Historic House Museums, Structures and Sites

The Wayne Township Parks and Recreation Department owns and operates three historic house museums. All three were put on the National and State Registers of Historic Places in the category of construction and design, specifically Dutch Colonial.  The Wayne Historical Commission provides vital support to the museums by raising funds, acquiring artifacts, and writing the history of Wayne.

Van Riper-Hopper Historic House Museum
#1 Van Riper-Hopper Historic House Museum - 533 Berdan Avenue

Built in 1786 by Uriah Van Riper for his bride Maria (Polly) Berdan, this Dutch Colonial house offers a rare walk back in time. In 2013 architectural research produced evidence that the house was built in three stages.  The Van Riper-Hopper family occupied the house from its beginnings to 1928.  An abundance of artifacts make it easy to imagine succeeding generations living in the house.  Five lower rooms contain 18th and early 19th century furnishings Located on its original site, the museum represents the agricultural society that dominated Wayne for over 200 years. In 2013 the first Community Gardens were built on the site to correlate with its traditional agricultural roots.  The farmstead includes an historical herb garden, Archeology Laboratory, and Albert Payson Terhune Collection.

Mead-Van Duyne Historic House Museum
#2 Mead-Van Duyne Historic House Museum - 533 Berdan Avenue

On the same property as the Van Riper-Hopper House Museum, visitors can step farther back in Wayne's history to pre-Revolutionary War times.  This Dutch Colonial architecture house has a cornerstone of 1706.  The early 1700s period is marked by evidence of one huge fireplace without sides, called a jambless fireplace.  Most likely in the mid-1700s, the house was changed to reflect a new construction design, Dutch American. This “vernacular” architectural type was not architect-designed.  It is characterized by two massive opposite facing fireplaces, two rooms, two front and two back doors.  The interior has 1700s (18th Century) furnishings, spinning and weaving tools.  The house was saved and moved from its original site on Old Fairfield Road in 1974 due to the widening of Route 23

HOUSE TOURS – Experience interpretive, interactive tours developed for adults, families, or children. Visitors may tour Van Riper-Hopper House Museum and Van Duyne House Museum by appointment.  Schuyler-Colfax House Museum is closed for rehabilitation.  For tour appointment e-mail or call 973-694-7192.

PROGRAMS – At Van Riper-Hopper House Museum
For Boy and Girl Scouts – 973-694-7192
For Grade 3  and 4 class program: Please call for further information 973-694-7192.
PRE-REGISTER by e-mail or phone: 973-694-7192.

Schuyler-Colfax Historic House Museum
#3 Schuyler-Colfax Historic House Museum – 2343 Hamburg Turnpike

This building is credited to settler Arent Schuyler, and is Wayne's oldest house. It is one of a few colonial homesteads built circa 1700 on the east coast of the U.S.A., with an existing huge fireplace without sides called jambless.  Eight generations of the Schuyler-Colfax family resided in the house, producing military, medical, legal and governmental representatives.  When the house was sold in 1993 to the Township of Wayne, the family left behind written records and artifacts.  The older sections of the house are the lower elevation sections.  After the Revolutionary War, Hester Schuyler married Captain William Colfax, the Captain of George Washington’s Life Guard.  They are credited with building the two-story portion.  The house is currently closed for rehabilitation.

The Dey Mansion/Washington’s Headquarters Museum
The Dey Mansion/Washington's Headquarters Museum – 199 Totowa Road

dey mansion-solders
Photo Courtesy of Peter A. Blacksberg


Begun in 1740 by Dirk Dey and completed by his son Colonel Theunis Dey, this mansion served as General George Washington's headquarters in 1780. The museum is owned and operated by Passaic County Department of Parks and Recreation.

For information on Dey Mansion, call 973-696-1776.


Historic Structures and Sites
Van Saun House - 23 Laauwe Avenue: This old Dutch home was built in 1769 by Samuel Van Saun and is presently a private residence. Major-General Marquis de Lafayette made this home his headquarters during the 1780 encampment of the Continental Army. The still active spring, which flows into the Singac Brook, maintains a 34 degree temperature year round and refreshed many a man and horse.

Mead House - 231 Parish Drive: Built in 1780 by Jacob K. Mead, a direct descendant of the founder of Mead's Basin, this home forms the left wing of the huge mansion built in 1929 by LeGrand Parish. The house is now owned by the Lakeland Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship.

Ryerson Homestead - 44 Newark-Pompton Turnpike: Built in 1784 by Abraham Ryerson, who is a direct descendant of one of Wayne's first settlers. This home is now a private residence and also serves as a business location.

Henry Casey House - 1329 Hamburg Turnpike: The first Wayne Township organizational meeting took place in this house on April 12, 1847. It is currently a private residence and a business address.

Demarest House - 378 Fairfield Road: This 1760 homestead is believed to have been built by John Ryerson, and used as a parsonage for the Dutch Reformed Churches. It was dismantled and rebuilt in 1850 to rid the house of ghosts. The Demarest family bought it in 1814. It is now owned privately.

Terhune Memorial (Sunnybank) - Terhune Drive: In 1860, the Reverend Edward Payson Terhune and his bride settled on this sloping hill on the east shore of Pompton Lake. Their son, Albert Payson Terhune, was raised here and became famous as the author of Lad and other dog stories. Headstones mark the graves of favorite dogs. Sunnybank is now a town park. The house was in too great a state of disrepair to be saved.

Tollkeeper House - 2332 Hamburg Turnpike: Built in the 1700's to house George Colfax, the toll collector on the road from Paterson to Hamburg. To supplement his income, Colfax was also a cobbler. This home currently is a private residence.

Mountainview Schools: The first school was a dug-out school built in 1743 on what is now Parish Drive near the Community Fire Company Number One. In 1812 a new Mountain View School was built on Boonton Road. In 1920 a newer school was built across the street at 64 Boonton Road., and the old school was converted into the Town Hall of Wayne. It presently houses American Legion Post 174. The school on Boonton Road is now a bank.

Old Preakness Schools - 1006 Hamburg Turnpike: The small white building was built in 1866 as a single story structure to be used as old district school #14. A second story was added and it was renamed School #2. While still owned by the town, it is rented to a business. The newer school, which closed in 1977, is now the Wayne Civic Center and houses the Preakness Branch of the Wayne Public Library.

The Preakness Reformed Church Cemetery - 131 Church Lane: This is the only public cemetery in Wayne. Stones dating back to 1798 include names of those prominent in the town's early history - Berdan, Van Riper, MacDonald, Hinchman, Ratcliffe, Garside. A self-guided tour is available at the Church.


Adapted from Know Your Town Wayne New Jersey Published by the League of Women Voters of Wayne Township.


Location Directory to Houses on the State and National Register of Historic Places


1

Schuyler–Colfax House

2343 Paterson-Hamburg Tpke

1695

Oldest House and Museum

2

DeyMansion

199 Totowa Road

1717

Gen Washington Hdqtrs

3

Samuel Van Saun House

23 Laauwe Ave

1769

Gen Lafayette Hdqtrs

4

Van Riper–Hopper House

533 Berdan Ave

1786

Museum

5

Mead–Van Duyne House

533 Berdan Ave, ex Fairfield Rd

1740

Museum

6

H. George L. Ryerson House

44 Newark – Pompton Tpke

1784

Commercial Business




Location Directory to Historic Structures and Sites

7

American Legion Hall

Mountain View Blvd

School – Town Hall

8

Blind Man’s House

27 Newark-Pompton Tpke

Mr. Burdett’s son wrote book

9

Henry Casey House

1329 Paterson-Hamburg Tpke

1st Town Meeting

10

Geo Washington Colfax House

Dawes Highway (moved – razed)

1810

11

Demarest House

427 Fairfield Road

1760 private residence

12

DeMilleSchool

Terhune Drive (raised)

nursing home site now

13

Demont-Ryerson Store

20 Newark–Pompton Tpke

 
14

Gabriel’s Hotel (Hixon)

95 Mountain View Blvd

 
15

Mead – Parish House

231 Parish Drive

Unitarian/Universalist Fellowship

16

Preakness Reformed Church and Cemetery

131 Church Lane

Oldest Church

17

Shackelton’s (canal) Store

90 Mountain View Blvd

 
18

Thomas Van Saun House

1158 Preakness Ave

FlyingHospital Site

19

Sheffield Farms

861 Black Oak Ridge Road

Dairy

20

UpperPreaknessSchool

1022 PatersonHamburg Tpke

Oldest School

21

William B. Ryerson House

452 Newark-Pompton Tpke

Lucas Ryerson – tall clock maker

22

WOOW Radio – Voice of America transmitting station

Ryerson Avenue (west end)

Demolished in 1996




Town Hall

475 Valley Road
Wayne, NJ 07470
Weekdays 8:30am-4:30pm
Tuesdays open until 7:00 pm
Sat & Sun: Closed
Closed on State Holidays

Wayne DPW Complex

201 Dey Road
Wayne, NJ 07470
Weekdays 7:30am-3:30pm
Sat & Sun: Closed
Closed on State Holidays