Lambert Castle
© Lambert Castle

Located in Paterson, New Jersey, Lambert Castle is a historical museum that preserves the history of New Jersey. There are two main attractions at Lambert Castle: the museum and the library.

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» History

© Lambert Castle

Born in 1834 in Yorkshire, England, Catholina Lambert desired to travel to America and live the quintessential American dream. Lambert followed his dreams, and landed in Boston in 1851. Quickly after arriving in Boston, Lambert landed a job working in a silk factory owned by Benjamin Tilt and Walter Dexter.Many years later, Lambert became a partner when Tilt left.

After working as a partner for more than three years, Lambert purchased Dexter’s half of the business, and became one of the most successful businessmen in Boston. His success rose exponentially and resulted in the creation of a three-story factory named Dexter Mill.

From 1850 to 1870 Catholina focused on his family life. In 1857, he married Isabella Eldridge Shattuck. Throughout the next twenty years, Catholina and Isabella had eight children. From 1870 to 1880, Catholina experienced many personal tragedies but fantastic success within his business. During that time period, seven out of eight of his children passed away. But, on the business side of things, Lambert purchased mills throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania, as well as making his business international by creating connections in Italy.

It’s unknown when Catholina and Isabella moved to New Jersey. When they originally moved to New Jersey they lived in Maplewood. But, as the years passed, Lambert collected an immense amount of art work and literary works and had no room to put it. So, he created Belle Vista, which is now known as Lambert Castle.

Lambert Castle broke ground in 1892, and was finished in 1893. But, Lambert made renovations and expansions to Lambert Castle. Although Catholina underwent many financial setbacks during 1916, which led to him selling his art collection, he lived in Lambert Castle until he passed away in 1923. Two years after Lambert passed away, his son Walter sold Lambert Castle to the City of Paterson. It wasn’t until 1934 that the Passaic County Historical Society gained control of Lambert Castle and established an official museum and library within Lambert Castle.

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» Attractions

© Lambert Castle

The Lambert Castle Museum contains a wide amount of artifacts that are relevant to Catholina Lambert’s life and New Jersey’s history. Although Lambert Castle has underwent many renovations, the building still has its historical essence. The Lambert Castle Museum is divided thematically among three levels.The first floor showcases the true essence of what Lambert Castle was like when Catholina and his family lived there. While majority of the objects on display are Lambert’s objects, there are some objects that belong to the Passaic County Historical Society. If you’re interested in the artistic aspect of Lambert Castle and Passaic County’s history, then head up to the second floor where various art exhibitions are displayed. Finally, the third floor houses a variety of special exhibits.

The Passaic County Historical Society Library is home to a comprehensive collection of literary works that are relevant to the historical significance of Passaic County. The Passaic County Historical Society Library is proudly home to over 2,800 books and over 200 maps. Other artifacts include manuscripts and photographs. Although appointments are not required to utilize and explore the Passaic County Historical Society Library, it is strongly suggested you make an appointment.

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» Educational Opportunities

Educational Opportunities
© Lambert Castle

Lambert Castle offers a variety of specialized tours that cater to various preferences. Tour groups have the option of choosing from a variety of different tour types, such as The Castle Visit and The Castle Sampler. The Castle Visit enables groups to have a guided tour throughout the period rooms that are available on the first floor where they can learn detailed history of the castle. Then, participants can explore the second and third floors by themselves. The Castle Sampler follows the same process of having a guided tour for the first floor, and an unguided tour for the second and third floors, but also comes with an educational workshop that is hands-on. There are no age limits on tours, however, the tours are most suitable for older school aged children and adults.

3 Valley Road, Paterson, NJ 07503, Phone: 973-247-0085

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Lambert Castle in New Jersey