According to Wikipedia 2018 ( and frequently read elsewhere ):
“The Horseneck Tract was an area in present-day Essex County, New Jersey, United States, that consisted of what are now the municipalities of Caldwell, West Caldwell, North Caldwell, Fairfield, Verona, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Roseland, and portions of Livingston and West Orange.”
According to Sister Loretta Claire and Norman F. Brydon 1976* :
“( The Horseneck Tract included ) All of Cedar Grove, the Caldwells, Verona, Essex Fells, and Roseland, and parts of West Orange, Livingston, and Fairfield.”
If you think that these two paragraphs essentially stated the same thing, you’ll need to read them again more carefully.
The second paragraph by Sister Loretta and Brydon is more accurate because it states that parts of Fairfield were inside the boundaries of the “Horseneck Tract”. It can be rightfully argued that Fairfield was part of the Horseneck Section of Essex County, but the “Tract” is almost always associated with the English Newarkers 14,000 acre purchase from the Indians in 1700 and precursor to the eventual “Horseneck ( Land ) Riots” of the 1740’s.
Excluding Fairfield, all the towns listed in the ‘Horseneck Tract’ total 14,000 acres. Fairfield is another 6,589 acres all by itself.
One of the ‘Horseneck Tract’ boundaries that is almost always overlooked is on the north side where a “straight line drawn from the mouth of the Pine Brook to a point just north of Cedar Grove ( Singac )”. This is called the “Dutch Line” which virtually separates the Second Watchung Mountain foothills from the Passaic River Valley. This is consistent with prior ‘Jersey Dutch’ deeds and already established Fairfield settlements. I’ve never seen an illustration of this Dutch Line on a map, so I did my own ‘laundry marker’ rendition below :
The Northern “Dutch Line” Boundary of the Horseneck Tract
Another stipulation of the Indian Deed with the English Newarkers was that it only included lands ‘yet unpurchased from the Indians’. As already mentioned, the Fairfield Valley was already deeded by the Indians to the Jersey Dutch.
Much later in 1798 Fairfield and it’s ‘big bend’ of the Passaic River was merged into a newly formed “Caldwell Township” as established by the State of New Jersey. It’s likely that this consolidation 220 years ago contributed to the present day confusion.
So if someone jumps out from behind a tree and asks you “Was Fairfield part of the Horseneck Tract ? - you’ll now be prepared with the answer :- ) :- ) :- )
...............Paul Pollio Nov. 6, 2018
* “Caldwell...1776-1976......Yesterday.......Today” Fairfield Public Library 974.9 CA