August Days Summer Programs

by Tom Bivin on July 11, 2017 · 0 comments


AGES 8-12

Visit the Museum for either the Morning or Afternoon Session (10-12 noon or 1-3pm) on August 2,9, and, 16th

Learn about the Area’s History & Make Special Craft Projects (different craft projects will be offered each week)

$20 per child per week (includes costs for craft materials)

Please register by July 21st

I hereby grant permission for my child__________(please print name), age ____, to attend the Meadowlands Museum August Days program on August 2, August 9, August 16th during the morning (10-12 noon) or afternoon (1-3 pm) session (please circle one or more dates and preferred time of day). I have enclosed with this registration $20.00 (check made payable to The Meadowlands Museum) for each child for each week of attendance. For credit card payments please call 201-321-2756

Name of Parent_______________________________________________________________

Address ____________________________________________________________________



Signature of Parent_____________________________________________________________

Mail this form and payment to Meadowlands Museum, August Days, 91 Crane Avenue, Rutherford, NJ 07070 by July 21, 2017. You can print the above information or for a PDF version of this form by email, please contact us at or call 201-935-1175



by Tom Bivin on July 9, 2017 · 0 comments

Image result for investors bank care to share

Have you heard about the latest way to automate your donations to the Meadowlands Museum?

The Meadowlands Museum is now enrolled in the Care2Share Investors Bank program. It makes donations to the Museum very easy (and it’s free to set up!) and helps us to remain a cornerstone of the community.


What is Care2Share?

When you bank at investors, you can link any personal checking or savings account to a non-profit organization (like the Meadowlands Museum) that is enrolled in the program. Investors Bank then calculates and sends quarterly contributions based upon the average monthly balances you maintain in your linked accounts.


How Does it Work?

When you link your eligible accounts to an enrolled non-profit, the organization will receive from Investors Bank .25% on the average monthly balance of your checking account or .15% on the average monthly balance of your savings account. Simply complete an Investors Care2Share Account Linking/Unlinking form. This is free and does not affect any of the features or benefits that come with your accounts. You can enroll your Investors Checking Account, Investors Savings Account (Statement, Passbook, Money Markets, and CDs), and Investors IRAs.



Help Support the Meadowlands today by contacting any Investors Branch or visiting




This tribute to the Rutherford Civil Rights Commission sponsored by the Meadowlands Museum on May 13, 2017, was in conjunction with the Preservation History Award received by the RCRC from the Bergen County Historic Preservation Advisory Board. This article also features historic Rutherford homes and an interview with Museum & borough historian, Rod Leith. You can view the original article and accompanying video at: via @northjersey

The Rutherford Civil Rights Commission won a historic preservation award for the promotion of six buildings connected to the borough’s African-American and Puerto Rican history


RUTHERFORD — Long Branch has “Born to Run.” Rutherford has “The Red Wheelbarrow.”

In the early 20th Century, William Carlos Williams was a poet living in Rutherford. He was also a physician who often visited patients at their homes.

It was in this capacity that he met Thaddeus Lloyd Marshall, an African-American fruit and vegetable peddler who lived with his family at 11 Elm Street.

“Dr. Williams, who made house calls in his practice, had provided medical care to Marshall and his family,” said Rutherford’s historian, Rod Leith. “In the backyard of the Marshall residence were chicken coops and a garden. Nearby, chickens caroused around a red wheelbarrow.”

Williams admired the elder Marshall.

“In his backyard I saw the red wheelbarrow surrounded by the white chickens. I supposed my affection for the old man somehow got into the writing,” Williams wrote in a 1954 essay.

The Rutherford Civil Commission has recognized five houses and a church for their contributions to the borough’s Puerto Rican and African-American history. Kelly Nicholaides/ via Wochit

In 1923, Williams — inspired by Marshall and his home — published his now-famous poem, “The Red Wheelbarrow.”

Marshall’s Elm Street home is one of five houses and a church recognized by Rutherford’s Civil Rights Commission for their contributions to the borough’s African-American and Puerto Rican history. Other locations singled out are 153 Wheaton Place, 78 Woodland Avenue, 127 Donaldson Avenue, 93 Delafield Avenue and 27 Elm Street, the home of Rutherford’s first African-American church.

The commission was recently honored with a Bergen County Historic Preservation Award for its work highlighting the people who lived in and built these structures.

For Leith, promoting the homes and meeting places of Rutherford’s Puerto Rican and African-American citizens is an important part of celebrating their role in the community.

“The historic architecture helps to illustrate their development and culture,” he said.



The following article was published on on May 25, 2017, and written by the Museum’s own, and Borough Historian, Rod Leith. The article details the life and service of Rutherford resident, Mae Brinkerhoff (1880-1960). You can find the original article by following the link:



In the midst of World War I, a young woman from a prominent Rutherford family left her steady job with a highly respected bank and traveled overseas to help serve American military forces in Europe. She began service with the secretarial department of the Young Men’s Christian Association and quickly rose to a management post with the YMCA’s operations in Coblenz, Germany.

A long-time employee of Rutherford National Bank, the YMCA volunteer was Mae Brinkerhoff, daughter of Rutherford’s ninth mayor, Andrew Hopper Brinkerhoff. She went to London in July of 1918, having qualified for an overseas assignment. There she joined her cousin, Anna Keziah Alyea, the daughter of one of Rutherford’s earliest postmasters, Garrabrant R. Alyea. The two were employed on the headquarters staff of the YMCA’s regional headquarters in Germany; Anna was the auditor and Mae was her assistant as head bookkeeper.

The YMCA’s first six-month report on the progress of the Coblenz Area included the following accolade: “To the women first stationed in Coblenz must be given great credit for remarkable work in the early days.” Liberty and Victory “Huts” were “splendidly organized,” the report continued, referring to the refreshment facilities. In that region, American soldiers were offered their first opportunity for leave from duty, providing them with hotels, restaurants, cinema shows and Rhine River cruise trips. On Christmas Day 1918, the Coblenz YMCA group helped solders feel at home, serving them 10,000 cups of chocolate and 30,000 holiday cakes.

Mae Brinkerhoff is believed to have been the youngest of the Rutherford Brinkerhoff branch to attend a grand reunion of the family when it was held in Bergen County in 1885. Nearly 300 members of the Brinkerhoff  family, some from as far away as Columbus, Ohio, gathered  at what was called the “Old Homestead,” on the farm of Albert B. Christie in Ridgefield Park. The original farmstead, near Queen Anne Road, was purchased in 1685. Mae’s father, former Mayor Brinkerhoff, served on the reunion executive committee of the Bergen County Brinkerhoff Association.

Among those who expressed regrets they were unable to attend the Aug. 27, 1885, event, was David Brinkerhoff Ivison, whose mother, Sarah, was the daughter of David Brinkerhoff of Auburn, N.Y. David Ivison, who was born in Auburn in 1835, was the owner of Iviswold, a Romanesque Revival mansion now on the Felician University campus. The “Castle,” as it is commonly known, is on the National Register of Historic Places. “It is a pleasure to be even so remotely connected with so worthy a name and family,” Ivison stated in his letter.

Mae Brinkerhoff’s lineage can be traced through her grandfather, George Cornelius Brinkerhoff, to Hendrick Brinkerhoff, who owned land in Bergen Hill (now Jersey City) and a large farm on the Hackensack River in the late 17th century. About 140 acres of that farm land, which stretched through the meadows to Kingsland (Lyndhurst), was inherited by George Brinkerhoff. In a description of this Brinkerhoff farmstead in 1900, Richard Van Winkle described it as a “big stone and brick house on a large farm” off Polifly Road. George Brinkerhoff died in this farm house in 1879, a year before Mae Brinkerhoff was born there on May 12,1880.

Ultimately the farm passed on to Mae’s father, Andrew. In 1882, Andrew and his brother-in-law, Garrabrant R. Alyea, organized the Hillside Cemetery Association, respecting the wish of his father, George Brinkerhoff, and ultimately giving the Rutherford area its much venerated cemetery. In the late 19th and 20th centuries, Rutherford’s Memorial Day ceremonies would conclude at Hillside Cemetery to honor both Union and Confederate soldiers who died in the Civil War.

One of the important events for Rutherford came with the development of Lincoln Park during the administration of Andrew H. Brinkerhoff, who served as mayor from 1903 to 1908.The Town Improvement Association, which was an offshoot of the Woman’s Club, effectively established Lincoln Park. In 1905, the woman’s group persuaded Mayor Brinkerhoff and the Council to accept the triangular-shape parcel as a borough park. Mayor Brinkerhoff had long been public spirited, having helped organize Fire Engine Company #2 in 1886.

When she graduated from the old Park School in June of 1898, Mae Brinkerhoff wrote a prize-winning essay on the sinking of the USS Maine just months before the disaster on Feb. 15. Her moving essay might have been influenced solely by the tragic loss of 260 American crewmen, but it could have been the fact that Brinkerhoff family members were engaged in the fighting during the Spanish-American War. She had a proud heritage of family involvement in American wars. An ancestor was a colonel in the American Revolution. A Brinkerhoff fought in the War of 1812, and family patriarch, Jacob Brinkerhoff, had a brother, Lucas, who suffered as a British captive at the dreaded Sugar House prison in New York

During the period Andrew Brinkerhoff organized Hillside Cemetery, and in the time of his two terms as Rutherford mayor, right up to the time of Mae Brinkerhoff’s service in the YMCA; the Brinkerhoff family residence was a handsome Victorian house on Donaldson Avenue. Andrew Brinkerhoff died in this house on March 3,1909, and the funeral services for his widow Jennie were held there in 1917. Built in 1890, the house at 51 Donaldson was the household where the couple raised five children. Besides Mae, they included a second daughter, Keziah, and three sons: George C. (named for his grandfather) who was a store clerk in Jersey City; Harry A., an architect and builder; and James H., who was a bank clerk in New York.

After her sister married and her three brothers moved out, Mae Brinkerhoff stayed on in the Donaldson Avenue house, distinctive for its unique hipped roof and front bay tower. To defray costs of upkeep, she took in boarders, two of whom were on the board of directors of Mae’s long-time employer, Rutherford National Bank. Both Maxwell W. Becton and his partner, Fairleigh S. Dickinson, were boarders there before Mae joined the YMCA during World War I. The co-founders of Becton Dickinson Company, then in East Rutherford, subsequently settled into separate mansions on Ridge Road. Becton and Dickinson had been one another’s best man at weddings in 1913 and 1916, respectively.

“It was more than a friendship in the ordinary sense,” Mae Brinkerhoff, quoted in B-D Company archival records, said of her special tenants. “They were as close as Damon and Pythias,” she remarked, referring to the classic Greek ideal of friendship. Mae later sold the Donaldson house to Roy L. Reed, a New York rubber merchant, and then moved to the Addison Avenue home of her niece, Elsie Van Houven. She died, unmarried, on March 26, 1960, a short time after retiring from the bank.




Saturday, May 13, 2017


Mount Ararat Church, 27 Elm Street, Rutherford


Tribute to Rutherford Civil Rights Commission Rutherford will mark the celebration of National Historic Preservation Month on May 13 2017 with a special tribute to the Civil Rights Commission, recipient of the 2017 Preservation Education Award presented by the Bergen County Historic Preservation Advisory Board.

Sponsored by the Meadowlands Museum and hosted at Rutherford’s Mount Ararat Baptist Church, the event will honor the Civil Rights Commission for its efforts involved in educating the community about its African-American and Puerto-Rican architectural legacy. The legacy reveals historic residential architecture built and occupied by prominent black and Puerto Rican families. This architectural history includes Rutherford’s venerated black church, Mount Ararat Baptist Church, first built in 1903 and rebuilt in 1919.

“The Commission is to be commended for promoting community diversity in its selection of historic sites and buildings associated with the development of Rutherford’s African-American and Puerto Rican-American history and culture, connecting history with architecture, and its work with the Rutherford Historic Preservation Committee,” stated Bruce A. Barton, Chairman of the Bergen County Historic Preservation Advisory Board, in an April 3, 2017 letter to Beatrice Goldberg, Commission Chairwoman. The county’s Division of Cultural & Historic Affairs has scheduled an awards ceremony for Thursday, May 4, 2017, to be held at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Englewood.

The Civil Rights Commission has as its mandate aiding in the elimination of all types of discrimination. In that capacity, its efforts have especially involved educating its community about diversity of ethnic and racial groups. In this regard, the Commission has incorporated an architectural program that illustrates a proud legacy, including Christopher C. Walton, a pioneering black carpenter builder; Thaddeus L. Marshall, , an African-American street peddler who built his home on Elm Street in 1905; Lafayette Hoag, a former black American slave who built his home in 1872 and became coachman for a prominent book publisher; and Fernando Callejo, a famed Puerto Rican composer who settled in Rutherford in 1925. The Mount Ararat Baptist Church was formed in the Wheaton Place home of James and Louisa Fitzgerald in 1894 and had its first church built on Elm Street in the early 20th century.

On Saturday, May 13, 2017, a tribute to honor the Civil Rights Commission will be held in Rutherford at Mount Ararat Church, 27 Elm Street. The program is scheduled for 2-to-4 P.M. and will include a presentation by Rutherford Borough Historian Rod Leith about the historic church and the architecture of African-American and Puerto Rican families. The program will be hosted by Thomas Bivin, President of the Meadowlands Museum Board of Trustees, and moderated by Councilman Mark Goldsack, who is the Rutherford Borough Council liaison to the Historic Preservation Committee.

Besides Ms. Goldberg, the membership of the Rutherford Civil Rights Commission includes Barbara Bennett, Stephen Way, Rev. Robert Browning of Grace Episcopal Church, Rutherford High School representative Nicholas DiBrita, Ellen Goldy, Guy Tetro, Renjith Pillai, William Einreinhofer, Liam Otero (who is also a member of the Historic Preservation Committee), Jason Delgado of the Academy of Saint Mary, Deborah Solomon, Christopher Carbone, and Judith DePasquale.


May 13th Mother’s Day Flower Sale

by Tom Bivin on May 1, 2017 · 0 comments


William Carlos Williams’ Flowers


Just in time for Mother’s Day and Spring Gardening


The Meadowlands Museum is hosting its annual sale of native, heritage, and specialty plants and specifically a sale of the flowers of William Carlos Williams’ poems.  This is a great way to bring new Spring color to your home, to help re-establish plants that are native to this area, and to just enjoy Spring.  Buyers can check out more details of these plants at  Order your plants today, and pick them up on Saturday May 13th between 9 AM and 11 AM at the Meadowlands Museum, 91 Crane Avenue, Rutherford.


Daisy Chrysanthemums Dwarf variety perfect for borders and container gardens. $20.00/24-plant flat


Geranium (Pelargonium) Bright red, pink, or white flowers, grows well indoors and out. $ 5.00/4” pot $
Verbena – mix of large flower clusters on a low fuss plant; white, red and purple flowers $ 20.00/24-plant flat $
Zinnia – Height 12-18” Long bloom season, shades of orange flowers $ 20.00/32-plant flat $
Iris – featured in the Museum’s William Carlos Williams flower beds. $ 7.00/6” pot $
“Sun” Patiens – easy to grow, thicker stems and foliage less prone to disease and tolerate high heat and humidity $ 10.00/6” pot  



10“ Hanging Baskets – stunning burgundy petunia flowers with long flowering season $18.00/basket $

TOTAL PURCHASE COST ………………………………………………………………………………………………….   = $________

Name ___________________________________________________________________________

Address __________________________________________________________________________

Phone __________________________Email_____________________________________________


Orders can be paid for with cash, check made out to Meadowlands Museum, or credit card (by calling Robin Reenstra at 201-321-2756.  Orders should be forwarded to The Meadowlands Museum (Attn: Robin), 91 Crane Avenue, Rutherford, NJ 07070 no later than Tuesday May 9, 2017.  We thank you for your support of our community’s valuable heritage museum – and wish you a Happy Mother’s Day!


Each year, the Meadowlands Museum welcomes hundreds of children and adults, helping them connect to the historical and cultural sense of place that is the Meadowlands region.  Founded in 1961 to connect school children with their community, the Museum continues the work that began with that single inspiration.  The Meadowlands Museum relies on the ongoing support of the regional community, and this event is a great way to provide a little bit of that support.  Ask about becoming a member, in order to get early information and discounts for Museum exhibits and events throughout the year.


April POETRY MONTH: Poetry Reading, April 22

by Tom Bivin on March 17, 2017 · 0 comments

April 22, 2-4pm

Celebrate the written word at the Meadowlands Museum in honor of William Carlos Williams, the doctor and poet for whom much of the museum is dedicated. We will be hosting a poetry reading on Saturday, April 22. We will have poetry readers from Drew University and a member of the Red Wheelbarrow Poets, among others!

Dr and Poet William Carlos Williams -Permanent Exhibition at The Meadowlands Museum


Ed Fieder Viewing, April 15

by Tom Bivin on March 17, 2017 · 0 comments

APRIL 15, 2-4pm

Ed Fieder worked on the Manhattan Project as a scientist and a mechinist to build parts for the atomic bomb during WWII. Come to the Meadowlands Museum on Saturday, April 15 (this is the newly scheduled date due to inclement weather) to learn more about his story. Admission is free and visitors will also have the chance to view our newly completed WWII exhibit!

Check out this article posted on that explains more about Ed Fieder and features his visit to the Meadowlands Museum:


BLACK HISTORY MONTH at the Meadowlands Museum

Join us February 25 from 2-4pm

Film screening of Daniel Murray and his WWII experience at Normandy

Followed by a Q & A with Daniel Murray himself

Click Here for Daniel Murray’s Story as featured on

On February 25 the Meadowlands Museum will highlight the history of Daniel Murray and his service as a sergeant in WWII and his life post-war as a civilian breaking through the color barrier. This is also a great time to check out our newly opened exhibit on WWII civilian life.






At the Meadowlands Museum, 91 Crane Avenue, Rutherford 07070

Bring your friends and taste the area’s best chocolate treats and see the Museum’s new exhibits.

Tickets: $20 for Adults in advance,$25 at the door;  $10 for Museum Members, Seniors and Students in advance, $15 at the door.

Call Robin at 201-321-2756 to reserve your place at the Chocolate Tasting.