Tag: Historical Homes of New Jersey

Kearney House (Blackledge-Kearney House) Alpine Landing                                                Alpine, NJ 07624

Kearney House (Blackledge-Kearney House) Alpine Landing Alpine, NJ 07624

Kearney House (Blackledge-Kearney House)

Alpine Landing

Alpine, NJ  07624

(201) 768-1360 ext. 108

https://www.njpalisades.org/kearney.html

Open: Most weekends & holiday afternoons from May to October

Fee: Free

My review on TripAdvisor:

I took my first trip down to the Kearney House in Alpine, NJ and was able to walk the grounds, visit the Alpine Landing and see the amazing views of New York and of the Hudson River. This spot gives you breathtaking views upstream of the surrounding Hudson River.

The house was closed but the vegetable gardens were full of late Fall produce and the gardens could have used some weeding. I will have to wait until the house opens up again.

I recently visited the Kearny House of their Fall event “Punch & Pie at Mrs. Kearny’s Tavern”. That was an interesting night. First let me say that it is pitch black in that park. The Alpine Basin has no lights in the park and you will be in the dark the whole trip down the hill. I had a minor incident travelling down the hill so take it slow.

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The Kearny House illuminated at night

Once I was down for the event, it was interesting and fun night. Tavern musician, Thaddeus MacGregor, entertained us with all sorts of songs for the evening and there was storytelling by the gentleman who runs the historical site.

There was a candlelight tour of the house, so we got to see the second level with the upstairs bedroom, the attic area which really was drafty and the room above the new addition that is used for storage. The area was once heated by fireplaces and since the downstairs had a fire lit, the whole house was nice and warm. They had once of the original rope beds that had been tied and antique toys.

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Heating the punch

The first floor had the fireplace lit and the whole room was illuminated by candles which made the room very warm and cosy. It was interesting to see one of these homes that has no electricity and how it operates. It must have been very interesting to live at time.

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The Main Room lit by fireplace an candle light

What calmed me down after a long night was the delicious homemade pies that they served at the event. They had a strawberry rhubarb and apple that were just delicious. So flaky and filled the freshest fruit. It really cheered me up. They also had cheeses, roasted peanuts and a hot spiced cider to drink. I could have used something stiffer but it was still nice to drink and had the most wonderful flavor. Overall it was a nice night of desserts and snacks and good storytelling and the view of New York City was incredible.

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The house illuminated by candlelight

Do not venture into this park at night!

The History of the Kearney House:

(I credit this to the Kearney House pamphlet and Wiki)

The Kearney House was built in the 1760’s by the Blackledge family and was the home of Maria Blackledge, who was the daughter of Benjamin Blackledge, who lived in the home with her husband, Daniel Van Sciver.

Maria Blackledge father, Benjamin Blackledge, was an educator and public official, who taught Dutch citizens the “Kings English”. He was the first clerk of Harrington Township, NJ and served as Justice of the Peace and Judge of the County Court of Common Pleas and elected to the assembly of Bergen County, NJ. Mr. Blackledge’s wife, Caroline Tallman (Cathalyntie Tallema), was the daughter of Dowe Hermanszen Tallema and Maritie Haring, of the prominent Haring family of which Harrington, NJ was named after (Wiki).

The house was built in this location when the farmers of Closter, NJ built the Closter Dock Road through a pass in the cliffs to the Hudson River so they could deliver their goods to New York City. The house was most likely built to be a dockmaster’s house to supervise the busy river landing.

Kearney House

The Blackledge-Kearney House

The house was purchased in  1817 by James and Rachel Kearney. With them were their three children from Rachel’s first husband, Abraham Powles, who died two years earlier. James and Rachel then had five children of their own. Rachel also adopted a daughter.

Mr. Kearney died in 1831 and Mrs. Kearney used the home as a tavern. The northern part of the house was expanded in 1840 to house the tavern part of the building. Besides offering food and spirits, Mrs. Kearney’s tavern served as a meeting place for the captains and crews of the sailing vessels that arrived and departed daily from the docks here and for the local workforce of quarrymen, dock workers and tradesmen.  The upstairs room in the new addition may have been for lodgers staying at the tavern.

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The Kearney House furnishings

The Palisades Interstate Park Commission bought the house in 1907 after Rachel’s death in 1897 and in 1909 had the big porch built as a grandstand for a dedication ceremony for the new park. Through the 1920’s, the Commission used the house as a police station. The house is now open to the public on select weekends and holidays for touring and special events.

The property offers beautiful views of Yonkers, NY and the Bronx and from the Alpine Landing especially in the coming Fall, amazing views of the foliage and of the cliffs surrounding the Hudson River.

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Alpine Boat Basin by the Kearney House

Zabriskie-Quackenbush House                                             421 Franklin Avenue                                    Wyckoff, NJ 07481

Zabriskie-Quackenbush House 421 Franklin Avenue Wyckoff, NJ 07481

Zabriskie-Quackenbush House

421 Franklin Avenue

Wyckoff, NJ  07481

http://www.zabriskiehousewyckoffnj.org

https://www.wyckoff-nj.com/zabriskie-house-board-trustees

https://www.facebook.com/wyckoffzabriskiehouse

Van Voorhees-Quackenbush-Zabriskie House

Open: Please check out their website for the dates when the house is open to the public.

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46945-d10359429-Reviews-The_Zabriskie_House-Wyckoff_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

I visited the Zabriske House in May 2016 and 2019 for the Northwest Bergen History Coalition 6th Annual History Day. The house is left the way the last owner. Grace Zabriskie,  willed it to the town with all the original furnishings.

Zabriske House II

It has period furnishes, family heirlooms and antiques. The docents will take you on a tour of the house and show you where all the later additions were added and how they make up the whole house. As you walk through the house, you can see the difference in structure of the home plus how the last owner lived.

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The Zabriske House in Wyckoff, NJ

Don’t miss touring the gardens in the Spring as Mrs. Zabriskie worked with a Botanist to plant the gardens to bloom at different times. She planted it in stages so that she could entertain in them but still treated the gardens similar to the house as if you had to walk into a room. It is very nice and colorful in the Spring.

On the terrace there are people to guide you through the house and docents to take tours. The ladies had a nice reception laid out for all of the people who came to visit.

The original stone structure of the VanVoorhees-Quackenbush-Zabriskie House was built in 1730 by William Van Voorhees. It is believed to be the oldest house in Wyckoff, NJ. In 1824, William’s son, Albert, completed a major addition to the house in the classically Dutch colonial style. The original structure then became the dining room (NWBHC).

Zabriskie House IV

History of the House: (Taken from the Wyckoff History Page)

The Van Voorhees-Quackenbush-Zabriskie House has been a local landmark for over 275 years and is believed to be the oldest structure in the Town of Wyckoff, NJ. In 1720, William and John Van Voor Haze, yeoman of Bergen County, purchases 550 acres of land in what is now Wyckoff. The brothers were descended from Dutch settlers who emigrated from Holland in 1660 (Wyckoff History).

The first stone house was built circa 1730 by William. The land was cleared and the family farmed, raising table crops and staples such as grain, corn, potatoes and grapes. Over time, apple orchards and dairy farming became main occupations in the area. The Jersey Dutch were especially skilled at animal husbandry. They were considered the best farmers and gardeners in the American Colonies (Wyckoff History).

There were only about 20 families in the area in 1775, when the house served as the village store and tavern. William’s son, Albert, served in the Militia in the Revolutionary War. The original stone structure later became the dining room of the house, when a large addition was added in 1824 by William’s son, Albert when he was 86 years old. He had just one son, John, but likely expanded the house for his nine grandchildren and their wives and children. Over the years, in addition to serving as a home, the house served as a not only home, tavern and store but also as a hotel and ballroom for area parties (Wyckoff History).

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The original 1730 house has a steeply pitched roof and overhanging eaves designed to protect the building and foundation from rain. It has a two piece “Dutch” door to allow ventilation while keeping animals outside. Inside is a five foot high fireplace which originally was the sole source of heat and was used for all cooking (Wyckoff History).

The much larger 1824 structure is three stories originally tall with a sub-basement. It contains four fire places, again for heat. It has two half and four quarter moon windows and two oval windows. There are four bedroom with pegs to hand clothes on (no closets then). Its exterior demonstrates the classic Dutch Gambrel roof with an upper 23 degree roof line and then a lower 45 degrees roof line. This beautiful design was developed by the Dutch in northern New Jersey and up the Hudson River and is found nowhere else in the world. The typical Dutch front porch has two benches on either side of the entrance (Wyckoff History).

The property left the Van Voorhees family in the mid-1800’s. In 1867, it was purchased by Uriah Quackenbush. Uriah and Keziah Quackenbush had one son, John, who died as a young adult. Grace Quackenbush was his only child and was two years old when he died. She was raised in the house by her grandparents, who left the property to her when they passed on, after Grace had married John Zabriske (Wyckoff History).

During her lifetime, Grace modernized the house (including adding an indoor bathroom) and restored the appearance of the home using authentic period antique furniture and furnishings. She also created three beautiful formal gardens on the landscaped property with her friend, Mrs. Elizabeth Spencer, a botany major (Wyckoff History).

The house is considered one of the finest examples of American architecture in northern New Jersey. The current House Museum has been called one of the finest in New Jersey. In 1973, Mrs. Grace Q. Zabriske, who was the last resident, willed the house and its antique furnishings to the Township of Wyckoff, when she died that year. The “Zabriskie” house belongs to everyone in Wyckoff to enjoy (Wyckoff History).

Please check out their website for when the house is open to the public.