George Washington’s Headquarters at the Falls


by Robert P. Brooks
Bulletin of the Passaic County Historical Society, September 1952

gwflag3Henry W. Gledhill, the local historian, states that General Washington flew his headquarters flag over two ancient taverns near the Great Falls of the Passaic.  Whether this can be substantiated from the records, the editor is at present (1952) unable to state.

There appears to have been a room in the old Passaic Hotel known for many years as the Washington Room.  This room was in later years remodeled for use as a ladies’ retiring room.

Another tavern, purporting to have housed the Commander-in-Chief for perhaps a very short time, was a small, one-storied Dutch-type farmhouse which occupied a site on high ground near the falls.  The site of this house is known as Monument Heights.

During its history as a tavern, it was under the management of Abraham Van Houten, Helmagh Van Gieson and one, Christopher Breeze, who purchased it with six acres of land from Daniel Holsman.

An advertisement appearing in a newspaper on April 10, 1822, inserted by Mr. Breeze states:

FOR  SALE at the house known by the
Sign of the Bergen Hotel on the Hill 
At the Great Falls House, farm imple- 
ments, 2 barns stable.  Valuable shad
fisheries attached to the farm.

(Note:  This original title of this  article was “TRADITIONAL HEADQUARTERS – General George Washington at the Falls Area.”)