PARK RIDGE, N.J. — Nearly 100 attendees packed The Pascack Historical Society in Park Ridge on Sunday to hear about the crucial role a small bridge over the Hackensack River played in the American Revolution.
The society recognized the 239th anniversary of the beginning of the American Revolution on Nov. 15 with the return of historian Todd W. Braisted, who desecribed “The Bridge that Saved a Nation” during the free event at Ellen Berdais Hall.
“He was fascinated (by history) as a kid. He worked his way up,” said Francesca Moskowitz, a 40-year society member. "We had him here last year. He has quite a following because of his knowledge of the Revolutionary War."
Like Moskowitz, Braisted is a past president of the society. An author, reenactor and independent researcher, he has appeared on various TV shows -- among them, “History Detectives” on PBS and “Who Do You Think You Are?”
His latest book is "Bergen County Voices from the American Revolution.”
The event also drew a group of 10th graders from Park Ridge High School who attended for extra credit in their Honors U.S. History course.
They learned the about the importance of a small wooden bridge built in 1745 that spanned the Hackensack River at New Bridge Landing in present-day River Edge.
After major losses on August 27, 1776 at the Battle of Brooklyn, General George Washington moved his Continental Army troops toward Manhattan with the British in pursuit.
Several more defeats drove them across the Hudson and through New Jersey to Pennsylvania.
A hasty withdrawal of the American garrison across the Hackensack River at New Bridge in November 1776 preserved Washington's troops from entrapment by British forces.
MORE INFO: www.pascackhistoricalsociety.org or (201) 573-0307.
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