This Old House  LbNA # 35502

OwnerWhite Wings      
Placed DateSep 26 2007
CountyPassaic
LocationWayne, NJ
Boxes1
Found ByThe Pakrat (Attempted)
Last UpdateMay 29 2012

Clues

“This Old House”

This letterbox is planted at the Van Riper- Hopper House located on Berdan Avenue in Wayne. This wonderful old house is an example of the Dutch farmhouses that were scattered throughout northeastern New Jersey in the 1700 and 1800s. An interesting fact . . . these houses south to receive the full advantage of the sunlight!

The house was built in 1786 by Uriah Van Riper when he married Maria Berdan. They owned 145 acres, most of which now lie under the Point View Reservoir. Later in the 1800s, the house became the Hopper house when Uriah and Maria’s great-granddaughter married Andrew Hopper. The house became the Wayne Township Museum in 1964, and ten years later, the old Van Duyne House built in 1706 was moved to the property. There’s also an Archeological Laboratory on the property.

When you visit, you will be able to enjoy the lovely grounds, complete with picnic tables for a fun lunch, but you will only be able to see the inside of the house by calling ahead for an appointment. That number is 973-694-7192.

Now for the letterbox!

The Van Riper-Hopper House is located in Wayne on Berdan Avenue . . . it’s on the left, .4 miles from the Valley Road light in Wayne – or on the right, 2 miles from the Breakneck Road/Franklin Lake Road light in Oakland. Park in the parking lot that faces the house.

Walk from the parking lot to the Van Riper house and enjoy this beautiful old home as you walk along the brick pathway from right to left. At the far left end of the house, you’ll find a lovely herb garden. Walk through the garden on the path, keeping the house to your right. You’ll see a big, old apple tree at the end of the walk, and behind it, an 1800s grist wheel leaning against a stone wall. This is a grinding wheel that was used in the Doremus Grist Mill in the 17th century. Look behind the wheel and under some rocks on the right-hand side to find the box (it’s my first hand-carved stamp!)

When you’re finished, please hide it well. The DPW keeps the grounds nicely landscaped, so be sure to hide it so the gentlemen doing the upkeep don’t find it. Thanks!

Enjoy your trip back into Old New Jersey!