The Upper Montclair train station on Bellevue Avenue, directly north of Anderson Park, played a role in the park’s creation and was an engine of change in the growth of Upper Montclair.
Train service was introduced to Upper Montclair in 1872, when a smaller station occupied the site. It was replaced in 1892 by a structure with Renaissance Revival and Tudor elements. That building, on the National Register of Historic Places, sustained major fire damage in 2006 and was rebuilt, with a similar look, in 2010.
The station’s proximity was deemed a plus when evaluating the suitability of the proposed Anderson Park site. In 1902 an editorial in The Montclair Times declared that stepping off the train and seeing a lovely park would be good public relations for the town: “If there is any one spot above all which should be well kept and beautiful, it is the land about the railroad station, where the stranger receives his first impression of a place, for better or worse.”
The original Upper Montclair train station, opened in 1872, is shown here around 1890. (Montclair Public Library)