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MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Rutherford in Bergen County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

The Passaic River

 
 
The Passaic River Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, May 12, 2015
1. The Passaic River Marker
Inscription.
Route 3 Bridge at the Passaic River
The Route 3 Bridge over the Passaic River, completed in 1949, was a 7-span, 699 foot long, 76 foot wide, double leaf bascule, simple trunnion movable bridge. It consisted of a twin-double leaf main span, two flanking spans and four approach spans. The corners of the bascule span were topped with flat-roofed, moderne-style operator’s houses of reinforced concrete, railings with moderne-style posts adorned the approach spans. The bridge was unique for its internal rack, a feature found on only one other bridge in New Jersey. The bridge was determined eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places in 1997.

Movable Bridges over the Passaic River
Movable bridges spanned the Passaic River from Newark Bay to Paterson to accommodate large vessel navigation. The first bridge to connect Rutherford with the Delawanna section of Clifton was the Rutherford Avenue Bridge, a Pratt truss bascule (draw) bridge completed in 1870. Further down the river, the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad built the Lyndhurst draw bridge, a 439-foot long swing bridge completed in 1900. The former Route 3 Bridge, replaced the Rutherford Avenue Bridge in 1949. The present bridge replaced the Route 3 Bridge over the Passaic River in 2014.

The stone beneath
The Passaic River Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, May 12, 2015
2. The Passaic River Marker
this marker was salvaged from the channel piers of the Route 3 Bridge.

Maritime Travel on the Passaic River
Since European settlement along the banks of the Passaic River in the late seventeenth century, the river has played a central role in commerce, transportation and recreation. Passenger ferries and schooners were the earliest commercial vessels to ply the Passaic River. In the nineteenth century, steamboats dominated river travel, hauling manufactured goods and raw materials between Paterson’s inland mills, Newark Bay and New York City. They played a significant role in the industrial development of New Jersey. Barges and ocean-going vessels were a common site prior to 1950, but maritime activity declined, due to the development of improved roads and highways. Today, the occasional tugboat or tanker still navigates the waters of the Passaic River.

Recreation on the Passaic River
From the close of the Civil War to the early twentieth century, the Passaic River was a noted attraction that drew swimmers, picnickers, sightseers, and boaters to its shores. During much of this period, the river was recognized as a premier location for championship rowing races. The “Passaic Course”, as the racing route was known, was lauded by contemporaries as one of the best in the region, and on pleasant weekends it was lined with
The Passaic River Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, May 12, 2015
3. The Passaic River Marker
The latest Route 3 Bridge can be seen behind the marker.
enthusiastic crowds cheering dozens of local rowing clubs, such as the Nereid Boat Club, the Passaic Boat Club and the Triton Boat Club. Rowing on the Passaic fell off precipitously by the early 1900s as a consequence of industrial pollutants that left the river largely inaccessible to recreational users. During the 1920s and 1930s, however, rowing experienced a renaissance because of efforts by the Passaic Valley Sewage Commission to clean the river. Today, an active community of rowers, including those belonging to the Nereid Boat Club, the longest continually active rowing organization on the river, enjoy the Passaic in the tradition of those who used it nearly a century and a half earlier.


< Lower Plaque >
These granite blocks were
salvaged from the channel
piers of the historic
Route 3 Bridge over the
Passaic River built in 1949

 
Erected 2014.
 
Location. 40° 49.378′ N, 74° 7.344′ W. Marker is in Rutherford, New Jersey, in Bergen County. Marker is at the intersection of Riverside Avenue and Marginal Road, on the right when traveling north on Riverside Avenue. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Rutherford NJ 07070, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this
The Passaic River Marker image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, May 12, 2015
4. The Passaic River Marker
marker. Lyndhurst War Memorial (approx. ¾ mile away); Operations Desert Storm and Iraqi Freedom (approx. ¾ mile away); Rutherford Vietnam & Korea Memorial (approx. ¾ mile away); U.S.S. Maine Memorial (approx. ¾ mile away); John Rutherfurd (approx. 0.8 miles away); Rutherford World War II Memorial (approx. 0.8 miles away); Gettysburg Address (approx. 0.8 miles away); Rutherford Veterans of War (approx. 0.8 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Rutherford.
 
More about this marker. A photograph of the old Route 3 drawbridge appears at the top of the marker.
 
Categories. Bridges & ViaductsWaterways & Vessels
 
Lower Plaque image. Click for full size.
By Bill Coughlin, May 12, 2015
5. Lower Plaque
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 284 times since then and 27 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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