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About SPBA: Image

Sanford Place Block Association & Friends, Inc. is an educational and community non-profit that

is helping our community come together at the most local level to discuss issues, improve safety, organize events like block parties, and generally make our block a better place to live. We serve the residents in the West Ward neighborhood of Upper Vailsburg, Newark, NJ.

Our website offers compelling written and visual stories of our community challenges and impact to attract and secure funding for our initiatives and to support the evolving and growing needs of our community.

About SPBA: Text


To PRESERVE the legacy and familial way of life of our neighborhood, RECLAIM and revive aspects of the community in decline, and introduce new technology, tools, and resources to fuel PROGRESS.


To build relationships with our neighbors through meetings and opportunities for socialization, and by sharing information and connecting those in need to local resources, city, state, and federal services.

About SPBA: Programs


  • Communicate: Share news and information

  • Educate: Facilitate dialogue with subject matter experts

  • Advocate: Strengthen relationships to enable access to resources

  • Innovate: Introduce new tools, processes, and solutions

About SPBA: Text


The Sanford Place neighborhood is mixed-use residential area with an ethnic blend of minorities from over twenty countries! Our area of service covers: Sanford Place, Marsac Place, Fleetwood Place, parts of Norman Road, Eastern Parkway, Kerrigan Boulevard, Ellery Avenue, and Sanford Avenue in Newark, New Jersey.

We are growing! Our block association & FRIENDS have extended to include Mountainview Place and Sheldon Terrace.

  • Homes were built in the early 1930's and 1940's

  • 70% of homeowners are between age 50 and 94

  • Majority of residents have been home occupants for 30 or more years

  • Household incomes range from $18K to $53K

About SPBA: Text


How Did Sanford Get its Name?

[Alternative spellings include Sandford, Sandiford, and Standiford]

Major William Sandford (1637-1691) was a colonist, planter, government official and militiaman. Born in an English enclave in Hamburg, Germany, he also lived in Surinam, Barbados, and East Jersey.

Sometime before 1660, William Sandford moved to Surinam, where his brother Robert was a plantation owner and government official. The brothers lost a power struggle with the Governor and were tried on charges tantamount to sedition. Robert was disenfranchised and banished, while William was let off with minor sanctions.

In 1664, William leased and managed a plantation on Surinam owned by his uncle, Nathaniel Kingsland of Barbados. He left in 1667 after the Second Anglo-Dutch War resulted in the loss of the plantation.

As he departed Surinam, Sandford married Sarah Whartman in a shipboard ceremony that was kept secret for at least ten years. While Sandford was recorded in 1668 as a resident of Barbados, the whereabouts of his family from 1667 to 1670 are unclear.

In 1668, in partnership with his uncle, William acquired the very first land grant awarded in New Barbadoes, NJ – a tract of 15,308 acres (23.92 square miles). Kingsland sent William to their newly acquired territory to negotiate with the Indians, erect buildings, and map the territory. As was the custom of the times, Sandford paid Chief Tantaqua of the Hackensack Indians 20 English Pounds Sterling for all their reserve rights and titles.

William and his family settled there in 1670 and were the first European settlers in the area. In 1671, the land grant was divided between Kingsland and Sandford, with Sandford becoming the sole owner of the southern third of the tract. That land would remain in his family’s hands for more than six decades and eventually be known as West Hudson. From 1668 to 1687, New Barbadoes was part of Newark Township.

Sandford served East Jersey as a member of the Governor’s Council. He also served as court president and justice of the supreme court, as well as attorney general. In 1675, he was commissioned as a captain in the East Jersey militia. In 1680, he commanded the garrison at Elizabethtown in a tense engagement with leaders of New York as they moved to take control over New Jersey. He was promoted to the rank of major in 1683.

William Sandford’s descendants include two governors of New Jersey, William Sandford Pennington and William Pennington.

Source 1, Source 2, Source 3

About SPBA: Text



"Where every block that touches ours is safe and sound" has been the mantra for our community since the inception of our block association.

A Sanford Place Block Association & Friends 2021 community survey uncovered that our residents have safety and blight challenges with their homes. Many residents do not meet City of Newark income requirements to qualify for assistance. They are also not able to cover costs of extensive and needed repairs, nor do their ages and abilities permit them on their own.

Your gifts matter. Your partnership matters. Your participation matters. The safety and wellness of our community depends upon them.

About SPBA: Text
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