Oradell was originally formed on March 8, 1894, as the borough of Delford, from portions of Harrington Township, Midland Township and Palisades Township. The borough was formed during the "Boroughitis" phenomenon then sweeping through Bergen County, in which 26 boroughs were formed in the county in 1894 alone. The name "Delford" was a portmanteau created from the names of two communities within the new borough: Oradell and New Milford. The Hotel Delford had been constructed in 1870 after the construction of the first railroad to reach the area. On November 12, 1920, the borough's name was officially changed to "Oradell", based on the results of a referendum held ten days earlier. Oradell derives from "ora" (Latin for "edge") and "dell".
New Jersey Monthly magazine ranked Oradell as the 68th best place to live in New Jersey in its 2010 rankings of the "Top Towns" in the state. This ranking also makes the borough the seventh best place to live in Bergen County.
Oradell Reservoir was formed by the Oradell Reservoir Dam placed on the Hackensack River, which was started in 1921 and finished in 1923. The reservoir is fed by the Pascack Brook and Dwars Kill in addition to the Hackensack River. The Dam has greatly reduced the amount of flooding in the eastern part of Oradell caused by the Hackensack River, though it also resulted in the loss of flora and fauna that depended on the fresh water that flowed down the river. Fed by rain from Hurricane Irene in August 2011, the water level in the reservoir was two feet above the top of the dam, allowing billions of gallons of water to flow over the dam and exacerbating flooding conditions in Oradell and New Milford.
There were 2,749 households of which 39.1% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 73.5% were married couples living together, 7.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 16.6% were non-families. 14.8% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.87 and the average family size was 3.20.
In the borough, 26.1% of the population were under the age of 18, 5.6% from 18 to 24, 19.8% from 25 to 44, 31.9% from 45 to 64, and 16.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 44.1 years. For every 100 females there were 91.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.2 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006-2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $123,750 (with a margin of error of +/- $23,641) and the median family income was $147,139 (+/- $14,419). Males had a median income of $91,332 (+/- $10,621) versus $68,208 (+/- $17,195) for females. The per capita income for the borough was $39,520. About 1.4% of families and 1.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 0.0% of those under age 18 and 4.2% of those age 65 or over.
3.1% of Oradell's residents identified themselves as being of Armenian American ancestry. This was the 11th highest percentage of Armenian American people in any place in the United States with 1,000 or more residents identifying their ancestry.
There were 2,789 households of which 38.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 73.9% were married couples living together, 6.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.5% were non-families. 15.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.83 and the average family size was 3.17.
Age distribution was 25.2% under the age of 18, 5.0% from 18 to 24, 26.3% from 25 to 44, 26.9% from 45 to 64, and 16.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42 years. For every 100 females there were 91.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 89.1 males.
The 2000 Census showed that median household income was $91,014 and the median family income was $102,842. Males had a median income of $76,683 versus $42,318 for females. The per capita income for the borough was $39,520. About 1.7% of families and 2.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.8% of those under age 18 and 2.1% of those age 65 or over.
Oradell is governed under the Borough form of New Jersey municipal government. The governing body consists of a Mayor and a Borough Council comprising six council members, with all positions elected at-large on a partisan basis as part of the November general election. A Mayor is elected directly by the voters to a four-year term of office. The Borough Council consists of six members elected to serve three-year terms on a staggered basis, with two seats coming up for election each year in a three-year cycle. The Borough form of government used by Oradell, the most common system used in the state, is a "weak mayor / strong council" government in which council members act as the legislative body with the mayor presiding at meetings and voting only in the event of a tie. The mayor makes committee and liaison assignments for council members, and most appointments are made by the mayor with the advice and consent of the council.
As of 2013[update], the Mayor of Oradell is Joseph L. Murray, Jr. (R, term of office ends on December 31, 2015). Members of the Borough Council are Council President James G. Koth (R, 2015), Donna Risse Alonso (R, 2015), Garrie Murphy (R, 2013), Edward Pfleging (R, 2014), Eric Shuler (R, 2013) and Michael Staff (R, 2014; serving an unexpired term).
Michael Staff was named to fill the vacant seat of Antonio B. Meo, who resigned from office in December 2013 following his marriage and planned move out of the borough.
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 5,587 registered voters in Oradell, of which 1,302 (23.3% vs. 31.7% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 1,774 (31.8% vs. 21.1%) were registered as Republicans and 2,506 (44.9% vs. 47.1%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 5 voters registered to other parties. Among the borough's 2010 Census population, 70.0% (vs. 57.1% in Bergen County) were registered to vote, including 94.8% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 73.7% countywide).
In the 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 2,354 votes here (53.7% vs. 43.5% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 1,973 votes (45.0% vs. 54.8%) and other candidates with 40 votes (0.9% vs. 0.9%), among the 4,386 ballots cast by the borough's 5,856 registered voters, for a turnout of 74.9% (vs. 70.4% in Bergen County).In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 2,491 votes here (51.9% vs. 44.5% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 2,245 votes (46.8% vs. 53.9%) and other candidates with 29 votes (0.6% vs. 0.8%), among the 4,798 ballots cast by the borough's 5,826 registered voters, for a turnout of 82.4% (vs. 76.8% in Bergen County). In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 2,592 votes here (55.5% vs. 47.2% countywide), ahead of Democrat John Kerry with 2,034 votes (43.5% vs. 51.7%) and other candidates with 32 votes (0.7% vs. 0.7%), among the 4,672 ballots cast by the borough's 5,696 registered voters, for a turnout of 82.0% (vs. 76.9% in the whole county).
In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 1,775 votes here (53.8% vs. 45.8% countywide), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 1,320 votes (40.0% vs. 48.0%), Independent Chris Daggett with 158 votes (4.8% vs. 4.7%) and other candidates with 14 votes (0.4% vs. 0.5%), among the 3,302 ballots cast by the borough's 5,745 registered voters, yielding a 57.5% turnout (vs. 50.0% in the county).
Oradell has two Boy Scout troops - Troop 36 and Troop 142 - as well as two Cub Scout packs; Pack 136 and Pack 142.
Troop 36 was established on February 11, 1911. Originally known as Troop 1, it was one of the first Boy Scout troops chartered in the United States and the second troop chartered in New Jersey. Sponsored by American Legion Post 41 since 1919, Troop 36 is currently the oldest Boy Scout troop in the state of New Jersey and has the distinction of being the second-oldest continually operating troop in the United States. It is one of the largest and most decorated troops in New Jersey. As of January 2007, Troop 36 had 127 Eagle Scouts.
Troop 142 was re-established in 1999, and has over 40 members and more than 20 Eagle Scouts.
Roads and highways
The borough had a total of 35.17 miles (56.60 km) of roadways, of which 30.06 miles (48.38 km) are maintained by the municipality and 5.11 miles (8.22 km) by Bergen County.
The Atwood-Blauvelt mansion on Kinderkamack Road, built 1897, a prominent example of shingle style architecture. The property, covering 4.3 acres (1.7 ha), was purchased at foreclosure for $100 in March 2013, including assumption of mortgages totaling $3.9 million acquired over several years. The purchaser, a subsidiary of CareOne, had submitted plans to develop an assisted living facility on the site under which the mansion would be preserved.
A small park in the center of town was created in the 1960s to honor Walter M. Schirra, Jr., astronaut, marked by a plaque that reads "Home of Commander Walter M. Schirra, Jr., USN, the first Jerseyman to orbit the Earth, Oct 3, 1962".
Riverdell Hospital was located on Kinderkamack Road. Opened in 1959, it closed in 1981 after it became known as the site of the alleged killings in the "Dr. X" murder trial of Mario Jascalevich and was torn down in 1984.
Memorial Field is a large park and field located across from Oradell Public School. Many recreational sport games are hosted on these fields, and the elementary school utilizes the park.
^Harvey, Cornelius Burnham. Genealogical History of Hudson and Bergen Counties, New Jersey, p. 11, New Jersey Genealogical Publishing Company, 1900. Accessed September 1, 2013. "For a period of sixteen years following the passage of this act few boroughs were organized in the State, only three of them being in Bergen County.... As it was twenty-six boroughs were in the county from January 23, 1894, to December 18, of the same year." Note that the source lists May 8 as the date of the borough's formation, while other sources show March 8.
^Cheslow, Jerry. "If You're Thinking of Living in: Oradell", The New York Times, November 11, 1990. Accessed December 25, 2011. "The area had its first growth spurt after the Hackensack and New Jersey Extension Railroad opened a line to Carlstadt in 1870. Soon afterward, the 40-room Hotel Delford was opened, Grove Street was laid out and businessmen from New York City built their Victorian homes there. The hotel has since been torn down."
^Alberico, Stephanie. "Oradell councilman resigns from post", Town News, December 9, 2013. Accessed December 12, 2013. "Oradell Councilman Antonio Meo has tendered his resignation, effective immediately, due to the fact that he got married last month and will be relocating."
^Home page, Borough of Oradell. Accessed December 12, 2013. "From left to right: Councilman Edward Pfleging, Councilman Eric Shuler, Council President James G. Koth, Mayor Joseph L. Murray, Jr., Councilwoman Donna Risse Alonso, Councilman Garrie Murphy, Councilman Antonio B. Meo (resigned 12/10/13), Councilman Michael Staff (not in photo)."
^via Associated Press. "Booker is officially a U.S. senator after being sworn in", NJ.com, October 31, 2013. Accessed October 31, 2013. "Former Newark Mayor Cory Booker was sworn in as a Democratic senator from New Jersey today, taking the oath of office, exchanging hugs with Vice President Joe Biden and acknowledging the applause of friends and family members seated in the visitor's gallery that rings the chamber.... Booker, 44, was elected to fill out the term of the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg, who died earlier this year."
^Ensslin, John C. "North Jersey Assemblywoman Connie Wagner resigns office", The Record (Bergen County), September 30, 2013. Accessed October 1, 2013. "Assemblywoman Connie Wagner, D-Paramus, has resigned her seat effective Tuesday, about two months earlier than expected, to spend time with her family in Florida.... Her earlier-than-expected departure means that Bergen County Democratic Committee members from District 38 must choose someone to fill the seat on an interim basis. Paramus Council President Joseph Lagana, the candidate they chose to run in place of Wagner, said it won’t be him."
^ abEnsslin, John C. "Bergen County Freeholders choose Ganz as chairman; Democrat gives Republicans 2 top slots", The Record (Bergen County), January 3, 2013. Accessed January 10, 2013. "The swearing-in of Freeholders Tracy Silna Zur and Steve Tanelli gave the Democrats a 4-3 majority and control of the board for the first time in two years. The board elected David Ganz as chairman, as expected.... The reorganization meeting drew several top Democrats from across the state, with U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez swearing in Tanelli, a former North Arlington councilman, and Mayor Cory Booker of Newark swearing in Zur, an attorney from Franklin Lakes."
^Freeholder Home Page, Bergen County, New Jersey. Accessed January 9, 2013. As of date accessed, John D. Mitchell is listed as Chairman, John A. Felice is shown as Vice Chairman, and both John Driscoll, Jr. and Robert G. Hermansen are listed as members despite having terms of office that ended in 2012.
^About BC, Bergen Catholic High School. Accessed August 18, 2013. "Bergen Catholic is an-all male Roman Catholic high school operated and maintained by the Congregation of Christian Brothers, and located in the town of Oradell, in Bergen County, New Jersey."
^Hampton, Deon J. "State's oldest Boy Scouts troop leads Oradell parade", The Record (Bergen County), July 4, 2011. Accessed July 17, 2013. "Members of the troop — at 100 years old, one of the nation's oldest — were Grand Marshals of the parade which featured veterans, military police, the Oradell Public Library, the Oradell Environment Committee and bicyclists. The Boy Scout troop was chartered on Feb. 11, 1911 after Charles Livingston Bull, a close friend of Boy Scout of America founder William Boyce, founded it, originally known as Troop 1."
^Brown, Clifton. "GOLF; A Former Rising Star Hopes to Rise Again", The New York Times, December 18, 1999. Accessed December 25, 2011. "When Jim McGovern was an all-state tight end at Bergen Catholic High School, few people would have predicted that he would become a professional golfer. He didn't start playing golf seriously until 11th grade. And don't most golfers come from warm-weather states like California or Florida, instead of places like Oradell, N.J.?"
^Naanes, Marlene; and Koloff, Abbott. "Bergen County native leading investigation of Colorado theater massacre", The Record (Bergen County), July 23, 2012. Accessed July 25, 2012. "Daniel Oates, who, as the chief of police in Aurora, Colo., is in charge of investigating the most extensive mass shooting in the nation’s history, grew up in Midland Park.... Oates was born in Hackensack and lived in Oradell before his family moved to Midland Park, his parents said.... He graduated from St. Joseph’s Regional High School in 1973 and attended college at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania, where he majored in English."
^Giants at Dallas Cowboys, New York Giants, October 16, 2005. "Parcells, 61, is an Oradell, N.J. native. He was a member of the first graduating class at River Dell High School in Oradell in 1959, where he starred in basketball, football and baseball."
^Nelson Riddle official website, accessed February 27, 2007. "Born June 1, 1921 in Oradell, NJ, Nelson Smock Riddle studied piano as a child, later switching to trombone at the age of 14."
^Rohan, Virginia. "Two Jersey guys get it 'Together'", The Record (Bergen County), October 4, 2007. "Comedy writers Matt Silverstein and Dave Jeser met at the Dwight-Englewood School, where a prank, fittingly enough, led them to realize they were kindred creative spirits.... Silverstein, 35, was born and raised in Oradell."