Mayor's Corner

The Borough of Essex Fells, NJ 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 of Caldwell.

Anthony Joseph Drexel Borough Founder
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 homes.

Statue of Anthony Drexel at Drexel University 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.