664 River Road
The Zabriskie-Kipp-Cadmus house
is a large and imposing early sandstone dwelling from the Dutch cultural era in
Teaneck. It is located on the banks of the Hackensack River, on a substantial
property originally owned by the Polish immigrant Albert Zabriskie and passed in
1711 to his son Jan and his descendants. During the 18th century this bank of
the river was dotted with farms, forming the eastern outskirts of the town of
Hackensack. Zabriskie's grandson Joost, probably the builder of the present
house, was wounded several times while defending his property during the British
occupation of the area in 1779.
In 1816 a grandson of the builder
sold the house and 125-acre farm to Henry Kip, a Dutch-American descendant of
the company who sponsored Henry Hudson's voyage to the New World. The Kip family
farmed the land throughout the 19th century, and were prominent members of the
Hackensack community, attending services at the Church on the Green, which they
reached by boating across the river. In 1899 the property passed by marriage
into the Cadmus family, also of Dutch descent, gaining its present appellation.
Oral recollections of Mrs. Helena Cadmus in the twentieth century speak of
arriving at her new home as a bride to find the front yard full of sheep. With
the shift from agricultural use to suburban development the lot was reduced to
its present size and the south facing riverfront entry moved to the north side.
The building is a five-bay block
measuring approximately 60' x 40' and containing four ground floor rooms around
a center stair hall. Two prominent stone chimneys dividing the major rooms were
removed during the nineteenth century and subsequently restored. The ashlar
sandstone walls rise from the cellar through a tall first story; the second
story lies under a framed gambrel roof typical of the type. Dating is uncertain,
since historical records indicating a 17S I -61 construction period cannot be
substantiated with physical evidence suggesting a later 18th century date.
Chilling remnants of early slave ownership remain in the basement of the house -
iron manacles secured to the stone foundation by links of chain. The house
preserves the stout, reserved character of these Hudson River Dutch colonial
farmhouses, and is beautifully maintained by its present owners. It is listed on
the State and National Registers of Historic Places.