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11 Amazing Facts About New Jersey

By Amy Wood in New Jersey Neighborhoods, in New Jersey Home Builder, in New Jersey History
11 Amazing Facts About New Jersey | Country Classics


8 hours ago

We all love the Garden States, but there are fun facts about New Jersey that even lifelong residents don’t know. We’ve compiled a list of 11 important facts about New Jersey that are certain to help you win your next New Jersey Trivia round! Not playing trivia any time soon? You can learn more about New Jersey and Country Classics' most frequently asked questions!

1. New Jersey Has Been Inhabited for 15,000 Years

First Residents

Our first important New Jersey fact goes way back in time. Native Americans first inhabited the New Jersey area around 15,000 years ago—quite a few generations before European explorers set sail to find the New World! The Lenni Lenape tribe was the first inhabitants of the beautiful land we now know as New Jersey. You can learn more about this tribe and early New Jersey history at the New Jersey State Museum.

2. New Jersey is Named After Jersey Island

Just a British Island

Our second fun fact about New Jersey is all about the name. New Jersey is named after Jersey Island off the coast of the United Kingdom. It finally makes sense that we're next to New York, which has a similar etymology. This is not to be confused with Guernsey Island, known for its potatoes and rebellion against Hitler. Does anyone now want to visit the original Jersey Island?

3. New Jersey: Original Lightbulb Moment

Menlo Park Made it Happen

New Jersey was home to Thomas Edison's laboratory in Menlo Park, where he invented the phonograph, the motion picture camera, and the electric light bulb. This interesting fact in New Jersey changed our great state and the world! Next time you switch on a light, thank Thomas Edison and New Jersey. With New Jersey and Edison, we would all be in the dark - literally!

4. Submarines Hail from New Jersey

Something's in the Water

That's right! Our next New Jersey fun fact is all about the boats that slink below the surface.  In 1878, the first successful submarine ride took place in the Passaic River, marking an interesting fact about New Jersey’s innovative spirit in maritime history. John Phillip Holland was an Irishman who decided that, yes, boats did belong under the water. Do you associate submarines with New Jersey?

5. The Original Jersey Shore

The Bootleggers Came First

Our next fact about New Jersey goes a bit under the depths of acceptable history. The Jersey Shore became a major attraction in the 1920s when the state became the first to ratify prohibition. Bootlegging and gangsters seen in shows like Boardwalk Empire are based on legends (and facts) from the era! You could say that the original Jersey Shore was a show all on its own. 

6. New Jersey is the Birthplace of College Football

An American Tradition

This fun fact about New Jersey also shapes American history. The first intercollegiate football game was played in 1869 between Rutgers and Princeton in New Brunswick. Rutgers beat New Jersey (later renamed Princeton), forever leaving its mark on American collegiate sports.

While college football might now be a Southern tradition, this fun fact belongs to New Jersey.

7. New Jersey: Crossroads of the Revolution

Washington Crossing the Delaware

This fun fact is sure to win trivia night for you.

During the American War for Independence, New Jersey was the site of more than 100 battles. These battles helped New Jersey become known as the Crossroads of the Revolution.

What was the most famous battle fought in New Jersey? The Battle of Trenton was fought on December 26, 1776, after George Washington famously crossed the Delaware River. This brave move helped the Americans eventually win the War of Independence. Thanks, New Jersey!

9. Diners, Dives, and More Diners

The Most Delicious Fact

Don't read this New Jersey fun fact while you're hungry. Or maybe, do read it and then find a diner.  New Jersey is often called the Diner Capital of the World, boasting more diners than any other state. This fun fact about New Jersey showcases its unique culinary culture.

We'd tell you what diners are the absolute best, but for that New Jersey interesting fact, we'll need to do some taste testing. If you find a diner you love, let us know!

10. Just an Old Dinosaur

Paleontology and Jersey

We're back to history with our next fun fact about New Jersey. 

In 1858, in Haddonfield, New Jersey, William Parker Foulke unearthed the first complete dinosaur skeleton found in North America. In 1868, Hadrosaurus foulkii (which had already proven that dinosaurs were real and could be bipedal) was also the first to be mounted for public display.

Legend says that this skeleton comes alive if you spend a night at the museum. 

11. The Legendary Holland Tunnel

Under the Water Again

This is one of the most important facts about New Jersey.

The Holland Tunnel, which connects New York with New Jersey and plunges to depths of up to 93 feet below the Hudson River, was opened in 1927 and became the world’s first mechanically ventilated underwater tunnel!

The Holland Tunnel is still operating today, proving that this mechanical feat is more than just a fun New Jersey fact.

New Jersey Offers So Much More

It's Even Better When You're Here

With our fun and important facts about New Jersey, you are now prepared to win any New Jersey trivia match. But New Jersey is so much more than 11 amazing facts. Its rich history, architecture, people, and beautiful scenery are calling you to visit.

Intrigued about this small state with a rich, varied history? Contact Country Classics today to ask about making New Jersey home.

River Town Living Awaits: Country Classics

Amy Wood

Vice President of Operations at Country Classics

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