|Ramapo Reformed Church
100 Island Road
Mahwah, NJ. 07430
The Home and Store News
May 11, 2005
By Carol W. Greene
The 126-year old parsonage of the Ramapo Reformed Church in
Mahwah was selected by the Bergen County Preservation Advisory
Board for a Historic Preservation Commendation Award on May 5, 2005 at the Church on the Green in Hackensack.
Nine recipients county-wide received awards in various categories such as restoration, adaptive re-use, education,
and continuing use.
The Ramapo Reformed Church "Ramapough Meeting House," built in 1798, is the oldest frame Federal period
church in Bergen County, and the oldest public building in Mahwah.
In the 1850s, a modest parsonage was purchased about a mile away from the church, consisting of a small house
and farm. It was sold in order to raise money for the large, vernacular Italianate style residence, constructed in 1879
at a cost of $2,107.
The situation of the new parsonage on church land represented a great step forward in the operations and fortunes
of the church. Consistory meetings were sometimes held in the parsonage.
Over the years, church records tell the story of modern improvements installed in the building, such as central
heating, electricity, telephone, and even the first wallpaper ordered by the pastor's wife.
Most pastors until the early 1900s actually farmed the property, cultivating their own vegetables and fruit trees. One
pastor raised prized chickens and sold eggs. The story of the parsonage in these days reflects rural family life in
Twelve pastors of the Ramapo Reformed Church and their families have occupied the parsonage since it was built in
1879, including the present minister, Rev. William Grob, and his wife, Deborah, who became residents in 2002.
The Grobs often hold get-togethers and events, and share the house and its history with the congregation and
The Ramapo Reformed Church Parsonage is little altered, is in very good condition, and has been in continuous
use serving as a parsonage for the past 126 years.