This article by Egbert T. Bush caught my attention because it is reminiscent of PennEast’s attempt to dig a pipeline across Delaware Township and other parts of Hunterdon and Mercer Counties. The big difference here is that many landowners along the proposed route of this railroad supported it because they expected real benefits, whereas PennEast’s pipeline is likely to do more harm than good.
PRALLSVILLE was where Daniel Howell and Mary Else Reading settled about 1710. Howell established a ferry, a tavern and a mill. In later years, John Prall Jr. expanded the mill and brought economic activity to the small town. Prallsville was first a part of Amwell Township until 1838, and then part of Delaware Township until 1898, when it became part of Stockton Borough.
The old house on Worman Road has been something of a mystery house for many years. Who built the house and when? These are the classic questions asked when starting work on a house history. In this case, finding the answer took some digging.
Not long ago, Dennis Bertland inquired about an old house that might have been located on the William Rittenhouse tract that I recently wrote about (“The Rittenhouse Tavern.” Dennis’ inquiry can be found in the comments section.) It is located in a blank space on the Hammond Map between the Wickecheoke Creek and Shoppons Run. Who did that space belong to?
A continuation of the article on Sen. John Lambert’s home farm.
Having discovered which of two farms belonged to Sen. John Lambert, I realized how amazingly interconnected the Lambert family was. That will hold true even more so here in part two. However, I have not done all the research that could have been done before publishing this article. It was a question of when to stop.
Howell’s Tavern House and Ferry House
The dotted line in this picture is a survey line, drawn by Reading Howell in 1774, and as you can see, one of the lines goes right through the middle of the house, which is labeled “Ferry House.” Strangely enough, this house has long been known as the tavern house at Howell’s Ferry (Stockton) which I wrote about in “Jacob’s Path, an 1813 Shortcut.” So why was the tavern house called the Ferry House in 1774? And why did the surveyor run a line right through the middle? Therein lies a story.
Little Known of Mill That Existed Prior to John Prall’s
When the Canal Was Dug
by Egbert T. Bush, Stockton, N.J.
published in the Hunterdon County Democrat, February 13, 1930
It is common to speak of John Prall Jr. as the builder of the first mill in this hamlet. But his titles date back to early 1792; and to some of us it seemed strange that a site so attractive with the Wickecheoke Creek rushing into the Delaware, with an established ferry close at hand, and with a solid community back of it should have been so long without a mill. While investigation has so far failed to reveal all that was hoped for, it has demonstrated that Prall was far from being first to carry on milling business here.
In his article, “Old Sentinel Oak Has Passed,” Egbert T. Bush wrote that the old oak, across the road from the Baptist Church in Stockton, close to where Route 523 meets Main Street, stood near a “never-failing stream.” This stream runs along Route 523 for some distance and today is a little hard to find. But it does show up on Google maps, and is a clue to two interesting road records of 1813.
By Marfy Goodspeed in Bowne Station, Croton, Delaware Township, Dilts Corner, Headquarters, Locktown, Prallsville, Raven Rock-Saxtonville, Rosemont, Sandbrook, Sergeantsville, Stockton 8 Comments Tags: Bull's Island, post offices
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 »
By Marfy Goodspeed in Delaware Township, Families, Headquarters, Howell, Kitchen, Lambert, Lambertville, Opdycke, Prallsville, Rosemont, Sandbrook, Sergeant, Sergeantsville, Stockton 5 Comments Tags: early occupations, early settlers, Indians, land titles, mills, post offices, roads, stores
The following is an update of a speech I delivered at the Locktown Stone Church in May 1997. I thought it would be a good idea to archive the speech here on my website, especially since it makes a nice short history of Delaware Township. When I gave the speech, I had two large maps showing locations of mills, taverns, ferries, the oldest roads. One map showed the 18th century version of Delaware Township, and one showed the 19th century version. Whatever happened to those maps? If I find them, I’ll turn them over to Marilyn Cummings who has been working hard on just such a map project, one that can be seen on Google Earth. Continue reading »