Tag: Bergen County History

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

http://www.cadmushouse.org

http://www.fairlawn.org/content/203/267/521.aspx

https://www.co.bergen.nj.us/discovering-history/cultural-historic-sites

Fee: Free to the public

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46430-d17707566-Reviews-Cadmus_House-Fair_Lawn_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

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.

Cadmus House III.jpg

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.

Cadmus House Cider Press.jpg

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.

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Gallery Bergen, West Hall Bergen Community College  400 Paramus Road  Paramus, NJ 07652

Gallery Bergen, West Hall Bergen Community College 400 Paramus Road Paramus, NJ 07652

Gallery Bergen-West Hall

Bergen Community College

400 Paramus Road

Paramus, NJ  07652

Open: Monday-Friday-10:00am-5:00pm/Closed on Saturdays and Sundays/After hours by Appointment

Free to the public

https://bergen.edu/community/gallery-bergen/

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46712-d15515383-Reviews-Gallery_Bergen_West_Hall-Paramus_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

I never realized until just recently that we have an art gallery on the Bergen Community College campus. I have been teaching here since 2013 and just found out about this little ‘gem’ that is tucked in the second floor of West Hall.

This wonderful little gallery can be accessed on the Main Campus of Bergen Community College and is open to the public for viewing. The Art students of Bergen Community College show their works in student shows and the Retailing students show their work outside the Gallery.

Gallery Bergen VIII.jpg

Gallery Curator Professor Tim Blunk

The Gallery is a reasonably sized space and viewing the Gallery Bergen takes a reasonable amount of time that is not over-whelming. It is a nice way to spend the afternoon when visiting the campus.

Gallery Bergen II

Please visit the Bergen Community College for future shows.

Gallery Bergen recently showed, “Belongings: Photographs at the Borders of Citizenship” exhibition which is showing the works of Dorothea Lange, Ansel Adams and Clem Albers (1942) and Tamara Merino (2018). This exhibition pairs two sets of photographic records, two tragic experiences of people on two sides of the US border, separated by seventy-five years in America’s cultural and political struggle over who belongs and who doesn’t (Bergen Gallery Press Release).

Gallery Bergen

A former exhibition was “Lines of Fire/Lines of Ice” . This exhibition is art being presented to get us to think of our effects on nature. The Gallery Bergen is presenting art that might help us change our views of ourselves in the world (Curator).

gallery bergen V

Curator’s Statement:

“It is 2019. Fires advance; glaciers retreat. Oceans rise; deserts spread. The Homo sapiens population grows exponentially; entire species of fish, mollusks, insects, amphibians and birds perish each day. Lines are being redrawn on the surface of the earth-lines that can be seen from space. Yes these same lines are often blurred or erased when viewed through the lens of ideology”-Tim Blunk, Curator.

See Performance Artist Jaanika Peerna perform the ‘Glacier Elegy’ similar to the one she did at opening night.

 

The Gallery is curated by Professor Tim Blunk, Director Gallery Bergen.

In April 2019, the Student Art Show is going on in the Gallery. This was where students were showing off their end of the semester projects.

Gallery Bergen VI

Student Show at Gallery Bergen

A former show by Hackensack-based artist Lauren Bettini, whose exhibition “On the Mend” was an exploration of the female body, displaying themes of “Women’s work” through accounts of women who bear scars, both physically and emotionally. This unique installation utilizes the entirely of the gallery, literally tying together embroidery of surgical procedures are “mended” through the appearance of the physical act of sewing. The exhibition is a platform to celebrate the beauty of their altered bodies while women stand strong together to share their stories.

Lauren Bettini

Artist Lauren Bettini

It is an interesting take on what we endure in life and how we sometimes hide it from society.

Lauren Bettini II

“On the Mend” Exhibition Summer 2019

The mounted three-dimensional castings of woman’s hands are used to symbolize a movement of women joining together, sharing their stories and helping each other heal. This platform to honor women who have survived medical surgeries, celebrates the beauty of their altered bodies and pays homage to centuries of women who have created are in the form of sewing and embroidering (Gallery Bergen Promotional packet).

The recent ‘NJSeoul: New Art from the Korean Diaspora’ that  opened for the Fall of 2019. The show was a combination of paintings, pictures and visual art from five different Korean artists. The show also features video art and interesting short films.

Gallery Bergen VII.jpg

New show from September 12th-October 31st 2019

Some information of the Exhibition on Studio Bergen

 

The exhibition that opened for the Fall semester 2019 is the ‘(Pro) Found Objects’, the Bergen Community College Faculty Exhibition. The exhibition features works from 19 different Professor/Artists whose work includes statuary, photos, paintings, video art and clothing construction.

The opening night on November 14th 2019 featured a performance by the Music Department and a performance by the head of the Drama Department from the upcoming show “I do, I do”. Then everyone had time to look over the art before a light reception at the end of the evening.

 

The James Rose Center 506 East Ridgewood Avenue  Ridgewood, NJ 07450

The James Rose Center 506 East Ridgewood Avenue Ridgewood, NJ 07450

The James Rose Center

506 East Ridgewood Avenue

Ridgewood, NJ  07450

Phone: (201) 446-6017

Email: http://www.jamesrosecenter.org

Fee: Adults $8.00/Children $5.00

Open: Tuesday-Sunday-10:00am-4:00pm/Closed Mondays

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46772-d15190166-Reviews-James_Rose_Center-Ridgewood_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

Originally designed as his own home, today the James Rose Center serves as the headquarters of a non-profit educational foundation, the mission of which is to improve the environment through research, education, preservation and design.

I recently toured the James Rose House with members of the Ridgewood Historical Museum. We had a lecture on the house and James Rose’s work in the industry as an architect and the other projects he had worked on over the years before his death in 1991.

The lecture was followed by a tour of the house with the group and then a small lecture and tour with the guide. We got to see the whole house, what he was trying to achieve in the design and the renovation work on the house as it is in pretty bad shape. The materials that were used to build the house were not the best quality and have rotted over the years. There is a lot of restoration work on the house that is needed.

We were able to walk all around the house and what struck me was the use of nature in the design of the house. He used the trees and brook on the property to achieve the aesthetic of the design of the house but over the years it has been used against it as the trees have either grown too big around the house or have died, in which one did and caused thousands of dollars of damage on the house. Still, it was an interesting tour of how the house was used as a studio and a family home for him, his mother and unmarried sister.

History:

James Rose (1913-1991) was a maverick landscape architect whose rebellious nature caused one writer to refer him as the “James Dean of Landscape Architecture.” Here Rose created a unique work of art fusing modern sculpture, architecture and landscape into a single unified place for living.

(Information from the Center’s pamphlet)

For its unique modern sparial language, its expression of an alternative approach to conventional post war suburban residential development and as the constantly changing laboratory of one of landscape architecture’s most inventive minds, the Ridgewood home of James Rose is one of the twentieth century’s most important landscapes.

The Vision:

Rose began  the design while in Okinawa during World War II with a model he made from scrapes found in construction battalion headquarters. “I wanted the spaces flowing easily from one to another, divided for privacy and for convenience.” Rose wrote in 1943. “I wanted the arrangement flexible and varied. Most of all, I wanted all this integrated with the site in a design that seemed to grow, to mature and to review itself as all living things do.”

The Reality:

Constructed in 1953, Rose described his home as a “tiny village” build on an area half the size of a tennis court. It was a composite of three buildings-a main house for his mother, a guesthouse for his sister and a studio for himself. This experimental landscape achieves a fusion of indoors and outdoors perhaps unequaled by other leading designers of this time. Rose later described it as “neither landscape nor architecture, but both; neither indoors, nor outdoors but both.”

The Metamorphosis:

It was conceived to accommodate rapid twentieth century charge. “I decided to go at the construction as you might a painting or sculpture.” Rose wrote. “I set the basic armature of walls and roofs and open spaces to establish their relationships but left it free in detail to allow for improvisation. In that way it would never be “finished,” but constantly evolving from one stage to the next-ametamorphosis,” Rose wrote, “such as we find commonly in nature.”

Consistent with this, the design changed dramatically during the almost forty years Rose lived here. From 1961, when Rose was invited by the Japanese government to participate in a World Design Conference (WoDeCo), he founded a mirror to his modern American design sensibility in the ancient culture of Japan. In changes such as the addition of the roof garden and zendo in the early 1970’s a fusion of ancient East and modern West is effected as Rose compares the filigrees of plant forms to the filigrees of structure. “In the bare architectured outline is a pattern of organic (rather than cosmetic) decoration and an inter division of space.”

The Reincarnation:

Unfortunately in the eighties this remarkable design, built to accommodate rapid growth went into rapid disrepair. Neglect, fire and water damage threatened complete destruction until a foundation was established by Rose, Dean Cardasis and a few of Rose’s close friends was formed just before Rose’s death in 1991. In 1993 the rehabilitation of this important property began and continues to this day. The site serves students, scholars and the general public in its new life as the James Rose Center for Landscape Architectural Research and Design.

The rehabilitation reversed rampant deterioration of the previous decade. Support systems were revamped.  Fire damage was repaired. The leaking roof was rebuilt and Rose’s roof garden was reconstructed. Salvageable wood was reconditioned and woven with new lumber. Garden pools were rebuilt and important planting edges re-established. Murals and other original artwork were reconditioned. Through the center’s ongoing efforts, Rose’s enduring creation has entered a new stage of its metamorphosis from which it will continue to evolve. But it remains consistent with its origins as a important modern work and serves the same larger purpose it always had for Rose to pose for us elemental questions about the nature of design. “Change is the essence,” Rose observed. “To reveal what is always there is the trick. The metamorphosis is seen minute by minute, season by season, year by year. Through this looking glass, ‘finish’ is another word for death.”

(Ridgewood-James Rose Center History)

James Rose, landscape theorist, author and practitioner

Along with Garrett Eckbo and Dan Kiley, James C. Rose was one of the leaders of the modern movement in American landscape architecture. Rose was only five years old when his father died and with his mother and older sister, moved to New York City from rural Pennsylvania. He never graduated from high school (because he refused to take music and mechanical drafting) but nevertheless managed to enroll in architecture courses at Cornell University. A few years later he transferred as a special student to Harvard University to study landscape architecture. He was soon expelled from Harvard in 1937 for refusing to design landscapes in the Beaux Arts manner.

The design experiments for which he was expelled served as a basis for a series of provocative articles expounding modernism in landscape design, published in 1938 and 1939 in Pencil Points magazine (now Progressive Architecture). Subsequently Rose authored many other articles, including a series with Eckbo and Kiley as well as four books which advance both the theory and practice of landscape architecture in the twentieth century.

Rose was employed briefly in New York City in 1941 as a landscape architecture by Tuttle, Seelye, Place and Raymond where he worked on the design of a staging area to house thirty thousand men to Camp Kilmer, New Jersey. For a short time, Rose had a sizable practice of his own in New York City but he quickly decided that large-scale public and corporate work would impose too many restrictions on his creative freedom and devoted most of his post WWII career to the design of private gardens.

Fusion of indoor and outdoor space:

In 1953, he began building one of his most significant designs, the Rose residence in Ridgewood, New Jersey. Rose conceived of the design while stationed in Okinawa, Japan in 1943. He made the first model from scraps found in construction battalion headquarters. After construction, the design was published in the December 1954 issue of Progressive Architecture, juxtaposed to the design for a traditional Japanese house built in the garden of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City; the article cites Rose’s design for its spatial discipline. The design clearly expresses Rose’s idea of fusion between indoor and outdoor space as well as his notion that modern environmental design must be flexible between indoor and outdoor space as well as his notion that modern environmental design must be flexible to allow for changes in the environment as well as in the  in the lives of its users.

Practice based on improvisation:

From 1953 until his death, Rose based an active professional practice in his home. Like Thomas Church and many others. Rose practiced a form of design/build because it gave him control over the finished work and allowed him to spontaneously improvise with the sites of his gardens. As a result of this, most examples also exist in Connecticut, Florida, Maryland, California and abroad.

Establishment of a landscape research and design study center:

James C. Rose was one of the most colorful figures in twentieth century landscape design. While skeptical of most institutions during his lifetime he served as guest lecturer and visiting critic at numerous landscape architecture and architecture schools. Before he died he set in motion an idea which had been in his mind for forty years; the establishment of a landscape research and design study center and created a foundation to support the transformation of his Ridgewood residence for this purpose. Rose died in his home in 1991 of cancer.

(James Rose Foundation-James Rose Center)

 

Westwood Heritage Society Museum Westwood Train Station Broadway and Westwood Avenue  Westwood, NJ 07675

Westwood Heritage Society Museum Westwood Train Station Broadway and Westwood Avenue Westwood, NJ 07675

Westwood Heritage Society Museum
Westwood Train Station
Broadway & Westwood Avenue
Westwood, NJ 07675
(201) 666-9682
http://www.westwoodheritage.org

Hours: The Second Saturday of every month; 10:00am-2:00 pm

Admission: Free

TripAdvisor Review:

I had visited the Westwood Heritage Society Museum during its one day opening in the month and no one was there to greet me. It seems that they closed at noon. I was able to walk around the train station’s main room and look around at all the old pictures of town, its history and the interesting facts of how the town grew.

Many prestigious families of Bergen County, NJ have helped shape the town including members of the Demerest, Blauvelt, Wortendyke and Haring families. These early members of Bergen County Society have left there mark on the politics and construction of the current town.

There are displays of family life in town, life on the railroads, the history of how the railroad came to town, the growth of the town, residents of the town and a display on railroad conductor, Mr. Blauvelt himself. There are many sets of pictures in the display cases and there is an on-going slide show of pictures on the main wall of the terminal showing the past and present of the town.

If you like the history of railroads into the new suburbs or are from Westwood and are interested in its history, this museum is worth coming to for the afternoon. The main building of the train station is always open during business hours, so you will have plenty of time to look at all the displays. If you get there on the second Saturday of the month, you might get to talk with a member of the Heritage Society. It only takes about an hour to see all the displays.

History:

The Westwood Museum, which is housed in the Westwood Train Station building, was established and held its ‘Grand Opening’ on Memorial Day of 2002. The Museum serves as an exhibit gallery for the numerous artifacts of Westwood’s past and records of its history that have been acquired or complied by the Society.

Waldwick Signal Tower 1 Bohnert Place Waldwick, NJ 07463

Waldwick Signal Tower 1 Bohnert Place Waldwick, NJ 07463

Waldwick Signal Tower

1 Bohnert Place

Waldwick, NJ  07463

http://www.wctower@optimum.net

Open: Please note the website for when the two buildings, the tower and the railroad station museum are open.

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46892-d10366154-Reviews-Erie_Railroad_Signal_Tower-Waldwick_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

This was the second time I visited the Waldwick Signal Tower, one of the last surviving of its kind on the railroad line. The architectural Queen Anne Style depot was built in 1886. The depot was called ‘Waldwick’ meaning “Light in the Woods”. The railroad signal tower was erected in 1890 in a similar style as the depot (Waldwick Historical Society).

The tower is a two story museum right next to the tracks in a rather obscure location in the back which you have to reach coming off Hopper Road to 1 Bohnert Place and the parking lot is off to the side.

There is some walking here and not ADA accessible as the building was built so long ago but you can see it from a car from the parking lot and get a feel for its look and purpose at an earlier time in history. The main room downstairs had an interesting exhibition of railroad deeds from the various railroads that used to be part of the system of Bergen County whereas the upstairs which can be reached from the outside.

Upstairs you get a better view of the tracks and the surrounding area. There was a train video going the first time I was there and there are members of the Waldwick Historical Society on hand to answer any questions.

Waldwick Signal Tower History:

Waldwick’s Train Signal Tower is both historically and architecturally significant. It is a rare historical treasure for its residents and railroad enthusiasts from far and wide. Before the turn of the 20th Century, the Waldwick rail yard was an active repair depot and turn station for the Erie Main Line from Jersey City, NJ to Port Jervis, NY and was a major employer in Waldwick thus  contributing  to the borough’s residential and commercial growth.

The ornate Queen Anne style building was built in 1890 and housed the mechanism connecting switches and signals allowing trains to safely move from one track to another. The tower men who operated the switches by hand had great power indeed in their time.

By the mid-1980’s, upgrades in computerized signal equipment warranted the elimination of the tower. The tower was slated for demolition in June 1987. The Waldwick Historical Society members led by Kay Williams campaigned to place the tower on The National Registry of Historical Places. This accomplishment allowed the tower to at least stay dormant till the next wave of enthusiasts came along in 1999.

Michael Brunkhorst and Glenn Corbet banded together a group of citizens to form the All Aboard committee of Waldwick’s Historical Society. Curtis Springfield of Wanaque, who is the great-grandson of the renowned locomotive engineer, Harvey Springfield, got wind of the tower’s trials. He stepped up to the plate and purchased the tower for $6,000 then gave the Tower to the Borough of Waldwick as a gift to preserve for future generations in honor of the trainman’s family name.

The small All Aboard group set out to create awareness of the tower’s existence and it’s plight. Before long, fund drives were organized grant applications were filed. The response of a number of supporters including Mr. Robert Keeble, have given this project a solid start.

Meticulous measures are currently being made and can now be witnessed at the track end of Bohnert Place, to maintain the tower’s historical authenticity. Attention is being given to the placement of exact shaped decorative shingles and the repair and replacement of the original slate roof are among the initial stages of it’s restoration.

The Mission Statement:

The All Aboard continues seeking membership and financial support to complete the tower with the vision of becoming “The Harvey Springfield Memorial Tower at Waldwick” for generations of Waldwick citizens and for rail enthusiasts everywhere. If funding continues the tower is sure to be the pride of Waldwick with time and care.

This information comes from the Waldwick Historical Society’s pamphlet.

All Aboard Waldwick

Bless this tower, standing tall,

With Memories we share with all;

Bless the levers standing there,

Their work now finished,

with a prayer;

Bless this time in history now,

Remembering its always, this we vow;

Bless the ones who share this song,

And keep us all in health and strong.

Words by Helen Taylor.

A Brief History of the Borough of Waldwick

Pre-1700: Lenni-Lepane Indians inhabited the land.

1600’s: European farmers settled the land.

Late 1700’s: Franklin Turnpike is a toll road.

1840’s: The railroad connecting Jersey City with Suffern is built and ran through Waldwick, then named New Prospect.

1852: Erie Railroad Company takes over the railroad.

1880: New Prospect becomes a depot.

1886: An architectural Queen Anne Style depot is built. The Depot is called ‘Waldwick’ meaning “Light in the Woods”. The depot brings more commerce to the area also called ‘Orville Township’.

1890: The Railroad Signal Tower is erected in a similar style as the Depot.

1919: The small railroad hamlet is incorporated as the Borough of Waldwick.

Disclaimer: This information is taken directly from the Waldwick Historical Society pamphlet and I give them full credit for the information. Try to take time to see both  the tower and the museum by the train station. The Whistle Stop Restaurant is around the corner and has a reputation for excellent sandwiches and ice cream.

Carlstadt Historical Firehouse Museum Division Avenue & Sixth Street Carlstadt, NJ 07072

Carlstadt Historical Firehouse Museum Division Avenue & Sixth Street Carlstadt, NJ 07072

Carlstadt Historical Firehouse Museum

Division Avenue & Sixth Street

Carlstadt, NJ  07072

(201) 933-1070

http://www.carlstadt.nj.us/historical.html

Open: The last Sunday of every month from 2:00pm-4:00pm.

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46344-d13910563-Reviews-Carlstadt_Historical_Society_Museum-Carlstadt_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

The Carlstadt Historical Firehouse Museum is run by the Carlstadt Historical Society houses a remarkable collection that includes archival photographs, written documents, new articles, clothing and other items that bring the borough’s colorful history to life. You can find everything from 1930’s era school pennants to early 20th Century fife and drum corp uniforms to a vintage breathalyzer used by the police department.

Carlstadt Fire Museum

The museum is the old firehouse

The first floor of the museum is dedicated to the War effort with memorabilia from residents who fought in WWI and WWII, articles from both the Carlstadt Police and Fire Department, pieces of artwork from buildings around the town and mementos from residents of the town. The second floor is dedicated to the school district with pennants from school graduations and parties (Carlstadt is home to the oldest continuing school picnic in the county), pictures of classes of the schools (I even found my aunt and uncles pictures from when they attended school here) and high school yearbooks.

If you are an alumnus of the school system, you will get a kick out of the second floor of the museum. Not only does it have the school archives but lots of pictures that were donated by alumni of the schools of their experiences. Years of school pennants line the ceiling.

The museum can be seen in one afternoon but you will spend more time just looking at all the pictures and getting lost in the experience. Don’t miss the displays from the Carlstadt Fire and Police Departments.

Carlstadt Fire Museum II.jpg

Carlstadt Fire Department history

Disclaimer: Some of the information was taken from the Bergen County Historical Society and some from my recent to the museum. The museum is open only on the 4th Sunday of each month and by appointment only so you need to plan accordingly.

The Wortendyke Barn 13 Pascack Road, Park Ridge, NJ 07656

The Wortendyke Barn 13 Pascack Road, Park Ridge, NJ 07656

The Wortendyke Barn

13 Pascack Road

Park Ridge, NJ  07656

(201) 930-0124 (in season)

(201) 336-7267

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

Open: Seasonal April-October

Fee: Free

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46713-d12591229-Reviews-Wortendyke_Barn_Museum-Park_Ridge_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

The Wortendyke Barn Museum, a National Register landmark, is all that remains of the original Wortendyke family farm. The barn, built circa 1770, is an outstanding example of the vernacular architecture referred to as a “New World Dutch Barn”, which could be found throughout 18th and 19th century Bergen County. Most were built between 1624 and 1820 wherever Dutch farmers settled along the Hudson, Hackensack, Passaic, Raritan and Mohawk rivers. Today there are probably fewer than 100 of these barns left in various states of use and repair.

It was completely made of local wood, down to the nails called trunnels. Massive anchor beams support by posts creating an H-Frame, support the entire structure. These beams in turn support the ‘pulin’ plates, which support the roof. These barns were wider than long with steep, sloping roofs and low sidewalls, which created large storage areas. Farmers were able to store a variety of crops, keep many animals in the side bays and store hay in the large, roomy lofts. Because they were raised off the ground on a sill, the wood plan floors could last for decades. Large entrances on both gable ends allowed for the efficient unloading of wagons.

The Wortendyke Barn’s Museum exhibits include handmade 18th and 19th Century farm implements and tools and the history of the Wortendyke family farm and exhibits showing the agricultural history of Bergen County from the first settlers through the 20th century. The Wortendyke family settled in northern New Jersey in 1735 and maintained the land as a working family farm for over 115 years. After 1851, the land was sold several items but the barn continued to be used for its original purpose until well into the 20th century.

At the time the barn was built, most of the families living in the Hackensack Valley were independent farmers some owning hundreds of acres of fertile farmland. People of Dutch ancestry were numerous in Bergen County, speaking Dutch in their homes and churches. The Wortendyke family settled in this area in 1735, when Fredrick Wortendyke Senior moved from Tappan, NY and purchased 465 acres in present day Woodcliff Lake and Park Ridge. The family home, a sandstone house originally built around 1750, still stand directly across the street from the barn.

From 1735 to 1851, from before the French and Indian War until nine years before the start of the Civil War, when the farm was sold, the land was maintained by the Wortendyke family as a working farm. After 1851, the land was sold several times. From 1960 until the middle of the 1980’s, the Pascack Historical Society displayed some of their collections in the barn showing it on occasion. After restoration was completed in 1997, Bergen County opened the barn as an accessible museum and County Historic site.

The site now contains the barn and landscaped property that surrounds it. The old family homestead is now a private home but you can still see it from across the street. Many of the Wortendyke family are buried in the Dutch Reformed Church up the road, so take some time to visit the cemetery  when you are in the area. The whole area is just beautiful this time of the year with all the trees and flowers in bloom and the woody areas close by. The Pascack Historical Society is also right up the road so plan your day wisely.

During the Summer and early Fall months, they have a nice array of outdoor concerts on the lawn outside the barn. These usually take place on the last Sunday of the Month so please check the County of Bergen Website for details.

Also visit the Reformed Church up the road and the family homestead across the street while visiting the barn. You will see more of the family history in the homestead and in the family cemetery at the Church.

The Bergen County Division of Cultural and Historical Affairs publication is funded by a general operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a Division of the Department of State.

*Disclaimer: This information about the Wortendyke Barn Museum was taken directly from the Bergen County Division of Cultural and Historical Affairs pamphlet. The barn is a beautiful example of Dutch architecture and really should be visited in the Spring and Fall for the areas true beauty shines. Please call the above number and ask about extended hours, programming and accessibility for the disabled.-