Cragmere Park Landmark Razed


This article, by Jane Vilmar, was first published in “The Old Station Timetable” in October 1980.

By the time this appears in our newsletter, the Education Center that majestically graced the higher elevation at 40 Malcolm Road for so many years will probably have been torn down.

The 3-story structure, one of the landmarks in Cragmere Park, was built about 1914 by the Theusen family. It was a boarding house for many years, and a number of Brooklyn families stayed there during the summer and later moved to the township.

On the grounds back in the early days were a ice house, once part of the Ezra Miller estate; a small pond known as Oweno Lake and a summer house at the edge of the north end of the pond. This was a popular gathering place for many different events, such as firework displays, ice skating and Sunday afternoon tea parties.

In later years, the Theusen brothers, Fred, Chris and George, lived in the cellar of the family homestead.

Eventually the Board of Education purchased the house, and it was renovated in 1957 for the school administrative offices. Last month the school personnel was moved to the Joyce Kilmer School, after it was decided to demolish the house.

Robert Brown, assistant superintendent, recently said “there is no discussion of construction or selling the tract of land at this time. plans are to grade and seed the land for the time being.”



Cemetery of the Old Ramapo Lutheran Church, Moffatt Road, Mahwah – Chapter II

This article, by Charles Anderson, was first published in “The Old Station Timetable” in April 1980. For the first part, click here.

Henry Frederick, 1729-1790, and several of his children are nearby.

John Bush, who died in 1812, could have been a son of Samuel Bush, who owned lot #96A south of the Frederick land.

Michael Fisher owned #154, including Hilltop Rd. There is a stone listing Mikel Fisher, 1722-1802, with two Fisher women, Mary, who died at 89 in 1812, and Catrin (Fishar), 1777-1793. A few years ago, Fanny Fisher Bartold, who lived in the Fardale section, died in her 100th year. She was raised in the Airmont area of Ramsey, which includes the old Fisher tract.

Adjoining the Fisher land is that of Conradt Brown, -1793 and Mary, his wife, 1777-1793. On the stone, the name is spelled Broun and Conrad loses its T.

One small stone reminds us that “Here lyeth the body of John Suffern, son of John and Mary Suffern of New Antrim, 11 mo., 1777.” On Darlington Ave., west of Grove St., lot #132 is in the name of Mary Ramsey. The young couple settled in Suffern (New Antrim) in 1773 and probably came to the nearest church for services. John Ramsey was one of the founders of the Dutch Reformed Church, and there he and many of his family are buried. There were 11 children just a short distance away from the boy who might have been his firstborn.

The Messenger family settled lot #24. This family too varied the spell ing of its name. Coonrad Mausenger, -1804, Nicholas Maysinger, 1760?-1804, Susannah, the wife of Nicholas Messenger, -1843, and Michael, 1774-1852 and Mary, 1777-1859. Lot #24 was taken by Henry Messenger. It was he who originally gave the church land to the Lutheran Church. Although not marked, he MUST be buried there.

There are many Carlough graves, and since a Carlough was an owner of a lot in the tract, here could be another of our very earliest residents. Some of the stones leave us wondering. Was Molle Hunter really Molly? Who was the Asler (Esler) family who was buried between 1774 and l798? What early names are hidden in the initialed and unmarked stones?

And what of Elias Fall; who died Jan. 31, 1771 at the age of 88? Who could the man have been, a strange name among the German and Dutch families of the early congregation?

This forgotten burial ground is as important in the history of Mahwah as Lorn Hill to Plymouth or Trinity Churchyard to New York. There must be some way that it can be saved for the future. It’s almost too late!