Edgewater is a borough located along the Hudson River in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough had a population of 11,513, reflecting an increase of 3,836 (+50.0%) from the 7,677 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 2,676 (+53.5%) from the 5,001 counted in the 1990 Census.
The borough's history has featured the founding of the first colony in Bergen County, contribution to the Revolutionary War, a period as a "sleepy, pastoral little town" with resort hotels in the 19th century, industrialization in the early 20th century, and a transition to a rapidly growing residential community in the late 20th century.
Edgewater was incorporated as a municipality on December 7, 1894, from portions of Ridgefield Township as the Borough of Undercliff, based on the results of a referendum that passed two days earlier. The borough was formed during the "Boroughitis" phenomenon then sweeping through Bergen County, in which 26 boroughs were formed in the county in 1894 alone. The borough's name was changed to Edgewater on November 8, 1899. The borough was named for its location on the Hudson River.
Native American people are known to have lived in the vicinity before the arrival of colonists in the 17th century. The Lenape were a local tribe of Native Americans associated with the neighboring borough of Fort Lee. David Pietersz Devries (also transliterated as David Pietersen de Vries), the first European settler, bought 500 acres (202 ha) of land from the Tappan tribe and established the settlement of Vriessendael in what is now Edgewater. A historical plaque placed in Veteran's Field by the Bergen County Historical Society names Vriessendael as the first known colony in Bergen County with a founding date of 1640. Vriessendael was destroyed in 1643 in Kieft's War by Indians reacting to foolish actions by the Director General of the Dutch West India Company, who lived across the river in New Amsterdam, as Manhattan was then known. In pioneer days, River Road was known as the Hackensack Turnpike, and Ox [sic] Hill Road was an important route to the top of the Palisades Cliff.