Tag: Bergen County Historical Society

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.

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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.

 

Campbell-Christie House, Historic New Bridge Landing: A Bergen County Historic Site 1201 Main Street River Edge, NJ 07661

Campbell-Christie House, Historic New Bridge Landing: A Bergen County Historic Site 1201 Main Street River Edge, NJ 07661

Campbell-Christie House, Historic New Bridge Landing: A Bergen County Historic Site

1201 Main Street

River Edge, NJ 07661

(201) 343-9492

A County Historic Site

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

http://bergencountyhistory.org/

Fee: Donations are accepted and there are fees for the special events

Open: Check the website above for special events and times

TripAdvisor Review:

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

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Sing We All Merrily: A Colonial Christmas at Historic New Bridge Landing

 

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.

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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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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The Van Steuben House at Christmas

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

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The Campbell-Christi House

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.

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Don’t miss their Revolutionary War Recreations in the Spring

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.

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.

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.

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 tidemill 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.

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).

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.

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.

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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.

 

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 Tappen, 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.

 

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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.

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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.

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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