In her excellent book All Roads Lead to Pittstown (2015),1 Stephanie Stevens called attention to the early roads that converged on the village of Pittstown. Roads were certainly important, but just as important were creeks in creating the locations of Hunterdon villages.
KINGWOOD Township was created out of Bethlehem Township in 1749, bordering Amwell Township on the south. Some of its earliest settlers were Barcroft, Bonham, Brays, Emley, Guild, King, Kugler, Lequear, Opdyckes, Race, Rockhill, Warford, and Wilson, to name a few.
In my research I have often come across references to Johnson’s Tavern as a landmark. Deeds refer to it when identifying roads, like “the road from Swamp Meeting House (Locktown) to Johnson’s Tavern” or “the road from Rittenhouse Tavern (Rosemont) to Johnson’s Tavern.” And sometimes it is just “the great road to Johnson’s Tavern,” which is today’s Route 519 through Kingwood Township.
(Hunterdon’s Militias, part 2)
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.
Postscript to The Heaths of Locktown
Shortly after publishing last week’s article, the Heaths of Locktown, David Sherman sent me four very interesting documents from his collection of Heath & Sherman memorabilia. They shed new light on the lives of Edward M. Heath and his son Robert, as well as their friend Lester B. Sherman, and his wife Fayetta Reep’s family.
Baptistown, part two
My previous post began with Egbert T. Bush’s article “Baptistown, One of Hunterdon’s Oldest Villages.” Baptists settled here very early and established a church by 1745. But there was another early institution here—the tavern, which was in operation before the Revolution.
Baptistown, part one
Recently there has been much discussion on the Facebook page “Historical Kingwood Township” about the history of Baptistown. So, it seems appropriate now to publish this article by Egbert T. Bush with his memories of the ancient village.
Little Jim, Part Three
The story of Little Jim is not quite over.1 There was the execution itself in Flemington, and then the aftermath, the way people processed these disturbing events. The court’s decision was so controversial it turned up in a modern U. S. Supreme Court case.
Some Controversial Baptist Ministers
My original intention was to publish an article by Jonathan M. Hoppock on the history of the Baptist Church in Locktown. And that is what I will do here, but after reading his article, I discovered that some of the ministers he listed had troubled careers, and that, of course, makes them interesting. But first, here is Mr. Hoppock’s history of the Church.
The Supreme School
Having published Mr. Bush’s article, “The ‘Oregon’ and Other Schools,” and then a follow-up on Duck’s Flat, I thought I was done with this neighborhood for now. But I recently found another article by Mr. Bush continuing the story of Ducks’ Flat school. This article has allowed me to identify the mystery school I referred to previously, located down the road from the Ducks’ Flat school that Mr. Bush was familiar with. But I’ll wait until Mr. Bush has concluded before explaining.
The Locktown Baptist Cemetery
There has been a Baptist Church in Locktown since the early 19th century, and a cemetery associated with it. The church and the cemetery were located on land belonging to Daniel Rittenhouse, whose home was a short distance west of Locktown on the Kingwood-Locktown Road. Most of the names in this cemetery are of families that lived nearby in Kingwood and Delaware Townships, many of them descendants of original German immigrants. Many of the original stones are now missing, even ones that were inventoried in the 1940s. Old cemeteries are hard to preserve.