Brinkerhoff-Demarest House, c. 1728

493 Teaneck Road

A Prominent cast iron rnarker alerts drivers on busy Teaneck Road to the presence of this venerable Dutch sandstone house, the oldest in Teaneck. Its slender kitchen containing a Dutch oven once Projected nearly to the roadway, but a portion was demolished when street widening for auto traffic was undertaken in 1941. Despite considerable renovation since its 1930s documentation by the Historic American Buildings Survey, this house remains one of the classic examples of gambrel-roofed sandstone farmhouses built by the Dutch settlers in Bergen County during colonial times. It was published in Rosalie Fellows Bailey's primer on the type in the early part of this century, when extensive genealogical data was collected on the builders.

Hendrick Brinkerhoff constructed the house between 1728 and 1735 on land purchased from the Kiersted Patent in 1 686. Mildred Taylor's account indicates that "behind the house lay farmland and the fyke where many an Indian relic of Oratam's day has been found." The building faces due south, from which the house is accessed by a Dutch door and "stoep" leading to a center hall. The four surrounding rooms - two parlors, dining room, drawing room - were heated by two back to back fireplaces prior to the installation of a Franklin Stove. The kitchen wing was built during the initial campaign to communicate with the existing dining room.

Recent replacement of windows, doors, dormers and roofing have left the building with little Of its vital early details or patina. The sandstone walls are notable for their varying colors and fine ashlar coursing. The largest quarries for this ubiquitous building stone were in Bergen and northern Essex Counties. Dutch masons used relatively large blocks, from one and a half to three feet thick, often varying the coursing to feature tall and short blocks in distinctive patterns. The walls were often whitewashed. The Brinkerhoff-Demarest House is listed on the State and National Registers.