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Abraham Ryker  - R.B. Sloat House
c. 1750 / c.1890
"Pegasus
Club"
c. 1920

 Site No. 23 

15 Rockleigh Road

 Early Settlers 

Ryker Family

Sloat  Family

 

           This house is a good example of the post-Federal Greek Revival style. Rectangular in form, this substantial two-story, stucco residence has a tiled hip roof and a full height central bay portico which has paired fluted columns with Ionic capitals. The roof of this portico is pent and is bracketed. Beneath the portico is a one-story full-length porch which has attenuated paired columns also with Ionic capitals. The current structure is built around an intact sandstone dwelling, comprising the current "old stone kitchen", likely of 19th century construction. The building is in good condition.

"Pegasus Club" (View from southeast, photo circa 1973)

             This is the likely site of the circa 1750 house of Abraham Ryker, son of  John Riker, induced from the 1776 sequential listing of "Possessions in Lockharts Patent" along Snedens Landing Road that included fourteen families within the New Jersey gore:  John Gissnar [Gesner, known site], Jacob Concklin Jr. [existing],  Gerardus Ryker [cellar hole], John Ryker [existing], Abraham Ryker [this site], and Abraham Abm. Haring Jr. [existing].*

             It 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.*

             The old brownstone Abraham Riker house was subsequently occupied by Abraham's son, Peter Riker. Through his only child, Elizabeth, Peter Riker Haring inherited a portion of the Abraham Ryker lands. However, the lands soon past to Jacob J. Riker, John's son, and in turn by his son, Abraham Riker. After this last Abraham's untimely death in 1863, the property was sold to Richard Brodhead Sloat. The house exists today as the "old stone kitchen" with thick sandstone walls deep within the Greek Revival structure that was the former "Pegasus Club" (15 Rockleigh Road). 

* Reginald McMahon: Two Haring Houses at Rockleigh, NJ
mms Bergen County Historical Society, River Edge, NJ

             On the 1878 Walker Atlas map of Harrington Township, B. [R. Brodhead] Sloat, brother of Jenkins Sloat, is shown in residence. By 1891, the Beers Orangetown Map shows S. Smith [poss. Simon Smith of Marbletown, NY, acquaintance of Jenkins Sloat] in residence and also owning the adjacent property to the north.

           By the mid 1920's the Pegasus Club had acquired much of the "Sneden Fields" between Rockleigh Road and Piermont Road and the Ryker-Sloat House became the clubhouse. The Greek Revival renovations to the old stone house likely were made at that time. By 1938, the now very posh equestrian and polo club consisted an outdoor field where horse shows were held as well as an outdoor and indoor polo field, sites of national championship polo matches. Fox hunts were held on the northwest tract. 


April 22, 1939 -- The Pegasus Club of Rockleigh, NJ, earns a berth in the national polo championships and is ranked the best in the East.

Bergen Record Sports Pages:

The club fell to the War effort in the early 1940's. During the 1960's, the house was owned  by author Edgar Park Snow until his death in 1973. E.P. Snow spent considerable periods in China, during which he leased his home to the Rose Haven School for student accommodations. Subsequently, J.D. Radcliff and P. Wollard came into the property, then the Stover Family.

 People Who Lived There 

       

1774-1820

Abraham Ryken (1721-1820) & Elizabeth Conklin (1727-1809)

c.1793-1844

Peter Riker (1766-1844) & Margrietje Mabee (1765-1841)

1844 - c.1848

Jacob David Haring (1787-1866) & Elizabeth Riker (1794-1860)
Jacob J. Riker (1786-1867) & Lea Martin Powles (1785-1872)

1848-c.1863

Jacob J. Riker (1787-1867) & Leah Powles (1788-1872)
Abraham Riker (1824-1863) & Elizabeth Rudd Sneden (1828-1886)

c.1863 - c.1891

Richard Brodhead Sloat (1842-1910) & Mary Boyd (1845-1929)

c.1891 - 1905 ? Samuel Smith (? - Nov 1890, Athens, PA)
? Augustus Smith
(1851, NJ-?, Sayre, PA)

1905-c.1920

? Hans & Nanny Knudson
c.1920 - 1944 Douglas G. Hertz (1893-29 Nov 1967,  G. M. of Pegasus Club)
1944 - c.1966 Edgar Parks Snow (1905-1972, Author and Sinologist: "Red Star Over China")
c.1966 J. D. Radcliff (Author and Editor, Reader's Digest)
? - c.1973 P. Wollard Family
c.1973 Stoever Family

 Map References 

Walker's Atlas (1876)

B. Sloat

Beers (1891)

S. Smith

Written and compiled by E. W. April, 2002