Federal Hill
Bloomingdale, Passaic County, NJ
35 acres


Federal Hill precipitously rises to a peak of over 400 feet above the floor of the Pompton Valley.

Several small tributaries, including Van Dam brook, have their source on Federal Hill.  Federal Hill is located in the southeastern section of the Borough adjacent to a stretch of the Pequannock River.


pre-colonial  --  Federal Hill was the site of Lene-Lenape occupation.

Revolutionary War  --  Federal Hill was one in a long series of alarm stations. Its height and central location above the Pompton Valley made it an ideal location for a beacon to raise the alarm in the event of a British advance up the Hudson River.

1781 (winter)  --  on and around Federal Hill occurred the Pompton Mutiny, a mutiny by 160 soldiers against the lack of clothes and provisions, that was put down by troops sent by George Washington.  Two of the leaders of the mutiny were executed.

1913  --  an archaeological survey of the state of New Jersey by the Department of Anthropology in the American Museum of Natural History noted that “a small Indian cave has been located high up on the southern slope of Federal Hill.”

1989  --  the Bloomingdale Environmental Commission (BEC) was able to get the NJ State Planning Commission (SPC) to designate Federal Hill as an Environmentally Sensitive Planning Area (PA5).  For some reason it was eventually mapped as a Suburban Growth Planning Area (PA2).

late 1980s  --  developers without any approved plans received a court-ordered remedy to build affordable housing units.

mid-1990s  --  the completion of an interchange near Federal Hill associated with Interstate 287 made a large-scale development economically feasible.

1997  --  an Ecological Assessment by William Paterson University concluded that Federal Hill “has a high biodiversity [supporting] many diverse species of animals… [and] is a healthy, functioning ecosystem [with] a wide range of habitats from deep wooded areas to ponds and marsh areas.”

1999 --  the BEC petitioned the SPC to change Federal Hill from a PA2 to a PA5.

2001 (March) --   2001, the SPC changed the designation of Federal Hill to a PA5 in the newly adopted NJ State Development and Redevelopment Plan.

Federal Hill is privately owned by Higgins and Peragallo (34.7 acres), Meer Bloomingdale Estates (178.32 acres), BiCoastal Corporation-Singer (69.93 acres), and Gallo Asphalt Co. (164.55 acres).

The Higgins-Peragallo Tract was slated by its owners for housing development.

November 1, 2002 -- Passaic River Coalition Land Trust finalized its purchase of  a northern portion of Federal Hill. New Jersey's Green Acres program, the Passaic County Open Space Trust Fund and the Borough of Bloomingdale contributed to the acquisition.  PRC wants to save the remaining 415 acres.


Executive Summary; August 1, 2001; Prepared for the Passaic River Coalition and Borough of Bloomingdale Open Space and Recreation Plan; prepared by John Capozucca, Chairman Bloomingdale Environmental Commission.