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The English Neighborhood

By Linda Tancs

Ridgefield, New Jersey, was once the hub of an area known as “the English Neighborhood” due to the influx of English immigrants as early as 1603. The entire area covered about 10 square miles from the Hackensack River to the Hudson River and from what is now the Hudson County line north to Englewood. George Washington retreated with the Continental Army through there from New York City in 1776. In 1793, Ridgefield became the site for the English Neighborhood Reformed Church, once standing in nearby Leonia before it was burned down by the British Army. Needless to say, headstones in the cemetery date back to the Revolutionary War. The church’s historical past includes active participation in the underground railroad during the Civil War, and it’s likely one of the oldest churches in the area.


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