History of Bloomfield

  1. The 18th Century
  2. The 19th Century
  3. The 20th Century

First School

The settlers established the first school in 1758. It was public but not free, being open to pupils who could afford to pay a small tuition fee.

Revolutionary War

During the Revolutionary War, no fighting occurred within the limits of the present township, but Bloomfield sons fought in New Jersey engagements. The area did experience foraging raids by British and Hessian troops. Patriots entertained George Washington on several occasions.

Bloomfield Schools

Schools, churches and cultural organizations burgeoned. The Bloomfield Academy in 1810 was one of the first of a good number of private schools which had an excellent reputation. The forerunner of Bloomfield College, the German Theological School of Newark, took over the old academy building in 1868.

In 1849, Bloomfield was one of the first towns in New Jersey to adopt the Free School Act and authorize taxes for school purposes. More schools were built, with the High School coming in 1871. Sacred Heart Roman Catholic Parish opened a parochial school in 1878, the church having been established in 1874.

Bloomfield Gazette

The first newspaper, the Bloomfield Gazette, was published in 1872, and the newspaper which later became the Independent Press started in 1883.

Old First Church Congregation

In 1796, the congregation of Old First Church (now Bloomfield Presbyterian Church on the Green) was formed. It honored the Revolutionary War General, Joseph Bloomfield, by naming the newly formed parish after him - the Presbyterian Society of Bloomfield. The beautiful church building which was started in 1797 is still standing at the northern end of the Green. The same year, the Green was officially purchased for $200, although it had been used as a military training field and parade ground since 1775. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1978.