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10-Site History Tour Comes To Allendale, Waldwick

A 10-site historical tour of Northwest Bergen County features how news spread in days gone by.
A 10-site historical tour of Northwest Bergen County features how news spread in days gone by. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Northwest Bergen History Coalition

UPPER SADDLE RIVER, N.J. – For $15, people can tour 10 historic sites in 10 Northwest Bergen County towns from Mahwah south to Glen Rock.

“Spreading the News: Rail, Mail and the Press in Days Gone By” runs 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. May 14. Tickets come with a map showing the address of each site.

An exhibit and guides are waiting for visitors at each location, said Kay Yeomans, president of the Northwest Bergen History Coalition. Each site will feature something pertaining to the theme of communications.

The tour is the coalition’s 6th Annual History Day.

“The day is a way to let people know we’re here,” said Yeomans, who also is curator of Hopper-Goetschius House Museum in Upper Saddle River.

The sites included are:

The Hermitage, Ho-Ho-Kus

Hopper-Goetschius House Museum, Upper Saddle River

John Fell House, Allendale

Mahwah Museum and the Old Station Museum, Mahwah

Museum at the Station, Glen Rock

Old Stone House, Ramsey

Schoolhouse Museum, Ridgewood

Van Allen House, Oakland

Waldwick Signal Tower, Waldwick

Zabriskie House, Wyckoff

The theme of communications through the centuries was inspired by the Mahwah Museum’s exhibit on the Ramsey Journal, which started in 1890 and covered all of Northwest Bergen County.

But it wasn’t the first in the area. That honor goes to The Landscape, printed by A. P. Smith of Saddle River, an African American man, in the 1880s.

“He included all the farm news, who was sick, who died, who was selling and growing what,” Yeomans explained. “Then he had reports on how emancipation was growing and what was happening in the South.”

From historic site to site, the communications theme will differ. Mail was delivered by stagecoach to the Old Stone House in Ramsey, which dates to the 1700s. It was a tavern.

“People would go to inns to pick up their mail and exchange news,” said Yeomans, who got involved in history during the bicentennial in 1976.

“Everyone was into history then,” she said. “Now we have to reengage people.”

Proceeds benefit all 10 historic sites. For information, call 201-327-2236 or visit www.usrhistoricalsociety.org

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