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Locarni-April House
1949, 1989

Site of John Gesner Conklin House
c. 18
22-1950
Ruins of Conklin's Cider Mill 
c. 1850-18
85
Site of Conklin's Quarry

    
 Site No. 18 

34 Rockleigh Road

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Conklin Family

           The John Gesner Conklin branch of the Conklin family built a clapboard house, circa 1822, on the east side of Sneden Landing Road (32/34  Rockleigh Road) on the south side of the property, south of the Jacob Moore House. The land was inherited from his grandfather, 2nd Jacob Conklin and Elizabeth Gesner-Conklin. In 1848 his so, John Henry Fortier Conklin built a house on the knoll  immediately to the north of the John G. Conklin House. This is the site of the present Locarni-April House. The entire property was shown as that of his son, L. [Louis Fortier] Conklin, on the 1886 and 1891 maps.

         From 1860-1885 the Conklin family operated a cider mill. The mill was located to the east of the John Gesner Conklin House. Neighbors with orchards brought their apples to be processed into cider or apple brandy. The mill was operated until the last quarter of the 19th century with horse used to run a horse-powered tread mill to grind the apples. The cider was stored in a vault, ruins remain, cut into a hill  the south side of the mill. 

"Powles Conklin also started a cider mill at the top of the hill, in the rear of the residence now occupied by Alfred Locarni."*

** From the handwritten notes of Newt Sneden, 1974.
Courtesy of John A. Sneden, Jr.

          The  face of Palisades basalt that was quarried is located behind the Locarni-April House to the east of the mill site. Evidence of quarry work is shown by drill-holes in the rock face and by stone chips in the dressing area. Old stone-working tools occasionally work to the ground surface .

 People Who Lived There 

       
  JOHN GISNER CONKLIN HOUSE South side of property - now 32 Rockleigh Rd - cellar depression only
c.1810 - 1873 John Gisner Conklin (1796-1871) & 
Madeline Fortier-Conklin
(1796-1873)
       

c. 1885 - bef 1920

Louis Fortier Conklin (1873-post 1900)

c.1908

William Cory (1847 - ) & Catherine Cory (1966 -pre1920 )
Owners of Record

 

The cellar depression exists in 2003 

 

JOHN HENRY FORTIER CONKLIN HOUSE

North side of property -
now 34 Rockleigh Rd - site of Locarni-April House

c.1848 - 1892

John Henry Fortier Conklin (1822-1882) & Jane Powles (1831-1892)

1883 - bef 1920

Powles Conklin (1862-c.1920) & Moysid ?

c. 1908 - c.1930 William Cory (1847 - ) & Catherine Cory (1966 -pre1920 )
c.1930 - c.1947 Marietta Schultz (1862-c.1947)

c.1947 - 1979

Alfred Locarni Family
[Demolished John H. F. Conklin House. 
Built brick 1 story Cape Cod Style house in 1949/50]

1981 -

Ernest W. April & Nancy Paetzold-April
[Addition of North and East wings in 1989]

 Map References 

Harrington Township (1876)

L. Conklin

Beers (1891)

L. Conklin (12 a.)

  References 

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

Written and compiled by E. W. April, 2002