• Paterson Great Falls

    Paterson Great Falls

    National Historical Park New Jersey

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  • Mary Ellen Kramer Park Closure Announcement from the City of Paterson

    Due to landscape improvement project, the City of Paterson closed Mary Ellen Kramer Park, landing & footbridge on November 4, 2013. The project may be completed by end of 2014. Falls can be viewed from Overlook Park. Call 973-321-1212 for project info.

Everyone Has A Story To Tell

History is more than names and dates, places and events. History is also the daily lives of ordinary people. It is the events that make up the life of a community. Oral histories give us the opportunity to discover what a community's life was like from the people who lived it. They are an authentic record that goes well beyond the pages of a textbook. Through stories, experiences and various anecdotes, historians can begin to construct a social history of an era. In this way, oral history is a tool for making the past important and relevant to future generations.

The goal of the Oral History Project at Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park is to connect with the men and women who lived and worked in Paterson and the surrounding towns. The stories they can tell us represent an often untold historical record that will paint a richer picture of America's first planned industrial city. The stories might be accounts of mill or factory work, passed down from parent to child; those parents may have been mill or factory owners, or the workers themselves. Labor leaders and other residents of the community had stories to tell as well. The narratives we collect will better allow us to share the great history of Paterson, New Jersey, with our visitors.

Listen to a few of Paterson's stories here.


Do you have a story to tell of Paterson's past? Would you like to participate in our Oral History project?

Please fill out the "Paterson Great Falls Memories" form here.

You can mail the completed form to:

Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park
ATTN: Oral History Project
72 McBride Avenue
Paterson, NJ 07501


E-mail it to: oralhistorypagr.nps@gmail.com

You can call the park at (973) 523-5295 if you have any questions.


Did You Know?

Alexander Hamilton

Alexander Hamilton, founder of Paterson, faced great opposition to his ideas for an industrial America? Many government leaders, including Thomas Jefferson, believed the new nation should base its economy, and could grow powerful, through agriculture – growing what it needed and selling the surplus.