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Hampton's Home on The Hackensack
To Be Seen on Historic House Tour

By Mildred Taylor

From:  The Sunday Sun, March 6, 1960

Banta homesteadA house that has stood on the banks of the Hackensack River for over 200 years is among the seven homes included in a tour of Historic Houses to be conducted by the Woman's Club of Teaneck on April 19.

It is the residence of Mr. and Mrs. K. R. Hampton on Lone Pine Lane, a private drive on the west side of River Road just north of Cedar Lane.

The House, which goes back to the days of the Banta family, among the earliest Dutch settlers in Bergen  County, does not look its age from the outside.  The roof, raised in 1846, now has three peaks rather than the traditional Colonial Dutch roof.  Yellow paint over the sandstone and clapboard also makes the home look younger than its years.

The mellowness of the past is apparent as you enter the home which is unusually large as old houses go.  The original floors of broad planks are still in use.  They are covered with thick rugs of rich blue.  Mrs. Hampton can testify that the years have left their imprint on those floors.  She has become familiar with their ups and downs while using the vacuum cleaner.

Charming Fireplace

An enormous fireplace is the center of interest in the large living room.  The hand made brick of the hearth has been replaced but the original firebrick at the back is still in use.  There is a back parlor behind the main living room which also had a fireplace.  In this room the Hamptons have an old fashioned organ.

The Hamptons believe the house dates back to about 1706 and was the home of Weart Banta, a descendant of Jacob Epke Banta who settled in this area in the 1680's.  Weart's father, also named Weart, was a weaver who married Mary Demarest in 1682, according to old records.

The age of the house is indicated by the fact that its exterior is of random stone; dressed stone was used for the front of Dutch colonial homes at a later date.  The stones were put together with river mud, clam shells and hog's hair, the earliest type of mortar.  This construction may be observed in the basement of the home where walls are six feet thick in some places.

Dutch Tradition

The kitchen, in gook Dutch tradition was originally in the basement.  There is no basement under the present kitchen.  Mrs. Hampton thinks there was probably a spring under what is now the kitchen and the Dutch settlers loved nothing more that a convenient spring.

Also in Dutch tradition, the house faces south.  The doorway there has been photographed for a magazine as a fine example of early architecture.  The beautiful location of the banks of the river was undoubtedly chosen because of the convenience of transportation.  Each family that has lived in the house has had its own dock.  The Hamptons make good used of it.  The took a boat trip all the way to Ticonderoga some years ago, leaving from their own back yard -- or is it the front?

The years have hardened the wood in the hickory beams until they are now like rock.  The lime in the clamshell mortar has calcified the wood so that it is impossible to drive a nail in some walls.

Upstairs are three bedrooms, each with a canopy bed and beautiful handmade coverlids.  All through the house are evidences of Mrs. Hampton's interest in each American stenciling at which she is expert.  A woman with great interest in the past, she is curator of the museum in the Steuben House.  Mrs.  Hampton is a member of the Westervelt family of Bergen County, her father being Warner W. Westervelt, Hackensack attorney.

Schoonmakers Lived There

The Hamptons have lived in the home for 15 years, having purchased it from Francis Hoth.  During World War I it was occupied by the Schoomaker family.  They rented it from A. C. Coe in Hackensack.  Mrs. Voorhis Demarest of Hackensack, the former Miss Schoonmaker, last week recalled her girlhood there.

The Schoonmakers lived in the house from 1914 to 1919, moving shortly after the family was saddened by the death of her brother, Capt. Stephen T. Schoonmaker for whom Teaneck's VFW Post and Schoonmaker Road are named.  The Schoonmakers also made good use of the pier and of the skating area near the river which is enjoyed today by the Hamptons and their neighbors.

Land transactions of the Banta family contain some of the earliest mentions of Teaneck or Tien Neck which was also called New Hackensack in olden days.  Mrs. Hampton and her father have searched old records in the Hackensack courthouse and in Trenton and have found many fascinating documents pertaining to the family which built their home so long ago.

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