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October 2014

Oct. 29: My talk on John Fell and the Celery Farm


Save the date: The Coalition of Northwest Bergen Historical Organizations has asked me to talk at their annual luncheon on Wednesday, Oct. 29, about three of my favorite topics -- the Celery Farm, the Fell House, and John Fell.


The event will be held at the Ramsey Country Club from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.


I'll explain the unsung John Fell’s heroic role in the Revolutionary War and discuss the house that bears his name and the swamp that he owned -- better known today as the 107-acre Celery Farm.


As a Halloween bonus, I’ll read my ghost story "Phantoms of the Ramapos" out-loud. P1210820AJ-001


The tale, set in 1938, features the Ho-Ho-Kus Speedway, an armed bank robbery in Allendale, and a cameo appearance by the Darlington Schoolhouse in Mahwah. 


(You can download a free digital version of the book by clicking on the left-hand side of this blog.)

A slide show featuring archival photos will illustrate my talk and ghost story.


A rumor is circulating that the spirit of John Fell may appear as well, which  I I will neither confirm nor deny.


The $40 tickets include lunch and the talk, with proceeds benefiting the nine member groups of the Coalition of Northwest Bergen Historical Organizations -- the Schoolhouse Museum in Ridgewood, the Hermitage in Ho-Ho-Kus, the John Fell House, the Hopper-Goetschius House Museum in Upper Saddle River, the Old Stone House in Ramsey, the Mahwah Museum, the Van Allen House in Oakland, the Zabriskie House in Wyckoff, and the Museum at the Station in Glen Rock.

For information contact Jean Hildebrandt, 201-891-9409 or Michelle Dugan, 201-995-0171 (

To order tickets, send check payable to USR Historical Society, 245 Lake Street, Upper Saddle River, NJ 07458 or visit