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WAYNE, NJ — Passaic County features prominently in a new list of best places to live in New Jersey.
On Monday, Niche.com released the 2021 ranking of 'Best Places to Live in New Jersey.'
The recorded history of Wayne Township began in 1947 during the centennial celebration of its organization, which occurred at the Casey House on Hamburg Turnpike, April 12, 1847. The centennial organizing committee uncovered so much local factual historical data that the governing body, The Township Committee, appointed the Historical Committee. The first members were Dorothy Stults, Helen Zachariasen, S. Hobart Lockett, Rev. Edgar B. Rohrbach and Ronald Gall.
The Committee functioned until the early 1960's when Wayne Township adopted the Mayor-Council form of government. The Historical Committee was changed to a Commission, responsible to the Department of Parks and Recreation.
The Historical Commission's major functions are to uncover and preserve any material pertaining to the history of the community; cooperate with township officials in the preservation of records and archives of the township; and the preservation of historic buildings, monuments, and markers.
In 1966 the Historical Commission became aware of the pending realignment of Route 23 in the Fairfield Road area of Wayne. The project would eliminate several homes, including the historic Mead-Van Duyne House, which is reputed to have been used as a waypoint for Colonial couriers during the American Revolution. For the next nine years the Commission worked to save the historic building by first having it placed on the National and State Register of Historic Places for its significance as New Jersey Dutch colonial architecture. Then the Commission asked the local governing body to make arrangements to move the house to its present site. An archaeological dig at the original site uncovered many artifacts which are on display in the Archaeological Laboratory on the museum grounds.
In 1993 Wayne Township purchased the Schuyler-Colfax House on Hamburg Turnpike. The first section of this house was built by Arent Schuyler circa 1696, and his descendants continuously occupied the house for the next 297 years. It is currently undergoing major rehabilitation and will be re-opened as a museum with displays of artifacts and furnishings dating back to colonial times.
Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the township include Barbours Mills, Barbours Pond, Lower Preakness, Mountain View, Packanack Lake, Pines Lake, Point View, Pompton Falls, Preakness and Two Bridges.
Wayne has a number of lakes, with distinct communities and neighborhoods located around them. These include Packanack Lake, Pines Lake, Lions Head Lake, Tom's Lake and Pompton Lake (half of which is in Wayne). The Passaic River also flows through a portion of Wayne and often floods near Willowbrook Mall and riverside neighborhoods.