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The Real Music of Alexander Hamilton: Wine & Chocolate with Anne and Ridley Enslow

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

River Edge NJ , Join Bergen County Historical Society for this October 28th event, “The Real Music of Alexander Hamilton. Wine & Chocolate with Anne and Ridley Enslow. By reservation, more info & PayPal on our website.

Continue reading The Real Music of Alexander Hamilton: Wine & Chocolate with Anne and Ridley Enslow

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History in the Small Details of Zabriskie Schedler House in Ridgewood

Zabriskie Schedler House

by John Paquin

Posted first on Vintage Ridgewood Facebook Page

Ridgewood NJ, Separated at Birth — and by about a half a mile. Are these the coolest door knobs you’ve ever seen? The one on the left is in the Ackerman-Naugle House on East Saddle River Road — that cool Jersey Dutch stone house discussed earlier right across 17 from the church, and the other is from what else but the Zabriskie Schedler House we’ve been talking about on West Saddle River Rd. Both these houses were part of the original settlement of “Pyramus”, and both are still with us. They look positively ancient and really bring that period to life when you see and touch something like that. Might, say, someone like Alexander Hamilton have turned one of those knobs? Or Mr. Burr?
Actually, yes. I asked noted Jersey Dutch Architecture expert Tim Adrience about these and he explained: “The latch….is called an iron plate spring latch. That type of latch is found in a number of houses in Bergen County, and it is better than a thumb latch in operation. This type of latch was made from roughly the 1740’s to the 1830’s, and is only found on interior doors”.

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Arcadia Publishing & The History Press Presents “Ridgewood” the Book



by M. Earl Smith with the Ridgewood Historical Society

Greetings from Ridgewood!

Given that Ridgewood lies within 20 miles of Lower Manhattan,it would be easy to dismiss this little town as another New York suburb. Settled by Johannes Van Emburgh in 1700, this slice of New Jersey was a pivotal safe haven for the founding fathers, such as George Washington, Alexander Hamilton, and Aaron Burr.

In 1894, the State of New Jersey incorporated the area as a village, and what followed were 100 years of business and
leisure with places like Woolworth’s, the Erie Railroad Company, and First National Bank dominating the landscape.

Today, Ridgewood serves as a home for those who wish to evade the city life of the boroughs. With its distinct mix of history and comfort, Ridgewood is unique in comparison to other towns in New Jersey and a fine place to call home.

M. Earl Smith is a graduate historian at the University of Pennsylvania, with a focus on history and literature,
while Ridgewood historian Dacey Latham is the president of the Ridgewood Historical Society. Created in 1972, the
Ridgewood Historical Society provided both images and background research for this book.

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Paterson Falls


A new ‘manufacturing caucus’ looks to explore what companies need in terms of employees, education, training, and business opportunities — and help make sure they get it

Although not as dominant an industry as it was several decades ago, manufacturing is still a major part of the New Jersey economy, and a sector where a majority of employers have indicated they’re still looking to hire.

To help foster what could be a manufacturing renaissance in New Jersey — a state with a rich industrial history that dates to colonial days — state lawmakers are launching a new “manufacturing caucus” that will focus specifically on figuring out ways to craft policies that lead to increased productivity and growth for manufacturing.

The formation of the new caucus, which will involve lawmakers from both the Assembly and Senate, and from both political parties, was announced last week by Senate President Stephen Sweeney (D-Gloucester). The panel will hold a series of hearings this summer to help inform a legislative agenda that will be pursued in the fall as lawmakers return to the State House following this year’s legislative elections. The effort will be led by state Sen. Robert Gordon, whose own background includes working in his family’s yarn mill in Paterson.

“I think (manufacturing) is critically important to the state,” said Gordon (D-Bergen) in an interview with NJ Spotlight. “Manufacturing is still a very important component of our economy.”

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Remove Lew, Not Hamilton



On June 17th, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew shocked many, including former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Ben Bernanke, when he proclaimed that Alexander Hamilton (1755-1804) – the first and foremost Treasury Secretary – would be demoted and share the ten-dollar bill with a yet unnamed woman.  Undaunted by wide-spread criticism, Secretary Lew continued to press his case at an event at the Brookings Institution on July 8th.  Asked about the ten-dollar bill’s selection, Secretary Lew insipidly claimed that the ten-dollar bill was the “next up” for redesign to help combat forgery.  The diminution of Hamilton, for whatever reason, is simply indefensible.

Just how great was Hamilton?  A recent scholarly book by Robert E. Wright and David J. Cowen, Financial Founding Fathers: The Men Who Made America Rich, begins its pantheon of greats with a chapter on Alexander Hamilton.  It is aptly titled “The Creator.”

After the Constitution was ratified and George Washington was elected President, the new federal government lacked credibility.  Public finances hung like a threatening cloud over the government. Recall that paper money and debt were innovations of the colonial era, and that, once the Revolutionary War began, Americans used these innovations to the maximum.  As a result, the United States was born in a sea of debt.  A majority of the public favored a debt default.  Alexander Hamilton, acting as Washington’s Secretary of the Treasury, was firmly against default.  As a matter of principle, he argued that the sanctity of contracts was the foundation of all morality.  And as a practical matter, Hamilton argued that good government depended on its ability to fulfill its promises.

Hamilton won the argument and set about digging the country out of its financial debacle.  Among other things, Hamilton was – what would today be called – a first-class financial engineer.  He established a federal sinking fund to finance the Revolutionary War debt.  He also engineered a large debt swap in which the debts of individual states were assumed by the newly created federal government.  By August 1791, federal bonds sold above par in Europe, and by 1795, all foreign debts had been paid off.  Hamilton’s solution for America’s debt problem provided the country with a credibility and confidence shock.

Doesn’t the 76th Secretary of Treasury have better things to do than to diminish the presence of our 1st and most distinguished Secretary of Treasury