|Spectacular Paterson Great Falls
National Historic Park in New Jersey
In case if you see overlapped lines of text or some lines of text become obscured behind a picture on this web
page, please change the page magnification (zoom) factor to eliminate such problems by pressing these two
keys "Ctrl +" simultaneously or these two keys "Ctrl -" simultaneously.
Please press the F11 key on your keyboard to get full-screen view of photos and web page. Pressing F11 key
again will return to your normal screen with various tool bars.
More spectacular views of the Great Falls from Mary Ellen Kramer Park on the north side of the Falls. This park
can be reached for tourists by walking over the tourist footbridge over the chasm below the Great Falls.
North end of the tourist footbridge into the Mary Ellen Kramer Park. The background is the heavy mist
rising from the chasm under the Great Falls.
The Great Falls of Passaic River are 77 ft (23 m) high and 280 ft. wide on Passaic River in the City of
Paterson in northern New Jersey in USA.
On March 30, 2009, President Obama signed legislation authorizing the falls as Paterson Great Falls
National Historical Park. On November 7, 2011 Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar and National Park
Service Director Jon Jarvis designated the Falls and its surrounding area as America's 397th National
Park. The State of New Jersey has announced plans for a new urban state park in Paterson
surrounding the Great Falls, called Great Falls State Park. The master plan for the park calls for
utilizing surrounding historical industrial areas for parklands that include a trail network and
recreation areas, and creating new areas to view the fantastic falls.
In March 2010, New Jersey received substantially higher amount of rainfall over many days. Such
heavy rain caused heavy flooding in many areas including the Passaic River. The large amount of
water from such extended period of heavy rainfall gives the Great Falls of Passaic River a chance to
show its glory as the spectacular Great Falls, with tremendous amounts of roaring water cascading
over the falls. It took me about one hour of driving time to get there on April 3, 2010 to take the
fantastic photos as shown on this web page.
The roaring white water in the chasm/gorge under the Great Falls, the steel arch bridges and the tourist
洶湧大水滾滾而來，咆哮湍急，傾瀉而下斷崖， 震人心魄， 震撼了
Northern parts of the Great Falls as viewed from the Mary Ellen Kramer Park
There is a small dam above the Great Falls to guide the water into a hydroelectric power generation station.
The roaring white water in the chasm makes a 90-degree left turn immediately after the Great Falls.
The Great Falls of Passaic River as viewed from the Haines Overlook Park on the south side of the Falls near
the junction of McBridge Ave and Spruce Street in the City of Paterson.
Spectacular and misty Great Falls of Passaic River with more than 2 billion gallons of water a day
cascading over the falls as viewed from the tourist footbridge over the gorge. This tourist footbridge
can be reached from the parking lot of the Great Falls Park near the junction of the Wayne Avenue
Bridge and McBridge Ave in the City of Paterson in northern New Jersey, USA. This 77-foot waterfall
in Paterson is second only to Niagara Falls in terms of water volume east of the Mississippi River.
Zoom in from the Haines Overlook Park for a closer view of the Great Falls under the steel arch bridge.
Historical Significance of the Great Falls of Passaic River:
The Great Falls of Passaic River was the cradle of the industrial revolution in America and played a significant
role in the early industrial development of USA starting in the earliest days of the USA. It helped encourage the
harnessing of energy from the Great Falls of the Passaic River to secure economic independence of early USA
from British manufacturers.
In 1778, Alexander Hamilton visited the falls and was impressed by its potential for industry. Later as the
nation's first Secretary of Treasury, he selected this site as the nation's first planned model industrial city,
which he called a "national manufactory." In 1791, Hamilton helped found the Society for the establishment of
Useful Manufactures (S.U.M.), state-chartered private corporation to fulfill this vision. The town of Paterson
was founded by the society and named after New Jersey Governor William Paterson in appreciation of his
efforts to promote the society. William Paterson was a signer of the Constitution of the USA.
A system of water raceways was constructed in this area that harnessed the power of the water falls. The
falls became the nucleus for a burgeoning mill industry, with construction of numerous canals known as
raceways for water-powered mills. The city began growing around the falls and until 1914 the mills were
powered by the waterfalls. They Included dozens of mill buildings and other manufacturing structures
associated with the textile industry and later, the firearms, silk, and railroad locomotive manufacturing
industries. In the latter half of the 1800s, silk production became the dominant industry and formed the basis of
Paterson's most prosperous period, earning it the nickname "Silk City."
The roaring white water in the chasm as viewed from the tourist footbridge
The sign next to the statue of Alexander Hamilton in the Haines Overlook Park.
A local map of the Great Falls of Passaic River and its surrounding parks, bridges and streets.
Another map of Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park by National Park Service is available at:
Statue of Alexander Hamilton, nation's first
Secretary of Treasury, in the Haines
Directions to the Paterson Great Falls National Historic Park:
1. Take Garden State Parkway North
2. Get off Garden State Parkway at Exit # 155p (on the left lane of Garden State Parkway) to get on
3. Take Highway 19 North into downtown Paterson (Do not get on Interstate Highway 80)
4. Find your way in downtown Paterson to Market Street and go west on Market Street to end
5. Turn right into Spruce Street
6. Go two blocks, Haines Overlook Park and its parking lot is on the right
Panoramic Views from the Top of Garret Mountain Reservation:
About half mile south of the Great Falls is the Garret Mountain Reservation which has several panoramic
overlooks along the hiking trails in this mountain reservation. The New York City skyline can be seen from
several overlooks along the trail. The observation tower on the crest of the 150-foot sheer cliff in the Garret
Mountain Reservation offers stunning views of the huge area from Bear Mountain NY, to Northern New Jersey,
the George Washington Bridge and the New York City skyline all the way to the Verrasano Narrows Bridge
and beyond to Sandy Hook, NJ. Information on Garret Mountain Reservation is available at the following
Lambert Castle Museum:
After touring Paterson Great Falls National Historic Park, it is also interesting to visit the nearby Lambert
Castle Museum located at 3 Valley Road, Paterson, New Jersey 07503, Phone: 973-247-0085. This castle is
half-way up on the Garret Mountain Reservation. The majestic Lambert Castle was built in 1893 by Catholina
Lambert, a silk tycoon, who was a poor immigrant from England and made a great fortune from the empire of
silk-mill business that he established in Paterson, the Silk City, near the Great Falls of Passaic River. Those
silk mills were powered by the waterfalls. It is estimated that the castle cost one half million dollars in 1892.
This at a time when the average wage was $1 a day for 10 hours or more of hard labor. Information on the
interior of the Castle and the contents of the museum are at the following website:
Photos, history and more information about Lambert Castle Museum is available at the following website:
Please also enjoy the spectacular Great Falls National Park on the Potomac River at the border of Virginia and
Maryland and about 17 miles northwest of Washington DC on my web page at:
Later in the 19th century, Paterson was the site of early experiments with submarines by Irish-American
inventor John Philip Holland, known as the Father of the Modern Submarine. (Note: USS Holland (SS-1) was
the United States Navy's first commissioned submarine). Two of Holland's early models are on display in the
Paterson Museum located at 2 Market St., Paterson, NJ 07501. Phone: 973-321-1260. This museum, at the
corner of Market Street and Spruce Street, in the heart of the Great Falls National Historic Landmark District,
is only 2 blocks south of the Overlook Park of Paterson Great Falls. The museum is housed inside the big
building of former erecting shop of Rogers Locomotive and Machine Works, a major 19th-century manufacturer
of railroad steam locomotives.
We also visited the Paterson Museum on May 11, 2016 to see the first two submarines designed by John
Philip Holland as shown here.
The Fenian Ram, the submarine designed by John Philip Holland for use by the Fenian Brotherhood.
Paterson has been the birthplace or springboard of many innovators and inventors such as John Holland
-"Father of the modern submarine," Sam Colt - who perfected the repeating cylinder revolver, and John Ryle
- "Father of the silk industry."
Three views of the Paterson Great Falls on May 11, 2016