Tag: NJ Historical Societies

The Boonton Historical Society and Museum   210 Main Street   Boonton, NJ 07005

The Boonton Historical Society and Museum 210 Main Street Boonton, NJ 07005

The Boonton Historical Society and Museum

210 Main Street

Boonton, NJ  07005

(973) 402-8840

http://www.boonton.org

https://www.boonton.org/268/Boonton-Historical-Society

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46315-d19255529-Reviews-Boonton_Historical_Society_and_Museum-Boonton_Morris_County_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

I recently visited the Boonton Historical Society on the Main Street of downtown Boonton, NJ in a quickly changing new Arts Community. Up the hill, several galleries have found a home and the downtown is filling up with cottage industries catering to both locals and artists.

The Historical Society covers the history of Boonton and its role in New Jersey history especially with the creation of the Morris Canal and the Iron works that once dominated the area until about WWI.

Boonton Historical Society IV

The munitions of the town’s foundries

The town saw much prosperity during the Civil War, providing ammunition and supplies to the Union Army. Many of the nails used during this period came their foundries. They also supplied munitions, pails, building materials and the transportation of raw iron out of the town. When technology and the way we build changed, the businesses here started to dry up. The use of the Train system and major highways also changed the transportation, it affected the town’s businesses.

Still the Boonton area is home to many historic homes, a section of the Morris Canal and the remains of the iron works that burnt to the ground decades ago. There is an interesting exhibition of the town’s Police Department in the lower level and now as part of the changing gallery space an extensive exhibition on the NJ Trolley system that once dominated the state.

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The Boonton Historical Society and Museum

The permanent exhibition space studies the history of the town, telling the story of the town’s beginnings as a manufacturing town, growth of the canals and shipping and agriculture to its current destination as a Arts Community. The museum is small and can be seen in about an hour to two hours if you like to read.

Don’t miss the room to the right of the museum which covers the timeline of the town and its prominent residents. It tells the story of how the growth of the iron works, the building of the dam and the coming of the railroads and the trolley system changed the town and the growth of its population. Take time to read the displays and look at the exhibitions behind the case lines.

I recently went to the Boonton Historical Society for the December 2019 Holiday open House and it was a very nice afternoon. They some local students playing the guitar, keyboards and the flute with engaging music and holiday songs. There were some light refreshments with hot and cold appetizers and Christmas cookies. They had specials in their gift shops and featured ornaments, books and stuffed animals at a reasonable price and had 1960’s and 70’s Christmas albums playing on the lower level of the museum. It was a nice afternoon treat and the society did a nice job welcoming people.

The museum is only open once a week on Sundays from 1:00pm-4:00pm and is run by volunteers. If you want to see how the State of New Jersey grew from a series of small towns to bustling industrial areas to sleepy back towns and back, visiting the Boonton Historical Society and Museum is a must visit.

 

New Exhibition:

The Boonton Historical Society in conjunction with the North Jersey Electric Railway Historical Society and Liberty Historic Railway present this exhibition on the Trolley era. This display will include scale models of various types of trolley cars which operated in New Jersey, along with streetcar memorabilia and artifacts such as operator’s uniform jacket/hats, badges, books, publications, post cards, photos, videos, lithographs, signs,posters, tickets, lanterns, hardware and more (Boonton Historical Society).

 

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The History of Boonton, NJ

 

The Mission Statement of the Boonton Historical Society & Museum:

The Boonton Historical Society and Museum is a non-profit organization incorporation in 1959 located in the town of Boonton, New Jersey. Its mission is to:

*Preserved and protect the town of Boonton’s unique cultural, architectural and industrial history;

*Preserved and share the area’s rich history, folklore, arts and humanities of the past and present;

*Encourage preservation and restoration of historic landmarks in the town;

*Protect and display the museum’s collections;

*Provide educational programs, guided historical tours and exhibitions to a diverse population.

 

The History of Dr. John Taylor House 210 Main Street  Boonton, NJ (Home of the Museum):

The building was originally a private home built for Dr. John Taylor and his wife, Adelaide T. Kanouse. John L. Kanouse gave his daughter and her husband this lot as a Christmas present in 1897. Most likely, it was an enticement to get his family to move closer to him because they had been living in Succasunna and Mount Arlington where Dr. Taylor had practiced medicine for 15 years. The Taylor’s returned to Boonton and had the brick house built. Dr. Taylor continued his medical practice there.

In 1901, Adelaide’s parents came to live with them until her father died in 1905 and her mother in 1908. John L. Kanouse was one of Boonton’s most prominent citizens and was a successful businessman. He operated a food and supply store on Main Street, a coal yard on the Morris Canal and a modest farm between Kanouse and Roessler streets. He was elected Superintendent of Public Schools and held the office for twenty years. He served in the State Legislature and Board of Chosen Freeholder and as Associate Judge of Morris County and Tax Collector of Boonton.

Dr. Ellery Peck worked with Dr. Taylor in the building as an associate for seven years. Then in 1917, Dr. Peck went to serve in WWI and Dr. Taylor moved to Chula Vista, CA. After the war, the returning soldiers formed American Legion Post #124. Dr. Peck was one of the trustees of the Legion Post. He negotiated with the Taylor’s to purchase the building from the Post and dedicated it as a permanent memorial to veterans and a home for Post #124.

In 1922, the Town offices were moved from the Maxfield Fire House on Main Street to the John Taylor house. The Legion Post and the Town shared this building for 43 years until the present Town Hall was built in 1965. Since that time, the Boy Scouts, Civil Defense and Parking Authority have also used the building, having five floors there was enough room for everyone.

The Legion also offered space to the Boonton Historical Society. On November 11, 1980, the Society opened its museum on the second floor. This arrangement continued for ten years until Town Fathers deemed the building unsafe and it was closed to the public.

The building sat idle until the Committee to Save the John Taylor Building sought funding to renovate the building. That funding came from several sources. The largest portion came form a state grant but there were also sizable donations from the American Legion Post #124 and the Boonton Historical Society. More money came from individuals who were interested in seeing this portion of Boonton’s history kept alive and retained by the Town. The renovations were completed by professional tradesman and a few tireless volunteers. The building reopened in May 1997.

The original building had two triangler dormers on the top floor and a porch at the back of the main floor. They were removed sometime during the 1960’s. That work did solve the problem of a leaking roof but unfortunately, it made the building ineligible for designation to the historic register. Another mistake was made when the building was painted to solve the problem of leaking bricks. That mistake was undone when a civic group, Boonton’s United Community Effort, held a raffle to earn money to have the paint chemically removed and the bricks repointed.

Boonton Historical Society

The John Taylor House

Today, the building is shared by the American Legion and the Historical Society and Museum. The Town Fathers generously pay the expenses of the building and for that were are grateful (Boonton Historical Society).

Disclaimer: This information was taken from the Boonton Historical Society pamphlet and I give them full credit for the information.

 

 

 

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.

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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.

The Paterson Museum  2 Market Street          2 Market Street   Paterson, NJ 07501

The Paterson Museum 2 Market Street 2 Market Street Paterson, NJ 07501

The Paterson Museum

2 Market Street

Paterson, NJ  07501

(973) 321-1260

Open: Monday-Friday 10:00am-4:00pm/Sunday-Sunday 12:30pm-4:30pm

Fee: Free

http://www.thepatersonmuseum.com/

http://www.patersonmuseum.com

https://www.patersonnj.gov/department/?structureid=16

My review on TripAdvisor:

https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attraction_Review-g46718-d2704664-Reviews-Paterson_Museum-Paterson_New_Jersey.html?m=19905

The Paterson Museum is an interesting museum of the history of the City of Paterson, NJ. The museum is broken into different sections of the City’s history. The museum discusses from the time that the Lenape Indians lived in the area to the rise of colonization and then to how it developed into the Silk City  through city planning and placement. The museum covers the history of the City of Paterson in the industrial Age as well with the rise of the Silk Industry, the Wright Airplane Factory, the Colt Revolver and the growth of the hospital industry in the City.

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Paterson Fire Department

Take time to look at the live displays of minerals, Native American artifacts, old fire department equipment and the life and times of its native son, Lou Costello.

The nice part of this museum is that the parking is free, it can be toured in about two to three hours and it is walking distance to the Paterson Falls and to Little Peru restaurants. It is also free.

The Introduction:

The Paterson Museum offers a ‘History within History’ experience. Located inside the former erecting shop if the Rogers Locomotive & Machine Works, the museum, presents a glimpse of the rich history and the many factors that gave rise to Paterson, New Jersey: “America’s First Planned Industrial City.”

From the natural wonders and the first inhabitants of the land that lay below and above the ground to the vital role Paterson played in setting of our nation’s industrial course. Through the museum’s exhibits. you’ll find out why Paterson was known for more than a century as the “Silk City.” You’ll discover that Paterson was at the forefront of locomotive, submarine and airplane engine development. And that’s just the beginning of our story. By the time you finish your visit, you will want to learn more about this city that surrounds the Great Falls.

The Exhibitions:

Paterson Residents: There are exhibitions on such celebrity natives as Lou Costello and his life after living in Paterson are shown in detail. Baseball players, football players and actors have shown against all odds and color barriers they found success in the world with Paterson being their roots.

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The Silk Industry

Silk City: The history of Paterson as ‘Silk City’ features winders, warpers and power-looms that produced beautiful fabrics. How the Falls and the location of the City of Paterson played its part in the garment industry at the turn of the last century. Not just in the silk industry but also in other companies like the Wright Aeronautical Corporation and the their time as a manufacturer in Paterson.

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The Paterson Fire Department

The Paterson Fire and Police Departments: The history and development of both the Paterson Police and Fire Departments are told through pictures, stories, uniforms and equipment through the ages. There are many turn of the last century fire trucks in the museum.

World War Exhibition: The museum has a wonderful exhibition on the history of Paterson and the role it played in the World Wars. There are all sorts of uniforms, munitions and stories to tell.

Geographical: There is a whole side exhibition of gems and minerals both native and from all over the country at the museum and a full display of native New Jersey stone formations. There is also a discussion of how the Falls played such an important role inf the development not just of the City of Paterson but of New Jersey as well.

Alexander Hamilton Exhibit: The history and life of Alexander Hamilton is told from the time he was born in the Caribbean to his coming to the United States, his marriage and his rise through the ranks of the government. There is how he helped develop the banking industry and paying of the government debts to his fall from grace and his eventual fatal duel with Aaron Burr.

Lenape Indian Culture: The Lenape Native American culture is shown how the tribes developed, lived, worked and hunted and gathered to create the society that was in place before colonization. There are all sorts of tools, displays on their regions of living, language, housing (there is a recreation of a Tee Pee here), that native wardrobe and a complete display of tools and arrow heads. It is a very detailed account of life as a Lenape Indian.

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Lenape Exhibition at the Paterson Art Museum

The museum shows the history not just of Paterson but of the surrounding areas and how growth of the City of Paterson made an impact on the region.

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.

In 2018:

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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.

In 2019:

In 2019, the decorations were not as elaborate as the previous two years. The snow storm before the event may have put a damper on a few of the groups decorating. Still the best day to visit the manor is Thursday afternoon as it is the quietest time and you can take the best pictures.

The two best rooms in the manor in 2019 were the Entrance Hall and Grand Staircase decorated by the Magnificent Seven, a group of volunteers whose theme was ‘The Secret Life of Gnomes’ and the trees and staircases were studded with gnomes, large and small, on the trees and wreathes surrounding the stairs.

The other room that was very impressive was the Center Hall whose theme was the “Enchanted Forest, full of little fairies and painted rocks and jeweled winged ornaments. When you looked at the detail work of the trees and table displays you could see the work that went into the decor. Each little fairy on the stands and trees had immense detail and took a lot of time. This display was done by the Friends of Laurelwood Arboretum in Wayne, NJ.

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Skylands Manor in 2019

The rest of the rooms in the manor were really pared down from 2018 and did not have the same elaborate details to them. The Library and Study did not have half of the display items that they did in the past.

The fee to enter the home is still $10.00. The carriage house is being used for a cafe with Chicken Salad sandwiches and hot dogs with toppings. There are all sorts of crafts for sale.

Watch the calendar for 2020 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.

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

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

The Hopper-Goetschius Museum

363 East Saddle River Road

Upper Saddle River, NJ  07458

(201) 327-8644

http://www.usrhistoricalsociety.org

TripAdvisor Review:

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

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

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

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

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Santa in the Dutch Barn at the Hopper museum

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

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The outside buildings still had a bit of snow left

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

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

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

Upper Saddle River Historical Society:

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

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

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

Hopper-Goetschius House Museum Restoration Fund Drive

USR Historical Society.org

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

(Upper Saddle River Historical Society)

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

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

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

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

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

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

(Upper Saddle River Historical Society)

The property also contains:

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

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

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

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

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

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.