Ringwood Manor Reopens After Two Years of Restoration

by Alice Magdziak • April 14, 2014 • Passaic, Photography, Third StateComments (0)2867

When their furnace exploded in January 2012, Ringwood Manor immediately shut down and began cleaning and conserving every item in the entire home.  Over two years and $1.6 million later, Ringwood Manor is back in business and more beautiful than ever!


75 years ago the site opened to the public when Erskine Hewitt donated the Manor and all its furnishings to New Jersey for use as a State Park and a museum.  The house started out as a ten-room home built by Martin Ryerson around 1810.  Peter Cooper and Abram Hewitt, Cooper’s son-in-law and business partner, bought the property in 1854.  Hewitt and his wife Sarah used it as their summer estate and began expanding and improving the property into what it looks like today.  From the original ten-room home, it became a 51-room home with 28 bedrooms, 13 bathrooms and 24 fireplaces.


This is the view from the main entrance and where you begin the tour.  It’s easy to imagine hearing the clip-clop of horses come up the long drive and the family watching them from here.  Photography isn’t allowed inside the manor so we’ve made a small gallery of shots of the land around the home to entice you to visit.  Obviously, as you would expect from a 54-room mansion, it’s gorgeous inside and now that it’s freshly plastered and restored it’s even more beautiful to tour.  Wallpapers and fabrics that were stained from years of gas lamps and coal heating are now bright and vibrant like modern eyes have never seen before.


One of the family’s carriages was even on display on opening weekend.  Regular tours begin on Wednesday and will be every week Wednesday through Sunday.  Follow them on Facebook to see what programs they offer on special days, too.


There are numerous statues on the grounds and a pair of lions guard the entrance.


This is the path to the house from the parking lot.  There’s plenty of parking and beautiful manicured gardens to roam before you reach the home.


I love this grouping of columns.  I can imagine gentile ladies walking among them on a spring day.


Even the well outside is ornate.


Ringwood Manor is very proud of their role in many parts of New Jersey history.


This is part of the original Ryerson residence.


This gorgeous glass piazza was the last addition to the home when Peter Cooper used windows originally in the Cooper Union Institute in New York to make it.

Hopefully, this has inspired you to take a walk through New Jersey history and visit Ringwood Manor soon!  Bring a pair of hiking boots, too, because after you tour the Manor you’ll want to walk the spacious grounds and even head into the more forested parts of the acreage, too.  It’s a great hike with lots of out buildings all over to peer into and think about how the other classes lived all those years ago.  There are even picnic tables and barbeques on the grounds.  You can really make quite a day out of it!

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