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Garfield is a city in Bergen County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the city's population was 30,487, reflecting an increase of 701 (+2.4%) from the 29,786 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 3,059 (+11.4%) from the 26,727 counted in the 1990 Census.
When the area that is now Garfield was first developed in 1873, it was known as East Passaic. In 1881, the community's name was changed to Garfield in honor of President of the United States James Garfield. There are two explanations given for the circumstances behind the renaming. According to one, shortly after Garfield was elected to the presidency the founder of East Passaic said, "tell everyone...don't speak of East Passaic anymore; call it 'Garfield' after the man who will lead this great country to prosperity." Seven months later, President Garfield was assassinated but his name remained with the community. The second theory holds that after Garfield's death in 1881, a new train station was named in his honor, which in turn led to the surrounding area becoming associated with his name as well.
Garfield was originally incorporated as a borough on March 15, 1898, from portions of Saddle River Township and Wallington. At the time, the New Jersey Legislature set Garfield's boundaries as they exist today. On April 19, 1917, the borough became the City of Garfield, based on the results of a referendum held two days earlier.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city had a total area of 2.160 square miles (5.594 km2), including 2.099 square miles (5.436 km2) of land and 0.061 square miles (0.158 km2) of water (2.82%).
Unincorporated communities, localities and place names located partially or completely within the township include Belmont, Bogart Heights, Dundee Dam and Plauderville.
The city has land borders with adjacent Elmwood Park, Lodi, Saddle Brook and South Hackensack. The Saddle River is a shared border with Wallington. There are three bridges over the Passaic River crossing the municipal and county line to Passaic and Clifton in Passaic County.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency has identified Garfield as the site of groundwater contaminated hexavalent chromium from a spill in 1983 at the E.C. Electroplating Corporation site.
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