Verona and several neighboring towns were all originally one town known as the Horseneck Tract. In 1702, a group of settlers left Newark and purchased a large tract of land northwest of their home city for the equivalent of a few hundred dollars from the Lenni Lenape Native Americans. This piece of land extended west and north to the Passaic River, south to the town center of what would become Livingston, and east to the First Watchung Mountain, and was called Horseneck by the natives because it resembled the neck and head of a horse. What was then known as Horseneck contained most of the present day northern Essex County towns: Verona, along with Caldwell, West Caldwell, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Fairfield, North Caldwell, and Roseland are all located entirely in Horseneck, and parts of what are today Livingston, Montclair, and West Orange also were contained in the Horseneck Tract.
After the Revolutionary War, the area of Horseneck was incorporated as "Caldwell Township" in honor of local war hero James Caldwell, a pastor who used pages from his church's bibles as wadding to ignite the ammo in soldiers' cannons and helped to drive the British out of Horseneck.
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Arts and Entertainment
See Essex County's beautiful Verona Park transformed into a fine art gallery and craft boutique featuring juried, professional fine artists and fine crafters the weekend of May 18-19 from 10am-5pm, rain or shine. Explore Art for the Body and Home from fine art in a variety of media and fine photography to fine craft creations in wood, clay, metal, glass, leather, gold and silver, and much more. Talk with exhibitors and learn what inspires them, buy great gifts for yourself, your friends and family, watch demonstrations, and sample specialty foods. Co-sponsored with Essex County Department of Parks and Rose Squared Productions, Inc., this free-to-the-public event is located on the corner of Lakeside and Bloomfield Avenues. Art and Culture Locations.
The Verona Public Schools is the public school district in Verona, which serves students in kindergarten through twelfth grade. As of the 2011-12 school year, the district's six schools had an enrollment of 2,208 students and 151.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 14.62:1. Schools in the district (with 2011-12 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Brookdale Avenue School (Grades K-4; 143 students), Frederic N. Brown School (K-4; 239), Forest Avenue School (K-4; 230), Laning Avenue School (PreK-4; 323), Henry B. Whitehorne Middle School (5-8; 660) and Verona High School (9-12; 613).
The high school mascot is the "Hillbilly". However, this mascot has become controversial as a result of opposition from previous school Superintendent Earl Kim. In the face of community support for the traditional name, the mascot was retained. The original mascot was depicted with a rifle and jug of moonshine. The rifle and jug and have been replaced with a fishing pole and a dog.
The district has been recognized on three occasions with the Best Practice Award, honoring specific practices implemented by a district for exemplary and/or innovative strategies. In addition, three schools in the district was named a "Star School" by the New Jersey Department of Education, the highest honor that a New Jersey school can achieve. The school was the 70th-ranked public high school in New Jersey out of 328 schools statewide in New Jersey Monthly magazine's September 2012 cover story on the state's "Top Public High Schools", after being ranked 53rd in 2010 out of 322 schools listed.
Founded in 1924, Our Lady of the Lake Catholic School serves students in pre-school through eighth grade, and is situated near Verona Park, operating under the auspices of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Newark. The school was recognized by the National Blue Ribbon Schools Program in 2011, one of 305 schools recognized nationwide and one of 14 selected from New Jersey. The school was honored a second time when it was one of eight private schools recognized in 2017 as an Exemplary High Performing School by the Blue Ribbon Schools Program of the United States Department of Education.
The Children's Institute (TCI) is a private, non-profit school approved by the New Jersey Department of Education, serving children facing learning, language and social challenges, for children ages 3–21. Dating back to an orphanage founded in 1883 in Newark, New Jersey, the school moved to Verona in 1999 after remodeling a building that had been donated by Hoffmann-LaRoche
Parks and Recreation
- Eagle Rock Reservation, a 408.33 acres (1.6525 km2) forest reserve and recreational park. Most of this reservation is in West Orange or in Montclair.
- Everett Field, a small baseball and football park dedicated to the family who donated the land to the township.
- Hilltop Reservation, opened in spring 2003, is composed of lands in the grounds of the former Essex Mountain Sanatorium, is home to many hiking and mountain biking trails.
- Kip's Castle Park, the newest park to the Essex County Park System, which features a start of the 20th century castle-style mansion with large carriage house on 10.5 acres (42,000 m2).
- Verona Park, the fifth-largest in the Essex County Park System, it was designed by the same designer as Central Park in New York City.
- Lenape Trail, a trail that runs from the Pulaski Skyway in Newark to the Passaic River in Roseland. The Verona section runs from the West Essex Trail, down and through Verona Park, and up toward Eagle Rock Reservation before entering West Orange.
- Verona Community Center, built in 1997, provides a gym, game room, ballroom, and conference room for any group or organization. also adjacent are:
- Veteran's Field, a grass turf field, provides two softball/baseball fields as well as an athletic field
- Centennial Field, an artificial turf field, opened in 2007.
- Liberty Field, an artificial turf field, opened in 2015.
- Freedom Field, an artificial turf field, opened in 2016.
- Verona Pool, features an Olympic-Size swimming pool of various depths, with two water slides and two springboards, as well as a wading pool for younger children; playground, volleyball, basketball, racquetball and shuffleboard courts, in addition to ping-pong tables, full showers and a snackbar
- West Essex Trail, acquired in 1985 through Green Acres funding, is a 2.84-mile (4.57 km) trail which runs from Arnold Way in Verona to the Passaic County line near the Lenape Trail, on the former right-of-way of the Caldwell Branch of the old Erie Lackawanna Railroad.
Annin & Co. is the world's oldest & largest flag manufacturer and had its main manufacturing plant in Verona. However, the building was sold and they are no longer present there. The company is the official flag manufacturer to the United Nations, and a major supplier to the United States Government. Annin produced flags that were used on Iwo Jima, planted on the surface of the Moon, at the North and South Poles, atop Mount Everest and the rubble of the World Trade Center.
1) Bus to NY: DeCamp Bus #33 to New York Port Authority Terminal
2) Train: Drive to Montclair or Little Falls NJ Transit train stations for the Midtown Direct Train to New York Penn Station
3) Path: Drive to the Harrison Path Station (off Rt 280) for Path Service into NY
4) NJ Transit Local Bus Service