HOLD ME Countdown – Fun Facts About New Jersey

32 Days to Release Day!

Although I don’t live in New Jersey, I’ve driven through it a time or twelve.  I’ve wasted days of my youth at Great Adventure and spent time “down the shore”, although, to my sorrow, I’ve never met Snooki.  And, since a good portion of HOLD ME takes place in various New Jersey locations, I thought I’d give you some fun facts about this great state. Feel free to print this post out and astound your friends and neighbors.

And here we go!  All about New Jersey!

* Major Industries – farming (potatoes, tomatoes, peaches), chemicals, pharmaceuticals, petroleum-based products, insurance, tourism

(Wait – Farming AND chemicals?)

* Highlands, New Jersey has the highest elevation along the entire eastern seaboard, from Maine to Florida and The Great Falls in Paterson is the second-tallest waterfall east of the Mississipi.

* New Jersey has more race horses than Kentucky.

* New Jersey has the most dense system of highways and railroads in the U.S.

* New Jersey is a major seaport state with the largest seaport in the US, located in Elizabeth. Nearly 80 percent of what our nation imports comes through Elizabeth Seaport first.

* New Jersey is a leading technology & industrial state and is the largest chemical producing state in the nation when you include pharmaceuticals.

* The urban density of northeast New Jersey contrasts sharply with the rugged hills of the northwest, the enormous stretches of pine forest in the southeast (the Pine Barrens), and the rolling and lush horse country in the south-central part of the state.

* The marshy area west of The Palisades (the Hackensack Meadows, popularly called the Meadowlands) and the Great Swamp of Morris county are relics of glacial lakes of the last Ice Age.

* Farms cover about one-sixth of the state’s land area. Less than 1 percent of the state’s population is engaged in farming, but farm income per acre is among the highest in the country.

* New Jersey is the 47th biggest state, but the 9th most densely populated. New Jersey has the highest percent urban population in the U.S. with about 90% of the people living in an urban area.

* New Jersey is a world leader in blueberry and cranberry production.

* New Jersey is the only state where all of its counties are classified as metropolitan areas.

(Confused yet? Is it me, or do these facts seem to, um, contradict each other?)

* State Dinosaur Hadrosaurus foulkii – A duck-billed dinosaur (a plant-eater).  Modern paleontology, the science of studying dinosaur fossils, began in 1858 with the discovery of the first nearly complete skeleton of a dinosaur in Haddonfield, New Jersey.  (Who knew paleontology started in New Jersey?)

* New Jersey has the most diners in the world and is sometimes referred to as the diner capital of the world.

* North Jersey has the most shopping malls in one area in the world with seven major shopping malls in a 25 sq. mile radius.

* Atlantic City is where the street names came from for the game monopoly and the longest boardwalk in the world.

* New Jersey is home to the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

* The official state folk dance is the Square Dance.

Ah, New Jersey.  How I love thee.  Land of contradictions and wonders.  And the perfect place to set a book!

Find these facts and more about New Jersey at the following websites:
http://www.memory-lane.org/NewJerseyFacts.html (music alert)


  1. I always felt defensive about living in NJ on account of the bad rap it would get. I grew up in the country where humans were the minority and cows ruled the world–so I never quite got the “Which exit do you live off of?” line. LOL

    I lived a few blocks from the courthouse where the Lindbergh trial took place. To this day they still reenact that trial.

    Thank you for setting HOLD ME in New Jersy, Betsy.

    • Betsy Horvath says

      @Maureen A. Miller: But did you know about the state dinosaur? Or that paleontology started in New Jersey? I didn’t – but when I told my Mom, she said they learned about it in school. We live in PA, but my grandfather’s family was all from around Trenton.

      And now, my biggest question for you, Maureen – can you square dance? Hmmm? What kind of a New Jerseyan are you? 😀

  2. It sounds like the perfect setting for a book. I can’t wait to read Hold Me and get the guided tour.

    • Betsy Horvath says

      @Shirley Wells: Thanks, Shirley! One of the locations is a little rural, and I have to admit that I posted these facts in part so people in the US would believe that there actually were still farms in New Jersey. 😀