Saturday, February 27, 2016

taking root

A recent  visit to Ramapo brought wonder | wander | world back to a place of close family 
ties and the first East Coast community we relocated to on our crossover from Northern 
California in 2002.

Rockland County, New York

The college campus and communities have changed and expanded in over a decade but the land, its origins, and its people remain.

William Penn's 1682 treaty with the Lenape
painted by Benjamin West (1771)

The area is home to the Ramapo or Ramapough Lenape Indian Nation. Although they 
have resided in the Ramapo Mountains for more than three hundred years, there is 
very little documentation in New York or New Jersey that refers to the tribe.

Ramapo Mountains

The Ramapough Mountain Indians, also known as the Ramapough Lenape Nation or 
Ramapough Lunaape Munsee Delaware Nation, are a group of approximately 5,000 
people living around the Ramapo Mountains of Bergen and Passaic counties in northern 
New Jersey and Rockland County in southern New York, about 25 miles from New 
York City. 

Pine Meadow Lake in Harriman State Park

The mountains were claimed by both New York and New Jersey and their overlapping 
borders were ideal for the natives in the region because they were left to themselves.

The official border was surveyed and mapped out in 1798 but by then, the Ramapoughs 
were securely entrenched. As the years passed, other native people trekked through the 
Ramapo Pass and some took up residence with the Ramapough Indians.

Ramapo College, New Jersey

Today the place is best recognized as home to the Ramapo College of New Jersey. It is 
here that The Angelica and Russell Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts was constructed in 1999. 

Since 1997, 321 honorees have received the Russ Berrie Award for Making a Difference
Read more about these local heroes and their stories here

The Angelica and Russell Berrie Center for Performing and Visual Arts

The center houses classrooms, labs, offices, The Sharp Theater, a 350-seat proscenium 
theater engineered without obstructions to visibility or sound, The Myron and Elaine 
Adler Theater, a black box theater which can seat up to 100, The Kresge and Pascal Art 
Galleries, and The Curtain Call Cafe. 

As the Ramapo natives have opened their healing circles to assist its community in 
every right of passage from birth to death, the Ramapo campus and The Russel Berrie 
Foundation continue to acknowledge and celebrate the unsung heroes and regular folks 
of New York and New Jersey

Adler Center, Ramapo College

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