Tag: Historic Homes of Bergen County

John Fell House                                               475 Franklin Turnpike                    Allendale, NJ 07401

John Fell House 475 Franklin Turnpike Allendale, NJ 07401

John Fell House

475 Franklin Turnpike

Allendale, NJ  07401

(201) 783-8754

http://www.johnfellhouse.org

http://www.johnfellhouse.org/

http://www.johnfellhouse.org/history/

http://www.johnfellhouse.org/events/

Open: For special events and for corporate events. Please check their website for details.

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g29737-d10356749-Reviews-The_John_Fell_House-Allendale_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

I visited the John Fell House in May 2016 for the Northwest Bergen History Coalition 6th Annual History Day on “Day Forty-Three” of “MywalkinManhattan.com” blog site. The house is a stately home that sits at a busy point of the Franklin Turnpike, once the main artery of this part of Bergen County.

The only problem I found about visiting the John Fell home is that it is barely furnished. Most of these homes in Bergen County have furniture or heirlooms left by the family and this house is more used for entertaining. There are displays all over the house.

 

John Fell House

The John Fell House in Allendale, NJ

The house is operated by the Concerned Citizens of Allendale and sits on 2.8 acres of land which includes the stately home, the Gothic Revival Barn, wetlands and old-growth trees. The house is across from the Celery Farm Bird Sanctuary, which was once part of the estate and is open to walkers year round (BCHS).

The historic John Fell House is named in recognition of Founding Father, John Fell, a revolutionary war patriot, who purchased the property in 1766. The house is located on the march route of Rochambeau’s army, on its way in 1781 to Yorktown, Virginia and the Seige of Yorktown that would decide the American Revolutionary War (Wiki).

John Fell House III

The inside of the Fell House

John Fell (1721-1798) was an American merchant and jurist. He was born in New York City in 1721, he was engaged in overseas trade and has acquired a small fleet of ships by the time he moved to Bergen County, NJ in the 1760’s and lived at ‘Peterfield’, a home in present day Allendale, NJ (that is now known as the ‘John Fell House’) (Wiki).

John Fell House IV

The inside of the Fell House

He served as judge of the court of common please in Bergen County from 1766 to 1774. With the coming of the American Revolutionary War, he became chairman of Bergen County’s committee of correspondence and the committee of safety. He was Bergen County’s leading delegate to the Provincial Congress of New Jersey in 1775. In 1776, Fell was elected to a one-year term in the New Jersey Legislative Council representing Bergen County.

The house is open for all sorts of special events and can be rented out. Please check out their website above for more details.

The Van Allen House/Oakland Historical Society                                                                  3 Franklin Avenue & Route 202      Oakland, NJ 07436

The Van Allen House/Oakland Historical Society 3 Franklin Avenue & Route 202 Oakland, NJ 07436

The Van Allen House

Oakland Historical Society

3 Franklin Avenue & Route 202

Oakland, NJ  07436

(201) 337-9652

Open: Seasonally; please check their website

http://www.oaklandhistoricalsociety.org

http://www.oaklandhistoricalsociety.org/

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46693-d10359401-Reviews-The_Van_Allen_House-Oakland_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

(Closed now for renovation)

I visited the Van Allen House on my first trip on the Northwest Bergen History Coalition 6th Annual History Day tour of Upper Bergen County in 2016 and in 2019. It is mentioned on ‘Day Forty-Three’ of my blog, ‘MywalkinManhattan.com’. It had been my last stop of the day. The historic home is currently closed due to renovations on the house and will open in the Fall of 2019.

Of all my stops that day, I found that the Van Allen House was in need of a renovation. From the outside, it is very quaint. On the inside, the house needed a lot of fixing up and restoration work. The upstairs had water marks all over the ceilings. The gardens also needed some serious weeding and planting.

Van Allen House IV

Van Allen House Gardens

One of the best things of the house is its gift shop. It has some of the most unusual handmade gifts that it was worth the trip out to the house. One of the members makes handmade cloth dolls for $5.00 that are just quaint and make a beautiful gift.

The Oakland Historical Society, who operates the house, was putting a lot of time and effort in the renovations of the house and their volunteers I was told would be working on the gardens. Either way, it is an interesting house to visit and it is steeped in history.

Van Allen House III

The inside of the Van Allen House

The History of the Van Allen House:

The Van Allen House was built around 1740 as the home of farmer Hendrik Van Allen. During the Revolutionary War, it served as the headquarters for George Washington on July 14, 1777. At the time, he moving his troops from Morristown, NJ to New York (Wiki).

In 1778 and 1779, Bergen County used the house as a court. Edward Day Page, a dairy farmer, businessman and Oakland’s second mayor, owned the house as well as the northern fourth of Oakland in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century (Wiki).

It was saved  from demolition by the Oakland Historical Society with aid from the Woman’s Club of Oakland. It is now maintained as a museum displaying colonial Dutch life. The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places on July 24, 1973. There were several branches of the family in the Paterson, Passaic and Bergen Counties in New Jersey (Wiki).

The Oakland Historical Society:

The mission of the Oakland Historical Society (Oakland, NJ) is to bring to life and help maintain the history of the Borough of Oakland by activating and preserving especially the Van Allen House site, with the Vygeberg Farm Office Building and by keeping a museum there showing living displays and memories of Oakland’s past. We support living displays and memories of Oakland’s past. We support the Borough’s efforts to continue and complete the renovations of both buildings with the help of the Bergen County Office of Historic Preservation (OHS).

During the year we offer opportunities fro people to visit the Van Allen House and experience local life as it was in the 18th and 19th Centuries on a farm settlement in northern New Jersey. The Lenni-Lenape Indians are known to have used the path which followed the Ramapo River Valley north and south and has now become an interstate roadway, Route 202, which goes from Maine south into Maryland and beyond. Copies of letters George Washington wrote at the House are available there during open-houses, usually the 3rd or 4th Sunday afternoon many months during the year. Please check our events page to see when the house will be open (OHS).

Van Allen House.jpg

The site also has a building from 1902, built by Edward Page, one of the industrialists who settled along Route 202 to develop agricultural for the growing cities of Northern New Jersey, such as Paterson or Newark (OHS).

Van Allen House II.jpg

The Van Allen House Marker

The Old Stone House                                    538 Island Road                                      Ramsey, NJ 07446

The Old Stone House 538 Island Road Ramsey, NJ 07446

The Old Stone House

538 Island Road

Ramsey, NJ  07446

(201) 327-2655

http://www.RamseyHistorical.org

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Old-Stone-House-Museum/448284202043523

Open: Four times a year, for special events and by special appointment only. Call for hours.

Fee: Voluntary donations

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46762-d20323524-Reviews-The_Old_Stone_House_Ramsey_Historical_Society-Ramsey_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

 

I visited ‘The Old Stone House’ during the Northwest Bergen History Coalition’s 8th Annual History Day.  This Dutch stone farmhouse is one of the oldest buildings in Ramsey, NJ. It has been known as the Westervelt-Ackerson House to the families that built it and have lived in it in the past. The house is on the State and National Registers of Historic Places.

The house sits on a bluff that overlooks the highway but at one time was a 300 acre farm. The house’s furnishings on the first floor are period to the house with some of the original doors and windows of the house. There are still many original features in the house.

The Old Stone House II

 

The Old Stone House

The first floor has a exhibit on the armed services and off to the side of the house which had once served as a antique shop to the last two owners of the house is a general store exhibition. On the second floor are two children’s displays, one of toys and the other is set up like a school. There are period furnishings and children’s playthings in both rooms. The upstairs was finished off the house in the 1920’s.

The barn off to the side of the house was moved to the property and holds a collection of period farm equipment.

The house had been used as a private home for most of its history as well as a tavern during the late 1700 to early 1800’s. In the modern age, it was used as a antique store for the last two residents.

During the holidays, there is a big Christmas ‘Sinterklaas Festival’ (Dutch Christmas) that happens in early December.

Old Stone House II.jpg

The Old Stone House Barn

The History of the house:

The house has had many owners who have put their own touches to the ownership of the house. The original part of the house was built around 1746 by the original owner of the house, Jan Westervelt. This may have been part of the land leased to Uriah and Ruloff Westervelt in 1744. The land was part of the Ramapough Tract for the Proprietors and was from Peter Fauconier, one of its original purchasers (RHS).

The Old Stone House III

The Ramapough Tract is situated between  the Ramapo Mountains and the Saddle River. It was purchased from the Indians on November 18, 1709 and it was acknowledged by the Indians at Tappan before Cornelius Harring, the Justice of the Peace. The land was passed through the Westervelt family through the early 1800’s until it was sold outside the family in 1837.

From there the house had multiple owners until it was sold to the State of New Jersey in 1955 and is now leased to the borough of Ramsey for a dollar and is maintained by the Ramsey Historical Society.

Old Stone House III.jpg

The Old Stone House

The Hopper-Goetschius Museum             363 East Saddle River Road                   Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458

The Hopper-Goetschius Museum 363 East Saddle River Road Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458

The Hopper-Goetschius Museum

363 East Saddle River Road

Upper Saddle River, NJ  07458

(201) 327-8644

Open: Please check website for seasonal openings

http://www.usrhistoricalsociety.org

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Hopper-Goetschius-House/131274536912683

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46882-d14048029-Reviews-Hopper_Goetschius_Museum-Upper_Saddle_River_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

I visited the Hopper-Goetschius House Museum during the 8th Annual Northwest Bergen History Coalition History Day. I had never been here before and it is a real treat. There are many buildings on the property to visit on top of the house and the fact that this was someone’s house into the 1980’s is pretty interesting.

Hopper House II

The best part of the tour of the house is the secret stairs in the kitchen that lead to the old second floor. This  can only accessed behind a panel that leads to a narrow set of steps. You can see it from the new second floor from the top floor.

I recently attended Holiday Celebration on December 8th, 2019 and it was a beautiful sunny day for an outside event.  It was a really nice afternoon. They had a visit with Santa at the Dutch barn which was decorated with trees surrounding him and presents and a decorated Dutch sleigh. In the schoolhouse, there were all sorts of games and talks to enjoy.

hopper-goetschius-museum-christmas.jpg

Santa in the Dutch Barn at the Hopper museum

In the outside kitchen, there were chestnuts and fresh popcorn being made that you could munch on while walking around enjoying the festivities and the smells of the cooking food were mouthwatering. The gentleman doing the cooking was doing a demonstration on how the food was cooked and the amount of time it took to make things.

hopper-goetschius-museum-christmas-ii.jpg

The outside buildings still had a bit of snow left

The inside of the house was decorated for the Victorian holidays with a nicely decorated tree in the Living Room and garland all over the place. There was a Victorian music box playing songs and a reading of “The Night Before Christmas” being read on the hour.

In the kitchen of the oldest part of the house, they served hot cider and homemade Christmas cookies of all kinds. They were also selling fresh homemade jam that one of the members made. The kitchen was decorated for the holidays as well. There was an open tour of the house and it was fun to see the upstairs decorated with all sorts of Victorian toys and dolls. The fee was a $5.00 donation and it happens every first week of December at the site.

The house is a treasure trove of period furniture and family items and on the property there is a schoolhouse, a barn, a blacksmith shop and an outhouse. During the Summer months, the house is open for special tours on the weekends and in the Fall, they have a Harvest Festival and Christmas holiday events. The house is run and operated by the Upper Saddle River Historical Society.

Hopper House III

Upper Saddle River Historical Society:

The Upper Saddle River Historical Society was organized in 1977 to collect, preserve and distribute the history of the Upper Saddle River area. The Society is also responsible for the management and restoration of the Hopper-Goetschius House Museum located at 245 Lake Street, Upper Saddle River, NJ.

Hopper House

The Historical Society has over 500 members and is host to nearly 2000 museum visitors each year. The Society holds program meetings throughout the year along with special events such as a Spring Concert, a wonderful Harvest Fair in the fall and an Old Time Holiday Open House in December, featuring mulled cider with chestnuts roasting on an open fire.

The Museum is open for tours every Sunday during July & August from 2:00pm-4:00pm or by appointment. For group or individual tours contact: Althea Gardner @ (201) 327-7807 or Kay Yeoman @(201) 327-2236.

Hopper-Goetschius House Museum Restoration Fund Drive

USR Historical Society.org

Hopper Genealogy Info. http://www.reetree.com

(Upper Saddle River Historical Society)

The Hopper-Goetschius house on the corner of Lake Street and East Saddle River Road dates back to 1739. Built by the Hopper family, it is the oldest remaining house in Upper Saddle River. We know it existed in 1739 because it was recorded in surveyor Charles Clinton’s journal and possible it is older. Rosalie Fellows Bailey in her book on pre-Revolutionary Dutch houses, says it was marked as the home of Gerrit Hoppa on a rough sheepskin map made about 1713.

The house underwent several changes in the mid 1800’s. The large central chimney with back to back fireplaces was removed. Probably, with more modern forms of heating available such as wood stoves, the fireplace seemed a bit old-fashioned and the owners took it out. Besides, they wanted to use the entrance hall as a room, so the stairway along the east wall was removed and a central staircase added where the fireplaces had once been. The dormers were added in the Victorian era.

The Hoppers farmed the land and had a lot of it by today’s standards. The property extended from the Saddle River (Lion’s Park) up the hill almost to Montvale and up the East Road to where Creative Gardens was located.

In 1814, the house became the home of the Reverend Stephen Goetschius of the Old Stone Church. It remained in the Goetschius family for a century and a half, always a place of central importance in town as Stephen Goetschius, the great-great grandson of the Reverend Stephen, served as the borough clerk for over 40 years and conducted his town business from the east room of the house.

The house was without running water until Stephen’s death in 1962. Until improvements were made at that time, Steve’s wife, Lizzie, as those before her, carried water from the well for washing, cooking and shoveled coal for heat.

In 1985, the Hopper-Goetschius house was presented to the Borough of Upper Saddle River by Clinton and Grace Carlough. Lizzie Goetschius, the last resident of the house was Clint Carlough’s aunt. The house today serves as a museum, run by the Upper Saddle River Historical Society and offers the public historically related events throughout the year.

(Upper Saddle River Historical Society)

The property also contains:

*The Privy or Outhouse that was in use at the Hopper-Goetschius House until 1962 when plumbing was installed in the house.

*The Ramsey Sayer house was moved to the grounds in 1999 to become part of the museum complex. This is the oldest existing from house in Upper Saddle River, a good example of a tenant house common on farms in this area. The Ramsey Sayer house belonged to William Ramsey, the grandfather of Kate Fisher Goetschius, mother of Steve Goetschius, who lived in the Hopper Geotschius house for many years.

*The Van Riper-Tice Barn was erected about 1800 by the Van Riper Family on their farm on West Saddle River Road (near the Cultural Center). It was later owned for many years by Harmon Tice. In 1989, it was scheduled to be demolished to make way for a development, the Historical Society dismantled it, moved it to the Museum ground and had it restored and rebuilt on its present location.

*Snake Fence: a zig-zag fence of split rails once common in this area was added in the property north of the Van Riper Tice barn. The project was completed in 2001 with the help of Will Mazzuto and the vision of John Kroner and Joanne Lombardo.

Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from the Upper Saddle River Historical Society website. Please check the site for the hours and days it is open.