Ackerman-Boyd House
Built 1785
1095 Franklin Lake Road, Block 1202.07, Lot 1
Franklin Lakes, NJ 07417 

The Ackerman-Boyd House most likely was built by members of the Ackerman family. Considering architectural evidence the house construction is believed to be between 1785 and 1800. A new wing was added in the late 18th century. The house is significant for its architecture and its association with the exploration and settlement of Bergen County. It is a reasonably well preserved example of the Form/Plan Type. The original wings had 4 bays, but from the former double entry door only a single panel door in a Greek revival form remains. The Victorian style windows go to the floor. The new wing has 2 bays with a sash and 7” panes. The main exterior walls consist of light colored broken stone and rubble with red sandstone quoins. The exterior has been sandblasted and repointed, and dormers were added. The gable ends are clap-boarded. The present sweeping overhang was not part of the original building.


Johannes Lawrence Ackerman and his brother, Jacobus Lawrence purchased Lot # 2 in 1727 from Willocks and Johnson for £ 247 and 10 Shillings. The lit contained 444 acres and is recorded in Liber B in Bergen County Clerk’s Office. It establishes the first Ackerman in the Oakland and Crystal Lake area. The “Homestead Lot” passed out of the Ackerman ownership in 1817, and was acquired in 1841 by Adam Boyd. He was a man of considerable importance, having served as Sheriff for three years, Assemblyman for two years and as Judge in the Court of Common Pleas.

The story passed down to us through Attorney Foster Freeman said that there was a log cabin on the land which had a gun rack in the back but was used as a church. The cabin stood on the north side of the pond near the grave yard. It was reported that log or wooden stepping stones were installed through the damp area leading to the building. On July 4, 1913 John Neafie of New York recorded that there 86 gravestones standing on the Crooked Pond Cemetery. The oldest was that of Samuel Romine who died in 1732. Samuel settled on his brother Jan’s plantation purchased in 1724. The latest burial took place in 1903, and the marker bears the name of Folley. Family names of those buried in the cemetery are: Romine, Dykman, Van Sile (Van Zile), Van Cleef, Van Winkle, Winters, Van Houten, Bartholf, Rutan, Springer, Colwell, Merritt, Lichtenberg, Ackerman, Conklins, Burns, Luwbach (Labagh), and Folley. 

At present there are only about 20 gravestones still standing. We have no documented proof that Pond Church was ever built there. However, the Centennial Booklet of the Ponds Church, dated 1876, states that an effort was made: “to built near the residence of Mr. Adam Boyd (Walder) upon the land now owned by Mr. Ackerman (Mortimer); and there is a large burial ground there where many of your good people await the resurrection of the just.” The stone, hexagonal shaped Ponds Church was dedicated April 7, 1736 and replaced in 1829 what is now Oakland.

The center section of the Ackerman Boyd house appears to be the oldest part. Charles Smith who owned the house prior to 1930 removed the old fireplace in the cobblestone floored kitchen but left the hand-hewn beams. This was a really small room with walls of charred hickory-oak and a very steep ladder-like staircase to the loft. After the Ackerman ownership, until the Boyd’s bought the property, it was only held for short periods, such as 2 years, without records of ownership. We therefore assume that it was Adam Boyd who added the wing and enlarged the house. Some interior changes and modernization such as removed partitions and new flooring took place.

The property also included a large frame barn with shiplap siding and gable roofs which was situated close to Franklin Lake Road directly west of the stone house. It was part of a multi-acre farm which was recently subdivided for a residential housing development. It is one of six farms in Franklin Lakes recorded by the Historic Sites Survey which are located in close proximity to stone houses. Combined with the early stone houses (c. 1785-1800) these structures are significant remnants of the 18th, 19th and 20th century development in Franklin Lakes as a farming community.

Built about 1793 by James A. Ackerman on land owned by the family since 1727. The farm was then in the locality known as Ponds Neighborhood and within the old Township of Franklin. In 1841 the house was purchased by Adam Boyd who farmed the and and was also a noted lobbyist at Trenton. The farmhouse was owned by Boyd heirs until 1901 and has been remodeled over the years.

The Ackerman-Boyd House is privately owned and occupied by its present owner.

The Ackerman-Boyd house is included in the following map references: 

  1. Hopkins-Corey – 1861 A. Boyd
  2. Walker’s Atlas – 1876 Adam Boyd
  3. Bromley – 1912 A. Boyd Estate
  4. Included in the Thematic Nomination to the National Register of Historic Places for Early Stone Houses in Bergen County, New Jersey
  5. Map #  56 of the Erskine-De Witt collection shows the road on the north side of Crooked Pond (now Hopper’s Crooked Pond). The house on the east side of the pond and the north side of the road was marked as Abram Ackerman and Crooked Pond was called Reit Pannetus or Reed Pond on one deed
National Registry #83001452