Museum Closed Until Further Notice

The Board of Trustees of the Mahwah Museum has decided to close the Museum to the public until further notice.  We are doing this out of concern for both our patrons and docents and to support the efforts to encourage social distance in an effort to reduce the spread of Covid-19.

We very much hope that the Museum will reopen soon. Please check back for updates.

Keep well and safe everybody!

March 18 -*Postponed* Donald Cooper Model Railroad Volunteer Night

Erie locomotive leaving Suffern, NY, 1938

**This Event has been Postponed Until Further Notice**

Wednesday March 18th

7:00 pm – 9:00 pm


at Mahwah Museum in the Donald Cooper Model Railroad Layout room

The volunteers of the Mahwah Museum’s Donald Cooper Model Railroad exhibit will be hosting an open house for anyone that might be interested in joining our exhibit committee. This event will take place on Wednesday evening, March 18 from 7:00pm to 9:00pm at the museum.

The evening will include a program about Erie steam locomotives featuring photos from 1938 and 1939. The photographer, David S. Wanamaker, was a Mahwah resident and WW II veteran.  You will also have the opportunity to meet the volunteers that keep our railroad operating, ask questions about the operation, and learn what volunteer opportunities are available. Light refreshments will be served.

For more information, or if you have any questions, please contact Bob Adler, Director of the Donald Cooper Model Railroad at or 201-686-3344.

April 4 – Postponed – Sound on Sound: Exploring the Evolution of Les Paul’s Pioneering Techniques

Exploring the Evolution of Les Paul’s Pioneering Recording Techniques on the Road to Multi-Track Recording

**Postponed until Fall 2020** 

A lecture by Dr Sean McClowry

Saturday, April 4 at 11:00 am

at Mahwah Museum


Dr Sean McClowry, professor of music at the College of St. Rose, will discuss Les Paul’s “sound on sound” methods.  While known as a pioneer in multi-track and multi-layering recording, Les Paul’s methods were constantly changing.  Each new method presented new advantages and challenges.  This talk will include live demonstrations, in an effort to unpack the genius at work as a recording artist and a pioneer in music technology, and also highlight the historic artifacts on display at the museum.

The program is free for Museum members, $5 for non-members.  Reservations are recommended; to reserve seats, contact or call 201-512-0099.

Les Paul – Photo courtesy of The Les Paul Foundation


April 2 -Postponed- The Making of a Village: Ridgewood Comes of Age, 1894-1905

Historians Peggy Norris and Joe Suplicki


A Lecture by Peggy Norris and Joe Suplicki

Thursday, April 2 at 7:30 pm

at Mahwah Museum

Bergen County Historians Peggy Norris and Joe Suplicki will present a lecture on these critical years of this Bergen center.  Using documents, maps and historic panoramic photos, they will illustrate Ridgewood’s growth and transformation into a village.

Ridgewood Train Station Circa 1900

Long-time members of the Genealogical Society of Bergen County and many county historical societies, Peggy Norris and Joe Suplicki share their love of regional history with others as genealogists, volunteers, and lecturers. Together, they have lectured on a wide variety of subjects, including genealogy, local cemeteries, and the history of Bergen County’s Camp Merritt.

The lecture is free for museum members and $5 for non-members.  Reservations are recommended; to reserve seats, please contact or call 201-512-0099.

Postponed – Premiere of the Trackside Drive-in Theater


At the Donald Cooper Model Railroad

Through May 31

The volunteers of the Donald Cooper Model Railroad at the Mahwah Museum announce the opening of the Trackside Drive-in, a working drive-in theater in HO scale.  Our first feature being shown on the big screen is “King Kong vs Godzilla”.  Come and relive the nostalgia of watching a movie under the stars during the summer evening from the comfort of your favorite car.

Free Gifts for Mahwah Residents Who visit during April

Attention Mahwah Residents!

The Mahwah Museum is offering two special free gifts to all Mahwah residents who visit the Museum during April (while supplies last).

The first of these gifts is an historical map of Mahwah based on the 1876 Atlas of Bergen County, with additional information from other maps dating as far back as 1709.  The map is very suitable for framing  and would be a great addition to home or office.

The second gift, a 12-page booklet, reprinted from the recent Autumn Years magazine article on the history of Mahwah,  presents many interesting facts about Mahwah, and is a great way to learn more about our town’s history.

One of the Museum’s objectives is to increase understanding and appreciation of our town’s history.  By providing a map and a short summary of Mahwah’s past, we hope to encourage your knowledge and appreciation for Mahwah’s rich history. These gifts may answer some questions about our town’s past, such as the location of the Nike Missile base and George Washington’s route during the American Revolution.

To obtain the free gifts, simply visit the Mahwah Museum and request your historical map and Mahwah History booklet.  One map and booklet per Mahwah household, please.  Supplies are limited, so please  visit soon!

The Mahwah Museum is open every Wednesday, Saturday and Sunday from 1-4 pm.  Located at 201 Franklin Turnpike, it is next the the Mahwah Police Station and Fire Department, and just up the hill from the Mahwah Train Station.

Play a Les Paul Guitar

Les Paul

Play a Les Paul Guitar Session- Indulge your Guitar Fantasy!

Play one of Les Paul’s guitars at Mahwah Museum.

Guitar lovers and Les Paul fans can play some of these very special guitars once owned and played by Les.

By appointment, for 45-minute sessions, musicians can play alone or together for a donation of $25 each.  There is a maximum of 5 musicians per session, and maximum audience of 5 at $5 each admission.

Those interested should email the museum or call 201 -512 -0099.  Please include your name and the best way to contact you (by phone or email).

 Please note: These sessions take place during times when the museum is closed to the public.

Les seated with guitar bw

Les Paul

In Memoriam: Ed Skurna (1939-2020)

Ed Skurna (1939-2020) Courtesy of Bob Adler.

The Mahwah Museum is saddened to report the death of Ed Skurna on February 9.

Ed Skurna was a member of the Mahwah Museum model railroad volunteers for the last 10 years. He loved anything associated with railroads and, using his background in education to shared that knowledge with young and not-so-young visitors to our railroad exhibit. Ed was also a generous benefactor to our museum. Many of the highly-detailed and interesting locomotives that we use on both our HO and O gauge layouts are gifts from Ed. Thanks to his dedication to railroad history, we were able to recreate the laying of the Golden Spike on our railroad for its 150th anniversary. His last gifts to us were the two locomotives that were involved in the Great Locomotive Chase in the Civil War. His wish was for us to recreate that event on our layout.

Ed was a teacher in Montvale, NJ at the Fieldstone Middle School for 35 years teaching math and science. He received his teaching degree in what is now William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ. Among his many other interests were astronomy and music. He has been associated with music since his days in high school playing the trombone. He particularly liked marches and concert band music. He has played in the acclaimed Gloria Band, the Saddle River Concert Band, the Waldwick Concert Band, and the AU Men’s Club Band in Wyckoff, NJ.

Ed had no family, but his fun-loving personality will be missed by all of the friends he made through his association with music and model railroading. We will miss him greatly.

Services will be held on February 17, at the F. John Ramsey Funeral Home, 1 Main Street, Franklin, New Jersey 07416, from 10:00 to 12:00. Donations in Ed’s name can be made to: Father John’s Animal House in Lafayette, NJ or the Shriner’s Hospital for Children.

May 9 – Postponed -Workshop: How to Care for and Maintain your Guitar


Saturday, May 9th from 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Presented by Jeff Zacher, Luthier

Bring your guitar to this hands-on workshop.  Luthier Jeff Zacher will demonstrate the techniques necessary to adjust a guitar for optimal playability and tone.  Participants will receive individualized attention as they work on their own guitars.

The cost of this two hour workshop is $35; advance registration and payment required.  Please contact or call 201-512-0099 for more information.

Click here to Reserve