chapter
6 Pages

Introduction

ByDavid B. Sachsman, Warren Sloat

New Jersey in 1950 was a state of cities and vast rural areas. While more than one-quarter of its residents lived in the six biggest cities (then Newark, Jersey City, Paterson, Elizabeth, Trenton, and Camden), New Jersey's 26,900 farms and 1.8 million acres of farmlands made it truly the Garden State. But America's lifestyle was changing. On Long Island, William J. Levitt had decided to build an entire town of identical, low-cost, single-family homes. All this was especially true in the 90-mile stretch between New York and Philadelphia, and the near suburbs of New Jersey were filled to the brim by the end of the 1960s. New Jersey is a state where even the suburbs have suburbs. Only about one-eighth of its 7.3 million residents live in the six cities that were once population centers, and only 9,100 farms still exist on the state's remaining one million acres of farmland.