From the mid-18th century, what is now Wyckoff was a community within Franklin Township, 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, 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 town committee when the town 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.
There were 5,646 households, of which 40.6% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 73.2% were married couples living together, 6.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 17.8% were non-families. 16.1% of all households 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.
In the township, 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 there were 92.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, 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 borough 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.
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.
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.
Wyckoff is governed under the Township form of municipal government by a Township Committee, which consists of five members elected at-large for staggered three-year terms, with either one or two committee members chosen each year on a partisan basis during the November general election 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 2014[update], the members of the Wyckoff Township Committee are Mayor Douglas J. Christie (R, 2014), Rudolf E. Boonstra (R, 2016), Haakon C. Jepsen (R, 2015), Kevin J. Rooney (R, 2015) and Brian D. Scanlan (D, 2014).
Committee member Kevin Rooney won the 2013 version of the Food Network series Chopped, donating his $10,000 winnings to Oasis – A Haven for Women and Children based in Paterson.
Federal, state and county representation
Wyckoff is located in the 5th Congressional District and is part of New Jersey's 40th state legislative district.
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 2012 presidential election, Republican Mitt Romney received 5,871 votes here (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 here (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 here (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 2009 gubernatorial election, Republican Chris Christie received 1,905 votes here (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 Central High School in Paterson, before the Board of Education voted to send students to Ramsey High School in Ramsey instead.
Eastern Christian Middle School (ECMS) is a private Christian school with about 200 students in grades 6-8 that is a part of the Eastern Christian School Association.
Roads and highways
The township had a total of 92.04 miles (148.12 km) of roadways, of which 77.02 miles (123.95 km) are 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.
^A Brief History, Township of Wyckoff. Accessed August 10, 2011. "There is reason to believe that the name Wyckoff is a derivation of the Indian word "wickoff" meaning high ground or "wickok" meaning water."
^Historical Population Trends in Bergen County, Bergen County Department of Planning & Economic Development, 2011. Accessed November 13, 2013. Data for years prior to the township's establishment were extrapolated by county analysts.
^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."
^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."
^Daly, Mike. "Keeping the Critics Jazzed", (201) magazine, July 2008.
^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."
^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", 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."
^Rohan, Virginia. "Professional juggler", The Record (Bergen County), 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 (Bergen County), 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."
^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 (Bergen County), 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."