Pompton Lakes is a borough in Passaic County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the borough's population was 11,097, reflecting an increase of 457 (+4.3%) from the 10,640 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 101 (+1.0%) from the 10,539 counted in the 1990 Census.
Pompton Lakes was established on February 26, 1895 from portions of Pompton Township, based on the results of a referendum held three days earlier. The borough was named for the Pompton people, a sub-tribe of Native Americans who lived in the area. It was the first borough to be formed in Passaic County as part of the "boroughitis" that had struck the state at the time. Pompton Lakes did not acquire territory from more than one township, which would have entitled the borough to a seat on the County's Board of Chosen Freeholders.
An outer-ring suburb of New York City, Pompton Lakes is located approximately 20 miles (32 km) northwest of Midtown Manhattan. From the higher mountains in and around the borough one can see the New York skyline. Three rivers, the Ramapo, Pequannock and Wanaque, run through the borough, which historically provided much of the energy for various industries in the borough. In the mid-20th Century, Pompton Lakes served as a local shopping destination, but lost its status as shopping malls opened in the area in the 1970s and 1980s.
Dutch settlers began to settle in the area that is now Pompton Lakes in the 1680s, purchasing farmland from the local Lenape Native Americans.
The presence of iron ore and the availability of hydropower were initial catalysts for the early development of the Pompton area. An ironworks was constructed on the Pompton River in the early 1700s, which produced munitions for the French and Indian War, the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812.