Street Name Histories

Montclair Street Names

Montclair was founded in 1868. At the time, the Township was primarily composed of farms with houses scattered around very sparsely. Bloomfield Avenue was an open country road where fast trotters were exercised. In the winter months sleighing was very popular along this major avenue.

As the Township grew, new streets emerged. Below are the origins of some of Montclair’s street names:

Alexander Avenue – after Alexander Graham Bell

Bradford Avenue – after the Rev. Benjamin Bradford who made his home into a station on the Underground Railway by which slaves from the South escaped to freedom in Canada. He was the father of Dr. Amory Bradford who came to Montclair in 1870 to be the founding pastor of The First Congregational Church. Among those Amory Bradford welcomed to his home and pulpit in Montclair was the great African-American leader Frederick Douglass. Benjamin and Amory were direct descendant of the Pilgrim Father, Governor William Bradford.

Cleveland Road – after Grover Cleveland, 22nd and 24th President of the United States, who was born in Caldwell, NJ.

Cooper Avenue – after Peter Cooper, American inventor, manufacturer, and philanthropist who built the “Tom Thumb” locomotive and founded The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, New York City.

Eagle Rock – location of the eyries

Inness Place – after George Inness, artist, often called the “Father of American Landscape Painting.” He spent the last nine years of his life in Montclair, from 1885 onward, and the Township was frequently the subject of his art.

Label Street – after Samuel Crump’s label factory. Crump was a Victorian era printer and president of the company.

Mission Street – once the location of the Pilgrim Mission Chapel

Watchung Avenue – "Watchung" comes from the Lenni Lenape Native Americans, meaning "high hills" or from "watschu", meaning “hill"

Waterbury Road – after a large group of settlers from Waterbury Connecticut

Yantacaw Brook Road – stems from the Lenni Lenape words meaning "place of the wood boundary"

Crump Label Factory label

Crump Label Factory label