According to historical record (and a little bit of legend), General George Washington's footprint is all over Bergen Ð he spent more than half of the Revolutionary War in New Jersey, after all. From Oakland to Fort Lee, an American hero and first president stayed in a number of now-historic Bergen sites.
After Boston fell to the British in 1776, Washington correctly predicted that King George would focus on New York next. And so he began construction on two Hudson River bases: Fort Washington on the New York side and Fort Lee on the Jersey side.
During that time, Washington headquartered in Hackensack and kept a base in Fort Lee, near the present intersection of Anderson Avenue and Elizabeth Street. Today, a marker commemorating the general's time in Fort Lee stands at the Palisade Avenue entrance to Monument Park.
New Bridge Landing
In Nov. 1776, Washington retreated from Fort Lee to New Bridge, a hamlet on the Hackensack River. The bridge itself proved vital to Washington's escape from the British, who had overrun Fort Lee, and it earned the nickname "the bridge that saved a nation." Today, an iron swing bridge, built in 1888 and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1989, crosses the Hackensack in the same spot. New Bridge Landing is now a part of New Milford, River Edge, Hackensack and Teaneck.
Steuben House, Hackensack
Standing at the western end of the strategically important New Bridge, Steuben House saw a wild amount of action during the Revolutionary War, serving as a fort, a military headquarters, an intelligence-gathering station, a rendezvous and the site of various skirmishes. In September 1780, Washington headquartered at the house while his army encamped along Kinderkamack Road.
The Hermitage, Ho-Ho-Kus
Bergen County's first National Historic Landmark, The Hermitage has hosted its fair share of notable names. In 1778, Washington and a few of his officers spent four days in the Ho-Ho-Kus home on the invitation of Theodosia Prevost, the owner's wife. According to The Architecture of Bergen County, New Jersey by T. Robins Brown and Schuyler Warmflash, Washington returned Prevost's hospitality when her husband died three years later. He granted her permission "to reside on her estate, The Hermitage, at Paramus, and to enjoy full civil and military protection."
Old Paramus Reformed Church, Paramus
While Washington rested at The Hermitage in 1778, his men spread out throughout Paramus. Old Paramus Reformed Church, on the border of Paramus and Ridgewood, served as a sanctuary for wounded soldiers, and Washington held a court-martial there for a general who disobeyed orders at the Battle of Monmouth in 1778.
Van Allen House, Oakland
Muddy roads forced Washington and his troops to halt a march through Oakland, and the general spent the night here on July 14, 1777.
Seven Chimneys, Washington Township
Not surprisingly, Washington Township is known for having hosted General Washington over the years. Seven Chimneys, a national historic site on Ridgewood Road, purportedly was a favorite stop for Washington. He visited the house numerous times and noted its location on various official maps.
The Record archives & AP Photo.