The Historic Places and the State Register of Places recognize the significance of the Van Riper-Hopper House Museum, which can be found in Wayne at 533 Berdan Avenue. This is due to the museum’s remarkable architecture and design. This Dutch Colonial mansion, constructed in 1786 by Uriah Van Riper for his wife, Maria (Polly) Berdan, offers a one-of-a-kind look into the past. Uriah Van Riper was married to Maria (Polly) Berdan. According to the findings of an architectural study conducted in 2013, the house was built in three stages during its construction. 

The Van Riper-Hopper family called the place their home from 1918 to 1928. The house is stuffed with so many antiquities that it is not difficult to imagine people from subsequent generations calling it home. The museum is in its original location and serves as a depiction of the agricultural society that dominated Wayne for more than 200 years. It is also the oldest building in the city. Read more.

The furniture on display in the five bottom rooms dates from the 18th and early 19th century. In 2013, the very first Community Gardens they’re established there, paying homage to the region’s long-standing agricultural customs and traditions. The Albert Payson Terhune Collection, an archeological lab, and a historical herb garden are all housed on the site.

Historic House Museums, Structures, and Sites

Three historic house museums in Wayne Township are owned and operated by the Wayne Township Parks and Recreation Department. These museums include the Schuyler-Colfax House, the Van Riper-Hopper House, and the Van Duyne House. All three are included in the National and State Registers of Historic Places, thanks to their contributions to the disciplines of design and architecture. Through hosting fundraising events, amassing collections of artifacts, and writing a history of Wayne, the Wayne Historical Commission is a tremendous asset to the city’s museums. Visitors may see both the Van Duyne and the Van Riper-Hopper residences by making an appointment throughout the year.

The oldest home in Wayne is this structure, which is attributed to pioneer Arent Schuyler. It is one of the few colonial residences constructed about 1700 on the United States’ east coast that still has its massive jambless fireplace. Because of how it was built and designed, the home was included in the State and National Registers of Historic Places. The Schuyler-Colfax family lived there for eight generations, producing officials in law, medicine, and government. Written documents and artifacts they’re left behind by the family when the home was sold to the Township of Wayne in 1993. 

The lower elevation parts of the house are the oldest parts. After the Revolutionary War, Hester Schuyler married Captain William Colfax, the captain of George Washington’s Life Guard. The two-story part is attributed to them. To undergo renovations, the Schuyler-Colfax House is now closed.

Historic Structures and Sites

Samuel Van Saun constructed this historic Dutch house in 1769; it is now a private dwelling. During the Continental Army’s camp in 1780, Major-General Marquis de Lafayette made this house his headquarters. Many men and horses have been refreshed by the still-functioning spring, which empties into the Singac Brook and keeps a constant temperature of 34 degrees.

Mead House: 231 Parish Drive: This residence was constructed in 1780 by Jacob K. Mead, a direct ancestor of Mead’s Basin’s founder, and now serves as the left-wing of the enormous house constructed in 1929 by LeGrand Parish. The Lakeland Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship presently owns the property.

Ryerson Homestead – 44 Newark-Pompton Turnpike: Abraham Ryerson, a direct ancestor of one of Wayne’s first settlers, constructed it in 1784. The house is presently both a private dwelling and a place of business.

Henry Casey House-1329 Hamburg Turnpike: On April 12, 1847, the first Wayne Township organizing meeting was held at this residence. Currently, it serves as both a residential dwelling and a commercial location.

Demarest House – 378 Fairfield Road: This 1760 farmstead, which served as a parsonage for Dutch Reformed churches, is thought to have been constructed by John Ryerson. In 1850, it was taken apart and rebuilt to get rid of the spirits in the home. In 1814, the Demarest family acquired it. It is now privately held.

Terhune Memorial (Sunnybank) – Terhune Drive: On this sloping slope on Pompton Lake’s eastern edge, the Reverend Edward Payson Terhune and his wife made their home in 1860. They raised their son here, Albert Payson Terhune, who later achieved fame as the creator of the dog story Lad and others. The graves of beloved pets are marked with headstones. Sunnybank is now a town park. The house was in too bad of a shape to be salvaged.

Tollkeeper House – 2332 Hamburg Turnpike: George Colfax’s residence was built in the 1700s for him to collect tolls on the Paterson to Hamburg route. Colfax worked as a cobbler to bolster his income. Currently, a private family lives in this house.

Mountainview Schools: The original school was a dug-out building next to Community Fire Company Number One on Parish Drive and was constructed in 1743. On Boonton Road, a new Mountain View School was constructed in 1812. The old school was transformed into Wayne’s Town Hall in 1920 when a modern school was constructed across the street at 64 Boonton Road. Currently, American Legion Post 174 resides there. Boonton Road’s former school is now a bank.

Old Preakness Schools – 1006 Hamburg Turnpike: The plain white structure with a single floor was erected in 1866 and served as the location of Old District School No. 14, which was located in the building. It was renamed “School #2 once it was promoted to the second level of difficulty. Even though the town still legally owns the property, it is leased to a private business. The building that once served as the Preakness School but was razed in 1977 to make way for the Wayne Civic Center is now home to the Preakness Branch of the Wayne Public Library.

The Preakness Reformed Church Cemetery – 131 Church Lane: This cemetery is Wayne’s sole publicly accessible burial ground. On stones that date back to 1798, you may find inscriptions with names like Berdan, Van Riper, MacDonald, Hinchman, Ratcliffe, and Garside that are associated with the early history of the town. A self-guided tour is available through the Church.

Visit their website or contact them at (973) 706-6640 for additional details.

Next article is Terhune Memorial Park.