an elementary school and Rutherfurd Hall,
a cultural center and museum.
The museum concerns itself with other
families besides the Rutherfurds with
whom, over the centuries, they interwed.
One such family was the Stuyvesants who
built a country home a short distance away.
It burned down in ;;;;. They were descendants of Peter Stuyvesant, the Dutch governor of New Amsterdam. The Rutherfurds
also intermarried with the Morris family,
which produced Lewis Morris, the first
native-born colonial governor. The
extended Rutherfurd family once
held some ;,;;;
acres in Warren
and Sussex counties. Now much of
that land constitutes Allamuchy
Some of the
are located across
Route ;;, whose
bisects the property. Nevertheless,
locals contend that
the curve in Interstate ;; at this point was
made so as to spare the Rutherfurd family’s
fieldstone chapel, once reachable on foot
from the mansion.
The chapel was still being used by the
Rutherfurds for family occasions into
the ;;;;s and ;;;;s, but is now all but
abandoned in the woods that have crept
up around it. In ;;;;, Jacqueline Kennedy
attended a baptism in the chapel of a child
born to her half sister, Janet Auchincloss,
who had joined the Rutherfurd family by
marrying Lewis Rutherfurd in ;;;;.
Earlier, in ;;;;, Kennedy had an entirely
di;erent connection with the Rutherfurd
family. As First Lady, she was determined
to bring the White House up to the standard of beauty it merited. The Rutherfurds
contributed some splendid examples of
Duncan Phyfe furniture that came from
Rutherfurd Hall. Included were two settees, two armchairs, and four sidechairs
that were placed in the ground-floor library
of the White House. The White House Cu-
Happening at the Hall
Here are some upcoming events at
• Jazz Concert Series, OCT. ;, ; PM
• Woman on the Watch—influential
women share their experiences.
OCT. ;;, ;:;;;; PM
• Lecture on the Rutherfurd women
by historian Joan Salvas.
OCT. ;;, ; PM
• Halloween Ball, OCT. ;;
• Holiday celebration. Photo ops with
Santa, live music, holiday crafts and
more. DEC. ;, NOON;; PM
• Holiday brunch and tour.
DEC. ;, ;; AM
The mansion has open hours 1-4 pm every
Wednesday. Visit rutherfurdhall.org for
rator’s O;ce confirms that the furnishings
are all still there.
A stone house, dating to the ;;;;s and
close to the chapel may also have been
spared by the curve in Route ;;. Rutherfurd family members occasionally stay in
that house when they are in the area.
The remains of the Allamuchy train station is also north of Route ;;. The station
and Rutherfurd Hall are on both the state
and national registers of historic places.
Finally, Tranquility Cemetery, the
burial ground for the extended Rutherfurd
also north of
inspired the name
of the Bergen
much of which
was once owned
and farmed by
an early settler
of Scottish origin
(hence the “u”
instead of the “o”
in the name). John
Rutherfurd married into the Morris family
and eventually was elected a United States
senator. The generally accepted belief in
Allamuchy Township, and in Rutherford
itself, is that the di;erence between the
spelling of Rutherfurd and Rutherford was
due to a clerical error. Others contend that
the “ford” spelling may have been in recog-
nition of the presidency of Rutherford B.
Hayes, elected in ;;;;.
Whatever the truth of this matter, there
is no question that Rutherfurd Hall is one
of New Jersey’s treasures. Would that
more great houses had not, over the years,
been torn down to be replaced by suburban
developments. Rutherfurd Hall is a shining example of how we can, and should,
more zealously safeguard our heritage.
Michael Aaron Rockland is professor of
American Studies at Rutgers University
and author of many books. He is currently
working on a new edition of his book on the
George Washington Bridge.
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