Other NJ News

General Lafayette’s Encampment Remembered 237 Years Later in Hawthorne

Rebecca Cataldi of Arlington, VA, and Vivian Davis of New Milford, NJ, carrying the American and French flags at Lafayette Day in Goffle Brook Park. Credits: A. Wu
Military formation at Goffle Brook Park. Credits: V. Davis
Kimberly Griffin, Vivian Davis, and Sharon Albin portraying military and civilian aspects of 18th Century life. Credits: V. Davis
Crowds of visitors check out the Revolutionary War encampment. Credits: D. Boyd
Firing demonstration with the Brown Bess and Charleville flintlock muskets. Credits: S. Albin
Visitors listen to a talk on military drill. Credits: S. Albin
Revolutionary War soldiers on parade. Credits: S. Albin
Alex Pena as a NJ Continental soldier and Stephen Pellegrini from the French Regiment Bourbonnais talk with visitors. Credits: S. Albin
Visitors check out the encampment held in Goffle Brook Park. Credits: S. Albin
Tom Carton of the 35th Regiment of Foot with his Revolutionary War display. Credits: S. Albin
Political differences are set aside to play a game of draughts (checkers). Credits: V. Davis
Alex Pena of the Passaic County Department of Cultural & Historic Affairs, dressed as a New Jersey Continental soldier, demonstrates the Brown Bess musket. Credits: V. Davis

HAWTHORNE, NJ – With two brigades of the Continental Army’s light infantry, the Marquis de Lafayette encamped in October and November of 1780 in the area of southern Hawthorne, then known as “Wagaraw”.  The Continental army was strategically positioned to monitor British-held New York City, only about 20 miles away.  John Francis Ryerson, a loyalist who had been forced to flee to Canada after rebels confiscated his property, lived in a house which is now Bottagra Restaurant on Wagaraw Road.  It is believed that this was the location of the 23-year-old general’s headquarters during his time in what would later become known as Hawthorne.

The cousin of John Francis Ryerson, John George Ryerson, was opposed to British rule and as such, did not face confiscation by rebel forces during the war.  John George Ryerson’s home, which burned down in 1950, stood in what is now Goffle Brook Park.  Until recently, the monument was a largely overgrown and unmaintained ring of bushes with a graffiti-marred brownstone wall and a neglected bronze plaque.  Today, the bushes which concealed the monument have been removed and a path has been installed.  Now open and visible, the brownstone has been cleaned up and the 65 year-old bronze plaque restored to its proper glory.  The laureled aristocrat is also remembered in Hawthorne by the county avenue which bears his name, stretching the length of the borough north to south, carrying thousands of vehicles each day.

Lafayette, whose full name was the ponderously long Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, was born in southern France to an ancient aristocratic family with a long military tradition.  Taken with the cause of the American colonists, he self-financed his voyage to America to do what he could to help, despite being forbidden from doing so by King Louis XVI.  Lafayette’s familiarity with the English language and his military knowledge—coupled with the offer to serve without pay—gained him a position in the Continental army.  Soon after, he became close with George Washington, whom the young Frenchman came to regard as his “friend and father”. 

Sign Up for E-News

In 1780, Washington established his headquarters at the Dey Mansion (in today’s Wayne), throughout July and again from October 9 - November 27.  During that summer, the light infantry brigades had been created.  With them, Lafayette monitored British activity from northern New Jersey.  Therein the connection with Wagaraw, later Hawthorne, was formed with the legendary French figure from America’s founding story.

In the summer of 2017, Passaic County Director of Cultural and Historic Affairs Kelly Ruffel was approached by the Royal Sussex Society, a historical group dedicated to living history education based in northern New Jersey.  The proposal was to hold a commemoration of the encampment in Goffle Brook Park.  With the county’s support, Sunday, October 22, was billed as a day to commemorate the marquis and the revolutionary soldiers who occupied the borough.

The bright and sunny Sunday morning found two flags fluttering over the verdant stretch at the intersection of Goffle Road and Diamond Bridge.  One was instantly familiar to all who passed it, but this American flag bore only 13 stars, each with six points instead of the usual five.  This flag was known as the Francis Hopkinson flag, named after the New Jersey lawyer, Continental Navy Board official, and later US Congressman, who designed it.  The other flag was white, covered with golden fleur-de-lis, representing the Kingdom of France and wholly different from the red, white, and blue revolutionary tricolor in use today since 1789.  Just south, the athletic fields were busy with 21st Century sports teams, while to the north visitors found themselves in the 18th Century.

From 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. military drills and demonstrations of camp life were ongoing with representations of colonial civilians, New Jersey soldiers of the Continental Army, British grenadiers of the 35th Regiment of Foot, and a French soldier from the Regiment Bourbonnais.  The participants spoke with students from area schools, their teachers, local history buffs, and curious onlookers attracted by the sights from the roads.  Reenactors fired off their muskets to demonstrate the weaponry used at the time, performed the drills used by the militaries during the war, and showed off the uniforms of each of the armies.  The civilian women on hand discussed the lives of women connected with the army and the privations which they endured during the eight-year struggle for independence. 

Tom Carton, 30, from Monroe, New York, came to the encampment dressed and armed as a grenadier from the predominantly Irish 35th Regiment of Foot.  “Lafayette was a major player in the revolution and helped turn the tide for the Americans.  The encampment was an important event in local history, he kept Washington alert to any potential British assaults.”

Carton, donned in a red and orange woolen uniform and clutching a Brown Bess musket, showed off his collection of personal effects which could have been carried by a soldier at the time, from eating utensils to period playing cards.  “I think there was a great turn out.  It was great seeing school groups on a weekend coming out to learn about local history.”

Stephen Pellegrini, 28, wore a white linen uniform of the French Regiment Bourbonnais.  “The biggest significance of France’s contribution to the American Revolution was the fact that they widened the strategic scope of the war from a local rebellion to a global conflict.  The effect of that was to draw out the British Royal Navy which, up to that point, had been decisive in maintaining the viability of the British army.  It also forced Britain to focus on other areas of the empire outside of North America.  While the contribution of the ground forces was important, in terms of numbers it was a token force.  France’s major contributions were financial and strategic.”

Pellegrini conducted musketry firing demonstrations with the New Jersey Continental regulars, filling the air with a crash of flame and cloud of white smoke.  “I think the relationship between Lafayette and Washington was symbolic of the relationship between the US and France itself.  It wasn’t just a revolution, it was a world war which drew supporters from around the world, Lafayette foremost among them.”

Rebecca Cataldi, 36, of Arlington, VA, drove hours to be one of the camp followers at the Passaic County event.  “I think Lafayette is a good symbol of people who helped us win our independence who didn’t really have to. He came of his own volition because he wanted to help us, and I think that sacrifice, and being willing to help people who were struggling halfway around the world is worth remembering today.  I would hope that would help us think about the interconnectedness of the world today, not only with our relationship with France and appreciating what they did to help us win our freedom, but also in thinking about other parts of the world today.  Ways we can support each other and be aware of what is going on, that is what he means to me and I hope he would mean to other people.”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Nutley Police Department's Annual Bike Rodeo is Wednesday May 23

May 19, 2018

NUTLEY, NJ - The Nutley Police Department annual Bike Rodeo returns to the Township of Nutley Public Safety Headquarters on Thursday May 23 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. The event date was changed to to inclement weather.

The event will include an obstacle course, safety inspections, bike safety, and helmet fittings, The first 100 kids at the event will receive a bike helmet. 

The ...

Applications for 2018 Nutley Junior Police Academy Available in Public Schools for grades 5 to 8

NUTLEY, NJ - Summertime, and the livin' won't be so easy for the Nutley youth who report for the annual of Junior Police Academy Summer program. 

The program, lead by Detective Sergeant Michael Padilla, introduces youth to the hard work and training that goes into becoming a police officer. The kids  will do drills, work on being a part of a team ...

Upcoming Events


Tue, May 22, 6:00 PM

Montclair Public Library, Montclair

How to Live Longer and Stay Healthy

Health & Wellness


Wed, May 23, 7:00 PM

Livingston Community Center (lower level), Livingston

NJ-11 Congressional Candidates Debate, hosted by ...

Education Government Law & Justice


Thu, May 24, 8:00 PM

Upper Montclair


Arts & Entertainment


Fri, May 25, 6:00 PM

Montclair Public Library Auditorium, Montclair

Let's Listen to Jazz

Arts & Entertainment


Fri, May 25, 8:00 PM

Upper Montclair


Arts & Entertainment


Tue, May 29, 7:00 PM

Studio Playhouse, Upper Montclair

Into the Woods Auditions

Arts & Entertainment

Nutley High School Students Register New Voters During Lunch

May 20, 2018

New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association, the League of Women Voters of New Jersey, and the NJ Social Studies Supervisors Association are teaming up to organize a voter registration drive called #MyVoiceMyVoteNJ.

Voter registration took place in high schools across the state and right here in the NHS cafeteria from May 3 until May 11.

Students stopped by during their lunch ...

Nutley Police Officers visit Mrs. Dingwell and Mrs. Cassie's Classes at Spring Garden School

NUTLEY, NJ - Officer Melilli and Detective / Sgt. Padilla were out at Spring Garden School! last week.

We were invited to read a book to Mrs. Dingwell and Mrs. Cassie`s kindergarten classes. We chose Kindness is Cooler with Mrs. Ruler which seemed to be a big hit. We answered questions and did a coloring activity with the class.

We were very fortunate and received a picture signed by the ...


More than 1800 Apply to First Class at Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University in Nutley

April 17, 2018

NUTLEY, NJ - 1872 applications were received to be a part of the first class at Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine at Seton Hall University where the first class of 55 students will start July 9.

Those students will be a part of the plan to address the shortage of physicians in New Jersey and forge a new path in medical education that addresses profound changes in health ...

Hackensack Meridian Health establishes $100 million endowment for Seton Hall Medical School in Nutley

NUTLEY, NJ - The Hackensack Meridian Health Board of Trustees recently voted to establish a $100 million endowment fund for scholarships to Seton Hall Hackensack Meridian School of Medicine on the On3 campus in Nutley and Clifton NJ. The endowment will ensure top students can afford a medical education according to co-CEO of Hackensack Meridian Health Robert C.

Original Pancake House of West Caldwell Evacuated in Possible Pepper Spray Incident

May 19, 2018

WEST CALDWELL, NJ — The Original Pancake House in West Caldwell was evacuated early Saturday afternoon due to a possible pepper spray incident that caused ambulances from the West Essex, Verona and Bloomfield First Aid Squads to assist at the scene.

Bianca Pietro, a West Orange mother of two, said she was seated inside the glass atrium on the south side of the building that faces ...

Lawson-Muhammad Apologizes For 'Irrational Response' To Police Altercation; School Board President Supports Her

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ -  A day after video surfaced of her altercation with a South Orange police officer -- in which she used profanity, threatened to go to the village president and called the police chief “a skinhead cop” -- South Orange Maplewood School Board member Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad issued an apology in which she called her behavior “uncharacteristic” and ...

Buy a Vet... Program Helps Formerly Homeless Veterans

May 21, 2018

SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ - It started with a collection to help fund a Memorial Day barbecue at the Valley Brook Village veterans facility in Lyons, NJ. When the bucket collection raised $7,000 at John's Meat Market in downtown Scotch Plains, they decided to keep it going and had barbecues all summer. The program has grown ever since.

Steve Hackenberg, a Scotch Plains ...

Peru Claims 1-0 Victory Over Colombia as Soccer Legends Show Off Skills in Paterson

PATERSON, NJ- During their playing days Carlos Valderama and Julio Uribe led their teams to victory in some of the largest soccer stadiums across the globe. On Saturday, the men, known better as “El Pibe” and Uribe, brought their talents to Paterson’s Baurele Field.

The rain did nothing to dampen the spirits of the nearly 500 fans who turned out to watch these beloved players ...

Southern Ocean Made Brew Trail Awarded for NJ Tourism Excellence

May 18, 2018

SHIP BOTTOM, N.J. -The Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce proudly announces its selection for the The New Jersey Tourism Industry Excellence Award for its recently launched Southern Ocean Made Surf & Sip Brew Trail. They join a select group across the state being recognized for the accomplishments of those who achieved true excellence in providing an exceptional experience that ...

Nutley Police Department Blotter May 12 to 18, 2018

May 19, 2018

NUTLEY, NJ - The Police Blotter is compiled each week by Det. Sgt. Anthony Montanari of the Crime Intelligence Public Information Division of the Nutley Police Department.

Please note:  All parties placed under arrest have been assigned a court date and remain innocent until proven guilty of those charges at their respective hearing

Anyone who has information about any crimes can ...

How Can Sports Therapy Loosen Up Winter Muscles?

Whether you are new to the gym or a seasoned athlete, the winter weather can affect your body. In these cold conditions, muscles are forced to work harder to complete tasks. This extra effort can result in muscle soreness and damage to tissue. While you may not be able to avoid the cold, preventive measure can help avoid discomfort and injury. Learning and implementing sports therapy techniques, ...

Pro Staff Institute announces partnership with Uber Health

NUTLEY, NJ - Pro Staff Institute is proud to announce their participation in Uber Health, a new transportation program designed to provide transportation to patients. Pro Staff Institute is the first physical therapy center in the nation to leverage Uber Health, and joins over other 100 health care organizations in the U.S., including hospitals, clinics, rehab centers and senior care ...

Therapy as Preventative Medicine for Couples

     In my years of practice, I have yet to treat a couple whose relationship was not on the precipice of ruin at the time of first contact. Their intakes are rife with blame, and subsequent sessions reveal neither partner understands his/her role in the dysfunctional dyad. Though not impossible, it is daunting work for any therapist to help rebuild relationships demolished by ...

Why “Can’t" is Not Allowed in My Therapy Room

Many of us enter therapy struggling with external locus of control. We blame partners for dysfunctional relationships, accuse the universe of conspiring against us, or suggest demons assume command of our behavior. When these premises arise in therapy, I strive to help clients accept responsibility for their behaviors. Finding the word “Can’t” most often used by clients to avoid ...

Nutley Public Library May 2018 Events

The Nutley Free Public Library has a calendar full of events and programs for May 2018

Tuesday, May 1 at 2:00 Tuesday Afternoon Book Club at Nutley Parkside Apartments.  The Nutley Public Library hosts a monthly book discussion at the Nutley Parkside Apartments, 7 William Street, the first Tuesday of each month.  The book discussed will be On Chesil Beach by ...

Countdown to Kindergarten Picnic at DeMuro Park May 31

Calling all Nutley youngsters entering Kindergarten September 2018! Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci and the Department of Parks and Recreation have announced the addition of the Countdown to Kindergarten Recreation Picnic to help welcome our new students to their elementary school days!

Join us on Thursday, May 31, 2018 ...

Registration for Spring Tennis Lessons Now Open

Commissioner Mauro G. Tucci announces Spring Tennis Lesson registration is now open!  The Nutley Department of Parks and Recreation offers a top quality tennis program, directed under the supervision of Barry Rubach, an accredited member of the U.S. Professional Tennis Association and former Collegiate Champion.  Classes range in age groups starting in 1st grade and continuing through ...

Tackle Football Registration Scheduled For Thursday May 10

Commissioner Tucci and the Department of Parks and Recreation have announced that Tackle Football Registration will be held on May 10th  from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Parks and Recreation Building, Room 201. This program is open to Nutley youngsters in grades 3-8.  The fee for late registration is $115.00 per player. Please note that in-person registration is mandatory ...

The Jaffe Briefing - May 21, 2018

The Jaffe Briefing will not publish from Thursday through Monday. A great Memorial Day to all!

STATEWIDE - Should public school students be allowed to attend schools in other towns? That's the big, controversial question in a lawsuit filed against the state that looks to end what some consider to be the worst school segregation in the nation. The ...

Letter to Parents about Netflix Teen Suicide Series 13 Reasons Why

May 17, 2018

Dear Parents,

Just as I did last year at this time, I want to take a moment to write to you regarding season two of the Netflix series, 13 Reasons Why. The second season premieres, with tremendous promotion, on Netflix tomorrow, Friday, May 18.

The series, based on the 2007 young adult book of the same name, delves into the topic of teen suicide. During the first season, the main character, ...

Letter to the Editor: Gum Litter and what YOU can do about it

Gum is non-biodegradable, meaning it doesn't’t break down ever….

Today, the unlikely problem surfaces. The average person chews 275 sticks of gum per year. With the amount of people in daily society, it’s no mystery why chewing gum is the second most littered item after cigarette butts.  Did you know that gum is banned in Singapore?

In addition to littering human ...

To the Editor: Notes for Mr. and Mrs. Webber On How to Complain About Stuff

Well, it looks like I have at least three things in common with Jay and Johanna Webber: (a) We live in the 11th District; (b) We believe family is important; (c) We have experienced life in big families -- I'm the third of seven kids myself. So of course I noticed the statements the Webbers recently shared on Facebook – which took something one person said about Jay’s ...

School’s Out: Your Exclusive Summer Getaway Guide

May 20, 2018

Summer... a time to do whatever you please without having the stress of school or work.

But like many others, you may find yourself unsure of how to spend your summer days. So, if you’re looking for something cool to do when it’s hot, consider these ideas:

Get Cultured: Metropolitan Museum of Art: If you’re fascinated with art of all sorts from classic to modern, then this ...

New Jersey Base North of United States Submarine Veterans marked the 118 Birthday of The United States Submarine Force

On April 11th members of the New Jersey Base North of United States Submarine Veterans marked the 118 Birthday of The United States Submarine Force with their annual visit to the grave of the inventor of the modern submarine - John Holland. We conducted a brief tolling of the bells for our lost submarines with a prayer service at his grave at Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in Totowa NJ.

As the lay ...

Can a career be more fun in retirement?

Lantern Hill resident Gabe Spera, like many older Americans, chooses to stay in the workforce.

Gabe Spera has come full circle in his career as a salesman. Sixty years ago, he was just starting out, making cold calls, meeting new people every day. After working his way up the ladder to vice president of sales for Hunt Imaging, he’s now right back where he started—and happier than ...

Donald Shauger Leads 2018 West Orange St. Patrick’s Day Parade as Grand Marshal

As a child, Donald Shauger grew up idolizing Thomas Edison. To Shauger, who often spent his childhood days taking his prized Edison phonograph to West Orange’s Thomas Edison National Historical Park, Edison epitomized the spirit of the hardworking West Orange community. In the eyes of a young child growing up in West Orange—a town where Edison left behind a substantial ...

Music Under the June Moon Outdoor Concert in Anderson Park June 9

May 21, 2018

MONTCLAIR, NJ - Enjoy a magical evening of moonlight and music in Anderson Park in Montclair on Saturday, June 9, with the third annual "Music Under the June Moon" chamber music concert.

Bring a picnic and a blanket and enjoy the Chamber Music Society of North Jersey playing under the park's historic Olmsted Oak. This free concert begins at 8 ...

Golf Outing On May 26 Benefits Retired Racehorses

MILLSTONE TOWNSHIP, N.J. —May 29, will mark Standardbred Retirement Foundation's (SRF) 26th Annual Charity Golf Outing being held at the beautiful Battleground Country Club in Manalapan, N.J.

This much anticipated event is held in conjunction with SRF's online auction which will open for bidding beginning Friday, May 25 and end at 7 p.m. on  Thursday, June 7. The outing ...

Beyond Speed Bumps! Alternatives for Traffic Calming: Free Conference June 9 at Seton Hall University

South Orange Neighborhoods Association (SONA) in conjunction with South Orange Seniors and North Jersey Neighborhoods Connected (NJNC) will be sponsoring "BEYOND SPEED BUMPS - Alternatives for Traffic Calming," a free conference at Seton Hall University on June 9 from 12:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Not every town can afford to put in a speed bump! And they can't do it on ...

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin's Press, 2018)

            What is the “final frontier” on the Earth's surface? Many people would say Alaska, the 49th state, which was added to the United States fifty years ago. Once one has traveled to that remote land, it is impossible to forget the magnificence of the terrain and beasts. Floating by ship in Glacier Bay, surrounded by ...

The Man in Room 306 at the Luna Stage, West Orange, NJ

            The Luna Stage, a Jersey theater gem, chose to revive its 1995 world premiere drama, The Man in Room 306, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the slaying of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Starring Jamil A.C. Mangan as Dr. King, this 90 minute production portrays Dr. King in the last hours of his life as he struggles to write a speech for the Poor ...

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins (Riverhead Books, 2017)


I wanted to like Into the Water by Paula Hawkins because I had enjoyed her previous novel, The Girl on the Train, which was a suspenseful thriller. However, when I finished reading the first part of the Into the Water, I realized that I had not absorbed anything that was happening in the story. I blamed myself for not paying ...

TAPinto Featured Franchisee: Steve Lenox of TAPinto Paterson

This week's feature will focus on TAPinto Paterson's franchisee, Steve Lenox. Find out how the current owner of a public affairs firm went from a former State Director for Senator Frank Lautenberg to a proud TAPinto franchisee for New Jersey's third largest city.


Q. When did you join TAPinto.net?

I joined TAPinto.net in September, ...


Jul 4, 1933 - May 18, 2018
Maria A. Probst (nee: Geiger), 84 of Bloomfield passed away on May 18. Her final days were spent ...
Read more
Jul 21, 1966 - Apr 6, 2018
Sheila Rossi (nee Borges) 51, of Nutley, NJ died peacefully on April 6, 2018. Visitation will be ...
Read more