James P Snell.

History of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : online

. (page 89 of 190)
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Baptist, — a school-house, grist-mill, turning-shop,
saw-mill, a wagon-shop, two blacksmith-shops, a
creamery, a general store, and a distillery.

At the highest point of the valley is a small lake,
fed by springs and covering about 14 acres, which
forms a natural reservoir and supplies the stream
running down the valley. This stream — known in
the vicinity as the " Mill brook" — furnishes power
for the several mills, and finally empties into the
Wawayanda. Just above the village the stream tum-
bles over a high ledge of rocks into a pool at the head
of the "Glen," and the locality is known as "The
Falls." At the side of the Glen a small cave has
been worn in the cliff, probably by the action of the
water on the soft limestone rock. The "Glen" and
the " Falls" are overshadowed by a grove of elms,
which in summer afford a very inviting retreat.

" The Falls" furnished the power for the first grist-
mill built in the township. The tract — a square of
ten acres, including the mill-site — was conveyed by
Delancy & Cuyler to Denn Decker by deed bearing
date May 31, 1774, and is described as follows:

" Lying on both sides of a brook called and known by the name of
Pochunck Brook, on the south side of a mountain called by the same
name, including a place about a quarter of a mile above Denn Decker's
called The Falls."

The adjoining lands were surveyed to James Drum-
nioiid Lundin, Earl of Perth, Sept. 14, 1764, and sold
to Stephen Bailey, May 1, 1793. They are still occu-
pied by his descendants.

The Denn Decker property referred to in the deed is
the farm next below on the mill-stream, now in pos-
session of the Houston family. Adjoining this is the
farm on which George Backster settled, in 1795, and
which is now owned by his grandson, John C. Back-
ster. The next farm was settled in 1797, by Matthew
Van Norstrand. He was appointed justice of the
peace by Governor Williamson and Council in 1821,
and for many years was the arbiter of the legal dis-
putes of the neighborhood. The adjoining lands were
settled in 1787 by Hassell Ryerson, whose descendants
still occupy the same farm.

Up the valley above the falls among the early set-
tlers were Robert Donaldson, the school-master, who
taught in the old school-house; Joseph Edmondson,
who removed to Newton and purchased the property
now called the Babbitt farm ; Abram Van Winkle,
the millwright ; Jeremiah Force, and William- Rhodes,
the surveyor who located many of the vacant lands in
the vicinity. His first comj^ass was made by himself.
Farther up were Frederick Arvis, afterwards sheriff
of Sussex County, Tobias Van Gelder, and Abner
Toland. Nearly every farm in the valley is still
owned by descendants of the first settlers, but two
having changed hands in many years.

Of the first mill erected at the Falls no vestige re-
mains. The second, built lower down on the stream,
was burned in 1809. The third, built in 1810, with
some additions and repairs is still standing, and util-
izes the power of the lively brook before mentioned.

Samuel Vail built a fulling-mill on the stream
about 1804. So long as the people wore homespun
the mill did a flourishing business, but when more
luxurious attire became general, and silk and broad-
cloth were worn, the fulling-mill went to decay.

Jacob Dodder erected a sash-and-blind factory in
1830, and invented and built a planing-mill which
worked successfully. It imitated the motion of plan-
ing by hand, the planing-irons being set in a frame,
which was drawn back and forth by water-power.

The place was once noted for its maple-forests, and
until 1835 nearly all the sugar used in the settlement
was produced from these trees. A few of the old
maple-groves remain, but little sugar is manufactured,
the high price of fuel rendering the business unprof-

The meadows along the Wawayanda in the vicinity
of Glenwood have for many years been remarkable for
their productiveness. As early as 1825, $100 per acre
was offered for the meadow tracts, and the present
holders do not sell at any price.



i M school-houses the place has had three, — the "old"
school-house, standing by the "crotched hickory,"
near the mill-pond, built in 1795, where Donaldson
and Brougham taught; this was succeeded by the
"red" school-house, where the grown citizens
present time conned their tasks in early days, and the
r white" school-house, on the hill, built by I leorgeW.
Rhodes in 1864. The "red" school-house was used
1 1 \ the Methodist Church as a preaching-station until

the erection dI' Ihe hriek elinreli, in 1st;::, ami the
beautiful grove near the building was a Favorite camp-
meeting ground in the early days ,,l' Methodism.
No records of Revolutionary date have been pre-
A few veterans of 1*1:.' lived in the commu-
nity and fought their battles over, to the wonder and
admiration of a generation unused to war. Nearly
every young man in the hamlet volunteered his ser-

viees during tin' late war, ami there were lew families

in i rlenwood and its vicinity that bad not one or more
fcpresentatives at the front.

The Sussex Jiatlrrij. Tin- Su - ex Ilattery i - tationed

at t Henwood. It bas two bronze 12-pound Napoleons,

with carriages and limbers, anil is well lilted with all
the necessary battery equipments.

The company was organized in 1879, ami the guns
were first used at the centennial celebration of the
battle of Mini-ink. at (iosben, X. Y ., and since at

the following places: Grand Army encampment at

Ski lima n '- iii Vugust, IST'.I; unveiling of the soldiers 1
monument at Middletown in September, 1879 ; recep-
tion to Kilpatrick at Franklin, October, 1879; and
the Grand Army encampment at ISordentowii, N. J.,
in 1880. The battery has never met with an accident
01' any kind, although it has filed several hundred lull



I hi hamlet bearing this name had its first incep-
tion in 1845, when 0. Am.- ,v. Sons began tie- erec-
tion of a blast-furnace, which was run by charcoal

and depended lor iis supply of this material upon a
trad of woodland embracing 6000 acres, from which
tin' charcoal was burned. A magnetic ore mine, then

known as the " Acker Mine," situated about two miles
from the furnace, furnished the principal portion of
the ore consumed in the business, the power having
pei ii supplied bj the sheet of water known then as
['Double Pond," and now christened Wawayanda


About isiis, tin 1 Thomas Iron Company purchased

the properly from < ». Ames A: Son-, but did very

little towards developing the mines until 1880. Thej

are at present actively engaged at a point known as

tin- "Green Mine," adjoining the property before
mentioned. The ore is delivered by wagon to the
track of the Warwick Valley Railroad,- -a distance

of three miles, — from whence it is shipped for smelting

purpose-. I pou the 6 acres of land owned by

the company there is unquestionably a large amount

of magnetic ore, which only awaits additional rail-

way facilities for a more full development of its


The ore particularly abundant in Vernon i- known
by geologists as red hematite.

The Simpson mine of this ore is located in Vernon
township, 2j miles ih.a-i of Hamburg. The ore

OCCUrS in the form of a bed or irregular deposit, from

(i to 10 feet in width, in the while limestone. Exca-
vations have been made in it to a considerable extent.

from which large ipiantities have been removed and

-united, yielding iron of a superior quality.

Bed hematite has also been found in the hill di-
rectly back of McAfee Valley, and within half a mile

of the hotel. It is on land owned by William Smith,
and has been opened to a moderate extent, though
not at present worked.

Two miles and a half northeast of Hamburg, be-
tween the base of the I'ochuck Mountain and a ridge
Of white limestone, occurs an extensive bed of brown

hematite of a fibrous and massive structure. Exca-
vation- have been made, and the ore smelted in the
Hamburg furnace.


A very old burial-place, known as the "Perry
graveyard." is located on the farm of the late T. T.
Simonson. .Many members of the Perry family are

interred here, though the -pot has not been frequented
for years, and presents many evidences of neglect.

The only memorial now remaining i- tin headstone
Of one Rachel Derby, bearing date I77ii. the material

of which is old red Bandstone. • tther stones or frag-
ments of stones of a very rough character are seen,
but they were used -imply to designate the presence

of a grave.

Hi: kay I BMETBBT.
This burial-spot— the oldest in the town-hip, and

possibly in th<' county —was confined almost entirely
to interments in the De Kay family, to whom it be-
longed. It was selected by Col. Tl tas l>e Kay, on

his arrival in the township, as the spot where his
bones should repose, and is, as a consequence, more

than a century old. lie inclo-ed il with an attractive
fence and Otherwise improved its appearance. Here
arc buried four of the family named Thomas who are

in the direct line of descent, all of whom ware re-i-
dem- of Vernon.


In the village of Vernon, and adjoining the lot on

which -land- lie Methodist Episcopal church, wa-

matiy years ago a burial-ground used by members of
the Baptist denomination. This was for awhile in
general use, and among others here interred were
John Jessup and members of the Winans, Edsall,

Campbell, 1 lenton, and Simonson families.

Adjoining the Episcopal church is the cemetery
used by thai denomination. It has no claim to an-
tiquity, having fiTBt been Used in I-!-.



Among other family burial-grounds is that of the
Ricky family, now in disuse, and now known as the
Green Cemetery.


The Glenwood Cemetery Association was organized
in 1876 under the direction of a board of trustees
which embraced the following individuals : William
Van Winkle, Joseph Simpson, Daniel Bailey, Michael
Morehouse, Gilbert D. Drew, Peter J. Brown, John
C. Backster, Sharp Backster, Nicholas N. Ryerson.
The association purchased from Capt. N. N. Ryerson
a tract of 12 acres well adapted for the purpose; it
was laid out and improved under the direction of B.
F. Hatheway, C.E. The year following were added
evergreens, hedges, and much ornamental shrubbery,
which have greatly enhanced the beauty of the spot.
The Glenwood Cemetery is fast becoming one of the
most picturesque and attractive in the county.


It is probable that houses of entertainment were
open to the public while traversing the highways of
Vernon as early as the middle of the last century.
Nevertheless, none is recalled of an earlier date than
that kept by William Winans, who came during the
war of the Revolution and probably opened a public-
house soon after at Vernon village. It was at that time
the only stopping-place between Hamburg and Orange
Co., N. Y., and, as a consequence, monopolized all
the patronage of the traveling public. Mr. Winans
later converted it into a dwelling, in which he died.
Richard S. Denton finally purchased it, when it be-
came the residence of his son, Smith Denton.

The second tavern was built by Simon Simonson,
about 1790, and stood on the site of the residence of
the late T. T. Simonson. It was converted into a
dwelling many years since, and is still standing.

Stuffle Simonson in 1820 opened a house of enter-
tainmentforthepublic two miles eastof McAfee, which
was for years the rendezvous on the occasion of town-
ship elections. This was abandoned many years since.

A second tavern was built at Vernon by John Ben-
jamin, who was also the landlord. He was succeeded
by John Van Derriff, after whom it passed into the
hands of Thomas S. De Kay, who rendered it exceed-
ingly popular as a summer resort.



The records of the Glenwood Baptist Church extend
as far back as 1838, although the church was not regu-
larly constituted as such until 1862, existing, in the
mean time, as a branch of the Hamburg Church.

In the spring of 1838, Elder William H. Spencer
commenced his earnest and efficient labors with the
latter church, devoting a part of his time to Glenwood
and vicinity, then known as North Vernon. At that
time the Baptist element in the place was very small,

* Prepared by Rev. T. M. Grcnello, pastor.

consisting of a few scattered members of the Ham-
burg Church and some others, who held their connec-
tion with Orange and First Wantage Churches. Meet-
ings were usually held in the " old" school-house,
which then stood on the place where the church
building was afterwards erected. The precise time
when the few scattered members were organized as a
branch of the Hamburg Church is not known, but it
was evidently during the first part of Elder Spencer's
ministry. Previous to his coming Baptist ministers
from Orange and First Wantage — among whom were
Rev. Zelotes Grenelle, afterwards pastor of the church,
and his brother, Elder Samuel Grenelle — had occa-
sionally preached in the vicinity.

During Elder Spencer's ministry of seven years 62
members, mostly by baptism, were added to the
branch, of whom some continue with the church to
this day.

Early in 1841 the " Christian" denomination (having
some time previously organized a church in North
Vernon) commenced the erection of a house of wor-
ship on the " old" school-house lot. The building
committee consisted of Matthew Bailey, Gabriel Hous-
ton, Price Van Ostrand, Francis Walling, and Samuel
Vail. William Backster, Price Van Ostrand, and
Frederick Arvis were appointed trustees at a meeting
held March 8, 1841.

The building was finished in the winter of 1841-42
at a cost of $1500, and dedicated to the service of God
with appropriate services June 2, 1842.

This society, finding themselves involved in debt
beyond the prospect of liquidation, offered the build-
ing for sale in 1844., It was purchased by the Bap-
tists for about $1100, and rededicated by them in the
winter of 1844-45. A new board of trustees was
appointed, consisting of Matthew Bailey, Ebenezer
Drew, and Evi A. Martin, and the church occupied
this edifice, standing on the site of the " old" school-
house, before mentioned, until it was taken down,
twenty-four years afterwards.

At the close of Elder Spencer's labors, on Nov. 24,
1845, the North Vernon branch met for the transac-
tion of business, at which meeting the following reso-
lutions were adopted :

"First. That we as a branch will hold regular church-meetings on the
second Saturday of each month.

" Second. That we approve of the call given by the Hamburg Baptist
church to Elder John Davis to become our pastor.

" Third. That Matthew Bailey be the regular clerk of tho branch."

This was the first recorded church-meeting of the
branch church.

The call thus made to Elder Davis was accepted,
and he entered upon his ministry with the church
early in the winter of 1845-46, continuing in the pas-
toral relation until the autumn of 1849, — a period of
four years.

At the close of Elder Davis' labors Rev. J. M. Hope
accepted a call to the pastorate of the Hamburg
Church and the branch. His work continued but one

\ i:i:\uv


rear, when the church was left without a regular
pastor until the spring of 1851, — a period of nearly a
year and a half. During this time the branch was

supplied occasionally liy Elders Thomas Davis and

David Bennet, until the services of Mr. J. I.. Barlow,
a licentiate of First Wantage, were obtained for six
months. Mr. Barlow at the time was editor of the
Borne Journal, published at Deckertown.

Tn the spring of 1851 the pastoral services of Rev.
Banford Leach were procured by the Hamburg t Ihurch
and the branch conjointly for one year. The Lord's
Supper was regularly administered and regular church-
meetings were held. During this time Sir. Leach
reorganized the Sabbath-school, which had been dis-
continued, and secured a library for it.

In 1852, Elder Leach resigned the pastorate. Tin-
alternate services of Elder Tl las 1 ia\ is. of First

Wantage, and Rev. J. I. < rrimley, oft Irange, supplied

the pulpit f « « r one year.

Rev. J. S. Christine, the next pastor, entered upon
his labors April 1, 1853, and continued about three
years, after which the church was destitute of regular
preaching for one war. when Elder J. M. Hopi
eepted his second call to Hamburg, and entered on
hie ministry April 1, 18~>7.

About I860 the members of the branch, convinced

that a mere supply of the pulpit would result in the

future, as it had in the past, in very slow progress, if,
indeed, there should be any progress at all, -resolved
to bl ah loose from Hamburg and set up for them-
selves. Accordingly, at a church-meeting, Nov. 16,
1861, the] unanimously agreed to a-k letters of dis-
mission, which were promptly granted. Elder Zelotes
lircnelle, before mentioned in thi< sketch, of Porl
Jervis, was called as the first pastor.

It was formally recognized by a council id' ministers
and delegate- from the churches of the Susses Bap-
tist Association convened Jan. I i. 1 862.

\i a subsequent church-meeting Michael More-
bouse was chosen deacon for four years, and Bbenezer
Drew for two years. Sharp Backster was appointed

clerk and Daniel Bailey treasurer for one year. Il

was evident]} a fortunate circumstance thai the infant
church was first placed under the pastoral care of Rei .

Zelotes < Irenellc. as in him were combined acceptable

gifts ami a large experience in the pastoral office.

Elder /.dole- Qrenelle closed his labor- with the
church in the last of March, 1865, to take charge of
the Baptist Church in Millington, N. J., and was
Bucceeded on the l-i of April loll. .wing by Rev.
Thomas M. Crenelle, from Hollisterville, Pa., who

Still (1881) remains the pastor.

Al a regular ehureh-nieetinj- held duly 1. 1866,

Gabriel Welch was elected deacon and Daniel Bailej
trustee, both in place of Ebenezer Drew, deceased.
Frederick \rvi- was elected deacon in February,

In 1867 the church acquired the lot of land on
which the present house ol worship was erected.

At a regular church-meeting held Feb. 1.1868, a
committee, consisting of Michael Morehouse, Chris-
topher Haggerty, Zenas l>. Riggs, Peter J. Brown,
and Daniel Bailey, was appointed to procure subscrip-
tions, make estimates, and to obtain a design for the
proposed edifice. They reported at a subsequent
i iting; their plan was accepted, and the same per-
sons were appointed as a building committee. Ground
was broken for the new church edifice May 18, 1808,

and the foundation completed the following June.

Aug. 26, 1868, the society secured an act of incor-
poration as 'The Glenwood Baptist Church," the
name of the place having been changed from North
Vernon to « Henwood bj the postmaster-general.

The last sermon in the old building was preached
by Rev. T. M. Grenelle, the pa-tor, on Sunday, Aug.
1 I, 1868, a historical review of the church being givi n
at the same time. The house was taken down the
week following, and the frame of the new edifice raised

in September, 1SI',.K. The lecture-room was finished

in November, and first occupied by the Sabbath-school
on Sunday, Dec. 4, 1868, followed by the regular ser-
vice of the church.

The new church was completed early in Septem-
ber, 1869, and dedicated Thursday, Sept. 14, 1869.

The building and furniture cost $10,0011, which was
all provided for by the evening of dedication-day.
and the church owed much of it- subsequent pros-
perity to it- freedom from debt. The year following,

by the exertions of Deacon Gabriel Welsh and the

young people of the church, one of Meneely's sweet-
sounding bells was purchased and placed in the

The following description of the church, from one
of the leading State papers, i- appended :

■ -i he church building i- small. bul perhaps tin- most oompleteand
boauUfnl Baptist church of Its size in the State, having all thoconve-
iii'-in'cs iin'i in'xlrni improvements ol the more pretentious chnrohes of
tlii* cities. Bine itained-glass windows, carpeted throughout, heated by

furnaces, a plp&organ by if the beet \,-w York makem, side-walls

and ceilings elaborately freec I, a pleasant UtUe Sabbatb.*achool room

adjoining the rear and opening from the church, a baptisteo bnllt nnder
tl..- |tnli>ii platform, i m i eases "i ths em i

Tb, subsequent history of the church i- marked by
but tew notable incidents.

The North New Jersej Baptist Association was or-
ganized at < Henwood in 1872.


If, certificate of incorporation of the Protestant
Episcopal Church of Vernon read- a- follows :

" lb -ill leera:

"We wh hereunto afflzed dooorUfj thai the

congregation «>f si. Tl, as 1 i ipal ' Ehnrch ,,f Vernon, In

u><- conuty -I Sui ' Is a s - n-n wor-

shiping accordlnf I ] usageaof tin- Protestant I

Church, desiring to form thi

in such case nm,l<-

and provided, t in si. Thomas* churoh slbresaid^iu thesald town of

Vernon, on the L8th day ol Hay, 1848, punmanl to I
a as u, <• Intontlon of the ■

i ,.,t.- by „!, sdrarUsemenl set up in open view on the



outer door of the said church, it being the place where the said congre-
gation usually assemble for divine service, which designates the day
when and the place where they designed to meet for that purpose. The
rector of the said church, the Rev. Dexter Potter, presided, and H. W.
McCamley, the secretary of the vestry, recorded the proceedings. The
congregation then proceeded, by a vote of a majority of those present,
to designate the corpurate name or title by which the said church shall
be known, and which is ( The Rector, Wardens, and Vestrymen of the
St. Thomas' Church of Vernon.' The congregation then chose two war-
dens and five vestrymen, and also, by a majority of voices, fixed and de-
termined on Monday in the week called Easter week, annually, as the
day on which the election of officers of said church shall take place.

"In testimony whereof, in order that these proceedings may be re-
corded, we, the rector and secretary aforesaid, have hereunto set our
hands and seals this ISth day of May, in the year of our Lord 1848.
" D. Potter,
" Henry W. McCamley."

The meeting for incorporation was held subsequent
to the building of the church, which was erected in
1847, at a cost of $1500.

The first wardens were Walter L. Shee and Thomas
B. De Kay ; the first vestrymen were John Ruther-
ford, Henry W. McCamley, Lewis G. Price, John
Baird, and Carlos Allen. H. W. McCamley was ap-
pointed treasurer, and James Riley sexton.

The rectors in succession since 1848 have been
Rev. D. Potter, who remained from 1848 until 1853,
when he was succeeded by Rev. W. H. Carter. He
was followed by Rev. George Hubbard, in 1860, after
which Rev. George Z. Gray began his labors, in 1862,
and remained two years. The next incumbent was
Rev. N. F. Ludlow, who came in 1864 and remained
until 1869, an interval having been filled by Garret
Van Horn as lay-reader during his rectorate. During
a portion of the winter of 1868-69 the church was
closed. Rev. Peter A. Jay came in 1869, and was
followed by Rev. H. B. Stuart Martin in 1872. The
present rector, Rev. Levi Johnson, began his ministry
in 1875, and also includes the Hamburg parish in his
field of labor.


There are two churches of this denomination in
the township, both under the pastorate of Rev. Mr.
Pope. Both church buildings are spacious and com-
fortable, and each of the organizations enjoys a con-
siderable degree of prosperity.

The deed conveying the property on which the
first church was erected, in 1837, is from Robert A.
Lynn and Elizabeth, his wife, of Hamburg, to Wil-
liam R. Winans, Nathan Benjamin, Abram Van
Gelder, Thomas B. De Kay, Richard S. Denton,
Samuel Simonson, and Abram Rutan, Jr., trustees of
the Vernon Methodist Episcopal Church. It is dated
Aug. 8, 1835.

The church built in 1837 becoming too small, a
new one was erected in 1873. It was dedicated by
Drs. Dashiel and Laroe. Rev. William R. Keifer
was pastor at that time.

Dr. L. R. Dunn, in 1841, took Vernon for his first
charge, and met with Miss Camley, who afterwards
became Mrs. Dunn.

Several prominent divines have had charge of Ver-
non Circuit. Rev. W. H. Dickenson was appointed

Online LibraryJames P SnellHistory of Sussex and Warren counties, New Jersey : → online text (page 89 of 190)