Scenes From The Meadowlands: Little Red Schoolhouse

River Road School, also known as the Little Red Schoolhouse, is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is recognized for its historical significance to Lyndhurst. The plot for the land was donated in 1804 by Jacob Van Winkle (the Van Winkle family first settled in the area in 1687 and their real estate company continues to this day in the Meadowlands area) for the use of a school. According to the Lyndhurst Historical Society, Van Winkle requested a token yearly rent of just one peppercorn, if demanded, for the land. The peppercorn was a dried berry of black pepper, expensive in quantity because it was an Asian spice that had to be imported by ship.The original structure was completed in 1804 at the cost of $162.20, which would be roughly $3,500 today.

The original schoolhouse was replaced in 1849 by a two-story frame building. This second schoolhouse was torn down in 1893 and then replaced by the current building that still stands today. The original cost of this building was $2,541.83, which would be about $65,000 today. This included a $70 architect’s fee. The cupola and bell from the second schoolhouse were salvaged and added to the current schoolhouse.

The neighboring Jeremiah J. Yeareance House was built in 1804 with the original school and served as the residence for the teacher of the school.

Today the schoolhouse is home to the Lyndhurst Historical Society and has been the location for special events hosted by the Society, including Strawberry Festivals, craft fairs, Civil War re-enactments—and special visits from ‘Eleanor Roosevelt,’ ‘Abigail Adams,’ ‘George Washington’ and ‘Thomas Jefferson.’

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Meadowlands USA

Meadowlands USA

Meadowlands USA is a North Jersey regional publication that reaches people who live and work in and around the Meadowlands (including the Bergen, Hudson, Essex and Passaic County corridor), as well as visitors to our region. The blog edition is updated regularly and the print edition is released six times a year.

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