Tag: Bergen County Historical Site

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.


The Cadmus House: Fair Lawn Museum     14-01 Politt Drive  Fair Lawn, NJ 07410

The Cadmus House: Fair Lawn Museum 14-01 Politt Drive Fair Lawn, NJ 07410

The Cadmus House Borough Museum

14-01 Politt Drive

Fair Lawn, NJ  07410

(201) 796-7692




Fee: Free to the public

My review on TripAdvisor:


I visited the Cadmus House today and it is a very interesting look back on the history of Dutch Bergen County and the town of Fair Lawn, NJ.

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The Marker

The Cadmus House was built in 1808 by landowner Jacob Haring and his wife, Margarat. It was originally a two room farmhouse when it was built on their extensive farm land. The Harings’ sold the house to Abraham and Harmones Van Derbeek in 1815 and they turned around and sold the house to Thomas Cadmus and his  wife, Margaret in 1816 and the name stuck from there.

Cadmus House

The house had a gable and second floor built in the late 19th century

Over the years, the house had had many owners and many uses. Before the house was moved in 1985 to its current location, it served as a real estate office at that time. When they were building new construction on the spot, the house was saved by a group of concerned Fair Lawn residents to preserved the town’s past and it was turned into the Cadmus House-Fair Lawn Museum.

The house is broken down into different themed rooms. The downstairs rooms are devoted to the Fair Lawn’s past with pictures of old homes that used to line the streets of the neighborhood. There are pictures of old farms and farm houses, relics from town such as arrowheads, farming equipment and old farm house decor such as ice boxes and apple presses for cider.

Cadmus House II

Pictures of Fair Lawn’s past

In the room that once served as a dining room, there are period Dutch items that would be needed to run a household or a business.

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The apple press which was a big part of the farming community in Bergen County

The upstairs rooms have different displays. One room is devoted to Victorian living with furniture and bedroom decors along with dolls and cribs. The other room is dedicated to the history of the Fair Lawn Fire and Police Departments as well as memorabilia from Fair Lawn High School such as trophies, yearbooks and old films of football games.

There is plenty of parking in the front of the house and the parking lot is shared with the railroad station next door. The house is only open the third Sunday of each month and it is closed for the months of July and August.

If you want to take a glimpse of Bergen County’s past Colonial, Victorian, Motor Age or current, the Cadmus House will give you a perspective on living in Bergen County in the past into current times.

Easton Tower: Red Mill Road Route 4 & Saddle River Road, Paramus, NJ 07652

Easton Tower: Red Mill Road Route 4 & Saddle River Road, Paramus, NJ 07652

The Easton Tower

Red Mill Road

Route 4 & Saddle River Road

Paramus, NJ  07652



Open: Dawn to Dusk

Fee: Free

TripAdvisor Review:


I recently visited the Easton Tower on a beautiful sunny day and it really is a treat to see. It is located on the Saddle River Bike Path, so you can access it from the other side of the park and park on that side of the road for easy access. After seeing the tower, take a walk up and down the Saddle River Bike Path. It is really beautiful to follow the river on a nice day. It is really picturesque and a wonderful place to take pictures and enjoy nature.


This information is provided by the Bergen County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs:

The Easton Tower is a unique historic site in Bergen County, NJ. This stone and wood frame structure was built along the Saddle River in 1900 as part of a private landscaped park in the Arcola area Paramus. Surrounded by busy NJ roadways, it is now adjacent to the County’s Saddle River Bikeway.

Once used to pump water to irrigate and provide a scenic setting for the estate of Edward Easton, it is a 20 foot rectangular, stone-masonry tower topped with a wood-frame structure and a wood-shingle, gabled roof. On the side is a large wood water wheel, which is under a wood-shingle roof.  The architect Henry Ihnen designed it.

Easton Tower IV

Easton Tower

In the 18th century, this area along the Saddle River and near the heavily used Albany Post Road, was the location of many mills. Jacob Zabriskie, a Bergen County Freeholder during the Revolutionary War had leased the 80 acre mill site around 1766 and in 1771 acquired the mill that had been built in the 1740’s. Revolutionary maps identify it as “Demarest’s and Zabriskie’s Mills.” Over time it was rebuilt or expanded and in the early 1800’s painted red by its owner Albert Westerfelt. It is at this time it  acquired the “Red Mill” name often mistakenly applied to Easton Tower. By the 1800’s, the mill had fallen into disrepair and was demolished circa 1894.

In 1899, Edward D. Easton (1856-1915), bought this almost 48 acre site, which included the mill pond and dam. The area was called “Arcola”. Easton’s father, a teacher, had originally brought his young  family to this area and suggested the name for the new settlement after a town in Italy. Edward Easton was a notable figure in American technological history. He started out as a stenographer, reporter and then a court stenographer In Washington DC, covering many famous trials in the 1880’s. After the 1886 patent was granted for the method of engraving sound by incising wax cylinders, Easton went on to make his fortune in the recording industry. He was a founder and eventually president of the Columbia Phonograph Company, which became one of the three major recording companies at the turn of the twentieth century.

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The Easton Tower

After opening an office in New York City, Eaton relocated his family from Washington DC to Arcola. He had a large house built on his property and commissioned the design of a landscaped park. The tower, to be built neat the site of the old Red Mill was a functioning structure pumping water to several fountains. There were also rustic bridges, lakes and expansive lawns. The tower was a favorite of photographers and appears in many contemporary postcards. People came from miles around to this beautiful spot to take boat rides and walks and in the winter, ice skate near the tower. Sources list the Easton home and park as having been used in early silent films.

After Easton’s death in 1915, the property went through various owners. In 1931,  construction of the Route 208 connection with Route 4 at “the Old Mill at Arcola” provided access to the recently opened George Washington Bridge. This destroyed sections of the landscaped park and isolated the tower. In 1940, the 1.26 acres site was sold at a sheriff’s sale to Clyde A. Bogert. The County acquired the tower from the Bogerts and the Blauvelt-Demarest Foundation in 1956. In 1967, the Bergen County Park Commission dedicated the tower. Easton Tower was placed on the State and National Register of Historic Places and in 2008 was completely restored by the County. It can be viewed from the Saddle River Bikeway and visited year round.

Disclaimer: This information is taken from the Bergen County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs (C) 2015 pamphlet. 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.

Special Note: I visited the site recently and it is hard to get to by car. It is located right off Saddle River Road and it is off on a odd bend in the road. It is a quick turn to the right so pay attention to the directions.


The Bergen County Court House: 10 Main Street Hackensack, New Jersey 07601

The Bergen County Court House: 10 Main Street Hackensack, New Jersey 07601

The Bergen County Court House: Hackensack, New Jersey

10 Main Street

Hackensack, NJ 07601

(201) 221-0700

Open: Monday-Friday-8:30am-4:30pm

*Call about touring the facility when court is in session.

The Bergen County Justice Complex (including the Bergen County Court House) was placed on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic placed on November 22, 1982 and January 11, 1983 respectively. The Register nomination referred to the building’s significance as “important to the judicial of the Bergen County Justice Complex-the Court House, the Jail (now called the ‘Old Jail’), and the Administration Building-were the work of important architects and all possessed architectural quality and interesting examples of early 20th century technology.

Designed by James Riely Gordon, in the Beaux Art style reflecting monuments of classical Rome and Italian Renaissance, the Court House incorporated rich materials including marble and bronze. With a dome modeled on the U.S. Capital, it incorporated other art forms including painting, sculpture and stained glass. The exterior contains many sculptures including the female statue of “Enlightenment Giving Power” on the dome’s cupola. The dome’s interior is decorated with Tiffany stained glass panels. Three of the courtrooms have elaborate stained glass skylights fabricated by the famous Lamb Studios. Some of the courtrooms also contain large murals painted in the 1930’s by artists working for the Federal Art Project of the Works Project Administration.

The symbolic value of the Court House was recognized when it was built in 1910-1912. A local newspaper, The Hackensack Republican, wrote on July 7, 1910 that the courts “stand for the protection of rights, for the redressing of wrongs and for the punishment of crime. There are the great safeguards of the freedom of the people…Hence we build these courthouses as temples of justice-substantial, ornate and commodious as the appropriate form for the great duties which are here to exercised”.

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Bergen County Court House 1715-1912

First Court House 1715: The Court House was combined jail and courthouse built on the site of three blocks south of the present County Administration  Building. It was located in an area known as Quacksack, later becoming part of the southern portion of Hackensack. It was built of stone laid up by two of the freeholders, John Stagg and Ryer Ryerson.

Second Court House 1734: This Court House, built on “land near the Dutch Church by Hackensack River.” was probably on or adjacent to the Green in Hackensack and closer to the river than the site of the current courthouse. It burned in 1780 during the Revolutionary War in the British raid of Hackensack.

Third Court House 1780: The 1780 Court House was something of a temporary structure built during the Revolutionary War away from Hackensack. It was a log building with the courthouse and jail housed under one roof, erected at “The Ponds” (Present day Oakland) in northwest Bergen County.

Fourth Court House 1786: The fourth Court House was built on a site “about 100 feet east of Main Street,” Hackensack where present day Bridge Street connects with Main Street (southern side of Bridge Street) fronting on the river. It was built on land bought from Peter Zabriskie, who lived in the magnificent Mansion House which faced the Green.

Fifth Court House 1819: The Fifth Court House was a brick structure built on the site of the present courthouse on land deeded to the county by Robert Campbell, a prominent Hackensack attorney and son of Archibald Campbell, whose tavern on the west side of Main Street faced the Green. Campbell specified that the land was deeded for the use of the county. If used for any other purpose, it was to revert to Campbell’s heirs. It was torn down in January 1912 when the present courthouse building had been completed on the side behind it and to its west.

Sixth Court House 1912: The present Court House was designed by James Riely Gordon (1863-1937), a prominent architect responsible for the design of about 70 courthouses and two state capitals. The cornerstone was laid July 6, 1910 and was built by John T. Brady & Company of New York. Completed in February 1912 at the cost of $1,617,000, it was the subject of considerable investigation and lawsuits due to charges that there was overpayment of funds as well as added costs, which became the basis for political battles.

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The Bergen County Courthouse and Square

For Justice Center information: contact http://www.judiciary.state.nj.us/bergen/


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.

*Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from the Bergen County Division of Cultural & Historical Affairs pamphlet. Please refer to the website for tours and other information on visiting the site as it is a working courthouse. Please check the website and email or call before you visit.

The Washington Spring: A Bergen County Historic Site 216 Forest Avenue Paramus, NJ 07652

The Washington Spring: A Bergen County Historic Site 216 Forest Avenue Paramus, NJ 07652

The Washington Spring: A Bergen County, NJ Historic Site

Van Saun County Park

216 Forest Avenue

Paramus/River Edge, NJ 07652


Open: Please check the website for the seasonality of the park

*Located in Van Saun Park at the entrance.

My review on TripAdvisor:


The Washington Spring, a 1/2 area within Van Saun County Park, is associated with General George Washington and the movement of his Continental Army through this area of Bergen County during the Revolutionary War.

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History of the Washington Spring:

The hollow between hills known as “Slukup” until it was changed to the more pleasant-sounding “Spring Valley” in 1832. In the Dutch Frisan language “slukup” described a boggy area. The local Banta family was from Friesland in northern Holland and one of the area’s earliest settlers. Natural springs feed the streams in this area that flow through Van Saun  Pond and eventually into the Hackensack River. The park’s land was part of 300 acres owned by Albert Zabriske in 1686. In 1695, he sold 224 acres to Jacob Van Saun of New York City.

The road to Slukup, now Howland Avenue, served as the border between Jacob Van Saun’s farm to the south and son-in-law Christian Dederer’s farm to the north. Hendrick C. Banta, who owned a cider mill in the Steenrapie area (River Edge), lived west of the Mill Creek that flows through the park.

On September 4, 1780, General Washington moved the troops of the Continental army, numbering approximately 14,000 into a strategic encampment west of the Hackensack River between New Bridge in the south and Kinderkamack to the north in Steenrapie. They were part of the defense to challenge the British military stronghold on Manhattan and prevent any intervention with the landing of allied French troops in Rhode Island. Hendrick Banta reportedly sold a barrel of cider to these troops “every other day”. His 10 year old son, Cornelius, reportedly saw General Washington on his horse three times. During one of these sightings the General was watering his horse at the spring, giving rise to the name “Washington Spring”.

On September 17th, General Washington, General Knox and the Marquis de Lafayette, who was headquartered at the northern end of the encampment in the area known as “Soldier Hill” in Oradell, left for Hartford, Connecticut to meet the recently arrived French commanding officers. The rest of the Continental Army decamped on September 20th.

The Bergen County Park Commission was created in November 1946 and in 1987 because the Division of Parks. Recreation and Cultural Affairs. Van Saun Park, whose 140 acres include Washington Spring, was created in 1957. Also, within the park is the Bergen Zoological Park, that opened in 1960. Open year round during park hours and is surrounded by accessible pathways.

Washington Spring II

Explore the Pathways into the Springs


The Spring area, which is right off the parking lot leading to the zoo, is beautifully landscaped with benches, pathways and flowering plants like azaleas, rhododendrons and flowering trees. In the early spring, the look around the Spring is quite colorful and picturesque. It is a nice way to spend the afternoon, walking quietly around the paths and see where the General once watered his horse. The entrance of the Spring is under plants but becomes a stream further down. Another part of the great history of Revolutionary War and the part New Jersey played in winning the war.

*Disclaimer: this information is taken directly from the Bergen County Division of Cultural & Historic Affairs pamphlet. The Spring is part of Van Saun Park as you drive in and watch for the signs. It really is a beautifully landscaped part of the park and its historical influence in the war should not be missed. (2015 Bergen County division of Cultural and Historic Affairs.  The Bergen County Division of Cultural & Historic Affairs received an operating grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.