A brief history of Closter
Closter is a borough in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 8,373, reflecting a decline of 10 (-0.1%) from the 8,383 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 289 (+3.6%) from the 8,094 counted in the 1990 Census. The name Closter is of Dutch origin and first appears in a November 18, 1721 deed between the surviving Tappan Patentees and Peter Haring (he owned land in Harrington Park/Norwood east of Tappan Rd. and between Harrington and Blanche Avenues) - the meets and bounds of the deed begin “Beginning at the bridge which comes out of the Clooster by the Dwars Kill . . ." (At that time, Closter was considered part of New York State). In the Dutch language, Klooster or "clooster" means "a quiet place, a monastery or cloister." The name was originally pronounced with an "ow" sound, phonetically, "Klowster."
The topography gave a sense of isolation and protection, tucked behind the highest point of the Palisades and protected by limited access. Alternatively, sources indicate that the name derives from an early settler named Frederick Closter. Claims have been made that Frederick Closter is a myth that dates back to the 1940s.
Later, just before the American Revolution, these isolated settlers began to feel the imposing hand of the British Crown in their lives – not only in governmental affairs but also by the influx of English culture upon their own language and culture. And as a result the "K" in Klooster was dropped and was replaced with a "C" so the now growing village became known as Clooster.
By 1795, with the emerging new American culture, the second "o" in Clooster was dropped, and the American English "long o" sound was adopted which led to today's pronunciation of Closter. Reminders of Closter's early Dutch history abound - with local streets named after some of the early families (Bogert, Demarest, Durie, Naugle, Parsells, Vervalen, Auryansen, Haring, and Westervelt), and a rich collection of unique Jersey Dutch houses.
The arrival of the Northern Branch in 1859, followed by additional train service from what became the West Shore Railroad, brought residents to the community who could commute to Manhattan via the ferry across the Hudson River at the railroad's Weehawken depot. Closter's central location earned it the nickname "Hub of the Northern Valley".
Closter was formed as an incorporated municipality by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on January 1, 1904, from portions of Harrington Township. On March 29, 1904, Harrington Park was created from portions of Closter, Harrington Township and Washington Township.
After the turn of the 20th century, Closter changed from being sprawling estates and farms into an upper middle class suburban town.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 3.295 square miles (8.535 km2), including 3.164 square miles (8.196 km2) of land and 0.131 square miles (0.339 km2) of water (3.98%). Closter has a humid subtropical climate similar to the rest of the Middle Atlantic region of the United States. Closter borders the Bergen County municipalities of Alpine, Demarest, Emerson, Harrington Park, Haworth and Norwood
The Closter Public Schools serve students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade. As of the 2014-15 school year, the district and its two schools had an enrollment of 1,671 students and 86.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 19.4:1.Schools in the district (with 2014-15 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Hillside Elementary School (with 569 students in grades PreK-4) and Tenakill Middle School (with 542 students in grades 5-8). Students in ninth through twelfth grades attend Northern Valley Regional High School at Demarest in Demarest, together with students from Demarest and Haworth. The high school is part of the Northern Valley Regional High School District, which also serves students from Harrington Park, Northvale, Norwood and Old Tappan. During the 1994-96 school years, Northern Valley Regional High School at Demarest was awarded the Blue Ribbon School Award of Excellence by the United States Department of Education. As of the 2014-15 school year, the high school had an enrollment of 1,218 students and 94.5 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.9:1. Local students had attended Closter High School until Northern Valley Regional High School at Demarest opened in 1955, whereupon the Closter school was closed. Public school students from the borough, and all of Bergen County, are eligible to attend the secondary education programs offered by the Bergen County Technical Schools, which include the Bergen County Academies in Hackensack, and the Bergen Tech campus in Teterboro or Paramus. The district offers programs on a shared-time or full-time basis, with admission based on a selective application process and tuition covered by the student's home school district.
Michelin-star chef Ben Pollinger — who made a name for himself in NYC kitchens, including seafood-favorite Oceana — has opened a restaurant on this side of the Hudson near his home in Bergen County. Though he's written a cookbook on fish, The Hill will feature globally-inspired cuisine and a more-casual-than-NYC atmosphere. "I'm not looking to recreate a New York City restaurant in the suburbs," Pollinger told the New York Times.
2017 US Census Bureau, American Community Survey. Home value data includes all types of owner-occupied housing.