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Hawthorne Historical Society Bus Tour and Luncheon

The Hawthorne Historical Society sponsored a bus tour of several historically significant locations in the borough, followed by an award dinner at Justin’s Restaurant, on Sunday, May 1, 2011.

The event was planned in honor of the late Victor Vanderzee, one of the society’s first members. Mr. Vanderzee is featured in the society’s first Oral History DVD, recounting his father’s part in the development of several neighborhoods in the borough.

Historical locations on the bus tour included:

- The New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway Station on Diamond Bridge Avenue (also mentioned on the tour were the Erie Railroad and the trolley line run by the Paterson & State-Line Traction Company, later taken over by Public Service Railway).

- The Post Office (on Diamond Bridge Avenue)

- St. Anthony’s School and Church on Diamond Bridge Avenue (all churches were mentioned during the tour)

- Lincoln Middle School on Hawthorne Avenue (all schools were mentioned in the tour)

- The Van Winkle Homestead on Goffle Road (across from Arnold’s Pond / aka the duck pond)

- The Rea Mansion in Goffle Brook Park near the corner of Goffle Road and Rea Avenue

- The Vreeland Home located on the property of the Van Dyk Assisted Living Center on Goffle Road

- The Holland Cemetery and the Ahavath Joseph Cemetery on Brockhuizen Lane

- The Ryerson House monument (plaque) in Goffle Brook Park park on Goffle Road south of Diamond Bridge Avenue (at the top of the hill near the road). That section of the park was also where General Lafayette’s infantry camped.

- The DeGray Homestead, which is now Bottagra Restaurant (the DeGray family cemetery is behind the homestead and includes the remains of other prominent early Dutch families)

- The Hawthorne Pool

- The former Franklin School, now the Franklin Commons condominiums

- Hawthorne High School, built as a WPA project

- The Municipal Building (where the former Lafayette School/municipal building stood until fire destroyed it in 1978)

- The Louis Bay 2nd Library and Community Center on Lafayette Avenue

- The Hawthorne Theatre on Lafayette Avenue

- St. Clement’s Church and the 1st Reformed Church on Lafayette Avenue

There were also numerous sites noted which are no longer in existence. Among them are: the veterans’ memorial rotunda located behind the high school, the trolley line, Lafayette School (location of the current Municipal Building), the first Lincoln School, and the Union Sunday School Building (in the vicinity of Goffle Road and North 8th Street which used to meet the religious needs of children from the late 1860s to the late 1890s).

It was a day to remember, and definitely something the Historical Society plans to do again in the future.

The Hawthorne Historical Society meets the second Monday of every month at 7p at the Louis Bay 2nd library and community center. All are welcome. For further information contact Jackie Walsh at 201-694-8664.