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Christmas, Easter and Halloween displays come and go. Once you have visited them they are forgotten in a heartbeat. Once they are gone forever, they come back in the mind and people say, “Remember this or that or remember Van  Riper and Tice Farms?” If you lived in the tri-state area, Van Riper Farm was just one of those things you remember simply because your parents had taken you there when you were a child or, if you had lived in the immediate
H-600  Pumpkins for Sale  
area, shopping there for fresh produce was just a good experience.  Van Riper Farms (most pictures published her) was a huge produce enterprise selling its own product as well as many other imported from all over the country. The farm had many acres with a number of buildings dedicated to a variety of goodies from produce, fruits, baker goods and specialty items depending on the season like fresh made cider from both, Tice and Riper Farms cider mills. Tice Farms was located in Woodcliff Lake Township on the west of the road and Van Riper Farms on the East side and opposite of from Tice. The two farms were in competition with each other especially
  H-601  Tice Farms 
around the holydays when the kids of each family decorated the properties with displays second to none. It became a competition and the results were stunning. Both  farms go way back, all the way to 1808 when the Riper family purchased acres in Woodcliff Lake and started to cultivate the 100 acres plus for fruit and produce farming. Both families build their own homessteads on the property from fieldstones obtained from clearing the land and cultivation. This stone house still stands on the west side off the road the original spot it was build many years ago. The farm did well and prospered buying more acreage as time went on until total owned acres exceeded over 250. The land was well managed.
H-602  You rang Sir?    H-603  Madam Pumpkin
 It was divided into product lots of certain acre size which were cultivated with certain fruit trees like apples, peaches or pears and the like and others for produce and pumpkins. On Holidays the place would take on its own festive character usually done in a grand way such as the Halloween pumpkin-selling season, drawing thousands of visitors from all of the area and neighboring States. The place was so popular that on most weekends, local police hired extra manpower to regulate the traffic. We as a family got to know Tice Farms in the early sixties and visited the place on a regular bases until the late seventies even after we moved to Connecticut.
  H-607 Pumpkins for sale 
The barn type buildings were located on both sides of Chestnut Ridge Road.  The largest one, on the West side, was build first and was used to sell produce year-round and housed a bakery as well as the cider mill. On the East side or across from the main barn were a variety of buildings used for seasonal selling and display. It was on this property that most of the spectacular Holyday displays were put together. Halloween being the most extravagant. On a weekend ride into the country located west of the upper Garden State Parkway in NJ and looking for something to photograph with my newly purchased camera, we ran into Woodcliff Lake and both Farms.
H-616 Three Stoodgies   
They had a very well done display of painted pumpkins, old farm tools, equipment and a cider mill. My wife noticed the bakery and suggested to park the car, which was, a request, I did not need with all this colorful stuff on display. This place was, to say the least, a photographer’s paradise! On the back seat I had the new Nikon F2 with a 35/85 mm Vivitar 2.8 lens loaded with slide film and was composing the shots before I parked the car. While my wife was buying bread and pastry and our kids roaming from display to display, I shot the rolls of film obtaining the pictures posted on this web site today! At the time, most of us took Tice/Riper Farms for granted because we assumed, that it would be there for ever however, in the years following, both Farms scaled back considerably and began selling imported vegetables from from various sources. In the late eighties, most of the surrounding acreage has been transformed into housing and commercial buildings and the traffic became a serious problem. A Super Market of significant size was constructed. In November 2001, Tice's Corner Marketplace a modern version of what once was, was completed including the old Apple logo above   
  H-620 Voodoo Doll
the main entrance. The building is sub-divided into twenty or so retail outlets selling souvenirs of a time passed without the smell of apple cider.  This building is  located in the same place where the large produce barn used to be on the west side of the road.  The Tice fieldstone home for eight or so generations, survived  the wrecking ball probably a gesture of respect for a
H-619 Mr & Mrs Tice    H-625 Riper Produce Barn 
 family who worked the fields there for 190 plus years. As with everything, there is a beginning and there is an end to everything but somehow, like many of us, regret the end of this outstanding enterprise! Today (2007), Tice Farm's exist as a memory only. This 250-acre enterprise was sold piece by piece in 20 acre lots, starting sometime back in
H-627 Devil in a corn field    H-608 Horse Head 
the seventies to land developers probably pressured by the Township for needed tax revenues for housing and commercial use who enhanced the area with modern office buildings surrounded by (ironically) fruit trees probably planted by the people who worked the Tice & Riper farms. 
Updated & re-written at request by Laurie Van Riper 2015
H-604  Going on a trip   H-605  The Devil  
H-606 Farwell    H-618 The Riper Produce Barn    H-624 Voodoo Dolls 
Halloween at other Locations
H-1269 Halloween, Grayson, Ga   H-617    H-626 Riper Cider Road Stand 
Outside of the Halloween displays, the Niese Farm sells home-grown produce and makes Maple syrup, honey and a number of other product not found on the local store shelves. The Pirate makes sure you pay your bill..
H-50D_0697   H-50D-0696  Niese's Maple Farm, Putnam valley NY   H-50D_0698

The above images are 72 DPI only. However, when ordered, they are custom printed @ 1440 DPI using Epson UltraChrome art inks guaranteeing an eighty year lightfast product on Epson luster photo stock.

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