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Jersey City’s Oldest Apple

By Linda Tancs

In the 17th century the Dutch village of Bergen occupied an area south of Journal Square in present-day Jersey City, New Jersey. Historically, the village’s location provided perfect ground to keep an eye on the Loyalists during the Revolutionary War, particularly from a one-story, one-room deep farmhouse built of locally cut ashlar sandstone. That old Dutch homestead (subsequently enlarged) became known as the Apple Tree House, listed on both the state and national historic registers. Bounded by apple orchards and a cider press, legend has it that George Washington and Major General Marquis de Lafayette met under an apple tree on the front yard to discuss war strategy. Once owned by the Van Wagenen family, one of the area’s original settlers, Jersey City purchased the property in 1999 and has renovated it for use as a museum.

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