Tag: NJ Historic Homes

The Greater Cape May Historical Society 6531/2 Washington Street Cape May, NJ 08204

The Greater Cape May Historical Society 6531/2 Washington Street Cape May, NJ 08204

The Greater Cape May Historical Society

6531/2 Washington Street

Cape May, NJ  08204

(609) 884-9100

http://www.capemayhistory.org/

http://www.capemayhistory.org/about-us.html

Open: Colonial House Museum hours:

Wednesday-Saturday, 1:00pm-4:00pm June 15th-September 15th

Open during Victorian Weekend in October. Special exhibits at Halloween and Christmas.

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46341-d286395-Reviews-The_Colonial_House-Cape_May_Cape_May_County_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

What an interesting visit I had to the Cape May Historical Society’s Memucan Hughes Colonial House. This tiny museum is only open between June 15th-September 15th and after that only for special events. It is an fascinating little home that was built somewhere between 1730 to 1760. The original house no one is too sure if it had been built for the original owner or had been there and added on to as the records for the age of the house are unclear.

The home consists of two small downstairs room filled with period furniture and decorations and there is an upstairs with three small rooms that is closed to the public. The front room Mr. Hughes used as a tavern that he kept open until almost the 1800’s. He had catered to a growing whaling industry that needed some form of entertainment in this quiet town that was isolated from the rest of the state.

The front of the house is decorated as tavern to greet guests. There were tables filled with games and items that would have catered to the trade but still you knew you were in someone’s home. There are vintage card tables, board games and some household items.

Cape May Historical Society II.jpg

The Cape May Historical Society

The back room is a closed off kitchen with a fireplace and spinning wheels and wash tubs, all the things to run a household. There were also children’s toys, kitchen and garden gadgets and family items to personalize the house. The Hughes family lived in the house until the Victorian age and then they built the house on the front of the property and moved the smaller house to the back of the grounds. The house had been moved three times since its original location on the main road a few blocks away.

The tour itself is only about a half hour long and the guides do a nice job explaining the history of the house. On the gloomy day I visited, the museum was very busy with people visiting the house and with its connection to colonial history and the popularity of the musical, “Hamilton”, it is making it a popular destination when visiting Cape May.

 

History of the Museum:

The mission of the Greater Cape May Historical Society is to collect, preserve, document, interpret and share the history of Greater Cape May and to enhance the appreciation of that history through the Society’s historic site, The Colonial House Museum, collections, research, exhibitions, educational programs and publications.

All are invited to visit the Colonial House Museum, a 1700’s era house. The house was moved to its present site next to City Hall when the Hughes Family built the grand Victorian that is now a Bed & Breakfast. Come visit us and see the House as it was with a Tavern Room and a Common Room when it was owned by Memucan Hughes. On display are period furnishings and other period household items.

The Society presents an annual exhibit dedicated to an unique chapter of Greater Cape May History along with special events for Halloween and Christmas.

Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from the Greater Cape May Historical Society’s pamphlet and I give them full credit for it. Please call the above number for more information and selected openings.

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Hamilton-Van Wagoner House Museum  971 Valley Road  Clifton, NJ 07013

Hamilton-Van Wagoner House Museum 971 Valley Road Clifton, NJ 07013

Hamilton-Van Wagoner House Museum

971 Valley Road

Clifton, NJ  07013

(973) 744-5707

https://www.cliftonnj.org/256/Hamilton-House-Museum

Open: Sunday 9:00am-5:00pm/Monday & Tuesday Closed/Wednesday-Saturday 9:00am-5:00pm

Fee: Suggested Donation $5.00

 

I visited the Hamilton House Museum this afternoon which is right down the road from Montclair State College and sits at the border of the Clifton-Montclair border. The interesting part of the house location is that it still sits the farm land of the Van Wagoner Family but the house was moved from its location to the current one because of the building of Route 46 in 1973.

When talking with curator, the house is going through a transition from the City of Clifton ownership to the County of Passaic Historical Society’s site. They are currently cataloging every piece in the house and putting it online. They want to view the collection to see what they can work with within the home.

Each room represents a different time in the history of the house. There is a living room from the Victorian age, the kitchen is from the late 1700’s to the early 1800’s and the dining room is from the mid-1800’s. These rooms are furnished to represent a certain time in the house.

There will be many revisions in the future for the house so there are some changes on the way. The upstairs is currently being used for storage and there will be revision there as well. I got a quick tour of the rooms with the curator and he said there will be more changes in the future as they catalog each piece. The grounds are currently being replanted.

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The Hamilton House Museum sits at the Clifton and Montclair border

The house is one of the last examples of early 19th century stone houses in Passaic County. The house was built in 1817 by John and Ann Vreeland and then passed to the Van Wagoner family. It changed hands a few times until 1856 when the Hamilton Family bought the house (no relationship to Alexander Hamilton). The house remained in the Hamilton Family until 1972 when the last living relative died and no one in the family wanted possession of the house (Tour Guide & Wiki). That’s when the City of Clifton bought the house from the family of its historic value. The house was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 13th, 1982 (Wiki).

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The outside grounds of The Hamilton House Museum

History of the Hamilton House:

(taken from the City of Clifton website)

This 18th Century Dutch gambrel-roofed homestead was once the home of the Van Wagoner and Hamilton families. This basic of the house does not greatly differ from its Dutch antecedents.

The sturdy one and one half story cut sandstone structure, flanked by a grainery, spring-house and gardens reflects almost two hundred years of American history. It brings back memories of an uncluttered horizon with farms, orchards, fresh brooks, forest full of game and filled with scent of wildflowers.

Hamilton House & the Clifton Community:

Although the City of Clifton was incorporated in 1917, a community had existed since 1679. Prior to 1917, the area was known as Acquackanonk Township and included parts of : Little Falls, Passaic, Paterson and West Paterson.

The Indian Chief Captahem deeded 11,000 acres to the early Dutch settlers on the shores of the Passaic River. Predominately rural, this sparsely populated village thrived and grew.

The farmhouse was presented to the City of Clifton by the developers of the late Henry Hamilton. The Hamilton family had bought the 96 acre property in 1856 and for over 100 years until the death of Mr. Hamilton in 1970, it had been the family home.

Current Location and Future Plans:

The house was moved to its present location in Surgent Park in 1973. Infinite plans have been taken with examination and documentation of the building’s structural elements. Extensive research has been conducted including the records and treasured memories of Miss Caroline Hamilton as well as: Artifacts, Deeds, Manuscripts, Maps, Photographs and Wills.

Scheduling Tours:

The museum is opened for tours on Sunday from 2:00pm-4:00pm (except on holidays). The house is going through a transition right now with the change over.

 

 

Thomas Edison National Historical Park, Laboratory Complex and Glenmont        211 Main Street, West Orange, NJ 07052

Thomas Edison National Historical Park, Laboratory Complex and Glenmont 211 Main Street, West Orange, NJ 07052

The Thomas Edison National Historical Park

211 Main Street

West Orange, NJ  07052

(973) 736-0550

https://www.nps.gov/edis/index.htm

Open: Sunday 10:00am-4:00pm/Closed Monday-Tuesday/Wednesday-Saturday 10:00am-4:00pm

Note: There are renovations going on at the site so please call ahead to check on hours and fees.

The Thomas Edison National Historical Park, Laboratory Complex and Glenmont home are a step back in time when machines were run by belts and pulleys and music was played on phonographs. Where to the passerby, the buildings betray little evidence of the industries they once started. Discover where America’s greatest inventor changed our world forever.

The Laboratory site Complex contains:

  1. Visitor Center (Restrooms & Gift shop)
  2. Chemistry Laboratory
  3. Chemical Storage and Pattern Shop
  4. Metallurgical Laboratory
  5. Main Laboratory
  6. Powerhouse
  7. Blacksmith Shop
  8. Building 11
  9. Vault 12
  10. Black Maria
  11. Water Tower
  12. Vault 32
  13. Vault 33
  14. Building 35 (Maintenance Facility)

Park Information:

The Laboratory Complex is open Wednesday through Sunday. The Glenmont Estate is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Glenmont tickers are limited and are distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis from the Laboratory Visitor Center. Please call for specific hours.

Fees:

Entrance Fee-$10 (Under 16 years old free)

Optional Laboratory Audio Tour-$5

Park Annual Pass-$40

Inter-agency Passes Accepted

Group Reservations: Call 973-736-0550 ext. 33

Filming and Photography: Call 973-736-0550 ext. 50

Corporate Events: Call 973-736-0550 ext. 50

For more Information: http://www.nps.gov/edis (973) 736-0550 ext. 11

Calendar of Events: http://www.nps.gov/edis/planyourvisit/events/htm

*Thomas Edison National Historical Park Facebook.

Directions to Glenmont:

*Please respect the privacy of our neighbors by driving directly to and from Glenmont.

Directions to Glenmont:

*Put your pass on the dashboard of your car

*Right out of the parking lot

*Right at the first light and stop at the gatehouse

*Go up Park Way

*Right onto Glen Avenue

*Left onto Honeysuckle Road

*Right into paved parking lot

*Tour begins in front of the home

*Restrooms located in Potting Shed/Visitor Center

*Information is taken from National Park Service, US Department of the Interior, Thomas Edison National Historical Park, West Orange, New Jersey.

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g60796-d1023095-Reviews-Thomas_Edison_National_Historical_Park-West_Orange_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

 

I had visited the Laboratories of Thomas Edison and it is very interesting to tour the floors of inventions. There are very innovative items that I never knew he invented, things like talking dolls and many household items for the kitchen and home.

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Another room they showed was his private office where he did most of his personal work and spent his sleeping hours when working at the laboratory. Each of the rooms show how and at what stages of the invention process that each object.

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Glenmont, the family home, can be a musty place in the colder months. The house smells like it is old. It needed a good airing out. The period furniture are very interesting. The house is full of Victorian elegance but it needs a good renovation. The walls and ceilings  need some plastering and the home needs a good deep cleaning. Still it is interesting that for all their prestige, they still lived more like an upper middle class family.

The history Edison National Historical Park:

Thomas Edison National Historical Park preserves Thomas Edison’s laboratory and residence, Glenmont, in Llewellyn Park in West Orange in Essex County, NJ. These were designed, in 1887, by Henry Hudson Holly. For more than 40 years, the laboratory had a major impact on the lives of people worldwide. Out of the West Orange laboratories came the motion picture camera, improved phonographs, sound recordings, silent and sound movies and the nickel-iron alkaline electric storage battery (Wiki).

Edison’s home was designated as the Edison Home National Historic Site on December 6, 1955. The laboratory was designated as Edison Laboratory National Monument on July 14, 1956. On September 5, 1962, the 21 acre site containing the home and the laboratory were designated the Edison National Historic Site and overseen by the National Park Service. On March 30, 2009, it was renamed Thomas Edison National Historical Park, adding “Thomas” to the title in hopes to relieve confusion between the Edison sites in West Orange and Edison, NJ. Following extensive renovations of the laboratory complex, there was a grand reopening on October 10, 2009 (Wiki).

Historic Glenmont Mansion:

Thomas Edison resided at Glenmont, his 29 room Victorian mansion, for over half his lifetime. Its architect, Henry Hudson Holly, is considered to be the father of the Queen-Anne style architectural movement in the United States. Holly’s crowning achievement, Glenmont, was part of a working estate which presently contains six outbuildings including a barn and a greenhouse. Examples of Thomas Edison’s poured concrete structures, the auto garage and the potting shed are also still in existence. (Wiki).

Glenmont

The interior of the fully furnished Victorian home is a rare example of Pottier & Stymus interiors, a New York decorating firm that lost the majority of its records in a catastrophic warehouse fire in the year 1888. Glenmont’s interiors display rare examples of the firm’s modern Gothic style furniture suites and also include decorative arts objects chosen by the company to outfit this home in Victorian style. The Edison family appreciated the original interiors, consequently making only minimal changes to the home’s decoration during their residency (Wiki).

Glenmont’s period rooms reflect examples of the era’s Eastlake style and Aesthetic Movement style interiors. The first floor library boasts hand stenciled walls in flat, stylized floral patterns with a ceiling of distemperment. Tall case cabinets store leather bound volumes. The decorative arts collection at Glenmont ranges from major works of art and sculpture to everyday objects. The collection, consisting of 40,000 items, includes remarkable examples of Hudson River School artists and antiques (Wiki).

Examples of more utilitarian items include the Edison china collection, still housed in the historic Butler’s Pantry, the household linen collection, family toiletry items, books and household receipts that detail purchases made by the Edison family.  These vouchers reveal to us the Edison’s choice of household products and their spending habits (Wiki).

Disclaimer: The above information on the history of the house and labs came from Wiki and I give the format full credit for the information. The above information also comes from the National Parks Services pamphlet and I give them full credit for the Visitor’s information.

 

 

 

 

Skylands Manor-New Jersey Botanical Garden  5 Morris Road  Ringwood, NJ 07456

Skylands Manor-New Jersey Botanical Garden 5 Morris Road Ringwood, NJ 07456

Skylands Manor-New Jersey Botanical Garden

5 Morris Road

Ringwood, NJ  07456

(973) 962-9370

http://www.ringwoodmanor.org/Victorian-Christmas.html

The Skylands Manor is decorated for the holidays during the first week of December and only for one weekend as it used for a banquet facility the rest of the time and as a hotel. The first weekend of December is when local Gardening groups are assigned one room to decorate and they have one week to put it together, display their ideas and explain how they did it to the public. The best day to go is the Thursday afternoon opening as it is the quietest day of the four day event with Saturday being the busiest.

skylands manor ii

Each of the eleven rooms that were decorated for the event were amazing each with their own decor, docents and gardeners and theme to the room. The Entrance Hall was elegant with its garland and potted plants, the Octagon Hall used its space wisely with a series of trees and hot house flowers. The women who decorated it had a phenomenal sense of space.

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The Teaneck Garden Club did a great job decorating the Library with an elegant Christmas Tree and vintage ornaments. Some of the gardeners also came in vintage clothing of the area.

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Each room had its own personality and was a combination of Christmas decorations and holiday plants.

Watch the calendar for 2019 in early December for the next display.

 

History of the Skylands Manor & People:

Clarence McKenzie Lewis bought Skylands in 1922 from the estate of Francis Lynde Stetson, who founded Skylands in 1891. Mr. Lewis was educated in England and Germany. While he was there, his widowed mother, Helen Forbes Lewis married William Salomon, founder of the New York banking house. Upon his return, Lewis attended Columbia University, where he received a Civil Engineering degree in 1898. In 1908, he married and bought a country place in Mahwah; it was there that Lewis became interested in horticulture.

Helen Lewis Salomon, the mother of Clarence Lewis, was widowed in 1919. Not only thereafter, she and her bereaved son agreed to a joint project; she wanted a Tudor-style showplace; he wanted plants and gardens. Mrs. Salomon worked closely with the architect on Skylands Manor but she died in 1927 before its completion.

John Russell Pope (1874-1937) “an architect born to work, in the grand style” was educated at City College, Columbia University, the American Academy in Rome and the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris. He trained under Bruce Price, the master builder of Tuxedo Park. Pope designed many outstanding public buildings, such as the Jefferson Memorial and the National Gallery of Art.

Tutor Architecture originated in England in the late Gothic period and continued to be popular into the Renaissance. It features half-timbering on the exterior, crenelated walls, large groups of rectangular windows, oriel or bay windows and intricate chimney complexes The interiors usually had large central halls, wood paneling, molded plaster ceilings and elaborately carved staircases. Tudor Revival became a popular style for the elegant country houses of wealthy Americans.

The builder of Skylands was the Elliot C. Brown Co., of New York City, which also built the country homes of Franklin Delano Roosevelt at Hyde Park and E. Roland Harriman (Arden House).

Samuel Yellin (1885-1940) decorative metal designer and craftsman, who performed to call himself “the blacksmith”, fashioned the lanterns. electrical fixtures, lamps, gate, and spiral staircase rail for Skylands Manor.

Native Granite for the exterior walls of Skylands was quarried at Pierson Ridge above Emerald Pond in the eastern part of the property in Bergen County.

Mrs. Salomon purchased a collection of antique Stained Glass Medallions from an English collector. The 16th century German, Bavarian and Swiss panes were set in leaded windows by Heinegke & Smith of New York City.

Disclaimer: This information on the details of the history of Skylands Manor was taken directly from their pamphlet and I give them full credit for it. Please call the manor for times that it is open as it is used a banquet/catering facility and a B & B.

Ringwood Manor-A New Jersey State Park 1304 Sloatsburg Road, Ringwood, NJ 07456

Ringwood Manor-A New Jersey State Park 1304 Sloatsburg Road, Ringwood, NJ 07456

Ringwood Manor-A New Jersey State Park

1304 Sloatsburg Road

Ringwood, NJ  07456

Phone: (973) 962-7031

Fax: (973) 962-2247

http://www.ringwoodmanor.org

Admission: Adults $3.00/Children 6-12 $1.00/Children 5 and under Free

Review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46774-d9564482-Reviews-Ringwood_Manor-Ringwood_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

I have visited the Ringwood Manor during the Christmas holidays over the last three years and it keeps getting better. Each room in the house is tastefully decorated for the holidays. The Great Hall was decorated with garland and ornaments with a large tree in the corner.

The formal dining room was set for Christmas dinner for the family after church. The elegant china was set on the table with poppers and small Christmas gifts for the guests. The side boards were set with the dinner entrees and sides for the family meal.

ringwood manor christmas

Each room was set for the holidays with garlands, trees and decorations. As it was explained to me on another house tour during the holidays, the Victorians would normally only decorate one or two rooms for the holidays and not the whole house. The whole house might be decorated based on the wealth of the family and the amount of servants to take care of the home. Needles would have to cleaned up and the trees would have to be attended to on a daily basis.

One of the nicest rooms that was decorated was the screened in porch. Here there was a tree set with presents, hot house flowers and garland lining the room. The sunlight shined throughout the room and the decorations sparkled.

Each room had a docent to explain the decor or what the room’s use had been in the family’s time. A visitor can roam the house at their leisure and see the rooms as many times as they want. There is also a gift shop in a room off the formal dining room that contains some beautiful Christmas crafts for sale by the Women’s Club of New Milford. Some of these women are very creative and sell the most amazing Christmas ornaments made of glitter, wood, branches, walnuts and moss.

The decor of the home changes over time and there are different things to see every year. The barn also on the property as you drive in has more artwork and crafts. In the Gardener’s Shed next to the house, the Society has a small cafe with sandwiches, desserts and coffee/tea/hot chocolate.

The tour of Ringwood Manor is wonderful during the holiday season and the rest of the house opens up during the warmer months of the year.

History of the House:

This 582 acre historic site is open to the public year round. The historic house museum, Ringwood Manor is open Wednesday to Sundays year round.

History of 19th Century Manor House and Landscape:

The present manor house was begun by Martin J. Ryerson in 1807. He and his sons controlled not only the iron mines and forges on the property but also operated productions at four other locations in the area. The Ryerson family resided in their 10 room Federal style home for almost 50 years.

In 1853, the Ryerson’s house and property were purchased by business partners Peter Cooper and his son in law Abram S. Hewitt. The 22,000 acre ironworks and the Ryerson’s home were purchased for a sum of $100,000. Their company, Cooper-Hewitt & Company, grew to be the fifth largest corporation in the United States. The Hewitt’s, one of the most influential and wealthiest families of the 19th century, fell in love with the Ringwood estate.

They decided to make this site of their summer home, naming it The Forges and Manor of Ringwood. They enlarged the home of the Ryerson’s, constructing major additions or renovations in 1864, 1875, 1900 and 1910. The completed 51 room house is 226.5 feet long and features 28 bedrooms, 24 fireplaces and 13 bathrooms and more than 250 windows. The house was built in an eclectic style, typical of the Victorian period. In 1875, the Manor House was an excellent example of the Gothic Revival style of architecture. By 1900, the Hewitt’s changed the exterior facade to its present appearance, adding the neo-classical portico and columns of the front porch and affixing white stucco to the exterior walls. The furnishings of the house reflect the varying tastes and styles of the family and time period.

The formal gardens surrounding the Manor House were developed by Mrs. Hewitt and her daughter, Eleanor around 1900. Their design was influenced by the Hewitt’s many trips overseas. The gardens possess a mysterious old world charm that captivates visitors as they enjoy the serenity of reflecting pools and the progression of blooms from early spring to late fall. Placed throughout the garden are French and Italian statuary and garden ornaments as well many interesting architectural items from New York City acquired while Abram Hewitt served as Mayor and Congressman. Examples of these features include columns from the old New York Life building, gates from the Astor family’s home and gate posts from Columbia College. Relics from the iron company that are found on the grounds include a trip hammer and anvil, cog wheel and a Dictator-class mortar the base of which was created by the Hewitt’s company and used at the Battle of Vicksburg in Mississippi during the Civil War.

History of Ringwood, NJ:

Colonial Ringwood:

Long before the Forges & Manor of Ringwood existed this property was occupied by the Native American people. Prehistoric artifacts found on the grounds confirm their inhabitants back to the Archaic and Woodlands periods. Living in a hunting and farming paradise, these Munsee-speaking Lenape peoples dwelled at the head of the Topompock or Ringwood River Valley. This paradise attracted colonial prospectors, who by 1740, came for the iron ore found in the ground. Recognizing the rich magnetite ores, Cornelius Board settled here in 1739 and first utilized the property for iron mining. He was followed shortly thereafter by the Ogden family who established the Ringwood Company and built the first blast furnace here in 1742.

After twenty years of production, a German promoter, Peter Hasenclever, organized the American Iron Company to exploit the resources in colonial North America, purchasing the Ringwood area in 1764. He would also develop forges at Long Pond and Charlotteburg but made Ringwood the center of his iron empire. Hasenclever established iron plantations and developed the production of flax and timber across 50,00 acres of land stretching through New Jersey and New York, from present day Butler to New Foundland and Nova Scotia. The iron was said to have been “the best iron in the American colonies.” Robert Erskine, the last ironmaster of the American Iron Company, was sent from England in 1771 and would manage the company during the Revolutionary War.

(History of Ringwood, NJ)

Lambert Castle/Passaic County Historical Society  3 Valley Road  Paterson, NJ 07503

Lambert Castle/Passaic County Historical Society 3 Valley Road Paterson, NJ 07503

Lambert Castle/Passaic County Historical Society

3 Valley Road

Patterson, NJ  07503

Phone: (973) 247-0085

Fax: (973) 881-9434

info@lambertcastle.org

http://www.lambertcastle.org

https://lambertcastle.org/

Hours:

Museum Wednesday-Sunday-1:00pm-4:00pm

The Castle closed for a five year renovation starting January 2020.

Library & Archives Wednesday-Friday-1:00pm-4:00pm/2nd and 4th Saturday of each month 1:00pm-4:00pm (Memorial Day through Labor Day: 12:00pm-4:00pm)

Admission: $5.00 Donation

My TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46718-d1880569-Reviews-Lambert_Castle-Paterson_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

I have visited Lambert Castle a few times, most recently to see the Christmas decorations before they were taken down for the season. I found out from one of the director’s that they had not been put back up since their Holiday Bazaar back in November. I had seen them the year before and they had been very impressive.

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Lambert Castle at Christmas

Right now the Castle is decorated for the Annual Christmas Craft Bazaar and it is just loaded with handmade crafts for the Christmas holidays. There are three floors of crafts and then on the third floor, there is a small restaurant to relax and look over the court of the house. After the bazaar in 2019, the Castle will close for a much needed five year renovation.

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The Lambert Castle Christmas Bazaar 2019

I had a chance to visit the floors when they were not decorated for the holidays . The first floor is set up as if the family still lived there with the Billiards Room, Dining Room, Sitting Room, Music Room and Atrium still set as the family resided there. There is period furniture and decorations in all the first floor rooms to give a feel of what it must have been like to live there at that period.

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The view of Lambert Castle from the second floor

The second floor galleries hold the collection of the Passaic County Historical Society with all sorts of objects, signs and historical items from all eras of the collection. You are able to see the footprint of the living quarters of the family.

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The stained glass windows

The third floor at the time I was there was dedicated to the work of an Italian stone worker and artist who migrated and lived and worked in Paterson.

It is a very interesting way to see life at the turn of the last century in Paterson and the home offers a beautiful view of the City of Paterson and New York in the distance. I have never seen the grounds in the Spring but I am sure that they are quite lovely.

The view alone is worth the visit.

 

History of Lambert Castle:

Catholina Lambert and his Castle:

Catholina Lambert was born in 1834 in Goose Eye, England. In 1851 at the young age of 17, Lambert left home to seek his fortune in the “Land of Opportunity” that was America. After several successful ventures in the silk industry, Lambert decided to build a home that would be reminiscent of the castles he recalled from his boyhood in England. In 1892, he built his own castle on Garret Mountain in Paterson, NJ, then known as the “Silk, City of the New World.”

Lambert’s home was built to showcase his elaborate art collection  of fine European and American paintings and sculpture. At one time, his collection was so vast that it was considered to be “the nucleus of an American Louvre.” In 1913, Lambert fell into debt and his fortune started to dwindle. As a result, he was forced to mortgage the Castle and eventually sell much of his art collection. The proceeds allowed him to live comfortably in the Castle until his death at age 89 in 1923.

After Lambert’s death, his son, Walter sold the Castle to the City of Paterson, which later sold it to the County of Passaic. Today the Castle is still owned by the County and  serves as the headquarters of the Passaic County Historical Society. The Society, a private not for profit organization, owns the historical artifacts and works of art. The home and the museum, exist as a reminder of a bygone era and as a tribute to the great accomplishment of  the Castle’s creator. Although most of the furnishings today are not original to the Lambert’s home, they represent period furnishings that would have been found in the Castle during the Lambert era.

For more information about the rooms and decor, visit The Lambert Castle Blog at:

https://lambertcastleweb.wordpress.com/museum/

Passaic Historical Society:

The Society & Museum:

The Passaic County Historical Society is a private non-profit educational organization founded in 1926 and dedicated to cultivation of interest in the history and culture of Passaic County and former home of silk magnate Catholina Lambert was built in 1892. The Castle is owned by the County of Passaic and has been the home to the Society since 1934.

Library & Archives:

Located in the lower level of the Castle is the Elizabeth A. Beam Memorial Historical Research Library, operated by the Passaic County Historical Society. Here scholarly researchers, genealogists and historical enthusiasts may find books, manuscripts, maps, photographs, genealogy records and other information that reveals the history of Passaic County. Access to the library is included with regular admission to Lambert Castle.

Membership:

The Society depends upon the support of its membership as well as museum admission to sustain its important mission. Please consider becoming a member and helping to preserve the history of Passaic County.

The Second Floor Galleries:

The Castles’s second floor has several exhibition galleries, each presenting a different historical display from the Society’s collections. To the right of the fireplace on the walls of the second floor balcony is an exhibition of works by noted Paterson artist Julian Rix. On the opposite side are portraits of notable Passaic County residents and a collection of historic engravings of the Passaic Falls. Behind the fireplace are the Lambert’s private rooms. To the left, in the former sitting room and bedroom of Mr. Lambert, are the Curiosities and Local Folk Art galleries and the famous Brass Dog Sculpture that served for many years as an advertising sign for a tinsmith’s shop in nineteenth-century Paterson. In the adjacent room, the former bedroom of Mrs. Lambert, is the Local History Gallery which features historical images of prominent businesses and people.

The Third Floor Exhibition Gallery:

The Third floor of Lambert Castle is reserved for changing or seasonable exhibitions.

Disclaimer: This information comes directly from the Passaic County Historical Society & Museum pamphlet and I give them full credit of it. Rather than transcribing the whole pamphlet with the description of rooms, I attached their website and blog on WordPress.com for more detailed viewing.

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

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. 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.

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