|The Hopper-Goetschius house on the corner of Lake Street and East Saddle River Road dates back to 1739. Built by
the Hopper family, it is the oldest remaining house in Upper Saddle River. We know it existed in 1739 because it was recorded in
surveyor Charles Clinton's journal, and possibly it is older. Rosalie Fellows Bailey in her book on pre-Revolutionary Dutch houses,
says it was marked as the home of Gerrit Hoppa on a rough sheepskin map made about 1713.
The house underwent several changes in the mid 1800's: The large central chimney with back-to-back fireplaces was removed.
Probably, with more modern forms of heating available, such as wood stoves, the fireplace seemed a bit old-fashioned, and the
owners took it out. Besides, they wanted to use the entrance hall as a room, so the stairway along the east wall was removed and a
central stairway added where the fireplaces had once been. The dormers were added in the Victorian era.
The Hoppers farmed the land and had a lot of it by today's standards. The property extended from the Saddle River (Lions Park)
up the hill almost to Montvale, and up the East Road to where Creative Gardens was located.
In 1814 the house became the home of the Rev. Stephen Goetschius of the Old Stone Church. It remained in the Goetschius
family for a century and a half, always a place of central importance in town, as Stephen Goetschius, great-great grandson of the
Reverend Stephen, served as the borough clerk for over 40 years and conducted his town business from the east room of the house.
The house was without running water until Steve's death in 1962. Until improvements were made at that time, Steve's wife, Lizzie
- as those before her - carried water from the well for washing, cooking and shoveled coal for heat.
In 1985 the Hopper-Goetschius house was presented to the Borough of Upper Saddle River by Clinton and Grace Carlough. Lizzie
Goetschius, the last resident of the house was Clint Carlough's aunt. The house today serves as a museum, run by the Upper
Saddle River Historical Society, and offers the public historically related events though out the year.