Delaware Township in Hunterdon County, NJ is my hometown, and so, as you might expect, I know more about this town than any other that I write about. Prior to 1838, Delaware Township was a part of Amwell Township, created in 1708–which means that Amwell’s history is also very familiar to me. There is no end to the stories that can be written about this place, so expect many additions to this list in the coming years.
The marvelous house on the northeast corner of the intersection at Rosemont (at Routes 519 and 604), once known as the Rittenhouse or Crosskeys Tavern, may be in search of a new owner in the near future. It is my sincere hope, and that of the current owners, that someone will take over who fully appreciates the historic value of the property. The sale has reminded me that I have not yet published Egbert T. Bush’s article on Crosskeys Tavern.
I am publishing this article now because it ties in with the other articles I have recently written about residents of or near the village of Sandbrook in Delaware Township. This is one of Mr. Bush’s articles that could be taken as an historical document in itself, because it includes the contents of two old records—an account book from the 1830s and an old family bible.
Concerning the history of one of Hunterdon’s Earliest Families
This article is a continuation of the history of the Cook Proprietary Tract,1 The previous articles dealt with the northern half of the tract. It is time to turn our attention to the southern portion, half of which came into the possession of the Rounsavell family at a very early date, and remained in the family for many years thereafter. The other half was acquired by John Young, and after his death was conveyed to John Hice in 1789. The Young and Hice families will have to wait for another time.
Burials in the Rake Cemetery
In 1922, Hunterdon historian Hiram Deats visited the Rake Cemetery. He found 44 unlettered stones and 25 lettered ones. Those 25 stones were listed in the Hunterdon Historical Newsletter (vol. 3 no. 3, p. 2) and are give here.
In 2009, I wrote several articles concerning the Rake Cemetery in Sandbrook. They were published in the Delaware Township newsletter known as the Post, which is no longer being published. There is a website for the Post where its articles are archived, but it is very hard to use, and some links just don’t work. So, I’ve decided to revise and republish those articles here.
The following article by Egbert T. Bush describes an old farm with a distillery located near Sandbrook. The village of Sandbrook is located in what was once the Haddon Proprietary Tract. Just east of the Haddon Tract was the Cook Proprietary Tract, and that is where the distillery farm was located.
The Hammond Maps of Hunterdon County proprietary tracts are a wonderful resource for county historians. Many of the property owners shown on these maps drawn by D. Stanton Hammond in 1963 were the first Europeans to claim title to this part of the state of New Jersey. What happened to those properties in succeeding years has always fascinated me and provided wonderful material for my articles.