Verona NJ Real Estate & Homes For Sale in Verona

Verona is one of the top places to live in New Jersey

New Jersey Monthly magazine’s new “Best Places to Live” list is out, and while Verona is still in the top 10, it has slipped a few notches since the previous ranking in 2008.

Verona was one of only three Essex County towns to crack the top 10. It was ranked 9th on the current list, down from third on the previous ranking. Caldwell came in third on the new list and North Caldwell was number 10.

“Being in the top 10 out of 566 towns is pretty good, ” says Ken Schlager, New Jersey Monthly’s editor and a resident of Montclair, which ranked at 156 on the list. “Verona is one of only three towns that were in the top 10 two years ago that are still in the top 10 now.”

Verona NJ Real Estate

Although Verona is a primarily residential community, it is also home to commercial areas and factories, making it a wonderful place to raise a family or start or relocate a business. Originally, Verona was a part of Newark, then later a part of Caldwell Township, before initially being incorporated as the Borough of Verona was incorporated in 1907. Located in the valley between the First and Second Watchung Mountains, Verona has four elementary schools, a middle school and high school as well as a free public library. Verona was listed No. 3 of “25 Great Towns” by New Jersey Monthly magazine.

One of the most striking features of the town is Verona Park, part of the Essex County Park system. The 54-acre park was designed by the Olmstead Brothers, and features twin lakes and a picturesque bridge that is a favorite location of wedding photographers during the summer months. There is a modernized, expanded boathouse that is adjacent to the 13-acre lake is used for boating and fishing. Special events including craft shows and concerts are held in the park. At sunrise, joggers and runners make their way through the 1.2-mile course around the lakes, while tennis courts and several playgrounds are used throughout the day.

The Verona Fire Department was organized on May 12, 1909. On June 24, 1997, the new No. 1 firehouse at 880 Bloomfield Ave. was dedicated and put in service, adjacent to the Verona Community Center. There are two companies, Engine Company 1 and Hose Company 2, each with 28 firefighters. The companies are led by a captain, and a lieutenant, who are elected by their fellow company members. The Verona Rescue Squad was organized in 1927, and celebrated its 75th anniversary in 2002 with a big parade down Bloomfield Avenue followed by a day full of festivities and special events at the Verona Community Center. We salute all of our neighbors who give of themselves to make Verona the great town that it is today.

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Verona and several neighboring towns were all originally one town known as the Horseneck Tract. In 1702, a group of settlers left Newark and purchased a large tract of land northwest of their home city for the equivalent of a few hundred dollars from the Lenni Lenape Native Americans. This piece of land extended west and north to the Passaic River, south to the town center of what would become Livingston, and east to the First Watchung Mountain, and was called Horseneck by the natives because it resembled the neck and head of a horse. What was then known as Horseneck contained most of the present day northern Essex County towns: Verona, along with Caldwell, West Caldwell, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Fairfield, North Caldwell, and Roseland are all located entirely in Horseneck, and parts of what are today Livingston, Montclair, and West Orange also were contained in the Horseneck Tract.[21]

After the Revolutionary War, the area of Horseneck was incorporated as “Caldwell Township” in honor of local war hero James Caldwell, a pastor who used pages from his church’s bibles as wadding to ignite the ammo in soldiers’ cannons and helped to drive the British out of Horseneck.[22]

The area of present-day Verona was part of what was known in the 1800s as Vernon Valley. The name was rejected when residents applied to the United States Postal Service, as the name had already been in use for an area in Sussex County. Verona was chosen as the alternative name for the community.[23]

Verona nj homes

At various times between 1798 and 1892, issues arose which caused dissatisfaction between the Caldwell and Verona areas. These included a desire of the citizens of Verona to more closely control their own governmental affairs. With the population growing, Verona needed to centrally locate essential services such as schools and places of worship; problems with the water supply; and the disposition of road repair funds. On February 17, 1892, the citizens of Verona voted to secede from Caldwell Township to form Verona Township.[24] Further growth and the need for a water system and other public utilities found Verona moving ahead of the other half of the township and in 1902 the two areas decided to separate into two separate municipalities: Verona Township and Verona Borough. It took two sessions of the state legislature to approve the new borough, but on April 18, 1907, the borough of Verona was approved by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature, pending the results of a referendum held on April 30, 1907, in which the new borough passed by a 224-77 margin.[24] Residents of the newly formed borough had sought to disassociate themselves from the Overbrook County Insane Asylum and the Newark City Home (a reform school), as well as from the settlement of Cedar Grove, which was considered a settlement of farmers.[25] On April 9, 1908, Verona Township changed its name to Cedar Grove Township.[24]

In 1982, the borough of Verona became a township to take advantage of federal revenue sharing policies.[26] As an example of the potential benefits of switching to a township, Verona Borough received $213,000 in federal aid in 1976, while similarly sized Cedar Grove Township received $1.24 million.[27] Today, Verona uses just “Township of Verona” in most official documents, but some other official documents such as purchase orders still include “Township of Borough of Verona”.

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About Matthew DeFede

Nutley Real Estate Agent

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