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Ridgewood Historical Society’s Schoolhouse Museum :Before Mr Spock there was Joe Jefferson , “Live Long and Prosper!”

April 22,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, While most of us associated this phrase with Star Trek’s Mr. Spock, it was actually written and used by the most celebrated comedic actor of the late 19th century – Joseph Jefferson., who passed away 112 years ago, on April 23, 1905.

Joe Jefferson was the ‘Rock Star’ of his era. In 1859, he wrote and acted in a theatrical version of Rip Van Winkle. It was such a hit that audiences clamored for him to perform this role, which he willingly did for the next 40 years.

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For 14 years, Jefferson lived in the house on Saddle River Rd., at the end of Hollywood Ave. While there, he entertained or met the key figures of his day. Grover Cleveland visited, and they fished in the Saddle River. A founding member of “The Players Club” in New York, he was friends with Edwin Booth, Samuel Clemens and Maurice Barrymore; and he communicated with Helen Keller and Nicole Tesla.

Jefferson’s passion for the theater has served as an inspiration for theatrical groups for more than a century. Locally, Ridgewood’s own troupe of Joe Jefferson Players, performed between 1936 and 1973. Today, Ridgewood High School’s ‘New Players’ (which launched the careers of Ali Stroker and David Turner) honors his memory by presenting two Joe Jefferson Awards each year for Technical Merit and Acting. David Turner (currently on Broadway in “Sunday in the Park with George”) won the award for acting in 1993.

The Schoolhouse Museum’s new exhibit “From the Revolutionary War to the 1960’s Revolution”displays photos and illustrations of Jefferson in the various roles he played; playbills from that era, those of the ‘Joe Jefferson Players’, and those from ‘The New Players’; the actual costume worn by Ali Stroker in the Glee Project; and more.

To see this display as well as other displays highlighting other significant events and people during this time, from wars, to the roaring twenties to the rocking 60’s; as well as histories of prominent Ridgewood area residents, visit the Ridgewood Historical Society’s Schoolhouse Museum, at 650 East Glen Avenue. The museum is open Thursdays and Saturday 1-3pm and Sundays 2-4pm. Please visit for more information.

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The Schoolhouse Museum Ridgewood’s Best Kept Secret

schoolhouse museum

April 9,2017
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, the new exhibit at the Schoolhouse Museum curated by Joy Simmen Hamburger with Candace Latham and Vicky Herbert features a very impressive collection assembled through various local collections and donations.

“From the Revolutionary War to the 1960’s Revolution. The “Events and People That Shaped Our American History”. Told through objects, artifacts and costumes from the collections of Ridgewood’s Historical Society and Public Library.”

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Since it was near the 100th anniversary of the American military entering World War 1 Trustee Bob Borders gave the Ridgewood blog an in depth tour detailing many of the artifacts and their donors . The stories of the discovery of the artifacts often rivaling the artifact itself.  For local history buffs its very insightful to see history though the lens of local actors.

If you are unfamiliar ,the mission of the Ridgewood Historical Society, which operates the historic Schoolhouse Museum building, formerly one of the first public schools in Ridgewood, is to preserve the building, as well as maintain, interpret, and exhibit the collection of artifacts representing the history, culture, and lives of ordinary people from the Ridgewood area from the period of Native America.

The Ridgewood Historical Society is the parent organization of the Schoolhouse Museum which annually presents a themed exhibit featuring artifacts from the collection, and presents educational programs featuring local people with knowledge and/or skills that pertain to the collection.

The Ridgewood Historical Society also offers opportunities for people of all ages to experience, share, maintain, organize and preserve our local artifacts.

They are a volunteer based and welcome your involvement.  You can become a member and join us in our quest to preserve local history and put the Schoolhouse Museum on the agenda of every  student, family, social club and history buff in the area.

Schoolhouse Museum
650 E. Glen Avenue
Ridgewood, NJ 07450

Thursday and Saturdays 1PM – 3PM
Sundays 2PM – 4PM


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Nothing says Halloween like a night time walk in the cemetery!

Town Historian Joe Suplicki

October 19,2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Sponsored by The Schoolhouse Museum, on October 28, Town Historian Joe Suplicki will lead a lantern-lit stroll through Valleau Cemetery where 19th and 20th-century soldiers and civilians come to life and tell their tales.

Back at the museum, the party continues with music, Halloween stories, and cider and donuts from Demarest Farm. Best suited to families with children ages 7-13.  All children must be accompanied by an adult.

Bring a flashlight…who knows what could be lurking in the shadows!

With reservations: $10/adult, $5/child or $20/family. At the door: $15 per adult, $5 per child or $25 per family. Space is limited so reserve early.

October 28 at 6:00, 6:30, and 7:00 pm rain or shine.

For more information:

Open to the public, the Schoolhouse Museum is located at 650 E. Glen Ave., Ridgewood, NJ. Museum’s hours are Thursdays and Saturdays; 1 to 3 p.m. and Sundays; 2 to 4 p.m.

To contact the Museum: 201-447 3242 or