Friends of Van Ness House Held Fundraiser on Saturday, April 1

We heard the fundraiser was a great success! Here is what the local newspaper wrote about us before the event:

By Gail Bottone

Published March 30, 2023 at 9:27 AM

FAIRFIELD, NJ — The Friends of the Van Ness House is having a kick-off fundraiser at the Van Ness House on 236 Little Falls Road in Fairfield on Saturday, April 1 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tulips, daffodils, hydrangeas, herb plants, breads, honey, jams and T-shirts will be sold. The Friends of the Van Ness House is a Federal 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to saving and restoring the historic 1720 Van Ness House in Fairfield.  

The hope is that money from this “Fundraiser Spring Pop Up Market” will help the organization start significant exterior repairs, apply for grants through the New Jersey Historic Trust, and fund the eventual purchase of the property from the Fairfield Township.  

The Van Ness House was constructed in the early 18th century by one of the first Dutch families to settle in Western Essex County. Simon Van Ness brought his family to Fairfield in 1701 and was one of the founders of the Fairfield Reformed Church in 1720.   

The Van Ness House was included on the list of the 10 most endangered historic places in New Jersey by Preservation New Jersey, Inc. in 2019. The current state of the house is cited as due to a lack of funding to stabilize and maintain the property. Due to this, the Township of Fairfield has been working with the Friends of the Van Ness House in a limited capacity to implement temporary repairs. However, the current roof has exceeded its service life and desperately needs to be replaced to abatement future deterioration of the house and to create a stable water-tight building envelope.   

The organization is planning similar and other fundraiser events in the future. As a Federal 501(c)3 organization all donations are tax deductible to the fullest extent provided by the law. All donations are welcome and greatly needed.  

The Friends of the Van Ness House was founded by three members; Michael Middleton, who grew up and lives in Fairfield and is a preservation architect, John Ostering, formerly of Morgan Farms in Cedar Grove, and Sharon Olson, who is a descendant of Simon Van Ness. If anyone is interested in supporting the organization in any way, please contact Michael Middleton via email at

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