Township of Orvil

    Orvil Township was incorporated on April 20, 1885, and was formed out of the southerly part of Hohokus and the westerly part of Washington townships.  Owing to troubles growing out of the school law, in 1894 the three boroughs of Allendale, Saddle River and Upper Saddle River were carved out of the township.  Saddle River borough was cut off the eastern part of Orvil; Upper Saddle River was formed out of part of Orvil and part of Washington, and Allendale borough comprised the northwest part of Orvil, part of Hohokus and part of Franklin townships.  The township was named in honor of Orville Victor, a native of Ohio, and a life-long student of American history and affairs.  The promoters of Orvil township were Martin H. Smith, Abraham H. Ackerman (afterward a member of the Board of Freeholders), and John G. Esler.

    Waldwick was the most important and enterprising place in what was left of Orvil township, and was situated on the Erie railroad.  Waldwick is a Saxon word, which means beautiful grove.  Two small villages in Orvil township were hohokus, formerly known by the name of Hoppertown, on the main line of the Erie railraod, with Undercliff as one of its stations, and situated in the extreme part of the township.  The land covering the site of the village was taken up by Abram Hopper some time before the Revolutionary War.  From this influential family the place aptly received its name Hoppertown.  Among other points of historic interest in Hohokus village are three ancient houses, dating back to the colonial times.  Built by the Hoppers, they are known as the old Stone Building South of the Brook, the old Stone House, and the Mansion House.  The first named is considered the oldest.

    The ancestor of the Ackerman family, during the reign of King George III< found a home in this part of Bergen county, where several generations of his descendants have continued to reside.  As early as 1763 Johana Arie Ackerman came to New Jersey and in 1773 began purchasing land and continued these transactions until large portions of Orvil township (then Franklin) came into his possession.

    Orvil continued a township for about thirty-three years, and then finally succumbed to an attack of boroughitis in 1919, when all the territory embraced in the township of Orvil was incoporated as Waldwick borough.  Thus ended Orvil's career.

Westervelt, Frances Augusta Johnson,History of Bergen County, New Jersey, 1630-1923
New York: Lewis Historical Publishing Co., 1923, 1229 pgs., Chapter XXIX, pg. 301.
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