Although you may find the cities of Newark or Jersey City more familiar to the ear, Paterson, New Jersey, an early seat of industry, birthed many of our countries favorite things. The third largest city in the state, it mixes urban and rural things to do, requiring a bit of driving. You can easily see it all and enjoy relaxing travel with a charter bus from us. Have a chauffeur knowledgable on the area ease you from its national park to its famous castle to its museums and genealogy library.
The Great Outdoors
The Great Falls National Park, a naturally occurring waterfall series designated a National Natural Landmark in 1967, represents more than the topography of the city. It's one of the natural features that made this city the ideal first planned industrial city in the United States. Its location between New York City and Philadelphia made it first choice of Alexander Hamilton and the Society for Establishing Useful Manufacturers (S.U.M.) in 1792.
Enjoy the waterfalls, green spaces, and learn about Paterson's history and development. It's a great area for camping, hiking and picnicking. You can tour the park with a ranger or take the self-guided tour. The national park acts as an open air museum providing information on the immigrant experience, early development of industrial water power systems and the manufacturing industries Paterson hosted including: cotton, locomotives, textile machinery, jute and silk spinning, weaving and dyeing.
Don't miss the chance to tour Lambert Castle, also known as Belle Vista. The castle received historical landmark designation from both the New Jersey and National Registers of Historical Places in 1976. Once the private residence of Catholina Lambert, an English silk industry magnate, it's now a museum. Built in 1892-93 on Garret Mountain, it overlooks the City of Paterson, providing spectacular views of the city. Lambert's son sold the castle to the city in 1925 and it had a number of unusual uses since. Initially used as a tuberculosis hospital, in 1928 it became part of the 575-acre Garret Mountain Reservation. In 1934, the Passaic County Historical Society established a museum and library in the castle. Although the city demolished the Gallery Wing Lambert constructed in 1896, the original structure remains. The castle went through a $5 million restoration in 1995.
The museum offers two topical galleries. It devotes the first floor's period rooms to the life and career of Lambert. It offers both self-guided and docent-guided tours. The second floor gallery includes exhibits on the area's: folk art; "Curiosities From The Collections"; Julian Rix, a prominent local artist; Great Falls; portraits and local history. The third floor offers short term exhibits. The museum opens its galleries from mid-December through mid-October. The remaining two months the museum devotes to its annual fund-raising event, The Holiday House Boutique.
Visit The Paterson Museum for exhibits on the area's archaeology, mineralogy and industrial history. The museum, established in 1925, provides educational interpretive exhibits with a special focus on inventors who settled here, including the father of the modern submarine, John Holland; Sam Colt, the inventor who gave us the modern design of the repeating cylinder revolver; and the silk industry innovator, John Ryle. The museum's holdings boomed since its inception as a natural history museum, housed in the assembly room of the Danforth Public Library. After many moves, in 1982 it settled in its current location in the restored Thomas Rogers Locomotive and Machine Shop, originally constructed in 1873. The photography holdings contain an astounding 200,000 negatives and prints. Other exhibit items include the large: locomotives and the first practical submarine, and the small: rocks and minerals, and Colt Firearms, plus the soft: silk.
Genealogy enthusiasts find a plethora of Passaic County resources at The Elizabeth A. Beam Local History and Genealogy Library, housed at Lambert Castle. The library's more than 2,800 volumes include city directories, atlases, published genealogies, works by local authors and local histories, as well as a manuscript collection. Other resources include thousands of family group sheets and photographs, and more than 200 maps. The library offers a bookstore and a genealogy club.
Whether you're camping, hiking, researching or learning about New Jersey history, let Shofur help you with a bus rental to get you there in style and comfort. With one of our chauffeurs to handle the driving and traffic stress, you can more enjoy your trip and explorations. Take a nap between sights in our comfy reclining seats and keep your mobile devices charged in our ports. Just enjoy your travels.
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