The Van Wagenen House, informally known as The Apple Tree House, is located at 298 Academy Street in Jersey City. Throughout the year, free lectures and special events are held at the house, and weekly tours are open to the public every Wednesday. Be sure to follow The Apple Tree House on Facebook for additional information on all special events and Apple Tree House updates.
**All of our events are uploaded to the Cultural Affairs event calendar, as well as on the Apple Tree House Facebook event page. Within these pages, you will find an Eventbrite link to sign-up in advance, or you can call (201) 547-6921.
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Missed a lecture? Attended a previous lecture but would like to see it again? No problem! All of the lectures hosted at the house are filmed and uploaded to the website and The Apple Tree House Facebook page. Click through the videos below, courtesy of Jersey City TV:
September 6-8, 2019: History Alive: Votes for Women
It’s 1913, and, thousands of women gather in Washington, D.C.. They are there to call for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing women the right to vote. While the fight for suffrage has been going on for 60 years, this huge parade, spearheaded by Alice Paul and the National American Woman Suffrage Association, marks the first major national event for the movement. For a family audience of all ages, this emotional story is told from the perspective of the women who led the charge, and paved the way for the fight for equality.
August 22, 2019: Immigrant State: Jersey’s Influential Gate
New Jersey has a big story about immigration, packed into a small state. Many may not immediately think of New Jersey, but it is a gateway state that holds an important part of America’s immigration history. Immigrant histories in Jersey have been and continue to be distinct by region and in comparison to the rest of the country. Considering and learning more about what this means can lead to more informed communities. Through the examination of film clips, texts, and media coverage, participants will have a candid discussion about issues that are being examined and debated, nationally and in local communities, by many today.
November 15, 2018: Beyond Bathrooms & Binaries
Hosted by Hudson Pride Center. Beyond Bathrooms & Binaries is a program for creating change at a policy level for transgender individuals facing challenges in public life. Join us for a special presentation hosted by Dr. Kiki Jamieson as well as community discussion where we will explore why labels, pronouns, and gender categories are so complex and important.
December 6, 2018: Newark Avenue: Jersey City’s Avenue to the Revolution
Newark Avenue was a vital escape route during the American Revolution for the Patriot cause. The road connected vital supply routes for General George Washington and his allies. Brian Murray, local historian, will discuss the road’s importance to the American Revolution and the development of the road after the Revolution to modern day Jersey City.
October 25, 2018: Washington Irving & The Legend of Jersey City
Washington Irving is best known for “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” but did you know that some of his short stories were set in Jersey City? Luke Boyd, presenter at The Past Personified, will do a dramatic reading of “Guests From Gibbet Island”, one of Irving’s ghost tales that takes place in modern-day Jersey City. David Goodwin, author and trustee at the Jersey City Landmarks Conservancy, will provide analysis of the piece and speak about Washington Irving’s connection to Jersey City.
BRIEF HISTORY & TIMELINE:
The Apple Tree House, more formally known as the Van Wagenen House, was given its name based off of the story of the meeting between General George Washington and the Marquis de Lafayette during the American Revolution in 1780. Legend claims that while camped in Bergen for three days, Washington and Lafayette dined in the yard “underneath and apple tree” and discussed strategy for French Naval intervention.
1660: the Village of Bergen was founded, becoming one of the earliest Dutch settlements in New Jersey. In years to follow, the Dutch continued to share the area with members of the Lenni Lenape Indians
1688: Gerrit Gerritsen purchased the land where the Apple Tree House stands today. Gerritsen’s children changed their last name to Van Wagenen shortly thereafter
Between 1710 – 1721: the oldest part of the house was built, and likely included a storage cellar, large hearth and small attic
1842: the single-room house was extended to the east, which created the main hall, parlor, second floor bedrooms and attic space in a Greek revival-style fashion
1860: the second floor of the western end of the house was added and constructed in brick, which makes it easy to spot today
1947: Funeral Director Lawrence G. Quinn purchased the house from the Van Wagenen family, becoming the second-ever owner
Early 1980’s: The Quinn family opened the Quinn Funeral Home, which operated through the 80’s, and was the funeral site of many Jersey City officials and community members, including former Mayor Frank Hague and J. Owen Grundy
1999: the City of Jersey City purchased the property, including the house
2002: renovation and restoration plans begin
2006: the house is placed on the State and National Resisters of Historic Places
November 2017: the house reopens to the public