BORDER HISTORY: Historical house tour explores changing borders

Ackerman-Wortmann House
Ackerman-Wortmann House

“History has no borders” is the theme of the 2014 historical house tour. To celebrate our shared heritage, the Historical Society of Rockland County and the Upper Saddle River Historical Society, working with the Upper Saddle River Historic Preservation Commission, have joined together to present “Shared History: 2014 Historic House Tour” on Saturday, September 13, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Old Stone Church.
Old Stone Church.

Featured on the tour will be at least eight historic homes and landmarks in Montvale, Upper Saddle River, Saddle River (Bergen County, NJ) and Tallman, Airmont, and Chestnut Ridge (Rockland). The 2014 house tour is sponsored by Beckerle Lumber Remodeling Showrooms.

The tour will take guests back 200 years in time, when the Reverend Stephen Goetschius left his home in New Paltz, New York, to serve as the minister of the Old Stone Church in Upper Saddle River. The families who worshiped at the church came from an area of Rockland County that now lies within the Town of Ramapo and from the Saddle River Valley of northern Bergen County. Many of them were related. The area was rural, and the church members still preferred to hear their service in Dutch—a preference Reverend Goetschius shared. He served the congregation until 1835, still preaching in Dutch and riding on horseback to visit his church members.

Osborn Barn (credit Dorice Madronero/HSRC)
Osborn Barn (credit Dorice Madronero/HSRC)

Several of the homes and landmarks on the tour are stone houses from the eighteenth century that existed when Reverend Goetschius was minister. The homes represent many of the names of the early families who attended the Old Stone Church, including Conklin, DeBaun, Eckerson, Hopper, Osborn, Post, Snider, Terhune, Yeomans, and Zabriskie. In addition, the Old Stone Church, which has been restored to its 1819 appearance; the church cemetery; and the Hopper-Goetschius House Museum, which was once Reverend Goetschius’s parsonage, will part of the “Shared History” tour.

Proceeds from the tour benefit the Historical Society of Rockland County and the Upper Saddle River Historical Society. Tickets are $35 (in advance) and $40 (day of the tour). Tickets can be purchased in advance at the Historical Society of Rockland County, 20 Zukor Road, New City, NY; at the Upper Saddle River Library, 245 Lake Street, Upper Saddle River, NJ; or online at http://sharedhistoryhousetour.brownpapertickets.com.