Mahwah Historical Society History: First Installment


This article, by John Y. Dater, was first published in “The Old Station Timetable” in May 1978. For the second installment, click here

This is a short history of the Mahwah Historical Society. Back In 1965 the old 1871 railroad station stood end to E. Ramapo Ave. under the high voltage line of the local power company, and they wanted it moved or razed because of the potential hazard.

It was no longer used as a storehouse by the man who had moved it there in 1902 when the Erie went from 2 tracks to 4 and had to relocate the station. Former Mayor, Morris Ruddick suggested that a society be formed to move and restore the old building which was still structurally sound. This idea bore fruit in the spring of 1965, and the Mahwah Historical Society came into being.

The author of this account, John Y. Dater, although not a resident of Mahwah, along with this wife, was invited to join. The occasion was a meeting in the fall of 1966 when the above-named brought a collection of H. O. Havemeyer papers they had acquired that spring.

A new foundation for the station was installed on town land a few hundred feet from its 60-year old location on the street. This was done by a Naval Reserve Construction Battalion whose assistance was solicited by Peter L. Murphy, a society member and also Township Committeeman. A mover was engaged to shift the building to the new site. In the early summer of 1967 restoration work was started. It was found that the slate roof had badly disintegrated and had to be removed. Plywood was laid on the boards and over this asphalt shingles. A good sized crew of members worked for many days to accomplish with the money being raised by total contributions. Some contributed to have their names placed under shingles on the building. Work was also undertaken on the original paint color.

For the second part of this article, click here.



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