Wayne Township, in the heart of Passaic County, New Jersey, less than twenty miles from midtown New York City. It is named for Anthony Wayne, an Army officer and statesman during America’s Colonial period.
The fertile valley in which Wayne is situated was the home of the Leni Lenape Native Americans, who farmed there. A British group was formed in 1694 to negotiate a land purchase of 5000 acres.
Wayne remained largely agricultural for about 200 years, with some industry. The Morris Canal ran through the southwestern section, carrying produce to markets and coal from Pennsylvania; it was later replaced by the railroad. Thanks to its lakes, Wayne became a vacation retreat for wealthy New Yorkers in the early 20th century. During World War II, summer bungalows were converted to year-round residences as people moved to Wayne to work in war-related industries. After the war, farmlands gave way to suburban housing developments.
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Wayne covers 25.174 square miles, sharing borders with 11 municipalities in three counties. It has over 55,000 residents. In 2016, the mean price of all housing units was $362,435. There are single-family homes, townhouses, and lakeside communities.
There are more than 1800 acres of parkland encompassing two town aquatic facilities, two museums, and 23 community parks with 12 tennis courts and two platform tennis courts, six baseball and 12 softball fields, 10 soccer fields, three football fields, and five turf multi-purpose fields.
Wayne offers many year-round activities for all residents: team sports, youth and adult instructional programs, bus trips, special events and community programs. Residents may enjoy women’s and youth volleyball, youth wrestling, ski/snowboard programs, youth track & field, men’s softball, and the Wayne Waves summer swim team.
At the Ice Vault ice rink, world-class figure skaters such as Johnny Weir and Stéphane Lambiel train; 1992 Olympic figure skating gold medalist Viktor Petrenko coaches there; and the New Jersey Bandits, the New Jersey Hitmen and the William Paterson University ice hockey teams are there as well.
Golfers will enjoy Preakness Hills Country Club, Preakness Valley Golf Course, or Packanack Golf Course.
Those who find shopping a sport will appreciate Willowbrook Mall, Wayne Towne Center, and the many strip centers throughout the township.
Wayne has an excellent public school system of 14 schools. There are eight elementary schools for K-5 and one pre-K through grade 5, three middles schools, and two high schools (9-12).
Passaic County Technical Institute, a regional vocational public high school, is also in Wayne.
- Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic School (K-8)
- Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Academy Catholic School and DePaul Catholic High School (9-12)
- Al-Ghazaly High School, an Islamic middle & high school (7-12)
- Pioneer Academy, a Turkish private school (K-12)
- William Paterson University, a New Jersey state university founded in 1855, is located in Wayne.
- Passaic County Community College’s Public Safety Academy (PSA) on Oldham Road offers training and facilities for firefighting and emergency medical personnel. The Passaic County Police Academy is located adjacent to it.
Interstate 80, U.S. Route 46, U.S. Route 202 and Route 23 crisscross through Wayne.
NJ Transit rail service to Manhattan is available at the Mountain View and Wayne Route 23 stations. There is regular bus service into Manhattan’s Port Authority Bus Terminal from several points in Wayne as well.
Wayne is about 26 miles from Newark-Liberty International Airport.
Transportation for the elderly and disabled is available around town through Wayne’s year-round local fixed-route bus service.
Wayne is governed under the mayor-council plan F system of municipal government. A mayor is elected directly by the voters to serve a four-year term and a nine-member council forms the legislative branch of the township government. Wayne is in the 11th U.S. congressional district and New Jersey’s 40th state legislative district. Passaic County is governed by a seven-member Board of Chosen Freeholders.
Here is a small list of distinguished natives or residents:
- The alternative rock band Dramarama
- Film director & producer, Cecil B. DeMille
- Lou Duva, Hall of Fame boxing trainer/manager
- Darryl McDaniel of Run-D.M.C.
- Actress Lisa Edelstein
- Queen Latifah
- Sam Porcello, the food scientist who developed the Oreo cookie filling
- Football players Brandon Jacobs, Tom Longo, Ryan Neill, Greg Olsen, Chris Pantale and many others
- Standup comic Marc Maron
- Nickolette Driesse, soccer midfielder for Orlando Pride
- Jazmine Fenlator, bobsledder on the 2014 U.S. Olympic Bobsled team
- Albert Payson Terhune, author, dog breeder
- Louise Currie Wilmot, United States Navy Rear Admiral (Ret.) – the first woman to command a U.S. naval base and the highest ranking female naval officer at the time of her retirement
For more information, visit www.waynetownship.com