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Genealogy / Lutkins family
« Last post by Mike on May 23, 2017, 09:54:17 PM »
George Washington stayed overnight at the Lutkins' house on Passaic Street, now Rochelle Park. House was built by Peter Lutkins in 1760, and is registered with The Library Of Congress.  Any chance of getting a marker for the location?
I did a quick 3-photo stitch today of the fully-completed project.

Click it to enlarge and scroll to the left.

The organization was 130 years-old and the current location was about 90. It has been torn down over the last 10 days or so.

Rather than duplicate all the posts, pictures, stories, etc., from, here is a link to all that:

Click and any picture to enlarge it.

On the day that most of the front came down, I also shot video from the roof of the Johnson Public Library and that can be seen here:

Note: the Record would prefer that an article's URL be posted instead of the whole article.  I searched high and low and could not find a URL for this story nor could I find it on If anyone else finds the URL and would prefer that it be used instead of what's below, let me know and I'll switch it.

Historic building in Oradell goes from firehouse to theater

The Bergen County Players repurpose a 19th century structure and turn it into a showcase for community theater


When the Bergen County Players (BCP) perform shows at The Little Firehouse Theatre in Oradell the rich history within its four walls just shines through. Built in 1897 as the town’s (then called Delford) first firehouse, it was turned over to the BCP more than 50 years later when the department outgrew it. This Kinderkamack Road mainstay has welcomed thousands of audience members to enjoy hundreds of productions throughout the years, while continuing to preserve the spirit of its full and storied past.

“It’s special to have all of that history behind it and we appreciate and celebrate that,” says Lynne Lupfer, current president of the BCP, which is celebrating its 85th season this fall.

One of the most recognizable structures in Oradell, the firehouse was built on land purchased for $300 (the structure would cost an additional approximately $750) on what was then called Linden Avenue. It started with 45 firefighting volunteers. Shortly after opening, they purchased a hand-drawn hose cart with 700 feet of fire hose. In 1903, a horse-drawn hose cart was added, quickening response times to fire emergencies. Motorized fire engines were added in 1916 and 1917. With new and larger equipment added to the firehouse, by 1949 they needed a larger building and a new structure was built a block away.

In the meantime, Bergen County Players, formed in 1932 in Hackensack by a group of dedicated community theater performers and enthusiasts – including John Travolta’s mother Helen – found themselves in need of a new performance home and saw the potential in this unique space. After a fire in their previous theater in River Edge left them floating around for a few years in various spaces, they negotiated with the town to take over the vacant firehouse.

After building a stage in the back of the building and adding seats where the fire trucks and equipment were housed, The Little Firehouse Theatre was born. Other than an extension, which was built in 1969 for extra rehearsal space and storage, capping its audience capacity to 208 seats, the building has remained largely the same.

“From the stage forward, which includes the bell tower, and a floor above, used as the rehearsal room with the original big glass windows, it’s very similar to its original firehouse structure,” Lupfer says.

Today the BCP has 300 active members, who produce seven main stage productions and two second stage shows a year, as well as workshops and a children’s show in December.

“Most of our members do more than one thing,” Lupfer says. “If you’re acting in the show you’re likely helping to paint the set, maybe gathering props, making costumes or helping with makeup.” Other behind-the-scenes opportunities include ushering and ticket selling. “It’s truly a community effort,” she says.

With plans to do renovations this summer, before the 85th anniversary season opens in the fall, including new seats, carpeting and painting, the heart of the building will always remain.

“When you walk downstairs to the lounge, there is a whole series of old photographs of firemen throughout the years,” Lupfer says. “Fire hats donated to us still hang on the walls. It will always be the firehouse.

“Where the audience sits is the original floor,” she adds. “And on the second floor where we rehearse, the floors still creak and groan as you walk on them.”

The communal spirit of the theater company meshes nicely with the history of one of the town’s oldest buildings.

“Being here makes us feel like we’re really a part of the community,” Lupfer says.


I was able to gain  access several years ago before the property was sold.
I appreciate finding the Bergan County Historical Society website. This discussion cleared up questions I had about the artist who painted a picture I love that I found recently in a thrift store. It is signed Newman. Now I now his full name and bio. If anyone has any info about this painting I would appreciate seeing it. This painting seems atypical to other paintings I have seen.
Genealogy / Re: Carlock Park
« Last post by BLeafe on March 22, 2017, 10:07:18 AM »
I've never heard of Carlock Park. A location would help. Is it in Bergen County?

With next-to-no information, I found two possibilities from 1977. If I had to make a desperate guess, I'd say his first name is William and the park might be in Fairview, NJ.

From a "carlock park nj" search:

3-2-77 Asbury Park Press (you will have to join for a free trial just to see the page............I didn't): (see below Google search result which mentions Bergen County and William Carlock Park)

From a "carlock park bergen" search:

8-5-77 The Daily Register, Shrewsbury, NJ: (a long pdf you'll have to wade through.............I didn't do that either, but the Google search result below mentions Fairview  and English Neighborhood, of which Ridgefield and Fairview were part. That was actually a mention of English Neighborhood Park in Fairview, so maybe they're related or even the same park. You'll have to check with Fairview for any more Carlock Park info.

One last thing: I just found a "Carlock Field" in Rochelle Park, NJ, but no mention of its naming history. For that, check with Rochelle Park.

Good luck - let us know what you discover.


Genealogy / Carlock Park
« Last post by pcschwa on March 21, 2017, 02:20:28 PM »
Looking for Grandfathers First Name.  Carlock Park was named after him.  I remember being there, but I was only 3-4 years old.
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