Van Riper reorganizes

(JUNE 11, 2019) — The Van Riper House, Inc. held a special meeting tonight to elect new officers in order to increase its ability to achieve its goal of preserving, restoring and maintaining the Van Riper House, in order to make it a valuable asset to the Nutley community.

Regular meetings will be held every 2nd Thursday of the month. Our next meetings will be held on July 11, 2019, August 8, 2019, etc., at the Nutley Museum, 65 Church Street, Nutley. All are welcome to attend! We are very much looking forward to the future of one of Nutley’s historic treasures.

Our new officers are:

Dante Intindola, President
John Demmer, Vice President
Marion Butler, Secretary
Barbara Davide, Treasurer

Directors:
Jack Casale
Susan Casale
Dennis Dries
Betty Dries
Maryann Lauber
John Simko
Patti Williams

Janice Fraser
(1 vacant)

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Go West! To Nutley from Jersey City

(June 14, 2019) — After Juriaen Thomassen from Ripen settled down with his wife Reyckje in the growing village of Bergen (now Jersey City), he was party to a contract that would significantly shape the future of what we know know as Clifton, New Jersey.

On March 28, 1679, a group of Dutch settlers purchased what was known as “Acquackanonk” (ah-QUACK-ah-nonk) from the Lenni Lenape Indians, located around what is now the Main Avenue Bridge in Passaic.

However, the transfer of Native land rights did not count under English law. This was relevant because the English had granted some rights to English settlers in the same area, and that conflicted with the Dutch settlers’ goals.

So, Juriaen Tomassen and 13 other heads of Dutch households negotiated and purchased from the Proprietors of East Jersey the land encompassed by a line drawn from where the Third River enters the Passaic to what is now the location of Montclair State University (“the first mountain”), then following the Passaic back to the beginning. This was memorialized in the Acquackanonk Patent, granted on March 15, 1684. The Dutch then began splitting up the tract into various lots shown on the maps below.

That area became Acquackanonk Township in 1693. After land was parceled out into Paterson, Little Falls, and Passaic, Acquackanonk became the City of Clifton on April 26, 1917.

– Dante Intindola

Sources & further reading:
Lambert Castle
Passaic County
Gerrit Gerritszen van Wagenen
Acquackanonk Township, New Jersey
New York Public Library Digital Archives
THE STORY OF NEW JERSEY’S CIVIL BOUNDARIES

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Thank you for your interest in Van Riper

(JUNE 19, 2019) — There is incredible excitement about the Van Riper House and I am not just speaking about the group and its new leadership. There has been an outpouring of concern from some major groups in town and I am being asked “what can we do to help” from private citizens and organizations.

We will be having our first meeting (as the newly formed group) on July 11th and it is open to all. We have a lot of work to do primarily getting all the paperwork and books in order and we will be organizing events soon too.

The number one goal is to stabilize and protect the building then get the right people in to come up with a viable plan for fund raising and building use. Based on all the willingness from so many, I believe we have the best chance ever to get this one done in a realistic and sensible time frame. We hope to be able to speak with some of you at the next meeting!

-JD

(map is Nutley area in 1860)VanRiper-old-map

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Who was Bradbury?

(June 26, 2019) — Many people don’t know this, but the Van Riper House wasn’t originally built by the Van Ripers. As far as we know, a house was built on the current site by the Bradbury family in 1708.

John Bradbury, from England, built the first mill on the Third River in 1698 or earlier. It was located almost exactly where Route 3 crosses River Road (big yellow circle below).

Sometime around 1708 or earlier, he used his accumulated wealth from the gristmill to build a stone house on a knoll along the newly-constructed River Road. As an aside, River Road is Nutley’s oldest road, laid out officially on March 26, 1707.

See below for a copy of that “road return” mentioning John “Broadbury” being annoyed that Essex County road men were going to mess with the nice hedges he had planted when they worked on the road.

To be continued…

Sources & Further Reading
History of Passaic and its Environs, by William W. Scott, 1922 (pp 637-638)

Essex County Road Books A&B (1698-1804)

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Van-Riper-Bradbury-Script

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Efforts Renewed to Preserve and Protect Van Riper House

By DANTE INTINDOLA
As published on TapIntoNutley
June 27, 2019 at 9:02 AM

On June 11, the Van Riper House, Inc., a 501(c)3 nonprofit, held a special meeting where the board of directors elected new officers, including me as President and Town Historian John Demmer as Vice President. Our goal is to re-invigorate the effort to preserve, protect, and, most importantly, make useful to our community, the Van Riper House.

Located at 491 River Road, this house circa 1788 is one of the last Dutch brownstone manors still standing on the banks of the Passaic River. It was saved from destruction by the Cambridge Heights development in the late 1990s by a group of concerned citizens.

Despite their efforts, a suspected arson fire damaged the roof and interior of the home in January 2000. There is still much work to be done to preserve the house, which is in dire need of a new roof.

Our next monthly meeting will be held on July 11, 2019 at 7:30 PM at the Nutley Museum, 65 Church Street. All are welcome to come and discuss the future and join the volunteer effort.

For more information, visit our Facebook page under “The Van Riper House”. A new website is in the works as well as a way to donate and join our nonprofit online. The following will be the first in a series of posts telling the Van Riper House story.

While we gear up for the next chapter in the Van Riper House’s history, we’d like to begin by telling its story. A good place to start would be in 1663, when Juriaen Tomassen (surname is patronymic, meaning “Thomas’ son”) arrived in New Netherland aboard T’Bonta Koe (“The Spotted Cow”) from the the city of Ripen, now the oldest city modern-day Denmark under the name of Ribe.

On May 25, 1667, young Juriaen married Reyckje Harmens Coerten in the Old Bergen Dutch Reformed Church in Bergen, a small, 6-year-old village that would later develop into Jersey City. The record image attached shows that this was just the fourth marriage in what was New Jersey’s first permanently chartered municipality.

After Juriaen Thomassen from Ripen settled down with his wife Reyckje in the growing village of Bergen (now Jersey City), he was party to a contract that would significantly shape the future of what we know know as Clifton, New Jersey.

On March 28, 1679, a group of Dutch settlers purchased what was known as “Acquackanonk” (ah-QUACK-ah-nonk) from the Lenni Lenape Indians, located around what is now the Main Avenue Bridge in Passaic.
However, the transfer of Native land rights did not count under English law. This was relevant because the English had granted some rights to English settlers in the same area, and that conflicted with the Dutch settlers’ goals.

So, Juriaen Tomassen and 13 other heads of Dutch households negotiated and purchased from the Proprietors of East Jersey the land encompassed by a line drawn from where the Third River enters the Passaic to what is now the location of Montclair State University (“the first mountain”), then following the Passaic back to the beginning. This was memorialized in the Acquackanonk Patent, granted on March 15, 1684. The Dutch then began splitting up the tract into various lots.

That area became Acquackanonk Township in 1693. After land was parceled out into Paterson, Little Falls, and Passaic, Acquackanonk became the City of Clifton on April 26, 1917.

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Van Riper House

Van Riper House Built Circa 1725The Van Riper House has been occupied by families up until the time ITT took over the property in 1945. The original part of the house was built in 1708 , the addition was added in 1788. The house does not need to be re-constructed in any way, as it is all in its original form. It does need a lot of work to be restored.

You can help, with donations or sweat-equity, or both.

Donations & sweat-equity, new members welcome

Van Riper House Historic Trust
PO Box 110031
Nutley NJ 07110

Site comments are not regularly monitored. Please address inquiries to the snail-mail address or visit our Facebook group. Thanks.

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