Come join the Mayor & Council Rededication Ceremony
Thursday, June 14, 2007, Noon
(30 min. ceremony, rain or shine. Main & Court Streets)
The Green, a gift of John Berry of 2 3/4 acres of land to the residents of Hackensack, dates back to 1696. The First Dutch Reformed Church site was included in this gift. A strategic point during the American Revolution, Hackensack was a small village centered around The Green. Washington headquartered here in November 1776 while he surveyed the local roads and bridges. On November 20, 1776 he led his army into Hackensack. The Army camped on The Green as Washington made the important decision to continue the retreat from overwhelming British and Hessian forces. This prepared the way for the first American victory of the Revolution the following month at the Battle of Trenton. On March 23, 1780, the British raided Hackensack and burned the Courthouse that stood on the Green at that time.
The Hackensack Green is the historic center of Hackensack. It has been a public meeting place and a place where public notices were posted. Since 1715, a Bergen County Courthouse building faced the Green. In the 18th century, the Green was the place where punishments where inflicted on criminals and where the militia trained. In 1820, it was enhanced only by trees along its edges and a flagpole. About 1858-60 the trees were removed, new trees planted and a fence installed. Subsequent late 19th century embellishments included a cast iron fountain and a bandstand. The 19th century features were replaced in the 20th century by a civil war era canon, a recent flagpole and a World War I monument. The monument is a fine example of outdoor sculpture designed by Charles Henry Niehaus, a prominent New York City sculptor whose work embellishes the Library of Congress and the Statutory Hall of the U.S. Capitol. The monument to General Enoch Poor commemorates a Revolutionary War figure who is buried in the adjacent cemetery of the First Reformed Church. Poor died in 1780 of wounds incurred in a duel. Part of his military funeral took place on the Green. This funeral was attended by George Washington and Lafayette. He was buried in the adjoining cemetery of the Dutch Reformed Church. The church, originally built in 1696 and rebuilt in 1791, is the oldest in Bergen County and the second oldest in New Jersey.