[Congressional Record Volume 148, Number 79 (Friday, June 14, 2002)]
[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E1062]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]



                      HON. RODNEY P. FRELINGHUYSEN

                             of new jersey

                    in the house of representatives

                        Thursday, June 13, 2002

  Mr. FRELINGHUYSEN. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to honor the Borough of 
Essex Fells and its residents on the occasion of its Centennial 
  Essex Fells, which was incorporated as a municipality by the New 
Jersey State Legislature on March 21, 1902, is the smallest 
municipality in Essex County, measuring a mere 1.6 square miles. 
Despite its size, the borough is home to some of the friendliest 
people, the loveliest homes, and gardens in New Jersey.
  In the 18th and 19th centuries, the wooded hills and valleys that now 
comprise the municipality were sparsely settled, with only seven or 
eight farms located along what is now known as Roseland Avenue.
  The expansion of the railroad system and improvements in other forms 
of transportation brought about the development of real estate in areas 
surrounding large cities. This resulted in the development of a 
community that would come to be known as Essex Fells.
  Anthony Drexel, a prominent developer and planner from Philadelphia, 
had a vision and dream to build a unique community with beautiful homes 
situated in a rustic area of New Jersey. In 1888 he sent his 
representative, Charles W. Leavitt, to survey the situation around the 
extension of the railroad service in the Caldwells.
  Following a report that the location seemed ideal for use as a high-
level residential community, Mr. Drexel formed the New York Suburban 
Land Company in 1889 and purchased one thousand acres of land south of 
Caldwell. Included in part of the purchase were the land and the 
historic home of General William Gould, which became the home of the 
land company's new president, Mr. Leavitt. The majority shareholder in 
the corporation was John R. Fell, Mr. Drexel's son-in-law.
  The hilly and rocky terrain made an imaginative and skilled approach 
to the planning necessary. To lay out an over-all community concept, 
Mr. Drexel hired well-known landscape architect Ernest W. Bowditch.
  As this new area began to be developed and built, it was fortunate 
enough to be able to install such technological advances as 
electricity, in-door plumbing, and telephones, conveniences that are 
commonplace one hundred years later--but were true innovations then!
  Essex Fells was given its name in honor of the county in which it was 
developed, Essex, and because the word ``fell'' suggests a rolling, 
hilly area, although Mr. Fell must have had some input into the name 
Essex Fells!
  Throughout the past one hundred years not much about the character of 
Essex Fells has changed from the original concept of a residential 
rustic community. Today, the municipality is home to over 2,100 
residents, a very small number by New Jersey standards, the Essex Fells 
Water Company, a public elementary school, a post office, and a park.
  Mr. Speaker, this weekend the fine neighbors of Essex Fells will be 
joining together for a parade and community picnic to celebrate this 
auspicious occasion. I urge you and all of my colleagues to join Mayor 
Edward Abbot, Borough Council members James N. Blake, Rupert Hauser 
III, James W. Irwin, Julianne H. Rose, Thomas St. John, and, Lynda 
Youngworth, and the Citizens of Essex Fells in wishing them well during 
this special anniversary year.