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Snedens Landing Road
(Rockleigh Road)

c. 1725


A  Colonial road that led from Closter to Snedens Landing - the western terminus of Dobbs Ferry on the Hudson.  Part of this road was improved by New York in 1748 when that province governed this area.  Used by troops during the Revolutionary War.

BCHS Marker

 Historic Site No. 30


Closter Publick Road (Piermont Road - south)

Carterette Road (Piermont Road - north)


           By 1681, probably long before used by native Americans, a track wound up the steep Palisades from a small Landing on the Hudson. This track proceeded in a southwesterly direction descending the gentle western slope of the Palisades into a fertile valley in the area known as the Closters in the northeastern corner of the Province of New Jersey. By 1687, the Province of New York had claimed most of Closter and the Sneden family had settled at the landing. English, Dutch and Huguenots from New Amsterdam heard about the area and obtained Patents of about 3000 acres with the purpose of settlement. Two of these were the Lockhart patent and the Tappan patent. The steep track provided direct access to the Tappan and Lockhart Patents, which were settled early by the Dutch. The 1745 Philip Ver Planck map of the Lockhart Patent shows this track extending from Snedens Landing southwest  to Closter Village.

       "Beginning at the north side of Barent Nagel and so running northerly as the Road still goes to the house of Henry Ludlow [the Big House], and along the south side of the house, so still running as the Road goes down to Robert Sneden [Cheer Hall], so at the south side of the house and on down to the Landing place free for all persons to load and unload...."

Book A, Orangetown Records, April 30, 1745

Alice M. Haagensen: Palisades & Snedens Landing, p170, 
Pilgrimage Publishing, Tarrytown, NY, 1986.

Snedens Landing Road in early 1900's , looking northeast, passing Conklin-Sneden House. 

          The settlement patterns of the Dutch culture in Colonial America contrasted from their English counterparts in that the Dutch and their progenitors tended to be farmers and reluctant to settle in clusters forming villages and towns. From the river, this road was known as the Closter Road; from the valley it was known as Snedens Landing Road. The principal early families along this road were Gesner, Concklin, Ryker, Haring, and Ferdon.

          In 1748, Snedens Landing Road was improved by the County of Orange in the Province of New York. The road was surveyed during the Revolutionary War for George Washington as Erskine-DeWitt map number 110, which shows the Gesner, Conklin, Abraham D. Haring and Abraham A. Haring houses, but not the Ryker house. A later 1876 map includes the houses of  Moore,  Cooper, Conklin,  DuBois, Sneden, Beasley, Sloat, and Haring.  

              "Wagons of farm and garden produce came from Closter, Tappan, Duncantown, Pascack, Kakiat, Kaskat and Kinnikamack, and the surrounding country. A warehouse some 25 feet square stood by the river at the end of the public road. About the year 1850, Capt. Lawrence Sneden built a pier extending 500 feet into the river, wide enough for three wagons to pass abreast, with a T at the end towards the river, to turn upon, to accommodate his perriaugers, and other craft. The wagons often stood in line from the top of the hill to the end of the pier waiting their turn to unload." Ella Sneden-Coates

Alice Munro Haagensen: Palisades and Snedens Landing,  p 59.
Pilgrimage Publishing, Tarrytown, NY 1986.

Rockleigh Road in early 1970's, looking southwest, passing Sneden-Conklin House just visible through the trees on the right.

          The persistence of the agricultural Dutch along Snedens Landing Road (Rockleigh Road) has preserved this rural atmosphere which is reminiscent of the tradition of 18th and 19th century farm regions. 

          On current maps, this old artery still winds from Rockleigh to Snedens Landing which was a center of activity in colonial days. From 1780 to the conclusion of hostilities in 1783, Washington's Blockhouse was garrisoned by a company of Continental soldiers. It was down this same old road that Martha Washington was driven in the dead of night to be with her husband.

 Map References 
Ver Planck - Lockhart Patent (1745)
Erskine No. 110 (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