Zabriskie-Kipp-Cadmus House, c. 1751

664 River Road

The Zabriskie-Kipp-Cadmus house is a large and imposing early sandstone dwelling from the Dutch cultural era in Teaneck. It is located on the banks of the Hackensack River, on a substantial property originally owned by the Polish immigrant Albert Zabriskie and passed in 1711 to his son Jan and his descendants. During the 18th century this bank of the river was dotted with farms, forming the eastern outskirts of the town of Hackensack. Zabriskie's grandson Joost, probably the builder of the present house, was wounded several times while defending his property during the British occupation of the area in 1779.

In 1816 a grandson of the builder sold the house and 125-acre farm to Henry Kip, a Dutch-American descendant of the company who sponsored Henry Hudson's voyage to the New World. The Kip family farmed the land throughout the 19th century, and were prominent members of the Hackensack community, attending services at the Church on the Green, which they reached by boating across the river. In 1899 the property passed by marriage into the Cadmus family, also of Dutch descent, gaining its present appellation. Oral recollections of Mrs. Helena Cadmus in the twentieth century speak of arriving at her new home as a bride to find the front yard full of sheep. With the shift from agricultural use to suburban development the lot was reduced to its present size and the south facing riverfront entry moved to the north side.

The building is a five-bay block measuring approximately 60' x 40' and containing four ground floor rooms around a center stair hall. Two prominent stone chimneys dividing the major rooms were removed during the nineteenth century and subsequently restored. The ashlar sandstone walls rise from the cellar through a tall first story; the second story lies under a framed gambrel roof typical of the type. Dating is uncertain, since historical records indicating a 17S I -61 construction period cannot be substantiated with physical evidence suggesting a later 18th century date. Chilling remnants of early slave ownership remain in the basement of the house - iron manacles secured to the stone foundation by links of chain. The house preserves the stout, reserved character of these Hudson River Dutch colonial farmhouses, and is beautifully maintained by its present owners. It is listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places.