(above photo: Admiral Rogers House, Morristown)
Boonton Township is a pastoral community comprised of approximately 8 square miles nestled among the rolling hills and fields of the Rockaway Valley in north central Morris County. Boonton Township has managed to preserve much of its natural character and rural charm despite development pressure from neighboring municipalities, which today makes Boonton Township one of the more desirable communities in Morris County.
Before aviation pioneer Lt. Jimmy Doolittle made his first official recorded “blind flight” on Long Island in 1929, he practiced here on a local airfield for a year. His trainer plane that made history was parked at Aircraft Radio Corporation's hangar here. Doolittle relied on Aircraft Radio Corp.’s cutting-edge radio range receiver and gadgetry to make blind take-offs and landings possible on farmland transformed into an airfield with 2,500-foot-long main runway. By 1933, the aviation corporation’s equipment was installed in the first Air Force and Navy fighter squadrons.
Richard Butler, a hardworking businessman from New York travelled to what was known as West Bloomingdale and bought into an existing rubber factory. In 1879, he became the president of the Rubber Comb and Jewelry Company (later named the Butler Hard Rubber Company.) In 1881, a post office was built and named "Butler" to honor Richard Butler, whose improvements to the Rubber Mill caused the extensive growth of the town. Shortly after, the existing railroad stop had its name changed to the Butler Railroad Station. The expanding hard rubber factory drew in hundreds of workers, and many of them decided to live and build in this one-time vacation spot. Roads were laid out, homes, stores, a hotel and a public hall were built and land was donated by Richard Butler for the Butler Methodist Church, Saint Anthony's Church and to the Board of Education. The Legislature took notice of the expansion and separated it from Pequannock by making it a Borough on March 13, 1901.
The story of Butler is written in rubber. The author was Richard Butler, who amassed a rubber manufacturing empire here, forming the Rubber Comb and Jewelry Company in 1876. The company later became the Butler Hard Rubber Company and in 1882 purchased more than 70 acres of farmland for residential development for his workers. Ultimately, when the borough was incorporated in 1901, Butler agreed to have the municipality named after him.
In 1680 Sir George Carteret paid the native Lenape the equivalent of $55 for land that included the area of Chatham. John Day established a tavern that became well-known among travelers. There were several mills south of the Day’s Bridge and the village became a center for residents of outlying areas. People came to barter goods, have their grain ground, and lumber sawed. They visited the all-important blacksmith to have their horses shod and they attended church.
The character of Chatham Borough still reflects its early roots. The town grew as real estate developers purchased land and built homes for commuters in the early part of the 20th Century. Within the Borough’s 2.4 square miles, there are residential areas reflecting the wide range of housing styles popular in America in the late-nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, plus a charming central business district on Main Street,
There are numerous annual events which Chatham Borough celebrates and preserves its small town character, including the Fishing Derby at Kelley’s Pond, the Fishawack Festival, the Fourth of July Parade, and the Green Fair. In addition, a Farmers Market operates at the Railroad Station from late June to mid-November, providing shoppers with the opportunity to buy New Jersey-grown produce, locally-baked goods, meat and fish, and other foodstuffs.
How did Gen. George Washington fool the British to believe he was going to attack the Redcoats in New York in August 1781? He baked bread. Some 3,000 loaves a day in a 65-foot-long shed he ordered his troops to build to house the multiple brick oven operation on land that’s now Shepard Kollock Park in Chatham. Washington, who stayed in Chatham for three days that month, sent three regiments to guard and help the bakery staff, giving the appearance of an imminent attack. Instead, Washington and between 2,000 to 3,000 troops made way to Yorktown, Virginia, where the Continental Army defeated General Cornwallis in October 1781. Meanwhile, Shepard Kollock, a first lieutenant, served as the Continental Army’s chief propagandist, publishing the first copy of the New Jersey Journal in Chatham during the war.
In 1806, the Township of Chatham was incorporated and included the areas that are now the Borough of Chatham, Madison and Florham Park. It was named Chatham in honor of Sir William Pitt, the elder Earl of Chatham, who had spoken in favor of the colonists in Parliament prior to the Revolutionary War.
These areas were connected by turnpikes and toll roads originally built by private corporations to transport their goods to market. Local residents later built Shunpike Road to avoid paying toll, literally "to shun the pike" and its tolls. The most important transportation development was the coming of the Morris and Essex Railroad in 1837. This led to sharp increases in the population, which resulted in incorporating Chatham, Madison and Florham Park as separate boroughs.
Located in Chatham Township and adjacent Long Hill, Harding and into Somerset County, the 7,768 acre Great Swamp National Wildlife Refuge was the first wilderness area to be established by the Department of the Interior in 1964. Now there are 560. Here, natural resources are conserved and threatened and endangered species and their habitats are protected. The refuge has become an important resting and feeding area for more than 244 species of birds. fox, deer, muskrat, turtles, fish, frogs and a wide variety of wildflowers and plants can be found on the refuge. It took a four-year battle to create the refuge, rescuing the landscape from a proposed international jetport in the swamp, with four 10,000-foot runways that would have filled in the swamp and reduced hundreds of homes to rubble.
European settlers arrived in the Denville area as early as 1690. These early settlers were Dutch and English from Long Island, Quakers from Philadelphia, and Germans. William Penn and other investors began to survey and stake out lands in the Denville area in 1715. Between 1730 and 1760, several forges and mills were erected in Denville along the Rockaway River and the Denbrook. A number of communities associated with the forges and mills emerged. Denville village developed around the Job Allen Iron Works. Early developers of Denville, such as the Hussa family and A.B Crane & Co. shaped the residential and lake communities.
The home of the noteworthy William Winds, who was a Continental Army colonel and brigadier general of the militia during the Revolutionary War. In 1765, he was a justice of the peace, working for the king, when the British Parliament imposed a tax colonists would have to pay to use legal papers and newspapers, among other things, printed on stamped paper produced in London. Winds scoffed at that idea, swapping the bark of the white birch for the stamped paper. In 1776, he represented Morris County in the general assembly and was a delegate to the Provincial congress that assembled in New Brunswick in 1776. He is also known for arresting the governor of New Jersey, William Franklin, the last of the royal governors.
Dover was incorporated as a village in 1826 and on April 1, 1869 as a Town. In its past, Dover has had extensive iron and mill works, machine shops, stove, furnace, and range works, boiler and bridge works, rolling mills, drill works, knitting and silk mills, and a large hosiery factory, MacGregors. Today, Dover has a large Hispanic population with the largest concentrations being of Mexican, Colombian, Dominican and Puerto Rican ancestry. Hispanics have been a demographic majority since 1980.
The community of Dover is centered around a developed downtown area filled with many eateries. A vast percentage of these are owned and run by Hispanics of various countries, and feature their ethnic food. Dover is a haven for diverse eating experiences, from sushi, pizza, and coffee shops, to popular Irish and Italian food places. The majority of these venues are located in and around the business district of Blackwell Street. On every Sunday from April to December, there is a flea market downtown along Blackwell Street and Basset Highway. Dover has been described as a walking town, as most parts of town are within a 1/2 mile of the downtown area.
On every Sunday from April to December, there is a flea market downtown along Blackwell Street and Basset Highway. Dover has been described as a walking town, as most parts of town are within a 1/2 mile of the downtown area.
Dover, an entertainment destination that drew the likes of Grover Cleveland, Mark Twain, Thomas Edison and Babe Ruth, had the most renowned playhouse in New Jersey once upon a time – the Baker Theater. Opening its doors in 1906, the 1,146-seat premier venue was built by mining mogul William H. Baker for $75,000, which is equivalent to a price tag of about $1.9 million today. The Baker housed picture shows which were shown at 7 p.m. followed by five acts of vaudeville at 8 p.m. A seven-piece orchestra played for both the picture and stage shows. It was a draw for many stage and screen actors, including DeWolfe Hopper, Helen Hayes, Lillian Russell, Ethel Barrymore, Lou Costello, Joe Cook, George Burns and Gracie Allen and Harry Houdini. It underwent extensive remodeling and various facelifts and changed hands over the years and is still in operation for live acts.
On August 13, 1708, several thousand acres were sold by the Lenape natives for 30 pounds silver, 10 strands of water blankets, 15 kettles, 20 axes, 20 hoes, 10 duffel blankets, a half barrel of wine, 1 barrel of rum, 1 barrel of cider,3 files, 1 gun beer, 1 auger, 4 pistols, 4 cutlasses, 10 guns, 100 bars of lead, 1/2 barrel of powder, 10 white blankets, 20 shirts, and 100 knives to the area's first settlers.
Unique among towns, East Hanover is defined by the joining of two rivers, the Whippany to the west and north and the Passaic to the east and north. This geographic effect led to the early name of East Hanover, "Hanover Neck." Since the creation of Hanover Township in 1720, its size has been decreased as the population of the area has increased. Originally encompassing Morris County and parts of Sussex and Warren County, Hanover Township became unwieldy for a single local government as time passed. The members of the government felt that Hanover Township needed to break apart into smaller towns that could provide more responsive local control, even if it meant increased taxes to support new facilities for each.
As pastor of Presbyterian Church here on Mount Pleasant Avenue from 1746 to 1790, the Rev. Jacob Green was one of the most highly regarded voices for the American Revolution. He generated public support for independence from the pulpit and his sermons were well known as were his pleas for the abolition of slavery. Green served as a Morris County representative to the Provincial Congress of New Jersey in May 1776. While there, he served on the constitutional committee that drafted the Constitution of New Jersey that was adopted on July 2, 1776. The current church was built in 1834, replacing Green’s church built in 1755.
The secret of Hanover’s past and present success is the commitment to fostering economic growth while preserving open space and parkland areas, providing excellent educational and recreational opportunities, and most important - responding to residents' needs. It is this commitment to good government that has shaped Hanover Township into what it is today- a thriving community, proud of its past and eager to continue its tradition of stability and excellence in government.
The first television broadcast took shape in the Whippany on April 7, 1927. On that day, then Secretary of Commerce Herbert Hoover spoke over the telephone in Washington and was seen as well as heard in the Bell Telephone Laboratories in New York. Then a radio program was broadcast over the laboratories’ experimental station in the Whippany section of the township. The moving images of performers as well as the sound of their voices aired and were transferred to a television screen in New York City. The first demonstrated telecasts showed television's great potential.
While Kinnelon was incorporated as a borough in 1922. There 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 Col. 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.
Much of Kinnelon's history has to do with its natural environment, which offers its own unusual elements that distinguish Kinnelon. About 8,000-12,000 years ago the departing Wisconsin glacier left behind the entire Pyramid Mountain area, considered a unique geological area.
One of the significant furnace and iron mining operations during the Revolutionary War was the Long Pond Iron Works here. It was deemed so important, Col. Robert Erskine, George Washington’s key surveyor and map maker, posted his own militia there. This was the first organized militia in New Jersey. It’s duty was to protect furnaces against raiding British soldiers.
The area formerly known as Beavertown that was taken from part of Pequannock Township was renamed Lincoln Park in 1871. Much of the land was developed by the draining of the Bog and Vly Meadows in the Beaver Brook area, known for the numerous beaver that inhabited the local waterways.
Another important Revolutionary War tavern with a historic link to George Washington is John Dods Tavern, built circa 1770. It still stands and is listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. Washington’s officers wrote to the General about the tavern along the route connecting West Point to Morristown, and his soldiers bought food and drink there. There’s even been some written speculation that Washington stopped in.
Long Hill Township
Long Hill Township, Morris County's southeastern most municipality, is named for a ridge of the Watchung Mountains. The township also encompasses parts of the Great Swamp and the Passaic River valley.
European settlers first arrived here during the 1730s. They farmed, established mills on the Passaic River in what would become Millington, and used the natural resources of the Great Swamp. The early trail that became Long Hill Road was their principal highway. These scattered settlements became part of Morris Township in 1740, including a region of southern Morris Township known as "Long Hill". During the Revolution, local men served in the militia, and householders provided supplies to the troops at Jockey Hollow. The Continental Army placed a beacon at a high point on the long ridge to warn of enemy troop movements.
Throughout the nineteenth century, Long Hill was a sparsely populated farming community with centers of activity in the villages of Millington and Meyersville. The latter was named for Kasper Meyer, one of several German immigrant farmers who had arrived here early in the century. In 1992 the community changed its name to Long Hill Township. Today, despite commercial and suburban development, Long Hill has many historic structures ranging from eighteenth century farmhouses to the twenty-first century September 11 monument.
The town was a magnet for a diverse skilled workforce in 1897, the Stirling Silk Mill Manufacturing Co., attracting immigrants from Italy, Poland, Switzerland, France and Syrians from Armenia, joining the Irish, German, English and Dutch newcomers of the 1700s. At the time there were close to 85 buildings operating at the site. More workers triggered more housing, changing the face of the township. The U.S. Hammered Piston Ring Corp. moved into the old buildings between 1938-39 and later was home to General Air Products Co. which was destroyed by fire. None of the buildings now stand.
Mendham Borough is located in suburban Morris County, New Jersey and is located 40 miles west of mid-town Manhattan. Incorporated as a borough by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on May 15, 1906, Mendham Borough's population is 5,097. Known for its rich historic charm and quaintness, Mendham Borough is known for noted landmarks such as the Phoenix House which serves as the Borough's Municipal Building and the Black Horse Inn across the road from it.
As a Revolutionary War captain in charge of the local Minutemen militia, David Thompson wasn’t popular with the local Tories loyal to the king. Neither was Thompson’s wife Hannah, or so the story goes. According to local lore, she didn’t take kindly to an old Tory who liked to stop by and give her husband grief for siding with the rebels. On what was perhaps his last visit to the Thompson house, he turned his tirade on the missus, who was home alone. She doused him with a bucket of hot water. The West Main Street house built in 1765 was a warm safe haven for starving soldiers struggling to survive in Jockey Hollow during the harsh winter of 1779. Thompson helped raise men, money, and arms for the cause, and served as a judge of the Court of Common Pleas of Morris County, from 1778 to 1799. He died in 1824. The house is still standing.
The township was originally formed on March 29, 1749, from portions of Hanover, Morris and Roxbury Townships. After the Revolutionary War, on February 21, 1798, the township was incorporated by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature as one of the state's initial group of 104 townships. Portions of the township were taken to create Randolph Township on January 1, 1806. Mendham Borough became an independent municipality when it was formed on May 15, 1906.
It was called Jersey Lightening. A distilled intoxicating concoction named applejack and commonly known as apple whiskey. The hooch made Mendham Township famous and of the many cider mills cranking it out between the early 19th century and Prohibition, Thomas Laughlin’s water-powered cider mill on Mendham Road was the most legendary. The three-story rubblestone Nesbitt mill opened as a grist mill in 1848, was converted to a cider mill in 1908 and closed in the 1930s thanks to the Prohibition. It’s now fully functional and operates as the Ralston Cider Mill Museum.
The Township of Mine Hill is a beautiful residential community located in the northwest corner of Morris County. Now a thriving suburban community, Mine Hill was once a active mining center, with the first mining occurring in the early 1700s. The Dickerson Mine was owned and operated by Mahlon Dickerson, New Jersey's 12th Governor (1815-1817) and Secretary of the U.S. Navy (1834-1838) and his family, and was the largest iron ore mine in the area. The mine supplied much of the ore used during the Revolutionary War period. At one time the township boasted some of the richest iron ore mines in the country. The last of the mines closed during the late 1960s. With a current population of over 3,500, Mine Hill continues to expand its services and facilities, while maintaining its small town feel.
The Dickerson Mine was one of the oldest and most renowned mines in New Jersey. The first iron mine registered in the state in 1713 supplied much of the iron ore used during the American Revolutionary War, and played a major role in the thriving local iron industry for some 200 years. After the Dickerson family acquired the mine, Mahlon Dickerson became it’s most famous owner and local resident, serving as the 12th governor of New Jersey in 1815-1817 and later serving as U.S. Secretary of the Navy until 1838. The mine was part of Randolph Township until Mine Hill Township separated from Randolph in 1923.
Montville Township was first settled by Dutch farmers from New Amsterdam in the early 18th century. The town was originally called "Uyle-Kill,” a name given to the creek and valley, which ran through the area. By the 1740s, the settlement had grown in size and construction of the first road was begun. The early road connected various farms with Montville’s first grist mill, saw mill and tanneries.
During the Revolutionary War Montville was a major military route from Morristown to the Hudson River. General Washington's troops often took this route and Washington stayed in Montville in June 1780. The French troops under the leadership of General Rochambeau also passed through Montville on their way to the War's final victory at Yorktown. Montville was officially named with specific boundaries April 1800. The name came from the Mandeville Inn, which was established around 1770 and was pronounced "Mondeveil" by the Dutch, which in turn was corrupted to Montville.
The construction of the Morris Canal in this area was completed in 1828, bringing commercial navigation to Montville. The mid-19th century saw the development of two smaller village centers set apart from Montville: Pine Brook and Towaco.
Gen. George Washington stayed in the Dutch stone Henry Doremus House on Main Road in June 1780 in between fighting the Redcoats in Springfield. Alexander Hamilton joined him. At the time, he and his soldiers were protecting a shipment of war supplies being carted to West Point. The Colonial Army and French allies under General Rochambeau camped on the property in August 1781 while heading to Yorktown.
This suburban bedroom community has direct train access to New York City just 30 mile east. The community is known as the "community of caring", and offers outdoor concerts in summer, fireworks on July 4th and a Memorial Day parade. Also home to a 9/11 memorial, charming library, a downtown shopping area and lots of passive recreation space.
Homer Calvin Davenport, one of the most influential and highly paid political cartoonists of his time, credited with establishing the flag-festooned Uncle Sam, called Morris Plains home at the turn of the last century. Red Gables was located on Tabor Road, where he entertained Thomas Edison and Buffalo Bill and kept his stable of renowned Arabian horses. Working for newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst he helped elevate the might of the political cartoon, creating social commentaries that made corrupt abusers of power tremble. His most famous work – Uncle Sam tapping then-underdog presidential candidate Teddy Roosevelt for the White House with the caption, “He’s good enough for me.” – has been called the greatest vote-generating cartoon, helping Roosevelt win. Davenport died in 1912 at 45. Red Gables eventually was reduced to rubble and the property paved over for a corporate parking lot.
While Mount Arlington is now mostly a developing suburban residential community, it was once a thriving resort town. In the era before the world wars and the advent of air travel, it was a welcome respite for the residents of New York City. Every summer thousands would arrive by train at Landing Station, and then travel by water taxi across Lake Hopatcong to the area's many large resort hotels to escape the city heat and enjoy the famous “Mount Arlington breeze” which always cooled the summer evenings. There was also a major amusement park, Bertrand Island, which featured a world famous carousel and roller coaster.
In 1885, a group of visionary business, civic and railroad leaders stood on the east shore of Lake Hopatcong, wondering what it would take to transform the untouched land into a fairy tale-like getaway. The result was the magical Hotel Breslin, now considered the most pivotal trigger for the area’s growth as a resort destination. It opened its doors in 1887. The four-story 300-room hotel 185 feet above the lake dominated the landscape with its stained glass windows, yellow exterior and red roof. It attracted millionaires, mansions and celebrities. It was the first development on Lake Hopatcong with electricity. It closed during World War II and ultimately was destroyed by a fire in 1948.
The Township of Mount Olive was formed by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 22, 1871 from portions of Roxbury Township. Netcong was formed from portions of the township on October 23, 1894. Budd Lake, a population of 8,968, is a census-designated place and unincorporated area located within Mount Olive Township. Flanders is an unincorporated area within the Township.
Salmonella Disease got its name from an innovative scientist born here in 1850. Daniel Elmer Salmon went to the district’s school and was both a member of Cornell University’s first graduating class in 1868 and received Cornell’s first doctor of veterinary medicine degree. He also was the first director of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Animal Industry and president of the American Veterinary Medical Association and American Public Health Association. In 1885, Salmon was the administrator of the USDA research program that isolated and identified the type bacterium that would be named after him.
In 1910, Mountain Lakes was a rural woodland owned by a few families with names such as Righter, Grimes, Ball and Van Duyne. In the space of ten years, however, the entire face of Mountain Lakes changed from a wilderness of Dutch and English properties to a planned suburban community of large stucco houses now affectionately known as "Lakers."
The Herbert Hapgood model homes were early forerunners of the modern development, but each house was modified to suit individual tastes. To the basic styles of these houses, Hapgood added colonial and craftsman features. He reversed floor plans, and inter-changed architectural details. Today, the grand gardens have been simplified, houses have been renovated and the servants are gone. Still, the essential character of the Lakers in their environment remains.
The town was planned as a residential lake community to attract prosperous middle-class city-dwellers seeking convenient rail access to New York City. Brooklyn developer Herbert J. Hapgood, collaborating with surveyor Lewis Van Duyne, presented plans for model homes along a branch of the Lackawanna Railroad. The Hapgood homes followed aesthetic principles embraced by the noted furniture maker and American Arts and Crafts guru, Gustav Stickley - a Parsippany resident. The designs stressed simple forms in harmony with the landscape, and the use of indigenous materials. Approximately 560 homes were built, and the local residents have instituted preservation measures to discourage demolition of the historic homes situated along the man-made lakes that Hapgood and Van Duyne created for the town in 1911.
The Borough of Netcong is nestled in the mountains of Morris County. Rich in history, tradition and exceptional natural beauty, Netcong Borough provides tree-lined streets, buildings from Victorian and other eras, and the splendor of historic landmarks. Netcong received its name from the Musconetcong River, named by the Lenape Native Americans. It maintains a small town appearance with a bustling Main Street enhanced by Lake Musconetcong on its perimeter. Netcong is in the forefront of children’s theater, home to the Growing Stage Theater.
For about 140 years, Netcong and the surrounding areas were associated with the production of iron. Opening in 1831, the Morris Canal was a manmade transportation link connecting the Pennsylvania anthracite coalfields, the iron mines and the ironworks of northern New Jersey. Many of the structures remaining in town today were built as the area’s housing and commercial areas developed in the 1840s. The Morris and Essex Railroad was extended from Dover to Netcong in 1853. Originally, Netcong’s Main Street was laid out as an access road between Stanhope and the rail depot. The nearby railroad made it possible for summer residents to commute between their lakeside bungalows on beautiful Lake Musconetcong and work in New York City. Although the historic iron furnace and summer bungalows are gone, many elements of the canal and 19th century commercial areas survive which attract visitors and residents alike.
Lake Musconetcong, a man-made body of water fed by the Musconetcong River, gave Netcong its name. The river first drew settlers to the area between 1790 and 1800 and they used its water to power local forges. The river also fed the Morris Canal beginning in the 1830s, a vital transportation route for shipping iron. In 1853 the Morris and Essex Railroad was extended from Dover to Netcong which improved freight and passenger service to the area. As local industry boomed Irish and Italian immigrants arrived to work at the Singer Foundry, built on the old Musconetcong Ironworks site. Skilled masons and contractors played a major role in the construction of many local, distinctive stone, brick, and stucco homes. Italians were the largest ethnic group, followed by Irish, Germans, English, Poles, Dutch, and Swedes. The Singer Manufacturing factory closed in 1928.
Parsippany-Troy Hills was incorporated as a township by an act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 12, 1928, from portions of Hanover Township. In 2006, Parsippany-Troy Hills was recognized by Money magazine as the 17th-ranked of the Best Places to Live in the United States, the highest-ranked location in New Jersey. In 2008, it moved up to 13th position.
Craftsman Farms was founded in 1908 by noted designer Gustav Stickley as a farm and school for the Arts and Crafts movement. It remained in use until 1915 when it was sold to a family and became a private house. It is a national historic landmark site. When threatened by development in 1989, the home was purchased by the Township of Parsippany-Troy Hills. The log house features Craftsman-style furniture and decorative items in the living room, dining room and bedrooms. Craftsman Farms is one of four National Historic Landmarks in Morris County.
Gustav Stickley was an icon of the famous Arts and Crafts Movement and is known for his famed furniture. Parsippany was his home in the early part of the last century. It’s known as Stickley’s Craftsman Farms, a chestnut log cabin country estate that is now a national landmark and public museum. Stickley bought the property in 1908, planning on creating a boys crafts school. But when the school plans fizzled, Stickley and his family moved in, living there from 1910 to 1917, when financial troubles forced him to sell the property. The home was ultimately bought by the township and turned into a museum.
Pequannock is thought to have been derived from the Lenape Native American word "Paquettahhnuake," meaning, "cleared land ready or being readied for cultivation". The Pompton area has been cited by some sources to mean "a place where they catch soft fish".
The name for the area goes back at least as far as March 1, 1720, when it was referred to as "Poquanick", a precinct in Hunterdon County. It was formed as "Poquanock Township" on March 25, 1740 as one of the largest townships in the region. Pequannock was once a vast 176-square-mile region of rural farmland settled by the Dutch after its purchase by Arent Schuyler and associates in 1695 and 1696. The township was incorporated by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature as one of New Jersey's initial group of 104 townships on February 21, 1798.
The ironworks once located here north of the falls, above what is today the Hamburg Turnpike was a bustling forge operation with a diverse workforce. English, Belgian, Scottish and German workers were imported to work in the mines. Plenty who planted roots here tied the knot with the Dutch, Native Americans and African-Americans living here. In 1777, the forge supplied 7,000 cannonballs each up to 18 pounds to General Henry Knox for the war. Ultimately, the ironworks changed hands and stopped operating in 1907.
Randolph was inhabited by the Lenape Indians, settled by Quakers, and served as a supply point for Washington’s army during its winter in nearby Jockey Hollow. The township’s historical landmarks include the Liberty Tree that began growing in 1720, the 1869 Bryant Distillery (famed for its apple jack), and the 1924 Millbrook School, now rehabilitated and in use as offices.
In 1713, New Jersey’s first iron mine was registered and it was located in Randolph. The iron industry, which continued to thrive for the next 200 years, played an important part in the development of Randolph.
Following the Civil War Randolph reverted to a largely agricultural economy. Inexpensive land attracted newcomers. Families, disillusioned with urban life, came here from New York City around 1900. They established farms and a vital community that exists today. At this time, Randolph also started becoming a popular resort community. Two of its largest resorts, Ackerman’s Hotel and Saltz’s Hotel, survived into the 1970s.
The Randolph Quaker Meeting House, built in 1758, is the oldest existing house of worship in Morris County and its members were at the forefront of the anti-slavery movement. One member freed his slaves in 1776 and three members – Hartshorn Fitz Randolph and Isaac Hance – were among the founders of the first anti-slavery society of New Jersey. In 1839 the greatest of the Randolph Quaker abolitionists, Jacob Lundy Brotherton, helped found the New Jersey State Anti- Slavery Society. The house was added to the New Jersey Register of Historic Places and the National Register of Historic Places in 1973.
Riverdale was incorporated as a borough by an Act of the New Jersey Legislature on March 12, 1923, from portions of Pequannock Township, subject to the results of a referendum passed on April 17, 1923. In the 2010 census the population was 3,559. The borough has a total area of 2.087 square miles including 2.015 square miles of land and 0.072 square miles of water.
Slater’s Mill traces its roots to the early 1700s, when a grist mill operated on the property. Five years after a fire destroyed the mill, and a new one was built, Joseph Slater bought it in 1849 and converted the operation into a felt factory. After his death in 1871, his son, Robert, took over and expanded the business, employing 16 workers who produced a steady supply of hatter’s furs. A major buyer was the famous J.B.Stetson. Who hasn’t heard of the Stetson hat? With large crowns, wide brims and Old West flair, the hats were worn by the likes of the first Lone Ranger, Clayton Moore, country singer Gene Autry and John Wayne. Fueled by water, the mill lost its source of power in 1903 when a dam at the mill’s pond was destroyed by a flood. The long vacant mill is on the State and National Registers of Historic Places.
Driving through Rockaway you sense history, but now only hints of the heritage remain. Early in the 1900s there were two railroads, a trolley line, iron foundry, bicycle factory, and the Morris Canal. When Rockaway was incorporated, separate from the township in 1894, the history of mills, forges, and general merchandise was long established.
By the 1830s the population of the village had grown to four hundred residents. The Rockaways' growth boomed with the construction of the Morris Canal which ran through the center of the community. The Canal brought coal from Pennsylvania to feed the forges of the Rockaways and Morris County; iron and local produce were then transported to Newark and New York City.
All U.S. Presidents have bodyguards. George Washington had Captain Steven Jackson, who lived here. While a historic marker identifying the location of the Stephen Jackson House at 40 Main Street notes that Jackson provided the General with refreshments in 1780, it’s believed Washington, while inspecting nearby mining operations, likely stayed in Jackson’s home for a couple of days. The original eighteenth century wing was removed in 1867, but the 1816 Federal wing remains.
Driving through Rockaway you sense history, but now only hints of the heritage remain. Early in the 1900s there were two railroads, trolley line, iron foundry, bicycle factory, and the Morris Canal. When Rockaway incorporated, separate from the township in 1894, the history of mills, forges, and general merchandise was long established.
By the 1830s the population of the village had grown to four hundred residents. The Rockaways' growth boomed with the construction of the Morris Canal which ran through the center of the community. The Canal brought coal from Pennsylvania to feed the forges of the Rockaways and Morris County; iron and local produce were then transported to Newark and New York City.
Call him one of the most famous arms dealer of the 18th Century. He was John Jacob Faesch and his home here still stands. The 12-room Ford-Faesch Manor House was built between 1768 and 1770 by Jacob Ford Jr., whose Morristown mansion served as General George Washington’s winter headquarters in 1779. Swiss mining engineer and ironmaster John Jacob Faesch lived there while overseeing a massive furnace operation that served as the biggest supplier of ammunition for Washington’s troops. Washington stayed there, too.
Roxbury Township was founded in 1740 and has a rich heritage. Originally a center for iron mining and forges that supplied George Washington and the Continental Army, the community grew with the cutting of roads east and west and the building of the Morris Canal in 1827. Roxbury was a major hub for the Canal, with Lake Hopatcong as a water source. Four Canal inclined planes and two locks were located within Roxbury, with many businesses established during the 19th century to service the Morris Canal users.
Local explosives plants, such as Hercules, would supply dynamite for the mines and railroad building and employ generations of Roxbury Township residents. By the 1880s the Railroad would overtake the Morris Canal for commercial transportation and Roxbury exploded in growth with two competing rail lines. By 1890 Roxbury was "the gateway" to the busy resorts of Lake Hopatcong, which remained one of the region's most popular summer destinations for over 60 years. The coming decades brought a "boom time" of new train stations, schools, homes and businesses, yet always in an orderly way.
Here is the location of the former gunpowder, dynamite and ammunitions plant that helped the United States military win two world wars. Originally opening in 1871 to provide dynamite to iron mining operations, Hercules Inc., based in Delaware, at one time employed 6,000 at its 1,200-acre Roxbury site. The company was responsible for developing the first bazooka rocket propellant. After two explosions in 1934 killed six workers, powerful blasts triggered by the explosion of 297,000 pounds of gunpowder in 1940 rocked the entire area, leveling nearby buildings, shattering windows for miles and sending shaking, bouncing cars off the road. When the dust settled, 51 workers were dead and more than 200 people were injured. The plant closed in 1996.
Victory Gardens was incorporated as a borough on June 20, 1951, from portions of Randolph Township, subject to the results of a referendum passed on September 18, 1951.
The borough is named for the Victory gardens planted at private residences during World War II. As of the 2000 Census, Victory Gardens is Morris County's smallest municipality, measured both by size and population, and its most densely populated. The origins of the borough began in 1941, when the federal government acquired 91 acres in Randolph Township as the site of a 300-unit housing project for war industry employees. The federal government paid for all infrastructure. Streets are named for United States Presidents.
Victory Gardens was a product of patriotism six months after the bombing of Pearl Harbor in1941. It was named for the Victory gardens planted at homes during World War II and its streets are named after U.S. Presidents. Ramping up wartime production, the federal government created a 300-unit housing project for workers mostly at Picatinny Arsenal on 91 acres of Randolph Township.
Washington Township was incorporated as a township on April 2, 1798 from portions of Roxbury Township. Portions of the township were taken to form Chester Township as of April 1, 1799.
Long Valley is a an unincorporated area located within Washington Township. The Long Valley section, the heart of the township, was called German Valley when it was first settled in the 18th century by people from Saxony, Germany. The name German Valley was replaced during WWI because of anti-Germanic sentiments across the nation.
Schooley's Mountain is another unincorporated community in Washington Township named for the Schooley family who owned a considerable amount of land during the 1790s. The Schooley’s Mountain section was a famous and popular resort in the 19th century because of its natural springs.
There was treasure in Schooley’s Mountain here, but it wasn’t gold. It was pure chalybeate mineral water known for its healing powers, better known as the famous Schooley’s Mountain Spring. After it was discovered in the last half of the 1700s, a slow transformation into a mountain health retreat followed. In the 1800s luxurious hotels were built with access to the spring’s outlet nearly a mile down the mountain. Guests included the Vanderbilts and Roosevelts, Thomas Edison and U.S. Presidents Ulysses S. Grant and Benjamin Harrison. But nothing lasts forever and after the hotels vanished by the 1930s, a road project that eventually followed altered the spring’s course beneath the mountain.
On June 28, 1895, voters from the settlements of Port Oram, Irondale, Luxemburg, Maryville and Mount Pleasant voted 143 to 51 to incorporate as a town under the name of Port Oram, the largest member of the group. These localities, covering an area of two and a quarter square miles west of Dover, were basically mine camps or housing for blast furnace and silk mill workers.
In 1831 the Morris Canal was completed from Newark to Phillipsburg, NJ. On the way, it passed through Boonton, Dover and Port Oram all with iron industries. On this route it tapped the Morris County ore fields and became a carrier for both ore and pig iron. Any local traffic was a boon to supplement the coal freight and iron ore. Sites on the canal were selected for docks and iron works.
The borough was renamed in 1902 in honor of Joseph Wharton, who was born in 1826 in Philadelphia to an old Quaker family. He entered into the manufacture of zinc and nickel, and gradually bought a controlling interest in Bethlehem Iron Works. After selling his interest in Bethlehem in 1901, he continued to actively acquire and manage a large and diverse business empire that included iron smelting in Wharton until just before his death in January, 1909. Wharton is best known for the namesake school he endowed, the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The town was named after him in 1902.
The booming iron ore mining industry was a magnet for immigrants from Western and Central Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries. The transformation was triggered by mining supervisor Robert E. Oram, whose business savvy turned the area with scattered mines into a bustling port along the Morris Canal and train depot on the Morris and Essex Railroad line. That attracted an influx of Irish, Scotch, English, German, Russian, Polish, Czech, Welsh and Hungarian newcomers.