Demarest New Jersey is full of the charm and grace found in Bergen County, New Jersey. Founded as a borough in 1903, residents whose families came to this area for the gently rolling hills and forests, sought to preserve their retreat from big city life. This sentiment remains with Demarest today. Unlike nearby towns, Demarest is a “town for people, not for industry,” with municipal policies seeking to preserve nature, history and a quiet way of life for its residents.
Much of Demarest’s charm can be seen in its historic buildings. The pride of Demarest, the Art School at Old Church is housed in a 125 year old church. Other buildings like the historic railroad and fire station, as well as some beautifully restored homes recall Demarest’s past. Adding charm and whimsy to the town’s character, the Gazebo and Duck Pond sit prominently in the middle of town, serving as a reminder of a simpler, bygone era, and are symbolic to Demarest’s commitment to preserving this simplicity.
Zip code: 07627
Median Family income (1999): $113,144
U.S. Census Bureau Fact Sheet
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Demarest Public Schools
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The area that would become Demarest was originally settled by a French Huguenot, David Demarest, originally known as Davis des Marets. Dutch settlers obtained land grants from the British Governor of New Jersey, and moved into the area in 1723.
When the American Revolution brought action to Demarest, about six or seven farmhouses were present in Demarest. Most people in Demarest were great patriots, along with Samuel P. Demarest, great, great grandson of David Demarest, who supplied Washington’s army with flour. Demarest families saw great losses of both property and life during the Tory raid in 1779. Homes were razed and many of the men were either captured or killed.
With America’s success in the Revolution, the people of Demarest returned to the business of milling, and the community soon saw prosperity. In 1816, Samuel R. Demarest built the sandstone colonial home that still stands near the Duck Pond.
1859 saw the opening of the Northern Railroad of New Jersey. The line ran from Jersey City, through Demarest to Piermont, New York. The State Senator from Bergen County at this time was Ralph S. Demarest, descendant of David Demarest, played a pivotal role bringing the railroad to the county. With the advent of the railroad, the Demarest name was first officially part of the area’s name. “Demarest Station” was named in the Senator’s honor, and later became a well-known resort town. The Demarest Railroad Station is one of the most notable architectural works in the community. Designed by J. Cleveland Cady, architect for the Metropolitan Opera House and the Museum of Natural History, the station was built in 1874 of stone quarried from the slopes of the Palisades.
Like much of Bergen County, Demarest was a product of “boroughmania,” or the movement of these areas to break away from their larger townships to form new, smaller boroughs. Demarest was formed by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on April 8, 1903, from portions of Harrington Township and Palisades Township, and was named for Senator Ralph S. Demarest in the mid-19th century.
Demarest Parks & Recreation
Demarest is committed to maintaining a high quality of life for its residents. A variety of recreational pursuits are available in Demarest. Whether you are interested in the arts, nature, athletics or socializing, Demarest has activities for all age groups.
The Art School at Old Church
Established in 1974, The Art School at Old Church offers educational and cultural programs to enrich the quality of life in the local community and beyond. Artists rescued a 19th century church to use as the school’s facility. Experienced, professional artists teach all classes. The bright and well-equipped studios invite artists of all ages and skill levels to use them. Day and evening classes are offered.
Demarest Garden Club
Get to know other gardeners in your community at a Garden Club meeting held the first Friday of every month (except July and August) at 12:30. Meetings are held at the United Methodist Church, 109 Hardenburgh Avenue. Everyone, green thumb or not, is invited! Call 201-569-9120 for more information.
Demarest Nature Center Association
The Demarest Nature Center seeks to preserve and protect open space in this part of New Jersey from urban encroachment. The center’s mission is to educate young and old about the importance of protecting our environment.
Demarest Senior Recreation
The Demarest Senior Recreation Center provides activities and excursions for those 55 and older like bingo, cards, arts and crafts and trips to Atlantic City. The center is located at the Railroad Station and is open from 1:00 pm to 4:30 pm except on Tuesdays.
Demarest Swim Club
The water is great at the Swim Club! Located at the end of Wakelee Drive, the Swim Club has two large pools and a children's pool. Facilities for other activities like volleyball and picnics are available. Lessons in swimming and diving are available for children 18 and under. The pool’s season is from Memorial Day through Labor Day.
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