Lambert Castle/Passaic County Historical Society
3 Valley Road
Patterson, NJ 07503
Phone: (973) 247-0085
Fax: (973) 881-9434
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:
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.
I had a chance to visit the floors undecorated. 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.
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.
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:
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.
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.