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Please call or email ahead for access to the Local History Archives.

 

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Contact the Genealogy and Local History Librarian
Printable Guide to Ridgewood Resources

 

The Village of Ridgewood has a rich history dating back to 1698 when Johannes Van Emburgh purchased land here. The community was at first agricultural. With the coming of the railroad in 1848, the Village started to become the suburb it is today. Use the links below to learn more about Ridgewood's history.

 
History of the Village of Ridgewood Varian Fry: Holocaust Hero & Ridgewood Son
 


The Ridgewood Public Library Bolger Heritage Center has a wide variety of resources for the study of the Village of Ridgewood. We are partners with the Genealogical Society of Bergen County and house their collection here. The Center is located in the Reference Department (Level 2) and is open during all library hours.

Please call ahead to plan your visit, so that the materials you need will be available. Books in the HERITAGE REFERENCE collection are always available. Other items may require advance arrangements. Contact the Local History Librarian.

Highlights of the collection include:

 
City Directories Local Newspapers Photographs & Postcards
Neighborhoods, Homes & Buildings Church & Vital Records Maps
Schools Census Records Microfilm
Books Clippings & Ephemera Oral Histories

 
Click on a section of the panorama to see an enlarged version.
REFERENCE MICROFILM: The City Directories have been microfilmed with a grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State. See REF MF 38, filed in the microfilm cabinets on the 2nd floor. For more information: City Directories.

Millar directory
, 1897. Towns: Ridgewood, and portions of Paramus, Hohokus, Midland Park, and Glen Rock. Information: name and street (no house numbers). In addition: ads, business directories, local government officials, clubs. Map

Breed Publishing Company: Directory of the Erie Railroad: Paterson, NJ to Monroe, NY . Years: 1904, 1906, 1908,1910, 1912,1914. Towns in New York and New Jersey: Allendale, Arden, Central Valley (INC), Chester (INC), Clifton (INC), Greycourt (INC), Harriman (INC), Hawthorne (INC), Hillburn, Hohokus (and Undercliff), Lake View (INC), Mahwah, Monroe, Oxford Depot (INC), Ramapo, Ramsey, Ridgewood, Sloatsburg, Southfield, Suffern, Turner (INC), Tuxedo, Waldwick, Warwick (INC). INC indicates that there are years that these towns are not included in the directories. Information: name, occupation and place of employment, residential address. In addition: advertisements.

Price and Lee Directories. Years: 1926-1973 (approximately every 2 years). Towns: Glen Rock, Midland Park, Fair Lawn (1931-1973), Ho-ho-kus (1950-1973). Information: name (wife's first name), occupation and location, address, change in status (e.g. removed to Newark). Includes people who work in Ridgewood (and reside elsewhere) as well as people who live in Ridgewood and work elsewhere. In addition: governmental directories, business directories, reverse directory by address, associations and clubs, and advertisements.

Telephone Directories , 1963 and various years 1985 to present. CALL AHEAD

REFERENCE MICROFILM: The following newspapers are available on microfilm in the library:

Ridgewood News , 1891-1906 , 1911-1940*
Ridgewood Herald , 1901-1940*
Ridgewood Herald News , 1940-1972
Ridgewood News , 1973-present
Sunday News (Ridgewood), 1923-1995

Bergen Record, 1970-present
Bergen County Journal, 3/6/1858-9/21/1861 REF MF 32
Bergen County Democrat, 12/27/1861-4/16/1874, 8/10/1877-9/20/1907
New Jersey Citizen, 5/18/1871-5/12/1874
Bergen Index, 2/27/1875-12/20/1895
Hackensack Republican, 4/3/1873-12/29/1938

*Early years of these papers are incomplete.

For more information see: Newspaper Archives .

We have a large collection of magazines, journals, and newsletters related to genealogy and local history. For a complete listing see Genealogical Periodicals .


We have over 100 cataloged photographs and 150 postcards These are indexed and can be viewed, printed, and downloaded using the Heritage CATalog. They are mostly pictures of downtown Ridgewood but include some houses, streetscapes, and other scenes.

HERITAGE CATALOG
Access to Photographs, Postcards, Manuscripts, Objects, and Books

For More Information and Search Hints click here.

For researching Ridgewood's neighborhoods, homes, and buildings:

Bergen County Historic Sites Survey: Village of Ridgewood, published by the Bergen County Office of Cultural and Historic Affairs in 1984-85. An architectural survey of Ridgewood-it's historic districts, streetscapes, and homes. This is essential reading for understanding the history of Ridgewood and the beginning place for research on specific historic neighborhoods, homes, or buildings. Includes history of Ridgewood and its neighborhoods, brief architectural and historical description of the historic buildings included, maps, and photocopies of contemporary photographs. For Historic Sites Surveys of other Bergen County towns, see the local library or the Bergen County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs, Hackensack . HERITAGE REF 974.922 BER

Ridgewood Herald: Illustrated Supplement , 1919. This glossy supplement was used to advertise Ridgewood's desirability as a community and has pictures of many homes, some interiors, some public buildings, and a few photographs of important citizens. The Historic Sites Survey indicates the presence of a photograph in this Supplement. Also includes sections on Glen Rock and Midland Park. CALL AHEAD

Our maps are also useful in studying buildings and property in Ridgewood.

For information about house history, see these links: Researching the History of a House

 

 

 

 

We have cemetery, church, and vital records for many towns in Bergen County from the collections of the Genealogical Society of Bergen County and the Ridgewood Public Library. For complete listing see Bergen County Vital Records, New Jersey Vital Records, New York Vital Records.

Records specific to Ridgewood are available at the library (HERITAGE REF 929.374921):

Births and Baptisms
Paramus Reformed Church, 1740-1800
True Reformed Dutch Church, 1822-1897

Marriages
Paramus Reformed Church, 1799-1900
True Reformed Dutch Church, 1856-1890

Cemetery Records
Valleau Cemetery, 1850-1944
Paramus Reformed Church Yard (older burials)
Paramus Plains Cemetery, 1840-1900
True Reformed Dutch Church, 1840-1920

Vital Records Available at the Ridgewood Department of Health

 

The most frequently used maps for Ridgewood research:

Hopkins-Corey Map of the Counties of Bergen and Passaic, New Jersey, 1861: Major roads and major land owners. First map to identify Ridgewood. ON THE WALL OUTSIDE THE HERITAGE CENTER.

New York-Palisades Map, Ridgewood Area , 1867 (copy): Major roads and major land-owners. CALL AHEAD

Walker's Atlas of Bergen County, 1876: Maps of all the townships and villages in Bergen County (including Ridgewood Township). These maps show streets, property, buildings, and owners. Reprint: HERITAGE REF 917.4921 WAL Original: CALL AHEAD

Millar's Directory Street Map , 1897: Streets in Ridgewood. CALL AHEAD

Ridgewood Assessment Map, 1908: Streets and lots; some owner's names. CALL AHEAD

Ridgewood Assessment Map, 1913: Streets and lots; some owner's names and building footprints have been penciled in. CALL AHEAD

Bromley Atlas , 1913: streets lots and owners for all of Bergen County. All of the names mentioned in the Atlas have been indexed in PastPerfect (available for searching at the library). CALL AHEAD

Ridgewood Assessment Map, 1925: Streets, lots, building footprints. CALL AHEAD

Ridgewood Sanborn Insurance Map, 1930-1943: Streets, building footprints, type of construction, use, new and old house numbers. CALL AHEAD

Ridgewood Assessment Map, 1969, Sheets 13-50: Streets, lots, some names penciled in. CALL AHEAD

Ridgewood Assessment Map, 2007: Streets, lots. (online at Village Website)

 

 

 

 

 

THE ARROW . Ridgewood High School's literary magazine and yearbook, 1908-present
We have many issues of the magazine (1908-1959) published several times a year.
We have all of the commencement issues and yearbooks (1908-latest issue) except a few early ones and 1983.

Seeking ARROW donations: see the list here.

Ridgewood High School Alumni Directory. 1892-1992; 1892-1998; 1892-2006 ( also available on REF CD 10) and 1892-2010. This directory includes an alphabetical and biographical section, and indexes by class year and geography. HERITAGE REF 974.922 RID (CALL AHEAD for 2010 EDITION).

1915 and 1926 Yearbook of the Schools . CALL AHEAD

Class Pictures. Many class pictures, however most are not identified. See Heritage CATalog or CALL AHEAD

 

 

AncestryLE, Federal census records for New Jersey from 1830-1930: This database is our primary access to Federal Census records. Click on the link and scroll to the bottom of the page for a link to AncestryLE, which is available only at the Library.

Special Federal Censuses for Bergen County. REFERENCE MICROFILM

New Jersey State Censuses for Bergen County , 1855-1915. REFERENCE MICROFILM

More information about our census records including the Special Federal Census and the NJ State Censuses use our Guide to Census Records .

Bergen County Manuscripts on Microfilm from the collections of Fairleigh Dickinson University Library, Johnson Public Library, and the Bergen County Historical Society. There is a finding aid: Guide to Manuscripts on Microfilm . HERITAGE REF 016.9749 HAC 1976

ED Description Maps for NY and NJ: REFERENCE MICROFILM.

Microfilm Holdings Census Records Newspapers

Books that we own can be identified by using the BCCLS online library catalog (www.bccls.org) and by using the HERITAGE CATALOG. We collect published histories of Bergen County towns and have the following Ridgewood books (found in HERITAGE REF 974.922):

Picturesque Ridgewood , 1898. "An illustrated brochure showing the Principal Residences, the Public Buildings, Churches, Street Scenes and Scenes along the Hohokus Brook and the Saddle River."

Ridgewood Past and Present. Citizens Semi-Centennial Association. 1916

The History of a Village . Village of Ridgewood State Tercentenary Committee. 1964

Celebrating a Centennial: A History of Ridgewood , New Jersey. 1994

Ridgewood: Images of America . Vince Parrillo, Beth Parrillo, Art Wrubel. 1999

The Ridgewood Country Club: Celebrating a Century of Golf, 1890-1990 . William L. Quirin. 1990

A Century of Service: Ridgewood YMCA, 1902-2002 . Candace D. Pryor. 2002.

At Death He Was 25 Years Old. Christopher C. Stout. 2004

Ridgewood Fire Department: From Yesterday to Today, 1897-1997 . 1997

A Village Remembers: The Strength of America: Ridgewood, New Jersey: World War II, 1941-1945 . Donald H. Sweet, Audrey N. Geiger, George H. Sweet, Jr.. Reminiscences, recollections , and reflections on the war years in Ridgewood, 2003

Hobbyists Military and Civil Defense History Book: World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, and the Cold War . Hobbyists Unlimited, 2001

Flags, Floats and Fireworks: The History of a Celebration: Ninety Years of the Fourth of July in Ridgewood, New Jersey . Ridgewood Fourth of July Committee, Inc., 2000

The Newspaper History of Ridgewood, New Jersey: A Collection of News, Gossip and Advertisements from Newspapers . Relates the History of Ridgewood "As It Happened." Joe Suplicki, 2001-

We also have published church histories for: Old Paramus Reformed Church, West Side Presbyterian Church, First Presbyterian Church, Unitarian Church, Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and Emmanuel Baptist Church. (HERITAGE ARCHIVES Be Ri 5 and HERITAGE REF 974.922) CALL AHEAD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Over the years the library has collected clippings and other ephemera (programs, fliers, etc.) for Ridgewood (and to a lesser extent) other towns in Bergen County. These are classified by topic. Access is provided by appointment; CALL AHEAD.

 

 

 

 

The Ridgewood Centennial Celebration Committee (in 1994) and Project New Century (in 2002) interviewed long-time residents to record their memories. Twenty two of these oral history tapes have been duplicated onto cds (for long-term preservation) and transcribed. All interviews may be listened to in their entirety or read at the library. To read the transcripts see HERITAGE REF CD V. USNJ 7. To listen to interviews please CALL AHEAD.

Moving to Ridgewood Downtown Shopping
School Play Women
World War I The Depression World War II
Vietnam War Farming Fourth of July
An Airport in Ridgewood? Doctors Dr. W. L. Vroom (entire interview)
For additional information about our collections please contact:

Peggy W. Norris, Genealogy and Local History Librarian, Bolger Heritage Center
Ridgewood Public Library, 125 No. Maple Ave., Ridgewood, NJ 07450
201-670-5600 ext. 135
pwnorris@ridgewoodlibrary.org