Over the years for many reasons, political, historical and geographical, many New Jersey towns have changed names. The original name of these popular New Jersey towns will surprise you.

Here are some commonly known and visited New Jersey towns and the bizarre names they once had, according to the New Jersey Historical Society. In some cases the original names really describe large portions of the modern-day neighborhoods and municipalities — or more or less the same territory despite a few border changes.

We think you'll find that most of the current names are a vast improvement over the originals!

  • Clifton (Passaic County): Previously known as Athenia
  • Holmdel (Monmouth County): Previously known as Baptistown
  • East Rutherford (Bergen County): Previously known as Boiling Springs
  • Irvington (Essex County): Previously known as Newark West Farms
  • East Orange (Essex County): Previously known as Doddtown
  • Jersey City (Hudson County): Previously Bergen Township, with sections including Franklin, Columbia, Communipaw
  • Budd Lake (Morris County): Previously known as Hattacawanna Lake
  • Maplewood (Essex County): Previously known as Jefferson Village
  • Lawrenceville (Mercer County): Previously known as Maidenhead
  • Swedesboro (Gloucester County): Previously known as Raccoon
  • Belleville (Essex County): Previously known as Second River
  • New Providence (Union County): Previously known as Turkey
  • Florham Park (Morris County): Previously known as Afton
  • Oldwick (Hunterdon County): Previously known as New Germantown

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