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.
In 1929, Egbert T. Bush wrote an article about the neighborhood of Brookville, a hamlet just south of Stockton, on the Delaware River. It seems appropriate to publish the article now because it discusses a neighborhood near the homes of John and Gershom Lambert, who’s farms were described in my previous posts (The Two Lambert Farms, Sen. Lambert’s Farm and The Gershom Lambert Farm). It also happens that Mr. Bush himself lived not far from Brookville; his farm was on Sandy Ridge Road close to Route 523, just north of Stockton.
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.
Clinton Began As a Speculative Venture
The history of the town of Clinton is a fascinating one. The borough has so much character and charm, but it had a rocky start.
The original owner of the land that became the town of Clinton was David McKinney, who built a grist mill on the South Branch of the Raritan sometime before 1763 on land purchased from Mahlon Kirkbride of Bucks County. But after falling into debt, he had to sell his property back to Kirkbride in 1770, who almost immediately sold it to one Mahlon Taylor of Lebanon Township. Taylor ran the mills during the Revolution, but he also ran into debt, and finally had to put the property up for sale in 1782. Daniel Hunt Esq. purchased the property that year, and built up the milling business enough to warrant calling the surrounding area Hunt’s Mills. He mortgaged the property to Robert Taylor in 1799,1 and was eventually forced to convey it to his sons Ralph Hunt and Daniel Hunt, Jr. in 1799 and 1803.2 By 1828 the Hunt family was forced to give up the property. It is the history of Clinton after that time, when it acquired its appearance as an early 19th century village, that I wish to write about.
Regrettably, most of the buildings lining the Main Street today do not date from its early layout in the 1820s. A large number of those buildings were destroyed in a terrible fire in 1892. Many of them were probably built in the popular Greek Revival style. But the layout remains the same. The men responsible for that were Archibald S. Taylor and John W. Bray. The story begins with Archibald’s father, Robert Taylor.3