A brief history of Ho-Ho-Kus
The borough is the home of several historical landmarks, including the Ho-Ho-Kus Inn and The Hermitage. Ho-Ho-Kus was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on October 12, 1908, from what had originally been the borough of Orvil, which was in turn created on March 8, 1905, from portions of Orvil Township.
In 2011, New Jersey Monthly magazine named Ho-Ho-Kus the best place to live in the state of New Jersey, citing its affluence, low crime rate and the quality of its school system, as well as its proximity to New York City and other major commercial destinations. The meaning of the name Ho-Ho-Kus is in debate. From the official history on the borough's website, the most likely origin is a contraction of the Delaware Indian term "Mah-Ho-Ho-Kus" (or "Mehokhokus"), meaning "the red cedar."
Other meanings have been suggested over the years and are listed on the borough's website, including an Indian word for running water, a cleft in the rock or under the rock or hollow rock, the word "hohokes", signifying the whistle of the wind against the bark of trees, the Chihohokies Indians whose chief lived here, the Dutch Hoog Akers for "high acorns" or Hoge Aukers, Dutch for "high oaks", the Indian word hoccus meaning "fox", or woakus, "gray fox", or that the "Ho" part means joy or spirit, and the rest of the name from "hohokes," meaning a kind of bark of a tree. A person from Ho-Ho-Kus is known as a "Ho-Ho-Kusite
Ho-Ho-Kus versus Hohokus
A constant source of confusion has been the manner in which the borough's name has been styled, with each syllable capitalized and separated by hyphens. The confusion is only exacerbated by the existence of Hohokus Township, which comprised the area of present-day Ho-Ho-Kus and other surrounding communities, yet was styled without the multiple capitalization or the hyphens. Ho-Ho-Kus is served by interchange 168 on the Garden State Parkway which lists the municipality as "Hohokus" on its exit signing.
The name "Ho-Ho-Kus" was used explicitly in the resolution requesting a change of name passed by the Borough Council on October 12, 1908 and submitted to the Secretary of State of New Jersey requesting "That the Borough now known as the Borough of Orvil be hereafter known as the Borough of Ho-Ho-Kus..."
A few theories have been offered for the hyphens and capitalization. One is that it was intended to differentiate between the borough and Hohokus Township, which was formed on April 9, 1849, and continued to exist until November 7, 1944, when a referendum was passed changing the name to present-day Mahwah. Another explanation was that it was meant to avoid confusion by postal clerks with mail being sent to Hoboken.
While efforts had been made in the ensuing decades to change the name or to alter the way in which the name of the borough is capitalized and punctuated, the borough remains as "Ho-Ho-Kus.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the borough had a total area of 1.749 square miles (4.530 km2), including 1.735 square miles (4.494 km2) of land and 0.014 square miles (0.036 km2) of water (0.80%).
The borough borders Hillsdale, Ridgewood, Saddle River, Waldwick and Washington Township
The Ho-Ho-Kus School District serves public school students in pre-kindergarten through eighth grade at Ho-Ho-Kus Public School. As of the 2017–18 school year, the district, comprising one school, had an enrollment of 606 students and 47.5 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.8:1. The school population increased more than 200 students in the decade through 2008.
Local secondary school students in public school attend Northern Highlands Regional High School in nearby Allendale, which serves students in the ninth through twelfth grades grades from Allendale, Ho-Ho-Kus, Upper Saddle River and some students from Saddle River, as part of sending/receiving relationships with the Ho-Ho-Kus district. As of the 2017–18 school year, the high school had an enrollment of 1,352 students and 113.0 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 12.0:1.
After ending a long-standing sending relationship to Ridgewood High School in the mid-1970s, Ho-Ho-Kus students started attending Midland Park High School. The small size of the Midland Park school and the lack of electives led to efforts in the mid-1990s to find another high school to serve students from the borough. Since then, high school students from Ho-Ho-Kus have been attending Northern Highlands Regional High School. The send / receive agreement between Ho-Ho-Kus and Northern Highlands began in the 1990s.In 2016, the Ho-Ho-Kus and Northern Highlands districts reached an agreement to extend the send / receive agreement through 2026 under a fixed-price contract by which Ho-Ho-Kus would pay $3.6 million for the 2016–17 school year, escalating by 2% a year to $4.3 million in 2025–26, regardless of the number of students from the borough sent to the high school.
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.
The borough is home to the Ho-Ho-Kus Waldwick Cooperative Nursery School.
Serving artfully prepared meat, fish, vegetarian selections, and pastas made in house to Ho-Ho-Kus, Ridgewood, Wyckoff, Allendale and surrounding towns in Bergen County, NJ.
2018 US Census Bureau, American Community Survey. Home value data includes all types of owner-occupied housing.