I have written about Locktown’s tavern before—in my article on the life of Daniel Rittenhouse. At the time that I wrote it, I thought he had established the original tavern. That turns out to be not true.
part five in the series, The Route Not Taken
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.
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.
The Gordon family of Hunterdon County is connected back to Thomas Gordon of Scotland (1652-1722) who emigrated as one of the early proprietors to Perth Amboy, with his second wife Jannette Mudie. Of her six children, son Thomas acquired land in Amwell Township in 1722, and will be treated here as the first generation.
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.
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.
While working on a history of the Sergeantsville Inn, I realized that this would be a good time to publish Egbert T. Bush’s article about the places that made Sergeantsville such an interesting little town. Mr. Bush did not have the advantage of adding photographs the way I do. These pictures come from the postcard collection of Paul Kurzenberger. (Note that Mr. Bush’s article is in italics; my comments are not.)
When writing about Pine Hill Cemetery recently, the name of John Lewis came up. This reminded me of a wonderful article written by Jonathan M. Hoppock back in 1905 about a mysterious character named Ticnor Lewis who lived not far from Pine Hill. It is one of Mr. Hoppock’s most colorful yarns, and one of his many stories of the early settlers in Amwell Township. This one is based entirely on folklore or family tradition. A bowl-full of salt is highly recommended.
Pine Hill Cemetery is one of the most interesting of the old family burial grounds in Hunterdon County. I have written about it before, in an article that listed the known graves with some biographical information. But I had just scratched the surface; there is so much more to be said.
The original version of this post, published on March 14, 2015, has been significantly revised because of new information I have received. Most of these revisions concern Jonas Thatcher, Jr. Consider this Chapter One of the History of the Sergeantsville Inn.