Caldwell New Jersey Historical Photographs and History

Crane House, West Caldwell, NJ
The Crane House, 29 Clinton Rd, West Caldwell, built circa 1810, photographed in 1936

Caldwell, New Jersey history photo
Bloomfield Avenue, Caldwell, NJ circa 1905

Caldwell, NJ vintage photograph
Bloomfield Avenue (right) and Academy Road, looking west, circa 1905

Churches were an important part of community life at the founding of Caldwell, and still are for many. Above, the historic Presbyterian Church, circa 1905.

At left, the First Baptist Church of Caldwell,
circa 1928.


The High School, circa 1907

The High School, circa 1920 (hand-colored)


Bloomfield Avenue, Caldwell, NJ circa 1905,
note horse hitching posts at curb.
The Trolley Station in Caldwell, NJ, circa 1905.


The Monomonock Inn, opened in 1902, was one of the reasons Caldwell promoted itself as the
"Denver of the East". It had a view of the hills to the west. Photo circa 1903.

The Monomonock Inn looking quite dapper in the late 1920's. With over 90 guest rooms,
this was a popular resort for the well heeled of New York, and in it's hillside setting,
a welcome respite from the summer heat of the cities.


THE MONOMONOCK INN IN CALDWELL, was built in 1902 and closed in 1942. It is described on the back of this postcard as "an exceptional spring, summer and autumn resort, delightfully situated on the Watchung Mountains, with an elevation of 500 feet". It says that this was the most healthful and picturesque section of New Jersey, only 20 miles from New York, with excellent commuting facilities. There were buses from the Herald Square Terminal in New York every half hour direct to the Inn. The Inn had luncheons, dinners, banquets, bridge parties. It had acres of private grounds, a putting green and tennis courts with swimming pools. A 9 hole golf course was nearby.


The Lincoln School, circa 1920's

The old Parsonage of the Presbyterian Church, the Birthplace of President Grover Cleveland in 
1837 during the time his father was the Pastor there, a National Historic Landmark. 

Central Avenue, looking north from Bloomfield Av, circa 1905

Forest Avenue, circa 1905

Gould Pl, Caldwell, New Jersey
Local Resident Kevin writes: "I believe that this is Gould Place looking toward Bloomfield Ave. 
The house on the left is 51 Gould Place". Thanks Kevin for identifying this location. Circa 1920.

Citizens National Bank, Caldwell New Jersey, circa 1925

Caldwell, New Jersey 1940s
An overview of Bloomfield Av and downtown Caldwell, NJ circa 1940

Grover Cleveland High School, circa 1956. This building now serves as 
the Junior High School.

Caldwell NJ, circa 1966, corner of Bloomfield Ave and Roseland Ave

These Automobile License Plate accessories were popular in the 1950's and 60's.

A Short History of Caldwell, New Jersey 07006

The rolling hills and valleys of the Watchung Mountains and the abundance of forests for lumber, streams and productive farmland first attracted early settlers to Caldwell and western Essex County. In 1702, a group of colonists from Newark purchased nearly 14,000 acres from the Lenape Indians for the equivalent of $325. This area, comprising most of northern Essex County, was known as "The Horseneck," due to its unique configuration. They were joined by Dutch settlers from Bergen County. But clear title to the land was disputed several decades later by the original English Proprietors, resulting in "The Horse Neck Riots" in the 1740's, one of the earliest Colonial American challenges to British authority.

In 1798, after the American Revolution, "Horseneck" separated from Newark and became the "Township of Caldwell" consisting of what is now known as Verona, Cedar Grove, Fairfield and the Caldwells. The construction of the "Big Road," Bloomfield Avenue, up from Newark through Bloomfield and Montclair brought increased population and commerce as it reached Caldwell by 1808. 

By the 1850s, Caldwell became a major link with the markets in Newark and other cities in the east, supplying food and other goods from the Caldwell area and other areas to the west. By the 1870's it had also become a summertime destination for city residents looking to escape the heat in those days before fans and air conditioners.  People came to enjoy the clean air, pure water and beautiful scenic views. Promoting itself as "The Denver of the East," Caldwell's economy was considerably helped by its influx of seasonal visitors, who stayed in Boarding Houses and ultimately in the grand Monomonock Inn, built in 1901. Significant also was the arrival of the railroad in 1891, which linked the area with population centers to the east and west.

In 1892 the Borough of Caldwell was incorporated. It was so named to honor the Reverend James Caldwell, who earned fame as "the fighting parson" in the American Revolution. Caldwell can also boast of another historic significance: it is the birthplace in 1837 of Grover Cleveland, who served as both the 22nd and 24th President of the United States.

This page was first placed online in 2002 as a community service of First Baptist Church of Bloomfield, NJ, just off Bloomfield Center. Our Church was founded in 1851 by residents of Essex County who desired to meet together for worship and the study of God's Word. Over the years a number of Caldwell residents have been members of our church. During all the time spanned by these photos, First Baptist has had an involvement in the community life of the area, and a spiritual impact in the lives of it's people. Now, over 160 years later, that impact is as vital as ever. 

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This Caldwell History page is from
a community service of First Baptist Church 
(in downtown Bloomfield Center)
1 Washington St,  Bloomfield, NJ 07003   -   tel 973-743-2400