Created by an Act of the State Legislature on March 15, 1738 separating it from Hunterdon County, the county derived its name from Colonel Lewis Morris, then Governor of the Province of NJ. The county is known as the "Military Capital of the Revolution", and each of its 39 municipalities played some part in the war effort and contains something of historical importance to this day. Preserving this proud heritage falls to the Morris County Heritage Commission, Historical Society and numerous other groups.
While Kinnelon was incorporated as a borough in 1922, it wasn't until 1976 when its formal history was written. Kinnelon resident Lucy Meyer was listening when the committee head explaining that Kinnelon couldn't be a bicentennial town because it had no history.
Meyer notes that are certain significant aspects in the history of the Kinnelon area that are relevant to the American Revolution. The great Charlotteburg Furnace Tract consists of several charcoal furnaces and iron mines along the Pequannock River. The Long Pond Iron Works was a key player in the Revolutionary War because Robert Erskine, George Washington's key surveyor, posted his own militia there. This was the first organized militia in New Jersey, trained primarily by Erskine for the protection of the furnaces against raiding British soldiers.
Eventually the great iron furnaces that consumed an acre of trees a day gave way to the more environmentally-gentle farms in the 1800s. New Dutch settlers established the famous farms that are the origins of many names seen today; the famous Mead farm was home to the Butternut Tree, the Meadtown Shopping Plaza and the old Meadtown school, which was built in 1839 and is now L'Ecole, or the Kinnelon Museum. Meyer says, "The first council meetings were held there while Kinnelon was in the process of becoming a borough."
Much of Kinnelon's history has to do with its natural environment, which offers its own unusual elements that distinguish Kinnelon. Meyer notes that about 8,000-12,000 years ago the departing Wisconsin glacier left behind the entire Pyramid Mountain area, considered a unique geological area, and was the reason, she explains, and “that everyone has worked so hard to preserve it."
Photo of Silas Condict Park