Hamilton House Museum

The Hamilton-Van Wagoner House Museum 971 Valley Road Clifton, New JerseyExterior views of the Hamilton House MuseumWelcome to the Hamilton-Van Wagoner Museum.

We hope to provide you with a refreshing glimpse of the past. A journey back in time and place -not just to see, but to feel how our forefathers lived. The museum mirrors the growing up of our nation with all its courage, imagination and vitality.

We trust you will enjoy your walk in the footsteps of history with the visualization of six rooms furnished in different periods showing a span of time and an earlier pattern of life. As a living active museum, we invite you to walk in the footsteps of history.

About the House

This 18th Century Dutch gambrel-roofed homestead, was once the home of the Van Wagoner and Hamilton families. The basic plan of the house does not greatly differ from its Dutch antecedents.

The sturdy one and one-half story cut sandstone structure, flanked by a grainery, spring-house and gardens, reflects almost two hundred years of American history. It brings back memories of an uncluttered horizon with farms, orchards, fresh brooks, forests full of game and filled with the scent of wildflowers.

Hamilton House & the Clifton Community

Although the city of Clifton was incorporated in 1917, a community had existed since 1679. Prior to 1917, the area was known as Acquackanonk Township and included parts of:

  • Little Falls
  • Passaic
  • Paterson
  • West Paterson

The Indian Chief Captahem deeded 11,000 acres to the early Dutch settlers on the shores of the Passaic River. Predominately rural, this sparsely populated village thrived and grew.

The farmhouse was presented to the City of Clifton by the developers of the property of the late Harry Hamilton. The Hamilton family had bought the 96-acre property in 1856 and for over 100 years until the death of Mr. Hamilton in 1970, it had been the home of the family.

Current Location & Future Plans

The house was moved to its present location Surgent Park in 1973. Infinite plans have been taken with examination and documentation of the building's structural elements. Extensive research has been conducted, including the records and treasured memories of Miss Caroline Hamilton, as well as:

  • Artifacts
  • Deeds
  • Manuscripts
  • Maps
  • Photographs
  • Wills

Scheduling Tours

The museum is opened for tours on Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m. (except for holidays) from March through December. Tours at other times may be made by calling the museum at 973-744-5707

Programs & Events

There are various programs and events through the year, Contact the Museum for further information.