The Fort Lee Museum at the Judge Moore House
1588 Palisade Avenue
Fort Lee, NJ 07024
Open: Saturday & Sunday-12:00pm-4:00pm
I visited the Fort Lee Museum at the Judge Moor House today to see the exhibition on Palisades Park Amusement Park and to see the history of the early film industry. Silent films started in Fort Lee long before they moved Los Angeles.
It was interesting to see how many silent screen stars started in Fort Lee including Mae Marsh, Lillian and Dorothy Gish and Mabel Normad and where the movies were shot. The museum shows how the industry grew and the studios that were created in town.
The Palisade Park exhibition was on the progression of the growth of the amusement industry in North Jersey and exhibited many artifacts from the old park. There were many pictures of the park in many different eras.
From the museum:
The Fort Lee Museum is a historic museum in Fort Lee, New Jersey on Palisade Avenue within Monument Park. The museum opened in April 1999 and is operated by the Fort Lee Historical Society.
The museum building is also known as the Judge Moore House. It was built in 1922 with an exterior of bluestone quarried from the Hudson Palisades atop which Fort Lee is situated. The building was slated for demolition in 1989 but community intervention prevented its destruction and the borough purchased it.
The museum has a collections which speak the long history of Fort Lee and surrounding communities such as the Battle of Fort Lee. America’s first motion picture, the George Washington Bridge and Palisades Amusement Park.
Monument Park was built by the Daughters of the American Revolution and dedicated in 1908 at a ceremony attended by General “Black Jack” Pershing. The park was part of the original Fort Constitution of the Continental Army under the leadership of General George Washington. Over 2,600 troops were stationed in and around the Monument Park area. In 2004, the park was reconstructed for the Fort Lee Centennial. A time capsule was placed at the foot of the monument to be opened at the Bicentennial Celebration in the year 2104. Monument Park and Continental Army Park in Williamsburg, Brooklyn are the only parks in the US to be dedicated to soldiers of the American Revolution.
*Note from the editor: The Fort Lee Museum is in a very unusual location right off the Main Street of Fort Lee and tucked off to the side. It only takes about an hour to see the whole museum. When you are finished your tour, stop at Hiram’s down the road on Palisades Avenue for a deep fried hot dog. It is worth the trip.