Campbell-Christie House, Historic New Bridge Landing: A Bergen County Historic Site
1201 Main Street
River Edge, NJ 07661
A County Historic Site
Fee: Donations are accepted and there are fees for the special events
Open: Check the website above for special events and times
I recently visited the Steuben House for a Christmas concert which was an evening of Christmas songs, a talk on the history of Christmas before, during and after the Revolutionary War. It was a very lively evening of song and lecture and the ladies who entertained us sang beautifully.
The Campbell-Christie House was used as the ‘pub’ for diners that night
Linda Russell & Company sang Christmas songs of the time and then talked in between about how Christmas was celebrated during the War years. She was a delight in her discussion and her and her daughter and their friend did a wonderful job.
The concert was entertaining and the talk was interesting in the Van Steuben House
A sample of Linda Russell’s music
It seemed that while the Puritans put a damper on the Christmas holidays in New England the Dutch New Jersey and New York thoroughly enjoyed the holiday season after all their hard work during the Fall harvest months.
What was really nice was the Campbell-Christie House was open as a pub for dinner and light snacks and you could order things like Shepard Pie, Cheese & Onion Pie and Cake doughnuts and gingerbread for dessert while enjoying conversation by candlelight. It was an interesting and engaging history.
The Van Steuben House for the holidays was where the entertainment was that night
The house is nicely decorated for Christmas circa 1778
Don’t miss their historic lectures and reenactments during the year. Check their website above for more activities.
History of the Site:
The Campbell-Christie House, an 18th century sandstone structure, is located in Historic New Bridge Landing State Park, River Edge. This historic building originally stood at the intersection of Henley Avenue & River Road, in New Milford, NJ. In 1977, in order to save it from demolition, Bergen County purchased and moved it south to this site next to the Hackensack River.
Sandstone houses were built continuously from the Dutch colonization of the 17th century through the founding of the Republic and the early years of the 19th century. The Campbell-Christie House, an outstanding example of this early regional architecture, is a 5 bay, 4 room center all building with two rooms to either side and two interior chimneys. This stone house form seems to have been built mainly after the Revolution and up to the turn of the century. The front wall is built out of well-dressed local sandstone with inset wooden trapezoidal lintels and side composed of roughly coursed sandstone.
The Historic New Bridge Landing Site
Jacob Campbell, at the time of his marriage in 1774 built this house along the road (now Henley Avenue) that led from Old Bridge to the Schraalenburgh Church. Historical evidence records that Campbell, a mason by trade, also ran a tavern in his household. In 1795, the house was sold to John Christie, a blacksmith, who continued as a tavern keeper. Jacob Brinkerhoff-Christie, manager of the Comfort & Lumber Company, eventually inherited this large valuable homestead farm property along the Hackensack River. His son. John Walter, born in the house in 1865, was a famous inventor who built and raced cars (at one time holding the world’s speed record), invented the automotive front-wheel drive and is known as the “father of the modern tank”.
Historic New Bridge Landing Park is located at the narrows of the Hackensack River. Because of its strategic site along a tidal waterway it has been an active area of settlement, trade and commercial activities for thousands of years. The construction of the “New Bridge” in 1744 accelerated development of the area. Because of the nearness to Manhattan, New Bridge Landing was a principal base of operation during the Revolutionary War and considered an important strategic route, guarded by troops from both sides at different times. General George Washington, who made his headquarters in Zabriske’s house, led his soldiers in retreat across here on November 20, 1776, saving his troops from entrapment by advancing British troops.
On the Hackensack River’s west bank, near the bridge, is the Steuben House. Originally constructed by Jan Zabriskie in 1753 and doubled in size around 1765, it has been referred to as to as among the five “great houses” of Colonial Bergen County. The third stone house is the 18th century Demarest House, moved to this site in 1956 and owned by the Demarest-Blauvelt Foundation. The Historic New Bridge Landing Park Commission, a partnership of the Bergen County Historical Society, Blauvelt-Demarest Foundation, the County of Bergen, New Jersey Division of Parks & Forestry, New Milford Borough, River Edge Borough and Teaneck Township, operates the New Bridge Landing site.
This site also contains the County-owned 1888-89 Pratt-type, “pony” truss, iron swing bridge, the oldest highway swing bridge in New Jersey. The Campbell-Christie House, along with the other two houses and the bridge, is on the State & National Register of Historical Place. It is the headquarters of the Bergen County Historical Society and furnished with the furniture and collection owned by the Society. Open year round. For the FCHS calendar of event or go to http://www.bergencountyhistory.org.
Kevin Wright’s Lecture on the Site (2015)
(2015 Bergen County Division of Cultural & Historic Affairs)
The Bergen County Division of Cultural & Affairs received an operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of the State.
Disclaimer: This information is taken directly form my pamphlet from the Bergen County Division of Cultural & Historic Affairs. The site holds it position in its participation in the Revolutionary War and should not missed. I give them full credit for this information. Please call them for more information.
The reenactment of the Historic Bridge attack during the American Revolution at the Bergen County Historical Society. I give the Historical Society full credit for this information.