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Hackensack rose from humble beginnings as a pre-Colonial meeting place for the Achkenheshacky people, members of the Lenni-Lenape tribe. In 1614, Dutch fur traders were the first Europeans to come to the area. Ancient footpaths served the new settlers well, and some of these paths became roads that are still in use today. The most quintessentially American of these roads, Main Street, terminates at a place known as “the Green,” which provided a place to rest for a weary George Washington and his troops in 1776. It is also the site of the oldest church in Bergen County. Once a lure for New Yorkers seeking recreational outlets, Hackensack attracted many new permanent residents during the mid- to late 1800s. As the hub of Bergen County, the city led the way as the area moved away from its agrarian roots to a more industrialized society. In more recent times, Hackensack has been the birthplace of one of the seven original astronauts, home to the practice ice for three gold-medal-winning Olympic figure skaters, and a favorite lyric for singers and songwriters such as Billy Joel, Jimi Hendrix, Fountains of Wayne, and Johnny Cash.
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About the Author
Barbara J. Gooding, Terry E. Sellarole, Allan Petretti, and Theresa E. Jones are all graduates of Hackensack High School. They have been fortunate to acquire collections of photographs and memorabilia of several longtime Hackensack residents.