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flag  History of Paterson, New Jersey, USA

Journey back in time to Paterson, New Jersey, USA

Visit Paterson, New Jersey, USA. Discover its history. Learn about the people who lived there through stories, old newspaper articles, pictures, postcards and ancestry.

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Paterson, New Jersey, USA - View of the Passaic Falls, at Paterson. (1844)

Paterson, Passaic, New Jersey, USA

Paterson is known as the "Silk City". It played a dominant role in the production of silk during the latter half of the 19th century.




There is MUCH more to discover about Paterson, New Jersey, USA. Read on!

Paterson Nostalgia: Vintage Photos, Ads, and Postcards

View of the Passaic Falls, at Paterson. (1844)
Paterson, New Jersey, USA

Artwork
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View of the Passaic Falls, at Paterson. (1844)
General Hospital
Paterson, New Jersey, USA

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General Hospital
Ellison Street
postmarked 1909
Paterson, New Jersey, USA

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Ellison Street
postmarked 1909
Free Public Library
postmarked 1909
Paterson, New Jersey, USA

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Free Public Library
postmarked 1909
Main Street
postmarked 1909
Paterson, New Jersey, USA

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Main Street
postmarked 1909
Main Street (1910)
Paterson, New Jersey, USA

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Main Street (1910)
Hotel Manhattan
Paterson, New Jersey, USA

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Hotel Manhattan
Public School No. 16
postmarked 1910
Paterson, New Jersey, USA

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Public School No. 16
postmarked 1910
The Hamilton Apartments
postmarked 1912
Paterson, New Jersey, USA

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The Hamilton Apartments
postmarked 1912
5th Regiment Armory
postmarked 1915
Paterson, New Jersey, USA

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5th Regiment Armory
postmarked 1915
Birdseye View
Paterson, New Jersey, USA

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Birdseye View
Market Street
postmarked 1920
Paterson, New Jersey, USA

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Market Street
postmarked 1920
Fabien Theatre Building and Alexander Hamilton Hotel
postmarked 1920
Paterson, New Jersey, USA

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Fabien Theatre Building and Alexander Hamilton Hotel
postmarked 1920
Passaic Falls and Chasm Bridge, Paterson, N.J.
Paterson, New Jersey, USA

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Passaic Falls and Chasm Bridge, Paterson, N.J.

Discover Paterson: History, News, Travel, and Stories

Add informationAdd History/News/Story
1791 - Alexander Hamilton built country's first planned industrial city in Paterson

www.worldatlas.com/ webimage/ countrys/ namerica/ usstates/ njtimeln.htm
1814 - The first church incorporated in Paterson was the 1st Presbyterian church, in 1814.

HISTORICAL COLLECTIONS OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY by JOHN W. BARBER and HENRY HOWE, 1844
1835 - Colt firearms begins production in Paterson

www.worldatlas.com/ webimage/ countrys/ namerica/ usstates/ njtimeln.htm
1844 - Paterson
Paterson was formed from Acquackanock in 1831. Its population in 1840 was 7,598. The village of Paterson, the seat of justice for Passaic county, is on the Passaic river, 13 miles N. or Newark, and 17 from New York. The town plot lies partly on both sides of the river, and covers 36 square miles. It is represented by a mayor, recorder, common council &c. This flourishing manufacturing town was established by a society incorporated in 1791, with a capital of $1,000,000, which owed its origin to the exertions of Alexander Hamilton.

The general object of the company was to lay the foundation of a great emporium of manufactures. The prominent purpose of the society was the manufacture of cotton cloths. At this period the great improvements introduced in the cotton manufacture by Arkwright were but little known even in Europe, and in this country scarcely any cotton had been spun by machinery.*

The act of incorporation gave a city charter with jurisdiction over a tract of six square... Read MORE...

1854 - Paterson
Paterson, a city, capital of Passaic co., New Jersey, is situated on the right bank of the Passaic river, immediately below the falls, 13 miles N. from Newark, and 17 N. W. from New York. Lat. 40° 55' N., Lon. 74° 10' W. It is the second city of the state in population and manufactures. By means of the Morris canal it communicates with the Atlantic ports and with the Delaware river. The Union railroad, formerly the Paterson and Hudson railroad, connects it with New York city on one hand, and with the Erie railroad at Sufferns on the other. The Passaic has here a perpendicular fall of 50 feet, and a total descent of 72 feet, affording an immense water-power, which has been improved by a dam and canals. The scenery in the vicinity of the falls is highly picturesque. The streets of Paterson are generally straight, well paved, and lighted with gas. It contains about 18 churches, belonging to the Reformed Dutch, the Methodists, Presbyterians, Baptists, Episcopalians, Independents,... Read MORE...

1869 - Great Fire in Paterson.
Mr. Michael Morris's warehouse, Paterson, and adjacent buildings were burned on Monday. The warehouse owned by Mr. Morris was used as a waste house. - The flames communicated with the Murray Mill, a superb brick building on Mill street, owned by Messrs. John Ryle & Co., as a silk manufactory. Day & Co., silk weavers, also occupied a part of the building. The flames spread rapidly and communicated with the tenement houses on each side and in the rear, and thence to the Murray Mill. After a short time all the buildings were enveloped. So intense was the heat that the fire spread in various directions, and eighteen or twenty tenement houses were speedily reduced to ashes.

The loss to the Messrs. Ryle is very heavy. The mill and machinery have been destroyed, and they were valued at $250,000. The only insurance was of one thousand dollars on the dye house. - Scarcely any of the tenements destroyed were insured. The loss on them will be $50,000 or $80,000. Day & Co.'s loss will amount... Read MORE...

1873 - Explosion
Lat night, a patent gas machine at Danforth locomotive works, Paterson, N. J., was exploded by a watchman approaching too near it with a lantern. Two watchmen were seriously, and one dangerously burned.

The Daily Milwaukee News
Milwaukee, Wisconsin
July 8, 1873
1880 - DESTRUCTIVE FIRE in PATERSON, N. J.
PATERSON, N. J., March 4. - A fire broke out in the oil room of the Danforth locomotive and machine shops, in this city, this morning, about 8 o'clock, the origin of which is unknown, and the locomotive buildings burned consisted of a blacksmith shop for heavy work; the locomotive erection shop, two stories high, in which were two completed locomotives, several nearly completed, and a number in various processes of construction; and the locomotive-building shop proper, a large structure, four stories high, in which the various parts of the machinery were made. All the above were of brick and stone, and very sub sequentially built. The tools and machinery were of the best description and very costly. The buildings devoted to machinery for the manufacture of silk and other purposes, and a new three-story brick structure for finishing locomotives, were saved. The loss is estimated at from $170,000 to $200,000. Three hundred to three hundred and fifty men are thrown out of employment.
The Sun
Baltimore, Maryland
March 8, 1880
1895 - Paterson
Pat'erson, a city of New Jersey, the capital of Passaic co., and the third city of the state in population and manufactures, is situated on the right bank of the Passaic River, 12 miles N. of Newark, and 17 miles N.W. of New York. It is on the Erie Railroad, the New York, Susquehanna & Western Railroad, the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad, and the Paterson, Jersey City & Hoboken Electric Railroad, and is connected with several towns by numerous electric lines, whose connections pass through many of its principal streets. It is also connected with the Delaware and Hudson Rivers by the Morris Canal. The Passaic River here descends 70 feet in one perpendicular fall, and affords immense water-power, which is utilized in numerous factories. The streets are lighted by electricity. Paterson contains 60 churches, a free public library, a high school, 3 national banks, 3 savings-banks, 3 hotels, 2 large public parks, and printing-offices which issue 5 daily and 5 weekly newspapers.... Read MORE...

1896 - ONE KILLED AND A DOZEN INJURED. RESULT OF A RUNAWAY ACCIDENT IN PATERSON, N. J.
Paterson, N. J., May 5. - One child was killed, another probably fatally hurt, and a dozen adults more or less bruised by a frightened team on Main Street, near Market, this morning.

The accident took place during a circus parade while the sidewalks were packed with people. A team attached to a loaded coal wagon became frightened, and, getting beyond the control of the driver, WILLIAM H. SCHAFFNER, plunged through the thickest of the crowd for fifty feet, when it brought up against a fire hydrant.

EDWARD SCHULTZ, aged ten years, of 26 Cross Street, was trampled to the ground and the wheels of the wagon passed over his breast. He died at St. Joseph's Hospital a few hours later.

OLGA OLESON'S legs and arms were terribly crushed. Her father was badly hurt about the head and shoulders while trying to rescue her. They are at the OLESON home, 77 Clinton Street. It is believed the girl will die.

Driver SCHAFFNER was arrested, but released on evidence that he was in no way... Read MORE...

1902 - PATERSON LAID WASTE BY FIRE - Business Section and a Hundred Dwellings Burned
LOSS ABOUT $8,000,000
Banks, Churches, Hotels, Municipal Buildings, and Newspaper Offices in Ruins
MARTIAL LAW PROCLAIMED
Police Reinforced by Soldiers and Citizens — No Lives Lost and No One
Seriously Injured Despite Rapidity with Which the Conflagration Spread.

PATTERSON, N.J., Feb. 9 - A fire in Paterson yesterday that laid waste the principal business portion of the city, destroying there about fifty buildings, and then jumped over more than a third of a mile and razed to the ground a hundred dwellings did damage that is conservatively estimated at about $8,000,000. The fire was caused by an overheated stove in a trolley car barn, and the fierce wind that was blowing spread the flames with such rapidity that the firemen could not cope with them.

The blaze started shortly after midnight and raged In the business part of the town all through the early hours of the morning. Relief was sent from a number of neighboring cities, and this relief prevented the destruction... Read MORE...

1902 - HUNDREDS HOMELESS IN PATTERSON FLOOD - Armory Opened and 110 Families Sheltered There
Mrs. Garret A. Hobart at Head of Relief Committee
One Life Lost
Water Starts to Recede

PATTERSON. N. J., March 2 — This city, so recently swept by fire, is now overwhelmed by flood. Three weeks ago, the greater part of its business section was burned out and to-day the quarter occupied by the houses of the poorer class is inundated. Hundreds of families have been made homeless by the overflow of the Passaic River and the country for miles around the city is underwater.

So far, but one death has been reported. The great peril until late this evening was that the Spruce Street raceway might overflow, in which event a fearful loss of property in the manufacturing district would have followed. The raceway supplies water power for most of the mills along the water front. Right at this point, the city authorities placed expert engineers, who were instructed to touch off a blast of dynamite to open a new channel for the immense volume of water held there, and by diverting it... Read MORE...

1903 - TORNADO SWEEPS OVER PATERSON. FOUR ARE KILLED AND MANY HOUSES WRECKED. MISSILES HURT SCORES. SMALL BUILDINGS CARRIED GREAT DISTANCE -- DEVASTATION IN SECTION THAT ESCAPED DAMAGE BY GREAT FIRE AND FLOOD.
Paterson, N.J., July 22 - A dense black cloud, assuming the shape of a cone, and whirling with furious rapidity, loomed up over the top of Garrett Mountain, just southeast of Paterson, at 3 o'clock this afternoon. In less than ten minutes it swept over that section of the city known as South Paterson, killing four persons, seriously injuring fifteen, and hurting more than a hundred, and wrecking six buildings and damaging more than 200 others. Then it passed over the Passaic River, across the meadows and disappeared in the air.

The scene of devastation was almost as extensive as that that Peterson saw after her great fire last year. The section of the city that suffered this time was crowded with mills and factories and the homes of the hundreds of employes, who, while at their work today, suffered injury, or are now telling of their almost marvelous escape from death.

Darkness followed the catastrophe so closely that it has been impossilbe tonight to make and accurate... Read MORE...

1906
Paterson, capital of Passaic co., N.J., and the third oity of the state in population and manufactures, is situ ated on the right bank of the Passaic River, 12 miles N. of Newark and 17 miles NW. of New York, on the Erie, tho New York, Susquehanna and Western and the Lackawanna Rs. It is connected with several towns by numerous electric lines and with the Delaware River by the Morris Canal. The Passaic River here descends 50 feet in one perpendicular fall and affords extensive water-power, which is utilized in a large number of factories. Numerous bridges bore cross the river, which, below the picturesque cataract, flows between vertical palisades of basalt. The manufactures of Paterson are very extensive and various. The silk-industry is the most important in the United States, the silk-mills and silk-dyeing establishments giving employment to many thousand hands. There are large locomotive- and bridge- works, cotton- and woollen-factories, manufactories of linens, carpets, velvets,... Read MORE...

1920 - HOTEL DESTROYED BY EARLY MORNING FIRE.
Paterson, N. J., May 24. - Fire early today gutted the Manhattan Hotel, a four-story brick structure in the business district of this city. Lives of 50 guests on the upper floors were saved when they jumped into a life net spread by firemen and police. Three persons who jumped from the third story were slightly injured. Loss was estimated at $500,000.
Dunkirk Evening Observer
Dunkirk, New York
May 24, 1920
1940 - October 30 - Film premiere of "One Night in the Tropics" first film for Abbott and Costello Paterson New Jersey.

historyorb.com
1964 - August 11 - Race riot in Paterson NJ

historyorb.com
2023 - Paterson has something for everyone. Here's a list of places to go and things to do in Paterson:
Great Falls National Historical Park: This is the crown jewel of Paterson. The Great Falls is one of the largest waterfalls in the United States and played a crucial role in the city's industrial history. You can take a scenic walk along the overlooks, learn about the history of the falls in the visitor center, and enjoy a picnic in the park.

Paterson Museum: Located near the Great Falls, this museum offers a fascinating glimpse into Paterson's industrial past. You'll find exhibits on silk production, locomotives, and the people who shaped the city's history.

Lambert Castle Museum: This historic castle-like mansion houses a museum with a diverse collection of art and artifacts. It's a great place to learn about the history of the city and the prominent Lambert family.

Hinchliffe Stadium: A historic baseball stadium that once hosted the Negro League games. While it's no longer used for professional sports, you can still visit and take in the history.

Paterson Great Falls... Read MORE...

Discover MY Roots: Paterson Ancestry

Ancestors Who Were Born or Died in Paterson, New Jersey, USA

We currently have information about ancestors who were born or died in Paterson.

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male ancestorJohn ABRAM (1803, , New York, USA - 5 October 1863, Paterson, New Jersey, USA)
male ancestorAbraham COLE (1804, - 9 March 1860, Paterson, New Jersey, USA)
female ancestorMary Ann MCCULLY (1807, Manhattan, New York, USA (New York City) (New Amsterdam) (Washington Heights) - 29 October 1863, Paterson, New Jersey, USA)
male ancestorHenry ACKERMAN (1808, - 16 January 1857, Paterson, New Jersey, USA)
male ancestorGarret W. ACKERMAN (1809, Rockland Co., New Jersey, USA - 13 November 1860, Paterson, New Jersey, USA)
female ancestorSarah LOCKWOOD (1809, Paterson, New Jersey, USA - 11 September 1851, Paterson, New Jersey, USA)
male ancestorJ FITZGERALD (1810, , Ireland - 7 May 1870, Paterson, New Jersey, USA)
male ancestorRobert MCWHINNY (1811, , Ireland - 18 November 1849, Paterson, New Jersey, USA)
male ancestorSamuel TRUAX (1812, , New Jersey, USA - 29 March 1862, Paterson, New Jersey, USA)

Ancestors Who Were Married in Paterson, New Jersey, USA

We currently have information about ancestors who were married in Paterson.

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male ancestorJames SWIN (1810 - 7 November 1879) and female ancestorMargaret (Olive) ACKERMAN (6 January 1806 - 18 June 1892) married 3 July 1831
male ancestorTheodore POLHEMUS (July 1851 - ) and female ancestorEmma BALL (1 April 1855 - ) married 24 June 1875
male ancestorJoseph FRANTZ (30 July 1864 - February 1943) and female ancestorMary HORN (December 1865 - 1909) married 29 April 1893
male ancestorJohn DAVIS (November 1869 - ) and female ancestorAnnie WARDLE (December 1876 - 1954) married 28 November 1895
male ancestorJacob BODMER (December 1845 - 1921) and female ancestorLydia GORENGURT (March 1866 - 1923) married 4 October 1895

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Updated: 9/22/2023 10:08:43 AM