iviswold Castle on Montross Avenue, which was built in the 1880s as a summer home by David B. Ivison. After FDU expanded to a four-year college and then to offering graduate programs, it acquired other, larger campuses, and eventually left Rutherford, offering the campus for sale due to financial difficulties. In the fall of 1997, the Rutherford campus was purchased by Felician College, an independent private Roman Catholic institution, which often has cultural and community events.[150]

Notable people

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

Professional athletes


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  150. ^ Winters, Jaimie Julia. "Iviswold restorer bringing back the bling", South Bergenite, July 28, 2011. Accessed August 30, 2011. "In 1942, Peter Sammartino bought the property and opened Fairleigh Dickinson College with the castle as its heart. Fairleigh Dickinson University closed the Rutherford campus in 1994 due to lack of space. The facilities and the castle were locked and unoccupied for three years until 1997 when Felician College purchased the entire 10.5-acre campus and acquired the castle."
  151. ^ Alfred Andriola, National Cartoonists Society. Accessed May 10, 2011.
  152. ^ Brown, Lee Francis. Rutherford Then and Now, p. 33.
  153. ^ Staff. "M.W. Becton Dead; Manufacturer, 83; Maker of Surgical Instruments Was a Founder of Fairleigh Dickinson College in 1941", The New York Times, January 3, 1951. Accessed May 10, 2011. "Rutherford, N.J., Jan. 2-- Maxwell W. Becton, a founder and trustee of Fairleigh Dickinson College here, died today at his home, 140 Ridge Road, after an illness of several years."
  154. ^ Reilly, Daniel W. "Peace reigns among Armed Services Committee staff", Politico, December 4, 2007. Accessed November 22, 2017. "Conaton, who grew up in Rutherford, N.J., has degrees from Georgetown and Tufts universities."
  155. ^ Staff. "Howard Crook", American Record Guide Volume 41, p. 26. Helen Dwight Reid Educational Foundation, 1977. Accessed May 10, 2011. "Crook, from Rutherford, NJ, has a somewhat neutral and nondescript tenor coloring..."
  156. ^ Smith, Jessie Carney, ed. Notable Black American Women, Book 2, p. 152. VNR AG, 1996. ISBN 9780810391772. Accessed December 12, 2015.
  157. ^ Melok, Bobby. "Where Are They Now? Crowbar", WWE, August 29, 2012. Accessed September 27, 2015. "Ford's love of wrestling began at childhood. A major fan of superheroes and comic books, the Rutherford, N.J., native was originally drawn to larger-than-life characters like Hulk Hogan and Ultimate Warrior."
  158. ^ Dayton, The Political Graveyard. Accessed October 13, 2007.
  159. ^ 1876 A.H. Walker Atlas of Bergen County New Jersey, p. 159.
  160. ^ Van Valen, James M. History of Bergen County, published New Jersey pub. and engraving co., 1900, p. 689. Accessed September 9, 2008.
  161. ^ "Col. Dickinson, 84, College Founder: Head of Surgical Instrument Firm in Rutherford Dies, Set Up School in 1942, copy of article from The New York Times, June 24, 1948, p. 25. Accessed September 12, 2007.
  162. ^ Stout, David. "Fairleigh S. Dickinson Jr., 76, Who Helped Save the Meadowlands", The New York Times, October 17, 1996. Accessed May 10, 2011.
  163. ^ Index to Politicians: Dickinson, The Political Graveyard. Accessed September 9, 2008.
  164. ^ Kathleen A. Donovan, Bergen County, New Jersey, backed up by the Internet Archive as of April 24, 2009. Accessed May 10, 2011.
  165. ^ O'Keefe, Daniel. "Pete Seeger comes to the Meadowlands", South Bergenite, November 11, 2010. Accessed August 19, 2013. "It isn't often one gets to meet a living legend, but on Nov. 20 people will get to do just that as Pete Seeger, an icon of American folk music whose career as a musician and an activist stretches back to the late 1930s, comes to the Williams Center to perform with local musicians in a concert to preserve the wetlands right here in our own backyard.... The concert has been spear-headed by Rutherford folk musician John Dull."
  166. ^ Klapisch, Bob. "Klapisch: Patience for Rutherford's Jack Egbert more than pays off", The Record (Bergen County), May 30, 2012. Accessed September 27, 2015.
  167. ^ Staff. "William H. J. Ely, Jersey Ex-Leader; Former State Senator, WPA Director, Dies -- Beaten by Barbour for U. S. Senate", The New York Times, March 3, 1942. Accessed May 10, 2011. "Rutherford, N. J., March 2 - William Harvey J. Ely, former State Senator from Bergen County and State Works Progress Administrator, died tonight at his home, having suffered a stroke this morning while at his law office. Born in Rutherford on Sept. 18, 1981, Mr. Ely started his political career in 1926 as a member of the Rutherford Borough Council, the first Democrat to win a seat in twenty-five years."
  168. ^ William H.J. Ely, The Political Graveyard. Accessed October 13, 2007.
  169. ^ Coutros, Evonne. "Screenwriter Has Spielberg's Number", The Record (Bergen County), May 15, 1994. Accessed August 29, 2011.
  170. ^ "Fireman Ed: 'I Can Handle' New England Crowd", WFAN, January 12, 2011. Accessed December 11, 2011.
  171. ^ "Judge Guy Fake Of Jersey Dead; Retired Chief of Federal District Court Opposed New Deal, Income Tax", The New York Times, September 25, 1957. Accessed November 19, 2017. "Rutherford, N.J., Sept. 24--Federal Judge Guy Laverne Fake, former chief of the United States District Court in New Jersey, died last night in his home, 292 Montross Avenue, of a heart attack. He was 77 years old."
  172. ^ Beckerman, Jim. "Fowler draws on salon ties for role", The Record (Bergen County), March 12, 2008. Accessed March 12, 2008. "Born in Jersey City, raised in Rutherford (she cut her acting teeth with the Bergen County Players in Oradell), she lived in Teaneck, Hawthorne and Glen Rock before settling, eight years ago, in New Milford."
  173. ^ Louis Frey Jr., Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Accessed December 9, 2007.
  174. ^ "Haggag and Akins", Art F City. Accessed November 18, 2017. "[Q] Are you from Baltimore? Are you still in school? D: We are not. I grew up in Rutherford, New Jersey and Cath grew up in Phoenix, Arizona."
  175. ^ Catharine Holsman and Others vs. The Boiling Spring Bleaching Company. Accessed December 11, 2011.
  176. ^ Daniel Holsman, The Political Graveyard. Accessed October 11, 2007.
  177. ^ Kyung-Jun Kim, violin, From The Top. Accessed September 17, 2018. "Kyung-Jun Kim (violin), age 18, is a senior at Rutherford High School in his hometown of Rutherford, NJ."
  178. ^ Shenker, Israel. "Look, Y'Tink Noo Yawkiz Like ta Tawk Like Dis? Nah", The New York Times, May 10, 1971. Accessed May 10, 2011. "Professor Labov was born in Rutherford, N. J., just outside the New York City speech area, and his wife was born in Fort Lee, N. J., just inside that area."
  179. ^ O'Keefe, Daniel. "Rutherford's WWI monument is ready for extreme facelift", South Bergenite, July 22, 2009. Accessed May 10, 2011. "He also wants to include additional information commemorating Sergeant John C. Latham, a man from Rutherford who enlisted in 1917 and went on to win the Congressional Medal of Honor, as well as honors from Great Britain and France."
  180. ^ "The Death-List Of A Day; Thomas Le Clear The Famous Portrait-Painter.", The New York Times, November 28, 1882. Accessed July 30, 2018. "Thomas Le Clear, one of the most famous of the portrait-painters which this country has produced, died at his residence in Rutherford, N.J., on Sunday evening."
  181. ^ Rohan, Virginia. "'The Pacific' miniseries unfolds through Rutherford veteran's eyes", The Record (Bergen County), March 14, 2010. Accessed May 10, 2011. "Leckie — who grew up in Rutherford — may not have spoken about the Pacific until later in his life, but he wrote volumes about it, including a powerful and unexpurgated memoir, Helmet for My Pillow, his first book, published in 1957."
  182. ^ Johnson, Ken. "Art Review; A Restless Explorer Of Early Abstraction", The New York Times, December 25, 1998. Accessed December 27, 2007. "In 1908 Marin was living in Paris and enjoying some success as an etcher of Whistlerian city scenes. He was in his late 30s, artistically a late bloomer. (He was born in Rutherford, N.J., in 1870.)"
  183. ^ Staff. "Versatility marks actor's career", University of Delaware Messenger, Volume 6, Number 3, 1997. Accessed December 16, 2013. "He lives in Rutherford, N.J., with his second wife, Leilani, and their son, Danny. Rutherford is just 25 minutes from New York City, and close enough to the airports that jet him to Hollywood."
  184. ^ Fox, Margalit. "René Morel, Master Restorer of Rare Violins, Dies at 79", The New York Times, November 19, 2011. Accessed November 21, 2011. "René A. Morel, a world-renowned surgeon whose clients had names like Perlman, Zukerman and Ma and whose patients had names like Stradivari, Guarneri and Amati, died on Wednesday in Wayne, N.J. He was 79.... Mr. Morel, who was divorced, lived in Rutherford, N.J."
  185. ^ Page, Tim. Charlie Morrow, A Portrait, Charlie Morrow. Accessed September 27, 2015. "Morrow, a warm, affable man who puts a visitor on a first name basis immediately, was born in 1942, the son of two New Jersey psychiatrists, and grew up in the New York suburbs of Rutherford and Passaic."
  186. ^ Martin, Douglas. "Dick Newick, Sailboat Design Visionary, Dies at 87", The New York Times, September 15, 2013. Accessed September 27, 2015. "Richard Cooper Newick, who his family said died of heart failure, was born in Hackensack, N.J., on May 9, 1926. He grew up in Rutherford, N.J., where at age 10 he built two kayaks with his father and brother."
  187. ^ Voorhis, Linda. "Peggy Noonan To Speak At WPC", The New York Times, March 4, 1992. Accessed October 13, 2007. "Former Rutherford resident Peggy Noonan, a White House speechwriter"
  188. ^ "Nomination of Thomas R. Pickering To Be United States Ambassador to Nigeria", The American Presidency Project - Ronald Reagan, September 17, 1981. Accessed May 10, 2011. "Mr. Pickering graduated from Bowdoin College (A.B., 1953); Fletcher School of Law (M.A., 1954); and the University of Melbourne (M.A., 1956). He served in the United States Navy in 1956-59. He is married, has two children, and resides in Rutherford, N.J."
  189. ^ Staff. "B-52s 'Party' lands close to hometown", The Record (Bergen County), August 15, 2009. Accessed January 14, 2012. "But Athens is a university town – cosmopolitan – with transplants from all over. Which is how Pierson (Weehawken-born, Rutherford-raised) and Schneider (Newark and Long Branch) came to be in the area, ready to join forces with several local musicians to create New Wave's quirkiest party band."
  190. ^ Manuscript Group 398, Rutherfurd Family, New Jersey Historical Society. Accessed July 29, 2007. "John Rutherfurd (1760-1840)... in 1808, he moved to Bergen County, New Jersey, near present-day Rutherford."
  191. ^ Trevino, Julissa. "Family, military pay tribute to Tuskegee Airman Calvin Spann", The Dallas Morning News, Born in Rutherford, N.J., Spann was a Tuskegee Airman and fighter pilot with the 100th Fighter Squadron of the 332nd Fighter Group."
  192. ^ Brian Kim Stefans, Poetry Foundation. Accessed November 19, 2017. "Brian Kim Stefans was born in Rutherford, New Jersey in 1969. He earned a BA from Bard College and attended the CUNY Graduate School for two years before earning an MFA in electronic literature from Brown University."
  193. ^ "In Memoriam: Dr. Walter H. Stockmayer 1914-2004", Dartmouth College, June 30, 2010. Accessed May 10, 2011. "Growing up in Rutherford, NJ, he graduated from Rutherford High School and received an S.B. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1935, where he served as class President."
  194. ^ Neumann, William. Rutherford, p. 8. Arcadia Publishing, 2012. ISBN 9780738597720. Accessed September 27, 2015.
  195. ^ Staff. "Teaneck Park Dedicated; State Senator Van Winkle Makes Address at Ceremonies", The New York Times, July 6, 1937. Accessed May 10, 2011. "Winant Van Winkle of Rutherford, State Senator from Bergen County, made the dedication address at the opening of the new municipal park on Route 4 at Belle Avenue here this afternoon."
  196. ^ Van Winkle, The Political Graveyard. Accessed October 13, 2007.
  197. ^ 300th Anniversary Journal of the Van Winkle Family, p. 21.
  198. ^ Staff. "Walker W. Vick Dies; Aided Wilson In 1912; Former Receiver of Dominican Customs Was an Officer of Democratic Committee.", The New York Times, May 3, 1926. Accessed September 27, 2015. "For many years he lived in Rutherford, N.J., and was active in politics there."
  199. ^ Scannell's New Jersey First Citizens (1918) Accessed March 16, 2010.
  200. ^ Speiser, Matt. "Rutherford Upbringing Inspires Young Author", Rutherford Daily Voice, April 21, 2016. Accessed November 18, 2017. "If you graduated Rutherford High School with Siobhan Vivian in 1997, you might find yourself as a character in one of her books.The author, who is about to publish her eighth young adult book, says her Rutherford upbringing serves as a 'deep well' of inspiration that she returns to time and time again."
  201. ^ Nicholaides, Kelly. "Unique Rutherford artists' work to be exhibited in hometown", The Record (Bergen County), August 10, 2017. Accessed November 19, 2017. "Artist Victor Victori, known for his 'multiplism' paintings, neoclassical-inspired godly sculptures and presidential portraits, teams up with ceramics guru Lucille Scurti and the Potters Guild of New Jersey for an exhibit at Harpy Art Gallery in Rutherford.The Aug. 19-Sept. 8 exhibit will highlight both Rutherford residents' unique specialties."
  202. ^ Alexander Russell Webb Accessed January 25, 2009.
  203. ^ Wittenauer, Cheryl. "University to get Williams' poem", The Washington Times, March 13, 2007. Accessed August 29, 2011. "Along with his literary career, Mr. Williams had a medical practice in Rutherford, N.J. "
  204. ^ Spelling, Ian. "Broadcast Newsman: WCBS-TV's Chris Wragge is anchored in Bergen", (201) magazine, February 1, 2009, backed up by the Internet Archive as of January 26, 2011. Accessed July 30, 2018. "Chris Wragge knows his way around this county. The popular WCBS-TV news anchor was born in Hackensack, raised in Rutherford and moved to Mahwah when he was in sixth grade."
  205. ^ "Brant Alyea from the Chronology". Archived from the original on October 19, 2012.
  206. ^ a b Adamek, Steve. "Where are they now? Rutherford's Bill Hands", The Record (Bergen County), May 31, 2010. Accessed May 14, 2016. "But Rutherford (where he (Bill Hands) grew up playing with Brant Alyea, a former big league outfielder) also is still home,"
  207. ^ Jim Blumenstock, Accessed September 27, 2015.
  208. ^ Staff. "Jim Garrett ... Halfback: Rough Riders Sign Import And Canuck", Ottawa Citizen, June 22, 1957. Accessed August 29, 2011. "Garrett, who started his career at Rutherford High School, Rutherford, N.J. booted 55 out of 60 extra points while in service and had 12 out of 16 field goal attempts."
  209. ^ RHS Athletic Hall of Fame Induction Dinner Archived October 20, 2007, at the Wayback Machine, Rutherford High School, April 19, 1996. Accessed July 7, 2007.
  210. ^ Yannis, Alex. "Columbia To Name Garrett As Coach", The New York Times, December 27, 1984. Accessed September 27, 2015. "Garrett, a native of Rutherford, N.J., was an all-conference running back at Utah State."
  211. ^ Kensik, Edward. "Rutherford native working out of the pen for Cleveland Indians", South Bergenite, June 17, 2010. Accessed May 6, 2012. "Well, it has been five years of hard work that finally paid off for Rutherford native and relief pitcher Frank Herrmann to make it to the Big Show of Major League Baseball as he pitched for the Cleveland Indians on June 4 in Chicago against the White Sox."
  212. ^ Curry, Jack. "Baseball; Yoshii Sent to Rockies; Is Edmonds Next Met?", The New York Times, January 15, 2000. Accessed August 29, 2011. "Jones grew up in Rutherford, N.J., as a Mets fan, lives in East Rutherford and admitted that he lost focus last season because he missed his family. He called the trade 'a dream come true.'"
  213. ^ Online World of Wrestling Accessed October 2, 2009.
  214. ^ Kepner, Tyler. "Yankees Beat Athletics for Seventh Straight Win", The New York Times, July 24, 2009. Accessed July 30, 2018. "The A's started Vin Mazzaro, a 22-year-old rookie who grew up a Yankees fan while starring at Rutherford High School in New Jersey."
  215. ^ Da`Mon Merkerson, ArenaFan. Accessed September 27, 2015.
  216. ^ O'Gorman, George. "Giants Stadium celebration gives Big Blue chance to celebrate at home for the first time in months", Trentonian, February 6, 2008, backed up by the Internet Archive as of June 12, 2008. Accessed January 6, 2015. "For two of the Giants' three Jersey guys, the salute by their home state wasn't a surprise. 'They always do things right in New Jersey,' said center Shaun O'Hara, a Rutgers grad who grew up in Hillsborough and now lives in Rutherford."
  217. ^ Pat Pacillo, Accessed September 27, 2015.
  218. ^ Moran, Malcolm. "Players; A Pitcher Who Likes To Hit", The New York Times, June 5, 1984. Accessed August 29, 2011. "Pacillo had also played football and basketball at Rutherford High School, and at one time he had pictured himself as a prospect in football, not baseball."
  219. ^ Thomas Jr., Robert McG. "Leo Paquin, 83, One of Fordham's Blocks of Granite", The New York Times, December 3, 1993. Accessed August 29, 2011. "Leo Paquin, one of the nine Seven Blocks of Granite who made Fordham's front line into a formidable football force in 1936 and 1937, died yesterday at his home in Rutherford, N.J. He was 83 years old."
  220. ^ Staff. "Percy Prince", The New York Times, December 5, 1973. Accessed November 19, 2017. "Percy Prince, who headed foodstuffs purchasing here for the Cunard Line at his retirement in 1952, died Monday in Bergen Pines Hospital, Paramus, N.J. He was 86 years old and lived at 65 Yahara Avenue in Rutherford, N.J."
  221. ^ MMA Universe Accessed January 16, 2009.
  222. ^ Stapleton, Art. "Stapleton: Pat Sullivan, Jim Spanarkel relive the Final Four frenzy", The Record (Bergen County), April 5, 2011. Accessed December 11, 2011. "Jim Spanarkel would agree, although when he starred for Duke in 1978, the Rutherford resident and his teammates were not as fortunate as Sullivan and the Tar Heels."
  223. ^ Recchia, Philip.; Susannah Cahalan. "Jint In Home Blitz; Strahan's $3m Pad-Buy Spree.", New York Post, June 25, 2006. Accessed August 29, 2011. "Closer to the Montclair, N.J., manse he and [Jean] called home for five years is [Michael Strahan]'s Rutherford, N.J., condo in a 16-unit complex called Park Avenue Townhouses. That spanking-new Colonial-style abode, which went for about $800,000, features a Jacuzzi, personal gym and view of Giants Stadium."
  224. ^ Staff. "New Jersey Sports; Bengal Bodyguard", The New York Times, February 3, 1973. Accessed August 29, 2011. "The answer, of course, is a professional football lineman, and while members of that front wall usually don't rate headlines, Rutherford's Stan Walters is deserving of some attention fallowing [sic] his rookie season with the Cincinnati Bengals."
  225. ^ Stan Walters, Accessed January 25, 2009
  226. ^ Cory Wooton Archived September 17, 2009, at the Wayback Machine Accessed October 2, 2009.
  227. ^ Cimini, Rich. "Jets need D-line help on Day 2", ESPN, April 30, 2010. Accessed February 22, 2011. "If Rex Ryan wants a five-technique end for his 3-4 scheme, a candidate is Northwestern's Corey Wootton (6-6, 270). Like Wilson, he's a Jersey kid, born in Rutherford and a former standout at Don Bosco Prep."


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