Imagine owning a painting by one of the greatest masters of all time and having no idea of its value. Or who really painted it. And especially if you ran into financial troubles.
Well, that’s exactly what happened to one of Paterson‘s wealthiest residents, Catholina Lambert, an English-born silk maker who was one of the nation’s premier art collectors and lived in Paterson at the beginning of the 19th century.
According to an article on JerseyDigs, Lambert was extremely prominent in the silk industry. What many do not realize is that Paterson was once a major hub for the silk industry. It used to be called “Silk City,” since many of its residents were millionaires in the silk business. Lambert was one of the wealthiest.
At some point, probably when the silk industry began to shrink, Lambert ran into financial problems and needed to raise money. He decided to sell some of his enormous art collection. One of the pieces that he sold was called the “Madonna and Child.” At the time, he believed that the painting was done by Leonardo da Vinci‘s assistant, Andrea Szalai.
In 1916, he sold the painting for $1,950, still a pretty big price tag for the time. Forty years later, a true artist was revealed. The painting had actually been done by da Vinci himself and priced it over $1 million. This certainly would have saved him from financial ruin.
Lambert’s mansion, the home for this expansive art collection, was named Belle Vista, and many prominent individuals of that era, including President McKinley, visited the Lambert family in their luxurious residence.
It was built in 1892-93. It still exists at 3 Valley Road in Paterson and is known as “The Lambert Castle,” or simply, “The Castle,” and has become a well-known landmark in North Jersey. It’s situated on Garret Mountain and has a stunning view overlooking the City of Paterson. As of this writing, it’s being restored.
Unfortunately, the magnificent art collection is no longer there as it was sold off in 1916. This was a true loss for the city of Paterson.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Judi Franco only.
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These are the best hiking spots in New Jersey
A trip to New Jersey doesn't have to be all about the beach. Our state has some incredible trails, waterfalls, and lakes to enjoy.
From the Pine Barrens to the Appalachian Trail to the hidden gems of New Jersey, you have plenty of options for a great hike. Hiking is such a great way to spend time outdoors and enjoy nature, plus it's a great workout.
Before you go out on the trails and explore some of our listeners' suggestions, I have some tips on hiking etiquette from the American Hiking Society.
If you are going downhill and run into an uphill hiker, step to the side and give the uphill hiker space. A hiker going uphill has the right of way unless they stop to catch their breath.
Always stay on the trail, you may see side paths, unless they are marked as an official trail, steer clear of them. By going off-trail you may cause damage to the ecosystems around the trail, the plants, and wildlife that live there.
You also do not want to disturb the wildlife you encounter, just keep your distance from the wildlife and continue hiking.
Bicyclists should yield to hikers and horses. Hikers should also yield to horses, but I’m not sure how many horses you will encounter on the trails in New Jersey.
If you are thinking of bringing your dog on your hike, they should be leashed, and make sure to clean up all pet waste.
Lastly, be mindful of the weather, if the trail is too muddy, it's probably best to save your hike for another day.
I asked our listeners for their suggestions of the best hiking spots in New Jersey, check out their suggestions: