Red Oak Drive, River Vale, Bergen County, NJ


Tappan Zee Bridge to Exit 13 for Palisades Parkway south. Exit 5, Rt. 303 south. Right turn onto Old Tappan Road west; Rivervale Road north; and right turn onto Red Oak Drive. There is a small parking area on the right.


This historical park has markers telling of the September 28, 1778 Baylor Massacre. Visitors may see the millstone which long ago covered the burial place on this site. Victims of the massacre were members of Col. George Baylor's Continental Army Cavalry Regiment. The American soldiers had taken quarters for the night in several nearby farms.

This small park near the Hackensack River in River Vale memorializes a bloody event which took place over 200 years ago. On September 28, 1778, British forces made a surprise attack on about 100 sleeping American soldiers. These lightly armed soldiers were members of the Third Dragoons of Virginia. The attack was merciless. Sixty-seven patriots were killed, injured or taken prisoner.

It is called a massacre because some of the American soldiers were killed after they had surrendered.


3/26/2000.  There is a small circular trail that takes the walker down by the Hackensack River.  Here there is a monument: Here lies the graves of 6 American Revolutionary War soldiers. Their bodies were thrown into three tanning vats at the tannery. The bodies were discovered in 1967. The soldiers' bodies were re-interred in 1972.

There is also a millstone here, the only historical item that remains from the battle. The millstone was placed on top of the tanning vats to hide their bodies.


7/15/2006.  Boy did they ever improve this park since I was last here (3/26/2000).  Concrete walkways, nice signage, a couple of picnic tables, some new landscaping, etc.  Last time the park was a little bit of nothing, but now it looks like something.  Good job to those responsible.   

Dr. Patrick L. Cooney; dates = plants in bloom during field trips

Acer rubrum (red maple) 3/26/2000
Betula nigra (river birch)
Carpinus caroliniana (musclewood)
Carya sp. (hickory)
Catalpa sp. (catalpa)
Cornus florida (flowering dogwood)
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Gleditsia triacanthos (honey locust)
Liquidambar styraciflua (sweetgum)
Morus alba (white mulberry)
Nyssa sylvatica (tupelo)
Picea abies (Norway spruce)
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Sassafras albidum (sassafras)
Taxus canadensis (American yew)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)
Ulmus americana (American elm) 3/26/2000

Shrubs and sub-shrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Juniperus horizontalis (creeping cedar)
Kalmia angustifolia (mountain laurel)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii  (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Pachysandra terminalis (pachysandra)
Parthenocissus quinquefolia (Virginia creeper)
Rhododendron sp. (hort. rhododendron)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Viburnum prunifolium (black-haw viburnum)

Cuscuta sp. (dodder)  7/15/2006
Humulus japonicus (Japanese hops)
Smilax rotundifolia (round leaved greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)

Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Arctium sp. (burdock)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Cardamine hirsuta (hoary bittercress) 3/26/2000
Cerastium vulgatum (mouse-ear chickweed)  7/15/2006
Commelina communis (Asiatic day flower)  7/15/2006
Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot)
Euphorbia maculata (spotted spurge)
Impatiens capensis (orange jewelweed)  7/15/2006
Lapsana communis (nipplewort)  7/15/2006
Lepidium virginicum (poor man's pepper)
Mazus pumilus (mazus)  7/15/2006
Oxalis sp. (yellow wood sorrel)  7/15/2006
Plantago major (common plantain)
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)  7/15/2006
Polygonum lapathifolium (nodding smartweed)  7/15/2006
Polygonum sp. (knotweed)  7/15/2006
Prunella vulgaris (self-heal)  7/15/2006
Rumex obtusifolius (broad dock)
Solanum carolinense (horse nettle)  7/15/2006
Solidago spp. (goldenrod)
Taraxacum officinale (common dandelion)  7/15/2006
Trifolium repens (white clover)  7/15/2006

Andropogon gerardii (turkey claw grass)