The Ramapo Mountain People

The Ramapo Mountain people are people who in live the hills in the Ramsey-Ringwood area. They claim to be descendants of Lenape Indians (specifically the Ramapough Indian tribe), and although they have applied for benefits that are given to Indian tribes, they have been turned down several times. Apparently the families do have Indian blood in them, but it is mixed with blacks, slaves, and Hessians and this invalidates their claims requesting indian tribe status.

There are numerous rumors and stories surreounding these people, most of them unflattering. There are some things that can be stated with certainty. Many of the people in this community are very poor, some of them allegedly have no electricity or running water. There are also many many health problems stemming from decades of illegal dumping of toxic materials by mobsters and the Ford motor company. There is a strong sense of community and distrust of outsiders. This attitude, coupled with their remote location in the hills, and their lower economic status has led many to look at them as hillbillies or backwoods people.

Most people knew very little about these people until they were featured in an article in Weird NJ in the mid 1990’s. The article touched off a firestorm for several reasons. The article refered to them as Jackson Whites, which to them is the equivilent of calling a black person a nigger. As often happens with anything printed in Weird NJ, the article made it’s way around, eventually finding its way into the hands of local radio station Z-100. The morning dj’s read the article on the air which only caused more controversy as more people learned about them and took the story as gospel. It should be noted that the basis for the article was an article written by a “researcher” many years ago, which also prompted controversy. The article was fairly balanced in what it said, presenting both side of the argument.

So who are “Ramapo Mountain people”? What is their true background? No one can say for sure exactly.

The people who live there have been the subject of numerous news articles over the last 10 years. Lately they have been in the news because there was a Ford plant that operated nearby about 4 decades ago. There was a lot of illegal dumping of paint and toxic chemicals in the old mines around the area. The area had been labeled a Superfund Site at one time but the area was deemed clean. After many years of residents complaining about strange illnesses, odd smells, brown water, and finding paint sludge in their yards, the EPA & Ford have come back and new cleanups have begun. There is no doubt that the horrible health problems that afflict so many of the residents are due to exposure to hazzardous chemicals. There have also been troubles with sinkholes, some of which have caused homes to be condemned. Finally there was a fatal shooting of a local resident by a park officer, which touched off a firestorm of controvery over police brutality.

I have not visited the area yet for several reasons. First, I want to do my own research. I’ll start by reading the book by David Cohen called “The Ramapo Mountain People”. Mr Cohen researched their history and appears to have covered it pretty well. I’ve received emails from local residents criticizing the book, others have supported it. There’s some other things I want to check out too, like the state of NJ’s report of the validity of their efforts to be formally recognized as an indian tribe. If I go up there without knowing the real history, I’m asking for trouble.

Some readers have emailed me and offered to let me meet the tribal leaders. I intend to take them up on the offer some day. Unfortunately this entire site has been suffering from a lack of attention, and as I re-wrote this page in December 2008 to clarify what is and isn’t known. I am not trying to perpetuate any myths or local tall tales.

Below are some emails I’ve received. I will not censor what other people say. Some of them do refer to the residents as JW, and I know that word bothers them. I understand that, and I don’t think people should call them that. I don’t know these readers and only print them to show what some people have thought or said about them.

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56 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by lostinjersey on August 4, 2009 at 9:54 PM

    Everybody needs to chill out. I was afraid this post might lead to a flame war and I’m putting it out right now. This thread is now closed till further notice. When people can post without resorting to insults, hurtful comments or childish commentary I’ll reopen it for discussion. Maybe.

    //note that I’m not taking any sides in this. I’m just tired of the bickering.

  2. Posted by Colleen on August 4, 2009 at 12:10 AM

    I am completly horrified with the entirety of this string. Who does that? Who refers to someone as “them”, “those people” etc. You cannot group, or classify anyone by where they live, or by their ancestry, as far as the nature of their being goes. I have a huge Irish family, some of them are crazy, some are homeless and destitute, some are just nasty and mean people. Fortunately, my parents are not one of those – but we are still related. Nobody is commenting about my family problems. Why then would anyone classify an entire community in one light? It makes no sense. I know relatives, former residents and current residents of the community which ALL of you are blogging about, and everyone needs to stop the ridiculous nonsense that is being discussed. YOU people should be ashamed in this day and age to discuss a community as if they were not able to see what you are writing. Children are reading this – the kids that you are trying to “save” with your 5 police cars, are writing a report on geneology for school, and finding this BS on the internet. Are you kidding?! Every community has its’ own issues. I just cannot believe that the words flying around in this blog are actually coming from the mouths and minds of modern society. I am a white catholic Irish american girl who hung out with the people all of you are talking about. I hung out with a lot of people, and FYI “they” do too. I have been to the lane at night in Ringwood – ooh – and by myself too – when I was 17, and nobody killed me; instead of killing me, They decided to invite me for dinner, and hang out – weird!…I know! Let me tell you something, I felt more welcome and comfortable in most of the homes there than I have felt in homes in other “upscale” communities within a 50 mile radius. The only people who are not welcome are the likes of you people – who spend their lives judging everyone else. Furthermore, despite the outward appearance of many of the homes in the “area” which you speak of, it would be good to know that the insides of most of these homes are beautifully decorated. Please think before you type – or speak, because than you will not have to feel like such an ignorant fool when you look back at what you have said 10 years down the road – when you realize that your best friend is one of “them”. My best friend was, and now he’s gone. He was the most genuine, kind person anyone would know. He would give you the shirt off of his back, and if he had nothing to give – his family would have given it to him for you. YOU PEOPLE have no idea who you are talking about. This is the biggest lot of bigomy I have ever seen. How many of you can trace your heritage back centuries in this country? I know I can’t! My Grandparents on both sides are from Ireland. Doesn’t anything count for heritage anymore? I thought that the people that were here before the early settlers came should have maybe – I don’t know – an ounce of respect for the fact that their ancestors were screwed. And what are people supposed to do? Yeah – so the the Ramapo People are mixed race – who isn’t? If you are Irish and German, with a little Italian, should YOU be treated like a piece of crap?

    • Posted by Amber on August 4, 2009 at 9:47 AM

      I second that Colleen. I find it to be sad more than anything, that in our “Civilized Culture” we have so many ignorant elitist bigoted minds. It seems that the anonymous blogging and commenting are setting us back… people say whatever they want with no consequences to themselves. When my cousin died in a ATV accident all the news forums were ablaze with vile comments about Darwinism, and how the stupid kid deserved to die… that was my little cousin, my 17 year old sweet hard working little cousin. His sister read those comments and spiraled even farther down into a depression, words hurt….
      That said, I think the Ramapough are a beautiful people with rich ancestry and I’d love to visit sometime. I appreciate anyone who lives outside of the mainstream society… I’d like to do the same once I pay off my student debt.

  3. Posted by Patricia on July 28, 2009 at 9:16 PM

    I was born in Franklin, Sussex NJ. Most of my mother’s family were from the hills of Vernon,NJ. My mother’s great, great grandmother was reported to be full-blooded Leni Lenape. She and her husband (a Conklin by the way) left for Oklahoma in the middle 1800’s.They left a daughter behind (Sarah) that married Jacob V. Belcher. My father was born in Pompton Lakes and his grandfather worked at the Ringwood Iron Mine. My father’s mother was born in Mocapin. My father’s father was born in Shepards Pond NY. My grandfather’s family were all from Ramapo, Rockland, NY. I grew up in Pompton Lakes and spent a lot of time in Sussex county. I never, ever heard of the Ramapo Mountain People or the Jackson-Whites. I find the stories interesting to say the least. I don’t know how the Conklin’s fit into the picture. I’ll have to do a little more research.

  4. Posted by marie morales on June 21, 2009 at 6:58 PM

    My grandmother was a Mountain Person. She was not ignorant..she was a certified midwife. Her father left the mountains when he was a young man, but we all know our heritage and are not ashamed of it.

    David Cohen’s book was a lot of garbage!! Mountain people are decended from Whites, Blacks and Native Americans…there is a tremendous amount of racial admixture. Different features show up in the same families. The Lumbees are racially mixed and are considered Native American..The Ramapos have every right to consider themselves Native Americans. All present day tribes are racially mixed.

    In any small community ther is always some interbreeding..Rudy Giulani’s first wife was his cousin…Eleanor Roosevelt married her cousin..oh yeah you can do that if you are rich.

    When I was a child growing up in Orange County, NY white people used to try and drive up the mountain to stare at the people. For a long time Mountain People were rejected by Blacks and Whites. People used to call them ” white niggers” and Blacks called them “colored Indians” they said their Indian blood made them crazy, the more Indian blood they had supposedly the crazier they were

    Is there any wonder why Mountain People kept to themselves? Some are very very poor that does not make them lesser people…There are good people and bad people in the community like everywhere else

    There are mountain peoples all over the country, it is only because of the racial heritage of the Ramapos that people are curious about them. All mountain groups have their own folkways and
    culture.

    For years people have treated the Ramapos like exotic strange specimens….For all of you curious
    sick people..enough…get a life!! and leave the Mountain people alone.!!

  5. Posted by John on June 2, 2009 at 11:32 PM

    My family is from there and have not found complete proof of whether or not i am from this bloodline. If not we were certainly friends. My family names include Thomsen, Quackenbush, and Tice. And I have heard we are Conklins too. Looking mostly for geneological info. I have an odd mixture of features. Tall and light skinned like a Dutchman or northern european (Cept if I spend any time in the sun and i’m as red as any native amwercian), but facial features of an african american. Rumor is grandfather came out of the mountains in early 1920’s and was educated through WWII and then helped build the Empire State Building.

  6. Posted by Norman Klein on April 12, 2009 at 1:38 PM

    I grew up in Paterson N.J. but my mother was from the RMP area. Her maiden name was Patricia Farrison and she still has family living there. During my childhood I visited my cousins many times and I must say those were the best times of my life. My grandfather a full blooded Native American was from Arizona and relocated to the RMP area, Theodore Frederick Farrison, so no one can tell me that we are not descendants of Native Americans. We are not mean, cruel or incest driven backwoods hillbillies. If any of my family reads this please e-mail me.

    • Posted by lostinjersey on April 12, 2009 at 2:43 PM

      i’m not abput to try and say that they are or aren’t a tribe. It would be arrogant of me to take a position since I don’t know all the facts. I would love to research it though. thanks for responding.

    • Posted by Sarah on May 3, 2009 at 2:46 AM

      I’m not even going to comment on the Native American status of the Ramapo’s, but I do want to say this: If your grandfather was a Native American from Arizona, what does that have to do with the Ramapo Mountain People? Your claims to native ancestry are entirely different from theirs. Unless you mean to imply something that you didn’t state, like your grandmother was a RMP.

  7. Posted by libet on March 24, 2009 at 7:15 PM

    i personally know a handful of these people , and my brother even dated one of them a couple of years back . you people have a very negitave reaction to these people without even knowing them
    STOP right here ! my brother’s girlfriend at that time , had a wonderful family , i enjoyed visiting with them , and i do run into them often , they are very respectful and even ask how’s my brother , mom,and dad , ask about my kids , and always reply stop by when i have some free time .
    now ,what is so different about them ? this is the way anybody would act if they had respect !
    we all bleed red blood , now matter what the color of our skin !
    america is the land of oppertunity and we are all ancestors from somewhere else ,let these people shine in their ancestory without conflict !

    • Posted by lostinjersey on March 24, 2009 at 8:19 PM

      I agree with what you said. I don’t see why people feel a need to judge others and stereotype.

      • Posted by AmberRae on July 16, 2009 at 3:39 PM

        can you remove the hateful comments? not the ones that are legitamately asking questions… but the ones spreading hte hate? I’m not Ramapough, but I am of Native Blood… Maybe I’m easily offended? not likely… I just have little to no patience for hate as a result of ignorance.

        for ex: I refuse to watch Red Skins games or Cheifs games… because I find it ridiculous that you can name a national sports team after a race of people… you just have to make sure the culture has been so thoroughly destroyed there won’t be enough of said people to make a difference…

        we would never cheer for “The Wetbacks” why is Red Skin ok? sorry venting… :)

        • Posted by lostinjersey on July 16, 2009 at 7:14 PM

          I’ve often debated doing jsut that. Ultimately I decided to leave them because that’s what people think. I think it’s better to expose such behavior and thouts to the light of day so it can wither and die rather then remove it from sight and pretend it doesn’t exist and people become complacent.

          you never would’ve called these people out if these comments weren’t here. maybe they’ll be more thoughtful before they post next time.

  8. Posted by incogrito on March 19, 2009 at 10:11 AM

    I have followed the RMP for a while and have blogged about my thoughts.

    http://incogrito.blogspot.com/2008/09/ramapo-trials.html

  9. Posted by Ky on March 18, 2009 at 7:59 PM

    I live in Ringwood with the Jackson whites but we call them Minies(which they hate)They live in their own little part of the town.Just like everyone else some are nice and some are mean.Theres nothing wrong with them except they have a different way of living.Some drink and smoke ciggs and weed alot others dont.The kids get their lunch cheeper Becuase the people cant afford it-they dont have alot of money.So their just like normal people just live their lives differently. Thank yu Ky

    • Posted by Sarah on May 3, 2009 at 2:48 AM

      Then why do you call them Minies if it’s something they dislike?
      And I don’t think you should say that there’s nothing wrong with them EXCEPT they have a different way of living. There’s nothing wrong with different lifestyles. And “normal people” live their lives in all sorts of ways.

  10. Posted by George on March 18, 2009 at 7:58 PM

    I live in Ringwood NJ and know more about this topic than you would ever care to know. There are probably 500 of them in my town and I deal with them every single day. almost everything you hear is true, almost. Don\’t even try to understand them, because you will never fully comprehend what a \”jackson White\” or as we call them \”Minies\” are. Nobody knows, not even them.

  11. Posted by James on March 18, 2009 at 7:57 PM

    Perhaps the reason the Ramapough Mountain People were denied Indian status really is about fear of casinos!

    • Posted by AmberRae on July 16, 2009 at 9:57 AM

      Actually James, that is the reason. Donald Trump had a whole team of lawyers and all the money he needed to back his opposition… ridiculous.

      I am not descendant of the RMP, but I am Cherokee mixed with everything else… and I happen to have Appalachia Mountain People in my family…

      Elitism is the reason no one understands mountain people, let along Native people… we are all humans, and I bet living a life in the mountains taking little from society is a much more natural happy way to live… but what do I know…

  12. Posted by Phil on March 18, 2009 at 7:56 PM

    m from ringwood and know the minies as we call them since they live on mines. will answer and questions.

    • Posted by AmberRae on July 16, 2009 at 10:00 AM

      No… They are called Minies because they claim to be descendants of the Minisink aka Munsee tribe… it has nothing to do with local…

  13. Posted by Steven on March 18, 2009 at 7:55 PM

    I am a Ramapough member and I will answer any question you may have. Before we start, let me ask. If I were to come to your neighborhood and to your house and gawk and stare and make fun of your family, how would you react? The thing you must realize is this has been going on for hundreds of years. Ramapoughs, Pomptons, Hackensacks, Tappans are all the same familys. We have no relation or blood of Andrew Jackson. Andew Jackson abhorred natives. I doubt he would have had children with one.

    • Posted by AmberRae on July 16, 2009 at 3:12 PM

      Hi Steven! I do have some questions… I’m an avid fan of all things not mainstream… and native peoples rights…. The Ramapough don’t all live in one location right? Most sites seem to think they do… but aren’t there lots of people spread throughout the region? Also, do you know much about Clinton Rd? One of my vocal students walked up one of the paths that lead off Clinton Rd. and she found people and camp sites… Are these people associated with the Ramapough?

      And FYI, I totally hear you on please don’t gawk and make fun… I completely agree with you and sometimes I wonder why local governments allow the stereotyping and fear to continue… It seems like most people see Native people of any race as lesser… which is really sad…

      I think these kind of thoughts and opinions stem from the government not liking the idea of people fending for themselves… The poorer families who settled in the mountains and provided for themselves will always be looked at as lower because they are not a part of main stream society and mainstream society will condemn anything it doesn’t understand…

      • Sorry AmberRae,

        I am not as polite as my cousin Steve. What is it in your little pea brain that tells you that the Ramapough Lenape Nation members are not a part of main stream society? You belong right with Alicia in the ignorant idiot class of caucasians.

        • Posted by AmberRae on August 4, 2009 at 6:53 PM

          No, no you aren’t… First and foremost, slow down and stop the attack… I have nothing but respect for the Ramapough… what I mean by “not mainstreem society” is people who are often discriminated because of what they look like, where they came from, and what they believe… Being a human with a brain and sense of compassion sets me outside of mainstream society… Being a non-christian sets me apart from mainstream society.
          Sorry to have offended you, but please explain to me how asking respectful questions classifies me as an ignorant caucasian… not to mention, that yes i have caucasian blood, but I’m also Cherokee…. so wouldn’t that make me an ignorant mixed person?
          It seems Carol, that any comment or question I could have asked would have offended you because I’m not Ramapough… Sorry. As for the other people who write horrible comments… not saying it is deserved, but perhaps I now see why. I was just trying to learn about a culture that has been defamed for years… and you turn it around and launch a bigoted attack.

  14. Posted by Anne on March 18, 2009 at 7:54 PM

    Whatever you want to call them, Jackson Whites are cruel people. Many of my friends from that area are always finding their “pets” wandering around covered in ticks, fleas, and etc… By the way, the term “companion animal” cannot be applied here since true companions are not left chained up in yards to be exposed to the elements. Poverty, ignorance, or past injustices do not warrant this kind of treatment. RMP need to get off their crucifix and open themselves up to education.

    • Posted by AmberRae on July 16, 2009 at 3:14 PM

      Wow…. and I assume you’ve never seen a white person chain their dog up? And white mainstream people never neglect their pets…

      If you really feel that way, you could take the high road and report it to the SPCA, but you’d rather trash talk a whole tribe… classy.

      Ohh and nice throwing what you KNOW is a slur in there…

  15. Posted by Frannie on March 18, 2009 at 7:54 PM

    The ramapo mountian people consist of several groups of people with mixed blood, dutch slave traders, black slaves and indians. this is why they are not ramapo mountian indians. they are ramapo mountian people.the state of nj sees them as such.the sterling forest people are a different group than the ringwood group.some of then are wonderful, and some of them would shoot you without a second thought.beware of how you treat them and you’ll be welcome.i’ve known many of them my whole life.

    • Frannie,

      You are another ignorant idiot that have no idea what you are talking about. If you searched the web for legitimate information on the Ramapough Lenape Nation, you would not have opened your freedom of speech mouth to make such a rediculous statement. But since you are too busy exercising your freedom of lies and ignorance on blogs like this one you will never take the time to find out the truth. Do some research, and go to the State of NJ website and look for information on the 3 Recognized Native American Tribes of NJ, and then maybe you can write about truths and not hearsay.

  16. Posted by Jennie on March 18, 2009 at 7:53 PM

    CONCERNING THE RINGWOOD RAMAPO MOUNTAIN PEOPLE, THEY WERE KNOWN AS THE MINIES, JACKSON WHITES,OR BLACKS WHEN I WENT TO SCHOOL WITH THEM. NOW THEY HAVE CHANGED INTO RAMAPOUGH INDIANS. AMAIZING!!!IF ANYTHING THEY ARE AFRICAN AMERICAN INDIANS. SOME OF THEM MAY HAVE DUTCH OR INDIAN BLOOD IN THEIR BACKGROUND SOMEWHERE BUT A PERSON CAN’T CHANGE INTO AN INDIAN BY DRESSING IN INDIAN CLOTHES OR BRAIDING THEIR HAIR,AND BEATING A DRUM.A BIRD CANT BE A DUCK IF YOU TEACH IT TO QUACK. ITS STILL A BIRD.

    • Posted by AmberRae on July 16, 2009 at 3:22 PM

      you so silly girl… a duck is a bird… weather it quacks or not…

      and you got yourself some nice white supremest info up there.

      If you have Native Blood and African Blood in you, you are Native and African…though people call you whatever they please…. You have the right to correct misinformation and hateful rumors…

      These people didn’t “change” they simply stated who they are. You don’t have to agree, but judging by your comment… you don’t understand… so you should probably keep the hate speech off this website.

    • What are you Jennie? Who told you that you are who you are? Did they just tell it to you, yesterday and now you believe it to be truth? Another ignorant idiot statement.

  17. Posted by Carol de groat on March 18, 2009 at 7:52 PM

    What a bunch of jerks all of you are. What is your fascination with us. Call us whatever names you choose. It just shows your ignorance. We the Ramapough Mountain Lenape Indian Nation all Children of our Creator, just like the rest of you jerks. God Help all of you, and I pray that he forgives all of for you hatred of a people that you really have no knowledge of whatsoever.

    • Posted by AmberRae on July 16, 2009 at 3:28 PM

      I agree… I’m not a Ramapough, but I’m Cherokee, and though I can’t completely empathize, I see where you are coming from… I wish the mediators would take down the blatant bigotry…

      My interest in the Ramapough stems from my interest for all things and people not mainstream, and my own personal ancestry… Due to the fact that Native/White marriages weren’t permitted where my grandfather was born, we have no legal records of the births… so without paying thousands for genetic testing… we really have no way to delve deeper into our ancestry…

      Please understand, not all people on this site are hateful bigots with a lack of compassion and understanding… at least I’m not, but all Native and woman’s rights affairs greatly interest me…

    • Posted by jesse pender on July 31, 2009 at 7:52 PM

      Hi carol my name is jesse pender my grandmother is kathrine de groat who currently resisdes in california and is a member of the tribe as well as my mother and myself. i am not siure how we could be related but i would love to chat with you.i am currently in tucson az.my email address is jpender60@yahoo.com i hope you write back.

  18. Posted by Michelle on March 18, 2009 at 7:51 PM

    I am utterly fascinated with the topic of the ramapo mountain people and am trying to see if they are in fact what many refer to as “the pineys” or if these are two seperate cultures that are just insanely similiar. It’s funny because I have been researching this on the web and it seems both the people of the pinebarrens and ramapo mountain people seem to live (from what i’ve read) VERY similiar lifes. Both living a supposed “backwoods” lifestyle. Both bi or tri-racial. and both in jersey, I thought perhaps they were related.

    I was actually born in jersey (edison to be exact) and my mother would always tell me stories about the “The Pineys” which I was completly and utterly fascinated with. The stories were always negative and how they are incestual and violent and such, but no one who told me these stories has ever actually met someone from the area nor as visited the area, so from a very young age, I became very curious about the culture and lifestyle. Cut to the spread of the internet, and i was able to research the topic, and found many references to ramapo mountain people (and melungion appalachia) which made me wonder if they weren’t in fact – the same people. (pineys and ramapo). I am still incredibly curious. I am fascinated by situations where people live by their own rules and laws.

  19. Posted by Alicia on March 18, 2009 at 7:51 PM

    I would like to know if I am a part of the RMP. My grandmothers name was Mabel B. Mann. My grandfather was a Jackson. My family memebers are mixed. Some have light eyes, light skinned, good hair and some are dark skinned dark, eyes. Regardless I was told that my grandmother was indian with a white mixture. My family consists of Jacksons and Manns. Can someone help me?

    • Hi Alicia,

      Your family certain has Rampough names Jackson and Mann. Sound like you could possibly be a part of the Tribe, but I would not some more of your family history, and names of your ancestors with some estimated dates of birth. Please leave an email address where I can contact you.

  20. Posted by anonymous on March 18, 2009 at 7:51 PM

    About the hills people. Are they really violent and may be albino, and is inbreeding a possibility? My mother went to school in Englewood and has told me that she knew of people who would drive up there, insult the JWs, and then say that they were extremists and very unwelcoming. Is that true? My mom knows of names such as de Groet, de Fries, etc. Please send me information.

    • Why don’t you ask the current Queen of England if inbreeding is a possibility, after all she did marry her cousin. Also ask your mother about her ancestors that married each other and were related. Check out your own backyard before you inquire about someone else’s backyard. Maybe you might even find some African or Indian blood way down in those lines. Just remember everyone of you that are passing for white or think your white, do some history on your on lineage. You might be very surprised at what you will find.

      • Posted by Smarter than Carol De Groat on August 4, 2009 at 7:00 PM

        Ohh Carol,

        You are the negative stereotype of the Mountain Folk… all angry and confused! maybe you wanna try reading before you respond… you are attacking people looking for knowledge right along with the racists. you come off as uneducated, hateful, racist. maybe that is what you are going for? trying to make your own people look like a bunch of angry fools?

        everyone beware… there is a very angry bigot on the loose who hates all non ramapough.. don’t believe me? read her comments.. Carol De Groat is a waste of human.

  21. Posted by Chris on March 18, 2009 at 7:50 PM

    I also read your selection on the Ramapo Mountain People (“Jackson Whites”). These folks live all over the Ringwood, West Milford and Wanaque area. They are descendents of a tragically and needlessly outcast people. I have read and heard countless tales that portray these people as “insane, ungodly, dumb…” you get the picture. Most of these people are descended from the various people that worked the iron furnaces, iron ore mines and timber lines of the area nearly 300 years ago. Some were black slaves, native Lenape’s who matriculated to the white culture and some simply plain workers trying to eek out a living. They lived in tight quarters and tight communities. So needless to say, where’s a guy to find a wife out in the middle of nowhere 250 years ago? R-I-g-h-t…the woman you met at the iron mine. It’s been reported that the “Jackson” came from Andrew Jackson himself. Supposedly, he took all these people and made them live in permanent camps. Sounds familiar? Sure….how about Indian reservations?

    It is a shame about the Ford plant. I remember when it was in full swing. My dad attended Ramapo College and I used to go with him on Saturdays when I was a kid. More than the pollution, so many people lost their careers. Many of those people being the RMP’s.

    • You Sir are a dump jerk, and you post is not even worth following up on, because it reads just like an ignorant idiot wrote it.

      God Bless You and Help You,

  22. Posted by Kim on March 18, 2009 at 7:50 PM

    Okay, let me share my experience with the “Jackson Whites” , Ramapo Mountain people, whoever they want to be called. Evelyn feels that these people, her people are misunderstood and that people should do the research on their own, even meet them. Not a good idea- sorry Evelyn. This community is not the most welcoming, granted I understand them being cautious and wanting privacy, but they, at least the few I’ve encountered, were extremists. I had gone up Staghill on business, to investigate an allegation of child abuse. I contacted the local police dept. to let them know the situation. They knew off hand exactly who I was looking for and said they would meet me at the bottom of the hill.

    Now prior to me going there I had contacted the family and they were very belligerent and uncooperative. At the bottom of the hill, 5 police cars met me. 5! At first I thought they were going overboard and were exaggerating about what was to come. And they warned me several times, never to go up there alone. Driving up the dirt roads there were many side streets that were actually “drive ways” in this heavily forested area to each “home” which looked like shacks from my home, Jamaica. There were refrigerators and stripped cars all over the place. Even more so, there were hundreds and hundreds of chickens, which I found out later was for cock fighting and drinking. No electricity, but water. As soon as we pulled into the area of the home under investigation, a man came out with a shotgun and pointed it at us. We all ducked behind the cars as the police tried to negotiate with this insane man. He shot at us a couple of times then ran into the woods. Needless to say, the two little girls were removed from that area and placed with their mother in Englewood. The removal was a nightmare as well. The grandmother, who was some top matriarchal figure up there gave us hell. She tried to pour gasoline on me and the police, then tried to run away.

    She even tried to run in front of a moving car. She was screaming and spinning around and crying, I actually thought she was having a psychotic break on the spot. This did not have to go this far or end the way it did. Being cautious is one thing but being ignorant is another. These people had no regards for their children or themselves, it was very evident here. Now of course, the entire community may not be like this family, but this is not the first “Jackson White” I’ve had to investigate. Now Evelyn, make me understand what gave your people a right to threaten my life or the life of their children? Your right, I don’t understand. And for all those who want to visit that area to get a better “understanding”, DON’T. From my experiences, they don’t want any outsiders there or at the bottom of the hill in the apartment complex where many have now moved to. They are not willing to discuss anything w/ outsiders and they are armed

    • Kim,

      Your another typical caucasian jerk that is type classing the Ramapough Lenape Nation because you went up on Stag Hill once in your life time to investigate a child abuse claim and had an encounter with what a couple of people or did the whole Tribe of over 5,000 surround you and threaten your life. If it was only a couple of people, then you are a typical caucasian racist that is judging the whole Tribe because of your one bad encounter. I do thank my Creator that I have enough sense and compassion for mankind that I do not judge all caucasians on your ignorant remarks. Because if I did, I sure would think that all of you are idiots, but I know that’s not true, just some of the jerks writing on this blog are ignorant idiots.

  23. Posted by Ben on March 18, 2009 at 7:48 PM

    I was under the impression the the “Ramapo Mountain People” were no longer up there. It was lore from the 70’s. I am now under the impression they still live up there…is that correct? Thanks. Great stuff. Ben

    • Posted by lostinjersey on March 18, 2009 at 7:49 PM

      they definitely still live up there and have been in the news a lot lately, mostly due to the toxic waste left there by the Ford Motor Company.

      • Posted by Ben on March 18, 2009 at 7:49 PM

        I guess some of us don’t really view people as different until others point it out. When I was in the Army in the early 80’s at Ft. Benning in Georgia, we would help local communities clean the back roads and wooded areas. We would run across some “very interesting” people living back there in shacks. I didn’t really view them as different until a friend showed me the movie Deliverance and pointed out how “different” they were (his views). But, they were decent people who were poor for the most part who had adapted to a different way of life. I was very young at the time but I had grew up in public housing in NYC and I was accustomed to people not owning much and doing what they could to survive. Its not really that they’re different (looks, dress, etc), its the differences in how they go through life and believe in different things (inbreeding, moving around at night, etc).

        So, when I first heard of the Ramapo Mountain People a couple of years ago, I was fascinated, and I still am. Thanks for the info and I look forward to hearing more. If you can use any help in any way, let me know. I had my own marketing business for awhile. I now broker antiques and take care of my new born son. But, I have free time if you need any volunteers for any help on this project. Either way, good luck and thanks.

  24. Posted by Sam on March 18, 2009 at 7:46 PM

    I am writing you this e-mail just to inform you that not all the people who live in that area are WEIRD or CRAZY and to your friend who went there would you find it suspicious if a strange car was driving around your neighborhood ? what your friend fails to realize is they have been portrayed as inbred country bumpkins but, what they are is a private people. who have lost trust with people outside their community . can you blame them with articles, books denying their heritage making fun of their ancestry I just hope that in the future you will consider the sources of these story and the damage it does to a people

  25. Posted by Evelyn on March 18, 2009 at 7:45 PM

    Hello, My name is Mrs. Evelyn Connors. I just read your page about the Ramapo Mountain people. Now I must say your friend has an over active imagination. I am one of the Ramapo Mountain people . I don’t not live around that area but that is my heritage. The reason the Ramapo people have been denied rights is due to ignorance in the community and in the state. I didn’t grow up poor , My family is not incest, We have water and power and all modern appliances. It upsets me that the world can be so cruel towards things they know nothing about. I do find it funny how people such as yourself post things like this on the Internet for complete strangers to see . I bet you don’t know one person from that area , Do you ? what about your friend ? He seems to think that everyone will welcome him with open arms. He needs to be slapped for even being so stupid. Yes I do believe the Internet is about free speech, But do not speak about things you do not know. When you go to meet these people

    • Posted by lostinjersey on March 18, 2009 at 7:46 PM

      I would be interested in visitng the residents to see for myself what the deal is.

      • Posted by Evelyn on March 18, 2009 at 7:47 PM

        Well if you would like to go up there I will take you myself , You can ask questions or whatever you would like. I have also read the weird New Jersey magazine’s I am a subscriber. I have written to them also , They sent an apology letter back to me because the source from which they had received the information was not reliable. I assume you have read about Clinton Road also ? I can tell you most of those stories are not true. I lived on it and we always had kids wanting to hear some story about the boy and the coin or whatever it was they were in search of. I can tell you for a fact that there are KKK members and Devil worshipers you can see them at night . But back to the discussion at hand , There is a book about the Ramapo people have you read it ? If you haven’t I think you should pick it up and read it. It will help you understand things . There is a picture of a boy named Myron Van Dunk in the book Not to long after that picture was take he was killed in a horrible accident. A school bus hit him while he was riding his bike . There is an old man on the cover of the book that was my great great uncle. It truly is an interesting book It is Called the Ramapo People I believe it can be found in book stores such as Barnes and Noble or even on the net on Amazon.com well if you have any questions or anything like that feel free to E-mail me

        • Posted by George O ( elders,community leaders contact me) on April 28, 2009 at 1:55 PM

          Someone in the community PLEASE CONTACT ME. ELDERS, CHIEFS, COMMUNITY LEADERS>>>
          Or , if you know someone Who is in this capacity…Have them EMAIL ME ASAP>
          I AM THE DIRECTOR OF AN INDEPENDENT FILM COMPANY. FOR THE PEOPLE, BY THE PEOPLE.
          AGAINST SOCIAL INJUSTICE…AGAINST HATRED…
          I WANT TO HELP…. bring about the truth and the show the injustice that has gone on for too long
          with this community and the local government/TOXIC WASTER DUMPING of Big Corporations/
          and the LACK OF SUPPORT from the Bureau of Indian Affiars, ETC..
          i want to help show the world
          the BRILLIANCE, STRENGTH, BEAUTY, COURAGE and HARD WORK the RAMAPO PEOPLE have
          shown in the LAST 200 plus years and set the record straight.
          I AM OFFERING MY SERVICES FOR FREE.
          George
          gtoconnor@gmail.com

          • Dear Sir,

            Let me inform you that we do not need your help or anyone else’s help that is exercising their freedom of speech rights on this web. We are capable of taking care of ourselves regardless to what you or anyone else may believe. We have survived over 300 years in the Ramapough Mountains and I’m sure our relatives and descendants will survive another 300 years by the Grace of our Creater, but thank you so much for your so-called interest.

            • Posted by Smarter than Carol De Groat on August 4, 2009 at 7:06 PM

              if this all offends you so much, why not stop visiting the site. people come here to learn more about what interests them. instead of attacking the mean and the nice alike, why not take the time to actually read what was written before coming back in anger? didn’t occur to you eh?

              you are a low life who gives your tribe a bad name. get over yourself, you don’t speak for the whole tribe… ohh and by the way.. The Ramapough aren’t listed as a Tribe, because the government does not view mixed people as a tribe… so get over yourself and check yourself before you start telling people the facts… how sad.. you don’t know very much about your own culture so you attack those attempting to learn…

              my advice to you: see a good psychiatrist… you obviously need meds… maybe institutionalization…

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