Tag: nj historic sites

The Cape May Lighthouse 215 Light House Avenue Cape May Point, NJ 08212

The Cape May Lighthouse 215 Light House Avenue Cape May Point, NJ 08212

The Cape May Lighthouse

215 Light House Avenue

Cape May Point, NJ  08212

1-800-275-4278

http://www.capemaymac.org

https://www.capemaymac.org/cape-may-lighthouse

Open:  Tuesday-Sunday 10:00am-4:00pm/Monday 10:00am-4:00pm/Thursday-Friday Closed

Fee: $8.00 Adults/$5.00 Children 3-12/Military Free

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46341-d103993-Reviews-Cape_May_Lighthouse-Cape_May_Cape_May_County_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

This historic site has been restored and administered by the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities in conjunction with N.J. Department of Environmental Protection Division of Parks & Forestry.

The Cape May Lighthouse: Climb the 199 steps of this 1859 vintage tower for a breathtaking view of the Jersey Cape, where the Delaware Bay meets the Atlantic Ocean. Over the past 30 years, MAC has totally restored the Cape May Lighthouse. A fully accessible Visitors Center is located in the adjacent Oil House as well as a Museum Shop stocked with lighthouse and maritime must haves.

Lighthouse FAQ

Frequently asked questions about the Cape May Lighthouse

Questions about the structure:

*How Tall is the lighthouse? The lighthouse is 157 feet 6 inches tall from the ground line to the ventilator.

*How many steps are there to the top? There are 217 steps from the ground to the top with 199 steps in the tower’s cast iron spiral staircase.

* How old is the Lighthouse? The Cape May Lighthouse was built in 1859 and is the third fully documented lighthouse to be built at Cape May Point. The first was built in 1823; the second in 1847. The exact locations of the first two lighthouses are now underwater due to erosion.

*How thick are the brick walls? The Lighthouse actually has two separate walls. The outside wall is cone-shaped and is 3 feet 10 inches thick at the bottom and 1 foot 6 inches thick at the top. The inside wall is a cylinder with 8.5 inch thick walls which support the spiral staircase. The walls were designed to withstand winds several times above hurricane force.

*Is the beacon still working? Yes, The Coast Guard continues to operate the light as an active aid to navigation. The light is visible 22 miles out to sea and flashes every 15 seconds. A lighthouse’s flash pattern is called its ‘characteristic’, every lighthouse has its own light characteristic and exterior paint scheme (called a daymark) so that ship captains can tell them apart.

*What were the two small rooms on either side of the entrance hallway used for? They were storage rooms that held tools, implements and fuel for the lantern before the Oil House was built. The keeper also used one as a small office.

*Who owns the Lighthouse?  The State of New Jersey owns the Lighthouse but the Coast Guard maintains the beacon apparatus. The Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC) in Cape May leases the Lighthouse from the State with the mission of restoring the structure and operating it as a historic site.

*Questions about Lighthouse Keepers and their responsibilities

*Who worked at the Lighthouse?  The Lighthouse was staffed by keepers who worked for the U.S. Lighthouse Service. Cape May’s lighthouse generally had one head keeper and two assistants. They carried the oil to the top of the tower every day to power the light and kept the lens apparatus clean and in working order. Keepers’ pay averaged $600.00 a year around the turn of the 20th century.

*Where did the keepers live?  There were two houses built right next to the Lighthouse around 1860 for the keepers and their families. One has since burned but the other is still standing on the other side of the fence near the entrance to the tower.

Important Dates: Cape May Lighthouse

1853-First recorded lighthouse constructed. The 1823 tower was 68 feet tall and its location is now underwater due to erosion.

1847-The second lighthouse was built. It was a 78 foot tower located directly in front of the present tower, just beyond the present shoreline. It was replaced by the present lighthouse because it was poorly constructed.

1857-The Army Corps of Engineers began construction on the present tower, which cost $40,000 to build. The first order Fresnel lens, which is now in the Cape May County Museum, cost about $15,000.

1859-The Lighthouse was first lighted on October 31. The next year, two lighthouse keepers dwellings were built. The one remaining is now used by the State Park Service.

1893-The oil house was constructed.

1902-One of the keepers’ dwellings was enlarge to provide more space for housing the keepers’ families. Three keepers and their families. Three keepers and their families lived at the lighthouse site.

1902-An incandescent oil vapor lamp was installed and replaced the Funck multiple wick first order hydraulic float lamp that dated back to 1878.

1933-The light apparatus was electrified.

1936-The light apparatus was automated which eliminated the need for lighthouse keepers being permanently stationed at the tower.

1939-The United States Lighthouse Service was discontinued and its equipment and personnel transferred to the U.S. Coast Guard.

1941-The Lighthouse was darkened until 1945 because of the World War II. The Atlantic coast was on black-out due to the presence of enemy submarines.

1946-A DCB-36 rotating light (like an airport beacon) was installed. The original first order Fresnel lens was placed in the Cape May County Museum.

1986-The Lighthouse was leased to MAC by the State of New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, Division of Parks and Forestry, who in turn leased the structure from the Coast Guard.

1988-MAC undertook public safety improvements that allowed the public to climb to the top.

1989-A grant from the Bicentennial Lighthouse Fund underwrote the restoration of the Lighthouse’s windows and doors.

1990-The oil house was restored and adapted for use as orientation center and museum shop, with funding from the Bicentennial Lighthouse Fund and the New Jersey Historic Trust.

1992-The ownership of the Lighthouse was transferred from the Coast Guard to the State of New Jersey.

1994-Grants from the New Jersey Historic Trust and the federal ISTEA program administered by the State DOT funded painting of the tower and restoration of the lantern and roof.

1998-Grants from the same agencies funded all remaining restoration of the lighthouse structure.

2000-2001-A grant from the New Jersey Historic Trust funded the grounds restoration project.

2002-The Coast Guard installed a modern light known as a DCB-224. It uses parabolic mirrors to focus the beams rather than lenses.

2010-The Friends of the Cape May Lighthouse group was formed. You are cordially invited to join. Call 609-884-5404 or visit http://www.capemaymac.org.

2016-The Coast Guard installed a new, state of the art beacon known as VRB-25 (Variable Rotating Beacon) replacing the DCB-224 that had suffered irreparable damage due to a lighthouse strike.

2017-Lighthouse Tower was repainted with grants from the Cape May County Open Space Board, the National Maritime Heritage Grant program of the National Park Service and South Jersey Industries, augmented by the fundraising efforts of the Lighthouse Keepers and the Friends of the Lighthouse.

*Is the Lighthouse haunted? Exit Zero Ghost Writer and psychic medium Craig McManus has visited the Lighthouse and detected the ghosts of several former keepers and their families. Perhaps you may encounter them yourself on a Ghosts of the Lighthouse Trolley Tour!

Questions about Lighthouse Restoration

*Why is the Lighthouse leased to the Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities (MAC)?

In the 1980’s , the Coast Guard began a nationwide program of leasing lighthouses to private organizations, like MAC, which are capable of preserving them. In 1986, the Coast Guard leased the Lighthouse to MAC, which assumed the responsibility for its restoration, maintenance and operation as a lighthouse museum. In 1992, ownership of the Lighthouse was transferred from the Coast Guard to the State of New Jersey in order to make the restoration project eligible for state historic preservation funding. The state monitors the historical authenticity of the restoration and also makes available to Lighthouse visitors the parking and restroom facilities of the adjacent state park.

*What is MAC?

MAC is a non-profit organization with nearly 4,000 members that was founded in 1970 to save and restore Cape May’s Physick Estate and operate it as a historic house museum. The Physick Estate is also home to the Carroll Gallery with an array of changing exhibitions, a museum shop and the Carriage House Café & Tearoom. MAC has also restored the World War II Lookout Tower (Fire Control Tower Number 23) located nearby on Sunset Boulevard. In addition, MAC promotes Cape May’s Victorian heritage through a year round schedule of special events and trolley, walking and historic house tours. MAC is also one of the area’s leading sponsors of the performing arts with its Cape May Music Festival every May and June. Please call 609-884-5404 for details on MAC’s calendar of events or visit our website at http://www.capemaymac.org.

*How much did it cost to restore the Lighthouse?

Since 1987, closed to two million dollars has been spent to restore the Lighthouse and oil house and allow the public to climb safely to the top.

*Is the Lighthouse open to the public?

Yes, Hours of operation vary throughout the year. The tower is open daily, April through November and on weekends most of the rest of the year. The grounds ground floor, tower and watch room gallery are open to the public. All tours of the tower are self-guided.

Mid-Atlantic Center for the Arts & Humanities

P.O. Box 340

1048 Washington Street

Cape May, NJ  08204

(609) 884-5404

http://www.capemaymac.org

Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from a pamphlet from the MAC Cape May Lighthouse Museum. Please call the above number or email address for more information on the site. It is well worth seeing just for the view alone.

 

 

 

 

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Salem County Historical Society  83  Market Street Salem, NJ 08079

Salem County Historical Society 83 Market Street Salem, NJ 08079

Salem County Historical Society

83 Market Street

Salem, NJ  08079

(856) 935-5004

http://www.salemcountyhistoricalsociety.com

info@salemcountyhistoricalsociety.com

Tripadvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46799-d13368307-Reviews-Salem_County_Historical_Society-Salem_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

I came across this little ‘gem’ when walking around downtown Salem, New Jersey on my Christmas break. This historical society put some of the musty ones I have visited to shame. It is so beautifully set up and maintained. It also has some great exhibitions and was so nicely decorated for the Christmas holidays. It is a ‘must-see’ when visiting Southern New Jersey.

Museum

The Salem County Historical Society is housed in three interconnected historic houses, the centerpiece of which is the Alexander Grant Mansion (1721).

The Society maintains extensive museum and library collections related to the region’s heritage. Our exceptional collection includes furniture, paintings, textiles, glass, china, silver, documents, tools and other family heirlooms. This collection enables us to graphically convey to visitors an understanding of the work, play, society and lifestyles of local inhabitants from generations past.

The Society’s campus houses three other buildings: the Stone Barn, the John Jones Law Office ( a hexagonal structure housing New Jersey’s first law office) and the Log Cabin Educational Center.

Exhibitions

The Society utilizes its rich museum to present engaging and informative exhibits. Our museum features several ongoing exhibits including The Keeping Room, A Legacy fro Salem County and The Stone Barn. These displays showcase some of the Society’s  treasures including fine and decorative arts, Wistar glass and signature quilts.

In addition to our semi-permanent exhibits, the Society features large special exhibits that change every two years. These exhibits take a closer look at specific events or aspects of Salem County history. Check the Society website to get information about current exhibits. The Society has also opened more rooms for small exhibits that rotate and change periodically.

Research Library and Special Collections

Thousands of researchers make their own connections to Salem County with the help of the Society’s research library. Historians and family researcher trace their ancestors through time with the help of our library’s comprehensive collection of resources, thus helping to bring people closer to Southern New Jersey’s distinctive heritage.

The library’s holdings of family records, manuscripts, deeds and church histories serve scores of genealogical and historical researchers with primary documents.

Resources & Records:

*Bible Records

*Census, Church and Cemetery

*Military Service

*Published family histories and family files

*Rare manuscripts and subject files

*Birth, marriages and death resources

*Newspapers on microfilm

*Online access to Ancestry.com

Special collections:

*Maps

*Photographs

*Rare books

*Recorded and unrecorded deeds

*Diaries and journals

*Historical publications about county, state, military, ethnic and industrial history, as well as topics of local interest such as glass, brick houses and agriculture

*Unique house and church files

Publications

The Society publications an award-winning Quarterly Newsletter featuring Society news, events and scholarly articles. Our bookstore features books and periodicals on Salem County topics from many local authors. Publications are available to purchase on our website and at the Historical Society.

Education

The Society brings history to life for hundreds of children every year, providing hands-on lessons about life in 18th and 19th century Salem County. Utilizing current exhibits and permanent collections, children are introduced to the region’s rich heritage through presentations and hands-on activities.

These programs complement school lessons for traditional and homeschooled groups. All of our education programs meet state curriculum standards for Social Studies, Language Arts, Visual and Performing Arts and Mathematics, grades 4-12.

The Society offers educational programs based on the American Revolution, the Civil War, life in the colonial past, which has students identify objects from the past and modern equivalents. The Society also offers educational programming based on the current exhibits. These programs are available at the Historical Society and the programs on the Revolution, Civil War and “History’s Mysteries” can be presented offsite upon request.

Please check the education section of our website to learn more about these programs. Field trips and group tours can be scheduled by contacting the Society at (856) 935-5004.

Programs and Special Events

The Society has an active calendar with many diverse programs. From our Quarterly Meetings to the popular John S. Rock Memorial Lecture series to genealogical workshops, there is something for everyone.

The Society also sponsors events such as the highly regarded Open House Tour which opens Salem County’s historic homes and churches to the public every spring. In the fall, the Society sponsors the Walking Ghost Tour, an evening of spirits and stories in historic Salem.

Visit our website http://www.salemcountyhistoricalsociety.com or our Facebook Page for upcoming events.

Why become a member of the Salem County Historical Society?

The mission of the Salem County Historical Society is to seek, document, preserve, interpret and perpetuate Salem County’s heritage and to enhance the awareness and appreciation of that heritage through research, collections, functions, exhibits, educational programs and publications, for the benefit of future generations and for the betterment of the community.

The Society offers a wide variety of programming and services that are unduplicated regionally. These programs are presented at locations around the county and are designed to reach and serve a wide range of audiences. This includes guided tours, school lessons on site, outreach programs and our Open House in Fenwick’s Colony tour and Quarterly Meetings. Most programs are free and all are open to the public.

Salem County’s history and the evidence of it that is all around us in the origins and architecture of its buildings, is one of its greatest assets and should be a source of pride for all of us. The growing number of visitors using the Society’s research library, museum displays and public programs is testimony to the increasing interest of the general public in enjoying Salem County’s history.

Membership Benefits

*Receive our award winning quarterly newsletter

*Free admission to our library and museum

*Discounted copies and services in the library

*Discounts on Society events and programs

The funds needed to operate the facility and to maintain and improve the level of services provided by the Society, come in part from annual membership dues. If you are not already a member, please consider a membership. You may join online at http://www.salemcountyhistoricalsociety.com or stop by and visit the Society.

Volunteer

Volunteers play a crucial role in the Society’s operation and overall success. The Society welcomes individuals with varying backgrounds and interests to contribute to our overall mission of preserving and caring for the history of Salem County. Please contact us to learn more about volunteer opportunities.

Accessibility

The Salem County Historical Society strives to make all of our programs accessible to the public. Our library and museum exhibits are wheelchair accessible. Persons requiring special services should contact the Society in advance of your visit. Group visits are welcome and available by reservation.

The Society’s programs are made possible in part by funds from the Salem County Cultural and Heritage Commission, the National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution and our generous Corporate Sponsors. If you are interested in corporate sponsorship please call the Society.

The Salem County Historical Society

83 Market Street

Salem, New Jersey  08079

Phone: (856) 935-5004

Fax (856) 935-0728

http://www.salemcountyhistoricalsociety.com

info@salemcountyhistoricalsociety.com

Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 12:00pm-4:00pm

Museum & Library Admission: $5.00 per person

Directions:

From the Delaware Memorial Bridge:

Take the Route 40 exit and immediately bear right onto County Route 540. Follow 540 to Route 45 south, which becomes Market Street in Salem City.

From NJ Turnpike and I-295: Take Route 40 exit, proceed across overpass and go straight onto County Route 540. Follow 540 to Route 45 south, which becomes Market Street in Salem County.

Disclaimer: This information was taken directly from the Salem County Historical Society pamphlet and membership forms. It really is a nice place to visit and take about an hour to visit the galleries. Please call the above numbers for more information.

 

 

 

 

The ‘Rock’ on Rock Road off downtown Glen Rock, NJ 07452

The ‘Rock’ on Rock Road off downtown Glen Rock, NJ 07452

The “Rock”

Rock Road

Glen Rock, NJ 07452

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46466-d2549392-Reviews-The_Rock-Glen_Rock_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

The ‘Rock’ where the town of Glen Rock, NJ gets its name from is more than just a rock in the middle of road off the downtown. It has a rich history that is part of the history of Bergen County itself.

Glen Rock was settled around a large boulder in a small valley (glen) from which it gets its name. The boulder, a glacial erratic weighing in at 570 short tons (520t) and located where Doremus Avenue meets Rock Road is believed to have been carried to the site by a glacier that picked up the rock 15,000 years ago near Peekskill, New York and carried it for 20 miles (32km) to its present location. The Lenape Native Americans called the boulder “Pamachapuka” (meaning ‘stone from heaven’ or ‘stone from the sky’) and used it for signal fires and as a trail marker (Wikipedia).

This is an interesting part of Bergen County’s early Native American history and is located right off the downtown area of the town on Rock Road.

The Hermitage Museum 335 North Franklin Avenue Turnpike  Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ 07423

The Hermitage Museum 335 North Franklin Avenue Turnpike Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ 07423

The Hermitage Museum

335 North Franklin Turnpike

Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ  07423

(201) 445-8311

http://www.thehermitage.org

Hours: Wednesday-Friday-10:00am-3:00pm/Saturday & Sunday-1:00pm-4:00pm

Fee: Adults: $7.00/AAA $6.00/Students & Seniors $4.00/Children $4.00/Children under 6 Free

Tours: 1:15pm/2:15pm/3:15pm

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46514-d10356697-Reviews-The_Hermitage-Ho_Ho_Kus_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

I have been to the Hermitage Museum many times for events and they do a nice job portraying the house in different periods at different times of the year.

I have taken the Haunted House tours during the holidays when they have seances. Their medium was pretty bad and I did not believe a word he said. Still the house can be quite spooky at midnight but then every house is spooky at midnight. The house does creak a lot and when the wind acts up you can jump.

The house was decorated recently for Christmas in the 1930’s during the Depression and it showed that people still decorated and gave presents in a more subdued way during this tough time. The tour guides will go through how the family fortunes changed the way people lived in the house up to the 1970’s when the last family member died.

The Hermitage Museum History:

The Hermitage Museum in Ho-Ho-Kus, New Jersey is a charming and romantic mid-19th century Gothic Revival cottage. Surrounded by more than four acres of park land, the Hermitage is restored and furnished  to reflect the lifestyle and interests of the Rosencrantz family during the second half of the 19th century.

The fourteen room home is built in the Gothic Revival architecture that surrounds the original Dutch American home built in the 1700’s. The original colonial estate was bought by Ann Barlow DeVisne, who  was from Manhattan, for herself and her five children. One of the children, Theodosia Bartow Prevost, lived in the house with her husband, James Marcus Prevost. Major James Marcus Prevost fought on the side of the British during the Revolutionary War in battles in Georgia and North Carolina. Her husband would be later killed in the War.

During battle time with the British, Theodosia invited General Washington to stay at the house which he and his troops did in 1778. Theodosia welcomed all troops, both British and American to stay at the house during the war. In 1782, she married Aaron Burr, a soldier she had met during the war.  On top of her five children by her first marriage, she had another child with Aaron Burr named Theodosia. Theodosia Prevost-Burr died in 1794.

The house was then sold to the Rosencrantz family in 1807 and then the house was expanded from the Dutch tradition into the Gothic Revival addition between 1847-48 by noted architect, William H. Ranlett. The addition was at the request of Elijah Rosencrantz Jr. The house was lived in by four generation of Rosencrantz’s. Elijah’s daughter, Mary Elizabeth, was born in the house in 1885 and lived there her entire life until 1970 when she fell ill. She left the house to the State of New Jersey as a National Historical site.

The admission to the house is $7.00 for children 6-12, $4.00 for Seniors and Students. Children under 6 and members are free. Save $1.00 on the adult admission with your AAA card. You can become a member at http://www.thehermitage.org

Guided tours take place Wednesday through Sunday at 1:15pm, 2:15pm and 3:15pm. The last tour begins at 3:15pm. Reservations are required for groups of 10 or more.

Please don’t miss visiting the home during Halloween for their ‘Ghost tours’ . It can get quite spooky in the house at midnight with the wind hallowing and things creaking.

Hermitage at Halloween

During Christmas time,  the house is decorated for the holidays. This year’s theme in 2018 is “Home for the Holidays: A 1930’s Christmas at the Hermitage”. The house is decorated at the time of the Great Depression and how people dealt with those times while still providing holiday cheer to their families. The decorations do not reflect Victorian times but more when times were tough and people had to watch their budgets.

 

Herimtage at Christmas

Please call the above number or email the facility for more information on hours or changes in schedule.

Disclaimer: this information was taken directly from The Hermitage pamphlet and Wikipedia and Google. Please call the facility for information on special events.

The Schoolhouse Museum-Ridgewood Historical Society 650 Glen Avenue Ridgewood, NJ 07450

The Schoolhouse Museum-Ridgewood Historical Society 650 Glen Avenue Ridgewood, NJ 07450

The Schoolhouse Museum-Ridgewood Historical Society

650 Glen Avenue

Ridgewood, NJ  07450

(201) 447-3242

RidgewoodHistoricalSociety@Verizon.net

RidgewoodHistoricalSociety.org

Open:

Thursday and Saturday: 1:00pm-3:00pm

Sunday: 2:00pm-4:00pm

Fee: Donation $5.00

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46772-d10353516-Reviews-Schoolhouse_Museum-Ridgewood_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

I have visited this interesting small history museum a few times and they do a wonderful job in presenting their displays with interesting facts catering not just to a local crowd but anyone interested in history and events.

The one-room schoolhouse, built in 1872, operated as a public school until 1905. It was part of the district school system formed in 1864 or 1865, which was geographically defined rather than by township. It was operated as School District No. 45. When the towns incorporated in 1894, that district system was dissolved and the school became part of the Ridgewood school district.

Tradition has it that the original land grant to the Dutch Reformed congregation from Pierre Fauconier and his daughter, Magdalena Valleau, stated that room should always be given upon the church land for a school. We know that a small school building opened in 1785. A second stone school was built in 1820 and eventually replaced by a frame structure in 1845.

Eventually the present schoolhouse was built in 1872 at a cost of $4600.00. It is likely that other schools existed on the church property from the time the church was built in 1735 to 1785, for the consistory assumed responsibility for education and the exact time when that responsibility was handed over to the public is not known.

The large bell summoned children from miles away to school each morning. The original belfry is gone but the bell stands in the entryway. It was used in other schools and a church after the school closed in 1905 but was returned to the historical society in 1977.

The original entry was divided into separate entrances and cloakrooms for boys and girls. The potbelly stove is original as are the windows and the two central lamps. The black boards around the room have been removed except for one behind the teacher’s platform.

When the Historical Society started the museum, the privy building was attached to the main building to provide more display area. In their special display area, they have an exhibition space for farming and a local comedian.

In April 2018, they have a very interesting exhibition call “The Thread of Life” which tells the story of families progression in home life from the end of the Civil War until the beginning of the Depression and times changed between the Civil War and WWI. Between the Victorian Era, the sinking if the Titanic and the devastation of WWI, the baby boom of the teens and the ‘Roaring Twenties’ with the stock market built changed the attitudes and the way of life for an entire generation until the Great Depression put a halt on it. You can see the changes of behavior in the displays of clothes and household decor. It is an interesting display.

They also have an ongoing exhibition of farm equipment and a continuation of their “Farming in Bergen County” exhibition that just closed before this show. Also, see their ‘Halloween Cemetery Walk” in my blog, “MywalkinManhattan.com” entry “This is Halloween” Day Ninety-Six, October 31, 2017. Don’t miss it this year!

Don’t miss their ‘Cemetery Walks’ during the day. I took one recently at the old Dutch Reformed Church and we discussed the history of the church, the location of the old church versus the building of the new one, which is why the cemetery looks the way it does and the locations of the tombstones as well as how time and advancement in carving went from sandstone, which fades and chips over time when to the production of granite and marble for future tombstones.

The cemetery is filled with names famous and prominent in Bergen County and North Jersey history which includes participation in the wars and the building of Bergen County including the Westervelts, Van Riper’s, Haring’s, Zabiskie’s, Terhune’s, Demerest’s, Blauvelt’s and Tice’s families. It is an fascinating place to learn Bergen County history and its development.

Ridgewood Cemetery Tour

The Cemetery Tours that take place the week before Halloween are interesting as well. The paths of the Valleau Cemetery in Ridgewood are lined with candles and you follow the path with the town historian who takes you on a creepy tour of the famous dead residents of Ridgewood. These include prominent athletes, business people and local laborers. You pretty much tour about a third of the cemetery as you move from one tombstone to another met by costumed actors, who they themselves have to sit in the cemetery in the dark waiting for you. That is a horror movie into itself.

The best part of the tour is you are greeted at the museum with a tour of the museum and a table laden with fresh apple cider and cider doughnuts that make the perfect refreshment on a cool fall evening. Make sure to take the 7:00pm tour when it is dark out and make the reservation well in advance as these tours fill up fast.

Image result for cemetery tour ridgewood nj

Taking the Cemetery Tours is interesting!

Don’t miss their upcoming tours for Halloween, Christmas and their new exhibition, “The Thread of Life” on the changes of Society in local history from Victorian Age to Jazz Age.

Please check out the museum’s website for all their very original special programing.

Garretson Forge & Farm 4-02 River Road Fair Lawn, New Jersey 07410

Garretson Forge & Farm 4-02 River Road Fair Lawn, New Jersey 07410

Garretson Forge & Farm

4-02 River Road

Fair Lawn, New Jersey 07410

(201) 797-1775

info@garretsonfarm.org

Hours: Vary

Fee: Free but donations are accepted

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46430-d12854166-Reviews-Garretson_Forge_Farm-Fair_Lawn_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

Garretson Forge & Farm is one of the oldest historic sites in Bergen County, New Jersey. Settled in 1719, this Dutch Colonial homestead was home to six generations of the Garretson family. Their homestead remains a rare surviving example of a simple farming life that was prevalent in the 1700’s and 1800’s. It now functions as a living  museum and a working farm, preserving our Colonial past and agricultural heritage.

The Property:

Located along an old Native American trail, about a mile north of Garretson Lane, is one of the original farms in Slooterdam, owned by the Dutch family of Peter Garretson. Today, more than 300 years later, the trail has come to be known as River Road, Garretson Lane is now called Broadway and Slooterdam has evolved into Fair Lawn, yet the original farmhouse and remaining grounds are still referred to as the Garretson Homestead.

In the 17th century, New Jersey was divided into the Provinces of East and West Jersey by its English proprietors, Lords Berkeley and Carteret. These lands were then sold to a group of Quakers headed by William Penn. By 1692, part of East Jersey, known as the Saddle River Tract, had been divided into large lots, one of which was sold to the Stillwell family.

The Garretson homestead stand on a portion of land that was acquired in 1708 by David Daniellse from the Stillwell family. A copy of the original propriety deed signed by King George of England and the Lenni Lenape Chief, Spotted Tail and granting the land to David Daniellse, is hanging in the homestead. The original property was bounded on the west by the Passaic River and on the east by the Saddle River. Peter Garretson purchased the property from Mr. Daniellse in 1719.

After Peter Garretson’s death, title to the land was passed from one generation to the next. From time to time parcels of the tract were sold. The present site consists of 1.84 acres along River Road.

The Homestead:

The house is an example of Dutch Colonial architecture which is charismatic of Bergen, Passaic and Hudson Counties.

One and one-half stories high and built about 1719 of rubble and undressed stone, the current kitchen wing is considered by most to be the homestead. It features a large open-hearth fireplace typical of Flemish design of the late 1600’s. On a late nineteenth-century photograph of the house, remnants of a brick beehive oven can be seen on the outer wall.

In 1760, the larger section of the house was built using dressed stone. The sandstone blocks were held together with mortar made of river mud mixed with straw and hogs hair. It was under this section that fragments of clay pipes (c1720) were uncovered.

Extensive renovations were made to the house in 1902. The present gambrel roof replaced a steep gable roof; a front door was replaced with a window; an inner stairway to the basement replaced cellar hatches. A large center Victorian stairway to the second floor was also built and the open-hearth fireplaces were enclosed in the Victorian style. A large pillared porch was also added.

An early nineteenth century carriage house still stands on the property along with a large barn and several smaller outbuildings, the oldest of which is a small wooden structure built circa 1800 in the Dutch barn style.

The Garretson Family:

The history of the Garretson family in America began in 1660 with the emigration of Gerrit Gerritse, his wife, Annetje Hermansse and their son, Gerrit from Wageningen, Gelderland (Netherlands). They arrived in New Amsterdam and proceeded to the town of Bergen, where in 1668, Gerrit (Sr) bought from Philip Carteret, eight parcels of land. The family resided in what is now the Communipaw section of Jersey City, where Gerrit died in October of 1696. His wife died on September 7, 1696.

Some of Gerrit Gerritse’s children took the name Van Wagenen, while others retained that of Garretson, from the name of their father. The descendants of Gerrit Gerritse, going by the surname of Garretson, Van Wegenen and Van Wagoner are today numerous throughout Bergen and Hudson Counties.

Peter Garretson, grandson of the elder Gerrit Gerritse, purchased the Slooterdam Patent from David Daniellse in 1719. The house was built shortly afterwards. Six generations of the Garretson family resided on the farm until the death of Mary Garretson Brocker in 1950. Her widower, Feenix Brocker, remained at the homestead and continued farming until 1974.

The Gardens:

Originally a homestead farm, subsistence and market crops were grown from the early 1700’s through the early 1970’s by the Garretson family.

Today, the gardens at Garretson continue an agricultural tradition. A variety of heirloom vegetables, all open-pollinated are grown in the kitchen garden using organic and sustainable practices. Produce in season is donated to a local emergency food pantry. An extensive herb garden contains over 75 types of medicinal and culinary herbs that were grown in the seventeen and eighteen hundreds.

Garretson’s Butterfly Garden provides host plants and nectar sources for many different kinds of butterflies. Since 2005, Garretson has been certified by Monarch Watch as a Monarch Waystation (monarch habitat).

The Children’s Garden at Garretson abounds in spring ephemeral wildflowers, bulbs and ferns. In the heat of summer its offers a welcome place to sit in the shade. Gardeners have been restoring native plants to this woodland area.

Many of the garden volunteers are Rutgers-trained Master Gardeners who have done their community service at Garretson and who give back to the community and Bergen County Master Gardener Program by training new gardeners at Garretson.

Garretson Forge and Farm Restoration Inc.:

The Garretson property was sold in 1974 to a private builder for residential value, community members became interested in acquiring the property for preservation. This led to the founding of the Garretson Forge and Farm Restoration Inc. in 1974 for the purpose of raising funds for the purchase. Through the efforts of the organization, the community at large and government agencies, the necessary funds were raised for the acquisition of the property.

GFFR Inc. continued to raise funds to maintain the site and to restore the kitchen to its eighteenth-century design. Money was also used to purchase artifacts and articles related to Garretson history.

In 1977, ownership of the property was accepted by the Freeholders of Bergen County. Now a county historical site, the Garretson homestead continues to be administered by the members of Garretson Forge and Farm Restoration Inc.

GFFR Inc. is a volunteer organization whose mission is to preserve and maintain the Garretson homestead, keeping it open to the public; to educate the greater community about local and state history; to foster environmentally sustainable agricultural practices and biodiversity.

Programs and Special Events:

Throughout the year, Garretson Forge and Farm offers.

Living history events:

*The Spring Festival celebrating colonial life and crafts in the 1700’s.

*The Fall Festival celebrating the harvest and the 1800’s farm.

*Dutch Christmas presenting a traditional Dutch celebration with the homestead decorated in Victorian style.

Educational Programs:

*School Tours

*Open House and garden tours

*Lectures on the environment and on local history.

*The Master Gardener Program

*Organic/sustainable gardening

*Garden and craft workshops

*The annual Butterfly Festival for families.

Community Service Programs:

*Eagle Scout Projects

*Community Seed Bank

*Seasonal produce donations to local food banks.

For more information on events, please check out the website:

http://www.garretsonfarm.org or on Facebook: Garretson Farm

http://www.co.bergen.nj.us

The Bergen County Division of Cultural & Historic Affairs received an operating support grant from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.

Disclaimer: This information is taken directly from the pamphlet from the Garretson Forge & Farm. For more information on the site, please call the above numbers or email them.

 

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).

http://www.pascackhistoricalsociety.org

http://www.facebook.com/pascackhistoricalsociety

TripAdvisor Review:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46713-d12610386-Reviews-Pascack_Historical_Society_Museum-Park_Ridge_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

The Historical Society is now celebrating their 75th Anniversary.

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 extensive exhibits include a general store, colonial kitchen, 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.

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 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.

The Victorian 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 pamphlet

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.