Great Falls / Kramer Park

Paterson, NJ

Paterson's prime geologic feature is the Great Falls, where the Passaic River has a dramatic 77 foot drop over a formation of basalt rock. The falls were formed around 11,000 BC at the end of the last Ice Age. The falls were a prime attraction to late 18th century industrialists and water diverted through "raceways" from above the falls was used to power numerous mills and factories in the area in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The park on the northeast bluff overlooking the falls is named for Mary Ellen Kramer (1937-1993), the wife of former mayor Lawrence Kramer who lead the campaign to preserve and redevelop the historic mill district in Paterson. Her efforts preserved an important industrial archeological area that ultimately was designated as a national landmark. (reference)

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Passaic River west of the falls
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Passaic River flowing toward the falls
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Passiac River flowing toward the falls
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Great Falls - View from the north
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Great Falls - View from the north
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Service building in Mary Ellen Kramer Park
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Mary Ellen Kramer Park
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Great Falls video
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Stairway down to viewing area on the south bank
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View from the east bank
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Great Falls video
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Pedestrian and utility bridges
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Vandalized memorial plaque
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Visitors on pedestrian bridge over gorge
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Pipeline over gorge
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Great Falls view from southeast bank
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Water flow into the gorge
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Overlook park
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West bank of gorge
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Ducks swimming above the falls
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Dam and Wayne Avenue bridge just above the falls
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Passaic River flowing downstream of falls
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View of the falls from Overlook Park
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Passaic River flowing downstream from the falls
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View of the falls from Overlook Park