Passaic County New Jersey

Historic House Museums, Structures and Sites

The Wayne Township Parks and Recreation Department owns and operates three historic house museums: Schuyler-Colfax House, Van Riper-Hopper House, and Van Duyne House. All three were put on the National and State Registers of Historic Places in the category of construction and design. The Wayne Historical Commission provides vital support to the museums by raising funds, acquiring artifacts, and writing the history of Wayne. Van Riper-Hopper House and Van Duyne House at 533 Berdan Ave. are open by appointment year-round.

Schuyler-Colfax Historic House Museum – 2343 Hamburg Turnpike

Press Release SCH

This building is credited to settler Arent Schuyler, and is Wayne’s oldest house. It is one of a few colonial homesteads built circa 1700 on the east coast of the U.S.A., with an existing huge fireplace without sides called jambless.  The house was placed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places because of its construction and design.  Eight generations of the Schuyler-Colfax family resided in the house, producing military, medical, legal and governmental representatives. When the house was sold in 1993 to the Township of Wayne, the family left behind written records and artifacts. The older sections of the house are the lower elevation sections. After the Revolutionary War, Hester Schuyler married Captain William Colfax, the Captain of George Washington’s Life Guard. They are credited with building the two-story portion. The Schuyler-Colfax House is currently closed for rehabilitation.
Dey Mansion Battle Retreat

The Dey Mansion/Washington’s Headquarters Museum – 199 Totowa Road


 Located in Wayne, The Dey Mansion is owned and operated by Passaic County Department of Parks and Recreation, not the Township of Wayne.  Begun in 1740 by Dirk Dey and completed by his son Colonel Theunis Dey, this mansion served as General George Washington’s headquarters in 1780.To contact the mansion, call 973-696-1776.or Passaic County.
For information on Dey Mansion, call 973-696-1776.

Historic Structures and Sites

Van Saun House – 23 Laauwe Avenue: This old Dutch home was built in 1769 by Samuel Van Saun and is presently a private residence. Major-General Marquis de Lafayette made this home his headquarters during the 1780 encampment of the Continental Army. The still active spring, which flows into the Singac Brook, maintains a 34 degree temperature year round and refreshed many a man and horse.

Mead House – 231 Parish Drive: Built in 1780 by Jacob K. Mead, a direct descendant of the founder of Mead’s Basin, this home forms the left wing of the huge mansion built in 1929 by LeGrand Parish. The house is now owned by the Lakeland Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship.

Ryerson Homestead – 44 Newark-Pompton Turnpike: Built in 1784 by Abraham Ryerson, who is a direct descendant of one of Wayne’s first settlers. This home is now a private residence and also serves as a business location.

Henry Casey House – 1329 Hamburg Turnpike: The first Wayne Township organizational meeting took place in this house on April 12, 1847. It is currently a private residence and a business address.

Demarest House – 378 Fairfield Road: This 1760 homestead is believed to have been built by John Ryerson, and used as a parsonage for the Dutch Reformed Churches. It was dismantled and rebuilt in 1850 to rid the house of ghosts. The Demarest family bought it in 1814. It is now owned privately.

Terhune Memorial (Sunnybank) – Terhune Drive: In 1860, the Reverend Edward Payson Terhune and his bride settled on this sloping hill on the east shore of Pompton Lake. Their son, Albert Payson Terhune, was raised here and became famous as the author of Lad and other dog stories. Headstones mark the graves of favorite dogs. Sunnybank is now a town park. The house was in too great a state of disrepair to be saved.

Tollkeeper House – 2332 Hamburg Turnpike: Built in the 1700’s to house George Colfax, the toll collector on the road from Paterson to Hamburg. To supplement his income, Colfax was also a cobbler. This home currently is a private residence.

Mountainview Schools: The first school was a dug-out school built in 1743 on what is now Parish Drive near the Community Fire Company Number One. In 1812 a new Mountain View School was built on Boonton Road. In 1920 a newer school was built across the street at 64 Boonton Road., and the old school was converted into the Town Hall of Wayne. It presently houses American Legion Post 174. The school on Boonton Road is now a bank.

Old Preakness Schools – 1006 Hamburg Turnpike: The small white building was built in 1866 as a single story structure to be used as old district school #14. A second story was added and it was renamed School #2. While still owned by the town, it is rented to a business. The newer school, which closed in 1977, is now the Wayne Civic Center and houses the Preakness Branch of the Wayne Public Library.

The Preakness Reformed Church Cemetery – 131 Church Lane: This is the only public cemetery in Wayne. Stones dating back to 1798 include names of those prominent in the town’s early history – Berdan, Van Riper, MacDonald, Hinchman, Ratcliffe, Garside. A self-guided tour is available at the Church.

Adapted from Know Your Town Wayne New Jersey Published by the League of Women Voters of Wayne Township.

Wayne Township Structures and Sites of National and/or State significance

1Schuyler–Colfax House2343 Paterson-Hamburg TpkeCirca 1700Oldest House and Museum – On National and State Registers of Historic Places
2Dey Mansion199 Totowa Road1770sGen Washington Hdqtrs
Museum – On National and State Registers of Historic Places
3Samuel Van Saun House23 Laauwe Ave1769Gen Lafayette Hdqtrs
4Van Riper–Hopper House533 Berdan Ave1786Museum – On National and State Registers of Historic Places
5Mead–Van Duyne House533 Berdan Ave, ex Fairfield Rd1706


Museum – Removed from National Register when moved from original site. On State Register of Historic Places.


Wayne Township Location Directory to Other Hsitoric Structures and Sites


6American Legion HallMountain View BlvdSchool – Town Hall
7Blind Man’s House27 Newark-Pompton TpkeMr. Burdett’s son wrote book
8Henry Casey House1329 Paterson-Hamburg Tpke1st Town Meeting
9Geo Washington Colfax HouseDawes Highway (moved – razed)1810
10Demarest House427 Fairfield Road1760 private residence
11DeMilleSchoolTerhune Drive (raised)nursing home site now
12Demont-Ryerson Store20 Newark–Pompton Tpke
13Gabriel’s Hotel (Hixon)95 Mountain View Blvd
14Mead – Parish House231 Parish DriveUnitarian/Universalist Fellowship
15Preakness Reformed Church and Cemetery131 Church LaneOldest Church
16Shackelton’s (canal) Store90 Mountain View Blvd
17Thomas Van Saun House1158 Preakness AveFlying Hospital Site
18Sheffield Farms861 Black Oak Ridge RoadDairy
19UpperPreaknessSchool1022 Paterson Hamburg Tpk.Oldest School
20William B. Ryerson House452 Newark-Pompton Tpk.Lucas Ryerson – tall clock maker
21H. George L. Ryerson House


44 Newark-Pompton Tpk.Built 1784 – Commercial Building
22WOOW Radio – Voice of America transmitting stationRyerson Avenue (west end)Demolished in 1996