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Nutley, New Jersey was initially incorporated as Franklin Township in 1874. In 1902, it was incorporated as the town of Nutley, replacing Franklin Township, and, in the 1970s, it changed its status to a township in order to qualify for federal revenue-sharing that was available only to townships. The first European settler in the area that was to become Nutley was a Dutch painter by the name of Bastian Van Giesen, and early industries included brownstone quarries, which provided work for Italian and Irish immigrants, as well as a variety of mills that were established along the Third River.

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