Citizens’ Semi Centennial, offering the Native American origins of the name Paramus: via Google Books

George Washington happened to encamp in Paramus on many occasions, including following his victory at Monmouth.

A colonial soldier recorded a startling sense of difference in the area in 1778 that persists, though in a different way, to this day. He remarked on the Dutch influences and idiosyncratic architecture. The homes combined two wings through an overhang set on columns and extending to a minor piazza. It gave each home an airy sense to the visitor. But the remarkably level ground, he observed, was almost preternaturally suited for agriculture at the time and would be similarly suited for strip-mall development later – beginning with the Garden State Plaza in the 1950’s.

Modern-day Paramus derives from the “New Paramus Patent,” which was also known, in perhaps a punning-premonition of things to come, as the “Wearimus Tract.” Unlike many concessions, Paramus did not have a colonial origin. It was a gift from the Native Americans.

Albert Zaborowski, having arrived in 1662 via the Dutch ship, Deb Ves, or “The Fox,” became a job-creator and accumulated significant land-interests in Hackensack, which was then called Ackensack, meaning the silent union of two waters. Zaborowski married the Dutch Miss Van Der Linde, who bore him five boys. Their progeny would later be known as Zabriskie, but not before their eldest, Jacob, was carried off into the forests by the Indians while still young.

The Native Americans who had taken Jacob returned fifteen years later with the son and a simple explanation. They had absconded with him if only to teach him their language and ensure their ability to communicate with the colonial interests. Along with Jacob and the explanation, they granted Zaborowski two thousand acres – the New Paramus Patent. This is not to be confused with the Paramus Estate, which was later purchased for a quart of whiskey and a pound of tobacco by Garrit Hopper in 1812, one of three brothers who emigrated from Amsterdam and settled in the area.

Advertisements