Category: Exploring River Edge NJ

Day One Hundred and Sixty-Five: Bergecco-Parc Consulting Inc. presents “From Revolution to Renewal-Exploring Historic Bergen County, NJ”          Essentials of Marketing Class Project-Bergen Community College                                           April 27th, 2020

Day One Hundred and Sixty-Five: Bergecco-Parc Consulting Inc. presents “From Revolution to Renewal-Exploring Historic Bergen County, NJ” Essentials of Marketing Class Project-Bergen Community College April 27th, 2020

To all your history buffs, please visit Bergen County, NJ for interesting experience of visiting our historical sites and restaurants. Check out our Team Project from Bergecco-Parc Consulting Inc. “From Revolution to Renewal-A Historical Tour of Bergen County”.

Professor Justin Watrel, CEO & Co-Founder Bergecco-Parc Consulting Inc.

mywalkinmanhattan

I had the most interesting semester for Spring Term at the college where I work. Everything started off fine. We had classes in the the afternoon, good discussions on Marketing and had a very successful Team Project marketing the Lyndhurst Snack Shop, the new Bulldog Cafe, for business (See Day One Hundred and Fifty-Nine in MywalkinManhattan.com):

https://wordpress.com/post/mywalkinmanhattan.com/12969

BCC Bulldogs

The Bulldog Cafe on the Third Floor of the Bergen Community College Campus

https://www.facebook.com/gdsbulldogcafe/

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g46586-d20210133-Reviews-Bulldog_Cafe-Lyndhurst_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

The Project I gave the students:

BCC-Bergecco-Parc Consulting Inc. Snack Shop Project 2020

I had just handed out the next Team Project, “From Revolution to Renewal: Exploring the  Historic Bergen County”, a major tourism project I wanted to the students to work on for the remainder of the semester the week before the break. I had the students to break up into groups and get to know one another and get their game plans…

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Bergen County Survey of the Early Dutch Stone Houses of Bergen County, NJ

Bergen County Survey of the Early Dutch Stone Houses of Bergen County, NJ

Bergen County Department of Parks, Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs

Court Plaza South

21 Main Street, Room 203 W

Hackensack, N.J. 07601-7000

Survey of the Early Stone Houses of Bergen County:

One of the most important early American building types is that of the pre-1840 stone house built in areas with Dutch Cultural affiliation. Bergen County is unique in the abundance, variety and architectural quality of these early stone houses, although adjacent areas of New Jersey and New York have some of the type.

Materials and methods remained constant but the house which were built from the time of Dutch colonization in the 17th century vary in size, plan and stylistic detail. Bergen County’s surviving early stone houses many located along major thoroughfares, provide county residents with tangible links to the formation years of the County, State and Nation.

Campbell-Christi House II

The Campbell-Christi House at New Bridge Landing/Bergen County Historical Society

The Survey of Early Stone Houses of Bergen County conducted in 1978-79 identified and recorded 230 of these early houses. Of these, 208 retained sufficient architectural integrity to be placed as a thematic group on the New Jersey Register of Historic Places in 1983, 1984 and 1985. A clear recognition of the houses importance is given by inclusion on these Registers, which are the State’s and Nation’s official lists of cultural resources worthy of preservation.

For inclusion in the Stone House Survey a building has to have at least two first story walls of pre-1840 stonework. The stone used in constructing the houses varies according to what as locally available. Many of the houses have reddish-brown sandstone walls but in the north-western section of the county rougher local fieldstone was utilized. Some houses have exterior walls of various types of stone and in some brick or frame exterior walls appear with stone ones. Frequently front facades display finer masonry work than do sides and rear. Usually the houses are 1 1/2 stories in height and have gable or gambrel roofs, sometimes with sweeping overhangs. Often there are side wings.

Wortendyke Dutch Barn

Wortendyke Barn in Oakland, NJ

Examples of the house-type are commonly called “Dutch Colonial.” This name most frequently applied to gambrel-roofed houses is a misnomer. Most of the houses were erected in the early 19th century, long after New Jersey passed from Dutch control in 1664. They date to a time when Anglo-American culture was being assimilated into Bergen’s Dutch cultural base. The typical stone house of the Colonial Period in Bergen County is a simple gable-roofed building.

Because they have been continuous use since they were constructed, many early stone houses have been modified and embellished. Often these changes in themselves have architectural distinction and are important to Bergen’s 19th and 20th century architectural history. Even when altered, the basic form and fabric of the original stone dwellings are usually recognizable and the houses are part of the county’s earliest architectural heritage.

Cadmus House

Cadmus House in Fairlawn, NJ

The Stone House survey was sponsored by the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the Bergen County Historic Sites Advisory Board and the Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs. It was prepared by the Office of Albin H. Rothe, A.I.A. Claire K. Tholl did the field survey. The survey was made possible by a grant-in-aid from the Office of New Jersey Heritage, Division of Parks and Forestry, N.J. Department of Environmental Protection and matched by funds from the Bergen County Board of Chosen Freeholders.

The report for the Survey of the Early Stone Houses, with background text and inventory forms for houses, may be consulted at the Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs between 9:00am and 4:30pm weekdays.

Hopper-Goetschius Museum

Hopper House in Upper Saddle River, NJ

Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from the Bergen County Department of Parks, Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs pamphlet and I give them full credit for this information. Please contact the Department for more information on the subject.

 

Garretson Forge & Farm                                         4-02 River Road                                                     Fair Lawn, New Jersey 07410

Garretson Forge & Farm 4-02 River Road Fair Lawn, New Jersey 07410

Garretson Forge & Farm

4-02 River Road

Fair Lawn, New Jersey 07410

(201) 797-1775

http://garretsonfarm.org/

info@garretsonfarm.org

https://www.facebook.com/GarretsonFarm/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garretson_Forge_and_Farm

Hours: Please check the website by season

Fee: Free but donations are accepted

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46430-d12854166-Reviews-Garretson_Forge_Farm-Fair_Lawn_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

Garretson Forge & Farm is one of the oldest historic sites in Bergen County, New Jersey. Settled in 1719, this Dutch Colonial homestead was home to six generations of the Garretson family. Their homestead remains a rare surviving example of a simple farming life that was prevalent in the 1700’s and 1800’s. It now functions as a living museum and a working farm, preserving our colonial past and agricultural heritage.

Garretson Farm

The Property:

Located along an old Native American trail, about a mile north of Garretson Lane, is one of the original farms in Slooterdam, owned by the Dutch family of Peter Garretson. Today, more than 300 years later, the trail has come to be known as River Road, Garretson Lane is now called Broadway and Slooterdam has evolved into Fair Lawn, yet the original farmhouse and remaining grounds are still referred to as the Garretson Homestead.

In the 17th century, New Jersey was divided into the Provinces of East and West Jersey by its English proprietors, Lords Berkeley and Carteret. These lands were then sold to a group of Quakers headed by William Penn. By 1692, part of East Jersey, known as the Saddle River Tract, had been divided into large lots, one of which was sold to the Stillwell family.

The Garretson homestead stand on a portion of land that was acquired in 1708 by David Daniellse from the Stillwell family. A copy of the original propriety deed signed by King George of England and the Lenni Lenape Chief, Spotted Tail and granting the land to David Daniellse, is hanging in the homestead. The original property was bounded on the west by the Passaic River and on the east by the Saddle River. Peter Garretson purchased the property from Mr. Daniellse in 1719.

After Peter Garretson’s death, title to the land was passed from one generation to the next. From time-to-time parcels of the tract were sold. The present site consists of 1.84 acres along River Road.

The Homestead:

The house is an example of Dutch Colonial architecture which is charismatic of Bergen, Passaic and Hudson Counties.

One and one-half stories high and built about 1719 of rubble and undressed stone, the current kitchen wing is considered by most to be the homestead. It features a large open-hearth fireplace typical of Flemish design of the late 1600’s. On a late nineteenth-century photograph of the house, remnants of a brick beehive oven can be seen on the outer wall.

In 1760, the larger section of the house was built using dressed stone. The sandstone blocks were held together with mortar made of river mud mixed with straw and hogs hair. It was under this section that fragments of clay pipes (c1720) were uncovered.

Garretson Farm II

The Farmhouse

Extensive renovations were made to the house in 1902. The present gambrel roof replaced a steep gable roof; a front door was replaced with a window; an inner stairway to the basement replaced cellar hatches. A large center Victorian stairway to the second floor was also built and the open-hearth fireplaces were enclosed in the Victorian style. A large pillared porch was also added.

An early nineteenth century carriage house still stands on the property along with a large barn and several smaller outbuildings, the oldest of which is a small wooden structure built circa 1800 in the Dutch barn style.

Garretson Farm III

The barn and carriage house

The Garretson Family:

The history of the Garretson family in America began in 1660 with the emigration of Gerrit Gerritse, his wife, Annetje Hermansse and their son, Gerrit from Wageningen, Gelderland (Netherlands). They arrived in New Amsterdam and proceeded to the town of Bergen, where in 1668, Gerrit (Sr) bought from Philip Carteret, eight parcels of land. The family resided in what is now the Communipaw section of Jersey City, where Gerrit died in October of 1696. His wife died on September 7, 1696.

Some of Gerrit Gerritse’s children took the name Van Wagenen, while others retained that of Garretson, from the name of their father. The descendants of Gerrit Gerritse, going by the surname of Garretson, Van Wegenen and Van Wagoner are today numerous throughout Bergen and Hudson Counties.

Peter Garretson, grandson of the elder Gerrit Gerritse, purchased the Slooterdam Patent from David Daniellse in 1719. The house was built shortly afterwards. Six generations of the Garretson family resided on the farm until the death of Mary Garretson Brocker in 1950. Her widower, Feenix Brocker, remained at the homestead and continued farming until 1974.

The Gardens:

Originally a homestead farm, subsistence and market crops were grown from the early 1700’s through the early 1970’s by the Garretson family.

Garretson Farm IV

The back of the house

Today, the gardens at Garretson continue an agricultural tradition. A variety of heirloom vegetables, all open-pollinated are grown in the kitchen garden using organic and sustainable practices. Produce in season is donated to a local emergency food pantry. An extensive herb garden contains over 75 types of medicinal and culinary herbs that were grown in the seventeen and eighteen hundreds.

Garretson’s Butterfly Garden provides host plants and nectar sources for many different kinds of butterflies. Since 2005, Garretson has been certified by Monarch Watch as a Monarch Waystation (monarch habitat).

The Children’s Garden at Garretson abounds in spring ephemeral wildflowers, bulbs and ferns. In the heat of summer its offers a welcome place to sit in the shade. Gardeners have been restoring native plants to this woodland area.

Many of the garden volunteers are Rutgers-trained Master Gardeners who have done their community service at Garretson and who give back to the community and Bergen County Master Gardener Program by training new gardeners at Garretson.

Garretson Forge and Farm Restoration Inc.:

The Garretson property was sold in 1974 to a private builder for residential value, community members became interested in acquiring the property for preservation. This led to the founding of the Garretson Forge and Farm Restoration Inc. in 1974 for the purpose of raising funds for the purchase. Through the efforts of the organization, the community at large and government agencies, the necessary funds were raised for the acquisition of the property.

GFFR Inc. continued to raise funds to maintain the site and to restore the kitchen to its eighteenth-century design. Money was also used to purchase artifacts and articles related to Garretson history.

In 1977, ownership of the property was accepted by the Freeholders of Bergen County. Now a county historical site, the Garretson homestead continues to be administered by the members of Garretson Forge and Farm Restoration Inc.

GFFR Inc. is a volunteer organization whose mission is to preserve and maintain the Garretson homestead, keeping it open to the public; to educate the greater community about local and state history; to foster environmentally sustainable agricultural practices and biodiversity.

Programs and Special Events:

Throughout the year, Garretson Forge and Farm offers.

Living history events:

*The Spring Festival celebrating colonial life and crafts in the 1700’s.

*The Fall Festival celebrating the harvest and the 1800’s farm.

*Dutch Christmas presenting a traditional Dutch celebration with the homestead decorated in Victorian style.

Educational Programs:

*School Tours

*Open House and garden tours

*Lectures on the environment and on local history.

*The Master Gardener Program

*Organic/sustainable gardening

*Garden and craft workshops

*The annual Butterfly Festival for families.

Community Service Programs:

*Eagle Scout Projects

*Community Seed Bank

*Seasonal produce donations to local food banks.

For more information on events, please check out the website:

http://www.garretsonfarm.org or on Facebook: Garretson Farm

http://www.co.bergen.nj.us

The Bergen County Division of Cultural & Historic Affairs received an operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.

Disclaimer: This information is taken directly from the pamphlet from the Garretson Forge & Farm. For more information on the site, please call the above numbers or email them.

The Bergen County Historical Society: Historic New Bridge Landing                                          1201 Main Street                                               River Edge, NJ 07661

The Bergen County Historical Society: Historic New Bridge Landing 1201 Main Street River Edge, NJ 07661

The Bergen County Historical Society

1201 Main Street

River Edge, NJ 07661

(201) 343-9492

http://bergencountyhistory.org/

Open: Special Events and weekend hours check the website site

Fee: Depends on events/donations

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46776-d7603554-Reviews-Historic_New_Bridge_Landing-River_Edge_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

Visit the Sister Entry on this blog of the Campbell-Christi House VisitingaMuseum.com:

https://wordpress.com/post/visitingamuseum.com/872

I visited the Historic New Bridge Landing in River Edge, New Jersey this afternoon for the “Under the Sad Moon Chwame Gischuch Lenape New Year”. I had wanted to see what a member of one of the New Jersey tribes had to say and thought it would be interesting to see. Unfortunately the Chief cancelled at the last minute so there was no lecture or song.

The rest of the afternoon I heard a lecture on the African Burial Grounds that are located in lower Manhattan and toured the historical homes on the property. It was a very interesting and informative afternoon. Some of the volunteers were in costume selling fresh doughnuts and hot cider, making Indian fry bread and making cornhusk dolls.

In 2022, I visited the Historical Society again for the “Chwame Gischuch: Under the Shad Moon” event and it was relatively quiet (things have recently reopened without masks). Still, you could tour all the homes and listen to a lecture the early use of plant fibers and demo flint-knapping. There were talks in all the buildings and refreshments in the Campbell-Christie House.

“Chwame Gischuch: Under the Shad Moon”

I then toured the historical homes on the property. The Steuben House is the main historical home on the site’s property which was built in 1752 which is by the Hackensack River and was used as a home and business in milling and shipping. Most of the Society’s artifacts are housed here. There are some interesting displays of Indian artifacts and a home doll display along with historical furniture.

Bergen County Historical Society.jpg

The Van Steuben House at Christmas

The collection of historical items includes Native American household and hunting items, colonial items for the home and cooking. There are items used in battle like swords, muskets and cannon balls.

Colonial artifacts at the Steuben House

Colonial Cooking and Wardrobe items

Colonial Household items in the collection

Native American items in the collection

The Demarest House is a two-room home with period furniture and was considered in its day a large home.

The Demarest House on the Bergen County Historical Site

The Demarest House marker

The Campbell-Christie House where most of the action was going on as costume volunteers were cooking and serving food, making dolls and explaining the home’s use as both a private home and a tavern. In the out kitchen behind the home, a roaring fire was going while the costume volunteer was explaining how to make fry bread and a type of homemade pancake. It was an interesting afternoon.

Campbell-Christie House II.jpg

The Campbell-Christi House

The Campbell-Christie House marker

I have also visited the Historical Society for the Dutch Christmas Holidays:

Bergen County Historical Society II

The Society held Christmas concerts as entertainment during the Revolutionary War era. They also had tours of the houses that evening, the engaging concerts and history of the holidays at that time and a pub opened for dinner during the event at the Campell-Christi House.

The Christmas music of Linda Russell

Christmas events at the Historical Society are a lot of fun.

Bergen County Historical Society IV.jpg

Don’t miss their Revolutionary War Recreations in the Spring

I recently went on an architectural tour of the homes on the property and it was interesting to see how the homes were built, how they were designed with a certain Bergen County Dutch design to them with the tilted roofs and unique stonework. Some of these homes (and the barn) were moved from their original locations and placed here at the site. It was a testament to their construction.

There is a distinct design to “New Jersey Dutch” architecture

The tour also talked about the strategic location of the property during the war and how the bridge was one of the only ways to cross the river at that point of the war. Its destruction was one of the turning points of the war.

A recent fundraiser in December 2020 for Christmas, the Historical Society could not hold their usual fundraiser for the holidays so what they did and I thought this was original, they held an outdoor Christmas tour and sing along with singer/performer Linda Russell.

Singer Linda Russell lead the Historical Walking Tour in 2020

We started at the Steuben House with a discussion on the progression of Christmas in American first under the Dutch, then under the suppression of the Puritans denouncing the holiday and then the build up of the current way we celebrate the holiday under the Victorians.

Steuben House

The Steuben House decorated for the Christmas Celebration

They had actors singing and dancing during the early Dutch times and the house decorated for the holidays in that period. It was fun to see the actors in period dress and dancing to the music of that time period.

The Steuben House decorated for the Christmas Holidays circa 1780 in 2020

We next moved to the Demerest House and discussed the Dutch tradition of Sinterklaas. Another actor discussed the night before the holiday as she put her children to bed and finished her cooking for the next day’s dinner. She discussed the wooden shoes outside the home as the children readied for St Nichols’s visit and wanted to feed the horses.

The Demerest House decorated for the Dutch Christmas Festival 2020

When we got to the Campbell-Christie House, we discussed the modern Christmas with Caroling through the ages and songs from different time periods and who wrote them. We then discussed the progression of the Christmas tree. I never realized that Christmas lights were created in New Jersey. Thomas Edison’s factory created and produced the first ones after the creation of the light bulb.

Singer Linda Russell leading the Historic Christmas Tour and singing and flute playing in 2020

Also through modern story telling and poems, the first stories of St. Nichols to the modern day Santa Claus was founded by writers and poets in New York and New Jersey. I never knew how much of the modern day Christmas was created in our two states.

The Campbell-Christie House decorated for the Dutch Christmas Festival & Tree Lighting 2020

We then sang many of the carols with Linda leading the way by flute and guitar and then we had the lighting of the tree outside the home and hot chocolate on the lawn (which by that point was almost cold). Still it was an interesting night of lecture, song and history as we walked the grounds of the Historical Society at New Bridge Landing.

Bergen County Historical Society

The Bergen County Historical Society at New Bridge Landing

The Hackensack River Bend where the houses are located and was a major travel route during Colonial times.

The directory and timeline of the site

The only thing I would have changed that night was adding a fire pit. It went down to 39 degrees that night. Still, it was a nice way to celebrate Sinterklaas and Christmas in the COVID era.

In May 2021, I attended the “Pinkster Celebration” event for the Dutch holidays. It was a nice little event with an explanation and demonstration of the May Pole Dance. The ladies danced in a group to show how the May Pole was used. It was interesting how the event developed from dancing around a tree to the use of the pole.

The May Pole Dance at “Pinkster”

The rest of the afternoon they had tours of the house, cooking and workmanship demonstrations and Colonial games.

In 2022, we celebrated Washington’s Birthday with a traditional colonial ball with period music and dress and the dancers performed various dance routines of the time. There was music and merriment that the people enjoyed and a sense of comradery after a long war.

The colonial dance numbers


Singing and dancing was part of the celebration for George Washington’s Birthday

The Westervelt-Thomas Barn

In 2022, I went to visit the Westervelt-Thomas Barn again for the “Chwame Gischuch: under the Shad Moon” and listened to a talk on the barn. It is interesting how the barn was built with two entrances so that when the hay was unloaded, it was placed in the ceiling above and then the cart could go out the other entrance without having to back up. Not only that but since the animal pens were on both sides of the barn, you did not disturb the animals as well.

The barn also has a couple of different carriages (that need some repair) and all sorts of farm equipment on display. They were demonstrating how to make straw brooms and wedel wood for farm use.

The Demarest House and Westervelt-Thomas Barn on the site

History of Bergen County:

This is the information from the Bergen County Historical Society:

Historic New Bridge Landing: Bergen County, where America begins…

Experience history in on the storied places where it was made…

*Battleground in the American Revolution

*The Steuben House survived more of the American Revolution than any other home in America

*Washington’s headquarters for 16 days in 1780

*Distinctive Bergen County artifacts & architecture including 3 sandstone houses

*One of the last unspoiled vistas in the central valley of the Hackensack River

*Seven miles from the George Washington Bridge

*Two blocks from the New Bridge Landing Train Station on the Pascack Valley Line to Secaucus

Walking Tour:

Historic Buildings are open for special events: Check the website for the schedule.

The Historic New Bridge Landing is the Headquarters of the Bergen County Historical Society Walking Tour that contains:

  1. The Steuben House:  Jan and Annetjie (Ackerman) Zabriskie prospered as a miller and merchant at this site. They built a five-room stone cottage in 1752 and enlarged the house to the present size in 1767 by adding a second story along the rear and the entire north block with its paneled parlor and bed chamber. During the Revolutionary War, the Zabriskie’s sided with the Crown and fled to British held Manhattan. Washington made the house his headquarters for 16 days in 1780. The State of New Jersey presented the confiscated house to Major-General Baron von Steuben in 1783. It is the only extant as a “Large Mansion House containing twelve rooms built with stone with out-houses consisting of a Bake House, Smoke House, Coach House and two large barns, and a garden, forty acres of land consisting of Meadow land and two orchards.” Steuben’s aid-de-camp, Captain Benjamin Walker resided here, while Steuben made regular visits and summer retreats from his Manhattan lodgings. Steuben restored the war damaged home and this is largely the house that you see today. He sold it back to the Zabriskies in 1788. The house and one acre were  purchased by the State of New Jersey in 1928. In 1939, BCHS was invited to display its collections at the museum. BCHS purchased the adjacent eight acres in 1944 thus preserving a fragment of Bergen Dutch countryside.
Bergen County Historical Society

The Steuben House at night

2.  New Bridge: A “New Bridge” with sliding draw was built here in 1745. Describing the American retreat from Fort Lee on November 20, 1776, eyewitness Thomas Paine wrote, “Our first object was to secure the bridge over the Hackensack…” memorializing the darkest hour in the hopes for American independence as the “times that try men’s souls.” This strategic crossing was in constant conflict during the war because it was the first bridge above Newark Bay. The present Pratt-type low-truss swing bridge opened February 2, 1889. One person alone could rotate the bridge to let the ships pass. Closed to auto traffic in 1956. Listed on NJ and National Registers by BCHS as the oldest highway swing-bridge in NJ.

Bergen County Historical Society VI

The Bridge in New Bridge Landing

3.  New Bridge Landing: A narrow mill landing built of log cribbing in 1744 could accommodate sloops of 40-ton burden. Local products were shipped south including iron which was brought overland from Ringwood and Long Pond Ironworks. Merchandise brought back from the city markets was in the Zabriskie store.

The New Bridge Landing site

4.  Zabriskie’s Mills: Johannes Ackerman resided near the present intersection of Main Street and Elizabeth Court. He built a gristmill, 40×20 feet containing two pairs of grinding stones in 1714 at the outlet of Cole’s Brook. High tide was trapped behind the dam creating an artificial pond twice daily to run the waterwheel during ebb tide. Area farmers brought grain to be ground into flour for a more valuable commodity. Jan Zabriskie purchased the tide mill in 1745. The date stone lozenge set in the south end of the Zabriskie-Steuben House depicts the tide driven waterwheel. Jan’s grandson, John J. Zabriskie aged 25 died trying to free the waterwheel in 1793. The mill burned in 1852.

5.  Demarest House Museum: the two-room sandstone cottage was built in 1794 for miller John Paulson at the time of his marriage to Altie Ely. The stove chimney in the east room is a technological advance over fireplaces. The house moved from its original site beside the French Burial Ground in New Milford in 1955-56. Demarest family and Bergen Dutch artifacts on display. Owned by the Blauvelt-Demarest Foundation it was restored in 2009.

The Demarest House

6.  The Campbell-Christie House: Jacob Campbell, a mason, erected this gambrel-roofed, center hall, sandstone dwelling at River Road & Henley Avenue in New Milford in 1744 at the time of his marriage to Altche Westervelt. Jacob was a private in the Bergen Militia and the house was damaged in the Revolutionary War. John Christie a blacksmith purchased the house in 1795 and continued its operation as a tavern. J. Walter Christie, born in the house in 1865, is considered the ‘father of the modern tank’ and best known for developing the Christie Suspension System used in World War II. Threatened with demolition, the house was moved here onto BCHS land in 1977 by the County of Bergen. Operated & funded by BCHS and interpreted as a 18th century tavern. Refreshments, gift shop & rest room (when open).

Campbell-Christie House

The Campbell-Christie House

7.  Westervelt-Thomas Barn: Built in 1889 by Peter J. Westervelt on his farm on Ridgewood Avenue in the Township of Washington. Henry Thomas purchased farm in 1906. Donated to BCHS and relocated in 1955.

The Westervelt-Thomas Barn

8. Out Kitchen: Authentic out-kitchen replicating the John R. Demarest out kitchen in Demarest. Built by BCHS in 1990 using antique materials, it includes a working beehive oven and smoke room. These separate kitchen structures kept the heat of cooking out of the main dwelling during summer and prevented oven fires consuming the home. Located nearby is an outhouse circa 1930 from Closter.

9.  Brett Park: Part of the New Bridge Battleground during the American Revolution. Later site of Rekow’s Farm and Bensen’s Campgrounds. Named after the former Teaneck Mayor Clarence Brett in 1971. The Friends of the Hackensack Greenway through Teaneck maintain a southbound 3.5 mile pathway with access in Brett Park.

10.  The Meadow: The auto-parts yard, completely remediated by 2010 is now an open meadow in HNBL.

11. The Site of the future BCHS Museum & Library Building: Elevated building planned to allow for exhibits and safe storage of the BCHS collections.

Prehistory: The clay flat on the west bank of the river was known as Tantaqua’s Plain, inhabited by Tantaqua, a Hackensack sachem and his kin (Steuben House location). Artifacts as old as 5,000 years been found here and may be on exhibit.

New Bridge served as a battleground, fort, encampment ground, military headquarters and intelligence-gathering post in every year of the American Revolutionary War.

The American Battleground: While a constant arena for conflict, the following significant Revolutionary War events are associated with New Bridge:

*British troops under Major General Vaughan attacked the American rear guard on November 21, 1776 and seized the New Bridge which American engineers were dismantling.

*British and Loyalist troops under command of Captain Patrick Fergusen attacked about 40 Bergen militiamen at New Bridge on May 18, 1779.

*Major Henry Lee led American troops from New Bridge on August 18, 1779.

*A force of Bergen Militia and Continental troops attacked 600 British troops and German auxiliaries at New Bridge on their retreat from Hackensack and Paramus on March 23, 1780, during the two hours it took for the British to repair and cross the New Bridge.

*A body of 312 British, Loyalist and German infantry attacked and overwhelmed an American outpost at new Bridge commanded by Lieutenant Bryson on April 15, 1780.

*Eight British soldiers were killed and several wounded by friendly fire when British troops attempted to attack a body of Bergen Militia in the Zabriskie-Steuben House at New Bridge on May 30, 1780.

*Brigadier General Anthony Wayne led American troops from New Bridge on a raid against the Bull’s Ferry Blackhouse on July 20, 1780.

*General Washington made his headquarters in the Zabriskie-Steuben House during the Steenrapie Encampment (along Kinderkamack Road) of the Continental Army encompassing 14,000 men on September 4-20, 1780.

There are also artifacts that were all made in Bergen County on display as well.

*Van Saun and Wolfkiel slip-decorated red ware and salt glazed pottery

*Quilts, 3 dozen, including the exceptional Betsey Haring applique quilt.

*Bergen Dutch ladder-back chairs

*English bacon settle dating to 1767

These are just some of the items featured in the collection.

The Bergen County Historical Society is a non-profit 501 (c) (3) all-volunteer organization founded in 1902. We are not a government agency. We do not seek public operating grants instead we rely on private donations and membership. We are raising funds to build a museum for extensive collections of artifacts and archives. BCHS is proud to be the lead member of the Historic new Bridge Landing Park Commission. 100% if your donation goes to our mission BergenCountyHistory.org.

Bergen County Historical Society III.jpg

Bergen County Historical Society

Historic New Bridge Landing

1201 Main Street

River Edge, New Jersey

http://www.BergenCountyHistory.org

*All of this information is taken from the Bergen County Historical Society’s pamphlet. Please check out their website for more information on events on the property. This is a must see for those of you interested in Revolutionary War history.