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Glen Ridge is a borough in Essex County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 7,527, reflecting an increase of 256 (+3.5%) from the 7,271 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 195 (+2.8%) from the 7,076 counted in the 1990 Census.
Glen Ridge was incorporated as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on February 13, 1895, from portions of Bloomfield Township, based on the results of a referendum held the previous day. In 1982, the official name was changed to the "Township of Glen Ridge Borough" as one of seven four Essex County municipalities to pass a referendum to become a township, joining 11 municipalities that had already made the change, of what would ultimately be more than a dozen Essex County municipalities to reclassify themselves as townships in order take advantage of federal revenue sharing policies that allocated townships a greater share of government aid to municipalities on a per capita basis. Effective May 1993, the borough's original name of "Glen Ridge Borough" was restored. The borough's name comes from the ridge formed by Toney's Brook.
Of the many legacies left to the town by its founders, the one that has become its trademark is the gas lamps. With only 3,000 gaslights remaining in operation in the entire United States, Glen Ridge has 665 such lamps lighting its streets. In 1924, Glen Ridge became the first municipality in New Jersey to establish a zoning ordinance.
In 2010, Glen Ridge was ranked as the 38th Best Place to live by New Jersey Monthly magazine.
Glen Ridge traces its beginning to 1666 when 64 Connecticut families led by Robert Treat bought land from the Lenni Lenape Native Americans and named it New Ark to reflect a covenant to worship freely without persecution. The territory included the future towns of Bloomfield, Montclair, Belleville and Nutley. When Bloomfield was established in 1812, Glen Ridge was a section "on the hill" composed mostly of farms and woodlands with the exception of a thriving industrial area along Toney's Brook in the glen. For most of the nineteenth century, three water-powered mills produced lumber, calico, pasteboard boxes and brass fittings.
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