The place name for the community in which The Hermitage is located has changed many times since Europeans began settling central Bergen County. The area was originally part of the Ramapo Tract, purchased by Peter Fauconnier from the Hackensack Indians after 1709. In 1772, it was incorporated into Franklin Township, which extended north to the border with New York State.
Native American names for the area and the brook that ran through it—among them, Hohhauhas and Hoghokus—appear in a number of early colonial documents. By the 1770s, the community was known as “Hoppertown” or “Hopperstown” for the Hopper family who settled here. The name “New Prospect” was used from the 1790s until 1858, although many people continued to use “Hoppertown” into the 1860s.
Meanwhile, some maps named the village “Hohokus” as early as 1828. The railroad station built in 1848 was named the Hohokus Station. The name of the Post Office was changed to Hohokus in 1858. For a time in the 1870s, the area around the railroad station became known as Undercliff, describing its location, but this lasted for only a few decades.
Ho-Ho-Kus became its own township in 1849 but was then incorporated into Orvil Township in 1875. In 1905, Ho-Ho-Kus became the Borough of Orvil, but the Post Office was still called “Hohokus,” and the railroad station was still “Undercliff.”
The borough’s name was changed official to Ho-Ho-Kus in 1908.
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