Lecture: Chris Caffery, Growing up in Mahwah

Musician Chris Caffery at Mahwah Museum  

On Thursday, May 11, 2017  at 7:30 p.m. Chris Caffery of the Trans Siberian Orchestra, will present a lecture detailing his experiences of growing up in Mahwah as well as his career as a guitarist with the Trans Siberian Orchestra and various other groups. 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. Reservations are STRONGLY suggested. Refreshments will be served afterwards.

Born in Suffern and raised in Mahwah, Chris began playing guitar at the age of 11.  Chris made his first demo record at the age of 14; some of his earliest memories include performing the Beatles song “Help” for a show and tell in Kindergarten.  He has been pursuing a solo career and has released five CDs since 2004, including “Faces” and “House of Insanity.” A man of many talents, he is also a photographer and an artist; he created the cover art for his newly released solo single “Death by Design.”  He is also marketing his original hot sauce recipes “Tears of the Sun” and “Grapes of Wrath,” for which he has received acclaim in the culinary world.

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.

World War I Centennial Bazaar

World War I Centennial Bazaar

April 6th marked the 100th anniversary of the United States entrance into World War I.  For years history has glossed over the legacy of the Great War and New Jersey’s part in it.

On Saturday, May 20th the NW Bergen History Coalition will bring people back in time to 1917 with a World War I Bazaar on the beautiful grounds of the Hermitage in Ho-Ho-Kus.

The entrance gates open at 10:30 AM and visitors will greet President Wilson, portrayed by Neill Hartley from the American Historical Theatre.  President Wilson will address the crowd from the Hermitage front porch and speak about his presidency and the decision to declare war on Germany.  Throughout the day guests will have time to visit with presenters, enjoy musical performances, have a hot dog with liberty cabbage (sauerkraut), and learn more about World War I while touring the exhibit hall filled with World War I era artifacts.  The day will end at 4:30 PM as visitors gather by the World War I 48-star flag to honor those soldiers from NW Bergen who gave their lives fighting for democracy. The Northwest Bergen History Coalition invites you to join us for a wonderful day of history and fun.

Admission is $10 for visitors 17 and over, free for those 16 and under.

For more information contact Sheila Brogan, 201-652-7354 or email smbrogan@aol.com.

*Please note the Mahwah Museum and the DCMRR will be closed on this day so that we can assist with the Bazaar*

Highlights of the Day Include:

  • Arrival or President Woodrow Wilson at 11am in a Pierce Arrow, escorted by a Word War 1 Color Guard, to speak from the porch of the Hermitage.
  • Flag Raising & the National Anthem sung by Ridgewood High school’s acappella group.
  • Soldiers stopping by on their way to Camp Merrit to muster in.
  • Music performances by the Waldwick Concert Band, Ramapo College Canta Nova Corale and Ridgewood High School Senior Brass Quintet.
  • Girl Scouts showing how to make trench candles.
  • Ceremonial flag folding by Saving Hallowed Ground.
  • WWI Canteen serving coffee and donuts to raise your morale as they did the soldiers’.
  • Poetry reading by Joyce Kilmer Society
  • Suffragist Harriott Stanton Blatch.
  • Exhibit on Bergen County’s Camp Merritt, where one million men pass through during WWI.
  • WWI era dance demonstration- the very latest.
  • Children’s games, clowns, and a fortune teller.
  • WWI Draft Registration Table.
  • Displays of WWI era artifacts from the archives of the NW Bergen History museums.
  • Special WWI exhibit by the NJ National Guard Militia Museum.
  • Exhibit of favorite toys from the WWI era.
  • A War Garden, specially planted by the Hermitage gardeners. Learn about preserving foods.
  • WWI era food, including hot dogs served with liberty cabbage (sauerkraut).
  • Homemade ice cream sandwiches
  • Boy Scouts and Liberty Bonds


*Vintage cars*Rutherford WWI Centennial Committee Lace Making* WWI Knitting* Suffrage Movement* League of Women Voters


Displays by the coalition members of WWI artifacts from their archives, as well as by other groups.

Corporate Sponsors & Volunteers for the Day are Welcome:

We are soliciting Corporate Sponsors. Your names will be in a brochure to be handed out and on signage that day. Volunteers are also needed. To become a sponsor or a volunteer, please contact Sheila Brogan at 201-652-7354.

Please follow the below link for more information about how you, or your business can become a sponsor of this event:

Become a Sponsor of the NWBHC WWI Bazaar

Funding provided in part through grants from:

The Bergen County Department of Cultural and Historical Affairs

The New Jersey Historical Commission

Sponsors for the World War I Centennial Bazaar

Major Sponsors:

Boiling Springs Savings Bank

Atlantic Stewardship Bank

Dunkin Donuts of Franklin Lakes Ramsey, Wyckoff and Glen Rock

Park West Tavern



Inserra- ShopRite

Fairway Market

Kings in Ridgewood

  The Shannon Rose

We are also grateful for the generous donations and support provided by members of the Northwest Bergen History Coalition:

The Hermitage, Ho-Ho-Kus;The Mahwah Museum, Mahwah; The John Fell House, Allendale; The Schoolhouse Museum, Ridgewood; Waldwick Signal Tower, Waldwick;, Hopper-Goetschius House Museum, Upper Saddle River; The Museum at the Station, Glen Rock; The Zabriskie House, Wyckoff; Van Allen House, Oakland; Waldwick Museum of Local History, Waldwick; The Old Stone House, Ramsey.

Lauren Paolillo, Winner of 2017 Bergen County Historic Preservation Award

The Mahwah Museum would like to extend a special congratulations to Mahwah resident Lauren Paolillo. Lauren is a recipient of the 2017 Bergen County Historic Preservation Award for her wonderful book “Mahwah Military Memories”.

Lauren was awarded the Girl Scout Gold Award last year, the highest award a Girl Scout can earn. For her gold award project Lauren completed a two-hundred page book that compiled the stories and interviews of local veterans. Lauren completed all the research and interviews by herself.

After winning her award Lauren kindly donated copies of her book, Mahwah Military Memories, to the Township, the Mahwah Library and the Mahwah Museum.

Mahwah Military Memories is written in memory of Laurens grandfather.

The Mahwah Museum was delighted with the hard work, dedication and historical value of Laurens work. In January 2017 the Mahwah Museum nominated Lauren for the 2017 Bergen County Historic Preservation Award.

We are pleased to announce that Lauren has won this award, and will be presented with this award on May 4, 2017.

Again we offer our congratulations to Lauren, and wish her the best in this and all the other great things that she will accomplish in her life time.

Young Guitarist at Mahwah Museum

On Sunday April 30, 2017 from 4:15 p.m.to 6 p.m. The Mahwah Museum will host young guitarist Jason Recht, his guitar teacher Kevin Lutke and friend Will McKee. This event will take place at the Mahwah Museum 201 Franklin Turnpike Mahwah, NJ.  Admission is $10.  Space is very limited and reservations are strongly suggested. Contact programs@mahwahmuseum.org for reservations or call 201-512-0099. Soda and light refreshments will be served.

Jason Recht, now 12 years old, has been passionate about guitar since he began playing at age seven.  He will be joined by  his guitar teacher, Kevin Lutke and friend Will McKee.  Jason has played guitar alongside Lou Pallo.  When asked about Jason, Lou said “he is a great up and coming player and a fun guy to play with.”  Jason plays everything from pop or rock to jazz and blues.

Guests at this event will be invited to see the Mahwah Museum’s outstanding permanent exhibit of Les Paul’s artifacts; Les Paul in Mahwah.

For more information about the Les Paul in Mahwah Exhibit please click here

For more information about other events at the Mahwah Museum please click here

John W. Bristow Papers Open for Research

After over a year of work, the Museum’s Archives has completed processing the John W. Bristow Papers. Archivist Cathy Moran Hajo worked with a team of college students to organize, re-house, and describe one of the Museum’s largest and richest archival collections. A guide to his papers has been posted on the Museum website.

John W. Bristow (1924-2010) was a high school teacher with an abiding interest in history. He moved to Mahwah in 1973 and became involved with the work of the Mahwah Historical Society and the Mahwah Historic Sites Commission. He became Mahwah Town Historian in 1993 and is best-known for his newspaper column “This Month In Mahwah History” which ran in the Home and Store News from 1985-1992.

John W. Bristow, taken in 2008 (Courtesty of Ruth Bristow Portela).

The Bristow Papers was a large and unorganized collection when it arrived at the Museum. After separating materials like newspaper clippings, Mahwah Historical Society and Mahwah Historical Sites Commission records, and duplicates, the collection still spans 24 boxes! Among its highlights are John Bristow’s many presentations on local history, a rich collection of photographs and the photographic slides that accompanied his lectures, and ephemera he gathered while conducting research.

We could not have completed this major reorganization without the help of a dedicated team of students who volunteered on Saturday mornings.  We want to thank Kevin Cosenza, Jeffrey Fischer, Meg Hajo, Matthew Hazell, Lee Herman, Nicholas Incorvaia, Cristina Macari, and Jennifer Zgola for all their efforts to make this collection available to researchers. I would also like to thank Ruth Bristow Portela, John Bristow’s daughter, for sharing photographs and biographical information that we used to write up the guide to his papers.

To view the papers, please arrange an appointment by either calling the Museum or e-mailing the archives directly at archives@mahwahmuseum.org.


Exhibits at the Mahwah Museum

**Please note: We cannot process credit or debit cards inside the museum.***

We are featuring two exhibits for the 2016-2017 season, “Mahwah’s Herstory” and “Medicine in Mahwah”.

The Mahwah Museum is located at 201 Franklin Turnpike, Mahwah, NJ 07430.

Admission to the museum is $5, free for museum members.

The first exhibit, “Mahwah’s Herstory: The Changing Roles of Women in Mahwah’s History”, examines the role 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 exhibit, “Medicine in Mahwah”, highlights the history of medicine in Mahwah. It examines the growth and development of the medical field with highlights on Mahwah’s practitioners, their methods, and instruments throughout various periods.

The Museum is open for the 2016-2017 season featuring, aside from our new exhibits, our permanent exhibits:

Les Paul in Mahwah and The Donald Cooper Model Railroad, which is open weekends ONLY 1-4 pm.

The Museum is open weekends and Wednesdays from 1-4 pm.; admission is $5 for non-members; members and children are free.

Permanent exhibits:

The Donald Cooper Model Railroad

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 open weekends ONLY October-June from 1-4 p.m. For information about joining the train crew, please email director@mahwahmuseum.org or call 201-512-0099

Les Paul in Mahwah

The Mahwah Museum has a small permanent exhibit featuring Les Paul 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 recreation 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.


The Mahwah Museum receives operating support from the New Jersey Historical Commission in the Department of State.

Become a member of the Mahwah Museum!

Join Us!

mahwah6The 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 are now accepting credit cards 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.

Individuals ($15)

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

Seniors ($10)

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

Family ($25)

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

Sponsors ($100-$249)

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 The Ramapough 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.

Mahwah Museum Benefactor – $1000+

Help Support the Mahwah Museum with Amazon Smile!

If you’re doing some shopping on Amazon.com, please consider using the Amazon Smile program and donating part of your purchase to the Mahwah Museum! Amazon Smile is a program run by the online retailer, Amazon, which will automatically donate 0.5% of your purchases to the charity you select. It costs you (and the charitable organizations) nothing, and it’s just like shopping on Amazon normally, but you get to do a world of good.
The Mahwah Museum is part of the Amazon Smile program and with a few simple steps, the 0.5% of your purchases made on Amazon can be donated to the Museum… which will in turn be used in the upkeep and running of our facility, new exhibits, programs, lectures, gallery talks, and all of the things that make the Mahwah Museum an integral part of the community.
To start donating you simply visit smile.amazon.com, go to your account settings, and change your charity to The Mahwah Museum. It’s just like shopping on Amazon—only you get to support your favorite charity without doing anything extra (not even donating time or effort).

Become a Volunteer Docent at the Mahwah Museum!

Become a Volunteer Docent at the Mahwah Museum!

If you are looking for an interesting and fun way to get involved with local history, please consider becoming a volunteer docent at the Mahwah Museum!

Docents work on Saturdays, Sundays, or Wednesdays from 1pm to 4 pm.
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; and on Sundays from 2-4 p.m., late June to Mid-September, when the Old Station Museum and Caboose are 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 or the Station always has a docent when the public is invited.

Please email or call the museum if interested- director@mahwahmuseum.org (201) 512-0099

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.