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Why is Basking Ridge Called the Red Devils and Why are They Green?

Thanks to one family the Ridge High School became a reality in 1961, Read on about a great piece of local history.

The Mr. Local History project got a request the other day asking why is the Ridge High School sports program called the Red Devils and why are they using the color green? It’s a history thing. Lets take a look.

The story starts back in 1940 when the famed “Astor Estate” (the Bernards Township town hall) was sold to Mr. and Mrs. George Ludlow Lee, Sr. in 1940. The estate was actually called “Cedar Hill Farm” at the time. Mr. Lee was the owner/treasurer of the Red Devil Tool Company of Irvington from 1937 to 1950. He later became chairman of the board and renamed the company Red Devil, Inc.. The company is now based in Tulsa, Oklahoma and is actually run by CEO William (Bill) S. Lee who is the 4th generation Lee to lead the company. George was also an avid philatelist.

Cedar Hill Farm changes hands to the Lee’s of Maplewood. Source: Bville News
Mr. Local History Archives - George Ludlow Lee
George Ludlow Lee, President Red Devil Tool Company. Source: National Stamp Foundation

Mr. George L. Lee, Sr., his wife Dulciena Harrison Smith Lee, and his son George L. Lee, Jr. were originally from Maplewood, New Jersey. The family, along with their farmhand John Landon of Montclair moved into the estate on the week of June 4, 1940.

Basking Ridge aka Maplewood West

Mr. Lee served on the Bernards Township Planning Board and was its Vice Chairman in 1944.  He and his wife, Dulcinea Harrison Smith Lee, continued operation of the flourishing fruit farm, where local markets and roadside stands were supplied with the produce.

Cedar Hill School and Ridge High School

Lee had held on to many parcels of land around the Cedar Hill Farm. He chose to break up the land into various sections. In the mid-50s, Lee donated 60 acres of land to Bernards Township Board of Education to build both Cedar Hill School (Opened Oct. 27,1957) and Ridge High School with their associated athletic fields. He also donated the property to the Township where the War Memorial Park stands today.

Mr. Local History Archives - Astor Estate
1935 peach orchards at the original Owens Cedar Hill Farm is now the location of Astor Field next to Ridge High School.
Lee donated the land all the way over to the Cedar Hill School and down to the War Memorial Field. Source: In And Around Basking Ridge.

Locals know the name Lee as the Ridge High School field was also named after him as well as the high school mascot, the “Red Devil”. While the Red Devils are named after George Lee’s company, the color is green because rival Bernardsville already had red uniforms, so they chose green.

Bernards High School came before Ridge and since they had red, Ridge went with green. That’s why the Red Devil is actually green.
The colors of Ridge may be green and white, but that red devil is ALL RED!

Lee Field

Lee Field at the Ridge High School in Basking Ridge

Finally, when you go to a Ridge football, lacrosse, soccer, field hockey, track or band event, did you know you’re at Lee Field? Well now you know why it’s called Lee Field.

Here’s the RHS first year football release in 1961. Source: 9/21/1961 Bville News – Click image to enlarge.
Liberty Corner ALMOST had the Red Devil Tool Company World Headquarters. Source: Bville News 1969

So Now You Know

The Ridge Red Devils honor the legacy and donations from the Lee Family
The Ridge Red Devils honor the legacy and donations from the Lee Family

Did we get it right?

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