Sunday, June 3, 2012


I would readily say that most people in the state of New Jersey never heard of the town of River Vale. Of those that have heard of it, very few even know where it is. Of those who have heard of River Vale and even know where it is, there are only a handful of people who knew this quiet little town as do those of us who grew up there during the 20s, 30s, and 40s, before the town's population "took off" after World War II. Included in these three decades are what we refer to as "The Depression Years". This is the era that I will endeavor to cover in my recollections of River Vale.

I will attempt to break down this writing into two sections. One being "places" and the other being "people". I might add some personal observations, also.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Why this book?

Why am I writing this booklet? To start with, I am not a writer by any stretch of anyone's imagination. Nor am I a historian of any kind. To answer my own question: I have found in recent years when meeting people who now live in River Vale, that they know NOTHING of the charm and uniqueness of this beautiful little town tucked away in Bergen County. The generation before mine is almost gone from this earth and if someone from my generation does not tell what he or she knows, pretty soon my generation will be gone also.
I am not, and will not attempt to write a history book about River Vale. Anything like that is, I'm sure, a matter of record somewhere and does not have to be repeated by me. The dates in this are as I remember them and very possibly off by a year or two. 

I will give this booklet to other people that grew up with me so they can verify or contradict the content before I complete it. By doing this, any errors will have to slip through the minds of others also.

For the record: I was born in River Vale in 1929, with my older brother, Bill, grew up on Echo Glen Road, graduated from River Vale School Number 1 in 1943 (Westwood Avenue) and Westwood High School in 1947. I do not intend to write anything unless I remember it personally. If I vary from this it will be noted in the text.

Written by one who will be forever grateful for the experience of growing up in early River Vale...

Robert L. Secor, Maywood, NJ 1998