Bottagra Restaurant

80 Wagaraw Road

Bottagra Restaurant

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One of the earliest homesteads constructed in Hawthorne (formerly Manchester Township) around 1730 by John Francis Ryerson. Ryerson also built a grist mill, potash works, sawmill and a store in the area. The home was confiscated by the State of New Jersey in 1779 as Ryerson was a loyalist. General Lafayette’s infantry encamped here briefly during the Revolutionary War.

Richard Dirrick DeGray owned a farm, grist and saw mill, potash works, and a store, and fought in the Revolutionary War. He purchased the house (then located at 40 Wagaraw Road and now 80 Wagaraw Road) in May 1800. Its previous owner was his uncle John Francis Ryerson, who was a loyalist with the British Army and was stripped of his possessions. His uncle fled to Nova Scotia. About 140 acres were included Richard DeGray’s purchase of the house. DeGray later added an east wing. Wagaraw Road was also once called Ryerson Lane. A De Gray descendant lived in the house until the 1960’s. The house later on became Scordato’s Restaurant starting in 1970 and then Alexus Steakhouse & Tavern, and now currently houses the Bottagra restaurant.

Bottagra Restaurant has great historical significance as the place where a Revolutionary War soldier lived, and is possibly the oldest building in Hawthorne. Although it has been altered, the restaurant retains some of the features of the original DeGray house built in the 1730s.

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