The History of the Museum
The Meadowlands Museum is the main steward of history and culture of the Meadowlands region and one of its leading storytellers. Its mission and collection, which resides in the Yereance-Berry House in southern Bergen County in Rutherford, NJ, are distinctive and unique. The house is a historic treasure and landmark, and was built in 1804 by the Berry family, who were among the county's earliest settlers.
Rooms in the three-level American Dutch farmhouse are alive with permanent and temporary exhibits, sometimes including loaned objects from other museums and private collections. Historic artifacts like print materials and photographs are mingled with textiles, furniture, housewares and artwork (This includes correspondence by the daughters of John Rutherfurd, a close confidant of George Washington). Permanent exhibits include: rooms devoted to the life and work of Dr. William Carlos Williams, Rutherford's most famous native, physician and poet; a pre-electric kitchen; carpentry and other tools; and the geology of the Meadowlands region. Other rooms feature rotating exhibits of special importance to the history of the area. The property of the Museum includes the William Carlos Williams Poetry Garden.
Founded in 1961 as the Rutherford Junior Museum by parents of school age children to help connect them to their community, the museum is operated by dedicated volunteers and involved trustees.
The location of the Yereance-Berry House suggests a colonial farm dating to 1740. The oldest house in south Bergen County in close to original condition, it was part of the Historic American Building Survey project of the 1930s. The building is also listed on the state and national registers of historic places and the Bergen County Stone House Survey.
The Meadowlands Museum is a 501 (c) 3 nonprofit charitable organization. All donations to the Museum are tax deductible.