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Wanaque was formed as an independent borough in 1918, when Pompton Township was split into three boroughs. The first permanent European settlers, mostly Dutch, came into the area in the early 1700s. Prior to that, as early as the 1630s, there were Dutch settlements, but they were abandoned due to Indian raids. During the 1800s, the chief industries of the area were mining and charcoal burning, then the railroad came in the mid 1800s, prompting new settlers to come into the area, particularly for employment by the Wanaque River Paper Mill.


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