On November 18, 1896, two gentlemen from East Amwell Township announced in the Hunterdon Republican newspaper that they would petition the state legislature to change the boundary between East Amwell and Delaware Townships. It was a fairly radical change they were proposing, in which Delaware Township yielded to East Amwell a large chunk from its eastern border and Delaware got nothing in return. On April 17, 1897, the State Legislature followed through and passed a bill to make that happen.
HEADQUARTERS, once also known as Grover, has a long history, going back to the 1730s when the area was first being settled. Samuel Green acquired hundreds of acres here, around 1710, and provided his daughters and their families with large plantations of their own, in particular, John Opdycke and wife Margaret Green.
This article is a continuation of The Haines Farm, part one.
The Haines farm has a pretty remarkable history, as Mr. Bush wrote:
From the first Isaac Haines the property descended to his son, the second Joseph; from this Joseph to his son, the second Isaac; and from him to his son, the third Joseph, the present owner, to whom it was conveyed by his father and mother, March 10, 1920.
My most recent article was the first part of a history of the owners of adjacent farms surrounding the old Hart-Taylor Cemetery. Part One ended with the person who owned both farms, Gideon Moore, Sr., who died in 1840, after bequeathing his two farms separately to two of his sons, William H. Moore and Jacob D. Moore.
There are two ways of writing about a cemetery. One is to portray the people buried there, which I attempted to do in my previous article. The other is to relate how the cemetery came to be—in other words, the history of the property where the cemetery is located. It usually makes sense to focus on the place since many of its early owners were buried in the cemetery. At first I thought that in this case, none of them were. But, research has changed my mind.
Twice in his career, Egbert T. Bush wrote about a small family burying ground in Delaware Township. The first time was in 1911, in a paper presented to the Hunterdon County Historical Society which was later published in the Hunterdon County Democrat. This was many years before Mr. Bush became a regular contributor to the Democrat.1
Three Great Hunterdon Co. Historians Try to Find the Opdycke Cemetery
Over five years ago, I published an article about the Opdycke Cemetery in the Delaware Township Post. It has now been revised as “Opdycke Cemetery Revisited.” More recently, I came across some letters exchanged by Egbert T. Bush and Hiram E. Deats regarding their attempts to find this burying ground and to identify who was buried there. These letters can be found in the Egbert T. Bush Papers at the Hunterdon County Historical Society.
I first published an article on this interesting cemetery in April 2009 on the website Delaware Township Post. After five years, I have a learned enough to justify revising and republishing this article.
The cemetery is located on the Lambertville-Headquarters Road, on a farm near the intersection with Sandy Ridge Road. It is a private family cemetery without public access. The origin of the cemetery is nicely described by Egbert T. Bush.
A Chestnut That Acted As Host to a Younger Tree
– Biggest Oak of Them All
by Egbert T. Bush, Stockton, N.J.
published in the Hunterdon County Democrat, January 1, 1931
This month is a big allergy month for me, so I looked up what Mr. Bush had to say about trees. Turns out—quite a lot. Bush had a great affection for the grand old trees that had survived the previous century, and frequently mentioned them in his articles. Now that our trees are leafing out, it seems appropriate to publish this essay. The willow described here once stood in front of Roger Byrom’s house in Headquarters.
Imagine Delaware Township being served by eleven different post offices, nearly all of them located within the township boundaries. This was necessary in the days before “Rural Free Delivery.” Getting one’s mail involved traveling to the nearest village, and in the process getting up to date on local news from others who were also collecting their mail, and visiting stores and taverns while they were at it. It sounds rather appealing, as long as the weather is nice.
In this article, I have listed the post offices first in chronological order and then alphabetically with their postmasters. I am tempted to add more biographical details, but that would turn this post into a book. Stockton has been included only for the time that it was a part of Delaware Township. It did not become an independent borough until 1898.Continue reading »