Lafayette Added to the National Register of Historic Places

Paulinskill River

The Paulinskill River in Lafayette, NJ.

One of my favorite places in North Jersey is Lafayette. The Township was named in honor of the distinguished patriot, the Marquis de Lafayette, on the occasion of his triumphal return to America in 1824. Lafayette Township has the distinction of being the first town, city or township in the nation to be named after the General. The Lenni-Lenape Indians populated the area until 1716. There are plenty of wonderful historic buildings and an amazing cemetery that I visit often. Built on the banks of the Paulinskill River, Henry Bail, a German and a squatter, built a grist mill on the Paulinskill in 1750.

After multiple attempts, Lafayette Village’s historic district recently being placed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. If you are looking for a great way to spend this lovely day is to visit Lafayette and enjoy special events taking place throughout the area. The Township is celebrating with a street fair and open house at the newly restored Ludlum-Mabee House today, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The restoration of the Ludlum-Mabee House, formerly the municipal building on Route 15, has been a long-term museum project of the Lafayette Center Preservation Foundation, a local non-profit group dedicated to the preservation of Lafayette’s historic legacy.

The historic district of Lafayette Village — not to be confused with the Olde Lafayette Village shopping area — consists of 60 buildings, six sites, 13 structures and two objects that spread along and around about a half-mile of Route 15, according to the application the Lafayette Center Preservation Foundation submitted to the National Register of Historic Places. The application was prepared by Eclectic Architecture. Consisting of a flat area of land on the north bank of the Paulinskill River, the district includes 41.5 acres and extends about 1,400 feet east and west along Route 15, from the crossroads intersection of the state highway and Meadows Road.

At the Lafayette Mill, a favorite place of mine, 20 vendors will join the 55 regular dealers for a flea market. Fuzzy Nation, a specialty boutique located in the old vaudeville theater, will host a pet adoption day, benefiting the Wantage Animal Shelter, Father John’s Animal House and One Stop Closer Animal Rescue. A pet beauty contest and gourmet dog-food tasting will be presented by Pawsitively Living, also a local Lafayette business. A specialty painting seminar will be given by Sweet Pea’s, teaching participants how to restate and repurpose antique and vintage furniture pieces. A wine-tasting, hosted by Cava Winery, will be held at Applewood Antiques in the afternoon.

Other activities along Route 15 in Lafayette include an outdoor exhibit of painted home and garden furniture at Rose Petal Porch and a special sidewalk sale by The Chocolate Goat. At Twice Treasured, visitors will find face-painting, wire-wrap artistry, a brewery exhibit by Angry Erik Brewery, crepes and baked treats by the Cupcake Café, and a sidewalk sale by Jo’s Junk. Many other surrounding businesses will be participating in the day’s festivities. The closing act at 4 p.m. will be a classic rock concert by Denise Kyles and Voodoo Child.

This is an exciting time for Lafayette. I hope you take the time and check it out!

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