Rutherford was formed as a borough by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on September 21, 1881, from portions of Union Township, based on the results of a referendum held on the previous day. Rutherford has been called the “Borough of Trees” and “The First Borough of Bergen County”. The ridge above the New Jersey Meadowlands upon which Rutherford sits was settled by Lenape Native Americans long before the arrival of Walling Van Winkle in 1687. During the early days of settlement, the land that is now Rutherford was part of New Barbadoes Township, as Berry had lived in Barbados, another English colony, before claiming his grant in New Jersey. Part of the region was known as Boiling Springs for a powerful and ceaseless spring located in the vicinity.
Despite its name, the spring actually consisted of cold groundwater seeps rather than hot springs. The Erie Railroad built its Main Line from Jersey City across the Meadowlands in the 1840s. Daniel Van Winkle, a descendant of Walling, donated land in 1866 for a train station at Boiling Springs. At the time, much of the property in Rutherford was farmland owned by the estate of John Rutherfurd, a former New Jersey legislator and U.
Senator, whose homestead was along the Passaic River, near present-day Rutherford Avenue. In the 1870s, the area began to be called “Rutherford”. The definitive reason for the change in spelling of the final syllable from “furd” to “ford” is unknown, though the change may have been the result of name recognition of the Ohio politician Rutherford B. 9 million renovation project of the Iviswold castle that took 14 years was completed in 2013.