This is a continuation of the story by Egbert T. Bush of the “Biggest Log Ever Brought to Stockton,” in which he wrote about the owners of the Stockton Sawmill and the Stockton Spoke Works. These Hunterdon industrialists took risks to build their businesses, and sometimes failed badly. Here are two more examples of failure and success.
Giant Oak Caused Trouble Before It Arrived at the Mill.
A Big Event in the Town
by Egbert T. Bush, Stockton, N.J.
published in the Hunterdon Co. Democrat, September 5, 1929
This is another in a series of articles by Egbert T. Bush on the subject of Hunterdon County trees. Whenever Mr. Bush writes about an event, there is always an interesting back story—often more than one. This article about Stockton takes us north to Kingwood and Alexandria, and south to Lambertville. There are a few people of particular importance: John Finney, William V. Case, Edward P. Conkling and his father Rev. Cornelius S. Conkling. The biographies of Finney and Case can be found at the end of Mr. Bush’s article. The Conklings will appear in a subsequent post.
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.
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.
Trees were a subject dear to Mr. Bush’s heart. This article is just one of many in which he waxed both poetic and nostalgic about the grand old trees of his neighborhood.
Included in this article is some early history of the area of Stockton where Route 523, Old Prallsville Road, Ferry Street and Route 29 (Risler Street) all come together. Rather than interrupt Mr. Bush with a long parentheses, I will save my comments for the end of his article.
This year residents of Delaware Township in Hunterdon County celebrate the 175 years since the township was created. The story of how this came about is a surprising one, and a little disheartening.Continue reading »
In writing about Nathaniel Saxton in my series on Raven Rock, I learned about his investments outside of that village. One of his earliest deeds involved the sale in 1807 of 47.27 acres to Ann Anderson for $422.69.1 This property in today’s Stockton village has an interesting story, one which shows how vulnerable 18th and early 19th century people were to the miserable consequences of debt.Continue reading »
Ancient “Plantation” Has One of the County’s Oldest Dwellings
Workman Leveled Stones
by Egbert T. Bush, Stockton, NJ
published in the Hunterdon Co. Democrat, June 4, 1931
The following is a transcript of the article written by Egbert T. Bush. My comments and annotations are in the footnotes. Unlike the articles by J. M. Hoppock in the Democrat-Advertiser, there were no pictures published along with the Bush articles in the Hunterdon Co. Democrat. So I have taken the liberty of adding my own.Continue reading »
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 »
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 »