New Jersey is full of history and we have discussed many historical people, places, and things in the Garden State. New Jersey being one of the first colonies in the United States makes it easy to have a rich history. We were among the first so we are among the oldest in America.

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Of course, compared to other parts of the world our history is relatively short. Nonetheless, we celebrate historical findings in our state and I enjoy sharing them with you from the response, you enjoy finding out about these little historical nuggets. Steve Richey Steve Richey

For this article, we are going all the way back to the 1600s to look at the first town in New Jersey. According to NJ.GOV "Small trading colonies sprang up where the present towns of Hoboken and Jersey City are located. The Dutch, Swedes, and Finns were the first European settlers in New Jersey. Bergen, founded in 1660, was New Jersey's first permanent European settlement."

So Bergen is our oldest town in New Jersey, going back 362 years ago. Wow, how Jersey has changed in nearly 400 years. In addition according to NJ.GOV "In 1664 the Dutch lost New Netherlands when the British took control of the land and added it to their colonies. They divided the land in half and gave control to two proprietors: Sir George Carteret (who was in charge of the east side) and Lord John Berkley (who was in charge of the west side). The land was officially named New Jersey after the Isle of Jersey in the English Channel. Carteret had been governor of the Isle of Jersey."

By the way, while we are at it, our oldest town in Ocean County is Toms River, which received its "Royal Charter" in 1768 at Dover Township.

LOOK: Here are the 25 best places to live in New Jersey

Stacker compiled a list of the best places to live in New Jersey using data from Niche. Niche ranks places to live based on a variety of factors including cost of living, schools, health care, recreation, and weather. Cities, suburbs, and towns were included. Listings and images are from

On the list, there's a robust mix of offerings from great schools and nightlife to high walkability and public parks. Some areas have enjoyed rapid growth thanks to new businesses moving to the area, while others offer glimpses into area history with well-preserved architecture and museums. Keep reading to see if your hometown made the list.


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Gallery Credit: Matt Ryan


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