Harrington Park Historical Society
   P.O. Box 105, Harrington Park, N.J. 07640       
201 768-2615       
501(c)3 Corporation       

Recipient of the Bergen County 2011 Historic Preservation Commendation Award for the Old Burying Ground           
Photo of Old Burying Ground
by Dr. Davis Ross
Upcoming Lectures & Events

All Lectures Are Held at the Harrington Park Library, 10 Herring Street, Harrington Park, New Jersey 07640 7:30 P.M. - 2nd Floor
All are welcome!
Proud Sponsor
of the
Harrington Park
Arts Council
"The Art of Today - The History of Tomorrow!"
A Legacy Project  of the HPHS for the 350th Anniversary of the
State of New Jersey

To increase the interest of our community in the arts, to assist all who wish to make an artistic contribution, and to bring the artist and the community-at-large together in a mutually beneficial relationship. To develop, promote, and coordinate the arts at the community level as an expression of Harrington Park’s talents, needs, resources, and aspirations under the auspices of the Harrington Park Historical Society.

To learn more, please click on the Arts Council Button
or visit the Arts Council on
and on Facebook - Arts Council of Harrington Park 


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.
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Old Burying Ground
Photo by Dr. Davis Ross
Gordon Bond
Author, Historian, Founder Garden State Legacies

“The Story of New Jersey's Deadliest Train Wreck”
Mr. Bond is the ePublisher of www.GardenStateLegacy.com, a free quarterly online magazine dedicated to New Jersey history. As an independent historian and author, he has written many New Jersey related articles and five books, including; James Parker: A Printer on the Eve of Revolution (Garden State Legacy, 2010) and North Jersey Footnotes: Tangential Tales from Garden State History. His latest book is about the 1951 Woodbridge, New Jersey train wreck.

Other areas of research include New Jersey’s folk grave marker traditions and leading a team proposing an archeological exploration of the Thomas Mundy Peterson house site in Perth Amboy, New Jersey.

A proud native of the Garden State, Mr. Bond lives with his wife, Stephanie M. Hoagland and their two cats in Union Township, New Jersey. He also runs his own freelance graphic designs business, Gordon Bond Designs.
Double click here to add text.
September 11, 2017 –  7:30 P.M.
General Meeting
​                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    Photo by John Mager


The Harrington Park Historical Society's ongoing fundraiser is "Save the Stone" of Rebecca Durie 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
Memory of
Wife of
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.  Please note:  The Harrington Park Historical Society is a non-profit 501(c)(3) Corporation.

The Harrington Park Historical Society is pleased to announce Mr. Gordon Bond, author, historian, and founder of Garden State Legacies will be their guest lecturer on September 11, 2017. Mr. Bond’s presentation entitled “The Story of New Jersey's Deadliest Train Wreck" will begin at 7:30 P.M. in the Harrington Park Library located at 10 Herring Street in Harrington Park.

Mr. Bond will discuss his latest book, "Man Failure: The Story of New Jersey's Deadliest Train Wreck," which draws on eyewitness interviews, contemporary news reports, and investigation transcripts to explore this dramatic event in New Jersey history.

On the drizzly evening of February 6, 1951, the Pennsylvania Railroad commuter train known as “The Broker” derailed in Woodbridge, New Jersey, killing 85 and injuring hundreds in what remains the deadliest railroad accident in the state’s history and among the top five in the United States.

What happened is reasonably well-understood. The Broker hit a temporary track around a New Jersey Turnpike construction site going between 50- and 65-miles-per-hour, though the speed limit was set at 25. The tender derailed and began to drag the eleven passenger cars behind it down a 30-foot embankment onto the parallel Fulton Street. The horrors of the wreck have been recounted by surviving passengers, witnesses, and rescuers. The Broker has remained in the communal memories of the Township and the communities afflicted, appearing in local histories, noted in local media on anniversaries, and within compendiums of historic railroad accidents.

Why it happened, however, is an area of controversy. While the role of speed is generally accepted, why the otherwise experienced and skilled engineer failed to properly observe the speed restriction drew attention at the time to systemic issues within the Pennsylvania Railroad itself and seemed to reflect what many had come to believe about the industry as a whole. Seemingly plagued by delays, rate hikes, labor disputes, accidents, and the long shadow of a hundred-plus years of corruptive influence, it felt like the railroads put profit before service—and now the cost was being counted in mangled corpses and broken bodies..

All lectures are free and open to the public, and the Society welcomes everyone to attend. After a Q & A a reception will follow. For more information about the Society’s activities, please contact Gerri Gibney at 201 768-2615. Or visit the Society on Facebook or on their website; www.harringtonparkhistoricalsociety.com.