Image from Leonia
Image courtesy of Seidenstud on Wikipedia. Used by permission under CC BY-SA 3.0. License Info Photo has been cropped.
Image from Leonia
Image courtesy of Seidenstud on Wikipedia. Used by permission under CC BY-SA 3.0. License Info Photo has been cropped.

Living In: Leonia


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For years the little town of Leonia in Bergen County was known as a beautifully well-kept secret in northern New Jersey. The town was able to avoid the housing rush that swept through most of northern New Jersey and maintain its scenic landscapes. However, despite recent developments built over the past few years, Leonia still remains a little haven for its residents. The town has an interesting history in early America. The town experienced vast economic growth during the American Revolution, and was named in honor of general Charles Lee. During the Civil War, the area served as a training ground for Union soldiers. Because of its close proximity to New York City's universities and cultural oasis, many artists and leading thinkers moved into the area. By the 1930s, the town reported having the highest number of residents per capita in Who's Who in America and 80% of the residents held college degrees. Leonia is easy to navigate to, located off of the New Jersey Turnpike. The New Jersey Transit Bus also provides service vie the 166 and 182 routes directly into Midtown Manhattan via the Port Authority Bus Terminal. Rockland Coaches also provide service to the Port Authority Bus Terminal. For transportation to Upper Manhattan, the Saddle River Tours provide access via the George Washington Bridge Bus Station via the 14K, 20 and 84 routes. There are currently future plans to build a train station for rail service into Manhattan. Culture and the arts are at large in Leonia, and residents prize themselves on their performing arts. The town is home to the Players Guild of Leonia, the oldest continuing theatre troupe in New Jersey, which has been operating since 1919. Every summer Leonia hosts Summerstate, a production of a Broadway type musical each summer. Auditions are open to everyone in the New York metro area and often attract many up and coming talents. The Leonia Chamber Musicians Society performs classical music concerts annually. The Erika and David Boyd Sculpture Garden offers an outdoor cultural environment with a display of sculptures. The Leonia Public Schools boast of their lower student to teacher ratio, being slightly under 11:1. Schools in the district include the Anna C. Scott Elementary School, Leonia Middle School and Leonia High School. Like students throughout Bergen County, high school students have the option of attending the secondary education programs offered by the Bergen County Technical Schools, the Bergen County Academies in Hackensack and the Bergen Tech Campus in either Teterboro or Paramus. Many notable figures were born in or have resided in Leonia over the years. These include artist David Boyd, comedian Buddy Hackett, anthropologist Marvin Harris, basketball coach Phil Jackson, and noble prize winners Harold Urey, Willary Libby, and Enrico Fermi.

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