Tag: Exploring Park Ridge NJ

Pascack Historical Society Museum (John C. Storms Museum)                                                    19 Ridge Avenue                                                   Park Ridge, NJ 07656

Pascack Historical Society Museum (John C. Storms Museum) 19 Ridge Avenue Park Ridge, NJ 07656

The Pascack Historical Society Museum (John C. Storms Museum)

19 Ridge Avenue

Park Ridge, NJ  07656

Phone: (201) 573-0307

Open on Wednesdays !0:00am-12:00pm and Sundays from 1:00pm-4:00pm; Admission is Free. Gift Shop hours are when the museum is open. (Holiday Excepted).



TripAdvisor Review:


The Historical Society is now celebrating their 75th Anniversary.

Pascack Historical Society IV

The Pascack Historical Society Museum (John C. Storms Museum), headquarters of the award-winning Pascack Historical Society, is located in the 1873 church building that was dedicated by the Reverend Henry Ward Beecher. The building and all the exhibitions have gone through an extensive renovation and have been reinstalled with more signage and information. Please check out their new displays.

Pascack Historical Society

The Pascack Historical Society in Park Ridge, NJ

The extensive exhibits include a general store, colonial kitchen, a Victorian Living Room, dolls, clothing and other displays of American life in the Pascack Valley. There is also an special exhibition that features the world’s only wampum drilling machine as well as a collection of early Colonial currency.

Pascack Historical Society II

The Wampum Machine one of the few in existence

The General Store exhibition features many types of early Colonial artifacts that include weights and measures, food items found in an early grocery store, turn of the last century bottles and many types of appliances for cooking. Several treasures are tucked here and there to create the mood of shopping in the last century.

The Toy Collection is extensive and covers several time periods. They have a interesting collection of dolls over the ages that include cloth and china dolls that would cater to children from different economic status. There are also games, wooden and metal pull toys and hobby toys such as marbles and jacks.

Their early Colonial Financial exhibits include an early wampum machine that the tour guide had said that it was the only one of its kind that made a type of rolled wampum from the inner section of a conch shell. Early New Jersey currency is well represented in the collection with several types of dollar bills at a time when states printed their own currency for its citizens. Really take a look at the early detail  work of these bills.

The Early Dutch Farmhouse Kitchen & Dining Room features one of the first beds that has no mattress but constructed by a series of ropes that are tightened. The tour guide explained that this might be where the expression “Sleep tight and don’t let the bed bugs bite” might have come from as the ropes needed to be tightened each evening before the family went to bed. The exhibit also had early furniture hatches, chamber pots, a butter churner, various chairs that were manufactured in the area and several detailed decorative pieces.

Pascack Historical Society

The Early Dutch Kitchen and Living Space

The Victorian Living Room features many plush pieces of furniture, decorative knick-knacks that used to dominate the décor and a graceful piano with mother of pearl keys and decorative carved sides. This model was one of maybe a hundred made for a very elite client. The display also featured one of the early record players that still works.

Off to the side, there is an early sleigh and horse display, an exhibit of typewriters and carbon paper as I found out the area was once the leading manufacturer for carbon paper and a complete workshop with tools from all eras. The workshop is a very detailed in its artifacts with early saws, hammers and items that even I could not figure out what they were.

In the main room, there are more cases of toys, Revolutionary items and Native American artifacts to explore.

A small gift shop is off to the side selling items donated by members.

Become a Friend: From the Friends of the Pascack Historical Society Museum pamphlet:

Pascack Historical Society III

The Pascack Historical Society Sign

Pascack Historical Society Information and History:

(From their pamphet):

Membership Benefits:

Become a member of the Pascack Historical Society, a 501C3 organization. Dues are modest and membership has its privileges!

  1. One year of free admission to the museum and most of its activities.
  2. A one year subscription to the Society’s award-winning quarterly newsletter, RELICS.
  3. 10% discount on museum gift shop items (Sale items and new books excluded).
  4. 50% discounts on programs for children and adults.
  5. You will receive Members Only advance notice mailings and emails about upcoming events and activities.
  6. Members only “behind the scenes tours” of the museum. (By Appointment Only).
  7. You will have the satisfaction of knowing you have joined the ranks of the area’s most passionate historical preservationists, who have a commitment to educate and enrich their neighbors’ lives-young and old.

Membership Opportunities:

Preserving and disseminating local history is a labor of love when you become a PHS member. It is a partnership between you and your fellow members. We encourage you to think about volunteering at some level at the museum or its events. Check out the volunteer opportunities below and give us a call if you would like to participate  in any of them.

  1.  Docent: Act as a guide when people visit the museum. A simple one-day training session is all it takes.
  2. Researcher: Do you like to wander through books and archives searching for answers to questions?
  3. Archivists: Preserve and catalog the history of the Pascack Valley.
  4. Educators: Work with youngsters and licensed teachers at Society events.
  5. Tech Savvy: Volunteer your time to help with our website or graphic design.
  6. Handy Helpers: Do you like to repair things? Can you sew, do carpentry? This might be for you.

*Disclaimer: Information on Volunteer and Membership opportunities are take directly from the Pascack Historical Society Museum pamphlet. Most of the descriptions of the displays is what I was able to see in my short time visiting. The museum has a treasure trove of items to look at in detail.

The Reformed Dutch Church with its Colonial cemetery and the Wortendyke Barn are right down the road so take a few hours to explore the area. The members of the Wortendyke family are buried in the church’s cemetery.

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



Open: Seasonal April-October

Fee: Free (concerts are free)


TripAdvisor Review:



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.

Wortendyke Dutch Barn III

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.

Wortendyke Dutch Barn II

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.

Wortendyke Dutch Barn

The Wortendyke Barn in the Fall

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.-