Bergen County Historical Society
BCHS museum and library collections comprise the greatest survival of significant Bergen Dutch aritifacts and documents in the public domain. Some objects are on view at the Campbell-Christie House. Info largely based on The Tree of Life: Selections from Bergen County Folk Art and Ladies Ramble, Quilts from the collections of the BCHS. For a description of collections click here or scroll down.
Photo of Parlor of Steuben Hse
 Painting of Garret D.Demarest
  South Parlor at the Steuben House
Above the Hackensack Valley Sideboard is a Washington Memorial of
painted miniatures on a background of silk-floss embroidery. Inset portraits thought to be painted by John Trumbull. Larger photo of GW.

Bergen Dutch ladder-back chairs surrounding three-piece Hepplewhite dining table on Jacquard woven carpet, (probably NJ).
Note: The way the Steuben House looked at one time.

Portrait of Garret D. Demarest age 6, one of 4 sons of Daniel P. Demarest of The Flatts, now Oradell, along the Hackensack River. c. 1827
By James Van Dyke. Pastel on newspaper. 27-1/2" x 22-1/2".
2 brothers on view at the Steuben House. To view Peter D. Demarest, age 11. To view artist's signature. Daniel D. Demarest is in the Blauvelt- Demarest Foundation's collection. The where-abouts of the fourth son's portrait is unknown.
Hackensack Valley spoon racks
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Photo by Charles Szeglin
October 18, 1794, Manuscript. The Sale of the American Coastal Sloop “Union”. Larger photo, with document transcription.
Photo of Spoonboard
Fig. 1 (top-left) Spoon board, Paramus, 1731. Inscribed "ANNO 1731 A H" within a heart, chip carved design, three strips for 12 spoons, from the Zabriskie-Van Dien house on Paramus Road. Jan J. Zabriskie was a farmer in Paramus. He married in 1731, 19-1/2" x 9-1/2".

Fig. 2 (top-center) Spoon board, Bergen County, 1791. Inscribed "L DMR P DMR: on face, "P+D 1791" on reverse, chip carved, 3 strips for 12 spoons. Petrus Demarest married Lea Blauvelt at Tappan, October 30, 1793, 21-1/2" x 8".

Fig. 3 (top-right) Spoon board, Schraalenburgh (now Bergenfield) 1734. Inscribed "D ANNO 1734 M H / David Demarest," married October 29, 1736, at Schraalenburgh, 14" x 8-3/4".

Fig. 4 (left) Spoon board, Bergen County, late 17 c. or early 18 c. chip carved, picturing a Kas with 3 potted plants, three ledges for 12 spoons, knoblike peak has a carved face, 24" x 8".

Hackensack Valley spoon racks are simple backboards with three ledges usually pierced to insert a dozen spoon handles. These jackknife relics of the delightful custom of giving handmade emblems were made to speak the donor's affections. After marriage, it can be assumed a spoon was given each time a child was christened. The 12 openings for spoons indicated the hoped for size of families in olden times.

PDF of Antiques Magazine June 1925 - 4 pages on Spoonboards.

Spoon board Article
Photo of Dutch Cupboard / Kas
Kas or Dutch cupboard. Every Jersey Dutch household stored handmade cloth, bedding and blankets in a Kas or Dutch Cupboard. This one displays Bergen Dutch quilts and coverlets, including the popular indigo-dyed wool and natural-white linen coverlets produced by local weavers. Larger photo
Kas or Dutch cupboard, served as storage for household cloth such as towels, sheets and bedding. c. 1775 to 1800. Larger photo.
Oldest dated Hackensack Cupboard 1802. Descended in the Mowry family in Paramus. Cruder then later matchstick examples. Larger photo.

Pine cupboard, Hackensack Valley, c. 1860. Two sections: Top has butterfly shelves, 12 glass panes. Typical county mullions; base has 4 drawers and 2 doors supported on modified French foot. Matchstick designs across frieze under cornice. Stepped molding is both straight and slanting. On the stiles, drawers and doors; horizontal and vertical reeding.
Hackensack Valley Chair, Slat-back chair; 3 graduated bowed slats. Posts are topped with urn finials, rush seat. Front feet deeply turned. Several chairs in collections including a child's chair and one adapted for an invalid. Larger photo.
From document collection:
Promise by James Jay to Claus.
Glimpse of Slave History in NJ
1819 pen & ink drawing of the Bergen County Court House.
Pen-and-ink and watercolor drawing by Margarete Van Wagoner, 1830. The Goddess Cybele or Flora on chariot being drawn by lions. The picture is in a frame with matchstick design, typical of Hackensack region. 13-3/4" x 9-3/4". Larger photo.

For more info on Margarete
Daguerreotype. One of the last eye-witnesses of the Revolutionary War at New Bridge.

Thought to have been born in 1773, emancipated 1840, died 1871 at New Bridge.

For a description and photo.

Margarete Van Wagoner did the ink-and-watercolor drawings of CYBELE, Mother of Gods and Gift-Giver to Mortals, in a chariot drawn by lions, in 1824; her initials MVW appear on the lip of the urn in the background.
Made for Margaret Zabriskie. For more info on Margarete
One of a pair. Larger photo.
Storybook Quilt. Patchwork background in subtle dark-colored strips of dress remnants and silk ties in herring bone pattern; eighty appliquéd figures are edged by featherstitch, popular at the time; embroidery details added to bright colored figures; some motifs, such as the unicyclist, locomotive, paddle wheeler, probably derived from Currier and Ives prints. Monogram of maker CVB in center, the date 1880 in red letters below American flag shield. Made by Mrs. Charles V. Bogia. Fabric: silk. Size: 68" x 70". Larger photo.
Captain James Lawrence Portrait (above). Mortally wounded in the War of 1812, in battle in Boston, Lawrence shouted, "Tell the men to fire faster and not to give up the ship; fight her till she sinks!" True to his words, every officer in the Chesapeake's chain of command fought until he was either killed or wounded. Even so, the battle was lost in under an hour, the Chesapeake was captured, and Lawrence died four days later, leaving his wife and a daughter.
See Burlington City, NJ website for more info.
Ladies Ramble 1876. Pattern: Lady of the Lake. Patchwork and appliqué quilt; patchwork done in variation of Lady of the Lake design with multicolored printed and white cotton fabrics; outline quilting on squares. Appliquéd letters (Ladies Ramble 1876) and fleurs-de-lis on borders in red fabric. Red trim, solid white cotton backing. Fabric: cotton. Size: 88-1/2" x 71-1/2". Larger photo.
Haring Applique Quilt. Cotton quilt with twenty red-bordered, well-balanced and colorful squares of appliqué depictions with embroidered details; each object identified by pen inscription: Plumb, Yellow peach, Horse Chesnut, Harts (hearts) Green Apples and many more. Woman in blue dress holds open book inscribed: Betsey Haring made this quilt while in her 57th year of age 1869. Size: 70" x 86-1/2". Click here for more info.
Lighting Exhibit
Photo of garret bed chamber
Spoon board Article
BCHS Coverlet Article
Interior view of garret bed chamber with coverlets at Steuben House, no longer open to public.

Through the language of their motifs and the technology of their manufacture, the Jacquard coverlets of Bergen County open a window on the past. They record the initiation of an agrarian community into the machine age; but typifying the rapid evolution of American life-styles, this art form flowered early and faded quickly. Tree of Life: Selections from Bergen County Folk Art.

Photo of coverlet
Coverlet, present Norwood, 138. Inscribed "Ann Van Blarcom / N. Young Wever {sic} 1841." Indigo and natural colored wool and cotton. Design of birds, flowers, snowflakes and grapes. One of many coverlets owned by BCHS.
Tent-stitched Embroideries. Often referred to as canvas work, probably late seventeenth century to early eighteenth century.
Thought to be a shepherdess and shepherd.
More info to be provided.

George Wolfkiel Article
Redware Pie Plates, Previously attributed to George Wolfkiel, now attributed to Henry Van Saun. Potter along the Hackensack River, Bergen County. c. 1830s. The one shown here c. 1830's. Slip decorated, 13" diameter. Although no signed example of his work has yet been located, his signature may be seen in the personally stylized characteristics of his script, particularly his ""y" endings in the names Molly, Sally or Ginney.
Tavern Rates set by the Bergen County Freeholders, 1763. Larger photo.
Inn sign, Ho-Ho-Kus, 1802, Artist unknown. Inscribed "1802 Thomas Jefferson, John A. Hopper's Tavern". Paint on wood with turned side posts. Swinging board sign with a painting of Jefferson on both sides. Believed to be the only remaining sign of its type from northern New Jersey.

John Hopper's Inn or the Tolles Mansion was built of local sandstone as the homestead of Captain John Hopper, who served in the Rev War. It is believed that this John Hopper is the name on the tavern sign. Unfortunately, the house stood at a sharp curve on the Turnpike where there was a sudden drop in the road level, known as "Dead Man's Curve." In order to improve the road in the early 20th centruy, the house was torn down, according to "Background of Ho-Ho-Kus".

Size: 70"x 39". Restored in 1983 with funds raised by the Junior League of Bergen County. Click here for more info.

Toll sign from the Bergen Turnpike. Originally located at Wolf Creek Gate in Ridgefield. Donated by Freeholders in 1915. Larger photo.
The Hackensack Indian Dugout canoe was found in 1868 in Hackensack, five feet underground in what may have been a creek bed. Judge Garret Ackerson nailed it to side of his barn and used it as a pig trough until 1902. The white oak 14 foot canoe was then donated to the BCHS, making it one of the earliest items in the collections.
At that time, the Smithsonian declared it a rare pre-historic relic.
Emile Stange Painting
5 ft x 3 ft- 6 inches, oil

Emile Stange (1863-1943) is known to have worked in watercolors. The NY Times notes Emile exhibiting landscapes in 1897 & 1906 with the American Watercolor Society.

Reportedly born in Jersey City, lived in Hoboken, NJ, 1895 and North Hackensack, NJ, 1917.

The Bergen County Historical Society, a non-profit, 501(c)(3) volunteer organization, was founded in 1902 to develop public appreciation for Bergen County's remarkable history, especially through the preservation and study of its material culture. We are the only historical association to focus on the Bergen County as a whole, from its prehistory to the present day. Our museum collections are presently on display in a limited basis at the Campbell-Christie House. Public programs include placement of informative roadside historic markers, educational events, museum exhibits, monthly lectures, and a library collection. We are not a government agency.

The museum and library collections comprise the greatest survival of significant Bergen Dutch artifacts and documents in the public domain. The museum collection includes many objects from a time when possessions were handmade or locally made. Furniture, quilts, coverlets, paintings, pottery, tools and prehistoric objects are all represented. More recent donations include the pick that broke ground for the George Washington Bridge. The library-collections encompass family genealogy, diaries, and manuscripts; church, cemetery, and bible records; books, clippings, and on local and county history, the Revolutionary War, and historic architecture; postcards, photos, videos, atlases, and maps. The photograph collection is founded upon late nineteenth century glass plate negatives, which record the earliest views and studies of Bergen Dutch architecture, and has grown to encompass an important visual record of the county's growth as a metropolitan suburb.

If using an image, please credit
the Bergen County Historical Society
and alert/email me at:
D. Powell

All photos by Deborah Powell unless
otherwise noted.

Bergen County Historical Society
P.O. Box 55, River Edge, NJ 07661

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