This is the story of an unusual school in the 1830s run by an eccentric visionary, who sadly failed to make a success of it.
The families listed here are the ones whose names appear most often in my posts. The website has many other names of Hunterdon and old Burlington County families. Please use the search window to find what you are looking for.
This series of posts has been based on an article by Egbert T. Bush called “Sergeant’s Mills Once a Prosperous Place.” My previous post dealt with two of the four farms located in the Rosemont valley, on the north side of the road from Rittenhouse’s Tavern (Rosemont) to Skunk Town (Sergeantsville), otherwise known as Route 604. This post will describe the owner of the third farm, and include the rest of Mr. Bush’s article.
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Being part three in a four-part post about an article written by Egbert T. Bush titled “Sergeant’s Mills Once a Prosperous Place” and published in the Hunterdon County Democrat on January 16, 1930.
After this article was published, some careful readers alerted me to a few errors which merit attention.
In a recent post on the life of John P. Rittenhouse, I mentioned that his parents, Samuel & Hannah Rittenhouse, lived near the covered bridge in Delaware Township. This reminded me of the interesting article written by Egbert T. Bush about the history of the area around Sergeant’s Mill, The mill once stood just east of the bridge, on a tributary of the Wickecheoke. It was taken down in the 1930s, but before that happened, it was well-photographed, and the pictures were frequently used in postcards. Shown above is just one of the many views of the old mill.
For three years John P. Rittenhouse owned my small farm in Delaware Township, although he never lived there. As I started to research his life I discovered that, among other things, he was a Hunterdon Co. Sheriff, managed a restaurant at the Union Hotel, and then ran the hotel in Ringoes. He had an interesting life.
In 1859 he sold my farm to Edmund Perry, a successful politician, but a failure as an investor. I published the beginning of Rittenhouse’s story in the previous post, ending with a situation in which Rittenhouse, acting as deputy sheriff, had to take possession of the very farm he had previously sold to his political ally, Edmund Perry, and sell it to the highest bidder. Awkward.
Recently I gave a talk at the Hunterdon Co. Historical Society on how to research the history of one’s house. While preparing for the talk, I decided to look over the history I did for my own house back in 1981. It was the first one I had ever done, and I hadn’t a clue about how to go about it. I found most of the owners of my home, but some of them were absentee owners, so I didn’t pay much attention to them. On reviewing my chain of title, I got curious about one of those absentee owners, and began to do some more serious research. It paid off with a pretty interesting story.
A Genealogical Journey
Many descendants of the early settlers of old Amwell Township in Hunterdon County remained in Amwell. But many others chose to move on, always looking for new land to start afresh. Such is the case with my ancestors, who made the journey from Amwell to northwest New Jersey, then on into New York State, ending up in Michigan. Both grandparents on my father’s side came from families who made that journey, the Goodspeeds through New York State, and the Rankins through Ohio.
Because there has been some confusion about exactly where Sen. John Lambert lived, I have spent the past two articles determining that his farm was located on Seabrook Road and not on Lambertville-Headquarters Road, as some have thought. The confusion was caused by the fact that both farms were owned at one time by men named John Lambert and Gershom Lambert.
A continuation of the article on Sen. John Lambert’s home farm.
Having discovered which of two farms belonged to Sen. John Lambert, I realized how amazingly interconnected the Lambert family was. That will hold true even more so here in part two. However, I have not done all the research that could have been done before publishing this article. It was a question of when to stop.