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Closter Publick Road
(Piermont Road - South)
c. 1700

 Historic Site No. 32 

Carterette Road (Piermont Road - north)

Snedens Landing Road (Rockleigh Road)


          The point at which Snedens Landing Road turned south toward Closter Village was known as Closter Publick Road. In 1758, Closter Publick Road was improved by the County of Orange in the Province of New York. This road, extending from Closter Dock Road in Closter Village provided a vital link from the farmlands of the "Northern Valley" to Snedens Landing on the Hudson River and markets beyond. By the time farmsteads were being built in this area, it was part of Tappan, NY, and the track extended north toward Tappan.

Closter Publick Road in early 1900's, looking north from present Norwood boundary. The old bridge spans a branch of the Sparkill. In the left distance is the John A. Haring House with fields and pasture extending southward

            On April 10, 1857, ten local land owners, lead by Moses Taylor, Jr., applied to Bergen County for a re-alignment of a part of Closter Public Road to provide "an easier wagon route to Snedens Landing". On June 2, 1857 the route was surveyed and the length of the improvement involved about one and one-half miles beginning near the present Norwood-Closter line. The artery ran northward past the John A. Haring House and ended close to the northeast corner of Moses Taylor's barn (Capt. Abraham A.A. Haring House) where Snedens Landing Road ran northeast. The improvement of the old colonial road was ready for use on October 1st, with a width of two and one-half rods (about 41 feet). 

Reginald McMahon: "Two Haring Houses at Rockleigh, NJ",  1973
(mms, Bergen County Historical Society, River Edge, NJ)

             Rather than as a village, this portion of the Rockland Neighborhood developed as farmsteads strung along Snedens Landing Road,  Closter Publick Road and a new road to the north that would become Carterette Road. The junction of these three roads is approximately equidistance between Closter Village, Tappan, and Snedens Landing. In every respect this farm community functioned as a self-sufficient hamlet. However, it would take 200 years to incorporate.

 Map References 

VerPlanck (1745)
Erskine (1778-80)
Hopkins-Corey (1861)
Walker's Atlas (1876)
Beers (1891)
Bromley (1912)


Bergen County Historic Sites Survey, Borough of Rockleigh. 1981-1982.
Bergen County Office of Cultural and Historic Affairs, Hackensack, NJ

"Two Haring Houses at Rockleigh, NJ", Reginald McMahon, 1973
(mms, Bergen County Historical Society, River Edge, NJ)

Written and compiled by E. W. April, 2002