Fort Lee in Bergen County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
Preserving the Palisades
Through the 1890s, quarries blasted the Palisades for stone to make gravel and concrete. The largest of these, Carpenter Brothers’ quarry, was just south of here (background photograph and B). Many thousands of tons of broken rock were taken from this quarry.
Public outrage at this “desecration” of the landscape was captured in newspaper articles such as this one (A) from the New York Times in 1895.
In New Jersey, the fight to preserve the Palisades was led by the New Jersey State Federation of Women’s Clubs. In 1897, club women toured the quarries by boat (C), making a stop here at Carpenters’ quarry. Could a handful of women – a generation before suffrage – succeed in such an ambitious effort?
In 1900, New Jersey and New York, spurred by the women’s clubs and with the backing of several prominent individuals and families, including New York governor Theodore Roosevelt, formed an Interstate Park Commission whose purpose was to close down the quarries and preserve the Palisades. John Pierpont Morgan would donate the funds to close Carpenters’ quarry. The last blasting at this spot occurred on Christmas Eve, 1900.
The Palisades Interstate Park was formally dedicated in 1909 at Alpine Landing (D).
Location. 40° 51.587′ N, 73° 57.343′ W. Marker is in Fort Lee, New Jersey, in Bergen County. Marker can be reached from Ross Dock Approach Road. Touch for map. Marker is in the Palisades Interstate Park at the south end of the Ross Dock Picnic Area. Marker is in this post office area: Fort Lee NJ 07024, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Protection of the Hudson River (approx. 0.6 miles away); Solax Studios (approx. 0.6 miles away); Fort Lee Historic Park (approx. 0.7 miles away); Palisades Interstate Park (approx. 0.7 miles away); Mortar Battery (approx. 0.8 miles away); Military Magazine (approx. 0.8 miles away); The Little Red Lighthouse (approx. 0.8 miles away in New York); Washington’s Retreat to Victory (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Fort Lee.
Also see . . . Palisades Interstate Park website. (Submitted on September 24, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
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Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on September 24, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 541 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. submitted on September 24, 2011, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.