The city of Livingston, N.J. got its name after the state’s first governor and U.S. Constitution framer William Livingston. Livingston served as governor for 13 terms, from 1776 to 1788. Livingston died in 1790.
Its beginning started in 1702 after Newark settlers paid 130 English pounds to the Lenni Lenape Indians for a tract of land, along what is now called Livingston, Caldwell and West Essex. Seven villages – Teedtown, Northfield, Cheapside, Morehousetown, Washington Place and Squiretown Centerville – came together and asked the government to form the Township of Livingston. Each of these villages, except Northfield and Washington Place, are now called something else:
The first town meeting in Livingston took place. Feb. 5, 1813. The meeting was conducted to determine if the town needed a mayor and township committee. Roughly 100 people were living here, most of them farmers.
However, in 1957, Livingston became home to a new kind of government called the Council-Manager. It also came up with a Town Council, of which five area residents served. Every year, a mayor is chosen from the council members.
Livingston residents built its first school in 1783, which was a one-room building along Northfield Road. Today, the site is known as Roosevelt Plaza. Since the town had no primary railroad line close to it, population growth was slow.
Here’s where you can find Roosevelt Plaza. A quick 5 minute drive from Roosevelt Plaza you can find the Livingston Public Library at 10 Robert H Harp Dr. If you have pets, a 7 minute drive from the Public Library, you’ll find Livingston’s Dog park:
Livingston was mainly a farming and lumber town, the primary sources for income. During the Civil War, another industry became huge – shoemaking. After the Civil War, another industry butted into the town, remaining quite popular for it. That industry is the dairy industry.
The first turnpike (toll road) of New Jersey called Mt. Pleasant Avenue ran through Livingston. Stagecoaches could travel from Newark to Morristown in a single day.
After the advent of the automobile and construction of hard-surfaced highways, Livingston became a commuting town. Farms were replaced by housing development after the Second World War. As such, the town proliferated, peaking at 31,653 in 1970.
The 2010 census revealed the town had a population of 29,358. Its residents have a relaxing lifestyle but can easily get away to other parts of the state and New York City. Livingston is close to many well-known highways such as the New Jersey Turnpike, Garden State Parkway, Route 24 and Interstates 80 and 280.
People looking to move to the area have their choices of homes both in styles and sizes. Livingston claims to have one of the best public school systems, with six elementary schools, two middle schools and an all-inclusive high school. In 1998, the Blue Ribbon Award was presented to the high school from the U.S. Department of Education.
The town has many activities the Senior, Youth and Leisure Services handles including but not limited to:
The public can also check out the Force Homestead Museum, located at 366 South Livingston Ave. It’s opened every second of the mouth for tours the Livingston Historical Society members put together. They also offer private tours, but visitors must reach out and set up a time with the Livingston Historical Society.
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