“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Teaneck in Bergen County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)

Cattails = Clay

Hibiscus palustris


—Hackensack River Stories —

Cattails = Clay Marker Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, April 19, 2008
1. Cattails = Clay Marker

The schooner John Schmults was in the brick trade for many years during the late 19th century on the Hackensack [River]. Clay deposits were extensive and prized by the Lenape and early settlers for pottery then brickmaking. The Dutch were taught to dig for clay where they saw cattails growing. Cattail (Typha latifolia) has almost disappeared from along the lower Hackensack due to the increased salinity since the construction of the Oradell dam.

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Hibiscus palustris

Oh, the marshlands of New Jersey:
Oh, the broad moors near the sea,
Where the salt winds off the ocean
Wander far and fast and free!

Oh, the tides in winding channels
Hidden in the meadow grass,
Where with hulls unseen, ghost vessels,
Gliding schooners bayward pass;

And the nodding and the lisping
Of the zephyr-haunted sedge,
And the mallow’s flaming petals
On the sluggish ditch’s edge;

And the meadow lark, sky scaler,
Mounting up on tiny wings,
Flooding upper space with music
Largesse, free, but fit for kings;

And the fleecy flocks of cloudland,
Browsing o’er their sunny leas,
And the flitting of their shadows,
Playing with each vagrom breeze!

Oh, the brave life of the marshes,
Jersey’s moorlands, green and
Marker in Teaneck's Brett Park Photo, Click for full size
By Bill Coughlin, April 19, 2008
2. Marker in Teaneck's Brett Park
And the brotherhood that crowns it,
Blowing wind and flowing tide!

Owen Terry
From Windjammers of the Hackensack by Eugene K. Bird, 1916.   BCHS

Location. 40° 54.831′ N, 74° 1.787′ W. Marker is in Teaneck, New Jersey, in Bergen County. Marker is on Main Street (Old New Bridge Road), on the left when traveling west. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Teaneck NJ 07666, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Brett Park / New Bridge Area (a few steps from this marker); New Bridge (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named New Bridge (within shouting distance of this marker); New Bridge Landing (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named New Bridge (within shouting distance of this marker); The Zabriskie House (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Historic New Bridge Landing (about 300 feet away); a different marker also named Historic New Bridge Landing (about 400 feet away).
More about this marker. The background of the marker contains a picture of the schooner John Schmults and of a Swamp Rose Mallow.
Also see . . .  The Story of Our Valley, Chapter Four – A Ton of Bricks (Part I). A blogger local to Bergen County has a series about the history of brick making there. (Submitted on August 15, 2012.) 
Categories. Colonial Era
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 472 times since then. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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