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.
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.
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
In 2011, I began a series of articles on the history of Bull’s Island, Raven Rock, and Saxtonville. (For the original post, please visit “Raven Rock and the Saxtonville Tavern,” where you will learn something of how the name Raven Rock began to be used.) Recently three documents turned up to shed more light on this subject–a deed of 1722, and two survey maps, one of them made in 1819 showing the original proprietary tracts. It is time to return to Raven Rock for another look.