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

October 4, 2021

Speaker:    Eric Nelsen, Historian, Author
Topic:        “A Civil War Story of the Men and Their Families from Alpine who Served the                     Union – Part II"

The Harrington Park Historical Society is pleased to welcome back good friend and historian Eric Nelsen as their guest lecturer on Monday, October 4, 2021, 7:30 P.M. at the Harrington Park Library located at 10 Herring Street in Harrington Park. Mr. Nelsen’s lecture is entitled “A Civil War Story of the Men and Their Families from Alpine who Served the Union Part II.”

The American Civil War is the most studied and written about episode in United States history; there are books, articles, movies, courses, documentaries on the major and minor battles, the leaders of the time, the generals who conducted the war, the social upheavals in the north and the south, and so it goes. So what did the people of Alpine (as it was to become known) where the Palisades Interstate Park is located have to do with this well documented war?

Eric Nelsen, Director of the Kearney House, a 19th century tavern and homestead, located in the Park has been researching this question to enhance the knowledge base of this distinctive area to learn more about the men who volunteered to serve the Union in the Civil War. Eric describes this new program he has developed;

“I can honestly say this talk is unlike any I’ve worked on before, and I’m having a hard time coming up with a simple description, but here goes: I’ve been looking at the group of men who volunteered from Alpine (as it was to become known) to serve the Union in the Civil War. As my starting point, I’ve used the plaque the town would later place for them, which lists nine men. I’ve been able to put together biographical details for each, who they were before and after the war, and what their service consisted of. But I’ve also found at least half a dozen men who served from Alpine who are not on the plaque—including Charles Conklin, who grew up at the Kearney House, a grandson of Mrs. Kearney’s. In starting to piece together the stories of all these men, I’ve also begun to gain new insights into the unique community they hailed from—and the families they left behind.”

Mr. Nelsen’s talk is an ambitious project, which in his always thorough and engaging style will sure to delight, engage, and educate his audience. The Harrington Park Historical Society invites everyone to hear the second part of this maiden voyage of this presentation, given on October 4th at 7:30 P.M. 

November 1, 2021

Speaker:    Doc Bayne, Historian, Educator 
Topic:        "History of Iona Island”

Eric Nelsen
A lifelong resident of Bergen County and a graduate of Montclair State University, Eric Nelsen has been an historical interpreter for the Palisades Interstate Park's NJ Section since 1992 and director of the Park's historic Kearney House, a 19th-century riverfront homestead and tavern now serving as a living history museum, since 1998. He was project coordinator for the video documentary A New Deal for the Palisades (2001) and coauthor of New Jersey's Palisades Interstate Park (2007, part of Arcadia Publishing's "Images of America" series). He is best known for the "history hikes" he leads, during which hikers explore beautiful views of the Hudson - along with the ruins of grand cliff-top estates and fishermen's villages, all part of a unique Interstate Park that is both a National Historic and National Natural Landmark.

He brings a rich understanding of the many facets of the Palisades to his presentations. Day to day in the park, Eric creates park publications including the njpalisades.org website, brochures, interpretive signs, and social media. When he’s unplugged from his office, he can be found leading one of his popular history hikes — or dressed to party like it’s 1849 at a living history program at the Kearney House.


As part of our mission, we are continuing to maintain and preserve the two historic cemeteries in our care, the Old Burying Ground and the Perry Cemetery. Now, we are reaching out to you, our members and friends to help us continue to keep these cemeteries in pristine condition, and to conserve these historical assets. Whatever you can donate at this time to accomplish this work, we cannot adequately express our sincere gratitude. 

We hope you will continue to be as generous as you have been in the past when considering supplementing your annual dues this year. Those dues, which are fully tax deductible, are as follows: 

Family $25
Individual $20
Youth (under 18) $5

In addition to enjoying dual membership in the Arts Council of Harrington Park, HPHS members receive a discount on all Society events and activities (including fund raisers).

On behalf of the Harrington Park Historical Society, I look forward to welcoming you as returning (or brand new) members! Please call me (201-666-0566) or our President, Gerri Gibney (201-768-2615) if you have questions.

Karen Goddard
Membership Secretary

Mail your check to P.O. Box 105, Harrington Park, New Jersey.  Please include your name(s), address, phone, and email.  Or, use the membership form noted above.  Thanks!