Hamilton House Museum
971 Valley Road
Clifton, NJ 07013
Curator: Norma Smith
Welcome to the Hamilton-Van Wagoner Museum
We hope to provide you with a refreshing glimpse of the past. A journey back in time and place -not just to see, but to feel how our forefathers lived. The museum mirrors the growing up of our nation with all its courage, imagination and vitality.
This 18th Century Dutch gambrel-roofed homestead, was once the home of the Van Wagoner and Hamilton families. The basic plan of the house does not greatly differ from its Dutch antecedents. The sturdy one and one half story cut sandstone structure, flanked by a grainery, spring-house and gardens, reflects almost two hundred years of American history. It brings back memories of an uncluttered horizon with farms, orchards, fresh brooks, forests full of game and filled with the scent of wildflowers.
Although the city of Clifton was incorporated in 1917, a community had existed since 1679. Prior to 1917, the area was known as Acquackanonk Township and included parts of Paterson, West Paterson, Little Falls and Passaic. The Indian Chief Captahem deeded 11,000acres to the early Dutch settlers on the shores of the Passaic River. Predominately rural, this sparsely populated village thrived and grew.
The farmhouse was presented to the City of Clifton by the developers of the property of the late Harry Hamilton. The Hamilton family had bought the 96 acre property in 1856 and for over 100 years until the death of Mr. Hamilton n 1970 it had been the home of the family.
The house was moved to its present location Surgent Park in 1973. Infinite plans have been taken with examination and documentation of the building's structural elements. Manuscripts,maps, deeds, wills.photographs and artifacts were researched, including the records and treasured memories of Miss Caroline Hamilton.
We trust you will enjoy your "walk in the footsteps of history" with the visualization of six rooms furnished in different periods showing a span of time and an earlier pattern of life. As a "living" active Museum we invite you to "walk in the footsteps of history"
The Museum is opened for tours on Sundays from 2-4pm (except for Holidays) from March-December. Tours at other times may be made by calling the Museum - (973)744-5707
There are various programs and events thru the year, Contact the Museum for further information.