Rea Mansion (John W. Rea House)

Goffle Road

Rea Mansion (John W. Rea House)

Historical Feature

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National and State Register Historical Site

Originally, this Dutch brown sandstone house on Goffle Road was called the Doremus House and was built in 1840. In 1857, a well-known minstrel comedian bought the house on Goffle Road for his family. John W. Rea, whose stage name was Jack Raynor, toured across North America and Europe. While in Europe he bought the house unseen, which was then called a “farm.” It was in an area called North Paterson, which was then part of the Manchester Township. It included 150 acres and cost $10,000. Rea retired from performing in 1875 and was elected Justice of the Peace of Manchester, and from then on was called “Squire Rea,” and settled small disputes. He also served as Superintendent of Manchester schools. He later died in 1900 and was buried in Ridgewood in a place called “God’s Acre.”

Sometime after Rea’s death, the house was sold to the Knapik family who operated the Knapik Inn and/or Goffle Inn starting in 1920. It was a tavern and hotel that was relatively short-lived, since only a decade later, they were forced to sell it for the creation of Goffle Brook Park. It was deemed historic then, and was preserved as part of the park. At one time it served as the Boys and Girls Club, and then as Senior Citizen offices. Today it houses Passaic County offices.

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