Welcome to the Harrington Park Historical Society - we are glad you are visiting with us on our website! Please browse around our website to learn more about us and what we do.
We hope you will join us for our ten lecture series on various history subjects that range from local to the far away on interesting historical topics. We meet the first Monday of every month, except July and August, in the Harrington Park Public Library, 2nd floor, at 7:30 P.M.
Typically our meetings include a top notch speaker, question and answer segment, followed by a reception where you can greet our guest and enjoy some refreshment. Our lecture series is open to everyone and we do not charge a fee to attend.
In addition to our lectures the Society maintains and preserves two historic cemeteries in Harrington Park, namely; the Perry Cemetery, and the Old Burying Ground. The Perry Cemetery is a small family burial ground located on what was the farm of David Perry (1809-1871). The Old Burying Ground cemetery is part of the land apportioned to Garret Huybertsen Blauvelt, son of one of the original sixteen grantees of the Tappan Patent approved by the Governor of New York in 1686. Although there are believed to be earlier ones, the first known burial was in 1722 and the last in 1905.
On Saturday, April 29 beginning at 10:00 A.M. until Noon the Harrington Park Historical Society celebrates “History Day” at the Boro Hall located on Harriot Avenue. For many years the Society has sponsored History Day to give the townspeople an opportunity to learn more about their town’s history. The day has also given the Society occasion to add to their collection of papers and artifacts contained in the Society’s archives by either scanning the papers brought in by the public and returning these the same day, or, giving the public a chance to donate items of historic interest to the Society.
The Society will be mounting a special WW1 exhibit in commemoration of the 100TH anniversary of the U.S. entering the war to end all wars. The Harrington Park Historical Society was recently gifted a fabulous collection of early pictures and ephemera from the daughter of Meredith Parker Hallenbeck Newman. Meredith Hallenbeck's father was the first train station master in Harrington Park. Camp Merritt photographs and artifacts are part of the collection and will be on display for the first time to the public. Camp Merritt was an integral part of life in Harrington Park and the surrounding towns from 1917 to 1919. WW1 posters from the Society’s collection will also be shown for the first time, original newspapers during the period, two uniforms; a WW1 nurse’s uniform and an Army Sergeants, and many other local fascinating WW1 artifacts which show life in the Northern Valley during this time period.
New Jersey sent an estimated 130,000 to 150,000 New Jerseyans to serve in the armed forces, and of those who served we lost 3,836 to combat, accident and disease. Although the final resting place for many who died are in the St. Mihiel American Cemetery or the Meuse-Argonne American Cemetery, New Jersey itself is decorated with some 160 monuments and memorials marking The Great War and the individuals who bravely served in it.
The day also increases awareness of the Society and its activities, some of which include; a ten lecture series on various history topics given September through June at the Society’s general public meetings, and the maintenance and preservation of two historic cemeteries in Harrington Park, namely; the Perry Cemetery, and the Old Burying Ground.
The Old Burying Ground cemetery is part of the land apportioned to Garret Huybertsen Blauvelt, son of one of the original sixteen grantees of the Tappan Patent approved by the Governor of New York in 1686. A Ground Penetrating Radar survey revealed that in addition to the known graves, there are another thirty or so internments at the site, most likely earlier than the 1732 date that was known. A small stone that had the year 1722 inscribed on it was thought to be a possible land marker rather than a gravestone, and the GPR findings now reveal that this stone might indeed be a gravestone confirming the Society’s speculation of earlier burials.
On Sunday, the public may enjoy taking a tour of Revolutionary War Sites in the Northern Valley. This self-guided tour is of the Historic Site Markers situated along the roads of the Valley, and was written by Elizabeth R. James. You may pick up a free copy at the History Day exhibit, thereby enjoying another day of history on Sunday afternoon.
GENERAL MEETING - MAY 1ST, 2017 - 7:30 P.M. - HARRINGTON PARK LIBRARY
JIM DEL GUIDICE - “Samuel Morse: 19th Century Renaissance Man"
The Harrington Park Historical Society is delighted to welcome as their guest lecturer, Mr. Jim DelGuidice, to their May 1st meeting to be held at the Harrington Park Library, 10 Herring Street in Harrington Park. The meeting will begin at 7:30 P.M. Jim DelGiudice will discuss “Samuel Morse: 19th Century Renaissance Man.” Samuel Finley Breese Morse (1791–1872) epitomized the titans of the Industrial Revolution in America with his wide-ranging accomplishments in technology and art. Samuel Morse was an American painter and inventor. After having established his reputation as a portrait painter, in his middle age Morse contributed to the invention of a single-wire telegraph system based on European telegraphs, he was also the co-inventor of Morse code.
Photojournalist Jim DelGuidice details the life of the Massachusetts-born Morse, who worked for a time in New Jersey. You will learn and come to understand why Jim DelGiudice calls the fascinating, multi-faceted Mr. Morse a “19th Century Renaissance Man.”
The public is welcome to this informative and entertaining evening and is invited to attend all lecture programs sponsored by the Society. Immediately following the presentation there will be a light reception and an opportunity to meet Jim DelGuidice.
Photo by John Mager
“SAVE THE STONE” OF REBECCA DURIE
The Harrington Park Historical Society is launching a new fundraiser with a singular purpose; “Save the Stone” of Rebecca Durie who is buried at the Old Burying Ground on Tappan Road in Harrington Park, New Jersey.
The Old Burying Ground cemetery is part of the land apportioned to Garret Huybertsen Blauvelt, son of one of the original sixteen grantees of the Tappan Patent approved by the Governor of New York in 1686. Although there are believed to be earlier ones, the first known burial was in 1732 and the last in 1905.
A recent Ground Penetrating Radar survey revealed that in addition to the known graves, there are indeed another thirty or so internments at the site, most likely earlier than the 1732 date that was known. A small stone that had the year 1722 inscribed on it was thought to be a possible land marker rather than a gravestone, and the GPR findings now reveal that this stone might be a gravestone confirming the Society’s speculation of earlier burials.
Rebecca Durie, daughter of Jacobus Durie and Geesje Demarest was born in 1772 and was baptized in 1773 at the Schraalenburgh Reformed Church. She married John Myer who was born September 3, 1764, baptized September 30, 1764, at the Tappan Reformed Church and died September 19, 1829. John was the son of Abraham Myer and Catharine Nederman, both of whom are also buried in the Old Burying Ground. John and Rebecca were married October 27, 1793 at Schraalenburgh Reformed Church.
They lived in present Harrington Park, Bergen County, New Jersey, where John Myer’s father, Abraham, operated a grist mill prior to 1765. Abraham Myer’s will was probated January 24, 1784, and John Myer inherited his father’s land in 1784 and subsequently purchased adjacent land. He operated the mill until his death in 1829.
At that time his property was divided between his daughters, Trietje and Jannetie. Jannetie married James Bogert who continued the business and it became known as “Bogert’s Mill” as long as it lasted. It remained in the Bogert family until the 1920’s when the property was purchased by the Hackensack Water Company.
The homestead site was near present 163 Bogert’s Mill Road, and the mill formerly stood opposite on the north side of Harriot Avenue.
Rebecca and John are both buried at the Old Burying Ground. All that remains of John’s headstone are several illegible fragments. The top portion of Rebecca’s deteriorated headstone was lying on the ground until it was recently uprighted and reset (see photo). The remaining portion of the inscription will eventually fall off unless the headstone is professionally “glued” together. The original inscription was
John Myers who
departed this life
May 26th 1854
Aged 81 Years 6 Months
The Lord Doeth all things well
Rebecca Durie’s red sandstone tombstone marker has weathered a lot of storms, but needs much restoration work. In the words of Master Stonecutter, Robert Carpenter; “There is extensive erosion throughout the interior of the stone. The center of the piece is hollow from the breakdown of the stone particles throughout the years. Water is the main reason for this as it has worked its way into this sedimentary stone along the fault lines. The inscription is still there and that is worth saving if possible.”
The Society agrees with Mr. Carpenter when he says “… this stone grave marker is unique and worth thinking about” and will restore the stone with the help of the public through their “Save the Stone” fundraiser.
If you would like to help the Society “Save the Stone,” please send your donation to P.O. Box 105, Harrington Park, New Jersey 07640. After the Rebecca Durie stone is restored, the Society will host a Tour of the Old Burying Ground for the donors who made the restoration of Rebecca’s stone possible. The tour will be followed by a reception.
If you have any questions about the Society or its activities, please contact Gerri Gibney at 201 768-2615 or visit their website at www.harringtonparkhistoricalsociety.com or visit them on Facebook. The Harrington Park Historical Society is a non-profit 501(c)(3) Corporation.