Freeman Hill

Throughout the 1880s, Freeman Hill was a English and German farming community, but in the early 1900s it vied to become a city of its own. Touting itself as the “Europe of the Northeast,” Freeman Hill tried to woo immigrants with promises of opportunity, promises it couldn’t keep. Racial and ethnic distrust led to a few riots here, primarily during the Great Depression and again in the Civil Rights era of the 1960s, then again when unknown terrorists blew up a portion of Manhattan and the country was plunged into a time of rampant xenophobia. It is now a poor neighborhood, but it has managed to avoid the utter destitution and depravity of its downslope neighbors.

Freeman Hill is bordered to the north by Slocum Army base and its many acres, to the east and south by Amistad, and to the west by the Garden State Parkway.

  • The Upper East Side is home to a large concentration of Russians who came here after the Soviet Union collapsed at the end of the 1980s. Rumor has it that the Russian Mafia followed as well, and now owns much of this area. The main source of revenue is from small businesses and factories.
  • Four Corners was the center of the ambitious attempt to create a multi-ethnic community. It is a shadow of its former self, home mostly to eastern European immigrants.
  • The area called Numbers Alley got its name from gambling dens in the 1890s, long before gambling was legalized in New Jersey. Now it is mostly a German neighborhood, a holdover from the early days of Freeman Hill.
  • Though it still sees use, the Old Soldier Stadium, built in the 1950s, is falling apart and is not terribly safe. Soccer games are held here, and little else.
  • “The Citadel” is the nickname for Slocum Army Base, which possesses much of the forested land just north of the hill.

Freeman Hill

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