Essex Fells Welcomes You
Over one hundred years ago, Anthony Drexel, a prominent developer and planner, had
a vision and dream to build a unique community with beautiful homes situated in
a bucolic area of New Jersey. He teamed up with his son-in-law, John R. Fell, Charles
W. Leavitt, and later the firm of Wendell and Treat, and together they laid out
the plans for this residential community, which at the time was part of the Township
Anthony Joseph Drexel
As this new area began to grow, it also began to develop its own identity. But what
to call it? “Essex” was decided upon because of the county within which the area
is situated and “Fells” was chosen, not only because of John Fell, but also because
the word “fell” suggests a rolling, hilly area. Eventually, community leaders went
to the New Jersey State Legislature for incorporation, and on March 31, 1902, the
Borough of Essex Fells was born.
Although Essex Fells is the smallest community in Essex County, its contributions
to our society, as well as its heart and soul, are enormous. Essex Fells has been
the home of not only entrepreneurs, inventors, and leaders in industry and business,
but also artists, singers, poets, philanthropists, and humanitarians. Its residents
demonstrate their commitment and love of community through involvement with organizations
like the Essex Fells Garden Club, Skating Pond Committee, Recreation Committee,
Foundations supporting Police, Recreation, or the Elementary School, or the Essex
Fells Volunteer Fire Department.
Recently, Essex Fells celebrated its Centennial and how Anthony Drexel’s vision
and dream became a reality. To this very day, residents of “the Fells” celebrate
the beauty of the town’s design with its winding streets, shade trees, and magnificent
Statue of Anthony Drexel
at Drexel University
We celebrate the serenity of an early morning walk; we celebrate Memorial Day with
a remembrance of our war heroes and with the Dogwood Festival; we celebrate the
concerts given by the elementary school children at Essex Fells School; we celebrate
skating at the pond; we celebrate the laughter and cheering from our playing fields;
we celebrate the beauty of our dogwoods; we celebrate being neighbors; and we celebrate
simply being part of this small and ever so special place. We are truly the caretakers
of a wonderful legacy; the trustees of a precious stone. I believe that Anthony
Drexel would be proud to see what has become of his dream.
It is our hope that this website will provide you with helpful and pertinent information
about the Borough of Essex Fells.
If you would like to contact me by e-mail, please feel free to do so at
I would like to hear from you.