OAKLAND, N.J. — The Van Allen House has a new roof and windows, thanks to a grant from the Bergen County Office of Historic Preservation, but more is needed.The Oakland Historical Society and Ramapough Conservancy are raising money to proceed to the next phases of renovations of the structure, along with the Stream House next door.“The house still needs to have a lot of work done on it, inside and out,” said Jerri Angermueller, of the historical society. “The stone walls and foundation are believed to be the original walls that were there at that time. The first roof replacement is completed for now.”
A county historic preservation grant funded the installation of dormer windows and the roof over the main part of the house, at Franklin Avenue and Route 202.
“I'm assuming a second grant will be applied for to replace the deteriorating roof over the 'keeping room' or kitchen area with the upstairs office space,“ Angermueller said. “When all that is done, a third grant is being encouraged to restore the Vygeberg Farm office building (Stream House) on the same piece of property," she added.Angermueller said she didn't have a timeline for competiion."We've all got our fingers crossed," she said.
George Washington stayed in the Van Allen House for two nights in the summer of 1777 while he led his troops up what is now Route 202 to prepare for defense against the British.
The property, along with an additional 650 acres, was later converted into the Vygberg Farm — a commercial produce and dairy farm — by a textile merchant from New York City.
Milk and produce were stored in the basement of the Stream House year-round because the cold brook running beneath the building provided natural refrigeration.
The Van Allen House was included in a historical fiction novel by Wyckoff authors Robert J. and Robert A Skead ( CLICK HERE for more).
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