Brief History of Ho-Ho-Kus


See in-depth history here

The history of Ho-Ho-Kus is over three hundred years old. Originally, before the Dutch, English and Polish arrived, the land was occupied by the Lenni Lenape Indians. We grew from five families in 1712 to 4060 in the 2000 census. As the population grew, so did the number of businesses. From a modest business area that contained a general store, post office and an overnight stage coach inn to today where there are numerous stores housing a diversity of small businesses and professional offices. The inn of long ago is now borough owned and for many years has been leased as a restaurant.

The early residents were mainly farmers and were successful, prosperous and building attractive homes. In addition to farming, industry became prevalent with the introduction of the grist, wool and cotton mills. These mills flourished due to then swiftly running waters of the Ho-Ho-Kus Brook and the Saddle River. With the advancement of technology, so went the mills. Although the mills are no longer many of the buildings are now occupied and the site is an industrial complex.

Two wars temporarily changed much of the life style as the Revolutionary War and the Civil War, would at times, pit neighbor against neighbor. In the recovery period after the wars, roads were developed and the Erie Railroad came in 1878. This improvement brought new settlers called summer residents from New York City to enjoy the luxury of a suburban community with the swimming and boating amenities provided on Sylvan Lake. The Sylvan Lake dam broke in 1892 and with that went the summer trade. But, another resident came to town - called the commuter.

Ho-Ho-Kus grew, new homes were built and developments established. N.J. State Highway 17 was widened and the building of the Garden State Parkway brought new families to the area. Understandably, the school population grew and several additions have had to be added to the building. Today, the pre-k to grade 8 school has a population of approximately 600. The three churches, Catholic, Protestant and Episcopal, have long been established.

Throughout the years, history tells us about the Race Track, the floods of 1903, 1945, 1977, two hurricanes, newly established Memorial Park, the gazebo and a new borough hall. As the town flourished, so did the number of volunteers. Elected officials, recreational participants, scouting advisers, service clubs members and emergency medical personnel all serve without compensation or benefits. Employees are of the highest quality, well trained and share a pride of being a part of the town.

In the real estate market homes in Ho-Ho-Kus usually are at a premium. The borough is fiscally sound enjoying the highest possible rating for a community of our size. Families continue to move here because they like what they find here. Many tend to stay even after children have left the nest. Ho-Ho-Kus continues to provide the qualities of family life and community pride and involvement that were first brought here by the Dutch, English and Polish. There is no doubt that Ho-Ho-Kus is deep-rooted in the annals of history - the past and the yesteryears.

See in-depth history here                      Additional Historical Data from the Master Plan