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Rutherford honors first Black family to live in town 150 years ago

Anyone who drives through Bergen County may encounter a relatively unknown piece of Black history.

News 12 Staff

Feb 24, 2022, 3:44 AM

Updated 844 days ago

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Anyone who drives through Bergen County may encounter a relatively unknown piece of Black history.
Located at 127 Donaldson Ave. in Rutherford, the Hoage House was once home to the town’s first Black homeowners.
Born a slave, Lafayette Hoage and his wife Harriett built their home in 1872 when a Black couple buying property was uncommon. The couple raised seven children who went on to build legacies of their own.
"It wasn't all peaches and cream for this family, however. This house was disparaged as the 'slave house'. Children would refer to it as the ‘slave house.’ Nevertheless, Harriet and Lafayette's children did quite well. They had a number of achievements,” says Rutherford town historian Rod Leith.
Rutherford officials dedicated the property in the Hoage family name earlier this month.


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