Contact Us | About Us | Volunteer | Local Links           
200 Years of History

200 Years of History

Jump to:
Part I
Part II
Part III
Part IV
Part V
Part VI
Part VII
Part IX
Part X
Part XI
Part XII
Part XIV
Part XV
Part XVI
Part XIX
Part XX
Part I: 1804-2004 Two Hundred Years of the Township of Jefferson
By R. Richard Willis

As we look back two hundred years, we would see a very different Jefferson Township. The native Americans, the Lenape's had lived on this land for hundreds of years. They hunted, fished, and raised their food. Still today many artifacts can be found of their life in the area that now is the Township of Jefferson.

With the signing of the Charter, Jefferson Township was created. The first meeting took place at “Seward’s Tavern” located on the Union Turnpike, now Route 15 South. The vast forests were being cut for charcoal, which would power the iron furnaces. Great bodies of iron, zinc and other ores lay beneath our soil. Water is abundant, for transportation, recreation, and running the mills. Thomas Jefferson was president, our U.S. Flag had 15 Stars and Stripes and Lewis & Clark were heading west in the exploration of the new territories.

The Township of Jefferson was created out of Pequanack and Roxbury Townships. The township is shaped like a parallelogram. It contains approximately 45 square miles and lies between the Sussex County Line on the Lake Hopatcong side, with Mount Arlington to the south. The Rockaway River flows through almost the whole length of the Township between Green Pond and Bowling Green Mountain ranges and in the North by Passaic County.

Jefferson contains many lakes, including Lake Hopatcong, which affected the early history very greatly. The Lake, Morris Canal, Ogden Mine Railroad, Central Railroad of New Jersey, and to some extent the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western, provided easy transportation for the ores that were being mined and for ice that was harvested. There were many boat lines on the Lake that transported goods and people when the great tourism era arrived.

In the upcoming months we will see different areas of our history.