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.
The Moore Family
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.”
The ‘Wickcheoche’ Tribe of Red Men
Many years ago, Bob Dilts wrote an article entitled “Sergeantsville’s a Nicer Name.”1 While describing George Fisher’s harness shop (pictured below), on the southeast corner of the main intersection, Dilts wrote a paragraph that really caught my attention:
John Reading & the Creation of Hunterdon County (part 1)
On November 16, I gave a speech about John Reading and the Creation of Hunterdon County. There was quite a lot of information in that speech, covering the years 1664 to 1718. In fact, it was probably a bit too much.
For example, the beginning of the speech covered the conquest of New Netherland by the English in 1664, the Third Anglo-Dutch War of 1672-74, the Quintipartite Deed of 1676, and John Reading’s settlement in Gloucester County in 1684; also Edward Byllinge and the early settlement of West New Jersey. Rather than rehash material that I have already written about, you can see a list of pertinent articles at the end of this one. They cover the settlement of West New Jersey, its political history, its infamous governor Daniel Coxe, and the early career of John Reading.
For the history of Hunterdon County, it is best to start with 1694. What follows is the first part of a somewhat amended version of the speech.
Old Records Throw Light on the Ways of Past Ages
Law Once Compelled Every Town
to Have a Drinking Place
How “Amwell” Originated
by Egbert T. Bush, Stockton, NJ
published in the Hunterdon County Democrat, May 7, 1931
Sundry notes from old histories and other sources though jotted down in a haphazard way may serve to awaken thought or to throw light upon the ways of the past.
How New Jersey Began
It is already January 26, in this 350th year of the existence of New Jersey. I think it is time to publish a short history of New Jersey, the sort of preamble I generally use for my house histories. It glides breezily over some very complicated proceedings, but sometimes a shorthand version is useful. (This little essay is not meant for those who make a study of New Jersey’s convoluted history.)
So—without more ado—How New Jersey Began.
By Their Names You Shall Know Them
A personal note: I am writing this series on the Lenape of Central New Jersey for the benefit of my fellow residents of Delaware Township, who have lacked a local history for all of their nearly 175 years as a township. I realize I am wandering into an area that has been deeply researched by accomplished scholars, and that it is all too easy to get things wrong about this shadowy yet fascinating subject. I am prepared to stand corrected, but hope it won’t be necessary.Continue reading »
The Lenape of Central New Jersey
This is the beginning of a series of articles on the Lenape people who eventually came to live in southern Hunterdon County, before moving further west into Pennsylvania.
By Their Names You Shall Know Them
In the late 17th century, a Lenape Sachem named Caponokonickon walked the paths of “Scheyechbi.” His name was spelled many ways, such as Coponnockous, Capenokanickon, Kapanockanickon, Caponeaoconeacon, Caponakonikikkon or Caponokon. He was a Lenape Sachema or Sarkemaker or Sachamaker, and walked the paths of central New Jersey, known as “Scheyechbi” or Lënape Ehendawikihtit.”Continue reading »
What It Takes To Raise A Village, Part One
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 »
Raven Rock and the Saxtonville Tavern
There has been some interest lately in finding a way to preserve the old Saxtonville Tavern in the village of Raven Rock. It is currently owned by the State of New Jersey under its Green Acres program. Sadly, this means it is unoccupied, which is one of the worst things that can happen to an old house. The State of New Jersey desperately needs a program of resident curators for its historic properties.Continue reading »