Belleville Township... A Great Place To Live, Work and Own a Business!
While Belleville industrialized early, its geography has included a mix of agriculture, housing, and manufacturing. From its incorporation in 1839 to the present, the Township has been in transition from an agriculturally-focused village to a manufacturing town to a residential community with an industrial base. A perspective on this diverse history is important to understanding the Township as presently developed, as well as in planning its future direction.
Jersey City, originally known as Bergen, was settled in 1633 by Dutch settlers. The Dutch expansion soon led to other settlements, including one called the Second River. This settlement would later be known as Belleville. The first landowner was probably Hendrick Spier, who arrived on the second vessel bringing settlers from Holland. He built his home near the present day SOHO section on a tract consisting of hundreds of acres of unbroken forest. His holdings extended from the house to the Passaic River, a distance of about two miles.
An early residence of note was the Van Cortlandt-Van Rensellear mansion, built in 1683. The mansion was destroyed long ago by fire. It was reputed to have escape tunnels in the basement for use during the Indian raids. The names of at least four Belleville streets are derived from the original owners and those who married into the family. These streets are Cortlandt, Schuyler, Bayard, and Van Rensellear.
During the Revolutionary War the British sent many foraging parties into the Second River Colony. General Washington and his troops passed through Belleville on November 22, 1776. They came down Main Street, then known as River Road, with the British in hot pursuit. A bronze plaque at the front of the Dutch Reformed Church lists the names of sixty-two veterans of the Revolutionary War who are buried in the cemetery behind the church. A major cleanup has made the Church’s cemetery more accommodating to visitors and increased interests in its historic value.
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The Belleville School District serves public school students in pre-kindergarten through twelfth grade. As of the 2014-15 school year, the district and its nine schools had an enrollment of 4,584 students and 314.2 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 14.6:1. Schools in the district (with 2014-15 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are School 3 (grades K-5; 359 students), School 4 (PreK-5; 363), School 5 (K-5; 365), School 7(PreK-5; 371), School 8 (K-5; 490), School 9 (K-5; 141), School 10(K-5; 186), Belleville Middle School (6-8; 1,041) and Belleville High School (9-12; 1,154).
The Belleville Public Library and Information Center had a collection of 105,452 volumes and is a member of the Bergen County Cooperative Library System, a consortium of municipal libraries in the northeastern New Jersey counties of Bergen, Hudson, Passaic, and Essex.
More about the Public Schools in Belleville, click here.
Park and Recreation
The Department of Recreation and Cultural Affairs is responsible for providing a variety of youth sports, activities, events, and services to the residents of Belleville. The department provides youth sports to children in grades K-8, including baseball, basketball, cheerleading, football, soccer, wrestling, and more. We also provide several summer activities including two summer camp locations, a summer tennis program, and a summer travel basketball program. Also throughout the year the Recreation Department proudly hosts events such as the Egg Hunt, Summer Movie Nights, July 4th Fireworks, Halloween Pumpkin Patch, and the annual Tree Lighting. Fun, fair play, and sportsmanship is what the recreation department is all about!
In case of inclement weather conditions, please call (973) 450-3386 any time after 4:00 PM the day of the scheduled game/activity (after 8:00 AM on Saturdays).
Here are the recreational events throughout the year in Belleville. 2019 Recreation Calendar.