Passaic County Historic Sites

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Historic Sites

Dey Mansion Washington's Headquarters, Wayne
Dey MansionThe Dey Mansion, located in Preakness Valley Park, was listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places in 1972. Under the direction of the Passaic County Board of County Commissioners, the staff at the Dey Mansion is dedicated to preserving and interpreting the history of the Dey family and the important role that their home played as General George Washington’s headquarters during the summer and fall of 1780. Through tours, lectures, and special events the Dey Mansion promotes the exploration of life in Colonial America, the events and people of the American Revolution, and the need and importance of historic preservation. Please visit the Dey Mansion’s website for more information.

Hamilton House Museum, Clifton
Hamilton HouseThe Hamilton House Museum is a 19th-century Dutch house, which features three time periods – Victorian, Federal, and colonial. This museum encourages visitors to imagine themselves living in the past as they step through the visualization of six rooms, each showcasing different periods of time and patterns of life. Visitors can tour the house as well as its gardens, spring house, and granary – exploring almost 200 years of rural American life. The site is owned by the City of Clifton. Through a shared services agreement, the museum is operated by Passaic County’s Department of Cultural & Historic Affairs. The Hamilton House Museum can be permitted for public use, and helps host various events and programming throughout the year. Visit the museum’s website to learn more.

Passaic County Arts Center at the John W. Rea House, Hawthorne

Rea HouseThe Passaic County Arts Center at the John W. Rea House is dedicated to presenting high-quality and accessible arts events and educational programming to the public. Through gallery exhibitions, workshops, arts classes, and public programs, the Passaic County Arts Center promotes an appreciation for the visual and performing arts by engaging the community in an environment that nurtures creative expression. The John W. Rea House (circa 1810), which houses the facility, is listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. Visitors can view the historic house and different exhibitions, and take part in various educational and public programs. For more information, visit the arts center’s website.

Lambert Castle, Paterson

Lambert CastleLambert Castle was listed on the New Jersey Register in 1975 and the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. Built in 1892 by silk magnate Catholina Lambert, Lambert Castle is a late Victorian-era mansion. It was here that he displayed many of his prized European and American paintings. The museum’s changing exhibits and furnishings reflect the local history of Passaic County and allow visitors to experience this historic house, with both period rooms and exhibits. The castle represents one of several rare examples of castellated residential architecture in America. *The castle is currently closed for renovations.*

Lambert Tower, Paterson/Woodland Park

Lambert TowerSituated within Garret Mountain Reservation, the 70-feet tall Lambert Tower was built in 1896 by silk mill entrepreneur Catholina Lambert. Along with Lambert Castle, the structure was built to be reminiscent of the castles in Great Britain where Catholina Lambert spent his childhood. Today, visitors are able to enjoy spectacular panoramic views from the top of the observation tower. The historic site is one of the most popular backdrops for special event photography in New Jersey. Find out if you need a permit before you set a date.

Vanderhoef-Westervelt House, Clifton
Vanderhoef HouseThe Westervelt-Vanderhoef House (circa 1720) – located within Weasel Brook Park in Clifton – is one of the oldest buildings in Passaic County and is the oldest county-owned facility. Today, the house serves as an extension to both the Departments of Cultural & Historic Affairs and Parks & Recreation. They permit the use of the building as a meeting space for various organizations, as well as house exhibitions on the history of Clifton, Passaic County, and Weasel Brook Park. In addition, the departments host events and programs here throughout the year.