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Remembering those who have made significant contributions to the Bergen County Historical Society.


Bob Roth

Robert “Bob” Roth, a long-time resident of Bergenfield, left us on February 2, 2024, after a brief illness. Bob’s mother Eleanor had been an early supporter of our museum efforts, and when she passed away, he picked up her BCHS torch. Upon his retirement from Stop & Shop Supermarkets, Bob joined our volunteer corps and soon became an energetic and valued addition to our crew, best known to our visitors as one of the interpreters in the Westervelt Barn and as the “official taster” of the Out-Kitchen’s culinary creations; he was always eager to share a story or notable fact with everyone who came his way. That was only part of the story though, for Bob was a daily visitor to Historic New Bridge Landing as well, coming always with tools in his truck, to keep an eye on things and take care of whatever required attention. If wood had to be chopped, pamphlets stocked on the kiosk, a piece of hardware fashioned, or a screw tightened, Bob was on it before most of us knew what needed to be done, and BCHS came to rely on and appreciate his diligence. In 2021, the Society conferred on him the Koehler Award in recognition of his significant contributions to Historic New Bridge Landing. On those rare occasions when everything was taken care of, he would sit, relax, and enjoy the bucolic nature of the river and the grounds.

A gentle and generous man, always willing to share his time, talent, and treasure with his much-loved BCHS, Bob will be sorely missed, but fondly remembered, by his friends and colleagues in the Society.

ManfredWegner2014 BCHS Dinner.jpg

Manfred Wegner

Manfred D. Wegner of Bergenfield was an amazing person, an extraordinary eyewitness to life in Europe of the 1930s-1960s. Born in Berlin, Germany, his childhood was spent under the brutal regime of the Nazis, and after World War II, he grew to adulthood under the subsequent Communist occupation. Shortly before the complete closing off of East Berlin, he made a clever and determined escape to the West, eventually finding his way to New York City where he worked as a mason and carpenter. When Manfred retired he came to one of our lecture programs and volunteered his expertise.

An extremely talented craftsman, what Manfred didn’t know about wood-working wasn’t worth knowing, and many of his creations are in use at HNBL today: the paneled pedestals for our cigar store Indian and for the Von Steuben maquette, the admissions stand in the Steuben House, a large quilt storage unit, and extensive shelving for the BCHS collections to name a few. He fashioned scroll-work ornaments, toy muskets, and “limberjacks” for sale in our Gift Shop. Not limiting himself to carpentry, Manfred was also an accomplished photographer and artist as well, and a member of both the Rockland and Teaneck photography clubs. He was a familiar figure to HNBL visitors as one of the interpreters of our Westervelt Barn; he was also a Trustee Emeritus of the BCHS Board, and in 2012 was given the Society’s Koehler Award in recognition of his significant contributions to Historic New Bridge Landing.


Manfred made himself available whenever his skills were needed, and his tips to many of us for DIY projects were always most appreciated. He was generous with both his knowledge and his humor, and always enjoyed a quick comeback to his gentle teasing. He passed away on July 23, 2022, and is survived by his wife Kathy, his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchild, and by the many beautiful artistic and crafted creations he left behind. His friends and colleagues at BCHS will miss him greatly and know we will not see his like again.


Linda Masullo

Linda Bonura-Masullo, of Hackensack and previously Lodi, was a long-term member of the BCHS Board of Trustees, as well as a past vice president, but her service to the Society did not end there. For well over a decade, Linda managed our Gift Shop in the Campbell-Christie House, and was the source of our Twelfth Night party’s King’s Cakes and the accompanying presentation of the Three Kings story. Each year at the Society’s Annual Dinner, it was she who assembled and donated the raffle basket, always done creatively along a particular historical theme, with Linda selling tickets in an appropriately matching costume, from the Statue of Liberty to the HNBL turtle. In 2019, she was the recipient of the Society’s Westervelt Award in recognition of her significant contributions to the Bergen County Historical Society.


A graduate of Douglass College and the holder of master’s degrees in both French and education, Linda spent her professional life in area schools, first at Lodi High School as a French teacher and then as Language Department head, and later as principal at the town’s Wilson School. She never lost her love of the French language and culture, but thoroughly explored her Italian heritage as well, serving as second vice president of the Hackensack chapter of UNICO.


Linda passed away on March 18, 2022, and is survived by her husband Al. Her unlimited energy and perseverance in adversity will be long remembered by all those whose lives she touched.


David Whieldon

Up until shortly before he passed away, Dave chaired the popular American Revolutionary War Roundtable, a monthly dinner-history lecture program that meets in Westwood. He was active in the Roundtable for 50 years and was able to find interesting speakers month after month. He was a member of the West Point Chapter of the Company of Military Historians and a BCHS Trustee Emeritus.

Through the 1980s and 90s, he worked on restoring some of the BCHS Blue Markers that are located throughout the county. The BCHS marker near the corner of Soldier Hill Rd and Kinderkamack in Oradell commemorates the September 1780 Steenrapie Encampment. Dave liked to maintain a French and an American flag at this location, honoring Lafayette who had his headquarters nearby in 1780.

Dave is remembered as “A Great man”, “a true gentleman in every way”, “a lovely gentleman”, “A true gentleman and tireless promoter of history”, “Dave was indeed a gentleman and certainly kind hearted, He did much to keep the round table going, as well as promote the BCHS. I will miss him very much.” “He was a truly kind person, generous person and will be missed.”

Dave died March 22, 2017, 88 years old. Retired since 1996 from Medical Economics Co., then located in Montvale, NJ, he had worked as a writer and senior editor for several magazines circulated to physicians and to data-processing managers.

Whieldon served for 18 years as an adult Boy Scout leader, including a stint as Scoutmaster of Troop 305,Fort Lee, NJ, and he was a recipient of the Silver Beaver Award and the Order of the Arrow’s Vigil Honor.

He was active in three professional societies and was a Life Member of Mensa. An avid cyclist, he pedaled more than 50,000 miles in recent years. Whieldon donated more than 80 pints of blood.

During the Korean War, he was commissioned as a U.S. Air Force officer and later became a radar operator-navigator-bombardier in B-29 bombers. He was awarded the Air Medal for flying combat missions from Okinawa to North Korea with the 19th Bomb Wing. On his return to the U.S., he was assigned to intelligence duties in a B-36 bomber wing based in El Paso, Texas.

A native of Greenville, Pa., he graduated from Penn High School in that town, later earning a baccalaureate degree from Grove City College, Grove City, PA, and a master’s degree in journalism from Syracuse University. His father, Harold Dodds Whieldon, operated a hardware store in Greenville for more than 30 years.Divorced since 1992, Whieldon is survived by a brother, Thomas W. Whieldon, and sister- in-law, Roseann, of Cedar Park, Tex., and by two nephews: Thomas Whieldon, Jr., and John Whieldon, and their families.


Kevin W. Wright

Kevin was a passionate historian, lecturer and author, championing the history of NJ, particularly Bergen and Sussex Counties. His 30 years of writing included Hudson’s encounter with the New World inhabitants, the Morris Canal, the iron industry, histories of Newton, NJ, Bergen County history, artifacts, interpretive, marketing and tourism issues, numerous articles and presentations and planning and visioning documents. He retired in 2008 as a Regional Historic Preservation Specialist for the NJ Park Service in the DEP. 


Wright's leadership at Historic New Bridge Landing transformed the site into a heritage destination, returning the historical name "New Bridge" to the site, writing multiple planning documents including the HNBL Master Plan and the HNBL Interpretive Plan. As volunteer president of the Bergen County Historical Society, he began plans for a new museum building at Historic New Bridge Landing (which is in the final planning stages!) By creating authentic event programming, he set BCHS on firm financial ground with increased membership. He pushed for the inclusion of Fort Lee and New Bridge into the Crossroads of the American organization.

Wright visioned and named the Spirit of the Jerseys, a DEP state-wide NJ parks event. With attention to detail, he found two talented seamstresses to sew all by hand two Hopkinson Flags for display in 2012.  In 1985, when researching in the state archives he found the boundary dispute between NY & NJ in time for the Statue of Liberty’s 100 year birthday and gained world-wide attention to a positive image for New Jersey. He also served as president of the Sussex County Historical Society.

Historic Preservation Specialist John Mills was observed “Kevin was a great researcher and constant promoter and defender of New Jersey’s heritage and New Jersey historic sites. As he was usually at the forefront he also took the animosity from those who would demolish our history. Historic sites on the whole are better off due to his dedication. He was a witty, humorous, and just plain nice guy.”

Kevin didn’t think or want every building to be saved but he did think that historic sites gave people a sense of place and should be valued in our landscape.
Kevin passed away October 13, 2016. He is survived by his wife of 40 years, Deborah Powell, and their three children.

Books by Kevin W. Wright:

Posthumously, Deborah Powell, published a book he was working on when he passed, The Bridge That Saved a Nation, Bergen County, New Bridge and the Hackensack Valley, Fonthill Media, available at online book retailers.

1609: A Country That Was Never Lost - The 400th Anniversary of Henry Hudson’s Visit with North Americans of the Middle Atlantic Coast

A History of the Andover Ironworks: Come Penny, Go Pound

The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity: Climbing Mountains to Solve America’s First Energy Crisis

Around the Green, Newton, New Jersey

High Point of the Blue Mountains, 1990. Co-wrote 54- page book on the environmental and cultural history of High Point State Park with Ron Dupont.

Newton Historic Preservation Advisory Commission, Successfully prepared 1990 nomination of Newton Historic Town Plot to the NJ and National Registers of Historic Places, encompassing sixty-six buildings, sites and objects.

Tree of Life: Selections from Bergen County Folk Art, 1983. Researched and wrote three scholarly articles on chip-carved spoon boards, Hackensack pottery, and local weaving for this 47-page exhibit catalogue (which won two awards for excellence). The Bergen Dutch Folk Art Exhibit was first mounted at New Bridge Landing in June 1983 and at the State Museum in Trenton between November 3, 1984 and January 3, 1985.

History of the Hackensack Meadowlands. In 1989, he researched and prepared layout for large five-panel exhibit on natural and cultural history for the Hackensack Meadowlands Environment Center, DeKorte Park, Lyndhurst, New Jersey. This was the first time, in recent memory, people understood the historical beauty of the area. The research document was the basis for numerous books to follow by other authors.

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