Friday, October 22, 2004
The Kearney house was built in c.1760 and was part of a small settlement at the base of the Palisades; where Closter Dock Road meets the Hudson River. Many members of this "undercliffs" community made their living on the River as fishermen and boat pilots. Teams of oxen brought produce from farms through out Bergen County up Closter Dock Road and back down the steep Palisades cliffs to this point on the River. The goods were then loaded onto barges and floated down to Manhattan, 10 miles to the south, where they were then shipped to points all over the world. There were also several mills just north of Closter Dock, including one known as the "Bone Factory" where the thousands of draft horses that died in Manhattan each year were taken to be cremated. The Kearney House later served as, among other things, a tavern and police station. It is now a wonderful museum run by the Palisades Interstate Park, under the guidance of historian Eric Nelson. For more information visit njpalisades.org or call 201-768-1360 x208.