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On August 24th, 1779, General Lafayette and his troops marched on a foraging expedition from near Fort Lee to Bergen. On the morning of the 25th they arrived at the brow of the Hill and encamped about the large, old tulip tree, known as "oude Boom" to the early settlers and as the "King of the Woods" to those of later date. The locality is now known as Waldo avenue, between Henry street and Magnolia avenue. The tree was cut down December 20th, 1871 Lafayette's headquarters were at the Van Wagenen place on the northwest corner of Academy street and Bergen square. Mr. Taylor states, "in the orchard on the old parsonage site on northwest side of Square," where he entertained at dinner General Washington who came over from Hackensack. The dinner was cooked in the Van Wagenen weave-house and eaten under an apple tree. This tree was blown down in a gale on September 3d, 1821, and from a portion of it was made a very handsome cane, gold mounted and with this inscription, "Shaded the hero and his friend Washington in 1779; presented by the Corporation of Bergen in 1824." When Lafayette visited America in 1824, when he was on his way from Jersey City to Newark, there was a gathering of all the people of this vicinity to meet him at Riker's Tavern, Five Corners, which is still standing on the southwest corner of Newark and Summit avenues. Upon this occasion Domine Cornelison presented him with the cane, making a very appropriate address.

The farmers living near Guttenburgh during the Revolutionary War were ostensibly neutral, as the roads were often traversed by the soldiers of both parties. Stories are told of the bare and bleeding feet of the Americans cut by the sharp rocks, and many tra- ditions of interest are connected with different places in that locality; notably with the old homestead known as the "Lake property." The story of one tragedy with a touch of the absurd, should be preserved. One bitter cold night in the winter of 1777-78, after all of the family in the old stone farm-house on the Lake property, except the good haus-frau, had retired to their beds, while she was still busy in the kitchen arranging her earthenware jars of milk before the wide fire-place preparatory to the morrow's churning, she was startled by the entrance of a party of English scouts who had come, over from New York and attracted by the firelight shining through the wide kitchen window, bad stopped to warm and rest awhile, leaving their horses tied to the trees. While they were enjoying the spirits in their flasks and the comfort of the fire, a party of American scouts that had come down the Hudson to reconnoiter, came, along and seeing the tethered horses outside and the group of redcoats within, opened fire upon them through the window, killing them all. In the melee the milk jars were broken and the milk mingled with the blood of the dead scouts covering the floor. The old lady was terribly frightened, but her new guests came in and carried out the dead, and as, the ground was frozen hard, buried them under the deep snow at some distance from the house; then they brought water from the well and asking for brooms scrubbed up the floor, and brought in fresh piles of wood and building up a great fire made themselves comfortable until daylight. Before leaving they made up a little fund to compensate their hostess for her broken jars and wasted milk.

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Jersey City History
Your Ancestors' Story
Asbury Park
Bruce Springsteen's Jersey Shore Rock Haven!

The Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island, and The Central Railroad Terminal
Visit Liberty State Park!

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