Before it became the Township of Lyndhurst in 1917, this New Jersey town went through many changes.

The 5,308 acres of upland and 10,000 acres of meadow,  located between the Hackensack and Passaic Rivers,  extending seven miles from Newark Bay to Sanford Spring  (later changed to Boiling Springs), was called Mighecticock by  the native Americans, the Hackensacks. When the Dutch  settled in the area in the 1640s, they called it Achter Col.

In 1664, British Army Major Nathaniel Kingsland, stationed in Barbados, developed an interest in the lands that were taken from the Dutch by the English. He dispatched a native of the island, Captain William Sanford, to research and purchase land near what is now called New York City. Sanford agreed to pay an annual rental of 20 pounds for the land and settle six or eight families within three years.

FINDING AN IDENTITY: NAME CHANGES

A street sign (circa 1976). This street pays homage to Lyndhurst’s early days.

The area changed names and counties several times over the years. In 1682 it was part of Essex County. In 1709 it became part of Bergen County. Lodi Township, created in 1825, included the tract. In 1840, the County of Hudson was formed from a part of Bergren County and it was renamed Harrison Township.

In 1852, the Township of Union was formed by an act of the State Legislature and set again in Bergen County. The township included what is now Lyndhurst, Rutherford, and North Arlington. Rutherford was established as a separate town in 1890 and North Arlington was established in 1895, leaving Lyndhurst alone as the Township of Union. The eastern part of town was referred to as ‘Kingsland‘ and the western part was referred to as ‘Lyndhurst.’

Finally, in 1917, residents voted to change the name to the township of Lyndhurst.

KINGSLAND

The tract of land purchased by Major Kingsland included the present communities of Rutherford, Lyndhurst, North Arlington, Kearny, East Newark, and Harrison. On July 29, 1668, Captain Sanford bought the title of this land from the Hackensacks. The price was 170 fathoms (1 fathom = 6 feet) of black wampum, 19 match coats, 16 guns, 60 double hands of powder, 10 pairs of breeches, 60 knives, 67 bars of lead, one anker (about 10 gallons) of brandy, three half-vats of beer, 11 blankets, 13 axes, 20 hoes, and two coats of duffle (coarse woolen cloth).

Since Major Kingsland was stationed on Barbados and the shape of the territory he purchased here was a neck of land between two rivers, he named his acquisition ‘New Barbadoes Neck.’ In June 1671, Nathaniel Kingsland sold the southern third of New Barbadoes Neck (Harrison, East Newark, Kearny and North Arlington) to William Sanford for 200 pounds. He kept the section that now comprises Rutherford and Lyndhurst.

Major Kingsland never came to America, but his nephews Isaac and Gustavus settled here. Isaac constructed the first real house in Lyndhurst in the vicinity of Kingsland and Schuyler Avenues. When Isaac died in 1698, his oldest son, Colonel Edmund Kingsland inherited all of the land and buildings that he owned.

In 1729, Edmund built the most pretentious of all the Kingsland homes. Located at the foot of what is now Kingsland Avenue, about 200 feet from what is now Schuyler Avenue, Kingsland Manor was constructed of brownstone and featured sub-basements, elaborate stairwells, a spacious parlor, large bedrooms, and sitting rooms.