James P Snell.

History of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : online

. (page 60 of 190)
Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 60 of 190)
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the nations of the earth and been deified in marble.
If the deeds of the first settlers of Sussex have not
been preserved in the pages of the annalist, they are
engraved in more enduring characters upon the hills
and vales and plains and promontories of our county.
The 'continuous woods' which originally shadowed
the fat soil yielded acre by acre to their sturdy blows ;
the cabin of hewn logs replaced the first rude hut ;
Orchards were planted, and the virgin soil displayed
its strength in rich products of waving grain. The
streams which had flowed for centuries in the gloom
of the o'erarching trees were opened at intervals to
the light of day ; the click of the busy mill in due
time was heard upon their banks, 'and the verdure
which skirted their margins was cropped by lowing
herds. The unerring rifle drove the beasts of prey
from the clearings, and in their places flocks of sheep,
whose fleeces were wrought by fair hands into gar-
ments, disported upon the hillside. And, finally, to
complete the picture,

"'Where prowled the wolf and where tlie hunter roved,
Faith raised her altars to the God Hhe loved. 1 "

Rev. J. F. Tuttle closed his very able and eloquent
address in the words following:

"In behalf of New Jersey, fellow-citizens of Sus-
sex, I thank you for this celebration, — the first of the
kind in the State. I trust all our counties will follow
your example, and gather together to pay a worthy

tribute to the men of the past. You have begun to
gather scattered materials of your own history : never
desist until you have, at least in manuscript, the his-
tory of every township, church, and society. Write
out the lives of such men as Ogden, — father and son,
— Hooper, Sharp, Rosenkrans, Symmes, Hearker,
Hankinson, Schaffer, and other men equally dis-
tinguished. I do not conceive that you have a right
to let their names perish. Let the New Jersey His-
torical Society have the fruits of these labors of love,
and then, should some other generation desire to
make such a celebration as this, the orators of the
occasion shall not be driven to such straits as my
colleague and myself have suffered. Had your an-
cestors done this, I might have been able to confine
myself to their history alone, but you must excuse
me for doing what I could.

" Whilst not permitted to deal with your local his-
tory, yet I have led you over a very pleasant field.
We have traced the growth of popular rights in the
commonwealth, and we have seen that our fathers
were true to the instincts of liberty and acted nobly
for the ' remotest posterity.' Like the oak, monarch
of the forest, this tree has grown slowly, but con-
stantly. Tyranny has sent many whirlwinds to up-
root it, but these only caused it to wind its roots,
toughened by resistance, more firmly around the
rocks of brave and loyal hearts. The storm of 1776
bent it, but neither broke nor tore it up. Some of its
leaves and twigs may have been torn off, but its roots
were twisted and twined about the moveless rocks too
tightly, and its brawny trunk and limbs had become
too stoutly gnarled and hardened into compactness
of knot, to be cast down. It still stands with its giant
arms lifted heavenward, — not defiantly, but in the
meek trust which freedom confides in God."




The topographical features of Sussex County pre-
sent a bold and picturesque outline, its uplands being
crowned by the crests of the Kittatinny, or Blue Moun-
tains, which pass through the county from northeast
to southwest. This range extends from New England
to Virginia, and is a continuous chain save where the
Hudson breaks through it at the Highlands, and the
Delaware at the Water Gap. Its gradual approach
to the Delaware River, preparatory to taking its final
leave of New Jersey and entering the neighboring
State of Pennsylvania, gives to the water-courses on
the west of it a short range compared with those on
the east, which form tributaries of the Hudson. But,
as if in defiance of this restriction of nature, the
Flatbrook has cut for itself a long and nearly parallel



channel with that of the Delaware in it- passage from
the northern to the southern extremity of the county,
where it apparently loses ii- determination to run
farther in competition with the principal stream, and
falls gracefully into its hosom. The I'aulinskill, Wall-
kill, and Papakating are the principal streams
the Blue Mountains, the first running southward and
entering the 1 >elaware below the Water Gap, and the
Others coursing to the northeast and falling into the
Hudson in Orange Co., X. Y.

The country to the east of the Blue .Mountain-,
although presenting in some places considerable ele-
vations, may be regarded as a large valley, nearly one

h Ireil miles in length and varying in width from ten

tn twenty miles. This valley embraces four counties,
— Warren and Sussex, in New Jersey, and ■ Iran je me I

Ulster, in New York. Jt was called by the Indians
the Kittatinny Valley, — the name which they gave to
the Blue Mountain range, which bounds it on the west,
in the shadows of which the ancient Lenni Lenapfi
had their chief town, for such is the meaning of the
word " Kittatinny." On the east is the Hamburg or
Bchooley's Mountain, called by the Indians Wawa-
j anda. Connected with this valley, to the northward
of Sussex, is the Mamakating Valley, down which
Hows the beautiful Rosendall and its tributaries, emp-
tying into the Wallkill. "Mamakating" is said to
mean "the valley of the dividing of waters.'' It is
in ili is valley that the Neversink, emptying into the
Delaware, and the Lackawanna, which discharges it-
self into the Rosendall, both rise in the same foun-
tain. And so likewise the Sandkill and Basha's Kill
Originate in the same Bpring in this valley. If it
would serve to recover this significant Indian name
and preserve a knowledge of its meaning, we might
mention also the fact that a branch of I'aulinskill
and the Papakating rise in the same fountain and
pari in different directions. The Rev. Mr. Murphy
is authority for saying that the Indian word "kating"
meant " dividing of waters," which is countenanced
by the above facts, the termination in each nam-' being
the same, and in each valley one fountain ori
twin streams, descending in opposite directions, — on

tl ie side to the Delaware, and on the other to the

I lie I. ii.

Scarcely in the Union, or in the world perhaps, is
thereto be seen a richer or more picturesque land-
scape, than presents it-elf to the eye OS J'OU ascend
the Wawayauda or the noble Kittatinny, where the

Immense vallej open- the distant prospective bestud-
ded with cottages, hamlets, and villages embossed in
outstretching lawns and fields waving with the rising

Says a recent writer, "Within fifty miles of New
York City lies a hillside country leading up to the

Blue Mountain range that offers health, rest, and rce-

rcation for the tired city merchant or the wear] bo-
cicty belle unsurpassed byanyspot in the land. This
inviting retreat is the county of Sussex, in the State

of New Jersey, lying in the triangle formed by Or-
ange County, in New York, and Pike County, in

Ivania. From lofty hills overlooking rich
valleys through which run creeks and brooks filled
with trout and other choice lish can be - en bere and

there beautiful lakes surrounded by cool h Is, while

green orchards and waving fields of grass and grain

be eve on every hand. The farms of Susses
are generally from one hundred to one hundred and
fifty acres in extent, and are well supplied with sub-
stantial buildings, giving an air of comfort and thrift
n ii thing to behold. The atmosphere is pure at all
times. The high altitude, with its cool breezes, im-
parts health-giving vigor. The soil is either limestone

or slate, both of which furnish good hard roads, af-
fording fine drives in all directions, with an ever-
varying landscape, in marked contrast with the
monotonous lowland of the southern portion of the

"The principal lakes of Sussex are Wawayauda,

Swartswood, Decker's, Culver's, Morris', Sand P 1,

's.Uiff's.S tickle's, Reservoir, Panther, Smith's,
Turtle, French's, and many of lesser note. The
largest creeks are the Wallkill, the Pequest, the
Clove, I'aulinskill, and Flatbrook. The lake- have
been generally stocked with black bass ; Swartswood,
Struble's, and Morris' with salmon. Swartswood
Lake is now said to he the best fishing-ground in

the State. It is reached by a romantic four-mile
drive from Newton, the county-seat of Sussex. It
is indeed a beautiful body of water. It is three
miles long and one mile wide, with a pretty green
island near the centre, on which has lat .■!■
ereel id B C invenient building for camping-parties.
An enterprising farmer, Mr. James Emm >ns, has
also built a substantial cottage in his grove on the
easl side of the lake, which he lets t > parties by the
week. Greenwood Point, at the southern side of the
lake, is one of the most beautiful spots to be found
anywhere. A small steamer was built last year, and

is available at all times .luring the summer. Scores
of row-boats are to be found along the shores of the
lake, which has become the central sjh it of attraction
In- ile- pe iple of Newton, as well as of many vi-itors
from New York City; so that from June t > » October
every pleasant day brings loads of pleasure-seekers to
enjoy it- attractions. Struble's Lake, near An lover,
ab en five mile- from Newton, over one of the -mo >th-

e-t and hardest of road-, is. if possible, more b sautiful

than Swartswood, but it has not - 1 many boats avail-
able for picnic-parties, a family party can find plenty

Of enjoyment and the besf of fishing at this lake.

Stickle'- Pond, three mile- from Newton, by way of

tie Springdale road, the line! natural drive in New
Jersej . is a pretty little round lake, as clear a- CTJ 3-
t.d. as smooth a- glass, and full of choice black bass
and pickerel.

"The famous Red Gate Farm, owned by the II, m.
Henry Kelsey, is Bituated upon the Springdal



about one mile south of Newton. Mr. Kelsey has
expended many thousands of dollars in making his
firm a vast garden-spot in thoroughness of cultiva-
tion. Among the other noted places are the country
s?at of Martin R. Dennis ; the farm formerly the
property of George C. Shaw ; the White Farm, now
owned by Silas Youngs ; the estate of the Hon.
Thomas Lawrence, at Hamburg ; the country resi-
dence of Mrs. John Rutherford ; the costly Babbitt
and Horton properties ; the Lewis Dunn place ; and
last, but not least, the fine homestead of Gen. Kil-


Lake Hopatcong is situated partly in Sussex County,
with its eastern shore lying upon the border of Mor-
ris, and with the Morris and Essex Railroad just pass-
ing its southern extremity, the outlet being the head
of the Musconetcong River. Tourists on the Morris
and Essex Railroad can obtain a prospect of the
"sheet of blue among the hills" and continue on
their journey west. The lake is amply provided with
means of access, which, supplemented by the fact
that a half-dozen first-class boarding-houses are ready
to receive a large number of guests, gives sufficient
corroboration of its admirable location as a place of
summer resort. The lake is peculiar in its outline,
and around on every side, from the lock of the
Morris Canal branch at its southern extreme — of
which it is now the principal supply, the reservoir
about a half-mile below being fed from its waters — to
the town of Woodport, nine miles north, is one con-
tinuous display of large receding bays, slightly re-
cessed coves, and open lagoons, behind which are the
guarding reef rocks of the shores.

The lake contains about eighteen square miles sur-
face of water. On the eastern boundary the Brook-
land hills slope from a heavily-wooded shore-line, and
thirty degrees to the horizon far up to the height of
two hundred and fifty feet is one of those many par-
allel ranges, spurs of the Kittatinny Mountains, that
give to Northern New Jersey her fame for the scenic
picturesque. The western pebbled bank lies modestly
hidden beneath the luxuriant foliage of ancient chest-
nut, oak, and maple forests that tradition says were
once the favorite hunting-grounds of the local Indian
tribes, and it is from this side that the far-reaching
Byram's Cove, opposite the two pretty emerald islands
in the northern part of the lake, and the river Styx,
farther south, branch out, forming smaller separated
hike- that bear in beauty and location all the sem-
blance of the romantic ideal haven. Of the. latter it
is said the name was taken from the mythological
stream of the Greeks across whose waters the gracious
ferryman Charon was wont to carry the unfortunate
dead into purgatory, but one matter-of-fact piscatorial
hunter claimed the orthography was an imposition on
the public, and maintained that it referred only to the
decayed stumps and half-sunken trees at which he
had so often vented his anger in unrefined epithets

when his fish-lines would become entangled beneath
their roots and branches. About a mile from the out-
let is Bertrand's Island, a fine piece of scenery for-
merly owned by a wealthy German, Mr. Ernest Ber-
trand, a New York sugar-refiner, whose intention was
to erect an extensive branch establishment on the
lake ; but his death prohibited the fulfillment of this
plan, and also that of transforming the island into a
German manor, with castle, stone embattlement
around the whole mile circumference, and causeway
and drawbridge. The causeway had been already
built and is now in existence, connecting by a huge
timber bridge the estate with the eastern mainland.

Lake Hopatcong was not naturally over half its
present extent, and until about fifty years ago its out-
let only gave power to a few small blast-furnaces at a
little village called Brooklyn, then located there, but
wdiieh at the purchase of the water-privileges by the
Morris Canal Company suspended operations. ■ >

A small pleasure-steamer has usually plied upon
the lake, and also a steam-tug for the purpose^of con-
veying canal-boats to and from the lock, loaded with
iron ore, which finds its way through this channel to
the furnaces.


The Delaware River, which washes the western
border of this county, forming the boundary between
New Jersey and Pennsylvania, rises on the western
slope of the Catskill Mountains. Mount Prospect, a
mile or two southeast of its source, rises about
fifteen hundred feet higher, and from its sum-
mit Albany, some seventy miles distant, may be
plainly seen on a clear day. This mountain-range is
the oldest of the earth's upheavals. Long before the
snow-clad Alps or the Rocky Mountains emerged
from their ocean-beds, and before the Carboniferous
period, the crests of the Kittatinny pierced the clouds,
while their sides were laved by the vast expanse of
waters whence they had risen " when the mountains
were brought forth."

The grand scenery of the Delaware for the first two
hundred miles as it hugs the northwestern slopes of
this Titanic range, seeking an outlet, will well repay
a visit along its entire distance. It is evident that
for ages a barrier existed at the Water Gap which
dammed back the river perhaps one hundred miles.
Whether the gap was made by the slow action of the
waters over a fell like Niagara or by some earthquake
convulsion it is difficult to determine. In the latter
case we may conceive of them as waiting, as it were,
iu calmness and patience for ages for the mighty shock
which should set them at liberty and send them,
leaping and exultant, to tho bosom of old ocean ; and
when the giant sides of the old mountain began to
tremble and tho colossal barrier was heaved from
their path, with what alacrity they rushed in and sped
on their way rejoicing to the sea, the pent-up forces
of a hundred miles of mountain-stream and the action



of gravity impelling them onward with n si
hjovementi The draining of the waters lefl the val-
ley of the Mini-ink as it now exists,— a rich garden, —
aid opened below its ancient prison-bounds mighty

bossibilities 1"< >r com rce.

"The east and west branches of the Delaware — the
Popacton and the Mohawk— flow a distance of about
(me hundred miles to their point of junction, near the

-thea-t curlier "I' Pennsylvania. The place .,1' the

union of the-,' streams to form the Delaware proper is
galled, iii the beautiful and significant language of
the Indians, Shehawkan, meaning 'the wedding of
tic- waters.' At this point the stream diverges in a
Southeasterly direction, and, moving on rapidly, re-
ceives 'he waters of the Lackawaxen (Lackanwek-
sink i, whose wild ravines echo the songs of the ' merry
raftmen.' Approaching the Blue Ridge at right
it reaches it again at the junction of the three Si itea
near Port Jcrvis, having journeyed in its rambles one
hundred and fifty miles yet being only half that dis-
tance from it- - to. .Mom.' the western base of the

mountain it Hows in a majestic current, lighting up
field and forest, adding a charm to a hundred land-
scapes. Diverging from the Blue Hills at times to
gjv3 \ iw Jersc a portion cf the rtch valli and
Again washing their rocky base and receiving the
water- of Bushkill, Brodhead's and .Mar-hall'- 1 Ireeks,
tie- unwearied stream at length reaches the Water
Gap, to add the climax of its beautiful creation-. The
forty mile, of the course of this stream along the base
of the mountain from Port Jervis to this place is un-
surpassed in the variety and beauty of the pictures it

presents, and, taken in coi ttion with the numerous

adjacent waterfalls, i- one of the most intei
portions of the country to the traveler."*

The gneiss rock of the Azoic formation is the oldest
stratum ol the gc ilogical structure of this county. It
is the rock in which the iron and zinc ore- are found,
and, in a mineral if not in an agricultural point of
view, is of great interest and importance. Professor
Cook divides the gneiss formation into lour belts or
parallel -trips of territory extending aero - the State
in a n irthcasl and southwest direction, from the New
York State line to the Delaware River. In the third
of these belts is included the gneiss in Sussex < lounty,
Consisting of the Hamburg range of mountain-. Stir-
ling Hill, and the for tion al t Andover. "The

eastern boundary line of this belt," Bays Professor
Cook, "coincides with that of the crystalline lime-
stone from the New York line to the end of Stirling
fclill, near Hamburg. . . . Northeast of Franklin Fur-
nacc to the southern limit of the lilue limestone of the

Vernon valley this bell join- the sei 1 b It. the white

limc-touc of the valley bounding the gneiss of the
Hamburg Mountain. Passing west of Sparta ami the

- Dolamn Watoi 0»l>i lq Bro llioad, 1-7 1.

Wallkill, the line passi imbiaand th

villc valley, ami runs by Andover to Waterloo." We
ription no farther.
I gneiss formation of this county, like tic
formation elsewhere, is a crystalline and stratified rock,
composed of feldspar and quartz, with small quantities
of mica, hornblend, magnetite, or other similar min-
erals. "The (piartz i's generally in grains, whi
flattened in the direction of the stratification, aid
which, in size, range from an eighth to half an inch
in the plane of the stratum, and from one-sixteenth
to an eighth of an inch in thickness."


This part of the Azoic formation appear- in this
countj in a -eric- of outcrop- along the Vernon val-
ley, extending into the Wallkill valley east of Ham-
burg aid Hardystonville, by Franklin Furnace to
Stirling Hill. From Mount- Adam aicl Eve, ami
Round Hill in New York, tlii- range is about twenty
mil.-, in length. " Although there is not a continuous
expo-ure of the rock, the frequent outcrop- aid the

absei f Pals izoic rocks indicate an uninterrupted

extent of this limestone." Fr Pochuck Mountain

to Franklin Furnace the magnesian limestone !
ii mi the west. South of Franklin Furnace, or from
Mine Hill to its southern limit, the gneiss of Pimple
Hill range joins it mi the west. On the cast, from
Stirling Hill to Franklin Furnace and Snufftown
road, blue limestone lies in the valley. The su
of this range of crystalline limest me is very j
ami uneven.

" Generally this rock i- coarsely crystalline, being
mad ■ up of large rhombohedral crystals. S imetimea
it is finely granular, and even amorphous, in appear-
ance. Tic- color i- - etiuie- of a grayish or pinkish

tinge, but most generally it is of a pure white, its
lu-troii- ileava siirnv- ^iv i- it a bright amir

splendent aspect. Nearly everywhere the rocl

tain- graphite in brilliant scale- .li - urinated through

the mass." Mica anil other minerals arc quite I I-

m, ,n in it. aid SOmetim - it appear; intcrstratili id

with sienitie em-is-, seen in alternation, as at Mine
Hill aid southeast of Hardystonville.


Passing to the Palaeozoic rock-, the first aubd
is the Potsdam -aid-tone. This rock has a limited
area in Sussex i' lunty. At Franklin Furnace is one
of the best exposures in the state, where the sandstone

can be seen lying unconformably upon the gneiss, ami

the magnesian limestone directly over it. " Th,- meet-
ing of the gneiss ami -ami-tone is beat seen just at
the west of the road, while tic- meeting with the lime-
stone i- best -ecu in the road on the ca-t of the wa.'oii-
track." The -mall area ol' I'ols.lam -aml-toiie ,,],-, r\ -
able ill the county is very thin: at Franklin Furnace
it i- id more than from four to twenty feet thick. In
German valley, in tl alley, ami in other



places it is a fine-grained, light-colored freestone,
working readily under the hammer, and is in some
demand for building purposes.


This name is applied to the common blue limestone
of the Kittatinny valley and of the valleys of the
Highlands. In the New York reports it is called cal-
ciferous sandstone, — evidently a misnomer, as it con-
tains no sand or other material to entitle it to such a
designation. In the West, as in New Jersey, it is
called, very properly, magnesian limestone, and Pro-
fessor Cook remarks that " its usefulness will be in-
creased by giving it a proper name."

This formation lies beneath the Trenton limestone
and above the Potsdam sandstone. In New Jersey no
fossils have been found in it. It is a fine-grained rock,
varying in color from a drab to a deep blue and almost
a black, and is so soft that it can be easily scratched
with a knife. In some cases it is a pure magnesian
limestone or dolomite, in others it contains a moderate
percentage of impurities, and cavities containing
quartz crystals are sometimes found in it. " Near its
meeting with the Potsdam sandstone there is an alterna-
tion of sandy and calcareous layers, as if the change
from one to the other had been a very gradual one.
This rock lies in a series of long and narrow parallel
belts, which extend from the northeast to the south-
west. They are not in horizontal strata, however, but
are folded or doubled about certain lines or axes,
which lie in their highest direction and very near their
middle. In some cases the strata are folded upwards
on these lines, when the axis is said to be synclinal;
in other cases they are folded downwards, when the
axis is said to be anticlinal."

In Sussex County this rock outcrops in the valley
of the Wallkill between Franklin Furnace and the
head of the hill southwest of Sparta. The rock forms
little knolls and irregular ridges of considerable height,
separated by the smooth meadows or flats of the val-
ley. It is therefore a series of outcrops rather than a
continuous exposure, occupying an area, bounded by
the Wallkill and Hamburg Mountains on the east,
and Briar Ridge and the Pimple Hills range on the
west. On the latter border the white or crystalline
limestone constitutes the bounding rock.

The eastern portion of Vernon valley, beginning
near West Vernon, is underlaid by the blue limestone,
which extends north to the State line, and beyond it
into the Warwick valley. The Hamburg and Wa-
wayanda Mountains limit it towards the east ; on the

Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 60 of 190)