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Fort Lee Goes Back To Colonial Times For Historic Washington Retreat

Fort Lee will honor its history with a weekend of events reminiscent of Washington's time in the borough hundreds of years ago.
Fort Lee will honor its history with a weekend of events reminiscent of Washington's time in the borough hundreds of years ago. Photo Credit: Donna Brennan

FORT LEE, NJ — The borough will celebrate Washington's Retreat to Victory Weekend Nov. 20 - 21 with events sponsored by the Fort Lee Historical Society and Palisades Interstate Park.

The event marks the 239th anniversary of General Washington's Nov. 20, 1776 retreat from Fort Lee, where he traveled with 3,000 of his troops.

Less than a dozen $30 tickets remain for an event at Mrs. Kearney's Tavern at the Alpine Boat Basin.There, where members of the Palisades Interstate Parkway Commission will reenact a night in the tavern in 1776 with music, stories, punch and pie, in a building that has survived near destruction from Hurricane Sandy.

“Our histories are very much intertwined. Fort Lee is very much a big part of what (the Kearney House) is," said Eric Nelsen, who manages house programming.

"We support each other’s programs,” Nelson said. "So many changes have come and gone over the years including many mansions, the Riviera Night Club, but it has been there."

The house has no running water or no electricity. Guests will only enjoy entertainment by candlelight, as well as nighttime access to the park.

"What better way to have a living history night than to have it in the Kearney House," said Tom Meyers, a member of the historical society.

On Nov. 22, the borough will host a reenactment at the Fort Lee Historic Park on Hudson Terrace and Bruce Reynolds Boulevard. Members of the Brigade of the American Revolution will encamp on the grounds of the park overnight.The public is encouraged to march with the troops towards Parker Avenue. They will then hold a musket demonstration and gun salute and offer a reception with cider and doughnuts.

This is the first time that there will be markers along the route or permanent signage.

"That's just one small way that the borough is showing its support," said Tom Meyers.

MORE INFO: (201) 693-2763 or www.fortleenj.org

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