Divident Hill

Weequahic Park




Representatives of Newark and Elizabethtown met at Weequahic creek (later renamed Bound Creek) in 1668 to fix the boundary between the two towns. The ceremonies were held on an eminence called Divident Hill. A letter E was cut into the south side of an oak tree for Elizabethtown and a letter N was cut into the north side of the tree for Newark. Later similar markings were cut into trees along the rest of the boundary line westward.

Years after the setting of the boundaries a controversy arose over a triangular piece of land. Originally Newark set the boundary on a line from Divident Hill northwest to the Watchung mountains giving up claim to a boundary line running from Divident Hill due west. In compensation for giving up this triangular piece of land, Newark was given the land of the salt meadows, from Snake Hill to Barbadoes Neck (Harrison & Kearny). Unfortunately a prior grant to that land had been given to the Kingsland and Sandford families. When Newark learned of this grant they demanded to have the triangular piece of land back but their claim went no where.

During the short period when the Dutch were again in authority of the region, Newark purchased the land from the Dutch, but when authority came back to the English, the tract was lost again, without any remuneration from the Dutch.

The tract remained part of Elizabeth until 1834 when a portion was given to make the Township of Clinton. In 1902, Newark annexed the Township of Clinton and the land finally became part of Newark.

The exact location of Divident Hill came under doubt around 1880 when suits were brought by Essex and Union counties to define the exact boundary between the counties. Essex county claimed the boundary was more south and Union county claimed the boundary was more north. In court it was discovered that there was no reliable evidence in existence as to the exact location of the boundary. A mass of historical documents going back over 200 years was collected. This resulted in Divident Hill being fixed a short distance east of Elizabeth Avenue and about on a line with Lyons Avenue.

Books used for this page:

"History of Newark, NJ" published 1913