#ThrowBackThursday to Onderdonk Avenue during the early 1900s! This vintage postcard depicts the German Evangelical Church and surrounding buildings on Onderdonk Avenue, between Linden and Grove Streets, in Ridgewood.
The German Evangelical Church is still standing, now known as Safe Haven United Church of Christ (Previously, “St. Mark’s UCC”), at 601 Onderdonk Avenue. Built in 1906, the church was originally fashioned with a combination of stone and wood. Today, the church sports a faux stone facade. However, the original wooden doors have been beautifully preserved. Some of the homes pictured here were demolished and rebuilt in the 1930s. Of the surviving homes, most have new facades but retain a few original details.
The postcard is undated; however, it was likely printed around 1915. All of Onderdonk Avenue is part of the Vander Ende-Onderdonk Farm’s original 100 acre footprint. This parcel of land was sold by Gertrude Onderdonk Schoonmaker sometime in the late 1800s or early 1900s. The church and homes pictured in the postcard are some of Ridgewood’s earliest developments.
Photo 1: “Onderdonk Ave., Looking North from Linden Str., and German Evangelical Church,” Date Unknown, GRHS Collection.
Photo 2: “Onderdonk Ave. and Grove St.,” January 2021.
Photo 3: “Safe Haven UCC,” January 2021.