Spotlight On: Paramus, NJ
3 minute read
March 30, 2023


Ah, Paramus, New Jersey – the land of shopping malls, highways, and a history that could charm even the most cynical of souls. Nestled in the bustling heart of Bergen County, Paramus has blossomed from a humble agricultural community to a thriving commercial haven. So, my dear history buffs, sit back and relax as we take a whimsical journey through the annals of Paramus.

The town’s story begins with the Lenni Lenape, a Native American tribe who called this land home long before Europeans came knocking. They knew a good thing when they saw it and dubbed the area “Peremessing,” meaning “where there is worthwhile (or wild) turkey.” The first Europeans to settle in the area were Dutch, and they eventually gave the town its modern name – Paramus.

Fast-forward to the 1700s, and Paramus was primarily a farming community, dotted with small family farms and a handful of mills. The townsfolk were known for their simple, yet meaningful, lives. There was a certain harmony in Paramus, with residents working together to build a close-knit community. They even had a small taste for rebellion, playing a role in the Revolutionary War as a stronghold for the Patriot cause.

As the years rolled by, Paramus remained a sleepy, rural haven – that is, until the 20th century came a-knockin’. The construction of Route 17 and the Garden State Parkway in the 1940s and 1950s transformed the town into a hub of suburban activity. The once sleepy hamlet found itself at the epicenter of post-World War II economic boom.

With the arrival of the 1950s, Paramus was about to change forever. Shopping malls became the name of the game, and boy, did Paramus get in on the action. The first mall, Garden State Plaza, opened its doors in 1957, followed by the Paramus Park Mall in 1974. These malls transformed Paramus into a shopping mecca, drawing eager consumers from near and far. In true Paramus fashion, the town did not stop at two malls; by the 1980s, it boasted no fewer than four!

As you stroll through the bustling corridors of the shopping centers, spare a thought for the blue laws that have shaped the town’s identity. These quirky regulations prohibit the sale of certain items (like clothing and electronics) on Sundays, so shoppers can enjoy a day of rest – or at least, a day without the temptation to splurge on a new wardrobe.

Paramus is not just a town of commerce, though; it boasts beautiful parks, golf courses, and even a zoo, providing a bit of respite from the retail frenzy. The Van Saun County Park and Bergen County Zoological Park are the perfect places to while away a sunny afternoon, while the Arcola and Ridgewood Country Club golf courses challenge even the most seasoned of golfers.

So there you have it, a lighthearted romp through the history of Paramus, New Jersey – from its Native American roots to its modern-day shopping mecca. It’s a town that has embraced change and growth while staying true to its roots, and that’s something we can all admire. If you’re interested in living here be sure to call Aceland Mortgage first to learn all your options on how to buy right. Next time you find yourself in Paramus, take a moment to reflect on its rich history, and perhaps indulge in a little retail therapy – just make sure it’s not a Sunday!

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