The Van Wagenen House, informally known as The Apple Tree House, is located at 298 Academy Street in Jersey City. Throughout the year, free humanities lectures, history exhibitions, heritage celebrations and special events are held at the house. Check out our upcoming events below, and look at all out past lectures and exhibitions as well! 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.
EXHIBITIONS & EVENTS
View all our past exhibitions here and learn more about the history of The Apple Tree House, Jersey City, Bergen Square and more!
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