Rod Leith is the Borough Historian of Rutherford and his involvement in historic preservation has had a lasting impact on Rutherford and Bergen County. He has been in the forefront of saving threatened structures and artifacts and educating the general public about the history that is right outside their doors. He writes a continuing column, "History Chest", for the South Bergenite weekly newspaper. Upon discovering the home in which William Carlos Williams lived on Ridge Road in Rutherford, he developed a tour focusing on historic homes and sites in the area that surround this world renowned poet.
Rod has been the chief proponent of the expansion and preservation of historic properties in Rutherford, including the expansion if the Ridge Road Historic District. He has been instrumental in adding properties to the town survey, which have both architectural and historic significance of Fairleigh S. Dickinson, was threatened with destruction by developers, he lead a group of residents to preserve this important estate in Rutherford.
Mr. Leith also served as a member of the board of the Meadowlands Museum, recently serving as its acting President.
As a member of the board, Rod was instrumental in helping to save many artifacts from being destroyed and displaying them in the museum's collection. When a former horse barn on Union Avenue was about to be destroyed, he worked with the owner and contractor to salvage the last remaining horse elevator in the area, a remnant of Rutherford's horse drawn age. That mechanical artifact now sits in the Meadowlands Museum's permanent collection, a great attraction for the many children who visit.
Rod has had a lasting impact on historic preservation in Bergen County and is a worthy recipient of the Preservation Leadership award. His dedication and work in historic preservation and education will have a lasting impact on generations to come.