Home Essex County Kingsland Park: How Nutley’s Historical Park Came to Be

Kingsland Park: How Nutley’s Historical Park Came to Be

by Olivia Fisher
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Everybody loves a good walk with breathtaking views, a playground for the kids, and a shady spot for a picnic. Tucked into a residential neighborhood, Kingsland Park offers all that and even more. Read on to learn about Nutley’s Kingsland Park and what it has to offer.

kingsland park nutley nj history

About Kingsland Park

Kingsland Park is a 10.10-acre park in Nutley, New Jersey. This scenic spot includes a playground, baseball/softball field, volleyball court, walking paths, picnic area, gazebo, large open spaces, and the pinnacle of the park, the waterfall.

kingsland park nutley nj history gazebo

The park is bisected by the Yanticaw or Third River, this park naturally connects to Memorial Park, Yanticaw Park, and Booth Park, allowing for over two miles of scenic waterfront walking paths throughout Nutley. No home in Nutley is more than half a mile from a park or a playground allowing the township to be the “crown jewel” of the Essex County Park system.

Read More: A Day Trip to Paterson Great Falls National Historic Park in New Jersey

Those interested in settling down in Essex County and looking for an outdoor space will love Kingsland Park. Tucked into a residential neighborhood, there are direct paths and walkways connecting the streets of Howe Avenue, Lakeside Drive, Roosevelt Street, Memorial Drive, and Rutgers Place to Kingsland Park.



Before Kingsland Park Came To Be

Around 1768, Kingsland Manor was built by brothers John and James Walls. In 1787, Joseph Kingsland Sr., of New York City, was awarded a contract to install wooden curbing in what is now Nutley. His grandfather, Issac Kingsland, lived in what is now Lyndhurst, where Joseph was raised. Knowing he needed lumber and being familiar with the area, Joseph remembered the Wall Brothers who ran a lumber mill. He offered to purchase the mill and Kingsland Manor, taking ownership in 1790.

kingsland park nutley nj history manor

The original dam of the park’s waterfall was likely made of wood and stone. After it was badly damaged in an 1843 flood, the new dam was likely made of brownstone from a nearby quarry. Joseph Kingsland Jr. created the dam to divert water to the Passaic Paper Mills. Water was used in a patented process to turn wood fibers into pulp needed for paper production. In 1873, the factory was destroyed in a fire.

Kingsland Park is Born

The space started as a way to preserve open land in Nutley, after the creation of Memorial Park. In 1921, ordinance #35 was passed to create, acquire, lay out, improve, and embellish a public park along Kingsland Lake from Rutgers Place to Kingsland Street. A sum of $7,500 (roughly $122,000 today) was appropriated to purchase five parcels of land from the Nutley Realty Company and private citizens. This became the main portion of the park.

In 1930, ordinance #565 provided for the acquisition of six more parcels for $12,000 (roughly $135,000 today) which led to the creation of a baseball field and path to McKinley Street. By 1935, the park was almost complete. Ordinance #767 allowed for the creation of paths from Passaic Avenue and a stairway to Lakeside Drive.

kingsland park nutley nj history views

Playground equipment was installed in the late 1940s and since then has changed over the decades. Today’s playground features swings, slides, and numerous climbing sections. In 2002, the Nutley Rotary Club donated a gazebo to celebrate Nutley’s centennial and its own 80th anniversary. The structure is the perfect spot for pictures or a picnic and has tables inside.

See More: Stevens Park: The Little Hoboken Park with a Big History

As the “crown jewel” of the county park system, Nutley prides itself on its commitment to conservation and recreation. The township maintains over 14,000 trees and 110 acres of parkland, which includes Kingsland. This dedication to nature has come with numerous awards and accolades such as the National Arbor Day Foundation Growth Award, which Nutley has been a recipient of five times. After a century, Kingsland still maintains its beautiful waterfall, walking trails, and foliage. The park continues to shine as a recreational oasis tucked into a suburban neighborhood, untouched by developers, that is sure to last another century.

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