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New Historic Site Markers Installed in Heritage Commission Awards History Grants Madison and Rockaway Township he Morris County Heritage Com-
Photo by Dan Beards
ew historic site markers for the Museum of Early Trades & Crafts in Madison and the Hibernia Methodist Episcopal Church in Rockaway Township have recently been installed. The markers were developed and financed by the Morris County Heritage Commission, which has been instrumental in placing more then 140 historical markers throughout the county since 1975. The Museum of Early Trades &
Crafts (METC) was built as the James Library in 1900, a gift to the people of Madison from philanthropist D. Willis (see Historic Site Markers on page 5)
mission has awarded a total of $20,044 in re-grant funding to seven organizations in the county for General Operating Support (GOS) and history projects through its history regrant program. General Operating Support funding for the re-grant program was awarded to the Heritage Commission from the New Jersey Historical Commission. The Heritage Commission re-grants the funds to non-profit organizations based in Morris County with collections or programming relating to the history of the county or the state. The Boonton Historical Society and Museum received an award of $2,830 for General Operating Support to cover insurance costs. The Chatham Historical Society was awarded funding in the amount of $3,142 to purchase an archival-quality storage cabinet, Macculloch Hall was the recipient of a $2,485 grant for the purchase of a museum-quality vacuum cleaner and Preserve Greystone was awarded $1,650 to purchase a laptop and projector to present public programming. The Rockaway Borough Historical Committee was awarded $2,322 in project grant funding to assist with costs associated with an interpretive marker and a historic building plaque. The Washington Township Historical Society was awarded $2,615 toward the purchase of conservation-quality blinds to protect the museum collection from damaging UV rays, and the Washington Township Historic Preservation Commission was awarded $5,000 for a historic district planning consultant to develop restoration and renovation
(see History Grants on page 2)
Changes at the Commission
e are so used to our historic sites being isolated local, county or national park facilities that we often forget that the sweep of history isn’t packaged so neatly. The story of what really happened crosses the artificial administrative borders, and even geopolitical boundaries, that we see today. A case in point is the evolution of electrical telecommunications, which was brought to practicality in Morristown at the Speedwell Iron Works in 1837 by Alfred Vail and Samuel F. B. Morse. There are many world-changing implications from the work that took place at this invention facility, now a Morris County historic park: the birth of the telecommunications industry’s first incarnation in the telegraph, the dots and dashes which were our first digital electronics, and the management of the data which was the birth of information technology. Over the next generation, an industry was born and New Jersey grew to prominence as a high-tech center with proximity to the financial capital and end-users in New York. In that next generation, a midwestern boy, not even born yet when Vail and Morse transmitted their first messages, grew up fascinated by the hacker culture of his era. His exceptional grasp of the technology and inventive streak for envisioning improvements to electromechanical technologies drew the young man east to the high-tech Silicon Valley of its day. First in Newark, then in Menlo Park, and by 1887 in West Orange, telegrapher/technologist Thomas Alva Edison started with the technologies originally developed at Speedwell and enhanced the “Invention Factory” concept to create many foundation technologies of our modern world. The West Orange facility in Essex County where Edison worked for almost the last half-century of his life is now the Thomas Edison National Historic Park, a federal site located in our neighboring county. But the sweep of technological history, and for that matter the revolution in communications that started at Speedwell, cannot be told only by looking at the isolated chapters that each site preserves. This interconnected continuing story crosses county lines and administrative government organizations. Recognizing this, the Heritage Commission has embarked on a mission to cross-connect our technology-based historic site at Speedwell with the next generation embodied in the Edison story. We have been a catalyst to bring together the Morris County Parks and United States National Park Service stewards of these historically connected places, to share technology tourism and to help archivists, researchers, and visitors alike to see the common DNA which eventually built our contemporary culture. As the lesser known site, Speedwell stands to benefit from enhanced tourism sparked by the Edison site. But the Edison site will benefit too from a greater understanding that its own history really began in Morristown a generation earlier. Larry Fast, chairman Morris County Heritage Commission
iriam Morris of Flanders has been appointed to the Morris County Heritage Commission by the Board of Chosen Freeholders for a five-year term. Mrs. Morris has been a Morris County resi-
Miriam Morris is the newest member of the Heritage Commission
dent for over thirty years. An architect by training, Mrs. Morris has a successful track record of grant writing and grant and project management. She has been actively involved with the Roxbury Historic Trust since 2002 and is a leader on the King Store and House restoration project. Mrs. Morris fills the seat recently vacated by Dave Bogert, who had served on the Heritage Commission since April of 2007. During his tenure Mr. Bogert was active on the Commission’s archives, grants/re-grants, exhibits/programs, and historic marker committees. The Heritage Commission thanks Mr. Bogert for his years of service and welcomes Mrs. Morris to her new position. v (from History Grants on page 1)
guidelines for the downtown historic area. More information about the re-grant program or any of the other programs sponsored by the Morris County Heritage Commission may be obtained by calling the Commission at 973.829.8117, visiting our website at MorrisHeritage. net, or via email at Heritage@co.morris. nj.us. v
Picatinny Arsenal Commemorates Historic Districts
By Jason Huggan, Cultural Resource Manager at Picatinny Arsenal
advantage of this year’s warm winter to establish a new frontier-style fence around the mid-eighteenth-century Walton Burial Ground. The new fence was designed by Picatinny Cultural Resource Manager Jason Huggan and base operations contractor Chugach Industries, Inc. Because there are no surviving views of how the burial ground looked in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, Picatinny’s planners used the type of fencing typical for that period. Picatinny purchased the grounds surrounding the cemetery in 1918. While developing the nearby Nitroglycerine Research Area in 1944, workers uncovered the burial grounds. The earliest known burial at the cemetery is of John Walton Sr. in 1787. According to historical research, the land was used as a cemetery as late as 1884. The one intact headstone with a name records the death of 16-year-old Susan Walton in 1815. Others believed to be buried here are Revolutionary War veterans Peter Doland, Jonathan Wiggins, and John Burwell. This most recent cleanup effort was the latest in a series, which also included a previous cleanup for the bicentennial of the Revolution in 1976 and another by volunteers in 1993. Picatinny allows (see Picatinny on page 4)
Pictured are Jason Huggan, Cultural Resource manager; Peg Shultz, Morris County Heritage Commission; CSM Koroll; LTC Koehler, Garrison Commander; Chris Urbiola, chief, Master Plans and Programs Division DPW; Dr. Patrick Owens, ARDEC and arsenal historian. Photo courtesy of Picatinny Public Affairs Office.
n February 16, 2012, U.S. Army Garrison Picatinny Arsenal invited the New Jersey State Historic Preservation Office and the Morris County Heritage Commission for a tour and unveiling of its new signage to officially commemorate five (5) historic districts that are recognized as eligible for the National Register of Historic Places. These five historic districts include the Administration and Research District, 600 Ordnance Testing Area, Naval Air Rocket Test Stands, Development and Engineering Districts, and the former Army Rocket Test Area District. The signs were developed as part of Picatinny’s Real Property Master Plan and Facility Reduction Program Programmatic Agreement completed under Section 106 consultation of the National Historic Preservation Act. The signs were designed by Lake Shore Industries, while the text was developed with the help of the Heritage Commission, State Historic Preservation Office and former employees of Reaction Motors, Inc.
A tour of the work recently completed at the Walton Burial Ground located on the garrison property near the Mount Hope Gate was also included in the visit. Work crews took
Pictured are Chugach Industries, Inc. employees Robert Vazzana, Eric Jakubowski, Matt Beatty, and Mike Devore. Photo by Todd Mozes. 3
(from Picatinny on page 3)
The War of 1812 and George Macculloch’s Canal
By David Breslauer
One of the new historic district markers installed at the arsenal
pre-arranged tours of the cemetery; one of these on Earth Day has become an annual event. The installation coordinated a public tour with the Historical Society of Rockaway Township in October of 2011. If your group is interested in a tour, or if you would like more information about Picatinny’s Cultural Resources Program, please contact Jason Huggan at 973.724.3664 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. v
fter the cannon smoke cleared and the ink on the Treaty of Ghent had dried, France and Britain left the territorial United States. The War of 1812 was over, but its aftermath would be felt for years as the young American states faced new competition with European countries. The post-war economic depression was widespread among the merchant class, as illustrated by the career of Morris County entrepreneur George Macculloch. George Macculloch had built a small fortune and handsome brick mansion from his lucrative trade in wool and sugar during the wars of the early nineteenth century. However, the end of the War of 1812 and the Napoleonic Wars resulted in stockpiled goods from Britain and France and their colonies overwhelming the wharfs of America. This sudden influx of goods depressed the price of American products, and many American merchants suffered serious financial setbacks. In Morristown, George Macculloch faced a fight for economic survival. His overseas trade in American wool and sugar was gone. He had a large house and estate to maintain, and a wife and children to support. So what to do next? Macculloch had a
Contact the Morris County Heritage Commission
PO Box 900, Morristown, NJ 07963-0900 Phone: 973.829.8117 Fax: 973.631.5137 Website: www.morrisheritage.net Email: Heritage@co.morris.nj.us
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fine education in Scotland. He had traveled extensively throughout the Continent and spoke seven languages. So in 1814, Macculloch reinvented himself as an academician. He created a private school for boys at his home in Morristown. The school prospered as it drew students from as far away as North Carolina. Macculloch was diligent as headmaster, referring to his students as “urchins” that ”required the leather scepter.” Then one day in 1822, George Macculloch saddled his horse and set out along the Sussex Turnpike, looking forward to a relaxing day of fishing on what was then known as Great Pond and today as Lake Hopatcong. While fishing, a very big idea occurred to him. If this large lake, the watery high point at the center of New Jersey’s highlands, could serve to connect the drainage of the Rockaway River on the east to that of the Musconetcong River on the west, a canal might be built between Phillipsburg and Newark. Such a canal could carry Pennsylvania anthracite coal to Morris County iron mines and factories and also deliver products to markets further east. Coal was badly needed to replace charcoal, as native forests had become seriously depleted by this time. The War of 1812 was long past when George Macculloch thought outside the box while fishing. Macculloch had adapted to new circumstances in the immediate aftermath of the war, and now he proved himself a man of ideas once again. His fishing trip eventually resulted in the Morris Canal, a unique economic waterway that supported northern New Jersey’s transportation needs during the Industrial Revolution and survived into the twentieth century. v
(from Historic Site Markers on page 1) um. In February 1969, Articles of Incorporation documentation was filed, and the Museum of Early Trades & Crafts was created. The Hibernia Methodist Episcopal Church, located on the corner of Green Pond Road and High Street in Rockaway Township, was once part of a nineteenth-century mining settlement. It was constructed in 1869 in the Carpenter Gothic style by local mining companies, merchants, and individuals. Its exterior features board-andbatten siding, lancet openings, and unusual paired windows. The cost of construction was $8,100, and the land was donated by Dr. Columbus Beach, a local citizen. The church served the mining community well into the early twentieth century. The Andover Iron Company held the title to the property for many decades. Then, in 1933, the ownership of the building passed to the Methodist Episcopal Church. In 1953 the property was conveyed to the Holy Trinity Lutheran Church. After the Lions Club took ownership of the property in 1969, the church became a public library. It is now owned by the Township of Rockaway. Historic sites with Heritage Commission markers can now be viewed online by visiting the Commission website at www.co.morris.nj.us/MCHC/ historicalmarkers.html. The website features photos of each marker and historic site with additional information about the site. Historic structures, districts, and sites of exceptional historical significance are eligible for county markers. Marker request applications are reviewed by the Commission’s marker committee on a rolling basis, and markers are created as budgets allow. For a complete list of criteria and more information on the marker program, please visit our website www.MorrisHeritage.net and select Historical Markers. For more information on the Museum of Early Trades & Crafts contact the museum at 973.377.2982 or visit its website www.metc.org. For more information on the Hibernia Methodist Episcopal Church, contact the Historical Society of the Rockaways at 973.366.6730 or visit its website http:// members.tripod.com/rt_history/mainpage.html. v
Photo by Dan Beards
James. James had a summer home in Madison and believed a free public library would be “a means of public enjoyment and benefit.” He provided for the ongoing financial support of the library through a trust fund. James hired New England architects Willard Adden and Charles Brigham to design the library building in the Richardsonian Romanesque-Revival style made popular by Boston architect Henry Hobson Richardson in the 1870s and 1880s. The building’s stained glass windows, wrought ironwork, carved cornices, semicircular arches, bell tower, and a cruciform or cross-shaped floor plan are details typical of the Richardsonian style. The building was restored in the
mid-1990s. During the renovations hidden architectural details and the many literary quotations that decorate the windows, walls, and fireplaces were rediscovered and restored. Edgar and Agnes Land, residents of Madison, had collected everyday American objects and tools from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries for several decades. When their collection had grown to nearly four thousand items, the pair asked the Madison Borough Council to readapt the James Library for use as a muse-
Quips and Quotes from Morris County’s Past
By Peg Shultz
ith the unusually warm winter and early spring, many Morris County residents have been making good use of local parks. Local parks also were popular with county residents of days gone by.
Morris County Chronicle
March 17, 1908 Proposed Park Improvement: Aldermen Hold Special Meeting to consider Plans Offered. The board of aldermen held a special meeting on Monday evening to consider the plans for the reconstruction of the Park (Morristown Green), which had been approved by the Park trustees on the Friday evening previous. John R. Brinley was present with the plans for the improvement and Theodore Ayers represented the trustees. Mr. Brinley exhibited the plans adopted by the trustees which were explained by him and discussed, after which a resolution was adopted on motion of Alderman Day, approving the plans…. The plans generally call for the removal of twenty-seven of the present trees, all of which are dead, disfigured
Morristown Green, c. 1908. Courtesy of Morristown/Morris Township Library.
The present walks will be all removed, the street committee taking the stone to use in getting sidewalks laid on some of the streets…. Inside the present exterior walks provision will be made for planting with bushes easy of care, many of them bearing berries or branches lasting through the winter…. Near the present flag pole there will be a considerable piece of concrete where the two ovals meet and here seats will be provided for ladies and children. Near the Market Street side of the Park it is planned to have a place for young children in the care of nurses. Seats for general use will be located along the exterior walks.
that at least $50,000 will be spent on it at the start. It is to be conducted as a first class family resort and will not be open on Sunday.
March 28, 1914
Burnham Park Bill is Signed That portion of Burnham Park lying within the Township of Morris is now part of Morristown, after the matter going through two sessions of the Legislature. Governor Fielder signed the new bill yesterday afternoon.
May 16, 1942
April 29, 1910
Hopatcong Park Plans: Pleasure Resort to Open When Trolley Connects Arrangements are being made for the building of a new pleasure park at Lake Hopatcong, to be known as Hopatcong Park. Preliminary work has actually begun upon it. Whether it will open this season or not until next will depend on whether the trolley connections with Boonton and Morristown are completed, as it is intended to depend on local trade. The park is situated near Landing, directly on the lake, and the trolley will run right to it. There will be a small lake and islands within its limits of 25 acres and aerial swings, scenic railways, a real airship, orchestra, and other attractions will be provided. It is expected
Mrs. Foote Offers Land and Pond for Playground – Board, Much in Favor, Delays Action Until Next Week – Other Playground Activities An offer of 26 acres of property, including the Foote pond on James Street, for park purposes was made by Mrs. Marie G. Foote to the Board of Aldermen last night and will undoubtedly be accepted. The tract is bounded by James Street, Ogden Place and Overlook Road and includes the entire pond. It is nearly directly across James Street from Lidgerwood Field. The Board, while much in favor, delayed its final decision until the next meeting. The Board spent another long period in discussing the Lidgerwood Field fieldhouse and finally it adopted a motion instructing the building inspector to make a survey and report back at the next meeting on what has been done and what is needed to complete the work. v
A sketch of the reconstruction plan for Morristown’s Green appeared in the Morristown Daily Record newspaper in 1908.
or in the way of the relocated walks. A system of drains will be put in with outlets at the Morris and Water Street corners of the Park to drain the grass areas and also the walks.
C A L E N D A R
Boonton Historical Society Macculloch Hall Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms Stickley Museum at Craftsman Farms Historic Speedwell Dover Area Historical Society Boonton Historical Society
E V E N T S
For More Information Contact
Time and Place
Boonton Post Office 501 North Main Street, Boonton 10 a.m. 45 Macculloch Avenue Morristown 7 p.m. Craftsman Farms 2352 Route 10 West Morris Plains 6 p.m. Craftsman Farms 2352 Route 10 West Morris Plains Noon–4 p.m. Historic Speedwell 333 Speedwell Avenue, Morristown 10 a.m.–4 p.m. Dover History Museum House 55 West Blackwell Street Dover 7:30 p.m. Boonton Post Office 501 North Main Street 10 a.m. Visit local museums and historical sites at no cost! Noon–5 p.m. For additional information contact the Morris County Tourism Bureau 1 Railroad Plaza Route 10 West and Whippany Road 1–4 p.m. 45 Macculloch Avenue Morristown 7 p.m. Dover Flea Market Dickerson and Morris Streets Dover 9 a.m.– 4 p.m. First Aid Squad Building 949 Valley Road, Gillette 7:30 p.m. Boonton Post Office 501 North Main Street, Boonton 10 a.m. Acorn Hall 68 Morris Avenue Morristown Call for event times Jefferson House Restaurant 139 Nolans Point Road Lake Hopatcong 6 p.m. Acorn Hall 68 Morris Avenue Morristown 1-4 p.m.
Walking Tour: Boonton Iron Works Program: New Jersey Baseball during the Civil War Era, 1855-1870 Presenter: John Zinn Program: An Evening Celebrating Women and Arts and Crafts! Program: Spring Family Day Program: Open Hearth Cooking Presenter: Susan McLellan-Plaisted Program: History of the Blackwell Street National Historic District
973.361.3525 doverhistoricalsociety.com 973.402.8840
Walking Tour: The Park Be Our Guest: Acorn Hall, Community Children’s Museum, Craftsman Farms, Dover Area Historical Society, Fosterfields Living Historical Farm, Macculloch Hall Historical Museum, Morris Museum, Morristown NHP, Museum of Early Trades & Crafts, Schuyler-Hamilton House, and Historic Speedwell Train Ride Excursion Tour: Vintage Cabooses and 1930s Club Car Program: New Jersey’s Civil War Experience: Letters & Journals of Members of the 13th and 14th Volunteers Presenter: Bernard Olsen Event: 10th Annual Townwide Yard Sale Program: History of the Basking Ridge Presbyterian Cemetery Presenter: George Fricke Walking Tour: Historic Residential District
Multiple Historic Sites and Museums
May 20 June 17 July 8 & 15
Whippany Railway Museum Macculloch Hall
973.366.0629 doverfleamarket.com 973.361.3525 doverhistoricalsociety.com 908.647.6456 longhillhistory.org 973.402.8840
Dover Area Historical Society Long Hill Twp. Historical Society Boonton Historical Society Morris County Historical Society Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum Morris County Historical Society
Event: World War II Weekend
Program: Hidden Treasures of Lake Hopatcong
973.398.2616 landingnewjersey.com/ 973.267.3465 acornhall.org
Event: Old-Fashioned Fun Day
IN MEMORIAM - Scott Shepherd and Sandra Fulda
uring the past winter, the Morris County history community lost two well-respected local historians who contributed significantly to the knowledge and preservation of a wide range of Morris County historical sites. Scott Shepherd of Morristown passed away suddenly on November 16. Mr. Shepherd was appointed to the Morris County Heritage Commission in 2001 and served as vice chairman in 2003 and chairman in 2004. A tenth-generation New Jerseyan, Mr. Shepherd had a lifelong interest in local New Jersey history. In 2000 he wrote Who’s Who in the Burying Ground of the Presbyterian Church in Morristown and made it available online at the church website. He also donated his historical research to the Morristown/Morris Township Library. Sandra Fulda of Madison passed away in January. She was the grants and program developer for the Morris County Heritage Commission from 1990 to 1992. Mrs. Fulda was interested in historic preservation, genealogy, and the environment. She held leadership roles and board positions in numerous organizations including the Madison Environmental Commission, Morristown Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Colonial Dames, Washington Association of New Jersey, Madison Historical Society, and Madison’s Bicentennial Historic Sites Commission, where she researched eight of Madison’s eighteenth-century houses. v
Publication of the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders
William J. Chegwidden, Director Douglas R. Cabana, Deputy Director Gene F. Feyl Ann F. Grossi Hank Lyon Thomas J. Mastrangelo John J. Murphy
Morris County Heritage Commission PO Box 900 Morristown, NJ 07963-0900 Phone: 973.829.8117 Fax: 973.631.5137 www.morrisheritage.net
Morris County Heritage Commission
Larry Fast, Chairman Henry Kafel, Vice Chairman Virginia Vogt, Secretary Tracy Kinsel, Treasurer
Dan Beards Miriam Morris
Epsey Farrell, Ph.D. James Woodruff
Peg Shultz, Archivist/Acting Director Electronic version can be viewed and downloaded from www.scribd.com/collections/2460238/HeritageCommission-Newsletter-Archives
For a Large Print Edition Call 973.829.8117
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