Garfield, New Jersey
Garfield is situated at the junction of the Saddle and Passaic Rivers. The city is four miles south of Paterson, ten miles north of Newark and twelve miles west of New York City. Garfield played home to the Hackensack Clan of Algonquin Indians’ Leni Lenape Tribe who came to the city thousands of years ago. Modern day Garfield owes its existence to Gilbert D. Bogart, who is often called its founder. He is credited with the area’s initial development in 1873, when seven houses were built between Van Winkle Avenue and Monroe Street, and the area was known as “East Passaic”. Later, he constructed approximately three hundred additional homes and Harrison Avenue’s lower part became known as “Bogart Heights”. In honor of US President James Garfield, the community’s name was changed in 1881 to Garfield.
Garfield is spread across 2.08 square miles or 1,333 acres with an elevation from 10 to 160 feet. The city’s racial makeup consists of Whites, Black or African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics or Latinos, Asians and Pacific Islanders together with a few people from other races.
Garfield has over 20 places of worship along with a City Recreation Center, a YMCA, a Boys and Girls Club, Health Center, Senior Citizens Center, a volunteer Ambulance Corps, five volunteer Fire Companies and a Public Library.
You can reach Garfield by road using County Route 507 and U.S. Route 46 that pass through the city. You may also take Outwater Lane, Passaic Street, Midland Avenue and River Drive. If you want to travel by train, you can use the Plauderville station and the Garfield station, both of which are served by New Jersey Transit’s Bergen County Line. New Jersey Transit buses and Local buses can also be good options to reach and move around the city.
Garfield got the nickname “City of Champions” in 1939 as it played host to some super achievers, the foremost being the National Champions – Garfield High School Football Team. The city was also home to the Holy Name/Garfield Cadets that were winning Bugle Corps and DCI/National Drum Championships regularly, the Garfield Gunner – Tippy Larkin who was the World Junior Welterweight Boxing Champion in 1946. There were a few other exploits by some Garfield heroes, all of which made it apt for the city to be called the “City of Champions”.
The city has several parks where people, especially children can have a field day. Lizette Park has a large open field and a small children’s jungle gym, Hobart Park plays host to a small children’s jungle gym, Riverfront Park has a water park that contains Garfield’s newest attraction, Dolphine Park has a small ball field that’s used by T-Ball and for other sports activities. The newly renovated Malcolm Park (with a paved area, a children’s jungle gym with swings and a small pavilion for picnics) and Columbus Park (has a lighted baseball field used primarily by the Babe Ruth League) are also worth a visit. Another must-visit in Garfield is the Pea Ridge National Military Park with its well preserved historical battlefield.
To appease your taste buds, you can visit La Fortaleza (for some Mexican delicacies), DP’s Pub (seafood) and Santoni’s Ristorante & Pizzeria (for pies, pasta and slices). Italian cuisine lovers can head straight to Goodfellas Restorante or Barcelona’s Restaurant & Bar while steak lovers shouldn’t miss Christian’s Steak and Grill & Restaurant.
The next time you visit Garfield, make sure to explore the place well and taste delicious food the city’s restaurants offer.