The initial patent for the land that would become Bloomfield Township was granted to the English Puritan colonists of Newark, and the area assigned to Essex County in 1675, and Newark Township in 1693. From the 1690's to about the 1720's, much of the northern and eastern land was sold to descendants of New Netherland colonists who had settled Acquackanonk, and the remainder mostly to English families.
Bloomfield was settled by a combination of Dutch and English families and the English and Dutch neighborhoods gradually integrated, with Thomas Cadmus being among the first Dutchmen to settle in an English neighborhood. Bloomfield has always required a certain flexibility often not present when distinct cultures rub up against each other. But Thomas Cadmus was in possession of the necessary courage to make it his intention to move into a neighborhood of predominantly English neighbors, in spite of the fact he himself was Dutch. Cadmus also supported the Revolution financially, and his house was ransacked by British troops. This is the kind of courage it took to be a an early settler of Bloomfield.
And it is that same pioneering vision which is exemplified by the new businesses putting roots down in Bloomfield, places like 23 Skidoo Cafe on 33 Carteret Street in Bloomfield. That same experimental spirit is also to be found in Andrew and Katheryn at Jalapeño Cycling, located at 57 Washington St., and by Mangia Organica at 271 Glenwood Ave.
I have lived in this erea nearly 35 years, and the changes are noticeable if you are paying attention - it is now possible to be treated to culinary excellence in a variety of eateries right here in Bloomfield. We are actually moving in the direction of restaurant hipness and all the places I have mentioned make supremely healthy eating a priority. And, it would be amiss if I didn’t mention Watsessing Park, which beautifully connects together Bloomfield and neighboring East Orange in one the most gorgeous parks in Essex County. A place where I have rediscovered my love of Bicycle riding.
You can hear it in each of these new business’s ambition to make it in this town, and we are well served by patronizing these new endeavors. I personally have a feeling that these new businesses came here to elevate the stature of our community. The very same courage required of Thomas Cadmus when he decided to be the first to move into an English neighborhood (perhaps not anticipating that it would cost him his home being destroyed by British troops). And that same risk aversion I’ve personally seen in the new restaurants and a genuine craftsmen in Andrew at the cycle shop called Jalapeño Cycling at 57 Washington St.
Is it not time to once again feel a certain pride to be part of the strongly led renewal of Bloomfield and East Orange?