At its June 27, 2019 meeting, the Board of Trustees of the Mahwah Museum voted that the Museum will not open the Old Station Museum and Caboose this summer until needed repair work on the Caboose is completed.
Work is also being done on the exterior of the Old Station.
It is our hope that all work will be completed by the end of the summer and that both Museums will be open on Mahwah Day.
The Old Station Museum and Caboose
CLOSED FOR REPAIRS.
1871 Old Station Lane, Mahwah, NJ 07430
**Please note: We cannot process credit cards inside the Old Station Museum.***
The Mahwah Museum Society’s Old Station Museum and Caboose is now closed for the season. Admission to the museum is $3.00 per person over 16, admission is free for those under the age of 16.
The exhibit at the station this season features several models built by former Mahwah resident Hollis C. Bachmann. Mr. Bachmann constructed a model of N.Y.C. #999 and several other trolleys. We were fortunate to receive a donation of this balance of Mr. Bachmann’s collection from his niece, Kay Doody. Mr. Bachmann had built our model of the North Jersey Rapid Transit interurban car (trolley) that ran from Suffern to Paterson. You may remember seeing that model in our main museum building. It was constructed of tin cans, was 2 feet in length, and included a detailed interior, having taken Mr. Bachmann 6 months to build. Please come by and see these really nicely- detailed creations that are the offspring of that trolley.
The Old Station Museum established in 1967 is located in a building that was the original station on the Erie Railroad in Mahwah. It was rescued from destruction, first by the Winters family and later by the Mahwah Historical Society. It contains many interesting artifacts given to the museum by collectors of railroad memorabilia. It also features a 1929 Erie cupola caboose which has been recently restored. There is a scale model of the Erie system and photos of the early days of railroading in Mahwah and along the rest of the mainline.
In 1848 the Paterson and Ramapo Railroad was built through Mahwah to carry passengers and freight from New York City, via Paterson, to the main line of the Erie Railroad located in Suffern, New York. From there, connections could be made to upstate New York, then Chicago, and on to the west.
In 1871 the leaders of Mahwah petitioned the Erie to allow a stop at a new station in Mahwah. The 1871 station remained in service until 1904 when the Erie expanded to four tracks and raised the roadbed from ground level. The second station remained until 1914 when it was destroyed by fire. The current station was built in 1914 and still serves commuters today.
The Donald Cooper Model Railroad is now CLOSED for the Summer, and will reopen in September 2019
Admission to the DCMRR is included with admission to the museum. Admission is $5.00 for non-members 18+, members and children are free.
**Please note: We CAN NOW process credit or debit cards inside the museum.***
Get on board with the Donald Cooper Model Railroad! A four-level-high, DDC- controlled model train layout has something for every size, child or adult. The layout honors the importance of the railroad in Mahwah’s development and history!
The Donald Cooper Model Railroad continues to entertain children of all ages with seven trains running at a time. Adults and children delight as they watch over the four layers of the railroad, seeing the many wonderful things that are made possible only by the assistance of trains! As the passenger cars make their way through the Amtrak stops and the subway stations, and mine workers wait for their lumber load to arrive, thirty-car coal trains take large sweeping curves as they climb the grades of the two-track main line!
The Blue Main Line sits between the lower level and the large freight yard and passenger terminal. You can find either passenger or freight trains making their way along the rocky cliffs that identify this line. Trains coming from Union Station or the freight yard must enter this line before heading down the connector track to the large lower level main line.
Come visit our railroad to see it in action. See also our collection of Lionel “O” Gauge trains representing railroads all across the country and all types of locomotives.
This exhibit was made possible through the generous donations of Renee and Ebrima Darboe of Mahwah, New Jersey and the Margolis family of Ramsey, New Jersey.
Admission to the railroad is included in your admission to the museum. If you are interested in model railroading, we would welcome you as a member of our crew. The requirements are a love of the hobby, being twelve years of age or older, and becoming a member of the Mahwah Museum Society. If you have any questions please click here to email our train crew or call 201.512.0099 and leave a message for the train crew.
Please note:THE DCMRR IS NOW CLOSED FOR THE SUMMER.
The DCMRR is NOT open on Wednesdays, it is NOT a train ride and it is NOT a free train display. The DCMRR is a permanent exhibit at Mahwah Museum, open Saturdays and Sundays from 1-4 Sept-June.
VOLUNTEER WITH THE DCMRR TRAIN CREW
Are you a train buff? The Donald Cooper Model Railroad is one of our most popular permanent exhibits. The layout is a favorite stop for children of all ages. For more information about how to volunteer with the DCMRR crew please click here.
We will be reopening for the 2019-2020 season on September 22, 2019.
This year we will be featuring three new exhibits, along with our permanent exhibits:
75 Years as a Township
Mahwah’s history dates back to the 1600s and 1700s, belonging to several territories with different names. In the 1700s and 1800s, Mahwah grew from a seedling of Franklin Township and later stemmed from Hohokus Township. As other towns broke off from Hohokus Township, Mahwah remained, leaving it the largest tract of land in what is now Bergen County.
Mahwah blossomed as an independent community, and was officially incorporated as a township in 1944. Our exhibit will explore the different branches of what makes a community live, breathe, and thrive. Mahwah’s roots as a township were strengthened through the growth of borough organizations, housing developments, schools, recreation, religious and civic groups, and industry.
No matter how far back you can trace your roots in Mahwah, come share our shade as we honor the people, places, and organizations that have continued our history into the 21st century.
If you have anything to add to our community’s “family tree”, feel free to contact the Mahwah Museum at 201-512-0099 before Sept. 1 (and if you’ve caught all of our tree references in this article, we apologize for driving you “nuts”).
Palisades Amusement Park Comes To Mahwah:
(Photo credit: Vince Gargiulo)
New Jersey’s famous Palisades Amusement Park closed nearly 50 years ago. But most Jerseyites over the age of 60 will still smile at the mere mention of this classic American fun center. Mahwah resident, Vince Gargiulo, has been keeping the memory of Palisades alive for the past quarter of a century. He founded the Palisades Amusement Park Historical Society (PAPHS) in the early 1990s. His book, “Palisades Amusement Park: A Century of Fond Memories,” was the fastest selling book in the history of Rutgers University Press. His 1998 PBS documentary of the same name won several awards for outstanding documentary and was nominated for a New York Emmy.
His latest project is a working 1930s model of the park that he has been restoring for over a year. A long time park employee, Joe Prisco, originally built the wooden model in the 1990s. After his death, the model was moved several times and sustained a great deal of damage. In 2018, Gargiulo reached out to Prisco’s family, who donated the model to the PAPHS. Gargiulo set about to restore each piece, most requiring a great deal of work and patience. “The Carousel was the hardest piece to restore,” Gargiulo noted. “Many of the ornamental decorations were missing. Half of the light bulbs were burned out, and replacing them was not cheap!”
But his biggest challenge with the carousel was getting it to rotate. “I wish this model came with some kind of instruction manual,” Vince joked. “It would make repairing it so much easier.” After a month of experimenting, he was finally able to get the merry-go-round to operate properly. Gargiulo has completed restoration of 25 pieces including the Tunnel of Love, the World’s Largest Outdoor Salt Water Pool, the Ferris Wheel, the Carousel, the Free Act Stage, the Bumper Cars and much more. On September 22, the miniature amusement park will be on display as part of the Mahwah Museum’s 2019-2020 lineup. Also on display will be some extremely rare artifacts from the park from Gargiulo’s extensive collection.
A College Comes to Mahwah: Ramapo College: 1965-1975
(Photo credit: Vincent Marchese)
When the State of New Jersey decided to build a new college in Northern New Jersey in 1965, few towns wanted anything to do with it. Fears of radical students, traffic, and lost tax revenues dogged early efforts in Leonia, Hackensack and Saddle River. When the Birch Estate was proposed as a potential site, Mahwah quickly became the front runner. Our exhibit on the establishment of Ramapo College in Mahwah takes a look at life in the township 50 years ago and the creation of a unique liberal arts college.
Working with early faculty and graduates from Ramapo College, the exhibit will provide a brief history of the College’s aspirations and a look at its early curriculum. Students recall what campus life was like when the campus was being built around them; the makeshift “dorms” at the Carmel Retreat, a Boy Scout Camp, and Club 300; the jazz festivals; and student and faculty strikes. These challenges forged a tight community and left fond memories. Come and experience an early 1970s college in Mahwah — sights, sounds, and recollections!
These exhibits will be on display along with our very popular permanent exhibits, the ever expanding Donald Cooper Model Railroad (open weekends only) and Les Paul in Mahwah!
We also invite you to join us for our upcoming gallery talks and lectures, taking place on Sunday afternoons and Thursday nights once a month.
The Donald Cooper Model RR and Les Paul in Mahwah are permanent exhibits and will reopen in September.
The Donald Cooper Model Railroad
CURRENTLY CLOSED FOR THE SUMMER.
The Museum’s Donald Cooper Railroad is an operating HO-Scale model railroad with many trains traveling between levels and on different routes. Centralized electronic switches allow the operator to control the entire layout from the DCC central control panels. The railroad yard is fully functional allowing operators to make up trains and dispatch them to their own destinations. The four-level high layout has three independent scenic modules that are constantly changing, as well as a trolley, a subway system, logging station, waterfall, roundhouse and turntable. We invite engineers of all ages to come and visit our ever-changing and growing railroad world. The Donald Cooper Model Railroad is CURRENTLY CLOSED THE THE SUMMER. For information about joining the train crew, please email email@example.com or call 201-512-0099.
Please note: the DCMRR is not a free train display (admission is free only for members of the museum) and it is not a train ride.
Les Paul in Mahwah
CURRENTLY CLOSED THE THE SUMMER.
Mahwah Museum has a small permanent exhibit featuring some Les Paul history which allows visitors to learn the essential facts of Les Paul’s life and career. It has sections on his inventions and innovations, a display of one-of-a-kind precious guitars made especially for Les, and a re-creation of the studio in which Les did his work. Learn how this creative genius transformed rock, country and jazz music. See how he and Mary Ford performed for their weekly radio show from their home in Mahwah.
Mahwah Museum receives operating support from the New Jersey Historical Commission in the Department of State.
Mahwah Museum hopes you will become part of our family of members and patrons. Membership includes free admission to the Museum and to our Lecture and Gallery Talk series.
We accept credit cards (online ONLY) though Paypal. Should you wish to join us by mail, please send your check and vital information to Mahwah Museum, 201 Franklin Turnpike, Mahwah, NJ 07430. Please make checks payable to Mahwah Museum. We thank you for your participation.
An Individual Member gets a membership card which entitles the Member to free admission to the Museum; free admission to all of our lectures and gallery talks; invitations to member events; free subscription to the newsletter ; and voting privileges at the annual meeting. Dues are $15 per year per person. Enjoy our most economical membership for individuals under 62 years of age.
Individual Membership – $15
An individual who has reached the age of 62 can have all the benefits of an Individual Membership at a reduced price. Dues are $10 per year per person.
Museum Senior Membership – $10
A Family Membership gets a membership card which entitles the all members of an immediate family (parents, plus children under the age of 18) to free admission to the Museum; free admission to all of our lectures and gallery talks; invitations to member events; free subscription to the newsletter; and voting privileges at the annual meeting. Voting privileges are extended to both adults.
Museum Family Membership – $25
Sponsorships are an important way in which individuals can provide much needed support to the Museum. Individual Sponsors get a membership card which entitles members of the Sponsor’s immediate family (parents, including children under the age of 18) to free admission to the Museum; free admission to all of our lectures; invitations to member events; free subscription to the newsletter; and voting privileges at the annual meeting. In addition voting privileges are extended to a second adult. The Sponsor is recognized in the Museum, on Museum literature, and on our web site. The following are levels of sponsorship:
Mahwah Museum Sponsor $100 – $249
Museum Supporter ($250 – $499)
The Supporter level is available to both individuals and businesses. The Supporter level is an important way in which individuals or businesses can provide much-needed support to the Museum. Supporters get a membership card which entitles members of the Supporter’s immediate family (including spouse, and children under the age of 18) to free admission to the Museum; free admission to all of our lectures; invitations to member events; free subscription to the newsletter; and voting privileges at the annual meeting. In addition, voting privileges are extended to both adults. The Supporter is recognized in the Museum, on Museum literature, and on our website.
Supporters will receive a signed copy of Images of America: Mahwah by Carol W. Greene.
Mahwah Museum Supporter – $250-$499
Museum Patron ($500 – $999)
Our Patrons are those who give $500 – $999 in cash, or in goods and services, during a year. Patrons get free admission to the Museum; free admission to lectures and gallery talks; a free subscription to the newsletter; invitations to Museum events; voting privileges at the annual meeting; and recognition as a Patron in the Museum, on Museum literature, and on the Museum’s website and a link to the member’s website.
Patrons will receive one signed copy of TheRamapough Chronicles by Carol W. Greene. Click here to become a Patron.
Mahwah Museum Patron – $500 – $999
Museum Benefactor ($1000+)
Our Benefactors are those individuals or businesses who pay dues of $1,000+ in a year. Benefactors get free admission to the Museum; free admission to lectures and gallery talks; free subscription to newsletters; invitations to Museum events; voting privileges at the annual meeting; and special recognition as a Benefactor of the Museum on Museum literature and on the Museum’s website and may include a link to the member’s web site. This may include a designated sponsorship of an activity, publication, and/or exhibit as discussed with donor and Museum.
Benefactors will receive one signed copy of The Ramapough Chronicles by Carol W. Greene.
If you are looking for an interesting and fun way to get involved with local history, please consider becoming a volunteer docent at Mahwah Museum!
Docents work on Saturdays, Sundays, or Wednesdays from 1pm to 4 pm September-June
Our docents are volunteers who open the Museum, guide our visitors to the exhibits, answer questions, and close the Museum at the end of the day.
Docents are needed from 1-4 p.m. Saturdays, Sundays, and Wednesdays from Mid-September to June when the Museum is open.
Docents let us know their availability, and are scheduled according to their requests.
Docents can work as often as they like, and new docents are teamed with experienced docents.
If you choose to volunteer, you will be trained in all of the things you need to know about being a docent, and you will be scheduled months in advance so you can know when you are to help. Docents trade places with each other if problems with scheduling arise, so that the Museum always has docents when the public is invited.
The Mahwah Museum archives are processing a large collection of photographs from the Martha Young Kuklinski Collection which document the lives of J. Frank Young (1905-1960) and Henrietta Morriss Young (1909-1984) and their families, ranging 1910-1940s. There are also some older historical family photographs. Henrietta Morriss’ mother was Bessie Hagerman and she lived with Andrew Hagerman. The photos from this branch of the family are fairly well labeled. The photographs of the Youngs, who came from Tallman, often have no labels at all. J. Frank Young’s mother was Anne Jane Bodine and his father was John Franklin Young. His siblings were Alta, Freda, and John Young. If you can help up put names to faces, it would make this collection much more useful to researchers.
On Saturday, June 14 at 7:30 p.m. the Mahwah Museum will host the Les Paul 99th
Hofnet Bass guitar
Birthday Gala at Ramapo College Trustees Pavilion, 505 Ramapo Valley Road, Mahwah. There will be live and silent auctions of many special guitars and music memorabilia, live entertainment and a raffle drawing. The live auction will include a Hofner Bass guitar with a pick guard signed by Paul McCartney, a Fender Squire solid body electric guitar autographed by Pete Townsend, a Fender Squire solid body electric guitar with Chuck Berry autograph on the pick guard, a white Fender Stratocaster guitar autographed by Ron Wood and Mick Taylor of the Rolling Stones, and more. For a full list and description of live and silent auction items, and information about Online Slots bidding, visit www.mahwahmuseum.org. Three winners of a raffle for two Gibson “Traditional” Les Paul Guitars with Les Paul autographed pick guards, and a Fender Squire Strat autographed by James Taylor, will also be chosen. Bucky Pizzarelli with Ed Laub and Lou Pallo with Les Paul’s Trio will provide live entertainment. Wine, hors d’oeurves, and light fare will be served.
Tickets for the Gala and the raffle are both $25 and are available at the Mahwah Museum, 201 Franklin Turnpike, from 1-4 p.m. on Wednesdays and weekends, at Robbie’s Music on Rt 17, at Devon Fine Jewelry in Wyckoff, at Alto’s Music on Rt 59 in Airmont, and through the mail. Gala tickets are also available for purchase online at www.mahwahmuseum.org.
The Mahwah Museum is located at 201 Franklin Turnpike. The Donald Cooper Model Railroad is open on weekends from 1-4 p.m. until June 22; the Museum, with the exhibits “Neighborhoods of Mahwah: 1913-2013” and “Les Paul in Mahwah,” is open weekends and Wednesdays until June 25, when it will close for the summer. The Museum will reopen in September, 2014.
The Mahwah Museum receives operating support from the NJ Historical Commission, Department of State.