Tag: New Jersey Historical Society

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




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

TripAdvisor Review:


I visited the Zabriskie 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.

The historic signage

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.

Zabriske House I

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.

I have visited the house during the Northwest Bergen History Day and I was able to take a lot of pictures of the gardens next to the house on a rather gloomy day. The gardens were in full bloom in the middle of spring and the rain added a layer of beauty to the flowers and flowering bushes that lined the paths. They did a nice job maintaining the house.

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 Van Voorhees-Quackenbush-Zabriskie House in the Fall of 2022

The original stone structure of the Van Voorhees-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).

The historic part of the house from the 1700’s

The entrance of the Zabriskie House

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 historic part of the house

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).

The historic kitchen in the original part of the house

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).

The gardens on the side of the house

The gardens in April 2023 on a gloomy day

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 pathways to the gardens to the side of the house

The lawn next to the house

The pathways next to the house

The pathway to the gardens

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 house in the Fall

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 Zabriskie (Wyckoff History).

The Zabriskie Pond across the street

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. Zabriskie, 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).

The Zabriskie Pond in the Fall of 2022

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

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





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

TripAdvisor Review:


The John Fell House in April 2023 for the Northwest Bergen Historical Coalition event

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.

I was not too sure what this was as it was at the back of the house. I thought it might be a food cellar.

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.

The backyard of 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 front room of the John Fell Houser

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 Living Room at the Fell House in the late 1800’s addition

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).

The Music Room at the Fell House

The Living Room in the new addition of the house

The history of the Strawberry industry

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).

The original part of the house from the 1700’s

The main room of the original 1700’s part of the house

The Living and Dining Room of the original house

The original fireplace in the older part of the house

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 antique dishware and tea pots in the kitchen at the John Fell House

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 New Jersey Historical Society                        52 Park Place                                                 Newark, NJ 07102

The New Jersey Historical Society 52 Park Place Newark, NJ 07102

The New Jersey Historical Society

52 Park Place

Newark, NJ  07102

Phone: (973) 596-8500

Fax: (973) 596-6957


New Jersey Historical Society

Fee: Adults $3.00/Research Library $5.00

Open: Sunday-Monday Closed/Tuesday-Saturday 10:00am-5:00pm

Library: Sunday-Monday Closed/Tuesday-Saturday 12:00pm-5:00pm


TripAdvisor Review:


I was able to visit the New Jersey Historical Society (See TripAdvisor review) after a morning at the Newark Museum. It has some interesting exhibitions right now on the Newark riots of the 60’s , the New Jersey Watershed and Louis Bamberger, the founder of Bamberger’s. It was an interesting history of a former grand department store.

The New Jersey Historical Society has changing exhibitions and lectures, talks and walking tours. It is an interesting museum dealing with the history of New Jersey.


The New Jersey Historical Society

Founded 1845

New Jersey Historical Society

The New Jersey Historical Society is the oldest private, non-profit cultural institution in the state. It was founded in 1845 as an archive, which later evolved into a research library and museum. Award-winning exhibits, education programs, publications, lectures and events for all communities in New Jersey have been our legacy over the past century.


The New Jersey Historical Society collects, preserves, teaches and interprets New Jersey history through our archives, research library and educational programs. We do so in the belief that an understanding and appreciation of historical issues, decisions and actions can inform and inspire the people of New Jersey.


To be a state of the art center for the study of New Jersey history with convenient access to all archival collections and educational programs for all ages.

New Jersey Historical Society II

New Jersey Historical Society

Current Museum Exhibitions: (January 2018)

*”Meet Me under the Bamberger’s Clock”: a celebration of the life and contribution of Louis Bamberger.

New Jersey Historical Society III

The Bamberger Exhibition

*Ebb and Flow: New Jersey and its Rivers

*Send the Word: NJ during the Great War

*Newark: Revolution to Revival

New Jersey Historical Society IV

Newark Industry

*Military Park Tours: available every Friday and Saturday at 12:00pm, May-November

Education Programs:

Our affordable educator-led programs include hands-on activities tailored to the age and development level of your students, challenging and inspiring them to grow as learners and thinkers.


Students will discover the state’s unique past through handling objects, exploring exhibits and engaging in fun, stimulating activities. Teaches will discover all the interdisciplinary connections to the Common Core State Standards for English Language Arts & Literary in History/Social Studies.


Educators and students will learn together how to analyze photographs, paintings and historical objects and interact with history in a variety of ways, including role play, observation and group participation.


Students will learn to research history and present their ideas and findings through oral presentations, writing and art.

Building and Exhibition Tours are available upon request. Call (973) 596-8500 to schedule!

Research Library:

The New Jersey Historical Society contains manuscripts, rare books, photographs, maps, broadsides, pamphlets and other materials that document the cultural and historical heritage of New Jersey from the colonial era through the 21st century. The collections form the most comprehensive privately-funded library on New Jersey’s past. The research library is open to the public by appointment and serves a diverse clientele including scholars, students, historians and genealogists.


Why become a member? In addition to individual benefits such as free admission to the research library and museum exhibits, you are helping to sustain 350 years of New Jersey history, a history we’ve been collecting and preserving since 1845. NJHS has a commitment to the people of our state to treasure our shared history; your membership helps us keep that commitment.



For research library appointment, email: library@jerseyhistory.org

For all other questions, email: contactnjhs@jerseyhistory.org

Membership Email information: doug@jerseyhistory.org (973) 596-8500 ext. 224

Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from the New Jersey Historical Society (NJHS) pamphlet. Please call the society for any information of hours and admissions in case they change. It really is a very interesting museum.

Lucy the Elephant: A National Historical Landmark                                                            9200 Atlantic Avenue                                  Margate, NJ 08402

Lucy the Elephant: A National Historical Landmark 9200 Atlantic Avenue Margate, NJ 08402

Lucy the Elephant: A National Historical Landmark

9200 Atlantic Avenue

Margate, NJ  08402

(609) 823-6473



Open: Check the website for the season as the hours change by season

Fee: $8.00 Adults/$4.00 Children/Children under 2 free

TripAdvisor Review:


I visited Lucy the Elephant in the fall of 2015 right before Christmas on a tour I was taking of Southern New Jersey and the shoreline. This unique structure was built to attract people to the shore to buy land and for development. Their were two other ‘Lucy’s’ built one of them being the former ‘Elephant Hotel’ in Coney Island that burned down in the last century.

This well preserved building has been renovated and part of the Jersey shore lore. It is well worth the visit in the off season on a nice day. I unfortunately visited on a rainy day and was not able to go to the top and still have a free pass to go whenever I want to visit again.  Still I was able to take the spiral staircase to her belly to learn the history of the structure and that is very interesting.

Lucy the Elephant

Lucy the Elephant in its full glory


I visited Lucy again recently and was finally able to visit the top of the statue, the howdah, and able to take in the view of the ocean and the surrounding area. Try to visit “Lucy” when it is a sunny day out. You will be able to take in the spectacular view.

Lucy the Elephant II.jpg

Inside of Lucy the Elephant: the history and displays

*Lucy the Elephant, born in 1881, A National Historical Landmark


Lucy was built by a real estate speculator who owned a great many parcels of open land at the Jersey shore. In order to attract visitors and potential buyer, he built Lucy as a novelty amusement. He patented his idea, ensuring that Lucy would remain a unique piece of architecture. Eventually, a popular hotel business was built around Lucy. Presidents and royalty came from around the world to stay at the neighboring Elephant Hotel and climb the stairs to Lucy’s howdah.

During her history, Lucy has survived hurricanes, ocean floods and even a fire accidentally stated by some inebriated party-goers when she served as tavern. However, by the 1960’s, it became apparent there was one disaster Lucy could not overcome-neglect. By that time, the once proud jewel of the South Jersey Isles had become an almost hopeless, condemned structure. Eventually a developer purchased Lucy’s lot and intended to build a new condominium building on the site. The beach and the ocean could stay-but the elephant had to go!

Lucy the Elephant III.jpg

Lucy the Elephant near the wrecking ball

To the rescue came the Save Lucy Committee. Within weeks, this small, concerned group of ordinary citizens had raised enough money to move the entire decaying structure two blocks away to a new site owned by the city. Thirty years and over one million dollars later, Lucy has been completely restored to her original splendor, inside and out. In 1976, Lucy was designated a National Historic Landmark by the United States Government as the oldest surviving example of a unique form of “zoomorphic” architecture. Today, she is every bit as popular and beloved as she ever was.

About our Park:

Lucy the Elephant is located along the beach in Josephine Harron Park (named for our co-founder) in Margate, NJ. Lucy is six stories high and is listed on the National Park Registry of Historical Landmarks. Our park is fenced and contained, making child supervision easy. Picnic tables are on site for eating outdoors. We also have friendly, trained volunteers and staff to assist you during your visit. On the tour, you will learn about Lucy’s unique architecture and her colorful history. You will get to climb a spiral staircase through her insides and all the way up to the howdah on her back, providing a spectacular 360 degrees view of the surrounding shore area. Kids and adults alike are sure to enjoy visiting the only elephant in the world “you can walk through and come out alive”. Lucy is also available by appointment for schools, groups and special events such as weddings or birthday parties. There are guided tours, a gift shop, free parking and all major credit cards are accepted.


Lucy the Elephant by the Margate Shore


The hours for the structure change throughout the year, so please check the website for time availability of the park and structure.

Group Tours & Information:

Lucy is available year round for groups of 10 or more by appointment. For special holiday hours and weather closings, please call or check our website.

How to get to Lucy:

It is best to check the website for your location to the structure. For detailed instructions, please visit http://www.lucythe elephant.org.

*This information was taken from the pamphlet from The Save Lucy Committee.  For more information, visit the online website at http://www.LucyTheElephant.org

*Disclaimer from author: All this information is located both on the pamphlet and on the website. Visiting Lucy is a treat and should be visited by all residents of New Jersey.