From the mid-18th century, what is now Wyckoff was a community within Franklin Township, formed on June 1, 1797, when Saddle River Township (now Saddle Brook) was split, which consisted of most of northern Bergen County west of the Saddle River. Starting in the 1840s, several new municipalities were created from portions of Franklin Township (Pompton Township on April 10, 1797, Hohokus Township (now Mahwah) on April 9, 1849, and Ridgewood Township on March 30, 1876; remaining now the Village of Ridgewood), so that today what is now Wyckoff borders eight different communities. Wyckoff was formed as a township by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on November 2, 1926, replacing Franklin Township, based on the results of a referendum held that day. Portions of Wyckoff were ceded to Midland Park based on the results of a referendum held on June 9, 1931.
Though there is no solid historical evidence for any of the various theories, the most commonly given origin for the name Wyckoff, which was the origin accepted by the township committee when the municipality was established, is that the name is from the Lenape word wickoff, meaning "high ground", or that it is from wickok, meaning "water". However, similarly named Wyckoff Heights in New York City is named after the Wyckoff family, who settled in the New York/New Jersey area when both states were part of the Dutch colony of New Netherlands. Other sources ascribe the name to Wicaugh in Malpas, England.
The first known human inhabitants of the area were the Lenni LenapeNative Americans who lived north of the Raritan River and spoke a Munsee dialect of Algonquian. Sicomac, said to mean "resting place for the departed" or "happy hunting ground", is an area of Wyckoff that, according to tradition, was the burial place of many Native Americans, including Chief Oratam of the Ackingshacys, and many stores and buildings in the community have been named after the area's name, including Sicomac Elementary School. Most Native Americans had left by the 19th century, although a small group lived near Clinton Avenue until 1939.
What is Wyckoff today was originally part of Saddle River Township, which included all of Bergen County west of the Saddle River. Saddle River Township was split in 1771, with the area containing Wyckoff becoming Franklin Township. By 1755, about 100 families lived in the Franklin Township area, of which no more than 20 were in what is now Wyckoff. Franklin Township (1771) consisted of what is today Ho-Ho-Kus (seceded 1849), Ridgewood (seceded 1876), Midland Park (seceded 1894), Oakland (seceded 1902), Franklin Lakes (seceded 1922), and Wyckoff. The size of Franklin Township decreased as areas seceded and were incorporated into their own municipalities. After Franklin Lakes was established in 1922, Franklin Township consisted of only the area known locally as Wyckoff. On November 2, 1926, residents voted (243 positive votes out of 337) to change the name from Franklin Township to the Township of Wyckoff.
The first recorded permanent settlers were John and William Van Voor Haze (Voorhees), who purchased 550 acres (220 ha) of land in the area in 1720. Other early settlers (mostly Dutch) included the Van Horns, Terhunes, Ackermans, Quackenbushes, Pulises, and Vanderhoffs. In 1940 the population was just under 4,000 consisting of roughly 100 families with 30% of the land devoted to farming. By 1969 the number of farms had dropped to 13 covering 3 acres (1.2 ha), 6% of the township. By 2012, only two farms remain: Abma's Farm and Goffle Road Poultry Farm, which is Bergen County's only remaining live market.Rail service by the New Jersey Midland Railway began in 1870. That service was purchased by the New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway, which abruptly ended passenger service in 1966.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the township had a total area of 6.65 square miles (17.22 km2), including 6.59 square miles (17.07 km2) of land and 0.06 square miles (0.15 km2) of water (0.89%).
Of the 5,646 households, 40.6% had children under the age of 18; 73.2% were married couples living together; 6.8% had a female householder with no husband present and 17.8% were non-families. Of all households, 16.1% were made up of individuals and 10.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.89 and the average family size was 3.26.
27.6% of the population were under the age of 18, 5.7% from 18 to 24, 17.9% from 25 to 44, 32.1% from 45 to 64, and 16.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44.3 years. For every 100 females, the population had 92.2 males. For every 100 females ages 18 and older there were 88.0 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $145,366 (with a margin of error of +/- $11,501) and the median family income was $163,034 (+/- $10,963). Males had a median income of $111,950 (+/- $12,210) versus $64,148 (+/- $10,102) for females. The per capita income for the township was $64,476 (+/- $5,019). About 0.6% of families and 2.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.9% of those under age 18 and 2.4% of those age 65 or over.
In 2010, the median income for a household in the township was $138,373, and the median income for a family was $154,420. In 2000, males had a median income of $87,850 versus $51,929 for females. The per capita income for the township was $49,375. About 1.1% of families and 1.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 1.3% of those under age 18 and 1.9% of those age 65 or over.
There were 5,541 households, out of which 42.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 75.7% were married couples living together, 5.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 16.4% were non-families. 14.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 8.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.89 and the average family size was 3.22.
In the township the population was spread out, with 28.3% under the age of 18, 4.3% from 18 to 24, 25.4% from 25 to 44, 26.2% from 45 to 64, and 15.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 41 years. For every 100 females, there were 91.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.5 males.
Wyckoff is governed under the Township form of New Jersey municipal government, one of 141 municipalities (of the 565) statewide that use this form, the second-most commonly used form of government in the state. The Township Committee is comprised of five members, who are elected on a partisan basis as part of the November general election, with either one or two seats up for vote each year in a three-year cycle. At an annual reorganization meeting, the Township Committee selects a chairperson from among its members who serves as mayor, and another member to serve as deputy mayor. The committee serves as Wyckoff's legislative and executive body, with the mayor responsible for chairing meetings and signing documents on behalf of the township.
As of 2021[update], the members of the Wyckoff Township Committee are Mayor Melissa D. Rubenstein (R, term on committee ends December 31, 2023; term as mayor ends 2021), Rudolf E. Boonstra Jr. (R, 2022), Peter J. Melchionne (R, 2023), Thomas J. Madigan (R, 2021) and Timothy E. Shanley (R, 2021).
In May 2019, Committeewoman Melissa Rubenstein, who had been elected in 2017 as a Democrat, switched her party affiliation to Republican.
At the township's January 2018 reorganization meeting, Scanlan was chosen as mayor, a year after he had been bypassed from a longstanding committee tradition to have the previous year's deputy mayor serve as mayor; no deputy mayor was selected. Rubenstein, Scanlan's running mate, was also sworn in, becoming the committee's second elected Democrat and the second woman to serve on the committee.
At the January 2017 reorganization meeting, the committee selected Republican Timothy Shanley to fill the seat expiring in December 2018 that had been held by Kevin J. Rooney until he resigned from office to fill the vacant Assembly seat that had been held by Scott Rumana.
Bergen County is governed by a directly elected County Executive, with legislative functions performed by a seven-member Board of Chosen Freeholders. The freeholders are elected at-large in partisan elections on a staggered basis, with two or three seats coming up for election each year; a Chairman, Vice Chairman and Chairman Pro Tempore are selected from among its seven members at a reorganization meeting held each January.
As of 2018[update], the County Executive is Democratic James J. Tedesco III of Paramus, whose term of office ends December 31, 2018. Bergen County's Freeholders are
Freeholder Chairman Thomas J. Sullivan Jr., (D, Montvale, term as freeholder ends 2019; term as freeholder chairman ends 2018),
Freeholder Vice-Chairwoman Germaine M. Ortiz (D, Emerson, term as freeholder ends 2019; term as freeholder vice-chairwoman ends 2018),
Freeholder Chairman Pro-Tempore Mary J. Amoroso (D, Mahwah, term as freeholder ends 2019; term as freeholder chairman pro-tempore ends 2018),
David L. Ganz (D, Fair Lawn, 2020),
Steve Tanelli (D, North Arlington, 2018),Joan Voss (D, Fort Lee, 2020) and
Tracy Silna Zur (D, Franklin Lakes, 2018), Bergen County's constitutional officials are
County Clerk John S. Hogan (D, Northvale, 2021),
Sheriff Michael Saudino (D, Emerson, 2019) and
Surrogate Michael R. Dressler (D, Cresskill, 2021).
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 11,809 registered voters in Wyckoff Township, of which 2,203 (18.7% vs. 31.7% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 4,504 (38.1% vs. 21.1%) were registered as Republicans and 5,099 (43.2% vs. 47.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 3 voters registered to other parties. Among the township's 2010 Census population, 70.7% (vs. 57.1% in Bergen County) were registered to vote, including 97.7% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 73.7% countywide).
In the 2016 presidential election, Republican Donald Trump received 5,257 votes (53.8% vs. 41.1% countywide), ahead of Democrat Hillary Clinton with 4,078 votes (41.7% vs. 54.2%) and other candidates with 442 votes (4.5% vs. 4.6%), among the 9,888 ballots cast by the township's 12,937 registered voters, for a turnout of 76.4% (vs. 72.5% in Bergen County). In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 5,871 votes (64.0% vs. 43.5% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 3,183 votes (34.7% vs. 54.8%) and other candidates with 68 votes (0.7% vs. 0.9%), among the 9,168 ballots cast by the township's 12,430 registered voters, for a turnout of 73.8% (vs. 70.4% in Bergen County). In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 5,851 votes (59.3% vs. 44.5% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 3,903 votes (39.6% vs. 53.9%) and other candidates with 55 votes (0.6% vs. 0.8%), among the 9,860 ballots cast by the township's 12,085 registered voters, for a turnout of 81.6% (vs. 76.8% in Bergen County). In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 5,990 votes (62.8% vs. 47.2% countywide), ahead of Democrat John Kerry with 3,459 votes (36.3% vs. 51.7%) and other candidates with 63 votes (0.7% vs. 0.7%), among the 9,541 ballots cast by the township's 11,624 registered voters, for a turnout of 82.1% (vs. 76.9% in the whole county).
In the 2013 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 75.0% of the vote (3,958 cast), ahead of Democrat Barbara Buono with 24.0% (1,267 votes), and other candidates with 1.0% (52 votes), among the 5,342 ballots cast by the township's 11,974 registered voters (65 ballots were spoiled), for a turnout of 44.6%. In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 1,905 votes (50.3% vs. 45.8% countywide), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 1,608 votes (42.4% vs. 48.0%), Independent Chris Daggett with 213 votes (5.6% vs. 4.7%) and other candidates with 24 votes (0.6% vs. 0.5%), among the 3,791 ballots cast by the township's 6,975 registered voters, yielding a 54.4% turnout (vs. 50.0% in the county).
Calvin Coolidge School, located at 420 Grandview Avenue, is an elementary school which opened in 1932 as a six-room K-6 school and has been expanded several times over the years. Eisenhower Middle School was approved in 1960 and dedicated 1963. Since 1993, Eisenhower has served grades 6 to 8. Abraham Lincoln School was dedicated in 1953 on land purchased in 1950. Sicomac School was completed in 1967. George Washington School was constructed as an 11-room brick building on the site where the previous school had burned down.
The first public school building in the township was a one-room schoolhouse constructed on Wyckoff Avenue in 1869 and used until 1906. Prior to 1929, high school students attended Paterson Central High School in Paterson, before the Board of Education voted to send students to Ramsey High School in Ramsey instead. Franklin Lakes, Oakland and Wyckoff (FLOW district) approved the creation of a regional high school in 1954 by a vote of 1,060 to 51, with Ramapo High School (in Franklin Lakes) opened in 1957 and Indian Hills High School in 1960.
Wyckoff has its own volunteer ambulance corps. It was established in 1926 and responded to over 1,000 calls in 2014. Wyckoff Police Department was established in 1922 and operates on a 24-hour basis.
Route 208 northbound in Wyckoff
Roads and highways
As of May 2010[update], the township had a total of 92.04 miles (148.12 km) of roadways, of which 77.02 miles (123.95 km) were maintained by the municipality, 12.60 miles (20.28 km) by Bergen County and 2.42 miles (3.89 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
Wyckoff is served by the Wyckoff Suburban News, a weekly community newspaper published by the North Jersey Media Group. The daily newspaper for the region is The Record which is also published by North Jersey Media Group.
Van Voorhees-Quackenbush House - 421 Franklin Avenue (added 1983). Dating to an original structure built c. 1740, the house is believed to be the oldest in the township and was contributed to the township in 1973 following the death of Grace Quackenbush Zabriskie.
^Stolz, Marsha. "Wyckoff makes history with first Democratic mayor and first female Democrat", The Record (North Jersey), January 1, 2018. Accessed January 3, 2018. "In a year in which Democrats saw gains across the country, Melissa Rubenstein – the committee's first Jewish member and second Democrat to be elected in 84 years – was sworn to her first term by Township Clerk Joyce Santimauro surrounded by husband Sam and children Jillian and Lucas.... In an unprecedented turn of events, Scanlan was then nominated to the mayoral post by Republican Committeeman Thomas Madigan. The one-year post, typically shared among the five committee members, has eluded Scanlan since he became the first Democrat elected to the committee in 75 years in 2008."
^Sobko, Katie. "Wyckoff ignores tradition to keep post of mayor Republican", The Record (North Jersey), January 1, 2017. Accessed January 3, 2018. "The Township Committee bucked tradition and named Rudolf Boonstra the mayor for 2017 at its reorganization meeting Sunday afternoon.Typically, the deputy mayor becomes the mayor but many suspected a change in policy because the deputy mayor, Brian Scanlan, is the first and only Democrat elected to the committee in 75 years."
^Stoltz, Marsha. "Wyckoff Dems, GOP announce Township Committee slates", The Record (North Jersey), April 1, 2017. Accessed January 3, 2018. "Rooney, a lifelong Wyckoff resident and county committeewoman since 1986, is the daughter of former mayor Henry Shotmeyer Jr. She is married to Kevin Rooney, who resigned as Wyckoff's mayor in December after he was chosen to serve out the remainder of Scott T. Rumana's term in the state Assembly.... Shanley, who was appointed to replace Rooney when he resigned, is running to serve out Rooney's unexpired term."
^Reorganization Meeting Minutes January 1, 2017, Township of Wyckoff. Accessed January 3, 2018. "Appointment by Township Committee of new Township Committee person to fill the unexpired term of Kevin J. Rooney. Committeeman Boonstra made a motion to appoint Timothy E. Shanley to the unexpired term of Kevin J. Rooney."
^Herzog, Laura. "Serving Up Assistance: Chopped winner Kevin Rooney of Wyckoff helps nonprofits", (201) magazine, December 27, 2013. Accessed August 19, 2014. "Self-taught home cook and Wyckoff committeeman Kevin Rooney took his kitchen skills all the way to the top on Food Network's cooking competition show Chopped, which he won in 2013.... The former mayor donated the Chopped prize money to the Paterson nonprofit Oasis – A Haven for Women and Children."
^Biography, Congressman Josh Gottheimer. Accessed January 3, 2019. "Josh now lives in Wyckoff, New Jersey with Marla, his wife who was a federal prosecutor, and their two young children, Ellie and Ben."
^Biography of Bob Menendez, United States Senate, January 26, 2015. "Menendez, who started his political career in Union City, moved in September from Paramus to one of Harrison's new apartment buildings near the town's PATH station.."
^. United States Senate. Accessed April 30, 2021. "Booker, Cory A. - (D - NJ) Class II; Menendez, Robert - (D - NJ) Class I"
^Wyckoff Board of Education District Policy 0110 - Identification, Wyckoff School District. Accessed March 16, 2020. "Purpose: The Board of Education exists for the purpose of providing a thorough and efficient system of free public education in grades Pre-Kindergarten (special education) through eight in the Wyckoff Township School District. Composition: The Wyckoff Township School District is comprised of all the area within the municipal boundaries of Wyckoff Township."
^Board Members, Ramapo Indian Hills Regional High School District. Accessed March 16, 2020. "The Board of Education is comprised of nine citizens who are elected by the public in the November general election. Each member serves a three year term. Representatives are elected from each of the constituent districts based on population. Currently, there are four representatives from Wyckoff, three from Oakland and two from Franklin Lakes."
^Hanley, Robert. "Freight Line To Restore Passengers", The New York Times, June 7, 1992. Accessed October 22, 2016. "N.J. Transit would use the tracks under an agreement with the New York, Susquehanna & Western Railway Corporation of Cooperstown, N.Y. The new line would veer from the existing Bergen County Main Line in Hawthorne and run for about 30 miles through Midland Park, Wyckoff, Franklin Lakes and Oakland in western Bergen County; Pompton Lakes, Riverdale, Butler, Bloomingdale, Newfoundland and Oak Ridge in Passaic and Morris County, and then into Stockholm and Beaver Lake, two hamlets in eastern Sussex County, about an hour's ride from Hoboken."
^O'Toole, Mike. "NJ & NY Toys For Tots trains: December 6, 7, 13, 14 2014", United Railroad Historical Society News Blog, October 31, 2014, backed up by the Internet Archive as of March 4, 2016. Accessed July 8, 2018. "On Saturday, December 6th, the train will stop in Rochelle Park, Hawthorne, Wortendyke, Wyckoff, Oakland, Pompton Lakes, and Butler along the New York, Susquehanna & Western Railway."
^Staff. "Theodore J. Bauer", The Washington Post, May 15, 2005. Accessed November 13, 2013. "Theodore J. Bauer, 95, a former head of the Centers for Disease Control and assistant surgeon general and an expert on venereal disease, died May 6 of congestive heart failure at his home in Wyckoff, NJ."
^Wassel, Bryan. "Wyckoff native talks up prehistoric adventure", Wyckoff Suburban News, March 16, 2013. Accessed November 13, 2013. "On March 9, Kirk DeMicco returned to where it all began.... The Wyckoff native and former Franklin Lakes resident said his passion for movies was born at a screening of Star Wars in the now-demolished movie theater on Route 4 that the AMC has replaced."
^Fitzgerald's Legislative Manual, 1960, p. 378. Accessed November 13, 2017. "William W. Evans, Jr. (Rep., Wyckoff) William W. Evans, Jr., was born in Paterson, New Jersey, on May 6, 1921..... He is former Mayor of Wyckoff, New Jersey."
^Chebatoris, Jac. "The Boy Band Next Door", Newsweek, January 26, 2008. Accessed December 24, 2013. "The boys are from Wyckoff, N.J., but they now call L.A. home—when they're there, which Joe says means 'four days since last May.'"
^West, Kelly. "Dan Karaty", Television Blend, July 27, 2009. Accessed November 13, 2013. "Dan Karaty, Choreographer – Hometown: Wyckoff, N.J.; Currently Resides In: Los Angeles, Calif."
^Staff. "Dan Karaty"Archived August 31, 2011, at the Wayback Machine, The Wyckoff Journal. Accessed November 13, 2013. "Wyckoff native Dan Karaty, well known for his work on So You Think You Can Dance, will be appearing in a new reality TV show on Bravo."
^Griffith, Janelle. "N.J. record exec stricken with Parkinson's organizes benefit featuring Norah Jones", NJ Advance Media for NJ.com, August 22, 2014. Accessed November 13, 2017. "Born in Englewood in 1935, Bruce Lundvall gained an appreciation for jazz music early in life.... Some of these acts — including Reeves, Lovano and Jones — will headline a benefit concert Aug. 24 at Brighton Gardens of Saddle River Sunrise Senior Living Community, where Lundvall now lives. The 78-year-old moved there in April because of issues with Parkinson's disease; his wife, Kay, remains in their Wyckoff home."
^Rohan, Virginia. "Professional juggler", The Record (North Jersey), November 13, 2005. Accessed December 24, 2013. "'I'm sort of half in one world, half in the other at this point of the day,' says MacCallum, a Wyckoff native who has lived in Ridgewood since her elder son was 2 weeks old."
^Parisi, Albert J. "Parole-Curb Bill Gaining Support", The New York Times, March 6, 1988. Accessed November 13, 2013. "According to its primary sponsor in the Senate, Henry P. McNamara, Republican of Wyckoff, the legislation is designed to 'make someone think twice before using a gun on someone entrusted with protecting society, its laws and its property.'"
^Petrick, John. "Local Girl Goes Wild!", The Record (North Jersey), August 8, 2005. Accessed June 5, 2007. "'You're going to know who the real Tara Reid is. Not what the newspapers and the press say,' says the Wyckoff native, international movie star, girlfriend to some of the greats and, most recently, victim of a mortifying red carpet wardrobe malfunction."
^Manual of the Legislature of New Jersey, 1977, p. 255. E. J. Mullin, 1977. Accessed July 18, 2019. "John A. Spizziri, Rep., Franklin Lakes - Assemblyman Spizziri was born in Paterson Sept. 2, 1934. He was first elected to the Wyckoff Township Committee in 1966, and served as road commissioner."
^Vega, Michael. "All The Wooing Resulted In Woe For Rutgers, Toal Is One Who Got Away", The Boston Globe, November 7, 2004. Accessed December 24, 2013. "Rutgers officials gave Toal the red-carpet treatment, squiring him to a men's basketball game against Notre Dame last Jan. 31 at the Louis Brown Athletic Center, where the capacity crowd, many attired in No. 1 Rutgers jerseys with Toal's name on the back, serenaded the blue-chip recruit from Wyckoff, N.J., with choruses of 'We want Toal! We want Toal! We want Toal!'"
^Rohan, Virginia. "British voice of American business", The Record (North Jersey), May 12, 2010. Accessed November 13, 2013. "Now, here he is all these years later, with his own show, Varney & Company on Fox Business Network, and a lovely house in Franklin Lakes, where he has lived for the past 16 years. Before that, he lived for 13 years in Wyckoff."
^Wood, Patrick. "George Verwer and the birth of OM", Operation Mobilisation, October 30, 2016. Accessed October 19, 2017. "In Wyckoff, New Jersey, in 1953 George was 14 years old, high-spirited, and showing promise as a natural-born leader at Ramsey High School when Mrs. Clapp’s son first gave him a copy of John’s Gospel."
^Spelling, Ian. "On the News: CBS 2’s Chris Wragge", The Record (North Jersey), July 30, 2018. Accessed July 30, 2018. "The world can change in 10 years. Chris Wragge can vouch for that.... And, the Mahwah native, after years in Manhattan, recently settled in Wyckoff with his wife, Sarah, and son, Christian."