Paramus Road was once the Main Highway
A Journey into Paramus
Now Paramus is a place known for its shopping and its highways. Two of its main roads are divided highway with stores and shopping centers on its side. Routes 4 and 17 are considered by many a modern day "Main Street" or "Fifth Avenue" for shoppers. And, of course, there is the Garden State Parkway (with its exits 159, 161, 163 and 165).
But in an earlier time another thoroughfare was the primary route.
Paramus Road was once an Indian trail even before the arrival of the first settlers. During the colonial years it was a main artery of travel for both the British and American armies during the American Revolution. General George Washington was a frequent traveler through Paramus during this time.
In 1792, Paramus Road was the first of three roads to run in a North-South direction, heading north to New York. It was also part of the Bergen Turnpike, running north all the way to the Catskills. Built with cobblestones, it was the original Route 2 and the main road and highway.
Route 2 would eventually be renamed Route 17, and rebuilt at its present site.