• Paterson Great Falls

    Paterson Great Falls

    National Historical Park New Jersey

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  • Take a guided walking tour or tune in to the free app.

    Join us for a guided tour at 11AM and 3PM on weekends thru 10/26. Meet us at the Alexander Hamilton statue at 72 McBride Avenue. Interested in a self-guided opportunity? Download the free app. Learn more about both options and we'll see you soon. More »

  • Only one portion of the park is closed - Mary Ellen Kramer Park

    Due to a landscape improvement project, a section of the park, Mary Ellen Kramer Park, and the pedestrian bridge crossing the chasm is closed. Project may be completed early in 2015. The Great Falls can still be viewed at Overlook Park, 72 McBride Ave.

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?

Colonel Samual Colt

Samuel Colt was an early Paterson business owner? From 1836 until 1842, his gun mill produced about 5,000 guns. A lack of government contracts was a major factor in his failure in Paterson. He later achieved success in his hometown of Hartford, Conn., with the outbreak of the Mexican-American War.