As part of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission's upcoming 40th anniversary, the Commission's Parks Department has created this weekly feature on how local places, landmarks, and geographical features got their name.
During the eighteenth century Paterson Plank Road was literally a road made out of wooden planks.
The road was built by laying Atlantic white cedar logs end to end topped with cedar planks.
Can you imagine riding in a wagon or on horseback on this plank road? Maybe that's how the expression “washer board” road was born.
The wooden planks were replaced in 1909 with granite cobbles that are still visible in places today.
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