Mahwah, New Jersey: Jackson Whites Legend

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Stag Hill - Vague Recollections

When I was young my uncle would take me to see the old iron mines along the Ramapo Mountains and in Ringwood. When we went up there we would run into what he called "Jackson Whites." What I remember was that they were a mixed-race people. At the time, I saw mostly African-American heritage with bronze skin, high structure cheek bones, and beautiful blue eyes. They looked to be very poor, had no electricity, hunted, and lived in rural houses. The whole area was densely populated but very private.

There was an accident on the road during one visit and many people were killed. I remember trying to help and viewed the reluctance of the police to get involved. I was 11 at the time.

This group of people struck me as being very unusual but I liked them. I never knew then that they were also Native American, as I was given the story by my uncle who repeated stories that were local legends only. I realize now that my first boyfriend lived at the base of what is Stag Hill and Mountain Road in Mahwah. He was a mix of Dutch and Native American and am thinking now that perhaps he was of the same group. His family lived in an older homestead in a row with others like it that were off to their own, removed from anything else. I never thought it odd then as things were more rural and undeveloped.

I only realized later on that the Stag Hill and Ringwood groups were one and the same and thought about this as I visited Ringwood yesterday (first time in over 35 years) wondering what became of all those "Jackson Whites." They are an important part of our history, and should be treated with admiration and respect.

[L Pastorino, 06/22/2013]
Stag Hill

Although I am not from Mahwah, I frequent Stag Hill. It is scenic and peaceful. In my experience the "Jackson White" legends are completely false! I have met many of the residents and they are very normal very friendly people. I don't know who came up with all of these stupid legends, but I think anyone who believes them is completely ignorant.

[jeepster, 05/02/2010]
Stag Hill - Jackson Whites Legend

Either you have never been on Stag Hill Road at all or it's been a long time since you have been up there.

What you will see if you come up Stag Hill Rd first is a beautiful community development of homes that Human being just like you live in. Not weird people or Jackson Whites. You will see Ramapough Lenape Indians living their lives and minding their own business. As you proceed up Stag Hill Road you see beautiful mountains of trees in the summer, then you will come to a playground for the children and our Tribal building across from the playground. As you go further up Stag Hill Road you will see beautiful homes, probably just like what you live in or better.

How would you like someone coming into your neighborhood calling you names and looking to find weird people. The only weird person here is the person that wrote that fantastic [tip] on this web page. I'm one of those weird people as you call us, and I will pray to our Creator that he will open the eyes of your understanding and help you to see that speaking badly about people that you know nothing about is a sin. God Bless your Sinful Soul.

[Carol D., 05/23/2009]
Stag Hill - "Jackson Whites" Legend

A very strange place indeed, off the highway, you can see a dirt road that leads up for what seems like a mile or two. Once you go up there, however, there is a very weird sense to it. "The Jackson Whites," as they are called by locals, inhabit this place, and are inbred. There are many houses (more like shacks) along this dirt path. These people are very strange, and will stare you down if you decide to visit them. I highly recommend that you go to this place with much caution, because it is said that they will shoot at you if you are seen by them.

[Ant, 05/13/2001]

The "Jackson Whites" live along the border of New York and New Jersey in the Ramapo Mountains, likely descended from a mix Native American, African American and white settlers, though the mix varies with each sensational story. The tales of "The Hills Have Eyes" genetics and danger are more a product of New Jerseyans mixing up their monster stories. An episode of The Sopranos added to the confusion when two not very bright characters talked about Jackson Whites living in South Jersey's Pine Barrens!

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