Citizens semi-centennial association, Ridgewood.

Ridgewood, Bergan County, New Jersey, past and present online

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individual members of the church.


The West Side Community along Doremus and Ackerman Avenues,
leading towards Glen Rock from Godwin Avenue, was one of the earlier
real estate developments.

There are many prosperous German Lutherans numbered with these
residents and, together with others in different localities of our Village
having the same religious faith, felt the need of a church organization
that could foster the religious doctrines and policy of the powerful
Lutheran denomination, which stands for Evangelical truth and prac-

The Rev. Mr. Gurcheke of West Hoboken, while ministering at Mid-
land Park, inaugurated the movement that resulted in services being
held in the library room of the First National Bank, January, 1905.
The Rev. S. S. Stechholz of St. Luke's Lutheran Church of Paterson
continued these services, later to be followed by the present pastor,
the Rev. Frederick Albert Ottman.

The church organization was effected January 20, 1907, and the
Sunday School founded on November 13, 1910.

The corner-stone of the present beautiful church on Doremus Avenue
was laid on September 29, 1912, and the dedication took place on
March 30, 1913.

The property represents a valuation of $10,000. There are 95 com-
municants and 165 adherents. In the church year ending in 1916, the
congregation contributed $400 for various benevolences and disbursed
$1,500 for current expenses.


This church was organized on January 4, 1905, with a membership
of fifteen persons, by the Rev. A. J. Hubbard, who was called as its
first pastor and who has since continued as such.



In March, 1907, the church was successful in purchasing a plot of
ground on Ackerman Avenue, the cost of which was paid in cash.

During the same year, the present building was completed at a
cost, including the ground, building and furnishings, of $5,500, the
amount of indebtedness placed upon the building being paid off! dur-
ing 1909.

Since its organization, 200 members have been added to its roll and
the church stands today free of all debt.


This is the youngest of the church organizations of the Village.
It is the outgrowth of a need which the west side of the town felt for
a Bible school to serve the children of the community who were practi-
cally prohibited from attending the established Bible schools by reason
of the dangerous grade crossing which existed until the new station
improvements were under way. There had been desultory talk of
establishing a new church and Bible school on the west side for many
years, but it was not until the fall of 1912 that the plan assumed
concrete form with the starting of a little school in the Ridgewood
Preparatory School building. Heights Road near Monte Vista Place.
The Rev, Isaac J. Lansing, D.D., preached a number of sermons to
the parents of children in the new Bible school and after some con-
sideration, it was determined to organize a new church.

The old First Presbyterian Church, at East Ridgewood and Pleas-
ant Avenues, was at that time without a pastor so, by an arrangement
with that organization, it was agreed to found a new church on the
collegiate plan, with the Rev. Dr. Lansing serving both. The First
Presbyterian Church changed its name to the Kenilworth Collegiate
Presbyterian Church and the new organization of the west side adopted
the name of the "West Side Collegiate Presbyterian Church when it
was formally organized and accepted by the Presbytery of Jersey City
at a meeting in Prospect Hall on October 9, 1912. At that time, 65
persons were received into membership, of whom only seven came from
other Ridgewood churches.

The plot at the southwest corner of Franklin Avenue and Monroe
Street was purchased and ground broken for the initial unit of the
building to be erected. This unit was dedicated on April 27, 1913,
services in the meantime being held in the Ridgewood Preparatory
School building. The rapid growth of the Bible school made necessary
the building of a pair of units during the summer of 1915 and they
were dedicated on October 3rd of that year.

At the present time the membership of the church is about 180.
The membership of the Bible school is about 250 in the attending
departments and 100 in the cradle roll and home departments; a total
of about 350. The women's work of the church is cared for by the
Woman's Guild, with a membership of 100. The guild has conducted
a number of exceptionally successful sales and has contributed liberally
both to the building funds of the church and its benevolences, besides
being a center for social intercourse.



The Men's Club is a purely social organization which has built up
a lively fraternal spirit among the men of the community. The club
has established a reputation for the excellent and unique character of
the entertainments it has provided.

The Christian Endeavor Society is a live organization numbering
about 90 active and associate members.


Holland Church

About twenty-five years ago, in Upper Ridgewood, near the junc-
tion of Glen Avenue and Monroe Street, a small church was built by
the Hollanders, who lived in that vicinity, in which services were
conducted in the Dutch language.

The organization continued its work until a few years ago when the
society disbanded. The building was torn down about two years ago.

As the church was organized by John W. Spikerboor, the locality
was called, in his honor, Spikertown.

The Community Church Society

The Community Church Society of Upper Ridgewood is a mission,
as yet unorganized beyond a local board of seven men selected from
40 families and 120 adherents. This body is really an Executive Com-
mittee with the usual functions, but with more extended authority than
is ordinarily delegated to such a committee.

The weekly gathering of worshippers and workers is held in a neat
chapel loaned by the Home Mission Board of the Reformed Church
in America, from which the Society also receives supplementary finan-
cial aid in maintaining the work. The Consistory of the First Re-
formed Church of Ridgewood has general oversight over the organ-

There are 61 on the roll of the Bible school, of which Mr. Clarence
Wyckoff of Upper Ridgewood is Superintendent.

During the last church year the Society contributed $200 for gen-
eral and missionary benevolences, and more than $1,000 for current

On May 1, 1913, the Rev. John A. Terhune, whose residence is on
West Ridgewood Avenue, was called to minister to this religious society
in conjunction with the recently organized Mission Church at Ho-Ho-
Kus, under the general superintendence of the Paramus Reformed

The Upper Ridgewood Society, while yet unorganized as a church
proper, is encouraged to anticipate in the near future the official equip-
ment its continued prosperity warrants.




A LARGE tract of land on the north side of Ridgewood Avenue
was owned by Henry Van Enibnrgh. By his will he left to his
son, George, the southerly half of his farm, which extended from Pear-
sail's Grove to a point across the track, some distance west of Heights
Road and which contained 109.57 acres. This tract was sold in 1853 to
Captain Samuel Dayton and at a later date was plotted.

The northerly half of the Henry Van Emburgh farm, devised by
him to his son, Peter Van Emburgh, was also purchased in 1853 by
Captain Dayton and in the same year was sold to Samuel Graydon
and Benjamin F. Robinson.

These purchases by Captain Dayton and Messrs. Graydon and Rob-
inson were the earliest realty transactions in the development of the
hamlet. Prior to these almost the whole of Ridgewood was owned by
about twenty men, most of whom were descendants of the early Dutch

The Dayton, Graydon and Robinson families were the first resi-
dents of New York City to settle in Ridgewood. They were attracted
to the hamlet by the greater freedom of suburban life which they
experienced during the years 1850, 1851, and 1852, while summer resi-
dents at the old Doctor Hopper home in Ho-Ho-Kus.

About 1860 additional residents from New York City came to the
hamlet, among them being William Libby, A. J. Cameron, James
Keeley, and John Walton and sons. About this time Cornelius Shuart
jiurchased a portion of the Westervelt property and was the first in
the town to lay out land in building lots. While it is true that Captain
Dayton was the first to plot the land, Shuart was the first to file a map.

In 1866, T. V. Terhune purchased a tract of land bounded by Ridge-
wood and Franklin Avenues and Oak and Walnut Streets, where in
1867 he erected the first dwelling house to be built after the Village
had been laid out into streets.

The development of the Village continued and numerous houses
were built until the year 1875, when a financial depression resulted
in the abandonment of many homes and a stagnation of business of
every kind.

In 1880, a public sale of property comprising the Kidder Estate
inaugurated a real estate movement on a larger scale than the Village
had ever experienced. The house then belonging to the Kidder prop-
erty is now owned and occupied by Dr. J. T. DeMund. The property
was purchased by several gentlemen. Mr. Peter Ackerman secured a
large portion of it which he immediately began to improve and place
upon the market, the Reformed Church buying the first plot of one
acre uncleared.



Other lots were offered for sale and additional streets were laid out,
sidewalks built, and general improvements were made.

In 1892, Thomas W. White acquired by purchase a large tract north-
west of the depot, which he named Ridgewood Heights. He proceeded
to develop the section and, after the opening of Franklin Avenue, the
first house was built on land sold by Mr. White to Mr. Lucius Smith
for his mother, Mrs. Junius A. Smith. The Smith family lived there
until Lucius Smith died, when the house was rented to the present
tenant, Mr. Sykes. It is still the property of the Smith Estate.

The second lot of the White tract was sold to J. Bolles Smith, who
built the house "The Knoll", recently purchased and remodelled by
Mayor Garber on the south side of the avenue. Mr. White later built
for his own occupancy, "The Oaks," now owned by Mrs. O'Neill, and
it was due to his efforts that the attractiveness of this section was brought
to the notice of men who bought and substantially improved several
of the finest residential tracts in the Village.

Between 1907 and 1911 occurred the largest development of real
estate in the history of the Village, when an average of one hundred
new homes a year were constructed. During the period from 1912
to 1915, an average of thirty-five new homes a year were completed,
and in 1916 about fifty more were built, the increase since 1911 having
been along lines of normal growth.

In more recent land developments parts of the Village have been
laid out by real estate interests in the form of residential parks. The
first of these, known as Kathawood Park, is situated on the west side
of the Village, south of Godwin Avenue, while south of this section is
Lincoln Park running to Lincoln Avenue.

The section just west of the Erie tracks includes what is popularly
and appropriately known as the "Heights", while on its western slope
is Wastena Park, both sections being traversed by winding roads and
adorned with a natural growth of forest trees.

Prospect Park on the southerly side of the Village consists of thirty
acres of land divided into half-acre plots, and contains one of the finest
beech groves to be found in Bergen County.

Woodside Park, including Woodside Avenue, Ivy Place and Linden
Street, is within eight minutes' walk of the center of the Village and
overlooks the valley both to the east and west.

Floral Park is on the east side of Van Dien Avenue, in the imme-
diate vicinity of Kenilworth School and the electric road station at
Spring Avenue. It commands one of the best views of the historic
Paramus Valley.

Fairview Park is on Harrison Avenue near the school and trolley
station and embraces fifty acres of fine sandy soil.

That part of Ridgewood lying north of Cameron Lane and west of
the Erie Railroad, is now known as Upper Ridgewood and, before its
development a few years ago, was mainly a pasture and woodland.
Its advantages of altitude and unsurpassed views are supplemented
by its proximity to the Ho-Ho-Kus station of the Erie Railroad, whose
property forms the dividing line between the two municipalities.

Each of these localities may have its own peculiar charm but all



have practically submerged their individuality in the Ridgewood spirit
of progressiveness which they have helped to advance. While the tan-
gible lines of some are still in evidence and are referred to as geo-
graphical sections of the Village, there is no dividing line between the
interests of any section or part of Ridgewood, the people being remark-
ably united in their public spirit.


Prior to the construction of the railroad, agriculture was the prin-
cipal occupation of the community, New York and other neighboring
cities providing a ready market for local products.

At the time the Godwinville station was opened, there were three
cotton mills in that settlement which is now called Midland Park and
Wortendyke. The output of these mills together with the agricultural
products provided business for the new station, the natural result of
which was the drawing of the people to it as a commercial center.

The first building erected after the opening of the station, although
occupied by P. J. Hopper as a dwelling, was also used by him as a
general store. He was, therefore, the first to engage in a mercantile
enterprise in the neighborhood. This building was located where the
Hutton building now stands, near the railroad tracks on Ridgewood

The second person to engage in mercantile pursuits was Cornelius
Shuart, who built a store on the site of the Hopper building, removing
the latter to the rear of the new structure and entering into the venture
on a more extensive scale than did his predecessor.

Shuart later sold the business to Albert Hopper and Casper Van
Dien, brother of our present oldest citizen, John B. Van Dien. They
were succeeded by P. E. Hopper, Mr. Totten, Mr. Gilfillan and Mr.
Cruse. The building was destroyed by the fire of April, 1889, and the
site remained unoccupied until the erection of the present Hutton

About 1867 another grocery store was started by G. G. Van Dien
and his brother, John B. Van Dien, on the site now occupied by the
Wilsey building. The Van Diens also had a large lumber-yard between
the railroad and Ridgewood and Franklin Avenues. They were suc-
ceeded in the grocery trade first by John Westervelt and later by James
Hammond, after which the building was devoted to other purposes,
and with the construction of the present Wilsey building in 1914, it
was removed to its present site on North Broad Street, and is known
as the Ferris building.

The first attempt to conduct a drug business in the Village was made
by a German during the early sixties. He opened a store on South
Maple Avenue, where the residence of Chas. Stoneall now stands, but
the location was not near enough to the business center of the com-
munity and so was unsuccessful.

In 1868 a similar business was established by E. A. Wyatt, in the
store now occupied by the 0. K. Market, on the corner of Ridgewood
Avenue and Chestnut Street. In 1892 the business was purchased from



the widow of Mr. Wyatt by H. A. Tice, who remained at that location
until 1897, when he moved to his present site on the opposite corner.
The building he removed to was destroyed by fire in 1900 but was im-
mediately rebuilt and is now known as tlie Pioneer Building.

The lumber business on the south side of Kidgewood Avenue was
established by Cornelius Shuart about 1869, and about 1871 he sold it
to John G. Hopper and his brother, Albert G. Hopper. It again be-
came Mr. Shuart 's property and in 1878 its present proprietor, Isaac
E. Hutton, re-established the business.

In 1870, Abraham Terhune built and conducted a grocery store and
meat business at the corner of Ridgewood and Maple Avenues. He
discontinued this in 1874 and started the Ridgewood Avenue Hotel.
This was destroyed by fire in 1876 and immediately afterward the
present Rouclere Hotel was built.

In 1872, T. V. Terhune established a general merchandise and gro-
cery business at the corner of Ridgewood Avenue and Oak Street, which
he conducted for a long period. The store is occupied at present by the
James Butler Grocery Company.

A meat market, previously conducted by John J. Bogert, was pur-
chased by his brother-in-law, Cornelius Crouter, in 1874. In 1889 the
building was destroyed by fire but was rebuilt during the same year
and Mr. Crouter continued tlie business until he disposed of it in 1914
and retired. The store is located on Ridgewood Avenue between the
Hutton and Moore (Zabriskie) buildings and is now the office of W. H.
Moore's plumbing establishment.

A short time prior to 1876, Abram J. Zabriskie erected the brick
building on the corner of Ridgewood Avenue and Broad Street, which
is now known as the Moore Building. On its completion it was occupied
by the firm of Zabriskie & Hawes, established in 1872-3 by his son, John
J. Zabriskie, and Samuel W. Hawes, who conducted a grocery business
in the premises now the real estate offices of Stevens & Tetor.

In the early 80 's the doorsill of the main entrance to the store was
used by the United States Department of Geographical Surveys for the
fii*st marker placed in Ridgewood, to indicate its elevation above sea-
level. On the completion of the Ridgewood Trust Company's building,
the marker was removed to the sill of the main entrance of the new
building and shows an elevation of 134.55 feet. The only other marker
I>laced by the Government in Ridgewood is on the bridge of the Erie
Railroad over Cameron Lane and shows an elevation at that point of
153.97 feet.

Some time prior to 1876, Whritnour & Colfax had a general mer-
chandise store on the site of the present E. B. Van Horn livery, grain
and feed business on Broad Street, the upper floor of the building being
known as Wilson's Hall. This building was destroyed by fire in 1881.
The building now occupied by Ackerman Bros., the grocer\Tnen, on
the north side of Ridgewood Avenue, was put up by John B. Van Dien
and was occupied by the firm then known as Edward Whritnour & Son,
Mr. Colfax having previously died. Upon the death of Edward Whrit-
nour, the business was continued by his son, Mathias (Tice) Whritnour,
until succeeded by the present occupants.



After the destruction of the former store of AVhritnour & Colfax,
the site remained unoccupied until the early part of 1898, when E. B.
Van Horn erected the present building and established his livery, feed,
and grain business.

About 1876 Van Emburgh & Post operated a steam saw and planing
mill on the corner of Ridgewood Avenue and Broad Street, part of the
building being used for the carpenter shop of C. D. Ackerman. This
building was also destroyed in the tire of 1881. At that time it was
being used as a blacksmith shop by Benjamin Eglin, who now conducts
a similar business on Hudson Street, and as a wheelwright shop by
John A. Marinus.

In 1882, the present Ryerson building was erected upon the site.
This building, besides providing for stores on the ground floor, had liv-
ing rooms on the second floor, and a meeting room on the third floor
which was, for a long period, the home of the Masons.

The corner store now occupied by F. H. Adam, the grocer, was first
occupied by John F. Cruse, also as a grocery store, and at one time con-
tained the Village Post Office. The store now occupied by the restaurant
of Caramella & Morbelli was used until 1899 by Mrs. Susan E. Ryerson
and her sister. Miss Kate A. Bortic, as a dry-goods and notion store.

The coal and wood business now conducted by George R. Young and
Richard Bortic, the business office of which is located in the Ryerson
building, was established in 1888 by E. F. Ryerson, who conducted the
Imsiness in its present location until his death. It was taken over by
the present firm during April, 1897. "When first established, the coal
yards were located for a short time on the Broad Street property, later
occupied by the feed and grain business of J. H. Blauvelt. About a
year after its establishment, Mr. Ryerson moved the yards to their
present location on Franklin Avenue, along the tracks of the Erie

Some years prior to 1876, G. J. Snyder constructed a small building
on the corner of Ridgewood Avenue and Prospect Street, the present
site of the First National Bank building, where, for a number of years,
he conducted a meat business. At about the same time he erected a
larger building, with living rooms above, on Ridgewood Avenue, adja-
cent to the corner building, the ground floor of which was used by J.
Seiber as a bakery. When the First National Bank building was started,
these buildings were removed to their present location on Prospect
Street adjoining the present Post Office building and are now occupied,
the smaller one by the Ridgewood Tire Company and the other by
Koblintz, the tailor.

The first plumbing and tinsmith business was established prior to
1876 by Bergman & Duffy in the store adjoining the old Van Dien
building on the corner of Ridgewood Avenue and Chestnut Street. The
firm also carried a small line of hardware. The business was later con-
tinued by M. C. Duffy.

The earliest nursery in the vicinity of Ridgewood was started by
Henry W. Hales in 1874. At first the business was conducted on a
comparatively small scale, but it soon developed to a point where it not



only took care of the local trade but supplied cut flowers to the New
York market as well.

In 1876, the business interests located in what is now the center of
Ridgewood consisted of three general stores, a plumbing shop, two
blacksmiths, two wheelwrights, a periodical store, a butcher shop, a
tailor, an apothecary, and a nursery.

The Paramus section of the Village was in a modest way a business
centre about 1870 and for some years thereafter. Jacob D. Van
Emburgh established a grocery store on the property just west of the
old Naugle Hotel. This was successfully conducted by Mr. Van Em-
liurgh, his brother, Henry, John E. Zabriskie, John H. Snyder, and
John J. Hopper, the latter a son-in-law of J. D. Van Emburgh. Mr.
Hopper at a voluntary auction disposed of his stock.

At about the same time, John J. Ackerman, later proprietor of the
old Naugle Hotel, established a large business, building carriages,
Avagons, and sleighs, as well as doing a general blacksmith, wheelwright,
and carriage painting business and employing about half a dozen men.

During the same period a harness maker and a shoemaker also estab-
lished themselves in this section.

The coal and grain business conducted for the past three years by
S. Nagle, Jr., on the property of W. H. Moore on Broad Street, is on
the premises occupied by the grain business conducted by J. H. Blauvelt
for a j)eriod of eighteen years prior to the establishment of the present

Since its early days the mercantile interests of the Village have de-
veloped along natural and normal lines until today every line of activity
required by the life of a modern suburban village is represented. Al-
most all of the business interests are centered in the Village and the
principal buildings erected for these purposes with the date of con-
struction, are as follows :

On the tvest side of the track:

Wilsey Square from Franklin to Godwin Avenue,

Osman, 1913; Play House, 1913; Van Orden's Garage, 1909;
two-story store and apartment block, 1916.
On Godwin Avenue, Morgan, 1903.

On the east side of the track:

Ridgewood Avenue, south side, from the tracks to Broad Street.
Hutton, 1898; Moore (Crouter) prior to 1874, rebuilt, 1889;
Moore (Zabriskie), prior to 1876.

Broad to Prespect Streets,

Ryerson, 1882; Hopper, 1908; Ridgewood News, 1900; Ridge-
wood House-Hotel, 1870; Mead, 1903; and First National

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Online LibraryCitizens semi-centennial association, RidgewoodRidgewood, Bergan County, New Jersey, past and present → online text (page 11 of 19)