From the Hackensacks to the Dutch
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.
Land purchased by 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
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.
Finding an Identity: Name Changes
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
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.
Col. Edmund Kingsland built what was considered the most
pretentious of the Kingsland family's homes, Kingsland Manor
(above). It was located at the foot of what is now Kingsland Avenue,
near Schuyler Avenue.