The Ridgewood News from Ridgewood, New Jersey on March 3, 1976 · 16
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The Ridgewood News from Ridgewood, New Jersey · 16

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Location:
Ridgewood, New Jersey
Issue Date:
Wednesday, March 3, 1976
Page:
16
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Pace IS THE PDST March 3. ISTt Id water company seeks new sources i By GORDON MURPHY I (First of a Scries) ;? BERGEN COUNTY - The Hackensack Water Co. has stirred up a ruckus for over a century in seeking water with w which to slake this booming county's thirst but the big- - gcst fuss is yet to come. With the Hackensack River dammed and developed to "k capacity, the water company has turned its reach west towards the Passaic River. yi Along the way it has whipped residents in Glen Rock C Midland Park, Ridgewood and Wyckoff into opposition to a possible takeover of the Ridgewood Water Co. Paterson and the Passaic Valley Water Commission op-. pusc its grab for upstream Passaic waters on environmental and economic grounds. Northwest Bergen communities are up in arms over a , ., proposed 14-mile, five-foot diameter pipeline the water com- pany proposes to lay to carry the Passaic River water cross-' Bergen to its Oradell Reservoir. ;: The state Water Policy and Supply Council is currently , , wrestling with the scheme and is expected to announce a . ' decision shortly. . Area officials and residents heretofore who took their ! Water supply for granted, are giving Hackensack Water Co. its influence, capacity and growth an increasingly , closer look. Controversy, like progress, has always been an essen-tial in the Hackensack Water Co. story. ' Hackensack Water Company's growth began in the era - of privies and continues through the high-rise explosion on the Palisades. From pumping water direct to the city of Hackensack out of a brick-lined River Edge reservoir, the waterworks elbowed its way to current pumping capacity of 95 million gallons daily to a populace of 900,000 within the Hackensack Jliver basin. Whether the rugged individuals who built the works from liumble beginnings to nationally recognized station were seers, rogues, or somewhere in between, depends on one's 'Viewpoint. When Bergen called for water supplies to meet its constant spread, Hackensack Water Co. was there with its " pipelines and the growth of county and company became in-J.tcrwoven through to the present day. In 1925 the works pumped 27 million gallons of water per day to a population of 350,000. Half a century later it supplies 55 mgd to a population of 900,000. : Within 50 years a $19.7-million investment has ballooned : lo $111.2 million. Today the company claims 1840 miles of ;;jnain, 12.984 hydrants, 173,397 patrons, and 453 employes. '; Despite its size and wealth, company officials still take ' pride in working within the worn brick walls of New Milford ,and Weehawken plants. They discuss current pumping capacity and restoration of a three-story vertical high-steam i, pump in New Milford with equal relish. I & Current skirmishes with the City of Paterson over plans liio divert the Passaic River-; with the general public over a 21-percent rate hike proposal; and with northwest Bergen residents over a 14-mile pipeline installation proposal are all "old hat" to the company. Contemporary flaps cause oldtimers to dredge up memories of outraged Hackensack residents yelping over "fishy smelling" water decades back; New Milford farmers with pitchforks blocking laying of pipe to Hoboken 90 years ago; and the Rockland County uproar over DeForest Lake Reservoir's site in the late 1950s. To make this a Bicentennial Year tale we must go back 200 years a period of transition from husbandry to industry for Bergen County. A time when private cisterns and backyard outhouses were the norm and Hackensack Water Company's 1869 founding lay far in the future. The telling of this tale hangs on varied newspaper accounts of the era; a chat with current company officials; a centennial history of the works written by the late Adrian Leiby of Bergenfield, company historian, director, and lawyer; and state Bicentennial historian John Cunningham's writings. Before 1669 there were no permanent settlements in ths Hackensack Valley, but within the ensuing decade nearly all its land was patented and began to fill with Dutch, French and English families who made up its population for almost the next 200 years. Between 1769-1779 the valley was torn with dissension as the neutral turf over which tramped British and American armies. Family members sniped at one another for seven long years during a bitter and bloody snatch of Revolutionary War history. While the scars of Bergen's civil war healed slowly prior to I860, the county's hard working and prosperous Dutch farmers preferred to live aloof from the great, modern city rising across the Hudson River. By 1869, however, a post-Civil War nation on the move touched the rural valley. Where 1000 people lived in the coun-ly scat of Hackensack 20 years earlier, 4000 lived in 1869, with more arriving daily. Jersey Dutch comprised the bulk of prominent county names settled in the city, whose wishes precipitated Bergen progress Voorhis, Van Buskirk, Banta, Wortendyke, Huylcr, Ackerson, Dcmarest, Ackerman, Anderson, Berry, Vanderbeek, Tcrhunc, Jacobson, Auryanson, Bogart, Blanch, Christie, Westervelt, Berdan, Doremus, Vreeland, Lydecker, Brinckerhoff and Blauvelt, English, Germans and Roman Catholics recently moved to Hackensack included individuals named Gamewell, Fair, Toor, Atwell, Zingsem, and Haas, The Hackensack & N.Y. Railroad was busy constructing an extension to Hillsdale and in March, 18C9 the Erie railroad barons purchased the enterprising line. Among the politically active lawyers living In the bustling heart of Bergen who would help shape the county's future as well as that of Hackensack Water Co. were Garret Ackerson and Charles Voorhis, the latter having been born in a section called Spring Valley, present-day site of Paramus, Voorhis made it clear he meant to be as modern as the next fellow and when the Democratic party of his ancestors conflicted with his strong anti-slavery views, he helped launch the Union Party in New Jersey the party banner under which Abraham Lincoln was re-elected president in 1864, Among the first to anticipate Bergen's land boom, Voorhis had acquired a good deal of county real estate and played important roles in railroad, municipal improvement, and Republican Party development. Ackerson, a stalwart in the Democratic Party, was the opposite of Voorhis in that he stood on the simple ways of the Jersey Dutch, built up fortune and influence over long associations, and was more concerned with local than with grand Schemes. Both men obtained the first water charters In Bergen County Voorhis a limited charter labeled the Cherry Hill Water & Gas Co, in 1867, followed by Ackerson 's more extensive Hackensack Water Co. charter, Following Black Friday, Sept, 24, 1869, and the Infamous gold speculation collapse, plans to Implement the charters failed, Word that Paterson, then as now vying with Hackensack for control of north Jersey's water supplies, was Interested Jn buying out the Hackensack Water Co. charter in 1872 under guftc of the Passaic Water Co. caused little comment among a populace thirsting for water. Residents eager for drinking water and water supplies to jrchased it. A gala parade' heralding the system's first day of ser Despite the Wall Street Panic of 1873, Voorhis pressed Vlce 0ct- 21 1874 presaged gloomy days for Voorhis who. enable fire companies to protect their wood frame mansions forward in his attempt to modernize Bergen's water supply financially overextended, soon lost his land holdings, his petus and system. , , nrstiNauonai uanK, nis congressional seat ana niswaier cared less if Paterson or Hackensack lent the impetus water after the latter company's charter expired in default in 1874. Ackerson offered the capital stock of Hackensack Water Co. for sale in the summer of 74, and this time evebrows did climb when Charles Voorhis, and not the City of Paterson, He built his reservoir north nf HarkpnsarV nn works. Zabriskie's farm in Cherry Hill (River Edge), spent $70,000 (Next week a growing county demands water for laying pipe to Essex Street, pumped water from the Hack- economic as well as physical health. Hackensack Water Co. ensack River into the reservoir and let the water flow down- desperately reorganizes and attempts to meet the chaw hill by gravity into the city. lenge.) Judge it by the company that makes it. m m austin Marina BRITISH UtYLAND The same people who build Jaguars, MGs, Triumphs and Land Rovers build the new Marina. Test drive this tough economycartlielirst chance you get. y SALES & SERVICE RAMSEY MOTORS 133 N. Central Ave. Ramsay 327-3200 GKTTING WATER TO BERGEN: PIPE INSTALLATION CREW ON PALISADE AVENUE, ENGLEWOOD, IN 1887. Builders cite new land law RIVER ElJGfci - Kecent adoption of the Municipal Land Use Law will bring uniformity to the regulation of Local land use, according to George DePalma, president of the Builders Assn. of Northern New Jersey. "The Municipal Land Use Law provides simplified, streamlined procedural guidelines to assist the Municipality to plan and regulate land use in a more practical, logical, and professional way," he said. The law does not dictate how a town should use certain land, nor does it force a single unit of unwanted housing upon a municipality. The new law was designed to eliminate wasted time and effort by both the municipality and the builder, allowing all parties to devote more attention to the review of significant major projects rather than trivial, clerical duties that frequently overlapped within the municipality, the Builders Assn. president said. High school curricula offered eighth graders BERGENFIELD -Eighth graders at Roy W. Brown Middle School 'have been experiencing a "taste" of high school curricula by participating in one semester science and social studies courses. These courses replace the traditional one year course, but cover the same academic materials, explains Principal Bernard Baggs. The one-year science course became" a two-semester course last year with one semester covering the physical sciences, the other living sciences. This year, the one- e,lWIMIIMBIIWilWMilWMIIF" year social studies course has been divided into one semester on American history and one on urban affairs. The Amazing Market Place Brings Best Results Final clearance of 1975 Inventory. We need the room. 16 years of quality service. Conveniently located off Goffle Road, Paterson exit of Route 208 in Hawthorne. Left at the traffic light and we are immediately on the left. If you wish to call us our phone number is 427 0200. O'BRIEN IMPORTS INC. 801 LAFAYETTE AVE., HAWTHORNE, NJ. RABBIT SIROCCO DASHER BEETLE NEW CARS USED CARS SERVICE PARTS BODY SHOP 12 Montht or 12,000 Milei Parlt and Labor Guarantee On l ied Can N.J. R-lnipetlon Cntr Si AUTHORIZED DEALER SO. MAPLE AVENUE & ROUTE 208 FAIR LAWN (opp. Nabisco) 791-6900 Everyone Owns A Want Ad Machine IPJfTJSWHWW FIAT rp a rn LANCIA WE ML E IV $ AVE AT: Th,l RAMSEY AUTO IMPORTS FIAT 131 2Dr.Cpe. y "T" 4286. 5 FORWARD GEARS P.O.E. 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