the likely site of the circa 1762 house of Gerardus Ryker induced from
the 1776 sequential listing of "Possessions in
Lockharts Patent" along Snedens Landing Road that included the following families within the New Jersey gore: John Gissnar
[Gesner Homestead Site], Jacob Concklin Jr. [existing Conklin-Sneden
House], Geradus Ryker [this cellar
Ryker [existing Ryker-Sloat House], Abraham Ryker [existing Ryker-Sloat
House], and Abraham Abm. Haring Jr. [existing Abraham A. Haring House].*
is clear that the Rykers (Gerardus, John Sr, and Abraham) each had their
own house on John Ryker lands, arranged from north to south along the road between those of
Jacob Conklin, Jr, (existing as Conklin-Sneden House) and Abraham Ab. Haring, Jr.
(existing as Haring-Corning House).
Thus the original Ryker tract was situated between and adjacent to those
lands Jacob Conklin, Jr. and Abraham Ab. Haring, Jr.* Of the three Ryker
houses, the old wood Dutch style homestead of John Riker (Sr) exists as the
Sneden House (14 Rockleigh Road).
After Gerardus emigrated to Kentucky c.1780, his brother John Riker, Jr.
occupied the house. Upon the death of his father in 1828, John Riker,
Jr., received the Geradus Riker property across Snedens Landing Road to
Jacob Sneden & Cornelia Ann Rudd. About 1896, Cornelia left the Gerardus
Riker House, moving next door into the house of another son,
Robert Newton Sneden (Sneden-Happle House, 24 Rockleigh. The
Geradus Riker appears to have become dilapidated. It was inhabited between
about 1915 and 1929, when it burned to the ground.
Herman Happel and R. 'Newt' Sneden properties, there was a
house occupied by the Leonard B. Snedens, prior to their purchasing the Roaring
Brook property, which is no longer standing.
"Located in the rear of the home
was a pond where ice was cut in the winter and sold locally to those having
their own ice houses. The ice was marked and cut with an ice plough in cakes
of the proper size. They usually took the ice away when there was snow on
the ground, with horse-drawn wooden sleds, probably four to six teams and
sometimes a team of oxen. Saw dust, used to pack the ice cakes in the ice
houses, was obtained from the Saw Mill."**
McMahon: Two Haring Houses at Rockleigh, NJ,
mms Bergen County Historical Society, River Edge, NJ
** From the handwritten
notes of Newt Sneden, 1974.
Courtesy of John A. Sneden, Jr.
The remains of the house of son Gerardus consists of a cellar hole on
Rockleigh Borough property just north of John Riker's homestead (opp. 19
parkland behind the Gerardus Riker-Jacab Sneden house site is the Sneden Ice
Pond with original dam on the
west side of the pond and ruins of a small ice house. On the east side of the pond an
18th century stone arch bridge spans the inlet stream. The open
meadow to the south of the pond is reminiscent of 18th century pasture.
The pastures to the north and east have reforested.
lived [at Roshaven] from 1934 until I went away to college in 1952.
I remember ice skating on the pond across the street from the Kniffens,
Peter Van Strum, 17 September 2004