The Naming of Athenia (A Section of Clifton, NJ)

Extracted from Passaic County Historical Society Publication, June 23, 1944

In earlier days, this section of Clifton was known as Cloverack  (cloverfield).  Later it was known as Centreville; it was also called West Clifton. In 1880, the inhabitants wanted a post office.  At the time, mail had to be addressed to the Richfield post office, which had been established in that section of Clifton in June 1878.

The older inhabitants of the region, headed by Judges Terhune and Simmons, wanted to revert to the original name of Cloverack.  The Newark branch of the Erie R.R. called it the area Centreville, and the Delaware Lackawana & Western R.R. called it Clifton.

In 1880, the section became known as Cheap Josie’s, but nothing is known about the origin of this title. Also, during this time much of the lumber shipped into this section of Clifton was addressed to Tome’s Mill.  This name came from J. Tome who had a sawmill and lumber business near the Delaware Lackawana and Western Railroad.

The inhabitants were beginning to wonder just where they lived!

When a post office was finally established by the appointment of a postmaster on March 16, 1883, the postal department stated that the post office could not be called Centreville because there already was a post office by that name in New Jersey.  In March 1883, the Athenia was selected.