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Wonderland of New Jersey – Columbia Amusement Park



Discover the captivating past of today’s well-known Columbia Park shopping plaza, once the bustling “Wonderland of New Jersey”.

Our journey peels back the layers of time, revealing the lively history of this familiar site in North Bergen. The tale begins in 1864 when Union Hill separated from North Bergen, founded by German-Americans. Its landscape evolved in 1872 when the United Schützen Association introduced a park with a dancing pavilion, music stand, and shooting gallery.

The park’s glory days came in the 1890s when the Plattduetsche Volksfest Vereen (PVV) transformed the area into an amusement park. It featured dancing pavilions, bowling alleys, and vaudeville performances, attracting up to 50,000 visitors with grand festivities. Unique to the park was its location, allowing for shooting practice—reflecting its German roots in ‘Schützen’ meaning ‘rifleman’. The practice continued until 1935.

Over time, the majority of the park was sold off, with a significant portion becoming Route 495 leading to the Lincoln Tunnel. This remarkable journey through time is a testament to the park’s evolution, forever a piece of New Jersey’s history. Join us as we uncover the vibrant past of Columbia Park Amusement Park