Hackensack A Town on the Move

According to Hackensack city manager Steve Loiacono, his town is really going places."Real estate values are strong, business—and retail in particular—has been expanding and shows no sign of slowing," he says. "Unemployment is relatively low. Service industries continue to expand and move in. Manufacturing continues to see a slow but steady decline as other markets with less expensive labor attract manufacturers."

If this resurgence sounds like late-breaking news to outsiders, it has become a sentiment familiar to Hackensack residents; they've seen this decline and rebirth before—right in their own history books.

The Mouth of a River

Prior to being settled by the Dutch in 1693, Hackensack was home to the thriving Lenni Lenape Indian community that lived and prospered along the banks of the Hackensack River.

Bergen County was inhabited by the Achkinheshcky tribe, from which the name "Hackensack" was eventually derived. Roughly translated, Hackensack means "mouth of a river." The original "Hackensacks" formed villages, each one practicing and serving as its own government. Hundreds of years before Europeans hatched their own form of democracy, these villages practiced a form of representational government, where all members of the tribe were involved in the decision-making.

By the mid-1600's the British began to arrive in the Hackensack area. From then until the Revolutionary War's end in 1783, Hackensack was an area of unrest.


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