Lecture: The Champion a Story of Americas First Film Town

The Champion: A Story of America’s First Film Town

On Thursday, March 9, 2017 at 7:30 p.m. Tom Meyers, executive director of the Fort Lee Film Commission, will present a screening of the film  “The Champion: A Story of America’s First Film Town”. The film will run for about 40 minutes and will be followed by a Q&A with Tom.  Part of the Mahwah Museum Lecture Series, the lecture will take place at the Ramapo Reformed Church, 100 Island Rd., Mahwah.  Admission is $3, free for museum members.  Contact programs@mahwahmuseum.org for reservations or call 201-512-0099.  Refreshments will be served afterwards.

This documentary was produced by the Fort Lee Film Commission in 2016 and is making the circuit of film festivals. Tom Meyers is the Executive Director and Founder of the Fort Lee Film Commission. He is a lifelong resident of Fort Lee and. His grandmother , born there in 1901, was an extra in the silent films era as a young girl and as a teen she became a film cutter for Éclair  Studio in Fort Lee.  Once the major studios left Fort Lee by 1925 she spent the rest of her life in the Consolidated Republic Film Lab in Fort Lee where other family members worked as well.  Meyers worked for NBC News in their archive before moving onto ABC News as an archivist. From there was hired by the borough of Fort Lee as the Administrator of Cultural & Heritage Affairs.  He founded the Fort Lee Film Commission in 2000.

This lecture is hosted by Mahwah Museum, located at 201 Franklin Turnpike.  The Museum is currently featuring the new exhibits Mahwahs Herstory: The changing roles of women in Mahwah’s history, and Medicine in Mahwah. Permanent exhibits are Les Paul in Mahwah and The Donald Cooper Model Railroad, which is open weekends 1-4 pm.   The Museum is open weekends and Wednesdays from 1-4 pm.; admission $5 for non-members, members and children are free.

Gallery Talk: Mahwah’s Herstory

Gallery Talk: Mahwah’s Herstory: The Changing Roles of Women in Mahwah’s History

Presented by Cathy Moran-Hajo

 On Sunday, March 12 at 1:15 p.m., Cathy Moran-Hajo, archive director of the Mahwah Museum will present a gallery talk about the changing roles of women in Mahwah’s History. The talk will take place in the upstairs gallery of the Mahwah Museum.  Seating is limited; advance reservations are recommended.  To reserve, email gallerytalks@mahwahmuseum.org or call 201-512-0099.  Gallery Talks are free with Museum admission.

This gallery talk will be an extension of one of the Mahwah Museums current exhibits, Mahwah’s Herstory: The Changing Roles of Women in Mahwah’s History. The talk will examine the roles of women in Mahwah’s history. Cathy will highlight women’s activities, including pioneering and farming, changing roles in the workforce, and women’s accomplishments in the arts, in charitable organizations, and in social reforms.

The Mahwah Museum is located at 201 Franklin Turnpike, Mahwah.  Museum hours are weekends and Wednesdays from 1-4 pm.  Current exhibits at the Mahwah Museum include: Medicine in Mahwah and Mahwah’s Herstory: The Changing Roles of Women in Mahwah’s History.  Permanent exhibits are: Les Paul in Mahwah and The Donald Cooper Model Railroad, which is open weekends 1-4 pm.   Admission to the Museum is $5 for non-members, members and children are free.  Visit mahwahmuseum.org or call 201-512-0099 for information on events, membership and volunteering.

 The Mahwah Museum receives operating support from NJ Historical Commission, Department of State.

 

Lecture: Cragmere in the Ramapos

 Lecture: Cragmere in the Ramapos

2012-09-001-007a-cragmere-lake

On Thursday, April 13, 2016  at 7:30 p.m. Tom Dunn, will present a lecture detailing the History of the Cragmere section of Mahwah. Part of the Mahwah Museum Lecture Series, the lecture will take place at the Ramapo Reformed Church, 100 Island Rd., Mahwah.  Admission is $3, free for museum members.  Contact programs@mahwahmuseum.org for reservations or call 201-512-0099.  Refreshments will be served afterwards.

Tom Dunn has been chronicling the history of the Cragmere section of Mahwah since 1974. Wonderful houses, interesting people and community spirit are all parts of the story of Cragmere. It all began in 1909, when  George Dunlop began a unique, suburban community on a hillside near the railroad station in Mahwah. This lecture has been popular in the past, but there is always something new to learn.

This lecture is hosted by Mahwah Museum, located at 201 Franklin Turnpike.  The Museum is currently featuring the new exhibits Mahwahs Herstory: The changing roles of women in Mahwah’s history, and Medicine in Mahwah. Permanent exhibits are Les Paul in Mahwah and The Donald Cooper Model Railroad, which is open weekends 1-4 pm.   The Museum is open weekends and Wednesdays from 1-4 pm.; admission $5 for non-members, members and children are free.

Gallery Talk- Joyce Kilmer: The War Years

Gallery Talk

Joyce Kilmer: The War Years

On Sunday April 9, 2017  at 1:15 p.m. Tetsu and Linda Amagasu, Trustees of the Mahwah Museum, will present a gallery talk about the local author Joyce Kilmer’s time spent fighting in World War I with the “Fighting 69th”. This Talk will take place in the upstairs gallery of the Mahwah Museum. Seating is limited; advanced reservations are recommended. To reserve, email gallerytalks@mahwahmuseum.org or call 201.512.0099. Gallery talks are free with museum admission.

Although he was not obligated for service in WWI Joyce Kilmer nonetheless enlisted. Though eligible for commission as an office and often recommended for such posts, he refused any rank above sergeant. Tetsu and Linda will cover these questions as well as his regiment and dedication, his duties and life on the war front, his last mission and death in France on July 30, 1918 as well as some poems he wrote during the war such as “Rouge Bouquet.”

“There is on earth no worthier grave To hold the bodies of the brave Than this place of pain and pride Where they nobly fought and nobly died.”- Joyce Kilmer. Rouge Bouquet.

The Mahwah Museum is located at 201 Franklin Turnpike, Mahwah NJ 07430. Museum hours are weekends and Wednesdays from 1-4 pm. Current exhibits at the Mahwah Museum include” Medicine in Mahwah and Mahwah’s Herstory: The Changing Roles of Women in Mahwah’s History. Permanent exhibits are: Les Paul in Mahwah and The Donald Cooper Model Railroad, which is open weekends only from 1-4 pm. Admission to the Museum, is $5 for non-members, members and children are free. Visit www.mahwahmuseum.org or call 201.512.0099 for information on events, membership and volunteering.

Exhibits at the Mahwah Museum

Exhibits at
The
Mahwah Museum

One new exhibit examines the roles of women in Mahwah’s history, starting with its first settler, Blandina Bayard, and continuing through to 1960. It highlights women’s activities, including pioneering and farming, changing roles in the workforce, and women’s accomplishments in the arts, in charitable organizations, and in social reforms.

Our second new exhibit highlights the history of medicine in Mahwah. Iit examines the growth and development of the medical field with highlights on Mahwah’s practitioners, their methods and instruments throughout various periods.

Any Youngs, Hagermans, Bodines out there?

Any Youngs, Hagermans, Bodines out there?
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.
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Inventors: The Havemeyers

Theodore Havermeyer (Suzanne Meyer Stein Collection, Mahwah Museum)

Theodore Havemeyer (Suzanne Meyer Stein Collection, Mahwah Museum)

Three generations of Havemeyers were inventors.  As you know, Theodore A. Havemeyer came to Mahwah in 1879 and established Mountain Side Farm, much of which is Ramapo College.  He died in 1897.  Although Theodore had nine children only his sons, Henry O. Havemeyer and Frederick C. Havemeyer, continued a presence in Mahwah.  Henry O. Havemeyer died in 1965 but his son, Henry O. Havemeyer, Jr. continued to live here until his death in 1992.  The house in which Henry Jr. lived became the home of the President of Ramapo College.  Theodore, Henry O., and Henry O., Jr. were all inventors.

 

Theodore Havermeyer's Sugar Mold Carriage patent

Theodore Havemeyer’s Sugar Mold Carriage patent

Theodore A. Havemeyer, born in 1839, had only a grammar school education but joined the family sugar business as a partner in 1861.  He was the technological expert in the family and an early age had spent a year in Europe studying the sugar refining process.  In 1862 he and a man named Schnitzpan patented a new and improved carriage for sugar molds.  He was a partner in Havemeyers & Elder, which was an integral part of the Sugar Trust.    In his later years in Mahwah he was a patron of many agricultural and scientific societies that were advancing the technology of agriculture.  He was on the forefront of ensilage– to generate feed for his cows—the breeding of cows to improve milk production, and the breeding of fantail pigeons for show.

 

Henry O. Havermeyer (On loan from the Mahwah Library)

Henry O. Havemeyer (On loan from the Mahwah Library)

Theodore Havemeyer’s son, Henry O. Havemeyer, dropped out of Yale in 1897 after the death of his father and became an apprentice at the family sugar business.  He returned to Yale and graduated as a proud member of the Class of 1900.   The Ramsey Journal reported in 1906 that he had gotten a speeding ticket in his newfangled automobile. So it is appropriate that he was the inventor of a license plate holder that could be flipped over so that it had the plate of one state on one side and the plate of another state on the reverse.  Henry O. Havemeyer was not merely a playboy, however.  He was the president of the Eastern District Terminal in Brooklyn which had been spun off from the family’s sugar business. He became an officer and later the long time president of the Eastern District Terminal.  The Eastern District Terminal was the gateway for all railroads coming from the west and seeking to be in Brooklyn or Long Island.  It was also the only way in which refined and packaged sugar could get from the Domino refinery in Brooklyn to the west.   They had to come through these yards and be moved by small locomotives like these.  It would be up to Henry O. Havemeyer, Jr. – who also worked for the company – to make some important advances.

Havermeyer House (Courtesy Dater Family Archives)

Havemeyer House (Courtesy Dater Family Archives)

There were no tunnels under the Hudson River so railroad cars were barged or lightered over from the yards of Jersey City, Bayonne or Hoboken, to the Eastern District Terminal and then transferred to the industries or railroads in Brooklyn.   To get one or more railroad cars across the river, there was a floating bridge connected to the tracks on the shore.  The barge connected to the water side of the bridge.  There were tracks on the barge to accept the car being transported.  You can imagine how difficult it must have been to transfer a fully loaded railroad car from tracks on the bridge to the tracks on the  rolling barge.  There were constant mishaps and derailments.  The invention of Henry O. Havemeyer, Jr., filed in 1925 when he was 22 years old, improves on the way that the rails on the bridge and barge could be aligned to make derailments rare.  Henry O. Havemeyer, Jr. lived in the house we today call the Havemeyer House and had a number of other inventions to improve railroad transportation.

Inventors: Fitzwilliam Sargent (1859-1939)

Fitzwilliam Sargent

Fitzwilliam Sargent

Fitzwilliam Sargent was called the “father of brake-shoe engineering” and he obtained multiple patents for improvement of railroad brake shoes. He was born in 1859 in Philadelphia and attended Lehigh University where he graduated in 1879 with a Civil Engineering degree. He came to Mahwah (then Hohokus Township) in 1902 as the chief engineer of the American Brake Shoe and Foundry Company.

After joining American Brake Shoe, he built a large home on 5 acres off Olney Road. The house had all the latest improvements of the day, including electric lights and steam heat.

In 1935 the Board of Directors of American Brakeshoe built an up-to-date testing facility to keep up with the progress of the railroad industry.  The building was named the F.W. Sargent Laboratory Building and from the opening of the building to the date of his death at the age of 80 he went to work as often as possible.  The picture below shows his first invention, which he had done before he came to Brakeshoe, of a machine for testing brakeshoes.  During his career, he had many patents relating to the improvement of brakeshoes.  His last patent was issued to him in 1934 at age 75.    The invention created a system of reinforcing a brake shoe so that, if the body of the shoe broke, it could continue in service and not need to be replaced as quickly.


Photos from Fitzwilliam Sargent Greene, `A Tribute to the Life of Fitzwilliam Sargent” (Mahwah Museum Library, 2013.17.072)

A Bit of Cragmeriana

This unattributed article was first published in the “Old Station Timetable” in October 1981.


A recent story in our newsletter about the Theusen House, later the Education Center, that had been a landmark in Cragmere Park for’ many years was of particular interest to Charles E. Ellis Jr. who still lives in the house his parents built back in 1915.

“Just north of our house at the corner of Armour and Mahwah Roads stands the ruin of the Miller Reservoir whose overflow was the water that fed Oweno Pond. The reservoir next to our house was supplied with spring water by the Miller acquaduct which-crosses the northeast corner of our property and flowed without interruption from about 1875-1978.”

“The water from the reservoir fed the dairy cooling brick double-arched structure whose ruin can still be seen’on Malcolm Road across from the Betsy Ross School. The stream continued to flow west through the Theusen place and fed Oweno lake,” explains Mr. Ellis.

The Ellis family, who had rented their home while at the shore, once stayed temporarily in Mrs. Theusen’s Boarding House until their house tenants moved out. “I remember particularly the afternoon sun shining across the clean white table cloths of the dining room and sparkling on the well-silver (plate) on the tables being set up for the evening meal by young waitresses in black skirts, stockings and shoes, , and white starched blouses with collars. On their heads, they wore some sort of white starched fabric head piece common to the day. A jolly scene, prim and clean, and complete with flowers”, Mr. Ellis said.

Oweno Lake was designed for ice making, as well as ornament. It was located just east of Oweno Road near the corner of Mahwah Road where the baseball field is at Betsy Ross School. It was served by an iron conveyor belt and chains, running from the ice house to the lake. However, the conveyor had ceased operation and was a rusting ruin when Mr. Ellis was just a young boy.

The stream feeding the lake ran into a ditch, still seen today, under the conveyor, now removed, and featured watercress in season.

The building at the north end of the lake was not the “Summer House” but was a boathouse without windows, according to Mr. Ellis. It was from there that Hiawatha, a beautiful darkhaired maiden played by the late Mrs. Euroka Bugg, would annually set out in a white canoe at the Cragmere Association’s yearly Forth of July celebration.

Mr. Ellis concludes “The summer house, so called, was an octagonal roofed and floored open structure on a little island in Oweno Lake at the east side of it near the lake intake. It was reached by an arched bridge which can be seen in photographs of the Miller Estate in the Mahwah Public Library.”

Odd Old Tools

This article, by Charles Anderson, was first published in the “Old Station Timetable” in October 1981.

The Term “Floating Teeth” is still in use today and the tool for doing it is still called a “float”. It is a coarse single cut file used to rasp rough or irregular edges of a horse’s teeth. Unless done when necessary the horse’s mouth.would develop sores, he would go off his feed and food would be inadequately chewed. Among the local farmers in earlier times there were a few who were skillful in floating. After wedging the mouth open (securely) the job could be done quickly. A hundred years ago the term would not have puzzled anybody.

From Country Home Antiques.

Another tool not seen around today is the mill bill. Every grist mill operator was familiar with the tool and knew the tedious and painstaking work involved in using it. It consisted of two parts. The “thrift” looked somewhat like half of a squared rolling pin with a hole cut through the roller part to accommodate an iron or steel bit held in place with a wedge. The instrument was used to deepen the worn furrows in millstones. A dull stone was said to destroy the quality of the grain resulting in a sticky product in the baking process. Both. the nether (lower) and the runner (upper) had furrows chisled in them which initially served to rip away from the center to the outer edge and admitted air to prevent a dangerous build up of heat. The actual grinding was done by the flat surface between the furrows called the “land”. Both terms are typically agriculturally oriented. As the surface and edges became worn the mill bill was used to restore the depth of the furrow and angle by chipping the stone. Mr. Ackerman of Wyckoff Ave. worked in the family grist mill and well remembers working on the stone.

A mill stone at the Plimoth Plantation.

The Ackerman grist mill was located near the outlet of the pond on Wyckoff Ave. It was originally owned by Alyea. Since Wyckoff Ave. used to run on the west,side of the pond the door was located on that side. The grain was taken down a ramp and under an endless chain of buckets that lifted it to the hopper in the upper part of the mill. Power was provided by water turning an undershot wheel.
Old grinding stones were made of local materials. Granite was a favorite and was used in the Ackerman mill. Elsewhere a quartz shot sandstone was used or more expensive burr stone which came from Europe in pieces that had to be filled, cemented together and then banded with hoops. Early millstones have been found in which the furrows were cut in spirals but most of the stones were cut with straight furrows. The patterns varied. When the milled flour fell from the furrows it was caught in a finely woven cloth sieve which was rapidly agitated. Wooden shovels were used to move the flour because of the danger of combustion.

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