Category: Exploring River Vale, NJ

Day One Hundred and Nine: Touring the historic homes and museums of Bergen County during ‘The Eighth Annual Northwest Bergen History Coalition’ History Day                                                             April 28th, 2018

Day One Hundred and Nine: Touring the historic homes and museums of Bergen County during ‘The Eighth Annual Northwest Bergen History Coalition’ History Day April 28th, 2018

Bergen County has a lot of hidden gems located here and there in the County.

Don’t miss the Northwest Bergen History Coalition when it happens every two years.

mywalkinmanhattan

I put “MywalkinManhattan” on hold for a few days as the local activities in New Jersey started to take up my time. There is so much to see and do as the weather is getting warmer.

The Northwest Bergen History Coalition every year gives people the opportunity to visit almost a dozen different historical sites in the upper part of Bergen County, NJ and take the time to tour and explore all the sites with the help of trained docents and volunteers who take immense pride in showing off their site all for the low price of $10.00 ($15.00 the day of the event). Be prepared to drive though because all the sites can be a distance from one another. Also, have a a game plan because there is no way you can see everything in one day. You will only have from 10:00am-4:00pm so plan to visit the remaining…

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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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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.

Baylor Massacre Burial Site                        Rivervale Road & Red Oak Drive                      River Vale, NJ 07675

Baylor Massacre Burial Site Rivervale Road & Red Oak Drive River Vale, NJ 07675

The Baylor Massacre Burial Site

486 Rivervale Drive

Rivervale Road and Red Oak Drive

River Vale, NJ  07675

http://www.bergencountyhistory.org/Pages/baylormassacre.html

Open: Dawn to Dusk

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46777-d12277914-Reviews-Baylor_Massacre_Burial_Site-River_Vale_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

Don’t miss this little hidden site in Old Tappan, NJ. The Baylor Massacre site holds a rich history in the county and in the country’s founding. It will make you realize what an important role that the State of New Jersey had in the Revolutionary War and the lives sacrificed to win the war.  My hats off to these brave men and women who helped fight for our freedom.

This quiet little park sits off to the side by the river and you will need to take time to walk the paths and enjoy the reading the signing. The sacrifice that these men made during the war effort and the way they were treated by the British in the act of war was deplorable. That and the fact that their own countrymen from Bergen County turned them into the British was unbelievable.

Baylor Massacre Site IV.jpg

The Baylor Massacre history:

After midnight on September 28, 1778 during America’s Revolutionary War, the brutal surprise attack by the British forces on the sleeping men of the 3rd Continental Light Dragoons began. Today this is known as the Baylor Massacre. Now a County-owned historic park and burial ground, the Baylor Massacre Site is located along the Hackensack River in River Vale in Northern Bergen County, New Jersey.

In the Autumn of 1778, British General Cornwallis occupied southern Bergen County with a force of 5000 soldiers. Their purpose was to gather and forage for food to feed the army that would be garrisoned in New York City during the upcoming winter.  Bergen County, with its fertile land and industrious Jersey Dutch farms, was a major source for food for both armies during the Revolution.

The Third Continental Light Dragoons, under the command by Lt. Colonel George Baylor, was one of four regiments of dragoons authorized by the Continental Congress. On the 27th of September, these 104 officers and men were dispatched to watch the bridge over the Hackensack River at the intersection of modern Rivervale and Old Tappan Roads to support General Wayne and his men in Tappan, New York.

The British forces were lead by General Charles “No Flint” Grey, who earned his nickname in the 1777 battle with General Wayne’s Pennsylvania troops when he ordered his men to remove the flints from their muskets to prevent an accidental gunshot and to use bayonets to insure the surprise of a nighttime attack. These tactics were used again in River Vale.

Grey’s men used their muskets to club and their bayonets to stab the sleeping dragoons. Eleven were killed immediately. Three more including 2nd in Command Major Alexander Clough (Washington’s Chief of Intelligence for the Hudson Valley), died of their wounds in Tappan the following day.  Records indicate that as many as 22 men died some several weeks later. Two officers and 37 men, most of who were wounded, managed to escape into the night. One British soldier was killed when shot by a dragoon.

Grey’s men quickly gathered their prisoners and captured American equipment and continued up North. Fortunately General Wayne had been alerted of the movement of the British and had evacuated Tappan. The next day a detachment of the Bergen County Militia was dispatched to River Vale to locate any survivors. Finding six of the dead patriots at the bridge and fearing the possible return of British troops, they hurried to bury them in three abandoned leather tanning vats by the river.

The burial location was passed on by word of mouth for many generations. The only physical maker was the abandoned millstone from the tannery. Abram C. Holdrum removed the millstone from the site around 1900. For many years it was displayed in from of the local Holdrum School.

Baylor Massacre Site.png

The Baylor Massacre Site in the warmer months

In 1967, a local resident became alarmed that a new housing development would destroy this historic burial site. Through careful research the approximate location of the burials was identified. County Freeholder D. Bennett Mazur was contacted and as a result, the County sponsored an archaeological dig that located six sets of remains. The County eventually acquired the site and dedicated it as a County Park. In 1974, the patriots’ remains were re-interred in the park and the original millstone was donated to serve as their gravestone.

baylor-massacre-site-iii.jpg

In 2003, the County dedicated new interpretive panels and accessible pathways at the Baylor Massacre site. It is open year round during daylight hours.

WWW.BERGEN.NJ.US

Disclaimer: This information was taken from the County Pamphlet: 2015 Bergen County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs. 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. I give them full credit for this information.

Note from the Blogger: it is easy to miss the site so watch for the markers. For those interesting in the historical background of the Revolutionary War and New Jersey’s role in the war, take the time to visit this and other sites around Bergen County, New Jersey. They may be small but very significant.

Watch this interesting video that someone posted on YouTube.com