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Site of
Gerardus Ryker - Jacob Sneden House
c.1762 - c.1900
Ice Pond
& Dam

 Site No. 21A 

opposite 19 Rockleigh Road


The Sneden Family


        This is 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 hole], John Ryker [existing Ryker-Sloat House], Abraham Ryker [existing Ryker-Sloat House], and Abraham Abm. Haring Jr. [existing Abraham A. Haring House].*

       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.* Of the three Ryker houses, the old wood Dutch style homestead of John Riker (Sr) exists as the Ryker-Mabie-Conklin- 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.

"Between the 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."**

* Reginald 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 Rockleigh Road).

         On borough 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.

"I 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, etc..."*

* Peter Van Strum, 17 September 2004

 People Who Lived There 


c.1762 - 1778

poss. Gerardus Ryker (1740-1781) & Rachael Demaree (1744-1814)


poss. 2nd John Riker (1736-1828) & Margrietje Blauvelt-Haring (1749-?)

  1828 Owners of record: Jacob J. Riker (1786-1687) & Lea Martin Powles (1785-1872)
  1828-1848 Owners of record: Samuel S. Sneden (1777-1863) & Elizabeth Conklin (1778-1848)
Jacob Sneden (1796-1862) &
Cornelia Ann Rudd (1805-1901)
1848-c.1862 Jacob Sneden (1796-1862) & Cornelia Ann Rudd (1805-1901)
c.1862- 1880 Cornelia Ann Rudd-Sneden (1805-1901)
1880 - 1891 Mrs. Cornelia Ann Rudd-Sneden (1805-1901)
Leonard Beasley Sneden
(1846-1944) & Catherine Evans (1857-1946)
1891 - c.1896 Mrs. Cornelia Ann Rudd-Sneden (1805-1901)
c.1896 - c.1915 ?
  c. 1915 - c.1929 Effingham Tallman
c.1929 Burned

 Reference Maps 

Harrington Township (1876) Mrs. C.A. Sneden

Rockland County Map, 1891

1. Mapmakers omitted stream (closer to "N. Sneden" house)  to the south of which  "Mrs C. Sneden" house should be located. 
2. "L.B. Snedecker" should read "L.B. Sneden" and located one house north (labeled "Mrs. C. Sneden"). 
3. There is no evidence of a house at the boggy location indicated "L.B. Snedecker".

Written and compiled by E. W. April, 2002