There is a small church in Delaware Township with a very long history. It is known as the Amwell Church of the Brethren, sometimes called the Dunkard Church for its practice of adult baptism. It seems to be a sort of outlier, quite different from the major religious groups who first appeared in Hunterdon County. Those were Quaker, Baptist, Presbyterian, Anglican (Episcopalian), Lutheran, Methodist, German Calvinist, and Dutch Reformed. They all had congregations throughout the county and hundreds of worshippers. But the Brethren church didn’t even have a church building until 1811, and never grew to any great size, despite two spin-off churches. And yet, it has endured for 283 years. Although that is a long time, there are eight church in Hunterdon County that were founded before 1733. They are:
Camp Ground of the Glorious Old Continental Army in 1777
by Jonathan M. Hoppock
originally published in the Democrat-Advertiser, Oct. 10, 1901
From the photograph and from Hoppock’s description, it appears that this “campground” was located along Route 523 near Sand Brook.
In My Library: “All Roads Lead to Pittstown” by Stephanie B. Stevens
Better late than never. I’ve finally read Stephanie Stevens’ book All Roads Lead to Pittstown, published by the Hunterdon County Cultural and Heritage Commission. What a fascinating story she has to tell. I was dimly aware of Pittstown’s role in the Revolution, but what Stephanie has found adds enormously to our knowledge of the time. She managed to find references to Pittstown (specifically the mills of Moore Furman) in the letters of George Washington, the pension application of William Anderson, and the journal of James Parker, whose farm was located on Route 513 between Clinton and Pittstown.
Here are two versions of the history of the Amwell Church of the Brethren in Hunterdon County. The first was written by Jonathan M. Hoppock and published in the Democrat-Advertiser on October 17, 1901. Short and sweet. The second one, a little bit longer, was written by Egbert T. Bush and published in the Hunterdon County Democrat on March 26, 1931. Mr. Bush’s ‘history’ is truncated, and as he put it— “it is not the intent to give here anything more than the merest sketch of church history, an indispensable part in any sketch of the community.” He was always more interested in the members of a community than institutional histories, and so he spends more time on those who were buried in the three cemeteries associated with the church members.
There are three ways to write about the graves in a cemetery. First, a straight alphabetical list; second, chronologically by when people died, perhaps linked to who owned the cemetery at the time; and third, by the layout of the graves.
One of the oldest cemeteries in Delaware Township is also one of the loveliest, with a long view of Hunterdon County’s rolling hills and farm fields. It is surrounded by a stone wall and at one time had a wrought iron gate.
Burning of the Old Wagner Homestead Prompts
Mr. Bush to Cite Its History
Was Prized By Its Owners
by Egbert T. Bush, Stockton, N.J.
published in the Hunterdon Co. Democrat, January 19, 1933
Note: This article was published two years after Mr. Bush’s previous article on the Moore homestead plantation, “Old Farms in Old Hunterdon.”
I have written a few articles recently concerning the neighborhood of Bowne Station (“The Daybooks of Dr. Bowne,” “The Bowne Homestead,” “Bowne Station” and “The Bosenbury and Taylor Graveyards”), and have frequently come across references to the first settlers in that area, one Jacob Moore and his wife, Apolonia Amy Moret. Just when I thought I had published all articles by Egbert T. Bush and Jonathan M. Hoppock pertaining to the early history of the Moore family in Amwell, another one turned up. Actually, two articles, “Old Farms in Old Hunterdon” and “Farewell Relic of Another Age.”
Time for some reflection. Here are the ten posts from the past year that I am most pleased with, listed chronologically, because I could not possibly rank them from 1 to 10.