Oakland's Van Allen House, New Jersey
Van Allen House, Franklin Ave/Rt.202
The mission of the Oakland Historical Society (Oakland, NJ) is to bring to life and help maintain the history of the Borough of Oakland by activating and preserving especially the Van Allen House site, with the Vygeberg Farm Office Building, and by keeping a museum there showing living displays and memories of Oakland's past. We support the Borough's efforts to continue and complete the renovations of both buildings with the help of the Bergen County Office of Historic Preservation.
During the year we offer opportunities for people to visit the Van
Allen House and experience local life as it was in the 18th & 19th Centuries on a farm settlement in northern New Jersey. The Lenni-Lenape Indians are known to have used the path which followed the Ramapo River Valley north and south, and has now become an interstate roadway, Route 202, which goes from Maine south into Maryland and beyond. Copies of letters George Washington wrote at the House are available there during open-houses, usually the 3rd or 4th Sunday afternoon many months during the year. Please check our events page to see when the house will be open. The site also has a building from 1902, built by Edward Page, one of the industrialists who settled along Rt. 202 to develop agriculture for the growing cities of Northern New Jersey, such as Paterson or Newark.
OPEN HOUSE SUNDAYS
For 350 years farmers have tended the fields, and enjoyed the natural resources of our rich community. From iron mines and a timber & charcoal industry to a Garden State throughout suburbia, Oakland has been a center for family living and working to survive, and survive well. Come see our farming and working tool collection from ages past, outdoors and inside. Learn about the agricultural power of the Stream House.
Learn how the Dutch settlers found out about local sources of iron-ore from the Lenapes back in the 1690's. After the British made the Dutch leave New Amsterdam (New York City), they continued to thrive up in Albany and throughout NY State. NY governor Pieter Schuyler's son Arendt became friendly with local native tribes, and convinced them to show him hematite sources in the Ramapo Mtns. from Pompton Plains up to Sloatsburg and beyond. Sloatsburg is dutch for "borough of furnace smoke-stacks." Pompton Lakes still has the remains of a colonial era stone iron ore furnace in the woods near the lake. A lot of Dutch settlers were very busy making charcoal, building forges and furnances, and creating large quantities of pig iron starting at 1695. The women were busy tending the farms and young families. Want to learn more? Come visit us at the next open house. Watch for open-house signs in front of the Van Allen House, usually 3rd Sunday of the month.
New Blog Post from former resident