SERGEANTSVILLE is located in the heart of Delaware Township, and serves as its de facto capital. The tavern of former years is now the township municipal building. Except for Perth Amboy’s municipal building, Delaware Township’s is the longest continually used building for municipal government. Being located at the intersection of county routes 523 and 604, it is still a fairly busy place, but nothing like it was in the 19th century, when farmers would come to town to shop and collect their mail.
otherwise known as Kendall School, District No. 109
Not too long ago, I received an email from one of my readers whose parents had lived in the old schoolhouse in Sergeantsville after it had been retrofitted as a residence. She sent me a charming photograph of the school building with her parents’ Volkswagon in front.
My previous article (Hunterdon’s Militia) included mention of the Locktown Volunteers and their Captain, John Bellis, who happened to be “an ardent Republican” in a neighborhood of equally ardent Democrats or Copperheads.1 How Bellis managed to get along with his neighbors is an interesting question.
Hunterdon County, like all the other counties in New Jersey, had a state militia system in place since before the Revolution. Gen. Washington relied on these volunteers as he fought the British in New Jersey, and they did their part during the War of 1812. But after that, there was little need for them—not until the mid 1850s, when they began to reorganize.
This article was originally published in “The Delaware Township Post” on March 1, 2009. The Post went out of business, and the articles I published there have disappeared. It seems appropriate now to republish this article, greatly modified, here.
Imagine what this peaceful area today was like in the 19th century with a tannery just south of a blacksmith shop—certainly noisy, and probably very smelly. Add a rail line passing through and you would have had a very different environment from today.
Quite some time ago, I wrote an article called “Going-Going- Gone” about houses that are disappearing or have disappeared. One of them was a mystery to me. But finally I have figured out who it belonged to.
Most of you, my dear readers, know that the famous Rockafellar family had its roots in Amwell Township, Hunterdon County. And we’re all familiar with one particular descendant of this German immigrant family, a man who prospered hugely from the opportunities afforded him in America—the famous John D. Rockafellar. Another descendant, although not a direct ancestor of John D., became the tavernkeeper at Skunktown (now known as Sergeantsville), and I am much more interested in him.