Oakland, New Jersey

Oakland, New Jersey
Oakland, New Jersey
—  Borough  —
Map highlighting Oakland's location within Bergen County. Inset: Bergen County's location within New Jersey.
Census Bureau map of Oakland, New Jersey
Coordinates: 41°1′53″N 74°14′24″W / 41.03139°N 74.24°W / 41.03139; -74.24Coordinates: 41°1′53″N 74°14′24″W / 41.03139°N 74.24°W / 41.03139; -74.24
Country United States
State New Jersey
County Bergen
Incorporated April 8, 1902
 – Type Borough
 – Mayor John Szabo[1]
 – Administrator Richard Kunze[2]
 – Total 8.8 sq mi (22.7 km2)
 – Land 8.6 sq mi (22.3 km2)
 – Water 0.1 sq mi (0.4 km2)
Elevation[3] 550 ft (72 m)
Population (2010)[4]
 – Total 12,754
 – Density 1,455.2/sq mi (561.9/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 – Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 07436
Area code(s) 201
FIPS code 34-53850[5][6]
GNIS feature ID 0885330[7]
Website http://oakland-nj.org

Oakland is a borough in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough population was 12,754.[4]

Oakland was incorporated as a borough by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on April 8, 1902, from portions of Franklin Township.[8]



The Van Allen House was built in 1748 and was a stop for George Washington and his troops in 1777.[9]

From the 1940s through the end of the 1960s a summer bungalow colony was developed in a valley in West Oakland on the Ramapo River. This was a refuge for a close-knit group of several score families from the summer heat of New York City and urban New Jersey. During the summer months the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railroad maintained a “West Oakland” passenger station. This colony was located on the road between Oakland and Pompton Lakes, near a training camp for boxers. In the early morning, it was not unusual to see Joe Louis or Sugar Ray Robinson, among others, running past the summer homes.[citation needed]

Most street names in Oakland are those of Native American tribes and Native American first names. Now considered politically incorrect, the borough had a wooden sign posted downtown that read "Once there was [sic] Indians all over this place" which had been donated by a resident who insisted on the wording of the sign as having been a quotation from an author.[10]

Muller's Park shootout

On August 4, 1985, a gun shootout occurred at the FRG Sports Complex[11] — formerly known as Muller's Park — directly next to Oakland's former swimming park, Pleasureland, located along the Ramapo River. Some time after 3 p.m. gunfire between rival gangs, who were bused-in from out of town, broke out resulting in two deaths and a number of injuries.[12] Before the incident, Pleasureland was a popular summer destination since the 1950s that attracted families from across the Tri-state area. Both facilities remained open for a brief period, but were eventually shut down as a result of the shootings.[13] While the shootout did not occur at Pleasureland, due to the park's popularity the events remain to this day known as the "Pleasureland Shootout" among townies. Both properties currently remain abandoned with their pools and buildings overgrown as the town continues to decide what to do with the land.


Oakland is located at 41°01′44″N 74°14′14″W / 41.028884°N 74.237274°W / 41.028884; -74.237274 (41.028884, -74.237274).[14]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough has a total area of 8.8 square miles (23 km2), of which 8.6 square miles (22 km2) is land and 0.2 square miles (0.52 km2), or 1.71%, is water.


Historical populations
Census Pop.
1900 479
1910 568 18.6%
1920 497 −12.5%
1930 735 47.9%
1940 932 26.8%
1950 1,817 95.0%
1960 9,446 419.9%
1970 14,420 52.7%
1980 13,443 −6.8%
1990 11,997 −10.8%
2000 12,466 3.9%
2010 12,754 2.3%
Population 1900 - 1990.[15][16]

As of the census[5] of 2000, there were 12,466 people, 4,255 households, and 3,565 families residing in the borough. The population density was 1,448.9 people per square mile (559.7/km2). There were 4,345 housing units at an average density of 505.0 per square mile (195.1/km2). The racial makeup of the borough was 94.76% White, 0.78% African American, 0.06% Native American, 2.70% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.70% from other races, and 0.99% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 3.87% of the population.

There were 4,255 households out of which 39.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 74.4% were married couples living together, 6.4% had a female householder with no husband present, and 16.2% were non-families. 12.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 5.0% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.88 and the average family size was 3.15.

In the borough the population was spread out with 25.4% under the age of 18, 5.2% from 18 to 24, 30.9% from 25 to 44, 25.8% from 45 to 64, and 12.7% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 95.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 94.0 males.

The median income for a household in the borough was $86,629, and the median income for a family was $93,695. Males had a median income of $62,336 versus $41,092 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $35,252. About 0.9% of families and 1.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.2% of those under age 18 and 2.3% of those age 65 or over.


Local government

Oakland is governed under the Borough form of New Jersey municipal government. The government consists of a Mayor and a Borough Council comprising six council members, with all positions elected at large. A Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office and only votes to break a tie. The Borough Council consists of six members elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year.[17]

As of 2011, the Mayor of the Borough of Oakland is John Szabo. The members of the Oakland Borough Council are Council President Frank DiPentima, Timothy Jensen, Karen Marcalus, Pat Pignatelli, Elizabeth Stagg and Chris Visconti.[18]

There are three firehouses located in Oakland. The central station is located on Yawpo Avenue just off Ramapo Valley Road in downtown Oakland. There is one police station and it is located on Ramapo Valley Road across from the intersection with Walnut Street.

Federal, state and county representation

Oakland is in the Fifth Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 40th state legislative district.[19]

New Jersey's Fifth Congressional District is represented by Scott Garrett (R, Wantage Township). New Jersey is represented in the United States Senate by Frank Lautenberg (D, Cliffside Park) and Bob Menendez (D, Hoboken).

40th District of the New Jersey Legislature, which is represented in the New Jersey Senate by Kevin J. O'Toole (R, Cedar Grove) and in the New Jersey General Assembly by Scott Rumana (R, Wayne) and David C. Russo (R, Ridgewood).[20] The Governor of New Jersey is Chris Christie (R, Mendham).[21] The Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey is Kim Guadagno (R, Monmouth Beach).[22]

Bergen County's County Executive is Kathleen Donovan (R, Rutherford; term ends December 31, 2014).[23] The Board of Chosen Freeholders is the county's legislative body and its seven members are elected at-large on a staggered basis, with two or three seats coming up for election each year.[24] As of 2011, Bergen County's Freeholders are Chairman John Driscoll, Jr. (R, 2012; Paramus),[25] Vice-Chairwoman Maura DeNicola (R, 2013; Franklin Lakes),[26] Chair Pro Tempore John D. Mitchell (R, 2013; Cliffside Park)[27] John A. Felice (R, 2013; River Edge),[28] David L. Ganz (D, 2011; Fair Lawn),[29] Robert G. Hermansen (R, 2012; Mahwah)[30] and Bernadette P. McPherson (D, 2011; Rutherford).[31][32] Other countywide constitutional officials are Sheriff Michael Saudino (R), Surrogate Michael R. Dressler (D, Cresskill) and County Clerk Elizabeth Randall (R, Westwood).[33]


As of April 1, 2006, out of a 2004 Census estimated population of 13,707, there were 8,251 registered voters (60.2% of the population, vs. 55.4% in all of Bergen County). Of registered voters, 1,096 (13.3% vs. 20.7% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 2,249 (27.3% vs. 19.2% countywide) were registered as Republicans and 4,904 (59.4% vs. 60.1% countywide) were registered as Undeclared. There were two voters registered to other parties.[34]

On the national level, Oakland leans towards the Republican Party. In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 57% of the vote here, defeating Democrat John Kerry, who received around 42%.[35]

Highlands protection

In 2004, the New Jersey Legislature passed the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Act, which regulates the New Jersey Highlands region. Oakland was included in the highlands preservation area and is subject to the rules of the act and the Highlands Water Protection and Planning Council, a division of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection.[36] Some of the territory in the protected region is classified as being in the highlands preservation area, and thus subject to additional rules.[37]


Students in grades K through 8 attend the Oakland Public Schools. Schools in the district (with 2005-06 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics[38]) are three K-5 elementary schools — Dogwood Hill School (291 students), Heights Elementary School (433 students) and Manito Elementary School (413 students) — and Valley Middle School which serves grades 6 - 8 (559 students).

Public school students in grades 9 - 12 attend the schools of the Ramapo Indian Hills Regional High School District, a regional district consisting of two four-year public high schools serving students from Franklin Lakes, Oakland and Wyckoff. Students in eight grade have the option to choose attend either Indian Hills High School in Oakland or Ramapo High School in Franklin Lakes.[39][40]

Private schools include Barnstable Academy, located in a business and industrial park off Long Hill Road; The New Jersey Japanese School, located next to Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church; and The Gerrard Berman Day School (Solomon Schechter of North Jersey) located on Spruce Street.


Oakland was ranked by Business Week as #43 on its list of "Great Places to Raise Kids -- for Less", with only two places deemed better than Oakland: Matawan (12th) and Echelon near Philadelphia (4th). The criteria were test scores in math and reading, number of schools, cost of living, recreational and cultural activities, and risk of crime.[41]


Major roads through Oakland include Interstate 287, Route 208 and U.S. Route 202. There is no commuter rail service in Oakland, though commuter bus service to the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York City is available from Coach USA. New Jersey Transit bus service is also available on a limited basis via the 752 line (Oakland to Hackensack via Ridgewood).[42] A freight rail line does run through Oakland.

Newark Liberty International Airport provides scheduled air service.


Radio station WVNJ is licensed to Oakland.

The Oakland Journal is an online hyper-local news source that covers local political, civic and social events.[43]

Corporate residents

Russ Berrie and Company, Inc., once headquartered in Oakland, is a major manufacturer of teddy bears and other gift products, including stuffed animals, baby gifts, soft baby toys and development toys as well as picture, candles, figurines and home fragrance products. There are a few industrial parks in Oakland, the biggest of which is off Long Hill Road near the Franklin Lakes border. Russ Berrie and Company has since moved to Wayne Township.


Oakland offers a diverse amount of shopping. The downtown core is centered around Ramapo Valley Road (U.S. Route 202) between Oak Street and Franklin Avenue. The Copper Tree Mall (a strip mall with a small indoor section) is one of the dominant retail locations. As part of the current Mayor's plan,(Szabo), to help the downtown,a Walgreens has opened. On the same location, a Columbia Bank and a Starbucks has opened recently. This new mini-mall is on the corner of Ramapo Valley road (Rt. 202) and West Oakland Avenue. These new locations have helped to increase traffic in what was once a more quiet community.


There are a number of municipal recreational facilities in Oakland. The largest is a recreational area located off Oak Street, known to residents simply as the "Rec Field," which is home to nine baseball and softball fields, six tennis courts, a roller hockey rink, basketball courts, and other facilities. New Jersey's Ramapo Mountain State Forest is located in Oakland and can be accessed from Skyline Drive just north of its interchange with I-287.

The "Rec Field" is home to the annual carnival and fireworks that take place during the summer.

Oakland also offers a summer camp which runs for six weeks.[44]

Notable residents

Notable current and former residents of Oakland include:


  1. ^ 2011 New Jersey Mayors Directory, New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. Accessed August 4, 2011.
  2. ^ Borough Hall, Borough of Oakland. Accessed May 24, 2011.
  3. ^ U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Borough of Oakland, Geographic Names Information System, accessed November 29, 2007.
  4. ^ a b "Race, Hispanic or Latino, Age, and Housing Occupancy: 2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File (QT-PL), Oakland borough, New Jersey". U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder 2. http://factfinder2.census.gov. Retrieved August 3, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. http://factfinder.census.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ A Cure for the Common Codes: New Jersey, Missouri Census Data Center. Accessed July 14, 2008.
  7. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. http://geonames.usgs.gov. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  8. ^ "The Story of New Jersey's Civil Boundaries: 1606-1968", John P. Snyder, Bureau of Geology and Topography; Trenton, New Jersey; 1969. p. 82.
  9. ^ Yorio, Kara. "History calling: Bergen historical sites staging a special open house", The Record (Bergen County), May 18, 2011. Accessed May 24, 2011.
  10. ^ Staff. "New Jersey, a Guide to Its Present and Past", Federal Writers' Project, p. 441. Originally published by Viking Press, 1939, reprinted US History Publishers, 2007. ISBN 1603540296. Accessed May 24, 2011.
  11. ^ http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=yegTAAAAIBAJ&sjid=XQYEAAAAIBAJ&pg=6808,1681940&dq=pleasureland+oakland+nj&hl=en
  12. ^ http://blogs.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=blog.view&friendId=381953905&blogId=503839328
  13. ^ "THE REGION; Complex Reopens Following Slayings". The New York Times. August 12, 1985. http://www.nytimes.com/1985/08/12/nyregion/the-region-complex-reopens-following-slayings.html. 
  14. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. http://www.census.gov/geo/www/gazetteer/gazette.html. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  15. ^ Historical Population Trends in Bergen County (1900 - 2000), Bergen County, New Jersey. Accessed December 23, 2007.
  16. ^ New Jersey Resident Population by Municipality: 1930 - 1990, Workforce New Jersey Public Information Network, backed up by the Internet Archive as of May 2, 2009. Accessed August 4, 2011.
  17. ^ 2005 New Jersey Legislative District Data Book, Rutgers University Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, April 2005, p. 169.
  18. ^ Mayor & Council, Borough of Oakland. Accessed May 24, 2011.
  19. ^ 2011 New Jersey Citizen's Guide to Government, New Jersey League of Women Voters, p. 62. Accessed May 24, 2011.
  20. ^ "Legislative Roster: 2010-2011 Session". New Jersey Legislature. http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/members/roster.asp. Retrieved 2010-02-08. 
  21. ^ "About the Governor". New Jersey. http://www.nj.gov/governor/about/. Retrieved 2010-01-21. 
  22. ^ "About the Lieutenant Governor". New Jersey. http://www.nj.gov/governor/lt/. Retrieved 2010-01-21. 
  23. ^ Bergen County Executive, Bergen County, New Jersey. Accessed January 3, 2011.
  24. ^ What Is a Freeholder?, Bergen County, New Jersey. Accessed January 6, 2011.
  25. ^ Freeholder John Driscoll, Jr., Bergen County, New Jersey. Accessed January 11, 2011.
  26. ^ Maura R. DeNicola, Bergen County, New Jersey. Accessed January 11, 2011.
  27. ^ John D. Mitchell, Bergen County, New Jersey. Accessed January 11, 2011.
  28. ^ John A. Felice, Bergen County, New Jersey. Accessed January 11, 2011.
  29. ^ Freeholder David L. Ganz, Bergen County, New Jersey. Accessed January 11, 2011.
  30. ^ Freeholder Robert G. Hermansen, Bergen County, New Jersey. Accessed January 11, 2011.
  31. ^ Freeholder Bernadette P. McPherson, Bergen County, New Jersey. Accessed January 11, 2011.
  32. ^ Freeholder Home Page, Bergen County, New Jersey. Accessed January 3, 2011.
  33. ^ Constitutional Officers, Bergen County, New Jersey. Accessed January 3, 2011.
  34. ^ "County of Bergen: Voter Statistics by Municipality, Ward & District," dated April 1, 2006.
  35. ^ 2004 Presidential Election results: Bergen County, New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety: Division of Elections, dated December 13, 2004.
  36. ^ "Assembly Committee Substitute for Assembly, No. 2635" (PDF). New Jersey Legislature. 2004-06-07. pp. 15–16. http://www.highlands.state.nj.us/njhighlands/actmaps/act/highlands_bill.pdf. Retrieved 2007-05-08. 
  37. ^ "Highlands Municipalities". NJDEP. August 23, 2005. http://www.nj.gov/dep/highlands/municipalities.htm. Retrieved 2007-05-08. 
  38. ^ Data for the Oakland Public Schools, National Center for Education Statistics. Accessed May 23, 2008.
  39. ^ Van Dusen, Matthew. "Ramapo-Indian Hills schools chief to retire.", The Record (Bergen County), October 24, 2007. "Later, parents of Oakland students protested their lack of choice, and students in Wyckoff, Franklin Lakes and Oakland can now attend either school."
  40. ^ Eight Grade School Choice, Ramapo Indian Hills Regional High School District. Accessed August 4, 2011.
  41. ^ MacMillan, Douglas. "Great Places to Raise Kids -- for Less", Business Week, November 16, 2007. Accessed May 23, 2008.
  42. ^ Bergen County Bus/Rail Connections, New Jersey Transit, backed up by the Internet Archive as of May 22, 2009. Accessed August 4, 2011.
  43. ^ The Oakland Journal. Accessed May 23, 2008.
  44. ^ http://www.oaklandrecsummercamp.com/
  45. ^ Longsdorf, Amy. "N.J. writer puts her mark on Hollywood", The Record (Bergen County), July 20, 2009. Accessed August 4, 2011. "Screenwriter and former Oakland resident Karen McCullah Lutz is the first to admit she owes New Jersey a big debt of gratitude. Spending four years at Indian Hills High School sparked her love of Springsteen and the Paramus Park Mall, but Lutz is particularly grateful for an even more lasting Garden State gift."
  46. ^ Staff. "Oakland's Mike Teel cut by Seattle Seahawks", The Record (Bergen County), May 20, 2010. Accessed February 22, 2011. "Teel, an Oakland native, was a sixth-round draft choice of Seattle in 2009 after his record-setting career at Rutgers."

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