Category: Exploring Rutherford NJ

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.

 

Meadowlands Museum                                                               91 Crane Avenue                                                         Rutherford, NJ 07070

Meadowlands Museum 91 Crane Avenue Rutherford, NJ 07070

Meadowlands Museum

91 Crane Avenue

Rutherford, NJ  07070

Phone: (201) 935-1175

Email: meadowlandsmuseum@verizon.net

https://www.meadowlandsmuseum.com/

https://www.facebook.com/MMusRutherford/

Open: Most Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10:00am-4:00pm

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46796-d2403380-Reviews-Meadowlands_Museum-Rutherford_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

Both Curator & Chronicler

The Meadowlands Museum is the main steward of the history and culture of the Meadowlands region and one of its leading storyteller.

Meadowlands Museum Scarecrow Day V

Its mission and collection, which resides in the Yereance-Berry House in southern Bergen County in Rutherford, NJ are distinctive and unique. The house too is a historic treasure and landmark and was built in 1804 by the Berry family, who were among the county’s earliest European settlers.

Meadowlands Museum VIII

Rooms in the three-level American Dutch farmhouse are alive with permanent and temporary exhibits and sometimes include loaned objects from other museums and private collections.  Historical artifacts like archives and photographs are mingled with textiles, furniture, housewares and artwork. There is even correspondence by the daughters of John Rutherfurd, a close confidant of George Washington. Grounds include the William Carlos Williams Poetry Garden, which acknowledges the legacy of Rutherford’s most famous native and the town’s history as a cultural center.

Meadowlands Museum VII

The everyday products of the Meadowlands Museum

Founder in 1961 as the Rutherford Junior Museum by parents of school age children to help connect them to their community, the museum is staffed by professionals assisted by dedicated volunteers and involved trustees. Interns add to the rich resource of individuals who contribute to its present and future.

A recent commercial developed by my Business 101 Class for the Meadowlands Museum for the project “Rocking it in Rutherford: Being a Tourist in your own Town”

The location of the Yereance-Berry House suggests a colonial farm dating to 1740. The oldest house in south Bergen County in close to original condition, it was part of the Historic American Building Survey project of the 1930’s. The building is also listed on the state and national registers of historic places and the Bergen County Stone House Survey.

Meadowlands Museum

The Yereance-Berry House is the now the Meadowlands Museum

Affiliated organization include the American Alliance of Museums, American Association for State and Local History, Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce, New Jersey Association of Museums and The National Trust for Historic Preservation.

Programming & Community Service:

Free and reasonably priced services for individuals, community groups, businesses, government bodies and educational institutions are available.

*Educational programs, lectures and traveling exhibits.

*Customized on and off site programs.

*Collaborative ventures with a wide range of partners.

*Assistance with academic research and other archival support.

Special Events:

Special events, which often are made possible by partnerships with businesses and other organizations, are an additional way for visitors of all ages to enjoy the museum. Public and private events occur on a regular or one-time basis; many are fundraisers. Call or email for a current calendar and sponsorship possibilities. The house hosts both permanent and special exhibits.

Our permanent exhibits include:

*Yereance Berry House on Scarecrow Day:

Meadowlands Museum Scarecrow Day IV

*Pre-electric kitchen: This unique kitchen in the basement shows off the collection of equipment that would be used in the kitchen from the Civil War to the 1950’s. There are coffee grinders, whisks, wash boards and such. It showed how much effort was put into preparing the family meal through the ages.

Meadowlands Museum IV

The Farm Kitchen of Bergen County

*Meadowlands Geology: there are all sorts of rocks and gems not just from the area but all over the state. There are two different rooms one of the specimens locally and there is a separate room for glowing stones. It is very interesting to see when the lights are out.

Meadowlands Museum III

The Mineral Collection at the Meadowlands Museum

*Mining in South Bergen: This is how the county has changed when we mined ore.

Meadowlands Museum Scarecrow Day II

The Mining Display at the Meadowlands Museum

*19th century Laundry Room: The Laundry room that is located in the basement has many of the things our grandparents would have used. The washboards,  scrub bushes, old washing machines and ringers. Washing clothes was much harder back then.

*The wonderful Toy Exhibition of turn of the last century toys and from the 1960’s 70’s and 80’s. This contains Dolls, Board Games, play things and instruments:

Meadowlands Museum II

The Toy Collection fascinates kids of all ages

Meadowlands Museum Scarecrow Day III

The wonderful toy factory in Kearny, NJ that used to produce all these wonderful toys.

*Horse elevator

Recent special exhibits have included:

*High school football

*Needlecraft

*Steampunk

*Medical Innovations

*Maps of the region

*Civil Rights

*Dr. Williams’ Babies

*World War I

Special Events:

I went to the recent Scarecrow Day on October 20, 2018 where guests of the museum created their own scarecrows using their own creativity. All the scarecrows were lined up facing the street with their interesting clothes and accessories. Each person got to use their own clothes and each one had its own style to it. It was fun watching the families show their creativity at this annual event.

Image result for scarecrow day at meadowland museum

Scarecrow Day at the museum in 2018

Meadowlands Museum Scarecrow Day

Scarecrow Day in 2021: the winners of the contest for best Scarecrow

I also stopped by for the Dutch Christmas decorations. The museum was decorated for the holidays with garland and trees. On December 1st, they had a Dutch Christmas festival (I could not attend) with food and entertainment.

Christmas Decorations

Help tell the story…

Individuals who value the purpose and work of the Meadowlands Museum remain its inspiration and abiding spirit. Donations, memberships, sponsorship’s, grants and fundraisers are crucial elements of the museum’s financial well-being.

Admission to the museum is free but donations are greatly appreciated. Fees for events and other services vary. A personal letter to the appropriate person acknowledges a gift made in the name of an individual. Donations to provide for the buildings and grounds are valuable links to the future and a kind of giving that is among the museum’s top priorities.

Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from the Meadowlands Museum’s pamphlet. For information on the site, please call or email the museum for more information.