Bob Nesoff and Howard Cohn, the authors of the newly released book “A History Lovers Guide To Bergen County,” presented County Clerk John Hogan with one of the book’s first copies as thanks for his help and encouragement in researching and writing the book. Mr. Nesoff and Mr. Cohn both are past presidents of the now-shuttered Beth Tikvah, New Milford Jewish Center, Mr. Nesoff is a past board member of the JCC of Paramus/Congregation Beth Tikvah.
The authors sought out Mr. Hogan for suggestions and advice, which they found invaluable. They call Bergen County one of the most important sites of the Revolutionary War, and its history goes back well before that conflict. The book was produced by the History Press Division of Arcadia Publishers. Bergen County has more places listed in the National Register of Historic Sites than any other county in New Jersey.
Subjects in the book range from New Milford, called the “birthplace of Bergen County,” to the Aviation Hall Of Fame and Museum at Teterboro Airport. Mr. Nesoff and Mr. Cohn learned that the Old ’76 House, now in Tappan, N.Y., once was in Bergen County. “The Old ’76 House is arguably the oldest tavern in the country,” Mr. Cohn said. “It played an important role in winning the Revolutionary War.” “There was so much to write about that we had to pick and choose. With all we picked for inclusion in the book we know that we only scratched the surface. There’s also the story of Baylor’s Dragoons, a patriot unit, ambushed and murdered by British forces while they slept. Their burial location was lost for more than two centuries until a group of amateur archeologists found their remains in River Vale near a stream. It delves into the continuing tragedy of historic sites being plowed under for modern development and those in danger of being lost to history. There is a section on Fair Lawn’s Radburn section that once was very inhospitable to Jews but today is a haven for a large Jewish population.
“Unfortunately, when you are writing a book you often have strict space considerations,” Mr. Nesoff said. “There were many worthwhile stories that could have been told but we were unable to do so. If we included every one, it would have taken a series of books or one so big it would have been difficult to lift.