In 1694, Arent Schuyler, a young surveyor, miner and land speculator, was sent into north-western New Jersey to investigate rumors that the French were trying to incite the local Lenni-LenapeNative Americans to rebel against the English. Schuyler found no evidence of a rebellion, but discovered a rich fertile valley where the Lenni-Lenape grew a variety of crops. Schuyler reported his findings to the English and then convinced Major Anthony Brockholst, Samuel Bayard, Samuel Berry, Hendrick and David Mandeville, George Ryerson and John Mead to invest in the purchase of the land he referred to as the Pompton Valley. The seven chose Schuyler to be negotiator with the Lenape for the rights to the area. Samuel Bayard purchased 5,000 acres (20 km2) from the East Jersey Company on November 11, 1695, in what was then known as New Barbadoes Township in Bergen County.
In 1710, this same area became part of Saddle River Township in Bergen County. By 1837, the residents of Wayne found themselves in Manchester Township in the newly formed Passaic County. Finally, on April 12, 1847, the first Wayne Township organization meeting was held at the Henry Casey House on the Paterson-Hamburg Turnpike. The citizens voted to name the town after American Revolutionary War General Anthony Wayne. The first mayor, called the Chairman of the Township Committee until 1962, was William S. Hogencamp.
Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, Wayne remained a farming community. The Morris Canal ran through the southwestern part of Wayne, carrying produce to market and coal from Pennsylvania. The canal was replaced by the railroad at the end of the 19th century. In the early 20th century, Wayne grew as a vacation retreat for wealthy New Yorkers. In the summer, visitors came from Manhattan and Brooklyn to live in the summer bungalows and enjoy the rivers.
After World War II, many summer bungalows were converted to year-round residences to accommodate factory workers and farmland was converted to residential living. As Wayne grew, it adopted its current form of government in 1962. Modern highways, including New Jersey Route 23, U.S. Route 46, and Interstate 80 made Wayne easily accessible, and several national firms have located here.
Wayne has a number of lakes, with distinct communities and neighborhoods located around them. These include Pines Lake, Packanack Lake, Lions Head Lake, Tom's Lake and Pompton Lake (half of which is in Wayne). The Passaic River also flows through a portion of Wayne and often floods near Willowbrook Mall and riverside neighborhoods.
There were 19,127 households, of which 33.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 62.9% were married couples living together, 8.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 25.6% were non-families. 22.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 12.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.71 and the average family size was 3.21.
In the township, 22.0% of the population were under the age of 18, 10.3% from 18 to 24, 21.1% from 25 to 44, 29.6% from 45 to 64, and 17.0% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 42.8 years. For every 100 females there were 91.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 88.4 males.
The Census Bureau's 2006–2010 American Community Survey showed that (in 2010 inflation-adjusted dollars) median household income was $100,638 (with a margin of error of +/- $3,630) and the median family income was $117,745 (+/- $5,252). Males had a median income of $80,420 (+/- $5,367) versus $54,413 (+/- $2,379) for females. The per capita income for the township was $40,875 (+/- $1,473). About 2.2% of families and 3.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.9% of those under age 18 and 6.6% of those age 65 or over.
As of the 2000 Census, there were 54,069 people, 18,755 households, and 14,366 families residing in the township. The population density was 2,269.5/mi2 (876.4/km2). There were 19,218 housing units at an average density of 806.7/mi2 (806.7/km2). The racial makeup of the township was 90.05% White, 1.66% African American, 0.10% Native American, 5.67% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 1.17% from other races, and 1.34% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 5.09% of the population.
There were 18,755 households out of which 34.4% had related children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.4% were married couples living together, 7.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 23.4% were non-families. 20.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 10.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.74 and the average family size was 3.19.
In the township the population was spread out with 23.2% under the age of 18, 8.1% from 18 to 24, 27.6% from 25 to 44, 24.9% from 45 to 64, and 16.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 40 years. For every 100 females there were 90.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.4 males.
The median income for a household in the township was $83,651, and the median income for a family was $95,114. Males had a median income of $61,271 versus $39,835 for females. The per capita income for the township was $35,349. About 1.6% of families and 2.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 2.1% of those under age 18 and 4.8% of those age 65 or over.
Wayne is governed under the Mayor-Council plan F system of municipal government under the Faulkner Act, as implemented on January 1, 1962, by direct petition. A mayor is elected by the voters in partisan elections to serve a four-year term. A nine-member council forms the legislative branch of the township government. Three council members are elected at large and one from each of six wards for a term of four years.
As of 2014[update], Wayne's mayor is Republican Christopher P. Vergano, whose term of office ends December 31, 2017. Members of the Township Council are Council President Franco Mazzei (R, 2015; Ward 3), Nadine Bello (R, 2015; Ward 6), Richard Jasterzbski (R, 2015; Ward 1), James Jimenez (R, 2017; at-large), Chris F. McIntyre (D, 2015; Ward 5), Lonni Miller Ryan (R, 2017; at-large), Al Sadowski (R, 2015; Ward 2), Joseph Schweighardt (R, 2017; at-large) and Joseph Scuralli (R, 2015; Ward 4).
Richard Jasterzbski was appointed in July 2013 to fill the seat vacated following the resignation of Alan Purcell the previous month, and served on an interim basis until the November 2013 general election.
As of March 23, 2011, there were a total of 35,661 registered voters in Wayne, of which 8,538 (23.9% vs. 31.0% countywide) were registered as Democrats, 11,180 (31.4% vs. 18.7%) were registered as Republicans and 15,933 (44.7% vs. 50.3%) were registered as Unaffiliated. There were 10 voters registered to other parties. Among the township's 2010 Census population, 65.2% (vs. 53.2% in Passaic County) were registered to vote, including 83.5% of those ages 18 and over (vs. 70.8% countywide).
In the 2008 presidential election, Republican John McCain received 14,803 votes here (53.9% vs. 37.7% countywide), ahead of Democrat Barack Obama with 11,853 votes (43.1% vs. 58.8%) and other candidates with 265 votes (1.0% vs. 0.8%), among the 27,486 ballots cast by the township's 36,386 registered voters, for a turnout of 75.5% (vs. 70.4% in Passaic County). In the 2004 presidential election, Republican George W. Bush received 15,013 votes here (54.9% vs. 42.7% countywide), ahead of Democrat John Kerry with 11,582 votes (42.4% vs. 53.9%) and other candidates with 190 votes (0.7% vs. 0.7%), among the 27,331 ballots cast by the township's 35,463 registered voters, for a turnout of 77.1% (vs. 69.3% in the whole county).
In the 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 10,246 votes here (57.1% vs. 43.2% countywide), ahead of Democrat Jon Corzine with 6,623 votes (36.9% vs. 50.8%), Independent Chris Daggett with 769 votes (4.3% vs. 3.8%) and other candidates with 101 votes (0.6% vs. 0.9%), among the 17,930 ballots cast by the township's 35,321 registered voters, yielding a 50.8% turnout (vs. 42.7% in the county).
The Wayne Public Schools serves students in pre-Kindergarten through twelfth grade. As of the 2011-12 school year, the district's 14 schools had an enrollment of 8,560 students and 654.2 classroom teachers (on an FTE basis), for a student–teacher ratio of 13.08:1. Schools in the district (with 2011-12 enrollment data from the National Center for Education Statistics) are Randall Carter Elementary School (grades K-5; 364 students), Theunis Dey Elementary School (K-5; 440), James Fallon Elementary School (K-5; 393), John F. Kennedy Elementary School (K-5; 443), Lafayette Elementary School (K-5; 380), Packanack Elementary School (PreK-5; 505), Pines Lake Elementary School (K-5; 429), Ryerson Elementary School (K-5; 263), Albert P. Terhune Elementary School (K-5; 405), Schuyler-Colfax Middle School (6-8; 781), George Washington Middle School (6-8; 605), Anthony Wayne Middle School (717), Wayne Hills High School (9-12; 1,340 - for students living north of Ratzer Road) and Wayne Valley High School (9-12; 1,489 - for students living south of Ratzer Road).
Al-Ghazaly High School, an Islamic high school for students in seventh through twelfth grades, opened at a new facility in Wayne (formerly Lake View Learning Center)in September 2013, relocating from a site in Teaneck, where the school had been based since 1984.
The township had a total of 229.48 miles (369.31 km) of roadways, of which 180.59 miles (290.63 km) are maintained by the municipality, 41.05 miles (66.06 km) by Passaic County and 7.84 miles (12.62 km) by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.
NJ Transit provides bus service to and from the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Midtown Manhattan on the 191, 193, 194 and 195; to Newark on the 11, 28 (Saturday and Sunday only) and 75 routes, with local service provided on the 873, 704, 705, 712, 744, 748, 970 and 971 routes.
The indie rock band Fountains of Wayne took their name from a lawn ornament store of the same name that was located in the township on the westbound side of U.S. Route 46, though no members of the band are from the town. The store is now out of business.
Trees from Wayne have been selected to serve as the Rockefeller CenterChristmas tree in New York City in 1998, 2001, 2005 and 2006. One of the largest, the 2005 tree, was a Norway Spruce that stood 74 feet (23 m) tall, spreading 42 feet (13 m) wide and weighing in at 9 short tons (8,200 kg) that was removed from the backyard of a Wayne resident.
^ abcHistory of Wayne, Wayne Township Historical Commission. Accessed January 16, 2012. "Samual Bayard was chosen to deal with the East Jersey Company who had the land rights from the King of England. Approximately 5,000 acres were purchased for 250 pounds and wampum (shells the size and shape of a cigarette used for barter). The purchase of the land was concluded on November 11, 1695. The area now known as Wayne Township then became part of New Barbadoes in Essex County.... Over the years Wayne has had nationally known individuals as residents: namely Albert Payson Terhune, the famous writer of collie dog books; Cecil DeMille, the movie mogul; and LeGrand Parish, the inventor of the Westinghouse air brake, a coupling device, and fire brick boxes."
^McGrath, Matthew. "Candidate for Wayne council switches races", The Record (Bergen County), July 25, 2013. Accessed October 4, 2013. "Now, Gary Marchese, a Democrat formerly running for an at-large council seat, has left that race to run instead in a special election for unexpired term of 1st Ward Councilman Alan Purcell. Purcell resigned in June. On July 3, the Township Council appointed Richard Jasterzbski, a Republican, to fill his seat."
^Terry Duffy, Passaic County, New Jersey. Accessed January 9, 2013.
^Pat Lepore, Passaic County, New Jersey. Accessed January 9, 2013.
^Freeholders, Passaic County, New Jersey. Accessed January 9, 2013.
^Patberg, Zach. "Democrats take full control of Passaic County freeholder board", The Record (Bergen County), January 4, 2013. Accessed January 9, 2013. "Ronda Casson Cotroneo, a family law attorney, wants [to] establish a program that links lawyers and counselors with victims of domestic violence. John Bartlett, also a lawyer, imagines more parks, calling them the county’s 'undiscovered gem.'... Lora, a Passaic city councilman, says better communication with constituents is the key to good government, whether through handshakes or social media."
^County Clerk, Passaic County, New Jersey. Accessed January 9, 2013.
^Burrow, Megan. "Al-Ghazaly Elementary School in Teaneck readies for opening", Teaneck Suburbanite, August 29, 2013. Accessed October 4, 2013. "Iman El-Dessouky, a board member at Al-Ghazaly School, said the change was precipitated when the school secured a bigger building for its high school students in Wayne.... Originally, El-Dessouky said, the school planned to use the Teaneck campus for pre-kindergarten through first grade students, but after the school held an open house for parents and prospective students earlier this month, the board decided to expand its offerings up to third grade."
^Winters, Debra. "Indie film continues production", Wayne Today, February 4, 2010. Accessed February 21, 2011. "For Jay Della Valle and Chris Beatty, shooting films in Wayne is a no-brainer. Having grown up in the township of 55,000 this movie-making duo appreciates the vibrancy that their hometown offers and understands the importance of keeping it real."
^"Vilas Extended by Mayer", The New York Times, February 13, 1977. Accessed December 10, 2007. "Guillermo Vilas, the Argentine left hander, had unexpectedly strong opposition, but ousted young Gene Mayer of Wayne, N.J., 7-6, 7–6, 6–1, in the semifinals of the $50,000 Springfield International, a Grand Prix tennis tournament."
^Lustig, Jay. "Run-DMC hip-hops into Rock's Hall of Fame", The Star-Ledger, January 15, 2009. Accessed April 18, 2012. "'People didn't look at rap as a legit part of music,' said McDaniels, a New York City native who now lives in Wayne. 'They thought it wasn't original, it wasn't creative. But people don't understand: we write, produce and arrange songs the same way any other songwriter would.'"
^Domingo, Odeen. "Rutgers' Neill gets his bowl game", USA Today, December 27, 2005. Accessed March 31, 2011. "When he started making his own mark on the field, Neill was a star who gave Schiano's first recruiting class legitimacy, at a time when you couldn't find a Rutgers hat in the stores of Neill's hometown of Wayne, N.J., an hour's drive from campus."
^Queen Latifah, Gale Cengage. Accessed January 16, 2012. "Although she found it necessary to live much of the year in Los Angeles during the taping of the show, Latifah maintained a home in Wayne, New Jersey, and never ceased to consider New Jersey her home."
^Staff. "Storm Queen debuts at number one", Belfast Telegraph, November 10, 2013. Accessed November 16, 2013. "Storm Queen - aka Statesider Morgan Geist - was among a trio of new entries in the singles top 10, with former X Factor winners Little Mix and seasoned pop star Britney Spears - with her 22nd top 10 track - also dropping records."
^Barry, Jan. "Army general from Wayne had key role at Ford funeral", The Record (Bergen County), January 1, 2007. "Swan, who grew up in Wayne, was the military escort for Betty Ford at the funeral ceremonies in California and in the nation's capital, where he is the commander of the Military District of Washington. Swan's widely televised role as Mrs. Ford's escort set off a buzz among former neighbors in the Pines Lake section where he grew up and among Wayne Hills High School classmates."
^Picker, David. "Montclair Celebrates One of Its Own", The New York Times, February 5, 2008. Accessed March 31, 2011. "That should not be difficult to arrange, since Tyree lives in nearby Wayne and has maintained close ties to the Montclair football program since departing in 1998 to begin his college career at Syracuse."
^The History of Wayne Township, Wayne Township. Accessed August 25, 2007. "Another national celebrity was the Preakness horse. Purchased in 1868 by Milton Holbrook Sandford, owner of the Preakness Stables at the corner of Valley Road and Preakness Avenue, for $4,000. On his maiden start Preakness was entered into the 'Dinner Plate Stakes' at the new Pimlico race Track in Maryland. Preakness won the first race on October 25th, 1870. In 1873 the Maryland Jockey Club started a new racing classic for three-year-olds and named it The Preakness in honor of the first horse to win a race at Pimlico."
^Tyrangiel, Josh. "The Rise Of Mom's Boys", Time (magazine), December 22, 2003. Accessed August 25, 2007. "What drove Fountains of Wayne to Stacy's Mom was the usual soul-killing nightmare of the music industry. Schlesinger and Collingwood, both 36, met as undergraduates at Williams College and soon after started Fountains of Wayne (named after a lawn-ornament store near Schlesinger's New Jersey home), adding bassist Jody Porter and drummer Brian Young along the way."