Morris County Transportation & Industry Chronology

Note: This is a work-in-progress!

Please send corrections and additions to Bill McKelvey at
Posted on LHRy website on 21 March 2018

The following work is presented to demonstrate and justify the desirability of a trolley / rail shuttle and a local museum in the  Morris County area to present, memorialize and educate the public on the historic importance of turnpike, canal, railway, trolley, bus, and interstate transportation as well as the iron, lumber, charcoal, ice, explosives, munitions, rocket, and other industries plus lake, resort, excursion and amusement travel in the area over the years.  Also documented are the impacts of coal transport & use.

*Including some items that are near, but outside Morris County borders.



Iron ore in the Dover district has been determined to be of volcanic origin of the late Pre-Cambrian age (550 to 600 million years Before Current Era - BCE)  [Geological Survey Bulletin 1082-B, US GPO 1959]


About 230 million years BCE dinosaurs first appeared in NJ.  They were the dominant terrestrial vertebrates for over 135 million years.  The largest grew to 59 feet high and 130 feet long.  The Dinosaur Train is a popular attraction for children on many tourist railways. [Wikipedia]


About 66,000,000 years BCE dinosaurs were annihilated.  [Wikipedia]


800,000 years BCE is the estimated time frame when the pre-Illinoian glacial deposits were deposited in Northern NJ.  [NJ Geological Survey]


150,000 years BCE is the estimated time, during the Illinoian stage when an ice sheet again covered Northern NJ.  [NJ Geological Survey]


21,000 years BCE during the late Wisconsinan substage was the most recent glaciation of Northern NJ.  The Terminal Moraines of each of these events were in the general Wharton area.  However, most of the glacial sediment in NJ was deposited during this last ice age.  This is the source of the sands which have been quarried by County Concrete Co. for many years in the section of Roxbury adjacent to Wharton.  [NJ Geological Survey]


10,000 years BCE

The retreating glaciers left a fertile area in north Jersey teeming with wildlife that eventually became home to the first paleo Indians, beginning a native American history from the archaic period to the woodland culture of the Lenape or Delaware indians.  The Leni Lenape (which means “original people”), an Algonkian speaking people, were one of most advanced and civilized tribes in the eastern US. They were hunting and raising crops, such as corn, beans and squash, in the area which has become New Jersey.  [NJ Skylands Visitor Magazine]  [McKelvey]



The Lenape culture flourished until the arrival of the first European fur traders visited Indian communities to barter metal pots, iron axes, scissors, cloth, glass beads and other items for the Indian’s animal furs and skins.  An Indian village has been re-created at Waterloo Village to help visualize the past.  It is located on an island in Waterloo Lake – called Winakung and is open for school groups and other visitors.  [NJ Skylands Visitor Magazine]  [McKelvey]



Charcoal-burning in NJ apparently began with the establishment of the Tinton Falls Iron Works, or Shrewsbury Furnace, on the Shrewsbury River in Monmouth County.  This was the first successful furnace to operate in NJ (1674-1746).  It was built for or by James Grover and later operated by Henry Leonard and sold to Col. Lewis Morris in 1676.  The early iron industry operations involved not only the use of the magnetite ores of northern NJ, but also the bog ore deposits of the southern parts of the state.  [Sim, R.J. and Weiss, H.B., Charcoal-Burning in NJ From Early Times to the Present]



Lady Carteret sold East Jersey (which included the present area of Morris County) to William Penn and others for (3,400 English pounds).  [McKelvey]



Outcroppings of iron ore were first discovered in this year by surveyor John Reading at a site that became the Suckasunny Mine, later called the Dickerson Mine after Jonathan Dickerson who bought the property from Joseph Kirkbride in 1779.  [Morris County Heritage Commission]


An outcropping of iron ore in the form of a cliff 100 feet high was discovered at Mount Hope. [Mason, Eleanor C. and White, Patricia A., Rockaway Township]


About this year, a few people removed from Newark and Elizabeth, etc., and settled on the west side of the Pessaick River in that which is now Morris County.  Not long after settlers erected a house for the public worship of God on the banks of the Whippenung River (about three miles west of the Pessaick River), about one hundred rods below the Forge which is and has long been known by the name of The Old Iron Works, and later known as the Whippany Bloomery.  Its ore was brought in leather bags from Dickerson’s Mines, eight or ten miles away, and the bar iron was packed to market in the same way.  The bars were cut so as to be easily carried, and a horse would make about fifteen miles a day under a load of four or five hundred pounds.  [Boyer, Charles S., Early Forges and Furnaces in NJ]



Joseph Latham was deeded the land that includes present-day Dover from portions of land which had been purchased from Native Americans by the Proprietors of West Jersey.  [Wikipedia]

What was to become the Dickerson Mine (in Mine Hill) had a history which extended back to the first settlement of the region.  At that time ore was so plentiful and demand so slight that it was treated as a free good for anyone who wished to cart it away.  In those days, it was generally referred to as the Succasunna Mine, this unique name deriving from the Indian words for “black rock” –  iron.  The mine supplied forges and furnaces throughout what is now Morris County, and sometimes beyond.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]  [Casey & Douglas, The Lackawanna Story]



The Dickerson (iron) Mine, one of the oldest in New Jersey, was located by surveyor John Reading, but was probably worked even earlier.  [Macasek, Joseph J., Guide to the Morris Canal in Morris County]  



Dover was founded.  It was called “Old Tye” at the time when NJ was part of New England.  [Platt, Charles D., Dover Dates, 1722-1922, A Bicentennial History of Dover, NJ]  [Dover Historical Society]


John Jackson bought 527 acres at Mine Hill for (5 English pounds).  [McKelvey]


The first iron forge in Dover was built by John Jackson, but it was unsuccessful.  [Macasek, Joseph J., Guide to the Morris Canal in Morris County]


John Jackson processed ore into bars at his Dover forge that would then be transported to Paterson and other industrial areas to the east.  [Wikipedia]


Ore from the Dickerson Mine was brought down to the forge in saddle bags.  The blooms were bent (or more likely cast) into the shape of a letter “U” to fit over the back of a horse or mule and were so transported to Elizabethtown Port, to be shipped by water.  [Platt, Charles D., Dover Dates, 1722-1922, A Bicentennial History of Dover, NJ]



Iron works were established at Rockaway.  [Platt, Charles D., Dover Dates, 1722-1922, A Bicentennial History of Dover, NJ]



Morris County was created from a portion of Hunterdon County.  It was named after Col. Lewis Morris, who served as the governor of the province of  New Jersey at that time.  Morris County originally included portions of Morris, Sussex and Warren counties.  [Morris County website]



The Quaker Iron Works was established in Dover in this year and operated under a succession of owners and names until 1950.  [Ye Old Tye News, Vol. XXXVI]



The Mount Hope property, where iron ore was discovered in 1710, was purchased by Jacob Ford, Sr. in 1749.  [Mason, Eleanor C. and White, Patricia A., Rockaway Township]


Jonathan Osborn (or Osbourne) purchased land along Green Pond Brook, built a dam and erected a forge (Picatinny Forge, called Middle Forge after 1772) near (at the southern end of) the present Picatinny Lake.  It was one of the earliest forges in NJ and may have used ores from the nearby Mount Hope mine.  He produced cannon, shot, bar iron, shovels, axes and iron implements for Gen. George Washington’s Continental Army.  [Rae, John W., Picatinny Arsenal]  [Picatinny Arsenal HAER Report]


ca. 1750

The Brookland Forge was built, utilizing the flow of the Musconetcong River as it left Lake Hopatcong.  An earth dam was constructed by the forge, raising the level of the lake by 6 feet.  At this time the lake was referred to Great or Brookland Pond.  A new dam was later constructed for the Morris Canal, raising the lake a further 6 feet.  [Kane, Martin, Hopatcong, Then & Now]


“Charcoal was used (to fire furnaces, forges, and bloomeries) simply because no other known fuel in North America (at the time) could produce temperatures high enough to produce finished iron.  A single forge is said to have required a thousand acres of forest annually in order to sustain itself.  Every ton of iron produced consumed about 400 bushels of charcoal, yet no conservation was practiced, and forests surrounding these industries were rapidly depleted.  One foreign visitor reported that the Union Furnace in the Musconetcong Valley had had to be abandoned after exhausting about 30,000 acres of woodland in less than 15 years.”  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]


Iron ore had long been carried by horseback or pack mule in leather saddlebag arrangements, but never in the quantities needed and demanded by the anticipated general revival of the iron industries.  The evolution of horse-drawn freight vehicles from the mid-1700s indicates that the need was fulfilled, however imperfectly. 

The humble farm wagon was the model for most of the evolutionary changes.  The farm wagon gave way to the oxcart.  The oxcart in turn, gave way to the “Jersey wagon” and then the stage wagon.  All of these general purpose freighters were shallow rectangular box-like carriers.  The Jersey and stage wagons were lighter than their ancestors, however, and required less draught.  Four- to six-horse teams pulled these wagons at respectable speed even when loaded.  Speed, however, was not yet the prime consideration.  Capacity was paramount.

Special wagons evolved to serve the special needs of the iron and coal industries.  The farm wagon still served as a prototype, but the “coal wagon” was much larger.  Its interior was sheeted with iron for durability, and its express purpose was the transportation of charcoal to furnaces and forges.  The finished product of furnace and forge, the pig or bar iron, was shipped from the Musconetcong Valley to markets as far away as Philadelphia by means of “body wagons.”  Without an iron lining, the body wagon obviously was lighter than its charcoal-carrying brother, often being used to carry charcoal during the winter months when road conditions made it poor going for the heavier coal wagons.  All of the vehicles mentioned were as brave and as sturdy as the beasts which hauled them.  Varying in size rather than in appearance, the largest of them held but a 2-ton load.  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]



Col. Jacob Ford, Sr. erected a small forge at Mount Pleasant.  It was called Mount Pleasant Forge and subsequently known as Lower Forge.  [Morris County Heritage Commission]  [Picatinny Arsenal HAER Report]


Burnt Meadow or Denmark Forge, founded in this year, was know as Upper Forge.  [Picatinny Arsenal HAER Report]


In this year an act of the British Parliament was passed that was entitled “An act to encourage the importation of pig and bar iron from his Majesty’s colonies in America, and to prevent the erection of any mill or other engine for slitting and rolling of iron, or any plating forge to work with a tilt hammer, or any furnace for making steel, in any of the said colonies.”  The title of the “Iron Act of 1750” fully explains its purpose, stating that while the colonists were permitted to manufacture iron and send it to Britain, they were not allowed to form the mined iron into any specific tool or item for use.  The act was repealed in 1757.  [Historic Site Master Plan & Feasibility Study - Lock 2E of the Morris Canal, for Wharton Borough Council, by HJGA Consulting, Project No. 0616H, February 4, 2008]  [Platt, Charles D., Dover Dates, 1722-1922, A Bicentennial History of Dover, NJ]  [Platt, Charles D., Dover Dates, 1722-1922, A Bicentennial History of Dover, NJ]  [Giles, John R., The Story of Waterloo Village]



The passage of the Iron Act by the British Parliament led to financial difficulties for John Jackson’s furnace and led him into bankruptcy.  [Wikipedia]



In this year, Governor Belcher, in answering a query from the Board of Trade as to conditions in this Province, said: “The County of Morris was lately divided, into two Counties, viz:, Morris & Sussex, are chiefly mountainous, rocky Land which yields plenty of Iron Ore, & Timber; & there are now three Furnaces within them, which yield, a considerable Quantity, of Pig Iron, & a considerable Number of Forges, for melting Bar Iron, of the Pigs, & a considerable Number of Forges, or Bloomeries, which make Bar Iron, out of the Ore; These Counties are so well timber’d, that they can supply (char) Coal enough, for a long Time, for these & many other Iron Works.”  [Boyer, Charles S., Early Forges and Furnaces in NJ]



The Andover Iron Works was opened in an area considered to be the frontier.  The remote location, the lack of an efficient road network and the sparse population were glossed over in the company’s desire to tap into the veins of the highest grade of iron ore that was available.  In addition to the mine and furnace, the industrial complex at Andover consisted of several mills, farms and housing, all located on over five thousand acres of forested land called the Andover Furnace Tract.  The Andover Forge began operating the next year.  [Giles, John R., The Story of Waterloo Village]



Waterloo was first a forge, called Andover Forge village.  Andover Forge was built on the bank of the Musconetcong River, seven miles southwest of Andover Furnace to refine pig iron into the malleable iron of commerce.  Andover Furnace and Forge processed the high-grade ore from the famous Andover Mine, considered the most extensive hematite deposit ever discovered in New Jersey.  Andover ore was “esteemed to be the best quality of any in America,” proven “from experiments, made both in England and America, to be proper for every use to which iron can be converted, and equal to the Swedish for making steel.”  In addition to the forge, Waterloo also had a gristmill, sawmill, and a blacksmith shop all of which provided the economic support for the village.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]  [Giles, John R., The Story of Waterloo Village]



Zachariah Fairchild owned and operated a saw mill along the Whippany River which later became the site of Speedwell Iron Works.  John Johnson had a Forge adjoining Fairchild’s pond, which is shown on Revolutionary maps.  [Cavanaugh, Hoskins & Pingeon, At Speedwell In The Nineteenth Century]



In the mid-1740s, David Ogden of Newark erected a forge at what became to be known as Old Boonton.  Later, his son, Samual, took over the business and , in 1770, erected a slitting mill.  With energy and skill as an ironmaster, Samuel built the village into a successful iron-making community.  [Rabin, Arthur, Voices of America Boonton]



Jacob Ford, Jr, built the present-day Ford -Faesch House at Mount Hope c. 1772.  Ironmaster John Jacob Faesch leased the house and adjoining property and built the Mount Hope Furnace, which operated from 1772 to 1825.  During the Revolutionary War, this furnace was actively engaged in producing shot, shells, and other hardware for the Continental Army.  [Mason, Eleanor C. and White, Patricia A., Rockaway Township]



The Revolutionary War occupied the attention of Dover area folks from this year until 1783.  Morris County was particularly involved in the struggle because of the Winter Camps of Washington and the American army at Morristown, and because of the demand for iron products in carrying on the battle for freedom.  [Platt, Charles D., Dover Dates, 1722-1922, A Bicentennial History of Dover, NJ] 


Jacob Ford, Sr., was a merchant and innkeeper, had served in the local militia, bought iron mines, built forges, became a judge, and been a member of the Provincial Assembly.  His son, Jacob, Jr., had built a large home for his wife and five young children on the high land above the Whippanong (Whippany) River about a mile east of the Morristown Green in 1774.  He was also a patriot, had acquired and held additional land and iron mines  in Morris County and operated substantial iron forges.  On January 12th he was commissioned First Colonel of the First Regiment of Foot Militia in Morris County.  On April 22nd, Jacob Ford, Jr. petitioned the New Jersey Committee of Safety that he was planning to construct a gunpowder mill and sought financing – agreeing to furnish powder, which was greatly needed – at five dollars a pound if raw materials were supplied or otherwise at the going price to the Continental Congress.  Ford, Jr’s mill was under construction in late May or early June and was making gunpowder on August 1st on the east bank of the Whippany River approximately ¼ of a mile northeast of Ford’s home (General Washington’s headquarters in the winter of 1779-80).  His mill was not at any time in the fall and winter more than fifty miles from the fighting.  It made gunpowder at a critical time as the troops retreated from Long Island, up Manhattan, and through New Jersey to Pennsylvania, and fought back at Trenton and Princeton.  Ford’s mill played a vital role in this turning point of the American Revolution.  [Bartenstein, Fred and Isabel, New Jersey’s Revolutionary War Powder Mill]


As General George Washington planned his second crossing of the Delaware he sent orders to create diversions in the vicinity of Morristown and on the Hackensack River.  The men that Colonel Ford recruited in December were headquartered at Morristown on January 3rd, the day of the Battle of Princeton.  The weather had become intensely cold.  Jacob Ford, Jr. was marching his men to Chatham, pushing himself too hard on January 4th and was seized with a sudden illness, lifted from his horse and brought home.  Ford died of pnemonia on January 10th.  On January 19th Jacob Ford, Sr. also died.  The death of both Fords interrupted the operation of the powder mill.  However, the mill continued to operate as evidenced by the fact that in March 1778, the NJ Council and General Assembly exempted four men from military service to work in it.  At that time, Ford family members Jonas Phillips and Joseph Lindsley were the joint owners.  There is good reason to believe that some of Colonel Ford’s “good Merchantable Powder” proved a valuable auxiliary in the Battles of Springfield, Trenton, Assanpink, and Princeton.  The fact is interesting as part of the history of the Revolutionary struggle, and as showing one reason for the repeated but fruitless attempts of the enemy to reach Morristown.  [Bartenstein, Fred and Isabel, New Jersey’s Revolutionary War Powder Mill]


George Washington and the Continental Army spent two winters at Morristown.  The first winter encampment followed brilliant victories at Trenton and Princeton.  Jacob Ford ,Jr’s home was used as a barracks by Captain Thomas Rodney’s Light Infantry.  [The Crossroads of the American Revolution, A Driving Guide and Map to NJ’s Revolutionary War Trail]  [Bartenstein, Fred and Isabel, New Jersey’s Revolutionary War Powder Mill]



The US Board of War and Ordinance contracted in January with Whitehead Humphries, owner of the Philadelphia Steel Furnace, for making steel from Andover iron to supply Continental artificers.  Recognizind “that the Andover iron is better suited to this business than any other in America,” Governor Livingston signed a law on June 20, establishing a three-man commission to control the Andover Ironworks for three years, removing it for the duration of the war from the hands of its Loyalist owners.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


Ironmaster Stephen Jackson bought the Rockaway forge.  [Macasek, Joseph J., Guide to the Morris Canal in Morris County]


In this year and the next, after the colonists had taken over the works, the Andover Iron Works did produce a large amount of pig iron, which was then shipped to Easton, PA, and stockpiled there.  [Giles, John R., The Story of Waterloo Village]



The Suckasunny Mine was purchased from John Reading by Jonathan Dickerson and thereafter was known as the Dickerson Mine.  [Morris County Heritage Commission]


 The second winter encampment of George Washington and the Continental Army (1779-80) was during the most severe winter of the 18th century with cold, hunger and illness the troop’s constant companions.  (Jacob Ford, Jr’s home was the home of General and Mrs. George Washington from December thsi year to June, 1780.)  Morristown National Historical Park includes Washington’s Headquarters, Fort Nonsense, Jockey Hollow Encampment Area, Wick House and other significant historic sites.  [The Crossroads of the American Revolution, A Driving Guide and Map to NJ’s Revolutionary War Trail]  [Morris County Heritage Commission]  [Bartenstein, Fred and Isabel, New Jersey’s Revolutionary War Powder Mill]



The Valley Bloomery was built about this year and rebuilt by Canfield & Losey in 1814 and by Jeremiah Baker in 1828.  It stood on the Rockaway River about 7 miles west of Rockaway Station and within sight of the Morris & Essex RR track.  This indicates its location on Baker Mill Pond in Wharton, NJ.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


 Production at the Andover Iron Works was halted at the end of this year, when the cash-strapped American government was unable to pay on the terms of its contract with Colonel Mayberry to operate the iron works.  [Giles, John R., The Story of Waterloo Village]



Powles Hook and Rockaway were connected by a weekly (stage) wagon which was later extended to Mount Hope.  [Lane, Wheaton, From Indian Trail to Iron Horse]



Jacob Arnold and Thomas Kinney took over the Fairchild saw mill / Johnson forge site on the Whippany River which later became Speedwell Iron Works.  They built a slitting mill designed to roll iron into thin sheets which could be cut in strips for nails, hinges, and barrel hoops.  [Cavanaugh, Hoskins & Pingeon, At Speedwell In The Nineteenth Century]


Jonathan Dickerson predicted that within one century there should be a canal formed from the Delaware River to the Passaic supplied with water from Lake Hopatcong.  [McKelvey]



Philip Ginter, a hunter, accidentally discovered anthracite coal on top of Sharps Mountain, now Summit Hill, nine miles west of Muach Chunk, Pennsylvania.  [Lee, James, Tales the Boatmen Told]  [Parton, W. Julian, The Death of a Great Company]



Canfield & Losey bought from Josiah Beaman the iron works in Dover, situated on the Rockaway river.  They built a dam, a rolling mill, a slitting mill, a nail factory and also a dwelling house for Mr. Losey, who lived in Dover and conducted the business.  In his house was a store and the first known post office, of which he was the postmaster.  Israel Canfield acquired title to extensive mining tracts outside of Dover in northern NJ.  [Platt, Charles D., Dover Dates, 1722-1922, A Bicentennial History of Dover, NJ]



James C. Canfield bought a half interest in the Arnold / Kinney slitting mill from the Kinney estate.  Two years later, Dr. Timothy Johnes bought a half interest in the slitting mill because Arnold had financial difficulties.  [Cavanaugh, Hoskins & Pingeon, At Speedwell In The Nineteenth Century]



Washington Forge, established in this year on the Rockaway River several miles upstream from Dover, was the forge closest to the place which became Port Oram (now N. Main Street, Wharton).  In 1795 Charles Hoff, Jr. and his brother-in-law, Joseph DeCamp, built a forge on the north bank of the Rockaway River and built a dam to provide water power.  In 1856 the output was given as 141 tons of bars.  The forge operated until after the Civil War and then closed in 1869.  [Hanson, Kenneth R., Port Oram circa 1882: A NJ Iron Town]  [Morris County Heritage Commission]


The typical Highland furnace consumed 6,000 bushels of charcoal weekly in the production of 20 tons of pig iron.  By the dawn of the American Independence, careless woodland management forced closure of many furnaces and forges along Highland streams, including the Andover Ironworks closed in this year.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


From this year to 1847 the Andover Furnace was closed and abandoned as no one was willing to lease such a large facility.  The forge at Waterloo Village also closed, never again to process iron, leaving only the gristmill, sawmill, and blacksmith shop to support the village.  [Giles, John R., The Story of Waterloo Village]



Stephen Jackson built the lower forge in Rockaway.  The family came to town in 1731 and are considered to be the town’s founding family.  [Macasek, Joseph J., Guide to the Morris Canal in Morris County]



John Jacob Faesch eventually purchased the 6,271-acre Mount Hope Tract.  Located in the southwestern portion of Rockaway Township, this tract contained rich deposits of iron ore.  When Faesch died in 1799, the tract was divided into 34 lots of land.  Two lots, totaling 2,163 acres, contained the Mount Pleasant, Baker, Richard, Allen, Teabo, and Mount Hope Mine.  Two of these mines, Mount Hope and Richard Mine, produced over 11.5 million tons of ore in their lifetime.  [Mason, Eleanor C. and White, Patricia A., Rockaway Township]


In this year, after several years of drought, some of Morristown’s wealthier citizens were granted a charter to become Proprietors of the Morris Aqueduct.  The group bought watershed property and built an aqueduct to bring water to a holding reservoir that was just behind the Morris County Court House.  The Morris Aqueduct was the forerunner of the municipal water system that supplies the town today.  The remains of the old stone Distribution Reservoir survive in Morristown.   [Roebling Chapter, Society for Industrial Archeology eNewsletter, June, 2016]



The Morris Turnpike was chartered as a road from Elizabethtown to Morristown.  [Hanson, Kenneth R., Port Oram circa 1882: A NJ Iron Town]



The Union Turnpike was chartered on February 23rd to run between Morristown, Dover, Wharton, Sparta, Branchville, Culver’s Gap and on to PA.  It is now NJ Rt. 15.  [McKelvey]



The Union Turnpike was incorporated to build from Morristown to Dover, then through Mount Pleasant and on to Sparta.  [Hanson, Kenneth R., Port Oram circa 1882: A NJ Iron Town]



Stephen Jackson’s son Joseph, leased the upper forge at Rockaway from his father and in 1809 he bought the lower forge.  To supply his venture, he acquired the Swede’s and Teabo iron mine tracts and acres of woodland to make charcoal for his forges.  [Macasek, Joseph J., Guide to the Morris Canal in Morris County]


The Washington Turnpike, which ran from Jersey City, through Morristown and Chester, to Easton, PA was chartered on March 3rd, and Chester’s Jared Haines was a director.  Four years later, Chester’s Zephaniah Drake, in addition to being the inkeeper, was proprietor of the first line of stagecoaches on the turnpike.  They were painted scarlet with gold trim and were drawn by four horses.  [Case, Joan S., Then & Now Chester]


Swedeland forge was built by John Dow, Cornelius Davenport and Jacob Riker before 1800.  In 1806 Col. John Stanburrough took possession and operated the forge more or less at intervals until his death in 1862.  He took the premium of the Morris County Agricultural Society for making a ton of octagon iron in the shortest time.  The premium was a silver cup.  [A History of Morris County: Embracing Upwards of Two Centuries]


The Mount Pleasant to Newark Turnpike was chartered but was abandoned as a toll road in 1829 and became a free public highway.  [Hanson, Kenneth R., Port Oram circa 1882: A NJ Iron Town]



Stephen Vail, Dr. William Campfield, and Isaac Canfield bought Johnes’s half interest in the slitting mill and began building the Speedwell Iron Works.  The Works failed after two years, but was reorganized.  [Cavanaugh, Hoskins & Pingeon, At Speedwell In The Nineteenth Century]



By this year young Stephen Vail had outgrown his blacksmith shop in Morristown and joined two partners, William Campfield and Isaac Canfield, in buying a one-half interest in a slitting mill at what became Speedwell Iron Works.  The other half interest was owned by James C. Canfield.  Iron bars were rolled flat and cut into narrow strips for nails, barrel hoops or iron tires for wagon wheels.  The site had the excellent water power of the Whippany River and the surrounding area supplied wood and charcoal for their operation.  A high quality of iron ore was mined nearby.  The Works became a foundry and machine shop, utilizing but not making iron.  It bought much of its basic iron in bars, or “pigs,” to convert into consumer goods or useful products.  An extensive road network connected Speedwell to the mines to the north and to tidewater and thence other markets via sailing ship.  Transport was improved with the arrival of the Morris Canal and the railroad, but neither ever directly reached the Iron Works site???.  As much as 300 tons of coal used annually was brought in by wagon.  [Cavanaugh, Hoskins & Pingeon, At Speedwell In The Nineteenth Century]



Jonathan Dickerson’s son Mahlon took over management of the Dickerson Mine.  Mahlon Dickinson is best remembered for having served as governor of NJ from 1815 to 1817.  On land surrounding his mining properties he built his Greek Revival estate “Ferro Monte”, which is no longer standing.  [Morris County Heritage Commission]



Copperas Mine, the original Green Pond mine, was started during the War of 1812 to produce copperas, a sulfate of copper used in making dyes.  Although the operation only lasted a short time, it gave a name to the whole long mountain ridge east of Green Pond.  Copperas later became an iron mine.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


A local charcoal-burner, John Smith, of Roxbury, purchased the abandoned 282-acre Andover Forge Farm (Waterloo) on November 30th, no doubt with an eye to its valuable waterpower.  About this time, supplies of charcoal fuel were being exhausted due to the huge demands on the forests.  A successful iron ore furnace needed at least 20,000 acres of timber land to supply the charcoal.  Such tracts were usually divided into sections of about 1,000 acres, and one section was cut each year to be used in making charcoal for a season’s blast.  By the time the last section had been cut, the trees on the first section had grown up and were ready to be cut and converted to charcoal.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]  [Sim, R.J. and Weiss, H.B., Charcoal-Burning in NJ From Early Times to the Present]



By this year the Dickersons controlled the property of this mine and shipped iron ore over the recently built Morris Turnpike to Elizabeth.  [Macasek, Joseph J., Guide to the Morris Canal in Morris County]



Sdtephen Vail became the sole owner of the Speedwell Iron Works, purchasing James C. Canfield’s interest for $3,500.  [Cavanaugh, Hoskins & Pingeon, At Speedwell In The Nineteenth Century]



The SS Savannah, an American hybrid sailing ship / side-wheel steamer was built.  The Allaire Ironworks of NY supplied Savannah’s engine cylinder while the balance of the engine components and running gear were manufactured by the Speedwell Ironworks of Morristown under the guidance of Stephen Vail.   She is notable for being the first steamship to cross the Atlantic Ocean (in May - June, 1819), although only a fraction of the distance was covered under steam power - the rest was by wind power.  [Cavanaugh, Hoskins & Pingeon, At Speedwell In The Nineteenth Century]  [Wikipedia]


George P. McCullough of Morristown, while fishing at Lake Hopatcong, conceived the plan of constructing a waterway from Phillipsburg to Jersey City, using the waters of the lake to feed the waterway.  In this way anthracite coal could be shipped by canalboat from Mauch Chunk, PA to Phillipsburg and across New Jersey to industries, tidewater and the Metropolis.  McCullough consulted an English engineer, James Renwick, who made a survey and supervised construction of the waterway.  Major Ephraim Beach selected the route.  (Lake Hopatcong is NJs largest lake - 6 miles long and covering 2,600 acres with a 30 mile shoreline.)  [Lee, James, Tales the Boatmen Told]



In this year, much of the land within what is now Mt. Hope Historical County Park was purchased by brothers Joseph and William Jackson, members of one of the county’s most prominent iron working families.  [Morris County Park Commission Mount Hope brochure]


Although the SS Savannah was a mechanical success, it was a great financial disappointment for Steven Vail.  In December he traveled a very tedious 14 day voyage to Savannah to try to collect his bill for $3,527.84 for the work, but was not successful.  However, the reputation for work in marine engineering of Speedwell Iron Works was greatly enhanced, and Vail had the great satisfaction of being part of a daring American experiment that made Europeans take notice.  Speedwell’s work on the Savannah brought him commissions from sea captains and shipyards. Stephen Vail did a great deal of business in New York because of the high quality of his work.  Allaire Iron Works and the West Point Company gave him many orders for shafts, screws (propellors) and cylinders.  The Iron Works made engine parts for the steamboats Albany and Chancellor Livingston.  [Cavanaugh, Hoskins & Pingeon, At Speedwell In The Nineteenth Century]



George P. McCulloch, then president of the Morris County Agricultural Society, left Morristown on a fishing expedition to Lake Hopatcong.  He returned without fish, but was completely under the spell of the lake and its potentialities for canal development.  McCullouch envisioned a canal descending from the heights at the lake to the Delaware River on the west and the Passaic River on the east.  By damming the natural outlet of the lake (the Musconetcong River) a reservoir capable of supplying the summit level water needs of the canal could be created.  The canal could provide a direct water route for PA anthracite coal while helping to revive the iron industry of northern NJ with a new fuel supply.  It would give farmers of the region an improved and comparatively rapid transportation system for importing fertilizers and exporting of produce.  Both NJ and NY would develop new manufacturing and industrial plants as soon as a steady and plentiful supply of hard coal could be provided.  [Veit, Richard F., The Old Canals of NJ]



A survey in this year indicated that many forges and furnaces had been forced to close down due to depletion of forests due to charcoal production.  A general rule of thumb at the time called for four square miles of forest to support the typical iron furnace or forge.  [Cranmer, H. Jerome, NJ in the Auto Age]


When the Morris Canal was conceived “anthracite” was but a word in the dictionary to all but a handful of enlightened men.  A “railroad” was simply a road on which rails had been placed to reduce friction and increase the ease of horses pulling heavy loads over them.  A canal was more-or-less an expedient adopted where falls or rapids hampered travel on rivers.  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]


George P. McCulloch, a Morristown businessman conceived the idea for the Morris Canal while on a fishing trip to Lake Hopatcong and he must be given credit for carrying it through to completion.  Ephraim Beach, a well known canal engineer became the engineer for the canal and Professor James Renwick of Columbia University was retained as a consultant.  [Lee, James, The Morris Canal A Photographic History]  [Goller, Robert R., The Morris Canal Across NJ by Water and Rail]


In August, George McCullouch took Joseph G. Swift and Swift’s former aide-de-camp, James Renwick, on an exploratory tour of the green, rolling hills (of Northern NJ).  They pondered whether a canal with Lake Hopatcong for a summit reservoir, following the valleys of the Rockaway and Musconetcong Rivers, would have sufficient water to connect Easton, PA, to NYC.  McCullouch prepared public opinion by a series of essays in the county newspaper.  Writing under the nom de plume of ‘Agrestis’ in the Paladium of Liberty, McCullouch imagined canalizing the Musconetcong River from the Delaware River to Stanhope, cutting a canal from there to the Rockaway River, thence canalizing that river down to Paterson, circumventing the Great Falls by a  flight of locks to reach tidewater.  Opening water communication between the Delaware and Hudson Rivers would bring Lehigh coal to tidewater, replacing wood and imported coal, and do much to revive the flagging iron industry of the Jersey Highlands.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


Governor Williamson joined those who gathered at Drake’s Tavern on August 21st, to hear McCulloch advocate using Lake Hopatcong’s waters to open navigation between the Delaware and Passaic Rivers.  Westward, the canal might begin above Easton, PA, and follow the Pequest Valley, or it might begin below Easton and follow the Musconetcong Valley.  Since Lake Hopatcong and Green Pond offered two natural reservoirs at the summit level, the proposed canal would climb to Stanhope, crossing into the valley of the Rockaway River near Valley Forge (Wharton, NJ), and continue along that stream to Denville, whence at least two divergent routes might bring the canal to tidewater on the Passaic River.  East of Denville, possible routes included one by Boonton to Paterson or another by Morristown to either Paterson or Newark.  Minimizing topographical impediments, advocates imagined a 90-mile canal traversing a rugged country, yet not such as to present any insuperable obstacles.  As to advantages, the proposed canal would supply NYC and northern NJ with Lehigh coal at half the price then paid for Liverpool coal; it would conserve timber for lumber rather than charcoal and firewood; it would cheaply convey agricultural produce to city markets; and it would nourish new forges, furnaces and manufactories along the route.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


Col. Joseph Jackson added a rolling mill at his Rockaway forge complex.  He and his forge men acquired great skill in making hoop iron for the Navy and half-round and oval sections for carriage-making.  Jackson’s work with iron was known nationally and he was called the Iron King of Morris County.  [Macasek, Joseph J., Guide to the Morris Canal in Morris County]


An act of the NJ Legislature, dated November 15th, appointed Messers George McCullough, Charles Kinsey and Thomas Capner, Commissioners, with power to employ a “scientific engineer and surveyor to explore, survey and level” a route for the Morris Canal.  Professor James Renwick of Columbia College, was appointed consulting engineer, and in 1823 Major Ephraim Beach resident engineer.  [Vermuele, Cornelius C., The Morris Canal in The Newcomen Society (UK) Transactions, Vol. XV, 1934-5] 



George McCulloch traveled to Albany in April to obtain assistance from NY’s canal engineers.  He journeyed with Benjamin Wright, chief engineer of the Erie Canal, to Little Falls, NY, to engage assistant engineer Ephrahim Beach to take the levels and survey the routes of the Morris Canal.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


Ephrahim Beach arrived in July to begin surveying under guidance of Professor Renwick, who acted in the capacity of scientific engineer.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


George McCulloch and Ephrahim Beach escorted NY Governor De Will Clinton, Judge Benjamin Wright, chief engineer on the Erie Canal, and General Bernard on a tour of the proposed route of the Morris Canal in October.  Since Lake Hopatcong would supposedly furnish at least three times the required supply of water at the canal’s summit, Governor Clinton foresaw no impediment to construction.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


A survey map of the Morris Canal attributed to James Renwick - an outgrowth of his canal route surveys in the prior year - was appended to the report of the Canal Commissioners issued in November.  It represents the earliest official delineation of the proposed route.  [Simon, Richard C., The Morris Canal: New Jersey’s Mountain-Climbing Waterway]


Stephen Vail also had close connections with several of the nineteenth-century paper mills that later combined and enlarged to form the Whippany Paper Board Company, which became a multi-million-dollar operation.  One of the mills was the Phoenix Mill. A picturesque old mill built about 1823, which was run successfully for a number of years as Vail, Trench and Company until 1844 when the mill was sold for $10,000 to Gaunt and Derrickson, who later built the Eden Mill on that site.  [Cavanaugh, Hoskins & Pingeon, At Speedwell In The Nineteenth Century]


The Canal Commissioners (McCullouch, Kinsey and Capner), who envisioned the canal as a State enterprise, submitted their report to the NJ Legislature in November.  Their proposal calling for State construction was defeated in the Legislature.  The Morris Canal and Banking Company was chartered as a private corporation by the Legislature in December 1824.  [Veit, Richard F., The Old Canals of NJ]



On December 31st, a charter was granted to the Morris Canal and Banking Company and work was commenced on building the canal.  The Company was also granted permission to print and issue its own currency to be used for payments of toll charges on the canal.  This feature ultimately proved detrimental to the best interests of the canal.  [Veit, Richard F., The Old Canals of NJ]   [Lee, James, Tales the Boatmen Told]



When the Canal Company’s subscription books were opened at Jersey City on April 26th, the entire issue was at once oversubscribed.  Speculators had swelled the ranks of the investors.  Within two years forfeiture of stock and corruption of many of its directors almost caused the dissolution of the Company.  [Veit, Richard F., The Old Canals of NJ]


On June 4th, stockholders of the Morris Canal and Banking Company elected fifteen directors at the house of Mayor William Lyon, innkeeper of Jersey City.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


Ephraim Beach became the first chief engineer of the Morris Canal and continued with the company until 1836.  His successful completion of the challenging construction of the Morris Canal is evidence of his engineering competence.  [Simon, Richard C., The Morris Canal: New Jersey’s Mountain-Climbing Waterway]


Contracts to excavate twenty sections of the Morris Canal were let out on July 9th.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


Construction of the Morris Canal actually began on July 12th at the Succasunny Plains (Ledgewood) as 700 laborers started digging their way towards Rockaway.  A formal groundbreaking ceremony took place at Lake Hopatcong, three months later, on October 15th.   [Franke, Jakob, etal, Field Guide to the Morris Canal of NJ]  [Canal Society of NJ History]  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


By October 1st, almost 8 miles of the Morris Canal had been excavated between Succasunna and Rockaway and another 30 miles placed under contracts.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


Nearly 800 guests from NY. NJ and PA watched Morris Canal president pro tem William Bayard turn a groundbreaking shovel of earth on the feeder at the outlet of Lake Hopatcong on October 15th.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


Stephen Vail was working with William Knight and N.C. Phillips to raise a paper mill on Pocahontas Lake (in Morristown between the present Speedwell Avenue and the NJ Transit Morris & Essex line).  He took a mortgage on Knight & Phillips Paper Mill for $6,000.  He was also making a device called a calender, the power press used in early mills to squeeze water from pulp layered between sheets of felt.  In 1828, his son-in-law, Dayton I. Canfield bought out Phillips’s interest in the mill and successfully ran the mil with Stephen’s help and advice for 20 years.  Dayton later sold the mill to William, Alexander, and John Kay, who continued to make paper there until 1859.  [Cavanaugh, Hoskins & Pingeon, At Speedwell In The Nineteenth Century]



Approximately 1,100 men were hard at work building the Morris Canal.  Included in this number were skilled craftsmen, such as carpenters and stonemasons, as well as the stump-pullers, rock-blasters, and pick and shovel men.  The digging of the ditch occupied the majority of these workmen; the remainder were employed in the construction of such related structures as locks, lockhouses, bridges, aqueducts, and inclined planes.  Practically every foot of earth and stone was removed from the excavation by hand.  Over the hills and along the valleys, through cities as well as green fields, with little more than their bare hands and a seemingly inexhaustible supply of energy, it was primarily Irish laborers who drove the Morris Canal across northern NJ.  Picks and shovels were the most widely used pieces of equipment.  Wheelbarrows usually constituted the largest wheeled vehicle on the job.  Horse-drawn scrapers were used occasionally when draft animals could be procured.  Stump pulling became an early American profession.  Flat, runnerless sleds or stone-boats were utilized to move rocks and boulders.  [Veit, Richard F., The Old Canals of NJ]


The Rockaway inclined plane had been tested for effectiveness at least as early as April 6th.  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]


The “official” trial of the Rockaway Plane was set for July 4th, but “the breaking away of a few yards of the bank of the canal let the water out of that level.”  The breach was repaired “in a couple of days, at an expense of perhaps $70,” after which “the level from Dover to Rockaway, of 4 miles, was passed in boats with four feet of water,” and the canal had “every appearance of standing firmly.”  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]


The four mile section of the Morris Canal was completed and water flowed from Dover to Rockaway.  The rest of the canal was not fully completed for five years, but this section permitted work on the perfection of the inclined planes.  After many attempts, the Rockaway inclined plane was the first to operate successfully.  [Macasek, Joseph J., Guide to the Morris Canal in Morris County]


An experimental inclined plane, powered by a water wheel was constructed by house-carpenter Ezekiel Kitchell and it was successfully tested on July 6th.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


The inclined plane at Rockaway was operating when Maccullough visited the line of the canal, and had “sailed” along that 4-mile stretch that was completed on July 10th.  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]


A silver medal was awarded to James Renwick for his inclined plane design, embodied in his working model submission to the American Manufacturers exhibition, held by the Franklin Institute.  The design was implemented as the first trial plane on the Morris Canal.  [Simon, Richard C., The Morris Canal: New Jersey’s Mountain-Climbing Waterway]


In the 1760's Isaiah Younglove began a flour milling operation in the Milldale section of Chester.

[Case, Joan S., Then & Now Chester]



Beach reported in May, that the ground was being prepared for the masonry work to begin for the inclined plane at Boonton.  Originally, the elevation was to have been 90 feet, “the highest on the canal,” but when built it was actually an 80-foot lift.  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]


While excavating the Morris Canal on July 20th, workers uncovered the remarkably preserved skeleton of a mastodon, about 3 feet below the surface, near Schooley’s Mountain.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


There was a constant danger from flying sparks at the Speedwell Iron Works.  On August 13th, Alfred Vail reported that the Speedwell Fire Company was organized.  It was incorporated in the following year.  Unfortunately, their success rate of saving wooden buildings was very low.  [Cavanaugh, Hoskins & Pingeon, At Speedwell In The Nineteenth Century]


Inspecting the line of the Morris Canal in August, President Cadwallader Colden found 1,500 laborers at work and more than 5/8ths of the excavation between Newark and Phillipsburg done.   [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


The King Store opened in the Ledgewood section of Roxbury Township (now k/a Drakesville Historic Park).  The structure, at 211 Main Street, thrived during the heyday of the Morris Canal.  When Theodore King, the last operator, died in 1928, his daughter locked the building and it was not re-opened until after her death in 1975.  It is now a museum.  Nearby, to the west, is Morris Canal Park where Plane 3 East Tenders House survives.  (The turbine wheel from Plane 3 E can be viewed at Lake Hopatcong State Park.)  There are also remnants of Plane 2 East and the Ledgewood Basin.  This is one of the best preserved and accessible of the Canal’s 23 inclined planes  The trolley tracks of the Morris County Traction Co. survived on Main Street for many decades after the streetcars were abandoned.  Main Street follows the old Morris Turnpike, NJ’s first toll road, chartered in 1800.  The Turnpike followed a branch of the ancient Lenape Minisink Trail through the NJ Highlands.  [Roxbury Township Historical Society]


Stephen Vail, always interested in the latest technology, learned of the Fourdrinier paper-making machine for the mass production of paper, patented in France in 1806, but not imported to America until this year.  In September he inspected the imported new machines operating at Saugerties, NY and North Windham, CT.  Shortly thereafter, Vail began building his own Fourdrinier machines and began marketing them at the bargain price of $1450 compared with the French price of $30,000.  Fourdrineir machines are still being used today, although much more complex and productive than the ones produced at Speedwell.  [Cavanaugh, Hoskins & Pingeon, At Speedwell In The Nineteenth Century]



On January 16th, engineers, contractors and invited guests rode a large horse-drawn scow through the lock and feeder only a day after the waters of Lake Hopatcong first flowed into the summit level.  They rode thence along the canal west to Plane No. 3 in Mount Olive thence back and to Plane 3 East in Ledgewood.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


On January 23rd three men were killed in a cave-in while working on the Morris Canal below “Succasunny [sic] Plains” and two others were seriously injured.  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]


When the waters of Hopatcong were seen to mingle with those of the Rockaway River at Dover on August 18th, there had been quite a celebration in the town.  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]


A number of inhabitants of Dover and its vicinity friendly to the Morris Canal assembled on the 18th inst., at 4 o’clock p.m. to witness the meeting of the waters of Lake Hopatcong with those of the Rockaway River.  As soon as they were seen to mingle toast were drunk, each one being succeeded by the firing of cannon and hearty cheers.  [The Jerseyman, August 20]


Morris Canal President, Colden, and a joint committee of Canal Company directors and State Councilmen and Assemblymen visited the canal on December 13th to inspect the work in general and the inclined planes in particular.  Although their inspection began at Bloomfield, they were only able to travel by boat west of Mead’s Basin in Wayne.  In the two small boats they had boarded at Mead’s Basin, the joint committee members were then transported from Lock No. 13 East, as the Lincoln Park lock was then numbered, “to the foot of the Montville Planes, always on the canal, except that the boats were carried, and the committee walked around the unfinished Pompton Plane.”  At the Montville Planes, the committee “walked a distance of about 800 yards, to the head of those planes,” where they boarded “one of the boats, which the company have built to be used upon the canal,” and were then “carried up the inclined planes (at Boonton?), and along the canal to the unfinished plane at Rockaway, and from the head of that plane, in another canal boat to Dover.”  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]


On December 13th , a Canal Company inspection committee passed over the Boonton plane in a boat 60 feet in length, and 8 ½ feet in width.  In the boat with the committee were “about 100 passengers” and “18 tons of stone.”  The passage took 14 minutes.  While the entourage ascended the plane, “an empty car descended.  Had the descending car contained a loaded boat, the ascent would no doubt have been accomplished in a shorter time.”  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]


The packet boat, Maria Colden, named for Cadwallader Colden’s wife Maria Provoost, was built in Bloomfield and traveled regularly between Newark and Mead’s Basin in this year.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]



Stephen Vail purchased property on the eastern side of the road at Speedwell.  It included an unfinished mill for cotton weaving, which later became the place where Alfred Vail and Samuel Morse successfully demonstrated the telegraph.  Stephen added a 24-foot overshot water wheel to the building that not only powered the cotton looms and other machinery, but also a grinder that crushed animal bones to mix with ashes to make fertilizer.  [Cavanaugh, Hoskins & Pingeon, At Speedwell In The Nineteenth Century]


The New Jersey Iron Company began the erection of a new mill which was completed in the next year, at a cost of $283,000 at “Boonetown Falls”.  Owing to a lack of skilled workmen in this country, the company brought from England a number of rolling-mill mechanics, and many of the special machines used in the plant were also imported from England.  Notwithstanding the most modern equipment, the company was not financially successful.  However, the axles of the first passenger coaches on the old Camden and Amboy Railroad were made at Boonton.  [Boyer, Charles S., Early Forges and Furnaces in NJ]


The Morris Canal was opened for navigation on November 25th on the 30-mile section from Newark to Montville and would continue uninterrupted until closed by ice..  Several loads of wood had already been brought down to Paterson on the canal.  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]



Historian Thomas T. Taber III described the future service area of the Morristown & Erie RR in Whippany and Cedar Knolls: By 1830 the population of the then Hanover Township was over 3,700, and the list of businesses in the area included 14 stores, 7 saw mills, 7 grist mills, 9 distilleries, 3 paper mills, 5 forges, 2 rolling & slitting mills.  All of these mills and industries utilized the flowing water of the Whippany River for power for their machinery and communities sprang up to support the industrial development.  [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #1]


Stephen Vail purchased the Homestead Farm, adjacent to the Speedwell Iron Works.  This added the present Speedwell house, a grannery, a large barn, several outbuildings and a carriage house.  The Iron Works became a complex of stone, brick and wood buildings on both sides of the road.  [Cavanaugh, Hoskins & Pingeon, At Speedwell In The Nineteenth Century]


William Pragnell began building canal boats at Dover in May, after a model recommended by Professor Douglass, of West Point – engineer of inclined planes, Major Beach, canal engineer, & Col. Scott, canal commissioner.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


On September 10th, a very handsome Canal Boat which had been launched into the Canal not only proceeded to Paterson and brought the Canal Commissioners to the Falls, but also withy a large party and Band of Music, went as far as Mead’s Basin.  The boat is intended as a regular packet from Newark to Dover.  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]


Five canal boats laden with iron ore made a trial run between Dover and Newark on November 11th.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


In this year the Jacksons (brothers Joseph & William) sold the parcel that would come to be known as the Allen Mine.  Mining activities probably began there at that time.  The primary ore body was the Richard Vein, and the earliest workings would have been shallow shafts following this deposit.  The six depressions at the site are most likely the earliest workings on the Allen Mine property.  [Morris County Park Commission Mount Hope brochure]


The building of the Smith General Store on the bank of the Morris Canal was the only major new construction during the early canal period at Waterloo Village and was the first since the blacksmith shop was built around 1780.  [Giles, John R., The Story of Waterloo Village]



Major Douglass declared all planes operational on August 9th, signaling commencement of navigation along the whole extent of the Morris Canal.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


The first canal boat, The Dover of Dover, made its maiden trip under the command of Captain Byram Pruden.  The people gathered at the Canal Basin and gave them a great “send-off.”  The freight house on the Basin became a busy center of new prosperity for the town.  [Platt, Charles D., Dover Dates, 1722-1922, A Bicentennial History of Dover, NJ]


David Wetmore and other investors formed the New Jersey Iron Company at Boonton.  By the time the Morris Canal was completed, the new firm, a/k/a Boonton Ironworks, had installed puddling furnaces and a rolling mill and wrought iron for sheets, hoops and bars was being produced  [Rabin, Arthur, Voices of America: Boonton]


Samuel Sayre advertised on August 12th to ’Country Merchants and others giving me freight’, that his boat would make regular trips to Newark, leaving Sayre Place, 1 mile west of Stanhope, each Monday to arrive at Newark on either Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


Several boats were reported by the Easton Whig to have left the Delaware for New York on October 25th.  The Morris Canal Company reported that the first cargo of coal reached Newark on October 29th.  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]


On October 30th the first shipments of mackerel, coal and flour were noted passing to and from Easton, PA upon the canal.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


The first trip on the new Morris Canal was completed from Newark to Phillipsburg on November 4th.  The first full boating season was the following year.  [Lee, James, The Morris Canal A Photographic History]  [Rutgers University Special Collections]  [Ron Rice]


Several coal-laden boats reached Newark from Mauch Chunk in November.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


The completed Morris Canal rose 914 feet from sea level on the Hudson River to the summit level at Lake Hopatcong.  From there, westward to the Delaware River the drop was 758 feet, for a total change in elevation of 1,672 feet.  [Veit, Richard F., The Old Canals of NJ]



In this year Boonton consisted of the ironworks, two stores, and about twenty small dwellings, all of which were located under the hill, on what is now known as Plane Street.  The whole village, with the exception of one store and two or three dwellings, belonged exclusively to the New Jersey Iron Company.  The inhabitants numbered about 300, not more than ten of which were natives of New Jersey.  The only public conveyance between Boonton and New York was by stage, three times a week.  [Rabin, Arthur, Voices of America: Boonton]


Early in May (reference in MC&BCo. Minutes of May 10th)  an eastbound Morris canalboat, the Electa, of Rockaway, owned by Colonel Joseph Jackson, and partly loaded with merchant iron, was on its way to Newark, having on board the captain, his wife and two children.  Just as the boat passed the summit the chain broke, and the car with the boat ran down with great velocity, striking the water with such force as to throw an immense wave over the towing path, which carried the boat with it down an embankment from 15 to 20 ft in height and landed it on the rocks below, amid some trees standing there, but fortunately without striking any.  People hastened to the boat to ascertain the fate of those on board.  On opening the cabin door, the Captain’s wife with her two children, was found sitting there rather composedly, and uninjured.  When told what had happened, she seemed surprised, and said she “thought the boat went down very swift, but supposed that was the way the thing worked.”  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]  [Railroads of All Types Operated in Boonton, NJ, by Frank T. Reilly and Bill McKelvey]


The canalboat Argo arrived in Newark from Easton on May 16th, its coal being “the first cargo which has come down the canal this season.”  On May 18th, the Paul Jones and the Tecumseh also arrived with coal from Mauch Chunk, also consigned to Jonathan Cory at Newark’s Commercial Dock.  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]


A Newark Sentinal notice, on May 22nd, of Morris Canal boat arrivals cited the boat Walk in Water as the first carrier of Lehigh coal from Pennsylvania through to tidewater in the Passaic River in Newark (arriving in Newark on May 19th).  [Simon, Richard C., The Morris Canal: New Jersey’s Mountain-Climbing Waterway]  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]


Newark newspapers reported Morris Canal boat traffic: ARRIVED AT NEWARK:

June 5th, 13 boats from Easton, Washington, Stanhope, Dover, and Boonton; Westbound: 4 boats for Easton and 11 for Greenwich, Anderson, Stanhope, etc., with iron, coal, and merchandise;

June 6th, 8 boats from Easton, Stanhope, Dover and Boonton, with produce, firewood, iron and iron ore; Westbound: 3 boats for Mauch Chunk, and 7 for Washington, Stanhope, etc., with merchandise, coal, pig iron, steel, etc. 

June 7th: 10 boats from Stanhope, Dover, Rockaway and Boonton, with planks, stoves, etc.  Westbound: 8 boats with merchandise, coal, lumber, etc., for Stanhope, Dover, Rockaway and Boonton. 

June 8th: 6 boats from Stanhope, Andover, Boonton, and Rockaway, with wood, iron ore, etc.  Westbound: 3 boats for Mauch Chunk, and 7 for Boonton, Rockaway, Washington, etc. 

June 9th: 7 boats from Stanhope, Rockaway, Dover and Boonton.  Westbound: 2 boats to Easton, 11 to Boonton, Rockaway, Dover, etc. 

June 11th: Westbound: 11 boats to Dover, Stanhope, Rockaway, Boonton, etc., with merchandise, coal, etc.  Eastbound: 12 boats from the above places, laden with iron, firewood, etc., etc.  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]


Frances Trollope’s classic book on he observations of society and everyday life in early 19th century America was published in London in this year.  Amongst her uncomplimentary and crank views appeared an exceptionally favorable review of the Morris Canal, its inclined planes, and the entrepreneural spirit that made it a reality.  She referred to the canal as “extraordinary work” and “this noble work.”  [Simon, Richard C., The Morris Canal: New Jersey’s Mountain-Climbing Waterway]


Nathan Smith moved to his Old Andover Forge Farm, the present site of Waterloo Village, and remade an old stone barn of the Andover Iron Company into a dwelling, later known as the Smith Homestead.  At the same time he supervised the construction of a stone storehouse on the berm of the new Morris Canal and a large stone gristmill upon the foundation of the old charcoal house.  Five years later, his father John Smith converted the old Forge Master’s Dwelling into a Tavern House.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]



“New arrangement of the Western Line of Stages daily except Sundays.  This line of Stages will leave Joseph I. Roy’s Steamboat Hotel, Jersey City, on Monday, Wednesday and Friday morning at three o’clock A.M. by way of Newark, Chatham, Morristown, Suckasunny Plains, Stanhope, Newton and Augusta for Milford.”  (The Jerseyman, January 16)  [Platt, Charles D., Dover Dates, 1722-1922, A Bicentennial History of Dover, NJ] 


On April 20th the Newark Sentinel reported the recent arrival of a canal boat named the Lady Clinton, which left Easton with 108 barrels of flour, delivering 27 barrels after selling the other 81 en route.  She was one of 4 or 5 boats that are on their way with similar cargoes.  There are, as we are told, 223 boats on the canal, all of which will be in activity in a few days.  There are besides a number of new boats building; and there is every appearance that great business will be done upon the canal this year.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


It soon appeared that the Morris Canal had been constructed too small.  Boats in use on the Lehigh Canal were too large to pass through the locks of the Morris, and it was necessary to await the building of smaller craft before coal could be shipped without transfer from the Pennsylvania mines.  By this year the Morris Canal had put in operation a fleet of “flickers,” capable of carrying from 18 to 25 tons, while others were built by shippers, merchants, and by boatmen who were induced to enter the new occupation.  Unfortunately, the canal could not meet the immediate traffic demands.  The Morris Canal company pointed out that between Old Andover and Rockaway there were fifty-six forges of which twenty were in full blast, while the others were shut down for lack of fuel and were waiting for anthracite fuel.  [Lane, Wheaton, From Indian Trail to Iron Horse]


As Boonton Ironworks expanded, a charcoal iron furnace was built in this year.  [Rabin, Arthur, Voices of America: Boonton]



On February 8th, the State Legislature passed “An Act to Incorporate the Morris Canal Transportation Company.”  The charter gave the company the right to buy and sell coal and to transport “persons or passengers, and all manner of things, through or upon the Morris Canal” for 20 years.  Thus the Canal Company was to own and maintain a navigable waterway, while the Transportation Company was to operate boats on that waterway, other than those which were rented by the Canal Company to private masters.  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]


The Newark Daily Advertiser reported in August that 247 boats passed through the city over the course of ten days: 95 boats carrying Lehigh coal and 152 boats carrying products of the forest, mines, mills and manufactures along its route.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


Between March and September, 1,085 boats carried 20,000 tons of merchandise over the Morris Canal, indicating an average cargo weight of 18 tons.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


The increase in traffic that followed the purchase of boats was the first sign of encouragement to the stockholders.  The total tonnage grew from 56,281 in 1833 to 89,501 in this year.  Of the latter figure 28,413 represented anthracite, while iron products were second.  Other cargoes consisted of grain, flour, timber, stone, lime, and foodstuffs.  [Lane, Wheaton, From Indian Trail to Iron Horse]     


On January 29th the Morris & Essex RR Co. was incorporated by the NJ Legislature with James Cook and William Wood of Morristown, William Brittin of Madison, Jeptha Munn of Chatham, Israel Condict of Millburn, John Bryan and Isaac Baldwin incorporators.  The object of the company was to build a railroad from one or more places “in the village of Morristown” to intersect the railroad of the NJ RR and Transportation Co. at Newark or Elizabethtown.  The rate for freight was limited to 6 cents per ton mile and for passengers at 6 cents for each per mile.  The next year the Company was authorized to build lateral roads to Whippany, Boonton, Denville, Rockaway and Dover.  [Vermuele, Cornelius C., The Morris Canal in The Newcomen Society (UK) Transactions, Vol. XV, 1934-5]


From Newark Daily Advertiser, April 5th: “Persons desirous of RENTING BOATS for the purpose of transporting Coal for the (Morris Canal) Company, are hereby informed that the undersigned will attend at DOVER on MONDAY and TUESDAY next, the 10th and 11th inst, to make contracts... S. JONES.”  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]


On May 24th, Oxford (NJ) Furnace became the earliest documented iron furnace to employ hot blast techniques in America.  Furnace No. 1 survives as a stabilized ruin as does the intact former ironmaster’s mansion that is commonly called Shippen Manor House.  [Bartholomew, C.L., and Metz, L.E., The Anthracite Iron Industry of the Lehigh Valley]


With loads averaging 20 tons apiece, toll collectors counted 2,096 boats clearing Phillipsburg for Newark and intermediate points between March and July, moving 41,211 tons of freight.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


On July 27th toll collector Thomas McGauran counted 185 boats arriving at Newark from Mauch Chunk, Easton, Washington, NJ, Port Colden, Stanhope, Dover and other places over the previous 12 days.  Of this number, 126 boats carried 2,531 tons of coal.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


A contract with the Lehigh Coal and Navigation Company called for the transportation of 40,000 tons of coal to the Morris Canal and a year later the amount was raised to 60,000.  [Lane, Wheaton, From Indian Trail to Iron Horse]



In January, Speedwell Ironworks innovated the first durable iron tire for railroad locomotives.  [Wikipedia]


On June 13th, superintendent Thomas Wright advertised to ‘let or hire’ all available canal boats to transport coal between Mauch Chunk and Newark and intermediate places along the Morris Canal.  The rate for each boat was set at $5 per trip for loads of 20 tons with an additional 50 cents for every ton over and above 20 tons for crossing the whole line of the canal and in proportion for shorter distances.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


Stephen Vail was unable to make a success of the cotton-weaving factory at Speedwell.  In this year he packed the machinery on a Morris Canal boat (the closest point to the Works was 6 miles to Denville by wagon) headed for Paterson, leaving the building empty enough to turn over to Alfred Vail and Professor Morse for the telegraph experiments a year later.  [Cavanaugh, Hoskins & Pingeon, At Speedwell In The Nineteenth Century] 


On July 11th, the waterwheel shaft broke at Old Andover (Waterloo), while one boat was descending and another boat ascending: ...the machinery being thus freed from all restriction whirled impetuously in a ratio corresponding to the speed of the descending boat – which plunged into the basin, with prodigious force, and instantly sunk; while the ascending boat rushed with equal velocity against the lock at the top of the plane and carried it away.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


The Morris Canal was extended from Newark to the Hudson River at Jersey City.  [Goller, Robert R., The Morris Canal Across NJ by Water and Rail]


Om December 24th the Morris Canal Company president and board of directors entered into an agreement with the Little Schuylkill and Susquehanna Rail-Road Company, whereby, in consideration of the right of using the canal, and enjoying all the water power and real estate attached or appurtenant to it... ...that company have agreed to purchase of the Morris Canal and Banking Company all their old boats at a valuation by appraisers mutually chosen, and the new boats at the cost; have guaranteed all the expenses of working the canal, and keeping it and the appurtenances in repair; and have agreed to pay, for the term of five years from the 1st day of December last, a net income of six percentum per annum upon the entire expenditure made, and to be made, upon the canal and its appurtenances, and upon the cost of the real estate...  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]


This agreement with the LS&SRR would give the Morris Canal projected competitive connections in the state of PA with coal lands the LS&SRR owned and contemplated buying; with other railroads and canals to Williamsport, Pittsburgh, Erie, and Elmira, NY.  The board thought they would secure an annual revenue from the canal and its works equal to four and a half percent upon the capital of $4,100,000.  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]

But, four days after Morris Canal Company president, Louis McLane wrote his confident and enthusiastic report to the stockholders, the Bank of the US suspended payments.  The Morris Canal would follow suit.  The panic of 1837 had begun...  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]


In the late 1830s the Morris Canal & Banking Company could have been characterized as being under the control of the extended family of the Philadelphia Biddles.  The best known of these was Nicholas Biddle, sometimes “Old Nick” to his critics, long the president of the Second Bank of the US.  While some may have considered Nicholas Biddle the personification of the devil, his intelligence, influence, and careful stewardship were, in those days, indisputable.  Biddle’s bank was closely allied with the MC & BCo. in important domestic and foreign investments.  One of Nicholas Biddle’s cousins was Thomas Biddle, who had founded another Philadelphia investment house, Thomas Biddle & Company, which also was closely allied with the MC & BCo.  And Thomas Biddle’s youngest brother, Edward Robert Biddle, a commission merchant and a partner in his eldest brother’s company, joined the MC & BCo. Board of directors in December.  Late in this year, the company officers and directors, mostly preoccupied with the increasingly large operations of the Morris Canal bank, had contracted to lease the canal itself for five years to the Little Schuylkill and Susquehanna Railroad Company, thereby leaving the canal’s operation and maintenance in the hands of that company.  The LS&S Railroad was mostly still on paper, but its future looked promising: It would be a necessary link in the chain of transportation routes carrying anthracite coal from Pennsylvania’s interior to the eastern seaboard.  [Goller, Robert R., Reflections on the Morris Canal, No. 56, Autumn-Winter 2016]



On February 21st the Orange and Hanover Railroad was organized to build from Rockaway on the Morris Canal to the Morris & Essex Railroad at Orange, passing through Whippany, Hanover, and Livingston.  Nothing came of it.  [Taber, Thomas T. III, The Morristown and Erie Railroad]  [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #1]


In May, Pierson and Williams, of Stanhope, advertised use of ‘Three Superior Boats, with covers, navigated by experienced captains and other hands’ on their freighting line, ‘from Stanhope to Newark, or to the city of New York, after the canal is finished.’  An attempt was also made to cxharter the Bottle Hill and Montville Canal, which was to run from Bottle Hill (Madison) in Morris County, through Hanover and Pequannock Townships, to the Morris Canal within a mile of the lowest inclined plane at Montville.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


By the middle of this year, Edward R. Biddle essentially ran the Morris Canal and Banking Company as vice president (a position created specifically for him in this year) under figurehead company president Samuel L. Southard, US senator from NJ (who had been brought into the canal company by Nicholas Biddle) and became company president himself in January 1839.  [Goller, Robert R., Reflections on the Morris Canal, No. 56, Autumn-Winter 2016]


A four-mile-long feeder for the Morris Canal was built from the main canal to Pompton Plains, which brought to the eastern part of the canal an additional supply of water from the Ramapo River and Greenwood Lake.  [Goller, Robert R., The Morris Canal Across NJ by Water and Rail]

Other financial misadventures dotted the early history of the Morris Canal and Banking Company.  The speculative bubble was finally pricked by the Panic of 1837.  The resulting depression saw the canal company forced into bankruptcy.  Stock value dropped to $7 per share and thousands of investors in the project lost everything.  A reorganized company – “The Morris Canal and Banking Company of 1844" –  emerged from the proceedings and began concentrating on its proper function, the improvement of the canal.  [Veit, Richard F., The Old Canals of NJ]



On January 1st, Stephen Vail noted in his Journal: “The cars of the Morris & Essex Railroad Came into this Town (Morristown) for the first time from Newark.”  The twice-a-day regular service, established the following morning had a normal running time of about two hours to Newark – considerably faster than the stagecoach schedules.  The charge for passengers was six cents per mile.  Within two weeks Vail began building a bin for their coals on the railroad in Morristown.  [Cavanaugh, Hoskins & Pingeon, At Speedwell In The Nineteenth Century]


January 6th : “the Magnetick Tellegraph is in operation this evening for the first – In the Factory” (Speedwell Iron Works)  [Cavanaugh, Hoskins & Pingeon, At Speedwell In The Nineteenth Century]


Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail made the first successful public demonstration of the electric telegraph at Morristown (the place is now known as Speedwell Village) on January 11th.  It became a most important communication tool for the operation of railroads and canals.  Thus, historic Speedwell became known as the “Birthplace of the Telegraph”.  [McKelvey]  [Wikipedia]


Morse and his associate Vail made the test at Speedwell in a barn-like building over which had been looped some three miles of copper wire, and Vail had tapped out to his partner in Morse code: “A patient waiter is no loser.”  The first message by telegraph had been sent and received.  This innovation, ridiculed at first, was to play a large and important part in the development of the railway industry.  Aside from its many other important uses, it made possible one of the greatest steps forward yet taken by the pioneer railroads in the operation of trains.  [Phillips, Lance, Yonder Comes The Train]


The Morris & Essex Railroad suffered locomotive failures, so, by June Stephen Vail sold the line a nine-ton locomotive “Speedwell” which he had acquired in payment of a debt from Matthias Baldwin of the later Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia.  Payment for the “Speedwell” was through transfer of railroad stock in the amount of $6500 to Stephen, George, and Alfred Vail.  The locomotive was unfinished when acquired and Stephen had it completed at Newark.  On June 26th, “Speedwell” made its first trip to Newark and Stephen made this rare note in his journal: “took all my boys and men there & back for a ride.”  [Cavanaugh, Hoskins & Pingeon, At Speedwell In The Nineteenth Century]


The US Congress officially designated all railroads as official postal routes on 7 July.  [Wilson, Jeff, Express, Mail & Merchandise Service]



Early in this year the Morris Canal and Banking Company annulled the renewable five-year agreement with the Little Schuylkill and Susquehanna Railroad Company in a new contract that gave the MC & BCo. LS & SRR stock, ownership of its coal lands, and a healthy amount of cash as assets.  It may be that Edward Biddle realized the potential value of the coal lands as well as the value that the stock would have if the canal company would not be able to meet its installment payments in the near future, the economy being what it was.  By then the states of Indiana and Michigan had placed millions of dollars in credit loans with the MC&BCo., which were being paid off in installments.  The spectacular success of New York’s Erie Canal after 1825 had set off frantic internal-improvement programs in other states, most of them inadequately planned and recklessly funded.  Indiana and Michigan were two such states, each negotiating huge loans on credit through the MC&BCo. to banking houses in England – a common practice in those times.  Before long the bonds themselves were disbursed among foreign (and domestic) investors.  By the beginning of this year, however, the system began to unravel.  Subsequently the MC&BCo. Defaulted on its payments to both Indiana and Michigan.  [Goller, Robert R., Reflections on the Morris Canal, No. 56, Autumn-Winter 2016]


On February 23rd, Stephen Vail noted despondently in his Journal, “Speedwell off the tracks and lay on its side down a bank of six feet one mile below Millville (Millburn).  I went down to see it – found it in a sad situation – tired and depressed with the management of our Agents.”  It took a gang of men two days on the scene to get the “Speedwell” back on the track.  To remedy this kind of situation, Stephen became Superintendent of the Morris & Essex Railroad on April 12th.  In this capacity, in July he arranged for a special train to take his friend, President Van Buren to Newark.  [Cavanaugh, Hoskins & Pingeon, At Speedwell In The Nineteenth Century]


On July 13th, Stephen Vail received Patent No. 1231 for his “Tank Feeder”, which was a pump worked by the traction of the wheels of a steam locomotive chained in position on the pump.  Due to the difficulty of getting trains up the grade to what is now Summit, engineers drained excess water at the bottom of the grade and utilized Vail’s pump to refill the water supply of the tender at the top.  He also invented a “Lifting Jack” to help get derailed cars back on the track.  [Cavanaugh, Hoskins & Pingeon, At Speedwell In The Nineteenth Century]


The panic of 1837 put the young Baldwin Locomotive Works of Philadelphia in a bad way due to their recent expansion and declining orders.  Matthias Baldwin restructured his company to meet future needs.  To secure the working capital necessary to continue operations, he looked to his longtime supplier of iron forgings, Stephen Vail of the Speedwell Iron Works of Morristown.  Vail’s works was an important forge and machine shop, building much of the machinery in the pioneering Atlantic Ocean steamship, Savannah (ca. 1819).  In return for a total investment of roughly $20,000, Vail’s son George became the owner of a one-third interest in Baldwin’s reorganized firm, and he moved to Philadelphia to join its management.  Beyond the Vail’s actual cash contribution, they also provided a vital intangible asset to Baldwin: a creditworthy name to endorse the notes of the reorganized locomotive-building company.  [Brown, John K., The Baldwin Locomotive Works 1831-1915] (pgs. 9, 10, & 256)



In spite of the general depression, the MC&BCo. began a complete enlargement of its works, which had been built too small and could not handle the larger boats of the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Co.  In September the Morris Canal was mortgaged to Indiana.  At the time the canal was still mortgaged to financiers in Amsterdam as a result of the “Dutch Loan” of 1830, which had never been paid off.  [Goller, Robert R., Reflections on the Morris Canal, No. 56, Autumn-Winter 2016]


Edward R. Biddle hired Lehigh Canal Chief Engineer, Edwin A. Douglas as chief engineer of the Morris Canal to supervise it's enlargement.  He was assisted by Robert Sayre, son of a Lehigh Coal & Navigation official.  The first section of the Morris enlargement tackled was the west end due to the iron traffic.  [McKelvey]  [Goller, Robert R., Reflections on the Morris Canal, No. 56, Autumn-Winter 2016]


The Morris Canal and Banking Company undertook an improvement program in 1840-41 that included enlarging the locks to 95 feet long by 11 feet wide and widening the planes by two feet to accommodate boats of 45 tons.  [Historic Site Master Plan & Feasibility Study - Lock 2E of the Morris Canal, for Wharton Borough Council, by HJGA Consulting, Project No. 0616H, February 4th, 2008] that boats with a capacity of fifty-four tons might pass...  [Lane, Wheaton, From Indian Trail to Iron Horse]


The canals made anthracite coal available to NJ industry and blast furnaces were built along the Morris Canal.  The earliest was that of the Sussex Iron Company at Stanhope in this year, on the site of two forges abandoned when their wood (charcoal) supply became exhausted.   [Hanson, Kenneth R., Port Oram circa 1882: A NJ Iron Town]


Imported iron was still cheaper than that made domestically because of “very heavy duties imposed on iron, except railway iron,” and because “iron being made in Great Britain was being manufactured more cheaply with bituminous coal instead of charcoal, as in this country.”  Charcoal had been very expensive to produce, while bituminous coal could be “used in its natural state, or after being reduced with comparatively little expense to the form of coke.”  At last in this country, “after long and preserving efforts,” a way had been found to use anthracite coal in making iron.  A method similar to that used in Britain had been “successfully and practically accomplished within the present year.  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]



Another measure the MC&BCo. used to raise sorely needed cash was the issuance of small-denomination post notes, specifically redeemable for tolls on the canal.  These began to be signed and circulated late in March, but they were only redeemable “Twelve Months after date.”  [Goller, Robert R., Reflections on the Morris Canal, No. 56, Autumn-Winter 2016] 


The canals made anthracite coal available to NJ industry and blast furnaces were built along the Morris Canal.  The earliest was that of the Sussex Iron Company at Stanhope about March in this year, on the site of two forges abandoned when their wood (charcoal) supply became exhausted.  The Stanhope furnace was first successfully put into blast in NJ with anthracite coal.  [Hanson, Kenneth R., Port Oram circa 1882: A NJ Iron Town]  [Goller, Robert R., Reflections on the Morris Canal, No. 56, Autumn-Winter 2016]


The enlargement of the Morris Canal was reportedly assisted by 3,000 men paid for by the Lehigh Coal & Navigation Co.  [McKelvey]


As many as 40 boats from the Morris Canal used the Delaware & Raritan (D&R) Canal in the fall of 1841.  Because the Morris Canal was closed for enlargement work their boats navigated to the Lehigh Canal via the D&R (main line and feeder, crossing the Delaware River at Lambertville) and Delaware Canals to get coal to alleviate the shortage at NYC.  Some Morris Canal boats also carried Lehigh coal from the area of the Pennsylvania mines to Philadelphia during September of this year.  [McKelvey]  [Goller, Robert R., Reflections on the Morris Canal, No. 56, Autumn-Winter 2016]


The Morris Canal & Banking Co. failed in this year in the midst of a financial scandal.  The bank was out of business from then on, and banking privileges were revoked totally in 1849.  [Goller, Robert R., The Morris Canal Across NJ by Water and Rail]


On October 15th the MC&BCo. board removed Edward R. Biddle as President and Edwin Lord was removed as Vice President.  [Goller, Robert R., Reflections on the Morris Canal, No. 56, Autumn-Winter 2016]


The Morris Canal was not reopened from end to end until nearly the close of the boating season this year.  [Goller, Robert R., Reflections on the Morris Canal, No. 56, Autumn-Winter 2016]



At the January board meeting of the MC&BCo. it was recommended that the Morris Canal be leased “subject to the legal rights of the Mortgagees & other Creditors, so as to prevent the evils likely to result by a total suspension of the Canal.”  The canal company went into receivership, and its canal was leased during the 1842, 1843 and 1844 seasons.  [Goller, Robert R., Reflections on the Morris Canal, No. 56, Autumn-Winter 2016]


Stephen Vail became Vice President of the Morris & Essex Railroad in November, and continued as a Director until 1846 when he became President of the Elizabethtown & Somerville Railroad.  He took back the locomotive “Speedwell” from the Morris & Essex and sold it to this new railroad where it operated until 1857.  [Cavanaugh, Hoskins & Pingeon, At Speedwell In The Nineteenth Century]



The Morris & Essex RR began hauling milk from the country to Newark.  [Taber, Thomas T., The DL&W RR in the 19th Century]



In June, Major Ephraim Beach began surveying through Stephen Vail’s farm at Speedwell for an extension of the Morris & Essex Railroad from Morristown to Dover and Hackettstown.  The new route opened in 1848 and remains in the same location to this day.  [Cavanaugh, Hoskins & Pingeon, At Speedwell In The Nineteenth Century]


On October 23rd, Asa Whitehead, John J. Bryant and Benjamin Williamson purchased the Morris Canal for $1 million (about one quarter of what it cost to build) on behalf of the trustees of the Holland Loan.  Though Wall Street speculators hammered down Morris Canal stock in October, a great demand for coal all along the line made operations profitable.  The company reorganized on November 30th, with the election of 23 directors.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


The Morris Canal was leased out for a number of years until the Company was reorganized in this year as the Morris Canal and Banking Company of 1844.  The newly created company operated the canal during its most successful time, and although their banking privileges had not been utilized since the initial company failed, they officially ceased in 1849.  Daniel Tyler, a civil engineer educated at West Point, became president of the Company and oversaw the enlargement program.  [Historic Site Master Plan & Feasibility Study - Lock 2E of the Morris Canal, for Wharton Borough Council, by HJGA Consulting, Project No. 0616H, February 4, 2008]



Daniel Tyler, the new president of the Morris Canal, had 2,000 men at work on April 1st, enlarging the waterway.  Hinged, two section boats capable of carrying 65 tons were introduced to transport Hazleton coal from Penn Haven and Lehigh coal from Mauch Chunk directly to Jersey City.   [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


The work force employed in enlarging the Morris Canal struck for pay in May.  In the most serious incident several hundred laborers rioted near Dover on May 9th, when a subcontractor who bid the job too cheaply, ran out of money tom pay them.  The workers broke into the lock tender’s house as new company president Daniel Tyler was dispensing back wages, forcing him to remove the money and call for the sheriff, who arrested the ringleaders.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


In May, the Speedwell Ironworks at Morristown employed 150 men in the annual production of 5,000 tons of iron, manufacturing parts for locomotives, railcars and steamboats.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


By June, Edward R. Biddle was back on the board of the new Morris Canal & Banking Co. of 1844, and served into 1849 – the year (coincidentally?) when the MC&BCo. surrendered its banking powers.  [Goller, Robert R., Reflections on the Morris Canal, No. 56, Autumn-Winter 2016]


Between this year and 1860, the Morris Canal was entirely rebuilt to larger dimensions.  The enlarged canal was 40 feet wide at the surface and 25 feet wide at the bottom, and generally 5 feet deep.  The canal as originally constructed was 32 feet wide at the surface, 20 feet wide at the bottom and 4 feet deep.  In order to maneuver over the inclined planes, the larger boats, which could carry about 70 tons (vs the 18 tons of the original boats) were built in two sections which could be “unhinged” where maneuverability was required and to go up or down the inclined planes.  All of the inclined planes were dramatically altered by 1860.  The lock-type planes were converted to summit type planes, the overshot wood water wheel was abandoned for the “Scotch motor”, or cast iron (horizontal) turbine.  [Goller, Robert R., The Morris Canal Across NJ by Water and Rail]  [Historic Site Master Plan & Feasibility Study - Lock 2E of the Morris Canal, for Wharton Borough Council, by HJGA Consulting, Project No. 0616H, February 4, 2008]



At the commencement of service in this year, the Morris Canal Transportation Company owned 108 of the new section or hinge boats.  These were rented to boatmen, as it was considered that, by keeping down the investment of the individual boatmen, this policy would lead to greater use of the canal.  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]


William Hubbard Talcott, an Erie Canal veteran, who became the chief engineer of the Morris Canal in this year, converted the power of the inclined planes from overshot water wheels to “Scotch motors, an early type of turbine.  [Goller, Robert R., The Morris Canal Across NJ by Water and Rail]


The Morris Canal Co. announced prizes of $200 for the fastest boaters.  The Cavanaugh brothers of Phillipsburg took their boats from Port Delaware, in Phillipsburg, to Jersey City in four days. [McKelvey]


In this year Edward R. Biddle spearheaded an effort to originate a railroad in Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, which ultimately became the original line of the Lehigh Valley Railroad, and eventually leased the Morris Canal.  [Goller, Robert R., Reflections on the Morris Canal, No. 56, Autumn-Winter 2016] 


On July 15th the Morris & Essex Railroad ran their first excursion train.  It operated from Newark to Morristown with four cars loaded mostly with firemen and their families.  The Orange Brass Band boarded at Orange and the Newark Fire Dept. had sent up its engine No. 7, the “Niagara” in the morning.  In the afternoon the Newark and Morristown departments met in an afternoon “wash” - today we would call this a “wetdown” - usually for the “baptizing” of new fire equipment.  The Newarkers stayed in town for a reception at Crowell’s NJ Hotel and a fireworks display that proved to be all they could ask for.  The Newarkers left Morristown at 9:30 pm, needing six cars this time plus a flat car to carry their engine No. 7 - arriving back at Newark at midnight.  [McKelvey]



The Morris Canal tolls were adjusted so that “through traffic” took precedence over “way trade” on the canal.  “The reduction or drawback of toll on coal is 10 cents per ton on all coal passing from Port Delaware to Newark for consumption of Newark and vicinity, and 20 cents per ton on all coal shipped or transported from Newark to Jersey City, New York, or Brooklyn.  That meant that coal for Paterson cost about 35 cents a ton more than Newark-vicinity users had to pay.  More often than not, coal was back-shipped; ie., shipped first to Newark, then back to Paterson.  The Canal Company also offered reduced tolls for iron ore shipped west past the Delaware River.  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]


To encourage boatmen to engage in transporting canal freight, the Canal Company “announced that prizes of $200 each would be given to the captains making the quickest trip and the greatest number of trips during the season.”  The two Cavanaugh brothers, Garret and Mike, of Phillipsburg, took their boats from Port Delaware to Jersey City in four days, and became known as “the fast” boatmen.  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]


In June the heirs of the original owners of the Andover Iron Works conveyed the famed Andover Mine to the Trenton Iron Company owners (Peter Cooper & Son Edward and Abram Hewitt).  The mine reopened the next year and teamsters began hauling 500 to 800 tons of Andover ore monthly over the Morris Turnpike, a distance of six miles, to Waterloo at a cost of $1 per ton, for transshipment on the Morris Canal.  This ore was boated to the Thomas Furnaces at Allentown, PA for smelting.  The pig iron produced was then boated to the Trenton Iron Co.  [Anthony Troha]  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]  [Giles, John R., The Story of Waterloo Village]


Between this year and 1860 Morris Canal inclined planes were rebuilt with wire rope replacing iron chains.  [Franke, Jakob, etal, Field Guide to the Morris Canal of NJ]


In December, Smith General Store at Waterloo also became a post office, with Peter Smith as the first postmaster.  [Giles, John R., The Story of Waterloo Village]



In March the Trenton Iron Co. erected Andover Furnace in Phillipsburg on the Morris Canal.  The pig iron produced was boated to Trenton via the Delaware Canal.  By October 30th the Trenton Iron Co. was turning out one thousand tons of rails per month, of the very best quality, made exclusively from the famous Andover iron.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


The Sussex Mine Railroad was chartered in March primarily to convey iron ore from Andover Mine to the Morris Canal at Waterloo.  The Trenton Iron Company decided to reduce its cartage costs by building a mule tramway, about 7 miles in length with a 3-foot gauge.  It was not completed until May 1851.  [Anthony Troha]  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


At the Boonton Ironworks an iron furnace fueled by anthracite coal was added - the second one built in New Jersey.  This put the NJ Iron Company on the cutting edge of technology and a nail factory was built.  [Rabin, Arthur, Voices of America: Boonton]


The NJ Iron Company started to build a captive ore supply for its Boonton furnace by buying the Mount Pleasant mine and the next year the Burrill farm, site of the future Orchard mine.  [Hanson, Kenneth R., Port Oram circa 1882: A NJ Iron Town]                 


The NJ Iron Company of Boonton hired the Oram brothers to manage their local mining properties in what became Wharton.  [Macasek, Joseph J., Guide to the Morris Canal in Morris County]


The Morris & Essex Railroad was extended from Morristown to Rockaway on July 4th and to Dover on August 1st.  [Taber, Thomas T., The DL&W RR in the 19th Century]


Soon six stage lines accommodating passengers from Morris, Sussex and Warren Counties connected with the new railroad depot at Dover.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]



In this year, owners of the iron works at Boonton opened the Orchard mine on the north bank of the Morris Canal at Irondale, and sent Robert F. Oram, a Cornish mining engineer, to supervise it and other mines in the vicinity.  Oram, in partnership with John Hance, superintendent of the Irondale mines, built a store and post office.  The growing mine camp became known as Port Oram (later renamed Wharton).  The Orchard mine site is off Main Street, Wharton, next to the American Legion Hall.  The now abandoned mine achieved a depth of 700 feet and was worked 700 feet horizontally and was owned by Wharton Steel at the end.  Owners of the iron works at Boonton opened the Orchard mine on the north bank of the Morris Canal at Irondale, and sent Robert F. Oram, a Cornish mining engineer, to supervise it and other mines in the vicinity.  Oram, in partnership with John Hance, superintendent of the Irondale mines, built a store and post office in the center of Wharton.  The growing mine camp became known as Port Oram.  [Train Sheet, Summer, 1976]


The Vail family, of Speedwell Iron Works, were among the largest stockholders in the Morris & Essex Railroad.  Stephen owned 342 shares, George 108, his wife Mary 100, and Alfred 100.  [Cavanaugh, Hoskins & Pingeon, At Speedwell In The Nineteenth Century]



Boonton Iron Co. opened, what became their prize mine, the Orchard, under the supervision of Robert Oram.  [Hanson, Kenneth R., Port Oram circa 1882: A NJ Iron Town]


The Trenton Iron Co. built a mule-powered traction railway from their mine at Andover to the Morris Canal at Waterloo, following the valley where Dragon’s Brook ran.  This rail line also had connections to other nearby mines.  Construction was supervised by Nathan Smith and was completed in this year.  Three or four mules pulled the ore cars (a/k/a “Jimmies”) which had a capacity of over six tons of ore from the mine, up the slight grade until they reached the top of Whitehall Summit.  Then two mules would take them the rest of the way to the ore-handling docks on the bank of the Morris Canal where the Methodist Church would soon be built.  This traction railway was named the Sussex Mine Railroad.  [Giles, John R., The Story of Waterloo Village]



As of February 19th, the NJ Legislature granted the Morris and Essex an extension of its railroad “from some point at or near Dover in the county of Morris to any point on the Delaware River at or near the town of Belvidere or the Water Gap...”  However, they discovered to their indignation and chagrin that one week earlier, the Warren Railroad had been granted a charter by the same legislature to build east from the Delaware River to intersect the Central RR of NJ.  [Casey & Douglas, The Lackawanna Story]


To obviate the payment of turnpike tolls, the Trenton Iron Company spent $60,000 to build a 40" (or 3' gauge?) gauge mule (or horse)-drawn tramway to replace teamster haulage of ore via the Morris Turnpike.  The horsepower of their Sussex Mine Railroad was able to deliver 200 to 300 tons of Andover Mine ore to Morris Canal boats at Waterloo daily.  Three or four mules pulled the small 6 to 8 ton loaded cars, called  “jimmies” from the mine to the summit of Lockwood Gap (or Whitehall Summit), whence two mules took it the rest of the way downhill to the canal bank at Waterloo, where the ore was off-loaded into canalboats.  A round trip took about five hours.  [Anthony Troha]  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


The NJ Exploring and Mining Company boosted Morris Canal business by shipping 50 tons of zinc ore daily from Lake Hopatcong to its furnaces and mills in Newark for manufacture into white and brown paints.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]



The annual report of the Sussex Iron Company described their Irondale mines as including the following individual mines: Corwin, Harvey, Jackson Hill, North River, Spring Vein, Stirling, and Sullivan.  Additionally there also were the Hubbard and Hurd mines.  The group was located 7 miles southeast of Stanhope, south of Wharton and west of Mine Hill.  They have all yielded a magnetic ore of 50% metallic iron.  At the time the supply of iron ore was deemed inexhaustible.  [Hanson, Kenneth R., Port Oram circa 1882: A NJ Iron Town]


In this year, the Glendon Iron Company, near Easton, PA purchased the Teabo mine in Hibernia, NJ.  Magnetite ore and pig iron was shipped to PA via the Morris and Lehigh Canals and finished products were shipped east via the same canals.  Glendon stopped using Teabo in 1892. [Wikipedia]



By this year, the Speedwell Iron Works employed 45 workers, including six in the foundry, eight in the blacksmith shop, and ten in the machine shops.  Wages totaled $14,000 a year.  The Iron Works used 200 tons of anthracite coal, 100 tons of bituminous coal, 100 tons of Scotch pig and 100 tons of American pig, 95 tons of wrought iron, 1,400 pounds of cast steel and 1,000 pounds of brass, copper, and zinc to produce an estimated $50,000 worth of goods annually!  Their 1853 catalog featured Bogardus’s Horse-Power mechanism which was patented in 1849 and manufactured only by George Vail & Co. at Speedwell Iron Works, Morristown, NJ.  [Cavanaugh, Hoskins & Pingeon, At Speedwell In The Nineteenth Century]


Mount Hope and Hibernia were among the oldest, as well as the richest, mining centers in Morris County.  They were part of the reason Washington had spent so much time in the county during the Revolutionary War and he took a close personal interest in them.  With ore production at both centers climbing to unprecedented levels, Mount Hope and Hibernia were considering rail connections to the Morris Canal in this year.  There was a proposal to build a railroad from the Morris Canal at Rockaway to the Beach Glen mines and then extend it up the valley to Hibernia, but nothing was done.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


Rockaway’s Rev. Joseph F. Tuttle contributed a detailed account of the Highlands iron industry to Horace Greeley’s New York Tribune.  [Goller, Robert R., Artist-Life in the Highlands and Among the Nail-Makers: An 1859 visit to northern New Jersey’s Iron Industry and the Morris Canal]


After Mahlon Dickerson died in this year, his heirs formed the Dickerson-Suckasunny (Succasunna after 1888)  Mining Co.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


A half-mile long tram line between Swede’s Mine and the Morris Canal was already in existence in this year.  This mine, between Dover and Rockaway, was an important producer in the early days due to its nearness to the canal.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]



On January 16th the first regular Morris & Essex RR passenger train arrived at Hackettstown via the new extension from Dover through Wharton, Drakesville, Port Morris, Stanhope and Waterloo.  [Taber, Thomas T., The DL&W RR in the 19th Century]


An early tavern was established ca. 1840 which became the Hopatcong House, the Lake Hopatcong’s earliest hotel.  After the RR arrived, their wagons met all important trains during the summer months for the 2 mile connection.  [Kane, Martin, Hopatcong, Then & Now]


The Lehigh Valley RR began hauling coal from its Pennsylvania anthracite fields to Easton Port Delaware, Phillipsburg, NJ where it was loaded into boats for shipment east on the Morris Canal.  [Franke, Jakob, etal, Field Guide to the Morris Canal of NJ]


The mule-drawn Sussex Mine Railroad became the steam-powered Sussex Railroad Co.  It was a standard gauge steam railroad - connecting Newton with the Morris & Essex RR at Waterloo on December 11th.  [Anthony Troha]  [Kevin Wright]


The State of NJ prohibited transportation of freight on Sunday, by road, railroad, or canal. [McKelvey]


The coal tonnage secured from the Lehigh Valley Railroad was insignificant until the Civil War, when it mounted rapidly, but it was not until 1869 that the Lehigh Valley Railroad surpassed the Lehigh Canal as a feeder of traffic to the Morris Canal.  [Lane, Wheaton, From Indian Trail to Iron Horse]


The Richard Mine was opened and two years later it was purchased by the Thomas Iron Co. of PA.

Retiring US Senator Jacob W. Miller, from Morris County, where much of northern New Jersey’s mineral wealth was concentrated, proposed formally calling New Jersey the Iron State, before NJ had acquired a nickname.  [Goller, Robert R., Artist-Life in the Highlands and Among the Nail-Makers: An 1859 visit to northern New Jersey’s Iron Industry and the Morris Canal]



The catalog for George Vail & Co. – Speedwell Iron Works (Founded in 1800) for this year listed them as Manufacturers of Mill Irons and Machinery - Machinists, Millwrights, Iron & Brass Founders. 


The increased efficiencies of the mule-hauled Sussex Mine Railroad could be exponentially increased by replacing it with a steam locomotive-powered railroad.  The Trenton Iron Co. committed to the construction of the Sussex Railroad and for a time even shut down their Andover mine and sent four-hundred miners to help with the construction work.  The construction was completed on a tight deadline, on time, and connected with the Morris & Essex Railroad on the outskirts of Waterloo Village in January.  A turntable and station house were also built at this junction, with the Waterloo Railroad Station being about a half mile west of the new wagon bridge (also built by the Sussex Railroad) that crossed the Musconetcong River in Waterloo at the mill site.  In the process of relocating the railway out of the center of Waterloo Village, the Sussex Railroad built a new ore trans-loading dock just east of the top of the Waterloo inclined plane (No. 4 W).  This new location enabled loading of canalboats while they were in the lock pond, out of the way of passing boat traffic, unlike the situation in the village, where they hindered boat traffic.  [Giles, John R., The Story of Waterloo Village]


The Second Annual Report of the Geological Survey of New Jersey states that in this year that a railway was building from Mount Hope mine to connect with the Morris Canal at Rockaway. This horse-drawn tramway served until after the Civil War, when it was supplanted by a steam road laid over a different route.  [Train Sheet, Summer 1976]                 


The Allen Tunnel was a major expansion for the Allen Mine.  In this year this tunnel became the mine’s primary access, extending 600 feet northward from Teabo Road into the ore body.  The remains of the Allen Tunnel can still be seen today from Teabo Road.  [Morris County Park Commission, Mount Hope brochure]


The first NJ state tax on railroads was imposed, costing the CNJ $13,268.69 in the first year. [McKelvey]



Soon after completing its first two furnaces along the Lehigh River at what is now Hokendauqua, PA, the Thomas Iron Company purchased the Richard Mine, near Mount Hope, NJ.  This highly productive mine contained large deposits of high-grade magnetic iron ores that were used in the Thomas furnaces.  [Bartholomew, C.L., and Metz, L.E., The Anthracite Iron Industry of the Lehigh Valley]


The Scrub Oaks iron mine was first worked.  It was opened by a series of shafts.  Operations ceased in 1873 but in 1880, they resumed in the form of a pit and adit.  []


In this year the Lackawanna RR began hauling coal from its Wyoming Field in Pennsylvania anthracite fields to Washington, NJ, where it was trans-loaded into canalboats for shipment east on the Morris Canal.  At the time the DL&W lacked direct access to the East Coast cities of Newark, Jersey City, and New York City and had been delivering significant tonnages to the canal for those large cities.  [Franke, Jakob, etal, Field Guide to the Morris Canal of NJ]  [Giles, John R., The Story of Waterloo Village]


The Richard Mine Complex (named after Richard Faesch) was eventually sold to the Thomas Iron Company in 1856.  Over the next 67 years, millions of tons of iron were shipped to anthracite blast furnaces in Pennsylvania.  [Mason, Eleanor C. and White, Patricia A., Rockaway Township]



By midyear, reconstruction was under way on Morris Canal planes Nos. 4, 5, 6, 7, and 9 East.  The Canal Company advertrised for “good laborers,” offering them “steady employment through the Summer, Fall and Winter at their planes.”  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]


The Central Railroad of New Jersey began using coal as locomotive fuel and consistently found it 35% cheaper than wood.   [McKelvey]


The Mount Hope Mining Company built another important feeder to the Morris Canal, opening a gravity railway on a 40-inch gauge.  Six ore trains carrying about 250 tons passed daily between Mount Hope and the Morris Canal at Rockaway, whence it was transshipped to Scranton, PA via the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western RR at Washington, NJ.  Edward R. Biddle, former Morris Canal President, owned the Mount Hope Mining Co. at this time.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]  [Goller, Robert R., Reflections on the Morris Canal, No. 56, Autumn-Winter 2016] 



John Oram formed a partnership with John Hance and they opened a store near the Morris Canal.  The store became the center of local activity and the place came to be known as Port Oram.  [Macasek, Joseph J., Guide to the Morris Canal in Morris County]


The general store on the canal became known as Oram, Hance & Co. and became in effect the company store for the mines Oram and Hance managed.  It had an unloading dock for merchandise brought in by canalboat.  Hardware and plumbing supplies were stocked in addition to general merchandise with coal and lumber yards close by.  The store was also the location of the Post Office where John Hance served as postmaster following his appointment by President Lincoln.  The year before his death he was succeeded by Robert Oram.  The little canal port successively grew in importance as the Morris & Essex RR arrived, the CNJ came to town, and a telegraph station was opened.  [Hanson, Kenneth R., Port Oram circa 1882: A NJ Iron Town]


In the spring, apparently the first arrangement for transporting milk on the Morris & Essex was made to New York City.  [Lowenthal, Larry and Greenberg, William T., Jr., The Lackawanna RR in Northwest NJ]


A regular built propeller (boat), driven by steam, was placed on the Morris Canal on July 23rd.  This steamboat traveled 2½ miles per hour.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


The swing-bridge for the Morris & Essex Railroad over the Morris Canal on the west side of Dover was regularly left open at night to allow the free passage of canalboats.  On August 30th the engineer of the locomotive Pequest, which was running light, neglected to call for the closing of the bridge and the engine tumbled into the canal, hitting a boat that was passing below.  The boat was destroyed, but its occupants and the locomotive crew were unhurt.  Another similar accident also occurred in Dover on June 12th, 1905.  This time it was in the center of town on the Central RR of NJ’s Dover and Rockaway Branch.  [Bianculli, Anthony J., Iron Rails in the Garden State: Tales of NJ Railroading] (p. 164)



The competitive position of the Morris Canal was made more secure when the state of Pennsylvania sold the Delaware Division in this year.  The Morris Canal had found it impossible to obtain a fair share of the tolls which the coal would bear from the mines to tidewater.  Consequently, when a private organization was formed to purchase the Delaware Division, a group of Morris Canal stockholders became interested and invested heavily.  An interlocking directorate was established, and an arrangement made which secured an approximation to a proper proportion of tolls upon that branch of the business.  Because of this alliance, the Morris Canal gained an enormous advantage over the Delaware and Raritan, which depended upon the Delaware Division, in competing for the transportation of Lehigh coal.  The Delaware Division suffered because its new management did not come into friendly agreement with the Lehigh and Delaware & Raritan canals as to the amount of toll to be charged.  Coal shipments over the Delaware Division to the Delaware and Raritan continued, but it was clear that the Morris Canal now held the whip hand.   [Lane, Wheaton, From Indian Trail to Iron Horse]


The Morris County Agricultural Society was founded by an act of the NJ Legislature.  [McKelvey]



By this year the Mount Hope Mine had its rail link.  This was a tram rather than a locomotive-powered road and it ran to Rockaway rather than Port Oram as did the later Mount Hope Mineral RR.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


Morris Canal boatmen banded together in April to demand $1.15 per ton of freight to Paterson, $1.20 to Bloomfield, and $3 per day after lying forty-eight hours in tidewater.  Strikers blocked the canal with their boats at several strategic points.  Business came to a standstill.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


A new regular freight line with covered boats was established.  The New Jersey and Pennsylvania Freight Line ran from New York through the Morris and Lehigh Canals to Easton, White Haven, and Wilkes Barre, making intermediate stops.  At Washington, NJ the line connected with the DL&W RR.  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]  [McKelvey]


The Hurd mine opened in Wharton in this year.  It was located near where the firehouse on Main Street was located.  Owned by Wharton Steel, it reached 1,800 feet in depth and 3,400 feet horizontally.  It filled with water in 1886 and pumps could not clear it.  [McKelvey]



Citizens of Morristown obtained a charter for a proposed new branch of the Morris Canal to be called the Morristown, Hanover and Pequannock Canal.  Although the Morris Canal Company agreed to pay half of the costs of the survey, construction was never begun.  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]


Two articles appeared in Harper’s New Monthly Magazine for April and July, entitled: Artist-Life in the Highlands and Among the Nail-Makers.  They offer contemporary descriptions of the once-prosperous iron industry which flourished in northern New Jersey and an account of a canalboat ride from Kenvil (McCainsville as it was then known) to Boonton (where they wrote about the NJ Iron Company operations) on the Morris Canal, in October 1859.  [Goller, Robert R., Artist-Life in the Highlands and Among the Nail-Makers: An 1859 visit to northern New Jersey’s Iron Industry and the Morris Canal]


Morris Canal Company president Ephraim Marsh and superintendent William H. Talcott embarked upon a four-day excursion from Phillipsburg to Jersey City with 30 invited guests on July 16th.  Besides enjoying the scenery at as liesurely pace and observing the reconstituted inclined planes, these voyagers also observed a flourishing two-way waterborne trade.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]


A freight depot for Port Oram was built on the new Morris & Essex extension to Hackettstown.  While coal moved east and iron ore west by canal, the railroad made it possible to bring mine supplies and merchandise from eastern cities to Dover and Port Oram.  [Hanson, Kenneth R., Port Oram circa 1882: A NJ Iron Town]


By this year the tonnage of Pennsylvania anthracite coal delivered to the Morris Canal at Washington, NJ via the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western and Warren Railroads amounted to 127,517.  [Lane, Wheaton, From Indian Trail to Iron Horse]



On June 4th, the largest canalboat ever run on the Morris Canal took 81 tons of coal from Washington in Warren County to Jersey City.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]



Congress authorized President Lincoln to take possession of any or all RR lines in the US.  [McKelvey]


By this year New Jersey’s famed Dickerson iron mine was owned by the Allentown Iron Company of Pennsylvania.  [Macasek, Joseph J., Guide to the Morris Canal in Morris County]


In March the Thomas Iron Co. obtained a charter to build a railroad from its mines to a point on the Morris Canal “in the vicinity of inclined plane No. 5, east” between Dover and Port Oram.  The act did not specify which mines, but the Richard Mine group was then the company’s most important and is probably what was meant.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


In this year Edward Cook Peer opened a general store at Lock 8 East, Denville, on the Morris Canal.  Peer also served as locktender from 1862 to 1915.  His store catered to the canal boatmen and their families.  When E.C. Peer died in 1915, his sons took over operation of the store, and grandson Eugene Peer, operated it until 1964, when he closed it.  In 1982 the building was restored and now operates as La Cucina - delicatessen, restaurant & catering at 278 Diamond Spring Road, Denville.  [La Cucina website]


The Central RR of NJ became the first railroad to use creosote to preserve ties and timber.  [McKelvey]  [Reilly]


The first federal tax, to help pay for the Civil War, was imposed on railroads.  [McKelvey]



It was perhaps the impetus of the Civil War that finally led to the incorporation of the Hibernia Mine Railroad Co., on March 18.  It was the Cooper-Hewitt interests and particularly Abram S. Hewitt that made the Hibernia Mine RR a reality.  Two years earlier the Trenton Iron Co. had leased Theodore T. Wood’s mine at Hibernia.  The Hibernia Mine RR was built for animal power and was completed to Beach Glen and began shipping ore from there by the end of September.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


To help maintain the full 5-foot depth of the canal prism the Morris Canal Company paid $5,317.04 for an Osgood’s Patent Dredging Machine.  The new underwater excavator was put in operation on July 1st.  It was described as “an ungraceful hulk” of a boat, about 60 feet long, and steam driven.  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]



The Ogden Mine RR was chartered on February 19th.  Most of the incorporators (including Ario Pardee and George Richards) were from the Lehigh Valley of PA.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


After Stephen Vail’s death on July 12th, the Speedwell Iron Works continued under the management of George Vail. Isaac A. Canfield and John H. Lidgerwood – his son, grandson and stepson.  But, by 1873, decreasing water power and competition from other mills, brought the Works to a permanent close in NJ.  However, the machinery left at Speedwell was moved in 1876 to Coatsbridge, Scotland, where a new Speedwell Iron Works was established!  [Cavanaugh, Hoskins & Pingeon, At Speedwell In The Nineteenth Century]


The Civil War gave great impetus to agriculture and manufacturing, placing a profitable burden on all lines of transportation, including the Morris Canal.  After an expensive program of enlargement and modernization, its total tonnage rose from 554,034 in 1859 to 723,927 in this year.  Ore tonnage exceeded that of 1863 by 32,257 tons.  This partly reflected the recent construction of a 3.5 mile, horse-powered railway, which transferred ore from the Trenton Iron Company’s Hibernia mine to canal boats at Rockaway for shipment to their furnace in Phillipsburg.  Four trains of eight cars each conveyed 160 to 1280 tons of ore daily during summer months.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


The 682 ton sidewheel ferryboat Morristown, (official number 6988) was built for the Lackawanna Railroad.  It was abandoned in 1898.  [Baxter, Raymond J., and Adams, Arthur G., Railroad Ferries of the Hudson]



About 500 tons of iron ore from the Mount Pleasant Mine, belonging to Fuller, Lord and Company of Boonton, was carried by railroad monthly to the Morris Canal at Port Oram—named for mine superintendent and storeowner Robert F. Oram—a village of nearly a dozen houses that came into existence during the Civil War.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


On November 15th, two cars loaded with coal at Mauch Chunk became the first shipment to pass over the Morris and Essex RR between the mines and tidewater at Hoboken, NJ.  On December 24th, the Morris and Essex RR opened to Phillipsburg with coal trains running regularly and competing directly with the canal.  With this Port Oram to Phillipsburg connection completed the Morris Canal was doomed.  [Hanson, Kenneth R., Port Oram circa 1882: A NJ Iron Town]  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]



The Madison & Troy RR was chartered to build from the Morris & Essex RR in Madison through Hanover to Troy Hills, but it never happened.  [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #1]


Mount Hope Mineral RR was chartered on Mar. 16th, to "acquire and operate a railroad with branches from Port Oram (Wharton - where it connected with the Morris & Essex RR) to the Mount Hope Mines."  It was controlled by the Wharton Steel Co.  [ICC Valuation Report.] [NJ Sec. of State, 1866 pg. 458]  [CNJ Journal No. 67, March 2016]  [Train Sheet, Summer, 1976]


Passenger trains began operating between Hoboken, via Dover and Hackettstown to Phillipsburg on May 16th.  [Lee, Warren & Catherine, A Chronology of the Belvidere Delaware Railroad]


The Forge near Waterloo, owned by Peter Smith & Sons, accidentally took fire and burned on March 21st.  The loss was stated as $2,000, with $1,000 insurance.  This forge was probably located at New Andover.  At the time of the fire it was regularly turning out 1,400 pounds of charcoal iron per day, and employing quite a number of hands.  This forge, a bloomery, was processing iron ore mined from Roseville mine, located halfway between Andover and Waterloo, as well as from other nearby mines.  [Giles, John R., The Story of Waterloo Village]


The Mount Hope Mineral RR was authorized to build a line from the Mount Hope Mines “as far as may be necessary to form a suitable connection with the Morris & Essex RR and the Morris Canal.”  Instead of following the tram road to Rockaway, the founders of the new railroad chose to meet the railroad and canal in Port Oram, about the same distance away.  This route gave them access to other important mines, such as Orchard, Washington, Mount Pleasant, Richard, Baker, Allen and Tebo.  If the Thomas Iron Co. had built its railroad it almost certainly would have been absorbed into or replaced by the Mount Hope Mineral RR.  In later years, Thomas owned 31.7% of the MHM RR stock, suggesting that this was the case.  Among the incorporators of the new road were Joseph H. and Selden T. Scranton, famous industrialists who got their start in iron at Oxford Furnace.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


On July 12th, the work of altering the track gauge of the Morris and Essex Railroad from Hoboken to Hackettstown (from 6' to 4' 8½” ), has been completed and the passenger trains will be run through to Easton as soon as a sufficient number of cars and engines can be altered to suit the track.  [Lee, Warren & Catherine, A Chronology of the Belvidere Delaware Railroad]


On July 24th, in a canalboat under command of Commodore Frederick Engle, superintendent of the Philadelphia Navy Yard, especially fitted for their use came through the Morris Canal.  A pair of fast trotting mules provided motive power.  The party consisted of Asa Packer, of Pennsylvania; former US Senator John C. Ten Eyck; former Assembly Speaker John M. Hill; Colonel Cornelius Stewart, of Warren County; F. Wolcott Jackson, general superintendent of the New Jersey Railroad; his brother John P. Jackson, of Newark; and a large company of gentlemen from Philadelphia and New Jersey.  Starting from Phillipsburg, they anchored for the night at Hackettstown, making a side trip to Schooley’s Mountain.  The next morning the excursionists made their way up through the rocky fastnesses along the canal, over the planes, and into Lake Hopatcong, whose romantic coves and wooded islands furnished them with an idea of the beautiful in Jersey scenery that few of them anticipated.  They stayed in Dover that evening, after touring mines and factories along the route.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


On August 9th four boatmen on the Morris Canal entered several stores and the hotel at Rockaway.  They proceeded to abuse the occupants by using threatening language, refusing to pay for taken items, and defying all of Rockaway to arrest them.  A warrant was quickly issued and the Constable Armitage took a posse to assist him.  He found the rioters armed with clubs and stones, which they used to great effect.  The constable and several others were knocked down by a barrage, at which point Armitage obtained a gun and demanded surrender.  Upon again being denied, he shot one of the desperadoes in the gut.  The man later died from the wound.  Another was shot in the leg and arrested.  Yet another dove into the canal and escaped, while the fourth, the supposed ringleader, was arrested and taken into custody.  While awaiting official investigation, however, he was able to sneak through a window and disappear.  [On the Level, No. 124, September, 2016]


The Ogden Mine Railroad was built (opened) to bring iron ore from a string of mines south to Nolan’s Point at the north end of Lake Hopatcong.  Morris Canal boats came up the feeder canal from Landing to the Brooklyn Lock and were towed across the lake to be loaded at the Nolan’s Point ore docks.  [Macasek, Joseph J., Guide to the Morris Canal in Morris County]


The ore tonnage from the road averaged from 50,000 to 60,000 tons yearly.  A steamboat (the Hopatcong) belonging to the Ogden Mine Railroad towed canalboats from Nolan’s Point on Lake Hopatcong to the top lock of the feeder canal, called Brooklyn lock.  The ore stations of the road were at Hurd, Upper Weldon, Lower Weldon, Dodge, Ford, and Scofield mines, and Ogden Station, (while) where the principle mines were at Davenport, Old Ogden, Robert Shaft, and Pardee shaft.  [Anderson, Elaine, The Central RR of NJ’s First 100 Years]


The Ogden Mine RR supplanted a gravity line about three-quarters of a mile long that had carried ore from Hurd Mine to a point on Hurd Cove, about two miles south of Woodport. The railroad had a second steam tug, also named Hopatcong, constructed at Camden.  It was delivered via Pennsylvania’s Delaware Canal and the Morris Canal to Lake Hopatcong.  The OM RR also carried a little zinc ore, which was hauled up from the Stirling Hill Mines near Ogdensburg, until the NJ Midland RR took over that traffic in 1872.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


About 900 canalboats were in use on the Morris Canal and 1000 mules and 300 horses furnished the pulling power.  [Lee, James, Tales the Boatmen Told]


During this year the Morris Canal Co. approved $9,000 for the substitution of Bessemer steel rails for some of the inclined planes in place of the old iron rails.  The experiment was successful, and the Canal Company decided to buy steel rail for two more planes and part of a third during 1867.  Four more planes received steel rails during the winter of 1869.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]


The Civil War proved to be a boon to the Morris Canal, with this year being the peak, when it transported almost 900,000 tons of freight.  [Franke, Jakob, etal, Field Guide to the Morris Canal of NJ]


The revenues of the Morris Canal doubled during the Civil War, and in this year, the year after Appomattox, was the one and only year in its entire history which the canal earned enough to pay even a part of the interest on capital.  Both tonnage (889,000 and gross income ($616,000) were at their peak.  But, the Morris & Essex RR began carrying coal in competition with the canal in this year.  [Vermuele, Cornelius C., The Morris Canal in The Newcomen Society (UK) Transactions, Vol. XV, 1934-5]                                                                                                                 



Central RR of NJ Directors decided to operate their railroad on Sundays.  In protest, director William E. Dodge sold his stock and resigned.  [McKelvey]


The Port Oram & Ferro Monte RR was chartered on March 18th to run from Dickerson Mine “to form a suitable connection with the Morris & Essex RR and the Morris Canal, at convenient and accessible points on the same.”  Six months later the PO & FM announced that a sufficient number of shares of stock had been subscribed for and an organizational meeting was to be held, but nothing further was heard of the project.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]  [Train Sheet, Summer 1976]


Chester RR chartered Apr. 2, 1867; from DL&W main line near Wharton (Chester Jct.) to Chester.  [Moody's Manual of Railroads - 1940, p. 235]


Mount Hope Mineral RR started building the railroad from Wharton to Mount Hope, 3.639 miles in 1866 and completed it in 1867.  [ICC Valuation Report.]


The Mount Hope Mineral RR was opened in 1867 but the tramway to Rockaway, about 3½ miles, continued to operate.  It roughly paralleled Mount Hope Road and terminated in a loop of track at the ore docks along the canal in the west end of Rockaway.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


To tap additional iron revenues, the Morris & Essex RR built a branch from Denville to Boonton to serve the Boonton Iron Works, which, at the time,  used Port Oram ore received via the Morris Canal.  [Hanson, Kenneth R., Port Oram circa 1882: A NJ Iron Town]


On September 5th, the Morris & Essex branch railroad from Denville, four and ¾ miles long, to Boonton opened with regular service between the two points.  The railroad crossed the Rockaway River on a long iron trestle (which remains in place) and required a switchback to serve the industries between the river and the Morris Canal.  On the south side of the river near the trestle was a turntable to turn the small steam locomotive assigned to the Boonton Branch and a small wooden building to house it.  This branch was built to bring iron ore, cole, and other raw materials to the factories in Boonton and to transport finished goods to market.  Before the railroad arrived in town, those industries were exclusively served by the Morris Canal and horse-drawn wagons.  The completion of the Boonton Branch was debvistating to the canal, which lost considerable business to the railroad.   [Railroads of All Types Operated in Boonton, NJ, by Frank T. Reilly and Bill McKelvey]


Coal traffic transferred from the DL&W RR to the Morris Canal at Washington peaked at 146,359 tons in this year.  [McKelvey]


On December 20th the CNJ RR issued General Order #2 prohibiting the operation of trains on Sundays except through express passenger trains, stock trains or those carrying perishables.  [Reilly]



By this time over 40 buildings had been erected at Port Oram and the population grew to over 400.  Almost all the inhabitants were English miners employed by the Boonton Iron Company.  [Hanson, Kenneth R., Port Oram circa 1882: A NJ Iron Town]  [Macasek, Joseph J., Guide to the Morris Canal in Morris County]


The Morris & Essex RR was expanding – they applied to the Morris Canal Company “for permission to make a drawbridge across the canal at Drakesville for the Chester Railroad.”  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]


The Jersey Central became the first railroad in America to introduce uniforms for employees.  It consisted of a blue coat, pants, vest, cap with "CRR" and gilt buttons.  [Reilly]  [McKelvey]


The Morris and Essex Railroad was leased to the Lackawanna Railroad, giving the former direct access to the anthracite coal fields in the Scranton area.  [White, William, The Lackawanna 1851 - 1951]


The Boonton Ironworks constructed a second anthracite furnace.  Eventually, the manufacturing area stretched from the canal to the river, with 150 nail machines producing 200,000 kegs of nail a year.  The ironworks employed as many as 500 workers with a monthly payroll as high as $30,000.  [Rabin, Arthur, Voices of America: Boonton]


The Port Oram Iron Company (it came to be known as Wharton Furnace) was incorporated on March 31st by Robert Oram and seven other businessmen.  One of the incorporators was Morris Canal Company President William H. Talcott, and the iron company’s superintendent was Talcott’s son.  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]  [Historic Site Master Plan & Feasibility Study - Lock 2E of the Morris Canal, for Wharton Borough Council, by HJGA Consulting, Project No. 0616H, February 4, 2008]


President Randolph of the Morris & Essex Railroad said “We have now in use in the iron trade, 160 cars, mostly built within the past year.  It is recommended that this number be increased to 300 or 400 during 1868.  A contract has been entered into between this Company and the Lackawanna Iron & Coal Company by which we are to transport say 100,000 tons of iron ore per year from Port Oram (now Wharton) to Washington, for delivery to the DL&W.  An arrangement is in progress by which the Hibernia and Ogden Mine Railroad will be extended to a connection with this Road, and a considerable portion of the ore they are now transporting over the Morris Canal - during 1867 amounting to over 100,000 tons - will probably be largely diverted to this Road.  The Mount Hope road is already extended into the ore regions several miles, and will be adding largely each year to its tonnage.  The Mount Hope connected with the Morris & Essex at Port Oram at the time.  The Sussex Railroad also bids fair to supply a large tonnage of ore, extending as it will into some of trhe best Magnetite and Franklinite ore regions of the country.  The Chester Railroad, about to be put under contract for construction, and connecting this Road near Port Oram, will open one of the richest and best ore fields, and must add largely and rapidly to this species of tonnage.”  [Taber, Thomas T., The DL&W RR in the 19th Century]


The Allen Mine was named for Jabez L. Allen, who owned the property between 1848 and 1868.  Mining focused on the Richard Vein.  Numerous small shafts followed this vein for access.  In later years, the Allen Tunnel and the Allen Mine Shaft were the main areas of operation.  [Morris County Park Commission Mount Hope brochure]


During 1867 and 1868 ore accumulated at the Chester mine dumps in the expectation that the railroad would soon arrive.  When the M&E became interested in Chester, the dip needles were running wild and the prospect of tapping this immense wealth of iron must have seemed irresistible.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Chester’s Iron Heyday]


On December 10th, the DL&W broke its close relationship with the CNJ and took control of the Morris & Essex, giving it a owned leased route to tidewater.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]   [Railroads of All Types Operated in Boonton, NJ, by Frank T. Reilly and Bill McKelvey]



On January 1st, the Morris & Essex RR became the Morris & Essex Division of the DL&W RR.  However, neither railroad’s trains could operate over the other’s tracks because the M&E RR was standard gauge (4' 8 ½ “) and the DL&W was broad gauge (6').  [Railroads of All Types Operated in Boonton, NJ, by Frank T. Reilly and Bill McKelvey]


With the backing of the M&E, construction proceeded rapidly and the Chester Railroad was completed at the end of 1868 and opened to the public on January 2nd with a “free blow” that stuck in the memory of everyone present for the rest of their lives.  The Chester RR, although it retained a nominal corporate identity until 1945, was always operated as a branch of the “Lackawanna,” as Chester people called it.  The new railroad was an immediate success and quickly grew busy hauling coal and ore, as well as passengers.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Chester’s Iron Heyday]


On January 4th the Chester Railroad, connecting with the Morris & Essex near port Oram, not far from Dover, was opened for travel and carried a large number of excursionists during the day.  [Taber, Thomas T., The DL&W RR in the 19th Century]


On February 9th an agreement was executed, whereby the Lackawanna RR took over the Morris and Essex RR on the basis of a perpetual rental of 7% dividend rate on the capitalization.  The Lackawanna started immediately on a rejuvenating job.  A new main line extension was put in, especially designed for freight and coal traffic.  It extended the line built from Denville to Boonton, two years earlier, on through Paterson and Passaic to rejoin their old route at Hoboken.  [Lee, Warren & Catherine, A Chronology of the Belvidere Delaware Railroad]  [Casey & Douglas, The Lackawanna Story]

The opening of the Morris & Essex Chester Branch permitted Ario Pardee, who then owned Stanhope Furnace, to receive ore from his mines in the Chester area.  At the time a man named McConnell was running a daily canalboat to the furnace from Nolan’s Point on Lake Hopatcong, transporting ore brought down on the Ogden Mine RR.  [Lowenthal, Larry and Greenberg, William T., Jr., The Lackawanna RR in Northwest NJ]


On February 19th the Port Oram furnace entered into an agreement with the Morris Canal which allowed them to take water from the canal for their boilers, tuyeres or other purposes connected with the works of the Iron Company, to the full capacity of a pipe 8-inches in diameter... ...for $100 yearly rent.  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]


Ario Pardee bought the Musconetcong Iron Works from its new incorporators.  These works at Stanhope gave him control of two furnaces close to the Port Oram mines and on both the Morris Canal and the Morris & Essex RR.  By 1880 the works had an annual output of 40,000 tons of pig iron.  The Stanhope furnaces with their yearly consumption of about 75,000 tons of anthracite provided an important outlet for his mines and the ore, freight income to those transport systems where he had involvement.  Pardee had gained his technical education by working in George Tyler Olmsted’s engineering corps building the Delaware & Raritan Canal, and then as an assistant to another civil engineer of the time, Ashbel Welch of Lambertville, NJ who was chief engineer of the D&R Canal Feeder at the time.  [Hanson, Kenneth R., Port Oram circa 1882: A NJ Iron Town]


On March 16th the Mendham & Chester RR changed its charter so that it could build through Hanover, Caldwell, and Verona to connect with the large Montclair RR in Montclair.  [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #1]


The Ferromonte RR was chartered on March 24th, to tap the famous Dickerson Mine and the nearby Bake and Byram.  It used a hybrid system: The ore was brought down from the mines with animal power, on a narrow gauge track of 2' 10" gauge and rail of 24 lbs. to the yard; The ore was then weighed and transferred to standard gauge cars which were moved by the railroad to which it was connected, the DL&W’s Chester RR, in September 1870.  The Ferromonte carried almost 50,000 tons of ore in some years and also several thousand tons of coal and other freight annually.  It showed a profit every year except two from 1871 through 1891 and paid fairly regular dividends on its stock.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


On March 31st, the Port Oram Iron Company was incorporated mostly by men associated with the Boonton Iron Co.  The new company built an anthracite fueled blast furnace at Port Oram.  The Port Oram Iron Co. dug the Mt. Hope, Scrub Oak, and other mines in the Wharton area in the 1800s.   [Hanson, Kenneth R., Port Oram circa 1882: A NJ Iron Town]


On April 1st, the Chester Iron Co., which proved to be the mainstay of Chester mining, the most durable and successful of the companies that operated there, was incorporated.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Chester’s Iron Heyday]


Dover was incorporated as a town on April 1st and developed extensive iron and mill works, machine shops, stove, furnace and range works, boiler and bridge works, rolling mills, drill works, knitting and silk mills, and a large hosiery factory.  [Wikipedia]


Once called “the Pittsburgh of New Jersey” Dover was a thriving port on the Morris Canal and even after the canal closed it was an important rail distribution point for iron ore from a considerable neighboring district.  [Casey & Douglas, The Lackawanna Story]


A steamboat excursion on the Morris Canal was made yesterday, under the auspices of the President, Mr. Randolph, and Mr. John Rodgers, the Secretary of the Company, the object being to try a small steam-yacht called the Gussie.  The small, but select party, started from the canal lock at Jersey City, and passed through the canal to this city (Newark), the bridges being passed by letting down the smoke-pipe, which worked on hinges.  The water was so low that the progress made was very slow, and as she did not reach here till three hours after the prescribed time, some invited guests missed the excursion.  Passing through the locks, and over the inclined plane, the Gussie steamed a short distance above the city, and then returned home. [Newark Daily Advertiser June 19]  [Veit, Richard F., The Old Canals of NJ]


On June 22nd the Morris Canal directors began a cross state trip from Newark to Phillipsburg / Easton on the steam-propelled yacht Gussie.  She was 50 feet long, 8½ feet broad, and drew 4 feet of water, with a 12-horsepower engine.  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]


In June, Morris Canal directors traveled over the canal from Jersey City to Easton in a steam tug named the Gussie.  En route, president Jacob F. Randolph entertained them at his Bloomfield residence.  They stayed for successive nights in Dover and Hackettstown, arriving at Easton on June 25th.  This experimental voyage was intended to show how, in time, steam tugs might substitute for mules.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


A benevolent society, controlled by the members, was formed in Port Oram around the end of June at a time when the furnace was in operation and the area mines were heading toward peak employment.  [Hanson, Kenneth R., Port Oram circa 1882: A NJ Iron Town]


The Railway Mail Service was created in this year as the branch of the US Post Office responsible for moving mail by rail.  Railway Post Office cars were used to sort mail on the move and to pick up and deliver mail en-route.  [Wilson, Jeff, Express, Mail & Merchandise Service]


Mount Hope Mineral RR built the Port Oram (Wharton) Branch in 1869.  [ICC Valuation Report.]


By October the Hibernia Mine RR opened its extension from the Morris Canal to the Morris & Essex RR and began using a new Baldwin steam locomotive to move cars.  This connection allowed the HM RR to ship its ore to Cooper-Hewitt furnaces on and across the Delaware and to bring in Pennsylvania anthracite coal faster and in larger quantities than was possible by canal.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ] 


By the Ice Age, northern NJ was home to Mastodons and glaciers covered the northern part of the state.  In this year a nearly complete Mastodon skeleton was found near Hackettstown.  When alive it would have been 9'8" tall and 22' long.  [Wikipedia]


For the first time in the history of the Morris Canal the US Government slapped a "surplus profits tax" on the Morris Canal Co. earnings.  In addition to having to pay $25,000 tax-rent to the State of NJ, $1,263.10 was owed to the Federal Government.  [McKelvey]



The Iron Era newspaper was founded in Dover.  It’s successor in 1905 was the Advance.  [Platt, Charles D., Dover Dates, 1722-1922, A Bicentennial History of Dover, NJ]


During this year several new mines were opened around Chester – Peach Orchard, Dickerson Farm (not to be confused with the Dickerson Mine in Mine Hill), Hotel, Swayze and Woodhull, with the latter, located behind the Twins Inn, being the most significant.  It was leased from the Hedges family and operated by the Taylors of High Bridge.  The ore from Hedges mine was particularly valuable for making Bessemer steel because of its low phosphorous content and 10,000 tons were raised in the first year of operation.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Chester’s Iron Heyday]


On September 12th, the Morris & Essex RR, with help of their lessee, the DL&W RR, opened the extension of the Boonton Branch eastward 29+ miles through Lincoln Park, Paterson and Passaic to Hoboken.  The new track was built with dual gauge, anticipating the DL&W RR wanting to run their 6' gauge trains to tidewater from Washington, NJ.  At this time the original branch line which ended at the Boonton iron works became the Iron Works Spur.  [Railroads of All Types Operated in Boonton, NJ, by Frank T. Reilly and Bill McKelvey]



The annual production of the iron mines of Morris County, NJ, was 600,000 tons of ore, which sold for an average rate of $6.00 per ton.  (March 4th)  [Lee, Warren & Catherine, A Chronology of the Belvidere Delaware Railroad]


In March the NJ Legislature approved an act to incorporate “The Miners and Mechanics Benevolent Institution of Port Oram, NJ.”  The purposes of the Institution were to create a fund to be applied towards the relief or support of members who by sickness, accident or bodily infirmity, or other causes make them incapable of doing their usual occupation or calling.  And also toward the decent internment of deceased members,... and add to the security of its property.  The latter was their hall (or Excelsior Lodge No. 1) at 22 Baker Avenue, Port Oram.  This 35' x 70' one story building was where they met, and much of the social life of the town centered.  Members were uniformly English - no Irish, Scotch or continental Europeans.  By November 1886 the organization became a secret society and Hopewell Lodge No. 97 of the Knights of Pythias.  [Hanson, Kenneth R., Port Oram circa 1882: A NJ Iron Town]


The Lehigh Valley Railroad leased the Morris Canal properties for 999 years on March 14th, but not because it wanted the canal.  It only wanted access to the canal’s terminals on the Delaware and Hudson Rivers.  Since the canal company would not lease the terminals, the LV RR was forced to take the entire canal.  The LV RR was required to keep the Morris Canal open and operating for the entire period of the lease.  Though the canal was now in the hands of a competitorand cargo shipments were a mere shell of what they previously had been, it still continued to operate, however barely.  [Goller, Robert R., The Morris Canal Across NJ by Water and Rail]  [Lee, Warren & Catherine, A Chronology of the Belvidere Delaware Railroad]  [Giles, John R., The Story of Waterloo Village]


There were 1700 boats registered for service on the Morris Canal; 120 of them, however, were said to be “worth but very little.”  (April 18th - see conflicting entry below in November)  [Lee, Warren & Catherine, A Chronology of the Belvidere Delaware Railroad] 


The Giant Powder Company of CA, came to Kenvil to build their second dynamite plant, the Atlantic Giant Powder Co.  The site was chosen because of its nearness to the mines, satisfactorily distant from thickly populated districts, and havin an abundant supply of cold water which could be used for controlling the temperature of the glycerine nitration.  The first product they turned out was No. 1 Giant Powder which contained 75% Nitro Glycerine and 25% German Kieselguhr.  This was the second dynamite plant in America and the first Nitrate of Ammonia dynamite was made here.  Their dynamite was used to blast ores from the area’s deep shaft iron mines.  The plant later became the Hercules Powder Co., Kenvil Works.  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]  [Franke, Jakob, etal, Field Guide to the Morris Canal of NJ]  [Platt, Charles D., Dover Dates, 1722-1922, A Bicentennial History of Dover, NJ]


The Musconetcong Furnace, 80' x 17', with one stack, was built at Stanhope.


Thomas N. McCarter ended his service as a director of the Morris Canal Co., and later became the outstanding president of Public Service Corp.  [McKelvey]


Five hundred boats plied the Morris Canal in November, each about 80 feet in length, 12 feet in width and 6 feet in height, capable of transporting between 60 and 75 tons of cargo.  Most carried coal from Phillipsburg to Jersey City, some returning westward with loads of iron ore.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]



The Taylors of High Bridge had already secured a charter to construct a railroad from the CNJ main line at High Bridge to the existing terminus of the Chester Railroad.  This High Bridge Railroad, as it was called, was approved by the Legislature on March 22nd and soon slipped into the orbit of the CNJ.  The Taylors also surveyed branches in the Chester area to their rich iron ore deposits at Hedges Mine, their main interest in constructing the railroad, and to the Hacklebarney Mine.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Chester’s Iron Heyday]


The Hackelbarney and nearby mines, a mile or so south of Chester were connected to the Chester Railroad.  This brought the opportunity to provide rail service to the furnaces at Wharton.  [Taber, Thomas T., The DL&W RR in the 19th Century]


When the NJ Midland RR (now NYS&W RR) built its line along the Morris-Passaic boundary it dramatically improved the prospects of the mines in the Charlotteburg-Green Pond area.  The Charlotteburg furnace was renovated and nearby mines including those at Green pond were started up in anticipation of a connection with the new railroad.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


The Mendham & Chester RR began buying land for their route.  [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #1]


The Caldwell RR began boring a tunnel under Montclair to reach Caldwell.  [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #1]


The horse disease has broken out among the horses of the Morris Canal, and a number of boats have been stopped.  [Dempsey, Arline Fowler, Memories of the Morris Canal]


The Morris & Essex carried 404,832 tons of iron ore in this year when the total iron ore product of New Jersey was about 600,000 tons.  From 1865, when it reached the Delaware to 1876 when the High Bridge Branch entered upon the scene, the M&E enjoyed a monopoly of the Morris County iron traffic, except for the dwindling amount hauled by the Morris Canal.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


The parent LV RR viewed the Morris Canal, which they leased, as a second-best option to reach NY Harbor.  It is not surprising that when they were finally granted permission to construct the E&A they immediately requested permission to cease maintenance of the Morris Canal as a navigable waterway.  [McKelvey]



More mines were operating in NJ in 1872-3 than ever before or since.  A whole new range of ore was discovered east of Chester, on the farms of T.P. Skellenger (probably Woodhull Mine), Luther Childs (Childs Mine), J.W. Tiger (Tiger Mine), Nathan Emmons (probably Wortman Mine) and J. Quimby (Quimby Mine).  [Lowenthal, Larry, Chester’s Iron Heyday]


The Caldwell RR, Mendham & Chester RR, and the Montclair RR were all financed by Jay Cooke and during the financial crisis, known as the Panic of 1873, Cooke’s banking firm suffered from over-extension and was forced to cease operations.  [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #1]


The Rockaway River and Montville Railroad (RR&MR) was organized in April to build from a stone quarry on Hog Mountain in Montville to deliver material for the planned Boonton Reservoir dam of the Jersey City water system.  The DL&W RR owned the capital stock of the RR&MR.  [Taber, Thomas T., The DL&W RR in the 19th Century]  Note: S. David Phraner states that the RR&MR was incorporated in 1872.  [The Midlander Trainsheet, Vol. 7, No. 2]


On April 28th, there was a cave-in at the Chester Iron Company’s mine at Hacklebarney which would have resulted in serious loss of life if it had not been Sunday.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Chester’s Iron Heyday]


The Hopatcong Railroad was formed.  It eventually built about a mile of track, starting just east of the Lake Hopatcong station and running about 4500 feet north to the shore of the lake where the American Forcite Powder Company (later the Atlas Powder Co.) had an explosives factory.  [Taber, Thomas T., The DL&W RR in the 19th Century]


The Reading RR, in concert with the Central RR of  NJ, Lehigh Valley  RR, DL&W, and Delaware & Hudson Railroads established the first American cartel in an attempt to fix the price of anthracite shipment and to limit volumes.  [McKelvey]


Morris Canal President Randolph inaugurated a program of annual excursions on the Morris Canal for the Sunday School scholars of Bloomfield’s First Presbyterian Church.  One such excursion from Bloomfield to the Paterson Falls required three boats to carry an estimated 250 to 300 persons.  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]


The Chester Hill Branch railroad was ready for service to the Hedges Mine on September 17th.  Unfortunately, the construction of this and the Hacklebarney Branch coincided almost exactly with the Panic of 1873, which brought the Chester iron boom to a nearly total standstill.  By then the mismatch between the CNJ and the DL&W had fallen apart and the two companies had returned to their normal rivalry.  In Chester the resulting situation was unusual, if not unparalled: the CNJ / High Bridge interests had constructed two branches whose only rail outlet was over the tracks of the rival Lackawanna!  [Lowenthal, Larry, Chester’s Iron Heyday]  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


Central RR of NJ stockholders voted to dissolve the merger with the DL&W made only six months prior.  [McKelvey]


On August 16th, the entire M&E line from Washington to Hoboken was made dual gauge to accommodate the DL&W’s broad gauge trains.  [Railroads of All Types Operated in Boonton, NJ, by Frank T. Reilly and Bill McKelvey]


Although the Boonton Iron Works reached maximum output of 20,000 tons of nails and spikes per year, the Depression of 1873 hit them hard.  They never recovered and in June 1876 the works closed.  Joseph Wharton operated one of their furnaces for a short period in the early 1880's before selecting Port Oram as the location of his iron empire.  Later, Wharton purchased the former Boonton Iron Works mines.  [Hanson, Kenneth R., Port Oram circa 1882: A NJ Iron Town]


During 1873 the iron mines of NJ yielded 670,000 tons of ore; 150,000 tons of that amount was turned into pig iron.  [Lee, Warren & Catherine, A Chronology of the Belvidere Delaware Railroad]



A travel guide observed: “From Port Oram to Chester wherever there is a hill there is a mine, and the tinge of iron is on the names of the places.”  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


The Timber Brook RR was organized on July 15th, to build a line between the Green Pond RR and the Morris & Essex RR at or near Port Oram, while the Green Pond RR was still under construction, but it was stillborn.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


A four-mile connection was completed from the NJ Midland RR to the Green Pond Iron Mining Co. in less than four months and on August 3rd the first train of twenty cars carrying ten tons of ore each operated.  But, six months after completion of the Green Pond RR the new connection was bankrupt.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


The monthly pay of hands on the Morris Canal is reduced $2 per month from the 1st of October and laborers are cut down from $1.30 to $1.50 per day.  The plane-keepers and lock-tenders receive $38 and $41 per monthly, including house rent and fuel.  The carpenters received $2.50 per day; now $2.25; foremen’s wages are cut down from $60 to $57 per month.  This is the first reduction made in the canal company, which paid full wages through last season’s panic.  [Dempsey, Arline Fowler, Memories of the Morris Canal]


The Dover Fire Department was established on October 14th.  [Dover Historical Society]


The Central RR of NJ presented each of their employees with a Christmas turkey.  [McKelvey]



The trestle at the Rockaway ore docks of the tramway serving the Mount Hope Mine collapsed in January, killing a man named Wesley Mills.  The newspaper report stated: “The ore in the winter is brought from the mines at Mount Hope in cars drawn by mules to Rockaway and dumped from the trestle for storage.  Mills and his brother were employed in thus carting the ore and were upon the trestle with the car when it gave way, throwing both of the men, the car, and the timbers in a confused mass to the docks beneath.”  A coroner’s jury censured the Mount Hope Mining Co. for criminal neglect in permitting a “rotten unsafe and insufficient” structure to be used.  The trestle was apparently rebuilt after the mishap and the tram operation resumed.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


The winter of 1874-75 had been almost unprecedented during the Canal Company’s history for its intense severity, making ice in some places of more than three feet in thickness and freezing the banks so deeply as reported on April 5th that it was unsafe to fill the levels and resume navigation.  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]


By May a force of 35 men, using modern Ingersoll steam drills, was producing 1,500 tons of iron ore per month at Chester’s Hedges Mine.  However, there was a temporary setback in June when nearly all of the hands were laid off.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Chester’s Iron Heyday]


The Ogden Mine Railroad (later the CNJ) had the iron steam tug Hopatcong built at the yard of Wood, Dialogue & Co. in Camden (departed on June 26th) and transported to Lake Hopatcong via the Delaware River and the Delaware and Morris Canals.  Strings of canalboats were towed across the lake, totaling as many as 1,500 boats and 108,000 tons of ore in 1880.  [Macasek, Joseph J., Guide to the Morris Canal in Morris County]  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]


The CNJ completed their High Bridge Branch through German Valley, Port Oram, Dover and Rockaway to haul iron ore to the main line.  [Anderson, Elaine, The Central RR of NJ’s First 100 Years]


The Lehigh Valley RR Pattenburg Tunnel was opened on June 22nd.  This was the first big job for which Atlantic Giant Powder Co. of Kenvil supplied dynamite.  [Platt, Charles D., Dover Dates, 1722-1922, A Bicentennial History of Dover, NJ]


Headlines of July 24th: Rolling Mill vs. Canal, DOVER EXCITED!  Which Shall Stop–The Wheels of the Mill or the Canal Boats?  25 CANAL BOATS LYING IDLE!  Trouble Between the Morris Canal Co., and the Dover Rolling Mill Co.  The amount of water going over the river dam, at Dover, so decreased the water in the canal, as to make it impossible to run the boats.  The canal


company spiked down twelve inches of oak timber on the top of the dam.  This interfered with the wheels of the Rolling Mill and they ceased to move.  The rolling mill men then cut the timbers from the top of the dam which lowered the canal water, preventing the boats from operating.  The affair was taken to the courts and the canal company was permitted to restore 8 inches of timber to the top of the dam.  The water in the Swede iron mine, in close proximity to the canal, about a mile from Dover, owned by the Boonton Iron Company, is pumped out by a water wheel run with water from the canal.  About a week after the rolling mill trouble, the canal company stopped the mine pump wheel.  The mine commenced to fill with water, preventing the miners from working.  There was an understanding and the next day the wheel was again put in motion.  [Dempsey, Arline Fowler, Memories of the Morris Canal]    


On November 12th, the Mount Hope Mineral RR sold its branch to the canal, the so-called Port Oram Branch to the CNJ.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


In December some of the miners at Chester’s Hotel Mine placed 8 pounds of dynamite under the engine to dry.  It became dry sooner than expected and exploded with terrific force, ruining the engine and completely telescoping the building in which it was.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Chester’s Iron Heyday]


In this year the Ferro Monte RR hauled 44,779 tons of iron ore from their mines to the Morris Canal.  They also hauled coal the 2.5 miles back to their mines.  [Poors]


In this year the Hibernia Mine RR had 2 steam locomotives and 100 ore cars operating on their 5.5 miles between the mine and Rockaway.  [Poors]


The Ogden Mine RR, which operated 10 miles between the mine and Nolan’s Point on Lake Hopatcong, had 2 steam locomotives and 98 freight cars in this year.  [Poors]



From the appearance of things at the Washington boat-yard, the Morris Canal Company propose (plan) entering largely into the carrying trade next Spring.  We encountered twenty-five boats in various stages of construction on a recent visit. [Star, January 13th]  [Dempsey, Arline Fowler, Memories of the Morris Canal]


In March the 6 - foot gauge Lackawanna Railroad was converted to standard gauge, 4' 8½”.  A gigantic army of track workers accomplished the task in 48 hours.  (See conflicts under 27th & 28th May)  [White, William, The Lackawanna 1851 - 1951]


On May 27th the use of broad gauge trackage was discontinued on the Morris & Essex Division and the entire DL&W was converted to standard gauge.  [Railroads of All Types Operated in Boonton, NJ, by Frank T. Reilly and Bill McKelvey] 


By this Sunday (May 28th) the gauge of the DL&W RR – Hoboken to Scranton (147 miles) – including the Warren RR, a subsidiary company, was changed from 6' to 4' 8½”.  It is said that the change, which was made by 2,000 men from 6am to 6pm, will save the company at least 30 percent in running expenses.  [Lee, Warren & Catherine, A Chronology of the Belvidere Delaware Railroad]


Longwood Valley RR from German Valley (now Long Valley) to Wharton, 10.96 miles, was completed in 1876.  It cost $373,501.58.  [ICC Valuation Report, Docket 401.]


Longwood Valley RR was completed from a junction with the High Bridge RR at German Valley (now Long Valley) to Wharton, 10.960 miles of single track railroad on Apr. 1st.  It was leased to and operated by the CNJ effective Apr. 1st.  Construction cost $911,835.47, which was advanced by the CNJ.  [ICC Valuation Report, Docket 401.]


The CNJ arrived in Port Oram and added a branch to serve the Port Oram Furnace.  [Historic Site Master Plan & Feasibility Study - Lock 2E of the Morris Canal, for Wharton Borough Council, by HJGA Consulting, Project No. 0616H, February 4, 2008]


The Atlantic Giant Powder Co. of Kenvil supplied 50,000 pounds of dynamite for the first project to clear underwater obstructions (read rock) at Hell Gate on the East River.  The shipment was made conveniently by canal boat by way of the Morris Canal, which bordered the Kenvil plant property, and NY Harbor.  [Platt, Charles D., Dover Dates, 1722-1922, A Bicentennial History of Dover, NJ]


Port Oram & Newfoundland RR filed with the NJ Sec. of State on Dec. 5th, a route map from a branch of the Mount Hope RR to the Mount Hope Mineral RR.  [Reilly]


Kenvil was established as a CNJ station stop.  [Bernhart, B. L., CRR of NJ Stations, Structures & Marine Equipment]


The Denmark Valley RR planned to construct a line between the Green Pond RR and the Mount Hope Mineral RR at Mount Hope.  The company filed its Articles of Association and a map of its 20+ mile route on April 27th and then faded into the shadows.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


The CNJ constructed an 18' x 51' one story frame station at Port Oram.  In 1902 the town and the station were renamed Wharton.  [Bernhart, B. L., CRR of NJ Stations, Structures & Marine Equipment]


The DL&W RR completed conversion of their track to standard gauge.  [McKelvey]


Chester Furnace was constructed on the new southern extension of the Chester Railroad creating a considerable amount of traffic over the extension.  [Taber, Thomas T., The DL&W RR in the 19th Century]


The Port Oram and Newfoundland RR was organized on November 28th as a connection with the Charlotteburg & Green Lake RR with branches to Newfoundland, Mount Hope and Port Oram.  However, it was never able to muster enough resources to convert their map to roadbed.  The Green Pond & Dover RR, organized on December 1st, planned to build over much the same route as the Timber Brook RR, actually terminating in Port Oram rather than Dover.  A week later its directors ceded their survey to the Port Oram & Newfoundland RR.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]



The Central RR of NJ filed for receivership on February 13th.  They were involved in bankruptcy reorganization for much of the next decade.  The cause was blamed on the Panic of Bank failures and the Stock market plunge in 1873.  [Train Sheet, Fall, 1989]  [McKelvey]


After raising freight rates in the east, four major lines - the PRR, the NYC & HR, the Erie and the B&O - set up a rate control pool, and then, to increase profits, decided to cut their workers’ pay by ten percent.  Other companies, representing over half of the total mileage in the country, agreed to take the same action.  The stage was set for the first national strike.  The Great National Railroad Strike grew into the largest mass labor action in American history and was accompanied by monumental violence.  "The Great Upheaval" was also the worst in the history of the state of New Jersey.  [McKelvey]


An adit to drain water from the idle and flooded Orchard and Hurd mines was commenced in April.  Not only were the mines drained, but Port Oram’s water wells also dried up...  [Hanson, Kenneth R., Port Oram circa 1882: A NJ Iron Town]


Work was suspended on the Morris Canal Saturday night, because of the stopping of the supply of coal occasioned by the strike on the Lehigh Valley Road. (August 2nd)  [Dempsey, Arline Fowler, Memories of the Morris Canal]


Ario Pardee took over the whole Dickerson iron mine operation, sending most of its output to Stanhope.  As director of the Lehigh Valley RR, he had a voice in setting policy for the Morris Canal which had been leased by the Valley in 1871.  [Hanson, Kenneth R., Port Oram circa 1882: A NJ Iron Town]


On October 21st a most famous and impactful fire occurred in downtown Madison.  The fire started at I.J. Ayers grocery store in the Allen Building which was completely destroyed, including the YMCA which was housed in the upper two floors.  Other buildings consumed including a house, a confectionary store, Solomon Sam’s Cigar Store, and the DL&W depot.  In spite of the response of the Morristown Fire Department, a good part of Madison’s downtown was consumed.  Four years later the Madison Hook and Ladder Company No. 1 was incorporated.  [Frank Esposito, The Madison Heritage Trail]


By the end of the year Chester’s Hedges Mine reached its peak in which a work force of 60 men were producing 100 tons of iron ore a day.  The Hedges estate received royalties of 75¢ a ton.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Chester’s Iron Heyday]



The Chester Furnace was built in this year on Furnace Road by the Jersey Spiegel Iron Company.  It was a blast furnace to make Spiegel-eisen from the residue of Franklinite ore, after the zinc had been extracted.  It was abandoned almost immediately, and the furnace was leased to W.J Taylor of High Bridge.  They employed one hundred men and it was a successful blast furnace for a number of years.  [Case, Joan S., Chester]


The Morris Canal Company is building a steamboat in their yards at Washington.  The motive power will be a twelve horse-power Baxter engine, and the craft will carry cargo and tow another boat. (May 16th)  [Dempsey, Arline Fowler, Memories of the Morris Canal]


Mr. William Baxter’s steam canalboat made her first trip through the Morris Canal.  Father and son Baxter received US Patent No. 154,978 for the successful application of steam-power to the propulsion of boats on canals.  [Lee, James, Tales the Boatmen Told]


On June 1st William Baxter’s steam canal boat (US Patent #154,978) arrived at Newark from Washington, Warren County and proceeded to Jersey City to discharge her cargo.  [Newark Daily Advertiser, June 1st, 1878]  [US Patent Office, Improvement in Steam Canal-Boats, Patent #151978]


The number of blades in the paddle of the Baxter steam canal boat has been increased from two to four and she now travels twice as fast as boats drawn by horses.  It is said that the boat does not draw enough water to run empty.  [Dempsey, Arline Fowler, Memories of the Morris Canal]


Two ingenious Newarkers have been experimenting on the use of steam in canal navigation with a view of shoving the traditional mule off the towpath, where for so long he has held undisputed way.  The boat with which the experiments are being made is named the J. F. Hart, after the chief of the two, and it is said she performs admirably.  Three trips have been made over the canal, 104 miles each one, at a maximum of about $15 each trip.  The engine with which the boat is furnished is of 1,500 pounds weight and is of three-mule power.  Only one and a half ton of coal was used on each trip.  The engine and appurtenances were put in the boat at the expense of the two who are above alluded to, but if the results are perfectly satisfactory it is understood that the company will take the matter in hand and apply steam power to the other boats, and the projectors will make a pretty “dot”.  [Paterson Press, July 18th]  [Dempsey, Arline Fowler, Memories of the Morris Canal]


The canal was never in better order, but business is extremely light.  However, it is expected that the canal will hereafter receive a full share of the coal traffic, according to the recent arrangement entered into by the coal companies.  [Paterson Press, July 18th]  [Dempsey, Arline Fowler, Memories of the Morris Canal]


A few days since a party of Newark surveyors were up at Greenwood Lake examining the same as a source of water supply for that city, and the most feasible means of conducting it.  The plan of buying the Morris Canal as a channel for the water has long been exploded, and it is now in contemplation to build an aqueduct from the Lake to Newark instead.  This is the peculiar feature of the business now being investigated.  [Paterson Press, July 18th]  [Dempsey, Arline Fowler, Memories of the Morris Canal]


From the 20th of March up to Monday, 18th inst., 1,175 boats have been loaded with coal at Port Delaware schutes for different points along the Morris Canal.  [July 25th]  [Dempsey, Arline Fowler, Memories of the Morris Canal]

The Morris Canal Company, it is stated, is about to build, at Washington, twenty-five steam canal boats on the same plan as the Baxter canal boat Peter S. Hart.  [October 3rd]  [Dempsey, Arline Fowler, Memories of the Morris Canal]


In October an experiment was conducted in which ten carloads of ore from Green Pond Mine were shipped directly to a mill in Elmira, NY for the manufacture of rails.  There was no further mention of the experiment...  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


The boat yard at Washington is in full operation on a contract for twenty steam canal boats.  [October 24th]  [Dempsey, Arline Fowler, Memories of the Morris Canal]



Articles of Association for the Hibernia Underground RR were filed on June 30th.  Its 2' 9" gauge track with 30 pound rail ran for about 1.5 miles at a depth of up to 317' below ground.  Power was provided by two diminutive locomotives.  The railroad was challenged by litigation in condemnation of rights of way; tunnel cave-ins; and competition from Joseph Wharton’s Hibernia Branch RR.  In spite of this the HU carried 100,000 tons of ore for some of its years.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


On July 4th, after many delays, the Taylor company lit the fire at their Chester furnace, which quickly proved to be a technical success.  Expected to produce about 15 tons per day, it was turning out 20 - 30 tons within its first month of operation.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Chester’s Iron Heyday]


As the New Jersey Zinc Company prepared to resume mining at Ogdensburg, mine superintendent John George contracted with the Sussex Railroad to transport 100,000 tons of zinc ore on the Morris Canal to Newark, using a chute constructed at Waterloo to transfer ore from rail cars to canalboats in the Lock Pond, loading four boats daily.  Boatmen worked early to late, making many trips as possible as navigation was to be suspended in the middle of November.  By the time the Ogden Mine RR shut down for winter, it also carried the largest tonnage in its history.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


Peter F. Hart of Newark made several improvements to his steam canalboat over winter and took his boat from Waterloo to Bloomfield in July, covering 45 miles in one day; the same trip took several days by mule power.  The Morris Canal Company, however, refused tom pay for running the boat up the Hackensack River, where he was usually consigned with loads.  Consequently, after only two weeks, Hart removed the engine and sent the boat to Phillipsburg, where it was made available for mule power.  Apparently, no one controlling the canal’s destiny was much interested in schemes for its modernization.  Although coal companies agreed to provide a full share of traffic, business and income on the Morris Canal dwindled away.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


After a dry summer, mills ran less than half time in August.  The water level in Lake Hopatcong was so low in November that the mining company stopped loading canalboats and large piles of ore quickly accumulated along the Ogden Mine RR.  Bt December, a scarcity of water and the onset of freezing weather blockaded the Morris Canal, halting seventy-two boats below Stanhope.  Over fifty canalboats passed the Waterloo lock on December 6th.  A week later, navigation closed and the canal was drained for repairs.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


On August 22nd, the Hibernia Underground Railroad was chartered to provide a railroad system to collect ore from the Hibernia mines and additionally to provide an exit to drain water from the workings.  Prior to the construction of the Hibernia Underground RR, ore from the mine shafts was hauled by horse and wagon to the ore docks at a cost of about 40¢ per ton.  The railroad charged half that amount.  [Train Sheet, Spring 1975]


During the Civil War a place for storage of pyrotechnics – powder and explosives arose.  In 1879 the United States Powder Depot was established at what became the future Picatinny Arsenal.  [Rae, John W., Picatinny Arsenal]


An immense body of ore on the property of Nathan Cooper, north of the village of Chester was discovered.  Shipment of ore from Cooper Mine commenced on December 14th, and in the first year 12,000 tons were shipped.  Ore from the mine had to be carted down a steep trail to a siding on the Chester RR about a half a mile away.  Four months later the CNJ extended its Chester Hill Branch from its existing railhead in the southwest corner of the present junction of Routes 24 and 206 across Main Street to serve Topping and Samson mines.  However, it was not until 1881 that the CNJ extended the branch to Cooper Mine and beyond.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Chester’s Iron Heyday]  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ] 


In this year Joseph Wharton started to build his NJ iron empire, one that grew until his death in 1909.  [Hanson, Kenneth R., Port Oram circa 1882: A NJ Iron Town]


The CRR of NJ was reorganized. [McKelvey]



In January, the Mount Hope Mining Co. advertised for bids to cart 16,000 tons of ore from the canal bank to the Lackawanna depot.  Abram Shawger obtained the contract with a bid of 40¢ per ton.  Two months later, he was still at the job with ten teams and residents were complaining that “their constant travel with heavy loads has cut the roads up badly.”  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


In February, Cooper-Hewitt resumed work at Chester’s Samson Mine, and were soon shipping two carloads of iron ore daily.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Chester’s Iron Heyday]


In February, the Cooper & Hewitt Co., whose interests extended throughout northern NJ, purchased the mineral rights around Charlotteburg for $50,000.  A month later it was reported that the Midland RR was receiving a combined forty carloads of ore a day from the Charlotteburg, Copperas and Davenport mines, all located on the line of the Charlotteburg & Green Lake RR, but this level of activity was not sustained.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


Dover & Rockaway RR was incorporated on Mar. 8th, to build a railroad from Port Oram (Wharton) to Rockaway.  [ICC Valuation Report, Docket 401.]


The North Jersey Iron Co. opened four new shafts on the Topping property in Chester and, rather surprisingly, sold the Hedges Mine to the Bethlehem Iron Co.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Chester’s Iron Heyday]


Iron mine baron, William Henry Baker built the Baker Opera House in Dover.  [Dover Historical Society]


The CNJ entered Dover over the Dover and Rockaway Railroad, a leased line, which was incorporated in 1880 and opened for traffic in the following year.  This railroad was built primarily as a connection between the Longwood Valley Railroad, which was controlled by the CNJ, and the Hibernia Mine Railroad, which was organized by George Richards, Columbus Beach and Henry McFarlan of Dover and other men from New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Massachusetts who were interested in the iron mines of the vicinity.  The object of this railroad and the other railroads and branches which formed the High Bridge Branch of the CNJ was to carry high grade iron ore to the furnaces at High Bridge.  It was also carried to the great iron production centers of Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, where this Jersey ore was mixed with local ores to charge many of the region’s furnaces.  [Anderson, Elaine, The Central RR of NJ’s First 100 Years]  [Poors]


The Taylor company purchased two small industrial locomotives from the CNJ in April, one for use at Chester Furnace and one for the mines at Andover.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Chester’s Iron Heyday]


A spark from a locomotive caused a fire at the Kenvil lumber yard in May, destroying thirteen loaded cars on the CNJ.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


On August 10th and September 1st earthquakes of about 3 in magnitude were felt near Morristown.  [Geologic History of Morris County]


On September 6th the War Department established the Dover Powder Depot.  Four days later the post was renamed Picatinny Powder Depot.  [Rae, John W., Picatinny Arsenal]


The Ogden Mine Railroad bulk iron ore shipments to the transloading docks at Nolan’s Point on Lake Hopatcong amounted to 108,600 tons or 1,543 boat loads in this year.  [Anderson, Elaine, The Central RR of NJ’s First 100 Years]  [Giles, John R., The Story of Waterloo Village]


In this year Richard 2 was Richard Mine’s primary shaft.  It extracted ore from the Richard Vein by utilizing an old-style bucket hoist.  [Morris County Park Commission Mount Hope brochure]


The Andover Mine closed.  [Anthony Troha]


In this era, Chester had 28 active iron mines.  In this year six of those mines were operating on Main Street alone.  [Chester Historical Society]


The Census of this year revealed that only two counties in the US outranked Morris County in the production of iron ore.  Two years later, Morris County and NJ set their 19th Century records for ore production.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Chester’s Iron Heyday]


During February, the Car Shops burned on a very cold night.  The fire was fought with one steamer (pumper), City of Dover, known as No. 1.  Water was taken from a brook on the Oram property by building a dam to hold enough to supply the pump.  After the fire they went to take up the hose but found it was frozen.  One member commented that they might as well try to wind up the stove pipe.  [Platt, Charles D., Dover Dates, 1722-1922, A Bicentennial History of Dover, NJ]


In this year in the Chester area Cooper-Hewitt took over Topping Mine and began working it more actively.  The Langdons began operations at the mine named for them, and Swayze Mine was started up again by the Chester Iron Co.  Meanwhile, that company was employing a force of 100 men at Hacklebarney, shipping about 100 tons daily, and installed a new compressor to work eight to ten air drills.  Horton Mine and nearby Skellenger and Combs Mines in Ironia were also flourishing.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Chester’s Iron Heyday]


The CNJ's 5.12 mile, Dover & Rockaway RR (Wharton - Rockaway Boro) opened May 16th, at which time the CNJ combined the operation of the Hibernia Mine RR, which connected with the D&R RR at Rockaway Boro, with the D&R.  Passenger trains operated through to Hibernia beginning that date.  Previously the HM RR operated passenger trains only between Rockaway and Hibernia.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]  [Poors]


Dover & Rockaway RR built its railroad from Port Oram (Wharton) to Rockaway in this year.  It cost $222,843.03 and was always operated by the Central RR Co. of NJ.  [ICC Valuation Report, Docket 401.]


Chester’s worst single mining accident took place on August 24th, when three men were killed at Hacklebarney Mine in the notorious “Hanging Wall” disaster.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Chester’s Iron Heyday]


Joseph Wharton of Philadelphia, one of the organizers of Bethlehem Iron Company and founder of the Wharton School of Business as well as an important national figure, chose Port Oram as the site for his personal iron empire.  He purchased the Port Oram furnace property for the site of what would become Morris County’s largest and most modern iron furnace complex.  [Macasek, Joseph J., Guide to the Morris Canal in Morris County]


In November the Ogden Mine Railroad was leased to the CNJ for 999 years and was connected with the High Bridge Branch of the CNJ.  To form a connection with their High Bridge Branch at Port Oram (Wharton, NJ), engineers surveyed a line of track from Port Oram through the Berkshire Valley to a point at the base of Mase Mountain, where they proposed to build an inclined plane.  Completion of this new rail connection obviated the necessity of transferring ore from the mine railroad to boats at Nolan’s Point for transshipment on the Morris Canal, allowing these productive mines to ship ore directly in rail cars to furnaces in PA.  [Anderson, Elaine, The Central RR of NJ’s First 100 Years]  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]  [Giles, John R., The Story of Waterloo Village]


The CNJ extended its Chester Hill Branch through the village, capturing the traffic from the Cooper and nearby mines.  On June 5th, George Richards arranged a tour up the Ogden Mine RR for a delegation from the American Institute of Mining Engineers that examined each of the mines. [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


The Edison Ore-Milling Company was a venture by Thomas Edison that began in this year at Ogdensburg, NJ.  He patented a method of crushing the ore and extracting the high quality ore by magnetic separation but the company ultimately proved to be unprofitable.  Towards the end of the company’s life Edison realized the potential application of his technologies to the cement industry, and formed the Edison Portland Cement Company in 1899.  [Wikipedia]


By August, 25,000 tons of iron ore a month were going down the CNJ High Bridge Branch.   [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ - 1981]


In August ore shipment to Chester Furnace over the High Bridge Branch alone reached a record total of 1,652 tons.  At least 500 tons of this was transported from other points in Chester.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Chester’s Iron Heyday]


Manufacture of sulphur-free mineral wool was transferred from Clove Furnace, Orange City, NY to the Musconetcong Iron Works at Stanhope, but a few years later Stanhope Furnace also went out of blast.  Thereafter mineral wool was made there from slag taken from the cinder bank and remelted in specially constructed cupola furnaces.  It was soon found that this makeshift method produced a desirable low-sulphur mineral wool.   [The Engineering & Mining Journal, August 26, 1899]



The CNJ lease of the Ogden Mine RR commenced on January 1st.  On January 19th the Lake Hopatcong RR was incorporated.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


A force of 25 Italios arrived on Monday last at Port Oram and broke ground under the direction of contractor, Patrick Reilly, for the new extension which will connect the Ogden Mine Railroad with the High Bridge Branch of the Central.  The work will be pushed as rapidly as possible and will doubtless be completed during the coming summer.  The contract calls for the completion of the work by May first next.  [Iron Era, February 4th, 1882]  [Hanson, Kenneth R., Port Oram circa 1882: A NJ Iron Town]


One day in May, when the Morris County iron industry had ascended to its zenith, 118 cars of ore were shipped over the High Bridge Branch.  Of these, fifty-three were 10-ton cars and sixty-five were 20-ton, making a total of 1830 tons.  Over half of the iron ore produced in the state went out over the High Bridge Branch.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ - 1981]


The labor force in the Chester iron industry was estimated to be 600 in May.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Chester’s Iron Heyday]


The commissioners to fix the value of lands taken by the new Hopatcong Branch Railroad from the Hoff estate met on the property last Saturday and awarded $175 for the five and a half acres so taken.  [Iron Era, June 3rd, 1882]  [Hanson, Kenneth R., Port Oram circa 1882: A NJ Iron Town]


On July 1st, Chester was rocked by a terrific explosion.  Dynamite stored in a barn within 200 feet of Main Street, went off, resulting in one killed, several injured, and windows broken & structures damaged all over the village.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Chester’s Iron Heyday]


The new railroad to Lake Hopatcong began to transport ore yesterday.  (This allowed the CNJ to take the ore traffic from the Morris Canal that was formerly loaded into canal boats at Nolan’s Point.)  For the present only ore trains will be run, and there will be two each day from the Ogden Mine and four daily from Nolan’s Point (south due to the heavy grades).  Arrangements will be completed as quickly as possible for the passenger traffic.  Negotiations are pending, and it is believed they will be successful, for the transfer of DL&W passengers at the junction of the two roads above Port Oram.  In this event either switches will be constructed or a stairway will be built leading from the track of the DL&W road above to the track of the Hopatcong road below. [Iron Era, August 19, 1882]  [Hanson, Kenneth R., Port Oram circa 1882: A NJ Iron Town]  The Central Railroad of NJ brought direct rail service to Lake Hopatcong which terminated at Nolan’s Point.  This turned the lake into a popular summer resort.  [Wikipedia]


In spite of 3 to 4% grades the Lake Hopatcong RR was completed around August 15th and the first ore was taken out three days later.  The first passenger train, a six-car excursion chartered by the Rockaway Presbyterian Sunday School ran on September 6th.  This was the peak year of the old New Jersey iron industry.  After this the effects of competition from the Mesabi Range became noticeable and were felt along the line of the Ogden Mine RR.  Within two years the Ogden mines were all closed.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


Only three years after construction of the Hibernia Underground RR, the NJ iron mines output achieved its maximum.  From then on, decline set in as the steel industry expanded in Pittsburgh and Chicago to take advantage of Great Lakes ores and the bituminous coal fields of western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and Ohio.  [Train Sheet, Spring 1975]


A temporary CNJ railroad bridge over the Morris Canal near Port Oram gave way in May, dumping several cars of dirt into the canal and briefly delaying navigation.  On another day in May, when the Morris County iron industry had ascended to its zenith, 118 cars of iron ore were shipped over the High Bridge Branch.  Over half the iron ore produced in New Jersey went out over the CNJ High Bridge Branch.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


The CNJ built a track right into the (Port Oram) furnace to carry off hot cinders (which probably included slag).  [Historic Site Master Plan & Feasibility Study - Lock 2E of the Morris Canal, for Wharton Borough Council, by HJGA Consulting, Project No. 0616H, February 4, 2008]


The September 23rd issue of Iron Era, a weekly newspaper in Dover, NJ carried an account of a trip made by a party of Morristown citizens to Hibernia and into the mine tunnel.  In part it said “On arriving at the Hibernia railroad junction at Rockaway, Superintendent George Miller was found waiting in an engine of that road, which took the coaches and steamed away with them to Hibernia.  Here preparations were at once made for the trip in the Glendon tunnel by the underground railway, and a little later the greater part of the company, arrayed in a miscellaneous assortment of garments to protect themselves from dirt and water, were seated in low cars and propelled by a miniature steam engine, were making their way into the bowels of the earth...  All seamed greatly interested in the massive timbering of the tunnel, looking weirdly by the dim lights of their miner’s lamps, and the stations where the ore was hoisted up through the shafts and dumped automatically into the cars on the sidings...  The party continued on to the end of the tunnel, about one mile and three quarters from the entrance, where some of the more adventuresome, under the guidance of Superintendent Kynos of the Bethlehem (Steel) Company, proceeded on to a stop to see the workings of a steam drill.  As they went along through the dark passages, over cars and down ladders their movements were rather ludicrous to those accustomed to moving about in the underground ways.  After the inspection party boarded the train again and under the direction of Superintendent Gus Munson were soon whirled out into the daylight highly pleased with the novel trip.”  [Train Sheet, Spring 1975] 


The Mount Hope Mineral RR was a chute through which ore flowed from mine to main line to furnace.  In 1882, the peak year of the old Morris County iron industry, it exceeded 156,000 tons.  Almost 17% of the ore produced in New Jersey went out over this 3½ mile railroad.  It was one of the most profitable railroads in the country.  From 1871 through 1896 it paid out an average of 13% annually in dividends.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


The NJ Midland RR was reorganized as the NY Susquehanna & Western RR.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


This was the peak year of magnetite production - 136 mines produced 932,000 tons of ore.  [Canal History and Technology Proceedings, Vol. V., March 22 1986, Richard and Mount Hope, Two NJ Iron Mines, by Kenneth R. Hanson]


In this year there were 932,726 tons of iron ore mined in NJ, but this was the peak year.  Part of the decline that followed was due to economic downturn, but, also, a long term trend had started.  Great Lakes ores were causing new steel facilities to be built in the Midwest and, even worse, the Lehigh Valley producers had found the high phosphorous NJ ores unsuitable for pig used to make Bessemer steel.  And steel it was for wrought iron had been replaced as a material for rails and beams.  To produce an iron suitable for Bessemer steel the NJ ore had to be mixed in the furnace with equal parts or more with a more suitable ore and that raised a problem.  Foreign ores were available cheaply, but why use NJ ore at all if it was both high priced and relatively unsuitable.  To the average NJ producer there was only one answer, put a duty on imported ore that would either equalize or, better yet, eliminate foreign competition.  But the big and ever growing Great Lakes ores, not foreign, and the NJ mines were starting the decline that by 1905 closed all but a few efficient operations located on large ore deposits suitable for mechanized operations.  The squeeze on prices was borne ultimately by the miners.  Never well paid even when the mines were prosperous, when management encountered a profit squeeze wages were cut and men dismissed.  Without protection from either government or labor unions, there was little redress.  There is no record in Port Oram of the violent labor strife that had erupted in the railroad yards and the anthracite mines.  Still the miners were not entirely docile.  Strikes were called on occasion either over wage cuts or in attempts to raise wages.  [Hanson, Kenneth R., Port Oram circa 1882: A NJ Iron Town]



The Central RR of NJ leased all of its railroads to the Reading RR.  Shortly thereafter, the Reading itself became insolvent.  [McKelvey]


Regular CNJ passenger service to Lake Hopatcong began on June 25th.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


The American Forcite Powder Co. (later known as Atlas Powder Co.) began manufacturing explosives and acids at Lake Hopatcong, in what became Shore Hills, Roxbury Twp.  [Kane, Martin, Hopatcong, Then & Now]


The American Forcite Powder Co. Developed and used an extensive tram system on its hilly 410-acre tract.  They produced gelatine dynamite that was widely used in New Jersey mines. [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


Prior to this year only four small hotels existed at Lake Hopatcong.  [Kane, Martin, Hopatcong, Then & Now]


The Lehigh Coal and Navigation Co. annual report for 1883 reported 168 Morris Canal boats carried iron ore across the Delaware River for Glendon and Durham furnaces in Pennsylvania. [Zimmerman, Albright G., Pennsylvania’s Delaware Division Canal]



By this year Chester furnace had achieved an average weekly output of 290 tons and frequently exceeded 300, an output that compared favorably with the better-known furnace in Port Oram.  It also had several unusually long runs – it remained in continuous blast for a period of nearly two years ending in June 1886.  During this period, 1,333 tons of ore and 943 tons of limestone were received in a typical month.  At the time the average hopper car carried 20 tons.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Chester’s Iron Heyday]


On April 2nd, the first gelatin dynamite to be made in the US was manufactured at the Forcite Works (American Forcite Powder Manufacturing Co.) of the Atlas Powder Co.  [Platt, Charles D., Dover Dates, 1722-1922, A Bicentennial History of Dover, NJ]


The Hibernia Underground RR was extended on a trestle to the south over Hibernia Brook  and the track of the Hibernia Mine RR to new ore docks nearly 1,000 feet long.  On this structure, screens were installed to separate fine grades from the coarser ore.  [Train Sheet, Spring 1975]


The state of NJ imposed additional taxes on railroads, costing the Central RR of NJ $200,000 more annually.  [McKelvey]


“The Social Nine” and a number of friends visited Lake Hopatcong last week, leaving Boonton at an early hour on Monday.  One of the canal scows had been put in order, with canvass covering, and contained the necessary equipments for camping out.  The boat arrived at the “chain lock”, Lake Hopatcong, about 12:30.  The scow was taken in tow by the tug boat Matilda, about 3 o’clock, and in a few minutes was at Sharp’s Rock, where the party selected a camping place...  (August 14th)  [Dempsey, Arline Fowler, Memories of the Morris Canal]

At one point in this year, Chester Furnace was said to be the only one in blast of 17 in NJ.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Chester’s Iron Heyday]


With Hacklebarney Mine reaching its historic high production in excess of 20,000 tons a year, an ore roaster was built at the base of the “Southwest Hill” in this year, connected to the mine on the top by a gravity railroad.  The 500-foot long timber trestle that carried this tramway became a notable landmark of the Chester iron age.  After being purified in the roaster, the ore was carried a short distance across the Black River to be loaded on Hacklebarney Branch cars.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Chester’s Iron Heyday]


In this year, major improvements began on Richard 2 including changing the opening from a vertical shaft to an inclined slope and installing an ore cart system to replace the bucket hoist.  The plan also called for a tunnel to extend south from No. 2 to the side of the hill to aid in drainage of the mine.  These additions made Richard Mine one of NJs most productive mines.  [Morris County Park Commission Mount Hope brochure]


The Lehigh Coal and Navigation Co. annual report for 1884 reported 176 Morris Canal boats carried iron ore across the Delaware River for Durham furnace in Pennsylvania. [Zimmerman, Albright G., Pennsylvania’s Delaware Division Canal]



G. W. Campbell founded the Lake Hopatcong Steamboat Company, commonly known as the Black Line.  [Lake Hopatcong Historical Society / Museum]


The Morris County RR was organized.  Its adjusted route was from a connection with the CNJ Lake Hopatcong Branch, which became known as Morris County Junction, through Picatinny Arsenal and north to the Charlotteburg & Green Lake RR, providing access to the Green Pond Mines and the NY Susquehanna & Western RR.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]  [Train Sheet, Summer 1976]


The last bit of railroad construction in Chester was a narrow gauge track approximately 1½ miles long.  It carried ore from Langdon mine to a transfer point on the Hacklebarney Branch.  Langdon had leased his mine to William J. Taylor who started it up in November and was soon yielding at a rate of 1,500 tons a month.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Chester’s Iron Heyday]


During mining days in Chester, the Hacklebarney trestle brought the ore to the railroad gondola cars for shipment to the blast furnaces.  An early morning fire on June 13th destroyed the trestly and support structures.  [Case, Joan S., Chester]


The Samson Mine in Chester which reached 300 feet in depth and produced an estimated 78,000 tons of ore, closed in November.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Chester’s Iron Heyday]


Superintendent Powers of the Morris Canal has issued a new order relating to those boatmen who live in their boats during the winter.  They will be obliged hereafter to pay $15 for the privilege.  The boats will be inspected in the Spring and if found not to have been damaged during their occupancy, the money will be refunded to the tenants.  Otherwise some or all of the money will be held for any damage done.  (December 13th)  [Dempsey, Arline Fowler, Memories of the Morris Canal]


Hibernia Mine produced 1,716,437 tons of iron ore from 1864 to its closing in 1885.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Chester’s Iron Heyday]



In February, Hacklebarney miners were blithely thawing dynamite, complete with caps and fuses, over the blacksmith’s fire!  Fortunately, they must have had advance warning, for they were able to take refuge in a tunnel when the inevitable explosion occurred.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Chester’s Iron Heyday]


Morris County RR filed with the NJ Sec. of State on Oct. 16th a route map from Charlotteburg and Green Lake to Port Oram (Wharton).  [Reilly]


Port Oram RR built their railroad within Wharton, 0.4 mile, in 1886.  [ICC Valuation Report, Docket 1030.]


The Port Oram RR, four miles long, was built in 1886 to connect Port Oram with the Morris County RR at Morris County Junction.  [Train Sheet, Summer 1976]  [Poors]


The Lake Hopatcong Steamboat Co., commonly known as the Black Line was founded to provide service from the railroads to all areas of the Lake.  [Kane, Martin, Hopatcong, Then & Now]


The CNJ arrived at Nolan’s Point on Lake Hopatcong and connected with the Ogden Mine RR.  This permitted ice harvested on the Lake to be shipped much faster via the railroad to cities to the east such as Newark, Jersey City and New York City.  Early-on, the ice harvested on Lake Hopatcong was loaded on canalboats which were towed to the feeder and down to the Morris Canal for delivery to the many cities, primarily to the east.  [Jefferson Twp. Bicentennial Website]


In October the engine that had been used to pump the water out of Chester’s Cooper Mine was sold to the Morristown Electric Light Co.  This was the mine which was considered inexhaustible and limitless.  It began operation in 1879, but sometime in 1885, with the deepest shaft down 200 feet, the vein was lost.  It was the second most productive mine in Chester, with a total of 102,000 tons of ore recovered.  Symbolically, the former mine engine was generating light in Morristown as darkness was settling over the Chester iron industry.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Chester’s Iron Heyday] 


It is said that 153 boats loaded with coal are frozen up in the Morris Canal between Phillipsburg and Jersey City.  Estimating each boat’s carrying capacity at 70 tons, the quantity of coal thus “stored up” for the Winter that cannot be brought to market, is 10,710 tons.  (December 23rd)  [Dempsey, Arline Fowler, Memories of the Morris Canal]


Hurd Mine in Wharton yielded 450,000 tons of iron ore from 1867 to its closing in this year.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Chester’s Iron Heyday]



The Central RR of NJ broke their lease with the Reading RR and became independent.  [McKelvey]


The single most important factor in Lake Hopatcong’s growth as a resort was the construction of the Hotel Breslin, designed by noted American architect Frank Furness, and completed in this year.  The lake’s fanciest hotel, with 300 rooms, was built on 18 acres in Mt. Arlington overlooking Chestnut Point.  It was the first structure at the lake to have electricity, but burned in a spectacular fire in 1948.  [Kane, Martin, Lake Hopatcong Then & Now]


Mt. Hope Mineral RR on Dec. 31st had 4.0 miles of track; was assessed $176,590.00; and was taxed $996.85 by the state.  [NJ State Board of Assessors Annual Report for 1887 "Railroad Valuation, Independent & Unaffiliated RR Section, p. 170.]


Charlotteburgh & Green Lake RR on Dec. 31st had 4.5 miles of track; was assessed $33,787.00; and was taxed $184.67 by the state.  Operational revenue not reported.  [NJ State Board of Assessors Annual Report for 1887 "Railroad Valuation, Independent & Unaffiliated RR Section, p. 170 & 174.]


Morris County RR on Dec. 31st had 10.000 miles of track; was assessed $61,000.00; and was taxed $305.00 by the state.  Railroad not completed Jan. 1st, 1887.  [NJ State Board of Assessors Annual Report for 1887 "Railroad Valuation, Independent & Unaffiliated RR Section, p. 170 & 175.]


In early March the switch was laid to connect the Morris County RR with the CNJ Hopatcong Branch.  Cooper-Hewitt ore from Charlotteburg began moving south over the Morris County RR.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


The 26' x 34' CNJ Kenvil station was built.  [Bernhart, B. L., CRR of NJ Stations, Structures & Marine Equipment]


The Lehigh Coal and Navigation Co. annual report for 1887 reported 184 Morris Canal boats carried iron ore across the Delaware River for Durham furnace in Pennsylvania. [Zimmerman, Albright G., Pennsylvania’s Delaware Division Canal]



In February the Lehigh Valley RR, lessees of the Morris Canal had “asked the Legislature to sanction the abandonment of the great ditch as a water course.  It was claimed in the Senate that the company lost $84,000 in 1887 by operating the canal and the company now desires to give up navigating it.”  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]


Railroads in the Wharton area were challenged by the blizzard of ‘88 which began on March 11th and especially victimized the railroads.  It was a period when the railroads were depended upon, but they only had teams of shovelers to fight the drifts.  The Lake Hopatcong RR was snowed in for a week.  The worst situation was with the Lackawanna (a/k/a DL&W) with a dozen trains stalled between Orange and South Orange. In three separate tragedies multiple engined drift breaking trains on the Lehigh Valley, Central RR of NJ and M&E (DL&W) railroads were wrecked, killing five and injuring several others.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]  [McKelvey]


Conductor Sammy Crook’s passenger train was making its return run from Port Oram (Wharton) to High Bridge.  The blizzard had raged all day with no let up on this trip.  As the train struggled along it met high drifts and strong winds.  Between Naughright and German Valley the train stalled.  Three locomotives came to the rescue but could not move the the stalled train.  For 4 days men shoveled away the snow.  The good folks of Naughright provided sandwiches and coffee for those stranded on the train.  [Washington Township Historical Society]


The blizzard of 1888 (March 11th - 13th) was often called the worst snowstorm to have struck NJ since the deep snow of 1836.  Many towns were isolated and many travelers were marooned in stalled trains and depots.  [Lee, Warren & Catherine, A Chronology of the Belvidere Delaware Railroad]


The Rockaway Valley RR Co. was incorporated on March 28th, “to build about 25 miles from White House, NJ via New Germantown, Pottersville, Peapack, Mendham and Morristown to a point on the Greenwood Lake RR at Montclair, NJ.  [Prospectus]  [Taber, Thomas T., III, The Rock-a-bye Baby]


The interest shown by Hunterdon people to build the Rockaway Valley Railroad to Morristown led the Lackawanna Railroad to make a survey to Mendham.  Andrew Reasoner, superintendent of the Lackawanna reported to President Samuel Sloan on May 23rd that the citizens had raised some money for acquiring land, but the eight mile railroad would cost $213,000.  They then incorporated the Morristown and Mendham Railroad on July 20th.  The Lackawanna declined to build the railroad.  The Rockaway Valley would later find iron, cement, lime, and agriculture north of Mendham producing very little business.  [Taber, Thomas T., III, The Rock-a-bye Baby]


The CNJ built a 22' x 33' one story frame station at Lake Hopatcong.  [Bernhart, B. L., CRR of NJ Stations, Structures & Marine Equipment]


Joseph Wharton created the Hibernia Branch RR to connect his Upper Hibernia mines to the Morris County RR.  The Charlotteburg & Green Lake RR was consolidated with the Morris County RR on July 17th, making a unified line of 14.64 miles from the CNJ to the NYS&W.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


This consolidation, along with the Hibernia Branch RR from Oreland Jct., just outside Lake Denmark, to Oreland at the upper end of the Hibernia vein.  Wharton could now move his ore concentrates over his own rails to his furnace.  [Train Sheet, Summer 1976] 


The Lehigh Coal and Navigation Co. annual report for 1888 reported 167 Morris Canal boats carried iron ore across the Delaware River for Durham furnace in Pennsylvania. [Zimmerman, Albright G., Pennsylvania’s Delaware Division Canal]



In June the miners at the Orchard and Mount Pleasant mines, after a pre-strike meeting in the old schoolhouse, struck on Wednesday morning demanding an increase of 25 cents a day.  The next afternoon the miners at Hurd mine were ordered on strike, also.  They complied reluctantly according to the Iron Era but the night shift reported for work under the guard of three constables.  By the following Monday, all the men were back at work at the same rate but with the promise of a contract in a couple of weeks.  [Hanson, Kenneth R., Port Oram circa 1882: A NJ Iron Town]


In June a switch was actually constructed between the DL&W and CNJ near Chester Junction and at least one Lackawanna excursion train is known to have run to Nolan’s Point, but for some reason the practice seems to have been short-lived.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


The Newark Camera Club chose the Morris Canal for its annual summer outing and had use of the Florence, the company boat, for the tour.  [Goller, Robert R., The Morris Canal Across NJ by Water and Rail]


CNJ Bridge #273 was built over the DL&W main line at Main Street, Wharton.  The structure survives as a pedestrian walkway.  [Bernhart, B. L., CRR of NJ Stations, Structures & Marine Equipment]


The 16' x 26' one-story frame CNJ Hopatcong Junction Station was built after this date.  It was at the junction of the High Bridge Branch and the Lake Hopatcong Branch.  [Bernhart, B. L., CRR of NJ Stations, Structures & Marine Equipment]


The Washington Forge Pond, on N. Main Street, Wharton, supplied water power to E.J. Ross and Company which opened a silk mill there in this year.  The mill became part of the Wharton Textile Company in 1917.  The L.E. Carpenter Company, which manufactured wall coverings, bought the complex in 1943 and operated it until 1987.  Hot Rod’s restaurant and bar now occupy a portion of the complex, which is shared by local businesses.  [Morris County Heritage Commission]


The Reformed Sunday School (of Boonton) made a picnic excursion to Rockaway, by canal boat on Monday.  (September 5th)  [Dempsey, Arline Fowler, Memories of the Morris Canal]


The Hopatcong RR was organized on November 13th to connect the Lackawanna main line with the Alfred DeCastro Chemical Co. and the American Forcite Powder Co. at the southeast corner of Lake Hopatcong, at what became Shore Hills Estates.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


In this year the Dover Iron Works acquired the business originally established in 1745 as the Quaker Iron Works.  [Ye Old Tye News, Vol. XXXVI]


In a last-gap effort to energize the village industry, Peter D., Samuel T., and Seymour R. Smith joined with the Swift Brothers & Company, a national supplier of beef headquartered in Newark, and started the Waterloo Ice Company.  In December, the Smith Brothers leased for 20 years the waters of Lake Waterloo, including the land on both sides of the lake, to this company (of which they were principles).  Waterloo Ice Co. built a new dam just east of the village, creating a fifty-acre ice pond behind it.  The mill headraces were, once again, reconfigured to their present location, taking in water from the new pond and using the former headrace as a bypass to channel excess water back to the river, just below the ice dam.  Five large timber warehouses were built on the south shore of them lake, each measuring 150 by 200 feet, and could hold a total of thirty thousand tons of ice.  There were coal-fired powerhouses that powered elevators for raising the ice into the warehouses.  Also in the complex were an administration building made of terra-cotta blocks, various small outbuildings and three rail sidings branching off the Sussex Railroad.  Rail cars delivered sawdust to the facility to be used as insulation for the ice and coal for use in the engine houses.  Blocks of ice were loaded on the rail cars for return shipment, mainly used by the meatpacking industry in Newark.  [Giles, John R., The Story of Waterloo Village]



An estimated 50,000 passengers per year, on up to 6 daily trains during summer months rode the CNJ excursion trains to Lake Hopatcong.  [McKelvey]



Edwin C. Swift, of Lowell, MA, head of Swift Brothers & Company, a national dressed-beef company, joined with Samuel T. Smith, Peter D. Smith and Seymour R. Smith, of Waterloo, and several Newark butchers and meat-packers, to incorporate the Waterloo Ice Company in this year.  With headquarters in Newark, the company built five adjacent icehouses at Waterloo, each under its own gabled roof and each divided into two rooms, measuring overall 150 by 200 feet, covering nearly ¾ of an acre, with a capacity of storing 30,000 tons of natural ice.  [Kevin Wright]


In winter, wrote Gustav Kobbe, “The long excursion trains of Summer are succeeded by the longer ice trains.”  By this year, there were already large ice houses at the lake (Hopatcong).  Once immediate needs of the cities had been satisfied, the ice harvest was stored at the lake until needed, so that shipping ice became almost a year-round business.  1890 happened to be a disappointing winter; the CNJ had 200 box cars ready at the lake but removed them in late February because of the mildness of the season.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ] (pg. 91)


The Lake Hopatcong, Caldwell and New York Railway was proposed to operate via a tunnel in Upper Montclair to connect with the Erie’s Greenwood Lake Line.  Earthworks survive a several points in residential areas of Montclair, but the costly tunnel (the eastern portal was to have been behind the present Tierney’s Inn on Valley Road) which was bored almost ¼ of its projected 4,500 foot length was not completed.  [Lake Hopatcong Historical Society / Museum]  [McKelvey]  [Taber, Thomas T. III, The Morristown and Erie Railroad]


The Hopatcong Steamboat Co., commonly known as the White Line, was established this year by Theodore F. King to compete with the Black Line.  The White Line operated the side-wheel steamers Hopatcong, Musconetcong, Alametcong, and the Launch Nariticong and specialized in excursion service. Since the White Line was unable to obtain the right to operate on the Morris Canal feeder, they created Landing Channel by dredging to within a block of the Lackawanna Landing Station at the south end of the Lake. They served all points on Lake Hopatcong with much larger boats than those of the Black Line which were limited by the dimensions of the canal locks.   In addition to the Black and White line there were the Blue Line Boats which provided local travel on the lake.  [Kane, Martin, Hopatcong, Then & Now]  [Lake Hopatcong Historical Society / Museum]

The CNJ purchased a large amount of land at Nolan’s Point on Lake Hopatcong to develop a facility for excursion trains.  An 8' x 50' one story shelter was built along with a large Villa.  The CNJ charged $2 per day to stay at the Villa.  [Bernhart, B. L., CRR of NJ Stations, Structures & Marine Equipment]


Thomas Edison became interested in developing a process that would enable the faltering Eastern iron industry to compete with the bountiful ores and roaring furnaces of the Midwest.  He sent teams of surveyors over the NJ iron region, inspecting Horton Mine in the Chester area and further along the ridge into nearby Randolph Township, but he settled on the remote Ogden area with lower land costs.  There he invested more than $2 million in a process which proved to be a technical success, but could not overcome the advantage of the Mesabi district, where the ore was so plentiful that prices dropped steadily below the point where Edison could compete.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Chester’s Iron Heyday] 


The CNJ purchased land at Nolan's Point on Lake Hopatcong and laid out excursion grounds, complete with dancing pavilion, swings, walking paths, and boats for rent.  The Jersey Central then provided the finest short Sunday excursions to the lake.  As many as 60,000 people took the trips every summer in the early 1900's.  Accommodations were available at Nolan's Point Villa and the more expensive Hotel Breslin.  The round trip could be had from Jersey City and intermediate points for $1 and a hot noon meal for 50 cents.  Gustav Kobbe wrote a guidebook to the C RR of NJ.  In it he described the amenities at Lake Hopatcong: “the railroad has laid out excursion grounds with dancing pavilions, flying horses and swings, steam launch tours of the lake are available for 25¢ and boat rentals at 25¢ an hour.”  He also touted the Hurd (iron) Mine, whose shaft then ran 3,800 feet into the mountain, to a depth of 1,800 feet.   [McKelvey]  [Reilly]


A party of officers of the Morris Canal took a trip through that waterway on Tuesday and Wednesday of last week.  The trip covered 205 miles, going and returning, and occupied two days, a light boat, with frequent relays of fast and more or less steady mules being used.  The party was bent on business and pleasure, and they got plenty of the latter.  It is understood that the canal will continue to be used for navigation for three or four years to come at least.  (July 17)  [Dempsey, Arline Fowler, Memories of the Morris Canal]


“The CNJ now carries about 50,000 people every summer to Nolan’s Point, and there is scarcely a day when the excursion grounds there are not a scene of life and bustle.  The railroad furnishes the grounds and their appurtenances free of charge, and the fee for the use of boats is low.  Parties of a half dozen or more can, for 25¢ each, make the tour of the lake in steam launches and boats can be had for 25¢ an hour.  A hot dinner is served at noon at a charge of 50¢.  The company allows no liquor to be sold on the grounds.  It seems the patronage is of respectable people only, and the excursions at Nolan’s Point, though they have no end of fun during their day’s outing, are notably quiet and orderly.”  [Anderson, Elaine, The Central RR of NJ’s First 100 Years]


Gustav Kobbe wrote a guide to the CNJ.  His charming and perceptive little book captured the excursion business in its prime.  He estimated that the CNJ carried 50,000 people to Nolan’s Point every summer.  To accommodate them, the railroad laid out excursion grounds with dancing pavilions, flying horses and swings, steam launch tours of the lake for 25¢ and boat rentals at 25¢ per hour.  In those blissful days before the advent of the internal combustion engine, Kobbe was able to write that “2400 acres of water are not easily overcrowded.”  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ] (pg. 87)


Like a few other inquisitive visitors to the lake, Gustav Kobbe ventured up the Ogden Mine RR on one of the regularly scheduled passenger trains.  He marveled at Hurd Mine, whose shaft then ran 3,800 feet into the mountain, to a straight-line depth of 1,800 feet.  He also recommended a scenic trip to Hopewell Crossing, 2¼ miles before the terminus at Ogden, “where the train will be stopped at the request of any passenger who wishes to alight there.”  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]  (pg. 87)


The regular round-trip excursion fare from New York to Lake Hopatcong was $3.  (Twenty-two years later, in 1912, the rate was still the same – a striking contrast to present conditions.)  Even at reduced rates for the special excursions, the expense was considerable at a time when the average workingman earned $1 or $1.50 a day.  Thus the Sunday outing to the lake was often the only holiday the family had all year.  And they enjoyed themselves so thoroughly that Kobbe observed “almost a touch of pathos in their unbounded delight.”  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]  (pg. 87)


Nowadays when we travel about so casually, it is hard to imagine the thrill of an old-fashioned Sunday excursion, especially for children.  Currents of anticipation began to rise among the crowds milling in chilly stations even before dawn.  The excitement mounted as the train roared along the main line, its throbbing finding an echo in many a youthful heart.  When it turned north onto the High Bridge Branch, the city youngsters began to see real rural scenery, lush valley farmland, thriving cattle and country folk waving from the crossings.  From Hopatcong Junction, the train began its labored ascent and the passengers caught occasional breathtaking glimpses over sheer hillsides and beyond to the rugged bulk of Green Pond Mountain.  Finally the crest was reached, the descent began, and at last the anxious travelers saw the gleaming waters of their destination spread out before them.  After a day of joyous activity and picnicking, the tired excursionists climbed back into the waiting coaches.  The mood of the return trip would be much different, relaxed and dreamy as the valley towns unrolled, and if the travelers were lucky, a moon would be out, casting soft shadows on the passing hills and fields, like a warm blanket spread over happy memories.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]  (pg. 87)


In June, the Lake Hopatcong Shore RR was organized to run from a connection with the NYS&W RR at Stockholm down the west shore of the lake to a junction with the DL&W near Stanhope.  There was hope of extending to Budd Lake, where the Lackawanna’s reluctance to build a branch was a source of constant complaint.  Although the line was surveyed and some of the $200,000 authorized stock was apparently subscribed, nothing further was done.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]  (pg. 91)


The first mine lot Joseph Wharton acquired was the Willis, bought in this year as an ore source for his blast furnace at Port Oram (Wharton).  To transport ore from the Willis mine, Wharton did not permanently depend upon the Hibernia Underground RR.  He soon constructed a standard gauge railroad of his own, the Hibernia Branch Railroad, to connect with yet another of his road, the Morris County, at a point near Lake Denmark.  [Train Sheet, Spring 1975]


The Franklin Furnace closed.  [Anthony Troha]


Edwin C. Swift, of Lowell Massachusetts, head of Swift Brothers & Company, a national dressed-beef company, joined with Samuel T. Smith, Peter D. Smith and Seymour R. Smith, of Waterloo, and several Newark butchers and meat-packers, to incorporate the Waterloo Ice Company.  With headquarters in Newark, the company built five adjacent icehouses at Waterloo, each under its own gabled roof and each divided into two rooms, measuring 150 by 200 feet and covering nearly three-quarters of an acre, with a storage capacity of 30,000 tons of natural ice.  [Kevin Wright]


The Anglo-American Explosives Co. began manufacturing its shotgun powder in Oakland, NJ in this year.  [Wikipedia]


Total estimated iron ore production for the Chester area between 1867 and 1900 was 673,800 tons.   The Dickerson Mine in Min Hill produced an estimated 1,000,000 tons of iron ore before its closing in 1890.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Chester’s Iron Heyday]  [Macasek, Joseph J., Guide to the Morris Canal in Morris County]



In this year the US Army transferred 315 acres at Lake Denmark (the northern portion of the present Picatinny Arsenal) to the Department of the Navy.  It became known as the US Naval Powder Depot, where shells for the coastal defense of New York Harbor were stored.  [Rae, John W., Picatinny Arsenal]


Ice Boating on the Lake: One of the delights of the Winter season at Lake Hopatcong has been the ice boating, which has been uninterrupted for weeks, and Messrs J.M. Van Nortwick and Fred Zuck have been affording unlimited pleasure to their many friends with their fleet going craft.  During the moonlight nights of last week the sport was delightful, and the families of Mayor Frothingham, Max Norman and others enjoyed it greatly.  One of those nights Mr. Van Nortwick was out with a party which included Miss Lee, Mrs. Burkhart and Harry Schafar, and as the “Gypsey” was scudding over the ice at the rate of 45 or 50 mph the forward stay of the boat pulled out and the sails dropped flat, but danger was averted by the promptness of “Van” who knows how to manage such craft to perfection.  [The Iron Era] (March 6th)


In May, the Luxemburg Library Association was organized by the Ross & Baker Silk Manufacturing Co. and its employees.  The company furnished a room and 200 members agreed to contribute 10¢ a month to purchase books.  After several years the books were moved to the home of one of the members.  However, in 1899 Wharton Borough incorporated the library, making it public.  [Wharton Public Library website]


The 1266 ton ferryboat Chatham I was built for the Lackawanna Railroad.  It was originally the Hamburg, but renamed Chathan I in 1918; burned in 1920; rebuilt; and finally taken out of service in 1949.  [Baxter, Raymond J., and Adams, Arthur G., Railroad Ferries of the Hudson]


After two failed attempts, Caldwell was finally reached by railroad with Erie RR financial help.  A subsidiary, the Caldwell Ry was built from Great Notch, bypassing the costly Montclair tunnel project.  [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #1]

New Jersey established the Commission of Public Roads and became the first state to grant funds for the construction of public roads.  [McKelvey]


Ario Pardee had leased the Dickerson-Suckasunny (mine) properties in their entirety since 1877.  He shipped much of the ore to his furnace at Stanhope.  On November 16th the great Dickerson vein was lost and the legendary mine, which extended 1,200 inclined feet and over 1,000 vertical feet below the surface, was closed.  The end of the Dickerson Mine was also the end of the Ferromonte RR.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


The Richard Mine at Mount Hope had become the largest producer of iron ore in NJ, supplying over 84,000 tons in this year.  [Bartholomew, C.L., and Metz, L.E., The Anthracite Iron Industry of the Lehigh Valley]



The Rockaway Valley Railroad timetable of January 12th showed service only north as far as Mendham.  The final extension to Watnong in the Morristown area was built during this year.  From Watnong stages carried both passengers and freight free into Morristown.  In anticipation of Morristown coal traffic, the railroad purchased an additional locomotive, No. 5, a big 2-8-0 cross compound camelback, built by Baldwin.  They needed a big locomotive was needed to haul the coal up the heavy grades.  Unfortunately, the poor track construction was not considered when selecting the big ,and heavy, locomotive.  Upon its arrival it caused nothing but trouble, and about a year later was transferred to the Georgia Northern RR.  [Taber, Thomas T., III, The Rock-a-bye Baby]


The Reading RR coal conglomerate, which had been created beginning in February to monopolize the production and transportation of hard coal throughout the northeast, had a highly adverse effect upon competing railroads which were not a part of the conglomerate.  [Lee, Warren & Catherine, A Chronology of the Belvidere Delaware Railroad]


The Roseland RR was built, connecting Essex Fells to Caldwell.  [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #1]


The peach crop was disappointing for the Rockaway Valley RR this year - only 100,000 baskets were shipped by mid September, of which 40,000 came from the orchards of James N. Pidcock. the first president and principal owner of the railroad.  However, Morristown freight business more than compensated for the decreased peach business and total revenues increased by 50%.  [Taber, Thomas T., III, The Rock-a-bye Baby]


Robert F. Oram, Jr. erected his Queen Anne style home at 117 South Main St., Wharton, across from what is now Memorial Park.  Oram, whose father developed the local iron industry, managed the family store, R.F. Oram and Company, beginning in this year.  In 1897 he became postmaster of Port Oram and served as mayor from 1909 to 1912.  [Morris County Heritage Commission]



The CNJ built a one-story frame station at Lake Junction (between the DL&W and CNJ).  .  [Bernhart, B. L., CRR of NJ Stations, Structures & Marine Equipment]

Chester Iron Co. suspended operations at their Hacklebarney Mine in June.  It had produced an estimated 250,000 tons of ore - the greatest of all the mines in the Chester area.  A few years later the last train came up the Hacklebarney Branch, taking up the track behind it.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Chester’s Iron Heyday]


The original charter of the Morris & Essex RR prohibited the operation of all Sunday trains, except milk trains.  This restriction did not appear in the new charter that came into force around this time.  (July 28th)  [Lee, Warren & Catherine, A Chronology of the Belvidere Delaware Railroad]


One of the most unbelievable trains imaginable operated over the Morris & Essex during the period about 1893-1896.  This was the “Boston Flyer” which, with the unusual Train No. 7½ left Hoboken about 8:30 pm and via the Boonton Branch and Wharton arrived at Waterloo at 10:00 pm, where the engine was reversed on the turntable, put on the other end of the train, and proceeded up the Sussex Road to Franklin Junction.  There the train was turned over to the Lehigh and Hudson River Railroad for the trip to Maybrook, NY.  Here the train was delivered to the Philadelphia, Reading & New England for the run over the Poughkeepsie Bridge to Hopewell Junction.  At that point the New York & New England operated the train through Danbury, Waterbury, Hartford and Willimantic, CT, and on via Blackstone to Boston, where as Train No. 32 it was scheduled to arrive at 8:30 am.  [Taber, Thomas T., The DL&W RR in the 19th Century]


From DL&W Summer Excursion Routes and Rates: “After leaving Port Oram the Chester Branch runs 11 miles westward through a country famous for its rugged mountain peaks, green valleys and brisk streams.  This entire section of Morris County ranks among the most healthful portions of New Jersey...  The fertile farms offer every inducement to lovers of rest and quiet, and the hotels and boarding houses cater especially for city boarders....  The water is pure and of good quality, the drives delightful and the air remarkably bracing.”  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


The Lehigh Coal and Navigation Co. annual report for 1893 reported no iron ore carried over from the Morris Canal and only one Morris Canal boast on the Delaware Division Canal.  [Zimmerman, Albright G., Pennsylvania’s Delaware Division Canal]



In May the Taylor Iron & Steel Co. of High Bridge developed manganese steel for the portions of railroad track subjected to the greatest wear.  The exclusive right to use it was immediately sold to the William Wharton, Jr. & Co., which produced rails and switches.  The first manganese steel frog was installed at Fulton St. and Boerum Pl., Brooklyn on the Atlantic Avenue RR (trolley) on August 28th.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


Professional horse racing began at the Dover race track.  [Dover Historical Society]


When the CNJ wanted to eliminate the Mill Lane, Hillsborough grade crossing on its South Branch, it took a Hibernia Mine RR bridge and moved it there in 1894.  In 1997 it was dismantled and stored at the Somerset County Public Works yard.  In 2007 it was given a new life when it was reassembled as a pedestrian bridge used to cross the Raritan Power Canal in Raritan.  It is a rare Phoenix through truss wrought iron bridge, built in 1879 by Clark, Reeves & Co.  The bridge is a five-panel, pin-connected Pratt through truss bridge with wrought iron Phoenix columns.  The columns are the main structural members of the bridge and are made of four rolled wrought angle iron segmented sections with the flanges riveted together. [CRR of NJ Historical Society Newsletter #54, August 2012]



In January, a better (colder) year, the CNJ was running five ice trains a day of 30 to 40 cars each.  Coal and agricultural traffic remained on the Chester RR, as did passenger business and a thriving summer resort trade which had begun as early as 1877.  A large sand and gravel traffic had developed to exploit the glacial deposits of the Succasunna Plains.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


The settlements of Port Oram, Irondale, Luxemburg, Maryville and Mount Pleasant were incorporated to form the Borough of Port Oram.  [Macasek, Joseph J., Guide to the Morris Canal in Morris County]


By this year, Nolan’s Point Amusement Park, located where the CNJ excursion trains terminated at Lake Hopatcong, had a merry-go-round, a rifle gallery and assorted games.  Following the fire loss of the large Nolan’s Point Ice House in the 1920's, amusements spread to that area, where the Jefferson House and Windlass restaurants are now located.  The park was in full competition with Bertrand Island.  [Kane, Martin and Laura, Greetings From Bertrand Island Amusement Park]


The CNJ Lake Hopatcong Branch steel bridge over the Morris Canal at Wharton was built by Cofrade & Saylor.  [Bernhart, B. L., CRR of NJ Stations, Structures & Marine Equipment]


The Rockaway Valley Railroad was sold at foreclosure on July 15th to James N. Pidcock, Jr. and John F. Pidcock (sons of the original president and owner) for $30,000.  The owners of the $200,000 of bonds received about 10¢ for each dollar of bond.  The two brothers changes the name of the company from Railroad to Railway on August 26th.  Their father continued as president.  [Taber, Thomas T., III, The Rock-a-bye Baby]


With initial track laying nearly completed, the Whippany River Railroad was incorporated on August 1st and freight service began on August 16th.  [Taber, Thomas T. III, The Morristown and Erie Railroad]


Coal and agricultural traffic remained on the Chester RR, as did passenger business and a thriving summer resort trade which had begun as early as 1877.  A large sand and gravel traffic had developed to exploit the glacial deposits of the Succasunna Plains.  The sand business continues to the present under ownership of County Concrete Company.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


The peach crop of the R. V. Ry. Co. was a record, 243,000 baskets.  However, this didn’t help the credit of the railroad.  When the First National Bank of Clinton had a public sale of bonds, $45,300 of them were sold for 5¢ on the dollar and only $1,263 was raised.  [Taber, Thomas T., III, The Rock-a-bye Baby]


The Rockaway Valley Ry Mendham Extension was sold to the two Pidcock brothers on December 2nd for $5,000.  The bondholders received 5¢ per dollar of bond.  Two months later, the Morristown Extension was sold for $15,500 to James, Jr. and the former bondholders got 10¢ per dollar.  The two extension companies remained legally separate until December 31st, 1903 when the owners “sold” the extension companies to the R. V. Ry. Co.  [Taber, Thomas T., III, The Rock-a-bye Baby]


Ca. 1895

The Chester Furnace was shut down and the connecting track to the Morris & Essex Chester Railroad was removed.  Thereafter the only ore traffic was from mines in the Kenvil and Ironia area – the northern end of the line.  [Taber, Thomas T., The DL&W RR in the 19th Century]



The Richardson and Boynton Stove Works, which was established in Brooklyn in 1837, moved to Dover in this year, occupying 12 buildings.  They manufactured heating furnaces and pioneered the four-legged cooking range, called the “Perfect Cooking Range.”  During WW I they manufactured specially designed furnaces for heating Army barracks and at peak employed 800 workers.  During the 1920s they suffered continuing labor disputes and closings.  In 1928 they transferred most of their production work to other plants.  Ten years later they closed their Dover plant and a year later the firm went bankrupt.  [Schoonmaker, Stanley and Laurie, George, Dover]  [Ye Old Tye News, Vol. XXXVI]  [Meeker, Robert M., Dover, the Forging of a Community]


On June 18th, Woodhull and Martin’s free excursion over the Rockaway Valley Ry brought in about 500 persons, many of whom had never visited Morristown before.  Two trains were run in each direction.  Nearly all the stages in town, beside a number of carriages and other vehicles were brought into service to carry passengers from the depot to the Park, where they visited nearly every place of interest.  The benefits were not all received by Woodhull and Martins, but nearly every merchant in town came in for a share.  The excursions were a success, exceeding the expectations of its promoters.  A second day of excursions took place in November and were even better patronized, but, surprisingly, no later excursions are known to have been run.  [Taber, Thomas T., III, The Rock-a-bye Baby]  


The Sixth Annual Ball of the Steamboat Employees of Lake Hopatcong was held at Lake Pavilion, Nolan’s Point on August 27th.  [Lake Hopatcong Historical Society / Museum]


During the early years of the Hibernia Underground RR’s operation, the mined ore was hand-cobbled (sorted) and only the richest (to the eye) was loaded into cars for shipping.  In this year a magnetic separation plant was added, which crushed the ore and passed it over magnetic pulleys (rollers), separating the iron ore from the non-magnetic tailings.  Using this installation it was possible to upgrade lean ore of 22 to 30 percent iron to 58 to 62 percent.  [Train Sheet, Spring 1975]


Thomas A. Edison had become concerned about the future of the Northeast iron industry and conceived a plan to restore it to a competitive position.  He reasoned that, since transportation costs made it impossible for low-grade Eastern ores to compete successfully, the solution was to refine the ore at the mine site and ship the high-grade material.  Edison developed a method of crushing and magnetic separation.  His search for a site settled on Ogden.  While Edison never actually shipped many carloads of his briquets of refined iron ore, his operation generated considerable traffic on the Ogden Mine line.  The railroad was kept busy moving equipment, heavy machinery, materials and coal to the site in addition to three daily passenger trains to the site which was soon renamed “Edison.”  The CNJ extended track into “Edison” and relaid the main line with steel rail.  The Edison complex also had several miles of its own narrow gauge track, some of it dual-gauge.  Although Edison’s process eventually proved to be a technical success, he was unable to overcome the competitive advantage of Great Lakes ore, the price of which continued to drop.  After sinking $2 million of his own money and $1 million invested by others into the Ogden operation, Edison gave up after one last try in1900.  Some of the massive machinery was transferred to his new cement manufacturing enterprise at Stewartsville, NJ.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]



Early in this year, CNJ officials apparently gave serious thought to installing a trolley system on the High Bridge Branch, at least the section from Rockaway to Port Oram, and operating the “shuttle” electrically.  CNJ inspectors went over the line and also examined the Dover Electric Light Co., the projected power source, but nothing further was heard of this interesting idea.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


In this year the DL&W RR published a 208 page book, “Summering on the Lackawanna” which described most communities on the railroad, excursions which could be taken, and so forth.  [Taber, Thomas T. and T. T. T., III, The DL&W RR in the 20th Century Part Two]


J. W. Waring published a road map for bicyclists from NYC to Lake Hopatcong.  One route went through Denville, Rockaway and Dover.  [Lake Hopatcong Historical Society / Museum]


Paul Guenther, an experienced worker in hosiery knitting, rented space this year in the Swiss Knitting Mill in Dover.  He started making full-fashioned silk hosiery, the first in the US using a single loom.  Five years later he acquired land on King Street, Dover where he built a two-story frame structure, expanding his business rapidly.  [Meeker, Robert M., Dover, the Forging of a Community]


The much delayed Hopatcong RR was taken over by the Lackawanna RR in 1892 and after further delays the bridge was put over the Morris Canal and the line was finally opened to traffic in this year.  [McKelvey]


The DL&W RR instituted a through sleeper car from Hoboken to Chicago via their connection with the Nickel Plate RR.  [Taber, Thomas T. and T. T. T., III, The DL&W RR in the 20th Century Part Two]


One day in October, eight cars of merchandise arrived at Watnong on the Rockaway Valley Ry in a single day.  Four freight wagons were kept busy making the free deliveries to Morristown.  The cars were loaded in Newark and New York during the day with food and merchandise for Morristown and points along the Rockaway Valley.  No reloading was necessary.  The Jersey Central delivered the cars to White House during the night, and they were taken to Morristown on the morning train.  During the remainder of the morning and afternoon the shipment were delivered.  The distance from NY to Morristown via the Rockaway Valley was more than double that of the Lackawanna, and involved splitting the revenues between the Jersey Central and the Rockaway Valley, but there was sufficient quantity to make it profitable.  It is believed that the majority of the L. C. L. Business for Morristown from Newark and New York was handled by the Rockaway Valley.  [Taber, Thomas T., III, The Rock-a-bye Baby]


Richard Mine was named for Richard Brinkerhoff Faesch, the youngest son of John Jacob Faesch.  The earliest workings at the Richard property focused on the Mount Pleasant Mine continued to exploit the iron ore deposits of the Richard Vein.  Richard 6 was a shaft that was begun in this year.  Within two years it had been extended providing new access into the deposits of the Mt. Pleasant Vein.  [Morris County Park Commission Mount Hope brochure]  



CNJ shuttle trains served the Rockaway-Lake Hopatcong crescent around the pivot of Hopatcong Junction.  Sixteen branch and shuttle trains passed through this busy spot daily.  In latter CNJ days there were one or two local drills serving the industries between Kenvil and Rockaway and generally a special drill working the Hercules plant.  These locomotives were all stationed at Hopatcong Junction, the hub of operations.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]



The Mount Hope mines, and with them the Mount Hope Mineral RR, came under the control of the Empire Steel & Iron Co., which was to own them during their most exciting days.  Much of the track was rebuilt and the rolling stock refurbished.  The track was extended to Hickory Hill, on the northern edge of the Mount Hope group of mines, which had once been served by the tram line.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


The Pennsylvania RR shipped 15 cars of 12" ice from Lake Hopatcong to Philadelphia daily via the Lackawanna RR and the Bel-Del.  The company built a large ice house at the lake and had a big force of men at work day and night.  [Lee, Warren & Catherine, A Chronology of the Belvidere Delaware Railroad]


On February 28th Jersey City Mayor Edward Hoos and Patrick Flynn of Brooklyn, NY signed a $7,595,000 contract for the construction of Jersey City’s new water works (dam and reservoir) at Boonton.  The next month Flynn assigned the contract to his Jersey City Water Supply Co. – the firm that would build and initially operate the Rockaway River and Montville RR.  The total route mile length of the construction railroad was a little over four miles from Hog Mountain quarry south to the dam location at the north end of the reservoir.  It is thought that the railroad was also used to carry materials for construction of the dyke at the south end of the reservoir, north of Rt. 46. East of I-287.  The RR&MR crossed over the Morris Canal at a point which is now under I-287 and also crossed over and also had a connection with the DL&W RR Boonton Line north of the canal.  At the point where the RR&MR crossed the Boonton Line, two stone piers of the former bridge remain on the east side of the active railroad.  Hog Mountain quarry reportedly had the largest rock crusher in the state of NJ at the time.  By April of 1900 the RR&MR was operating with one locomotive and sixty cars.  An overzealous use of dynamite at the quarry site resulted in the airborne rock demolishing the stationary engine house at a damage cost of $2,000 to $3,000.  [The Midlander Trainsheet, Vol. 7, Nos. 2 & 3]


Early in March, construction of the Rockaway Valley Railway Speedwell Lake extension got underway.  Progress was slow and slowed even further when plans were made to sell the railroad.  President Pidcock’s fortune was gone and he filed for personal bankruptcy.  Steps were being made to find a buyer when he died on December 17th.  [Taber, Thomas T., III, The Rock-a-bye Baby]


On March 17th many newspapers carried the following article: “A RADICAL DEPARTURE - The Sam Sloan (DL&W President) policy of no Sunday trains, which has prevailed on the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western RR for a generation or more, is a thing of the past.  The new and progressive president of that road, Mr. Truesdale, will start Sunday trains next Sunday and will continue to run them thereafter.  The change will be most in evidence on the New Jersey main line, and it will immediate promote the comfort and convenience of the traveling public.  The Sloan policy has been a very unpopular one and was not justified by any public consideration.  Sunday trains on leading railroads are as much of a necessity as are week day trains and the new management of the DL&W road is to be commended for its departure from the old custom which found no favor with the traveling public.”  It must be noted, however, that Sloan was only perpetuating a tradition that was established in the earliest days of railroading, at a time when there was more religious fervor.  No public travel on Sunday – except to attend church services – goes back to the early stagecoach (and canal) days.  This feeling continued with the advent of railroads and in some cases persisted well into the 20th Century.  [The Diamond, Vol. 26, No. 1, 2012]


On June 8th, three prominent Morris County citizens obtained a charter for the Morris County Traction (a/k/a trolley) Company.  It was decided to concentrate on a route from Chatham to Stanhope.  [Lowenthal, Larry & Greenberg, William T., Jr., Morris County Traction Company]


Lee’s Pavilion was the second great pavilion built at Nolan’s Point to serve visitors arriving at Lake Hopatcong via the Central RR of NJ.  It was greatly enlarged and expanded over the next two decades.  It featured a host of stores and services, as well as a dance hall and about 20 rooms.  The entire complex was destroyed by fire in October 1924 and a new building was quickly constructed.  Lee’s became Kay’s Hotel, and then the Colony Club.  Since 1941 it has been the Jefferson House

and has recently added a tour boat which serves meals.  [Kane, Martin, Lake Hopatcong Then & Now]


Following similar proposals in prior years, a September scheme surfaced in the form of a grandiose proposal to construct a double-track freight and passenger trolley line from New York to Lake Hopatcong, serving Montclair, Caldwell, Troy Hills, Parsippany, Denville, Rockaway, Dover, and Morristown and Boonton by means of branches.  For more than half of its proposed length, the line would use the tracks of other railroads – the Erie, Morristown and Erie, and the CNJ, but the (financially) ruinous idea of a tunnel under First Watchung Mountain was revived.  Fortunately for themselves, potential investors were wise enough to stay away from this plan.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


By this year Joseph Wharton became the “undisputed largest miner of iron ore in NJ.”  [Historic Site Master Plan & Feasibility Study - Lock 2E of the Morris Canal, for Wharton Borough Council, by HJGA Consulting, Project No. 0616H, February 4, 2008]


The DL&W RR began operating their Lackawanna Limited from Hoboken to Buffalo.   [McKelvey]


Ca 1900

Waterloo Village was “slumbering hamlet, stranded when the iron industry went west... to the plaster mill the canal brought the famous Nova Scotia stone as a backload from tidewater.  It was ground in the mill and used as a soil sweetener in cornfields by farmers.  [Giles, John R., The Story of Waterloo Village]



Rockaway Valley Railway President James Pidcock had died on December 17th, 1899.  Two weeks later his brother, Charles W. Pidcock, who was successfully involved with the Georgia Northern Railroad, and James’s two sons, James, Jr. and John, completed the sale of the RVRR to three brothers, Charles, David, and E.T. Haines of NYC.  The new owners took immediate steps to substantially improve the railway and complete the Speedwell Lake extension.  But, in August all work stopped due to bank loan difficulties.  Then the new owners were faced with the loss of the peach business due to the San Jose Scale and within four years the traffic ended.  [Taber, Thomas T., III, The Rock-a-bye Baby]


By this year over 40 hotels and rooming houses were operating along the booming shores of Lake Hopatcong, which became a major resort destination, especially after the arrival of the CNJ RR and the steamboat connection for the Lackawanna.  New Jersey’s largest lake was easy to reach, had beautiful scenery, and its location – over 900 feet above sea level – meant lower daytime temperatures and cool evenings.  It was advertised as the “Jewel of the Mountains”.  [Kane, Martin, Hopatcong, Then & Now]


The North Jersey & Pocono Mountain Ice Company leased ice-cutting privileges and storage facilities on Waterloo Lake and Panther Pond in this year and conducted operations until 1917. [Kevin Wright] 


A 150 page booklet “Ghost of the Glacier and other Tales” was produced by the DL&W RR to publicize the communities and scenic attractions along the railroad.  [Taber, Thomas T. and T. T. T., III, The DL&W RR in the 20th Century Part Two]


The first large appropriation by Congress for the development of the Naval Ammunition Depot near Lake Denmark, seven miles from Dover, was made on June 7th.  From that date until the entrance of the US into WW I, the growth of the Depot was steady.  During 1917 and 1918 the storage capacity of the Depot was more than doubled.  [Platt, Charles D., Dover Dates, 1722-1922, A Bicentennial History of Dover, NJ]


On August 19th, an ice train was involved in probably the most serious wreck on the Hopatcong Branch.  It crashed into a mixed train at Minnisink, injuring three passengers, none seriously.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


In September the Mount Hope Mineral RR published its first formal timetable – to carry workers from Port Oram and back with three round trips daily to the mine.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


Samuel G. McKiernan developed the tripod type rock drill ca. 1890 in Paterson.  In 1900 the firm moved to Richards Avenue, Dover where its plant was established for many decades.  The business prospered and in 1995 he formed the McKiernan Drill Co.  They expanded into the manufacture of pile driving equipment - an adaption of their standard and well known rock drill.  [Platt, Charles D., Dover Dates, 1722-1922, A Bicentennial History of Dover, NJ]  


Musconetcong Furnace at Stanhope was rebuilt with three firebrick stoves, 79' x 19'; two steam blowing machines and used NJ magnetic, Lake, Cuban and other ores.  They made 50,000 tons per year of foundry pig iron.


The Brown Shaft at Mount Hope opened in this year to mine the Taylor, Elizabeth, Leonard, and Carlton ore deposits.  Henry Leonard and members of that family were the first skilled iron-masters to come to America from England.   [Mason, Eleanor C. and White, Patricia A., Rockaway Township]



Hudson Maxim acquired 600 acres on the west shore of Lake Hopatcong.  His greatest fame came from his inventions in modern warfare, as the inventor of smokeless powder, high explosives and other propellants, shells, the Maxim gun, and torpedoes.  Smokeless powder was adopted by the US government and sold in enormous quantities in WW I and Maxim accumulated a large fortune.  Maxim promoted the closing of the Morris Canal and its conversion to a parkway.  [Kane, Martin, Hopatcong, Then & Now] [Simon, Richard C., The Morris Canal: New Jersey’s Mountain-Climbing Waterway]


Hudson Maxim conducted an inspection trip through the Morris Canal using the small steamboat Mystic Shrine, date unknown, but photographed going up Plane 10 East near Lincoln Park.  [Lee, James, The Morris Canal A Photographic History]


When President McKinley was shot at Buffalo, a special Lackawanna Railroad train carried surgeons, nurses and hospital supplies to aid the dying President.  The 395 mile run from Hoboken was made in 405 minutes - a rail record which still stands.  [King, Sheldon S., The Route of Phoebe Snow]


On July 1st, the Morris County Connecting RR was created by Joseph Wharton to build a rail line which would give him direct access to his Wharton Steel complex.  In Wharton the new connecting railroad formed a junction with another Wharton-owned line, the Port Oram RR.  This line connected the furnace with the CNJ and DL&W and remained isolated from the other Wharton trackage until 1902.  Two small steam locomotives worked around the furnace.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


A new wood station was built at Wharton at milepost 40.1 on the DL&W RR.  The agent was discontinued by 1934.  [Taber, Thomas T. and T. T. T., III, The DL&W RR in the 20th Century Part Two]


The “Annual Report of the (NJ) State Geologist for 1901 reported: During the past year the tunnel of the Hibernia Underground Railroad was extended an additional 1,000 feet in the footwall about thirty feet back from the vein, and the corresponding portion of the old tunnel in the vein was abandoned.  This supplements the similar work done several years ago, so the railroad now has a rock cut from the entrance across the Lower Wood, Glendon and DeCamp lots, and the constant expense attendant upon keeping in repair the old tunnel along the vein is avoided.  [Train Sheet, Spring 1975]


Joseph Wharton quickly modernized the original furnace and in this year Furnace No. 2, 100' x 21'  was blown in.   [Hanson, Kenneth R., Port Oram circa 1882: A NJ Iron Town]


Attorney George Frederick Baer helped banker J.P. Morgan engineer purchase of much of the Central Railroad of NJ stock by the Reading Company.  Baer became president of both the Reading and CRR of NJ.  [McKelvey]


The Sussex Railroad Co. connection with the Lackawanna (Morris & Essex) Railroad was relocated from Waterloo east to Netcong.  This reduced Waterloo to a quiet backwater.  Connections to the rail sidings for the icehouses were left in place.  But a year later Waterloo Station was closed and the telegraph operator was withdrawn.  [Anthony Troha]  [Kevin Wright]  [Giles, John R., The Story of Waterloo Village]


On November 1st, the Waterloo Ice Co. signed over its lease on all properties at Waterloo, which would include the ice pond, ice warehouses, buildings and equipment, to the North Jersey and Pocono Mountain Ice Co.  [Giles, John R., The Story of Waterloo Village]



J.P. Morgan made a final drive to control the anthracite coal industry.  By this year more than 96% of all anthracite coal lands were controlled by the railroads, with 91% of deposits owned outright.   As a result of the combination, the railroad companies were able to fix the price of coal, determine production levels, and establish tonnage quotas.  Both coal and profits flowed out of the mining region to immensely wealthy absentee owners.  [Parton, W. Julian, The Death of a Great Company]


Work on the Boonton Reservoir by contractor Patrick Flynn was delayed and it was obvious that his Jersey City Water Supply Co. would not meet the contractual completion date.  During the winter of 1901-2 most, if not all work appears to have ceased.  A new contract with James S. Qualey’s East Jersey Water Co. was signed by Jersey City’s new mayor to avoid a probable bankruptcy of Flynn.  By May 1st, Qualey’s staff was on site and ready to resume work.  One of their first actions was to purchase three additional locomotives and 35 flatcars for the RR&MR.  On August 29th, a stone car got away at the quarry and ran the entire length of the railroad (which averaged a 2.1% downgrade), probably setting a speed record on the RR&MR.  Somehow, the runaway car remained on the rails till it arrived at the dam where it derailed spectacularly and self-destructed.  Fortunately, no one was reported injured.  Operations were described on August 30th as: “one switch engine is used at the quarry, two switcher types at the dam face and a ‘standard road’ locomotive is used to haul trains between the dam and the quarry.”  “There are about thirty derricks at the quarry and thirty at the dam.  Steam for the derricks, crushers, mixers and hoisting engines is supplied from central powerplants.”  Hopper cars of anthracite coal for the powerhouses were delivered by the DL&W RR.  [The Midlander Trainsheet, Vol. 7, Nos. 2 & 3]


Morris County Connecting RR was built from Wharton Jct. to Wharton in 1902.  [ICC Valuation Report, Docket 1030.]


The Picatinny Dover Powder Depot became a storage arsenal for reserves of sodium nitrate and armor-piercing projectiles. [Rae, John W., Picatinny Arsenal]


The Great Anthracite Strike occurred.  [McKelvey]


Port Oram was renamed Wharton in honor of Joseph Wharton.  [Macasek, Joseph J., Guide to the Morris Canal in Morris County]


The Lackawanna RR adopted “Phoebe Snow” as the name of a fictitious woman dressed in white to advertise the clean burning qualities of anthracite coal in their locomotives.  She was featured in their ads and jingles promoting travel on their “Road of Anthracite” (and to Lake Hopatcong) which was a far cleaner locomotive fuel than the soft coal used by their competitors.  Possibly the most successful advertising program ever created by an American railroad, Phoebe Snow and the railroad were known coast to coast.  Although the Lackawanna was originally known as the “Road of Anthracite” it would become better known as “The Route of Phoebe Snow”.  [Taber, Thomas T. and T. T. T., III, The DL&W RR in the 20th Century Part One]  [Taber, Thomas T. and T. T. T., III, The DL&W RR in the 20th Century Part Two]



By this year, traffic on the Morris Canal was minuscule, and the state appointed a committee of three former governors to determine what should be done with the canal; abandonment seemed to be the obvious answer, but nothing was done.  [Goller, Robert R., The Morris Canal Across NJ by Water and Rail]


By this year there were 71 private launches operating on Lake Hopatcong.  [Lake Hopatcong Historical Society / Museum]


Wharton’s Furnace No. 3, identical to No. 2, was blown in.  The total capacity of his three furnaces was now 60,000 tons per year.  Anthracite for fuel was abandoned as Wharton bought soft coal mines in western Pennsylvania and erected coke ovens.  The coke was moved to his furnaces by rail.  [Hanson, Kenneth R., Port Oram circa 1882: A NJ Iron Town]


The Thomas Edison film, The Great Train Robbery, which set the standard for Western movie plots, was partially filmed in Dover.  Interestingly, model Marion Murray, who later, between 1904 and 1907, became the Lackawanna Railroad’s “maid in white” - assuming the Phoebe Snow role, appeared in the Great Train Robbery film. [The Heritage Review, Vol. 38, No. 3 (Morris County Heritage Commission)]  [Dorflinger, Don, Phoebe Snow: The Lady and the Train]


On August 12th the Dover Common Council granted the Morris County Traction Company permission to build their trolley line on Blackwell Street, the main commercial thoroughfare.  By the end of this year, MCTC had received franchises from Rockaway, Wharton, and Randolph Township (which then included Mine Hill.  [Lowenthal, Larry & Greenberg, William T., Jr., Morris County Traction Company]


The Whippany River Railroad and the Whippany & Passaic River Railroad were consolidated into the new Morristown & Erie RR on August 28th.  [Taber, Thomas T. III, The Morristown and Erie Railroad]


In this year, to handle ore and slag traffic, Joseph Wharton built still another railroad, the Morris County Connecting, to link his furnaces with the Morris County RR.  This was a high line, elevated on a trestle through town.  Following is a description of it by the late James List, a local historian who lived in Wharton during the furnace era and amplified newspaper accounts with personal remembrances: “In 1903 an extension of the Wharton & Northern RR was built.  Starting at the upper level of the Wharton furnace, a trestle was built parallel with the DL&W RR.  Going north it passed over the Central RR tracks leading to the lower level or railroad yard of the furnace.  This railroad was set on concrete abutments ten feet on the base and three feet on the top, one on the east side of Washington Street and one on the west side of Main Street.  This spanned two streets and the CNJ railroad.  From North Main Street west to the Rockaway River the trestle was constructed of 12 by 14 inch timber doubled with 16 inch cross pieces for braces.  It was 55 feet high at the highest point.  To go over the Rockaway River two more concrete abutments were built, one on each side of the river.  (These abutments remain across Central Avenue from the Wharton DPW / Water Works complex, although all the fill, bridges and timber for the railroad have long been removed).  From the river northwest to West Dewey Avenue and the DL&W RR timber, as describer before was used again.  Two more concrete abutments supporting a steel bridge were built to span the avenue and railroad (all now gone).   Further west, running onto higher ground, the railroad leveled off and continued to Wharton Junction where connections were made.  After being built said trestle was filled in with tailings from Richard mine and cold slag from the furnace for support.  The roundhouse where the locomotives were kept and repaired was approximately two miles northwest of Wharton at the junction.“  ”At 6 o’clock every evening a Central Railroad train of 12 to 15 loaded coke cars (constructed on the order of cattle cars, 10 feet high on all sides), would stand above Irondale Road, the tracks being down grade to Washington Street.  A locomotive pushed the cars down grade at speed to tackle the upgrade to the upper level of the furnace.  There were four brakemen, one each at the crossings of Washington Street, Main Street, Poppenhuesen Street and Irondale Road.  The track switch between the lower level to the u8pper level of the furnace was at Washington Street.  One evening the Washington Street brakeman gave the all clear signal to the brakeman at Main Street, and it was passed back to the engineer who started the train of coke moving.  Unfortunately, old No. 9, a dinky, was on the upper track...  Belatedly noticing this, the Washington Street brakeman tried to get the stop signal back to the engineer, but the train was gathering speed and could not be stopped before crashing into old No. 9, rolling it over twice...”  “At the top of the steep grade there were large bins into which was dropped the coke from the bottom doors of the cars.  Below the bins were tram cars to transfer the ore, coke, and limestone to the skip which elevated the materials 125 feet to the top of the furnace.”  “A runoff of the furnace was made by knocking a plug from the lower part of the furnace, allowing the red hot iron to flow like water through a trough into ladle cars on railroad tracks.  As each ladle was filled it was transferred by a dinky locomotive to the pouring house where a conveyor was in operation.  Attached to the conveyor were about 200 small carriers (molds) to form and convey pigs from the ladle to railroad cars.  The flow of iron was adjusted by a hand wheel which tipped the ladle.  The conveyor was geared to travel slowly with the hot iron being poured into the small carriers.  It was then run through a pit of water to cool and solidify the pigs.  At the far end of the conveyor an operator stood with a steel bar hung by a chain to tap the pigs loose from the small carriers so they would fall into a chute and slide into a waiting railroad car.  The pigs were loaded into the car ends over the wheels (trucks) as the pigs were too heavy for the centers of the cars.  On the way back to the pouring house, the conveyor ran through lime water to prevent the hot pigs from sticking.”  [Train Sheet, Summer 1976]


A 9' x 9' one story frame interlocking cabin with five armstrong levers was built at Ferromonte Junction in this year.  This point was where the CNJ High Bridge Branch crossed the DL&Ws Chester Branch.  The Ferromonte RR also connected at this point.  [Bernhart, B. L., CRR of NJ Stations, Structures & Marine Equipment]


The Central RR of NJ Employees Association was founded - the first such organization in the nation.  [Reilly]



On January 28th, the final details were being completed to the dam and waterworks of the new Boonton Reservoir - contractor Qualey was months late in delivering the dam.  The one and only passenger train was reported as having traversed the Rockaway River and Montville Railroad rails on this date.  A national civil engineering association (probably the American Society of Civil Engineers or an affiliated group) chartered a DL&W RR train from Hoboken to visit and inspect the dam.  The train would have backed up the interchange to the RR&MR and then proceeded south toward the dam.  Arriving at the dam, the passengers inspected the civil works on foot.  The special train from then backed north up the RR&MR and reversed to get back onto the DL&W, heading west and the locomotive probably traveled the short distance to the turntable at Boonton to be turned for the eastbound trip.  At Mountain View, the special train was switched to the Erie’s Greenwood Lake Line to allow the engineers to inspect the water filtration of the East Jersey Water Company at Little Falls as part of their trip itinerary.   [The Midlander Trainsheet, Vol. 7, Nos. 2 & 3]


Vacation cottages, a dance hall, boat rental facilities, a miniature steam railroad, and a hotel were constructed at Cranbury Lake to attract visitors by railroad.  [Anthony Troha]


On May 3rd the through line of the Morristown & Erie Railroad was completed between Morristown and the Erie RR at Essex Fells.  [Taber, Thomas T. III, The Morristown and Erie Railroad]


By May 26th, water from the new Boonton Reservoir was issuing from spigots in Jersey City.  Soon the Rockaway River and Montville Railroad tracks were taken up between the dam and the Boonton Line interchange.  The RR&MR thereafter became the property of the Lackawanna RR as reflected in the 1918 valuation sheets for their Hog Mountain Crusher Branch.  It has been confirmed that the remainder of the RR&MR was dismantled around 1911.  It is likely that the DL&W RR extracted some stone ballast from Hog Mountain and some of it may have been taken west and used on the new Lackawanna Cut-Off which opened with rail service by the end of 1911.  [The Midlander Trainsheet, Vol. 7, Nos. 2 & 3]


Twenty-five year-old Swiss immigrant, Othmar H. Ammann came to America i9n this year and lived most of his career in Boonton.  A civil engineer, he was appointed chief engineer for the Port of NY Authority and the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority, and later became a sought-after consultant.  He was responsible for building the George Washington, Bayonne, Triborough, Bronx-Whitestone, Throgs Neck, and Verrazano-Narrows bridges.  He also supervised the construction of the Lincoln Tunnel and consulted on other projects, including the Golden Gate Bridge.  [Rabin, Arthur, Voices of America: Boonton]


Morris County Traction Co. opened for business on July 1st with an official first run on Blackwell Street in Dover.  [Schoonmaker, Stanley and Laurie, George, Dover]  A photo of the first trolley was taken in front of the Mansion House at 5:45 pm of the first day.  [Dover Historical Society]


The final spike of the Morristown & Erie RR was driven and passenger service was started between Morristown and Essex Fells.  [McKelvey]


Morris County Traction Co. extended service to Wharton on July 19th, before the first car ran in Dover.  Trolley service was extended to the center of Rockaway, beginning on December 17th.  [Lowenthal, Larry & Greenberg, William T., Jr., Morris County Traction Company]


A spectacular wreck occurred c. 1904 on the DL&W RR in Dover.  A steam locomotive and several freight cars were overturned.  [Schoonmaker, Stanley and Laurie, George, Dover]


The Morristown & Erie RR began through passenger service on November 21st.  [Taber, Thomas T. III, The Morristown and Erie Railroad]


Hurd mine, one in the Irondale vein, became a large producer for Joseph Wharton’s Port Oram furnace.  [Hanson, Kenneth R., Port Oram circa 1882: A NJ Iron Town]


The Richard Mine produced 2,212,838 tons of iron ore from 1856 to its closing in this year.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Chester’s Iron Heyday]


The directors of the Rockaway Valley Railway and the Speedwell Lake Railroad, who were for the most part the same, consolidated the companies as the New Jersey and Pennsylvania Railroad on December 20th.  [Taber, Thomas T., III, The Rock-a-bye Baby]



The H. P. Hall Motor Company of E. Blackwell St., Dover, is building a gasoline motor truck or locomotive for the Repanno Manufacturing Company for use at their powder plant at Gibbstown, NJ.  The truck will be equipped with a double opposed cylinder engine of twenty-five horsepower and will weigh about six thousand pounds, which weight is purposely added to the truck to prevent its wheels from slipping on the rails when pulling its train of small cars.  This miniature locomotive is being built with a friction drive, an entirely new feature in gasoline engines.  It is expected it will be completed in five weeks.  [The Iron Era, Feb. 24, 1905]


A new rail link was established by the Lehigh & Hudson River RR and the DL&W at Andover Junction.  This enabled the LHR to make direct connections via the Lackawanna at Netcong, NJ, east to NYC and west to Buffalo, NY.  (March 15th)  [Lee, Warren & Catherine, A Chronology of the Belvidere Delaware Railroad]


The film, Train Wreckers, introduced the concept of tied-up victims and approaching trains.  Denville and Rockaway Borough can lay claim to location bragging rights.  Mining villages such as Rockaway, rich in ore and railroad tracks, were attractive places to film.  [The Heritage Review, Vol. 38, No. 3 (Morris County Heritage Commission)]


CNJ Locomotive No. 410 failed to stop and ran into the open draw bridge over the Morris Canal at Guard Lock 7 East in Dover on June 12th.  At the same time a canalboat was passing through the lock, under the bridge.  The trucks of a gondola car being pushed by the locomotive dropped on top of the cabin of the canalboat causing it to sink.  [Lee, James, Tales the Boatmen Told]  [Dover Historical Society]


The NJ Gazette newspaper of June 23rd reported that the Wharton & Northern RR (a CNJ subsidiary) is to be the name of a 25 mile line that was formed by the consolidation of the Hibernia Branch RR, the Morris County RR, the Morris County Connecting RR, and the Port Oram RR.  [Wharton & Northern RR brief historical article in Railroad Magazine Jan. 1931, p. 281; Apr. 1934, p. 86; Apr. 1936, p. 93; July 1950, p. 64; and Feb. 1959, p. 45.]


An article in the Dover Index indicated that the Morris Canal was to be abandoned and that Public Service Ry. wanted the bed of the canal "for a rapid transit road to Passaic, Paterson, Lake Hopatcong, Phillipsburg and all the rich country intervening."  They predicted that the "Road of Anthracite" (DL&W) would probably oppose such a competing line.  [McKelvey]


Joseph Wharton had a little railroad system in Morris County almost 21 miles long, made up of four separate corporations – the Morris County RR, Port Oram RR, Hibernia Branch RR and Morris County Connecting RR.  On June 10th they were consolidated to form the Wharton & Northern RR.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]  [Train Sheet, Spring 1975]


By late October, the Morris County Traction Co., which operated a total of 7½ miles of track between Wharton and Rockaway, had nearly completed its western extension to the top of Mine Hill.  [Lowenthal, Larry & Greenberg, William T., Jr., Morris County Traction Company]


On November 5th, a train robbery occurred on the Lackawanna RR between Denville and Rockaway.  It was a reproduction of an historic western hold-up filmed for a moving picture episode.  [The Iron Era, Nov. 10, 1905]


Joseph Wharton consolidated his Hibernia Branch RR, his Morris County RR, his Port Oram RR, and his Morris County Connecting RR into a single line, the Wharton & Northern RR on December 7th.  The W & N was controlled by his Wharton Steel Co.  [Train Sheet, Spring 1975]  [NJ Sec. of State records #186 & ICC Valuation Report 1922]  [Poors]


Wharton & Northern RR filed with the NJ Sec. of State on Dec. 20th a route map and description from Green Pond Junction to Oreland, Port Oram, etc.  [Frank Reilly]



On March 6th, Frederick V. Pitney was made receiver for the New Jersey & Pennsylvania RR.  For the second time the railroad company had failed.  The Jersey Central Railroad agreed to continue business with the NJ & PA if the would pay their bills weekly instead of monthly.  Within a year F. W. Pitney greatly improved the finances of the railroad.  However, inspections made in the next couple years found increasing deficiencies, confirmed by a frequency of derailments.  [Taber, Thomas T., III, The Rock-a-bye Baby]


In March, there was a report that Lackawanna RR surveyors had been studying the feasibility of an electric line to connect their Passaic & Delaware Branch at Gladstone with their Chester Branch.  It seemed tempting to join the two dangling branches which were less than six miles apart.  The obstacle that eventually proved insurmountable was that Chester depot was 460 feet higher than Gladstone, and between the two was the ridge on which Chester village was situated, 150 feet higher still.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


The Central RR of NJ published "In the New Jersey Foot-Hills: A Brief Summary of the Section of New Jersey where one Finds Health and Pleasure in Out Door Life."  It focused on the Warren, Hunterdon and Morris County areas served by the RR with photos of the rural scenery and lists of hotels and their proprietors.  [McKelvey]


The original powder factory was erected at the Picatinny Powder Depot. [Rae, John W., Picatinny Arsenal]


Mining magnate William H. Baker built the Baker Theater in Dover - it was one of the finest playhouses in NJ.  It closed in 1977 but has been refurbished and reopened in 1998.  [Dover Historical Society]


Early in this year the Morris County Traction Co. was negotiating with the CNJ to run its electric cars over the Hibernia Mine RR in Rockaway.  On October 29th a confrontation developed and a HM RR section gang tore up the rails that the trolley company had laid to within a few feet of the attempted crossing.  The following year a settlement was reached and the crossing was installed, but only after the MCT paid $4,000.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]



The Morris County Traction Co. sought to cross the DL&W Chester Branch along the present Rt. 46 in Kenvil.  The railroad forced the trolley’s construction cars to use portable tracks, removed after each crossing, and kept a flagman at the crossing for the first time in history.  There were rumblings that the railroad would not allow the trolley line to carry passengers across its tracks, but in the end the only results were some loss of business and the addition of the trolley wire to the list of “overhead obstructions” in the employees’ timetable.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


A CNJ mixed train crashed into an ice train at Hopatcong Junction.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


In December, yet another railroad entered the Hopatcong scene.  The Hopatcong Shore RR was formed with the intention of building an electric road from Landing to the Byram Cove Land Co. tract, and eventually to circle the lake via Woodport.  One of the incorporators was Hudson Maxim, the famous developer of Lake Hopatcong.  After a year of troubles, the railroad decided to concentrate on building a line from an extension of the Hopatcong RR to Bertrand’s Island.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


The DL&W East Dover car shops were replaced by the Kingsland shops.  A large area east of the shops began to be used for anthracite coal storage - about 80,000 tons - in summer.  The coal was unloaded from hoppers and stockpiled, then reloaded into cars when needed in winter.  [Taber, Thomas T. and T. T. T., III, The DL&W RR in the 20th Century Part One]


The shaft for the original Leonard Mine Complex at Mount Hope was sunk in this year to mine ore from the Leonard or Side Hill deposits.  [Mason, Eleanor C. and White, Patricia A., Rockaway Township]


It is reported that Joseph Wharton, the great iron king of NJ, is negotiating for the purchase of the rich ore districts about Oxford and Buttzville.  He is the owner of the great Andover Furnace at Phillipsburg, the Durham Furnace a few miles below and the Wharton furnaces at Port Oram.  (December 21st)  [Lee, Warren & Catherine, A Chronology of the Belvidere Delaware Railroad]



A major change in the mission of Picatinny Arsenal occurred in this year with the construction of the first Army-owned smokeless powder factory.  This activity resulted in the re-designation of the Dover Powder Depot to Picatinny Arsenal and marked the beginning of their important manufacturing phase (at which time the loading of shells and bombs with explosives was begun), which continued until the early years of WW II.  [Picatinny Arsenal HAER Report]  [Picatinny Arsenal Historian, Jason Huggan]


A certificate of dissolution of the Hibernia Underground RR Co. was approved on March 16th.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


The NJ Central RR excursions to Lake Hopatcong were advertised at $1.00 round trip from Jersey City.  [Lake Hopatcong Historical Society / Museum]


The 1079 ton ferryboat Hopatcong II was acquired by the Lackawanna Railroad.  It had been built the prior year as the Callahan for the Norfolk & Washington Ferry Company and was finally sold in 1949.  [Baxter, Raymond J., and Adams, Arthur G., Railroad Ferries of the Hudson]


In late August, the Morris County Traction Co. construction “outfit,” consisting of a derrick, steam shovel and (steam) “dinkey” locomotive was loaded on six railroad cars at Denville, where it had been working, and shifted to Landing to push the Lake Hopatcong section to completion.  Their tracks reached the shore of Lake Hopatcong early in 1908.  [Lowenthal, Larry & Greenberg, William T., Jr., Morris County Traction Company]


Only two canalboats were reported operating on the Morris Canal. [McKelvey]


A five page feature article was published on the Easton & Washington Traction Co. in Electric Railway Journal.  The accompanying map showed planned extensions of the line to Belvidere; High Bridge/Clinton; and to Port Morris (Lake Hopatcong) via Hackettstown, Waterloo and Stanhope.  At Lake Hopatcong it was planned to connect with the Morris County Traction Company system.  [McKelvey]


Late in this year, Joseph Wharton’s mines and furnaces were incorporated as the Wharton Steel Company and control of the Wharton & Northern RR passed to it.  [Train Sheet, Summer 1976]



Lake Hopatcong’s Bertrand Island Transportation Company, which started out as the White Line, was leased by William and John Willis of Nolan’s Point from 1908 to 1916.  Their original port was Bertrand Island, the end of the Morris County Traction Co’s trolley line.  Their second generation fleet consisted of the New Breslin, the Richard J., the Benedict CK, the Uncle Dan, the Esther R, and the LaFalot.  The fastest steamboat of the Willis Brothers was the Uncle Dan, which was used primarily for express commuter service on Lake Hopatcong.  It was built in Trenton and was delivered to the lake via the Delaware & Raritan and Morris Canals.  [Lees, Lorraine C., and Willis, R. Richard, Jefferson Township on Lake Hopatcong]


On July 4th at the age of 14, Lee Cressman, in the company of another youth of the same age, started out from Washington to walk the Morris Canal towpath to Lake Hopatcong.  They started at 4 am, equipped with a package of sandwiches and abundant enthusiasm.  The sandwiches disappeared before nine o’clock and the rest of the day we depended on the canal stores that lined the banks.  Arriving at the Lake we rested 15 minutes and started the return trip, arriving home at 11 pm.  [Cressman, Lee Y., Morris Canal Memories, 1969]


On July 9th a Lackawanna Cut-Off inspection tour began with a special train which departed Hoboken to the Lake Hopatcong station.  There the party boarded five automobiles to tour the route of the Cut-Off to the Delaware Water Gap.  Railroad officials present included V.P. B.D. Caldwell and General Passenger Agent George Cullen who hosted the party, accompanied by DL&W construction engineer F.L. Wheaton, general freight agent John Crawford, division passenger agent H.N. Butterfield, general baggage agent G.E. Zippel and assistant advertising agent F.H. Phillips, with Treasurer James J. Farley joining after the train had departed from Hoboken.  The first stop of the group was a side trip to the lakeside residence of Hudson Maxim, the inventor, who, with Mrs. Maxim, entertained the party.  He distributed among his guests handfuls of smokeless powder (invented by Maxim 16 years prior) to be taken away as souvenirs.  [Brooklyn Daily Eagle, July 13,  1908]  [The Diamond, Vol. 29, No. 1]


Work began on the Lackawanna Cutoff project on August 1st.  [Taber, Thomas T. and T. T. T., III, The DL&W RR in the 20th Century Part One]


In December, thieves made off with copper trolley wire which Morris County Traction Co. had stored at Rockaway.  County detectives gave the case high priority and in less than a month arrested four men in Newark.  [Lowenthal, Larry & Greenberg, William T., Jr., Morris County Traction Company]


The US Army began manufacturing nitrocellulose powder at Picatinny Arsenal.  [Wikipedia]


Joseph Wharton donated a 28-acre recreational area, now known as Concialdi Park, to the borough of Wharton as a Christmas present in this year.  In 1911 Robert F. Oram, Jr., donated a picturesque cobblestone structure atop a grassy knoll sheltering a public drinking fountain in the park, in memory of his father.  [Morris County Heritage Commission]


A drastic fire in this year destroyed the remaining Speedwell Iron Works buildings along the Whippany River, including two machine shops, a saw mill, the blacksmith or trip-hammer shop and the office.  The factory, however, was not touched.  The Vail and Lidgerwood families, realizing the importance of the room where the telegraph was perfected, never permitted alterations or structural changes and kept the room locked and closely guarded, allowing only special visitors to see it.  Its significance was finally recognized in 1975, when the US Secretary of the Interior designated the Factory as a National Historic Landmark.  This building, the Vail House and other surviving buildings of the Homestead Farm are listed in the National Register of Historic Places, and open to the public.  [Cavanaugh, Hoskins & Pingeon, At Speedwell In The Nineteenth Century]



Mountain and Lake Resorts on the Lackawanna Railroad was published by their Passenger Department in 1909.  It’s description includes: “...the Lackawanna tracks ascend so quickly that, at Lake Hopatcong, only forty-seven miles distant by rail from New York, the train stands just 1,000 (actually 912) feet above mean tide-water, while the adjacent hotels and cottages are still higher...  ....see how favorably Lake Hopatcong (“Honey Water of the Many Coves”), with its nearness to town and fast special train service, compares with all other and very many far more distant locations...   ...see and appreciate as you note how the great, winding, forest-bedecked hills form channels for down-currents of cool winds over those cooling waters.  Think how happy a staunch boat can make a family there, with enough safe and easy exploration along those eighty miles of shores and islands, to occupy a whole summer!  Absolute freedom from malaria’s dangers, excellent black bass fishing, blue and purple distances along hills rising several hundred feet from the water’s edge, myriad moods of storm, sunshine, moonlight, dawn and evening, all where you will actually see anhd study and appreciate them; great wilderness, hundreds of cottages and campers, and sylvan loveliness perfect as ever brooded over Killarney or Como!” [Mtn and Lake Resorts on the Lackawanna RR - 1909]

The Lackawanna RR was the first railroad to accept a contract with the Public Cup Vendor Company to install the (paper) cup dispensers next to water-coolers on its passenger trains, beginning on May 1st.  The RR devoted one of their Phoebe Snow advertisements to the new paper cups: On railroad trips, No other lips, Have touched the cup, That Phoebe Snow sips.  Each cup of white, Makes drinking quite, A treat on Road, Of Anthracite. [Cup Campaigner, V. 1, No. 2, August, 1910]


Unusual manual interlocking semaphore signals for the CNJ and DL&W RRs were installed at the behest of the NJ Public Utilities Commission at both Ferromonte and Lake Junctions.  All signals were normally in stop position.  To make a crossing, a train crewman had to enter a signal cabin and pull lever No. 1, which locked the cabin door and released the four signal levers.  He then selected one of these levers, depending on the direction of the train.  With the signal clear, the train proceeded over the crossing, but the crewman was locked in the cabin until he pulled the first lever again, returning the signals to their original position.  This setup ended when both lines discontinued passenger service and the Lackawanna abandoned most of its Chester Branch.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


“At last, with a shrieking whistle and amid the cheers of a crowd that lined both sides of Speedwell Avenue, Morristown’s first trolley car rumbled down the thoroughfare” just before noon on August 27th.  Power was supplied by a temporary station located near Speedwell Place, consisting of a roofed-over flat car with a motor-generator installed on it.  Both the flat car and the first trolley had been delivered to Morris Plains by the Lackawanna RR and dragged down the trolley tracks on Speedwell Avenue by the MCTC’s steamroller.  [Lowenthal, Larry & Greenberg, William T., Jr., Morris County Traction Company]


Joseph Wharton died at the age of 83.  Although he was the largest stockholder in Bethlehem Steel Co., he had built a personal iron and steel empire in Morris County that restored and saved the industry there at the time when the focus of the iron industry was clearly shifting westward.  After his death, things began to unravel.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


Following the death of Joseph Wharton, the operating life of his mines as well as his mine railroads was ended by he Philadelphia capitalists who had assembled the Hibernia properties into one operating unit.  [Train Sheet, Spring 1975]


At the Mount Hope mine of Empire Steel & Iron Co., two new shafts are going down to intersect a body of ore already proved by diamond drill.  The mines at Mount Hope and Oxford far exceeded all previous records in 1909.  Shipments over the first 11 months amounted to about 200,000 tons of 60% magnetic ore well suited for the manufacture of basic pig iron.  The mechanical and electrical separating plant introduced about 18 months ago has fully met expectations.  The Mount Hope mines are supplied with air from two large compressors built by the Ingersoll-Rand Company, and installed with the separating plant.  [The Iron Age, January 6, 1910]


A summer course in mine surveying was conducted at Wharton’s Orchard mine in 1909 and 1910.  It involved 13 weeks of prescribed field work in surveying and one week was spent underground surveying the Orchard mine.  [Columbia University School of Mines Engineering and Chemistry, 1916]

Picatinny Arsenal became solely responsible for the assembly of fixed ammunition above 0.05 caliber.  [Picatinny Arsenal HAER Report]


LV RR records document losses of almost 11 million dollars to this date on their lease of the Morris Canal.  [McKelvey]


In a sample of financial results of 111 electric interurban railway systems by the Bureau of the Census volume, Electrical Industries, 1909, only the Morris County Traction Company and one other showed operating deficits.  [Hilton & Due, The Electric Interurban Railways in America]



A new passenger route was inaugurated between Belvidere and NYC via the LHR to Ansdover and the DL&W to NYC. Passengers left Belvidere at 8:18 am and arrived in NYC at 11:40 am.  Returning, they left NY at 4 pm and arrived back in Belvidere at 7:09 pm.  The round-trip fare was $3.30.  (January 22nd)  [Lee, Warren & Catherine, A Chronology of the Belvidere Delaware Railroad]


Mountain and Lake Resorts on the Lackawanna Railroad, published by their Passenger Department in 1910, includes the following towns and resorts / hotels within the Wharton environs: Denville - 2 facilities,  Dover - one hotel and 2 other facilities   Kenvil - one facility,  Lake Hopatcong (described as “a large turquoise lying in a casket of green velvet”, “it is navigated by steamers of considerable size”, and “There is an ample supply of sailing craft and usually a fairly stiff breeze from the great winding forest-covered hills, which form channels for the down currents of cool winds as they blow across its rippled surface.”) - 4 hotels and 19 other facilities,  Mount Arlington - 3 hotels and 5 other facilities,  and Succasunna - 3 facilities.  [Mtn and Lake Resorts on the Lackawanna RR - 1910]


On April 14th five men were killed and 4 others were injured in a rock cut on Section 2 of the Lackawanna Cut-off by a premature blast near Netcong when a combination of dynamite and black powder was being used.


On July 1st, the 4.9 mile Denville to Boonton Branch of the Morris County Traction Co. was opened with a grand celebration.  It diverted from their main line about where the presentUS Rt. 46 and NJ Rt. 53 intersection is located.  It ran along the Boulevard in Mountain Lakes to Main Street, Boonton and in the center of Main Street to Division Street where it terminated near the DL&W RR station.  Half hourly service was provided daily in each direction from 6am to midnight.  [Railroads of All Types Operated in Boonton, NJ, by Frank T. Reilly and Bill McKelvey]


The Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club was formed in 1905 and on July 9th their new clubhouse opened.  It remains a center for lake activity and is a most enduring link to the past grandeur of the lake as a major northeast resort.  [Kane, Martin, Lake Hopatcong Then & Now]


Detectives of the CRR of NJ captured James Kelly at Brainerds for taking one of their locomotives for a ride from Rockaway to Hibernia and back.  He was in custody at Phillipsburg in spite of his handling the loco like a veteran.  [McKelvey]


Kenvil Lumber and Store was relocated to a new building built directly on Lake Hopatcong this season.  Customers could bring their boats directly into a slip inside the store to buy such diverse items as home furnishings, lumber, meat, vegetables, groceries, clothing, drugs and toilet items, gasoline and cigars.  The store also made deliveries by boat around the lake.  They moved back to their original location in 1928 and evolved exclusively into a lumber amd hardware store.  The building on Lake Hopatcong became the home of Hockenjos and Hockenjos, which sold and serviced boats.  Hockenjos Marina was purchased by Katz in 2011 and remains in business as Katz’s Marina.  [Kane, Martin, Lake Hopatcong Then & Now]  [Katz’s Marina website]


Photographer W. J. Harris, who operated a unique floating studio at Nolan’s Point on Lake Hopatcong, opened a store and studio at Lee’s Pavilion. [Lake Hopatcong Historical Society / Museum]


The New Jersey Central (CNJ) advertised “Popular $1.00 Excursions to Lake Hopatcong Every Sunday and Holiday, May 29th to Sept. 11th (inclusive)” The Lake was described as: “One of the most beautiful lakes in the East affording the finest fishing grounds in this section, besides opportunities for rowing, canoeing, motor-boating and bathing, with model picnic facilities.”  [Anderson, Elaine, The Central RR of NJ’s First 100 Years]


DL&W RR photographer, Mr. Bunnell, photographed the Lackawanna Cut-off under construction.  His automobile was a 1909 Cadillac Model 30.  [McKelvey]


By this year the extension of the NY & Pennsylvania RR to Speedwell Avenue looked feasible as the Morris County Traction Company had completed their trolley line thru Morristown and down Speedwell Avenue to Morris Plains.  If the railroad reached the trolley line, the passenger stage could be discontinued and costs of the delivery service could be cut.  The shorter distance and better road would reduce the freighting costs.  A decision was made to complete the extension and a contractor was hired in October.  A narrow gauge railroad was built to transfer fill from near Speedwell Avenue to near Lake Road where the fill was needed.  However, late in May 1912 work was halted on the extension, for the last time.  [Taber, Thomas T., III, The Rock-a-bye Baby] 


By this year the Hopatcong Shore RR was incomplete and bankrupt.  An agreement was reached under which the Morris County Traction Co. completed the road from a switch on the Hopatcong RR near the ice house at Landing, over the partly graded right-of-way of the Hopatcong Shore RR to Bertrand’s Island.  During September the traction company began operating electric cars to the Bertrand’s Island beach which became Bertrand ‘s Island Park with an amusement park and resorts.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]  [Lowenthal, Larry & Greenberg, William T., Jr., Morris County Traction Company]


The McKiernan Drill Co. absorbed the Terry Core Drill Co. which manufactured core drills for exploratory work in mines.  It had gained a considerable reputation at home and abroad.  At the same time there developed an increased demand for much larger pile hammers to drive steel sheet piling.  [Platt, Charles D., Dover Dates, 1722-1922, A Bicentennial History of Dover, NJ]


On September 22nd the NJ & Pennsylvania RR ran a special train from Pitney to White House to connect with the special train on the CRR for the Allentown Fair.  [Handbill]  [Taber, Thomas T., III, The Rock-a-bye Baby]


The North Jersey and Pocono Mountain Ice Co. transferred their lease of the Lake Waterloo site to the Mountain Ice Co. in this year.  They also took over the ice harvesting leases at Jefferson Lake and Panther Pond in later years.  [Giles, John R., The Story of Waterloo Village] 



The Morris County Traction Co. began sponsoring moonlight excursions to Bertrand's Island at Lake Hopatcong.  [McKelvey]


The first auto / train accident to occur on the High Bridge Branch happened at German Valley (changed to Long Valley during WW I), on July 30th.  A CNJ excursion train struck and demolished the automobile.  The three occupants of the car were injured.  As a result of the accident an automatic warning bell was installed at the crossing and a flagman was put on duty during the excursion season.  [Washington Township Historical Society]


The Downs-Slater Iron Foundry, Inc. was started in Wharton in this year at the site of the old Washington Forge (1795-1869) by John W. Downs and Walter Slater.  They moved to Dover in 1916.  [Meeker, Robert M., Dover, the Forging of a Community]


An ill-timed blast caused a disaster, which drowned 12 miners in the Hibernia mine owned by Wharton Steel Co.  The shaft in which the accident occurred is on the side of a mountain literally honeycombed with abandoned workings in which millions of tons of water have collected.  Only a thin wall stood between the men and death and an ill-timed blast of dynamite shattered the barrier and released the flood.  [Trenton Evening Times, October 10th, 1911]


Ford Kurtz, a civil and hydraulic engineer, devised a plan for the proposed electrification of the Morris Canal.  In his preliminary November report he indicated the “ possibility and  feasibility of operating the boats, locks and planes of the Morris Canal by electricity generated from its own flow of water.”  Action was never taken to implement his recommendation to make the canal a profitable enterprise and thus halt its headlong rush into oblivion.  [Veit, Richard F., The Old Canals of NJ]


A report investigating the feasibility of operating the boats, locks and inclined planes of the Morris Canal by electricity generated from its own flow of water was published by Curtis V. Williams in November 1911.  [Lake Hopatcong Historical Society / Museum]


An Officer’s Training School was established at Picatinny Arsenal to provide training in chemistry, explosives And ballistics, as well as ammunition manufacturing processes.  [Picatinny Arsenal HAER Report]


On December 15th, nine days before the inauguration of regular passenger service over the new Lackawanna Cutoff, a special train was run for newspapermen and Lackawanna executives, to whom President Truesdale showed off his splendid achievement. [Lowenthal, Larry and Greenberg, William T., Jr., The Lackawanna RR in Northwest NJ]


The new Lackawanna Cutoff was opened for regular passenger service on December 24th.  It shortened the line by 11 miles and eliminated the use of helper engines on freight trains.  [Taber, Thomas T. and T. T. T., III, The DL&W RR in the 20th Century Part One]  [Railroadians Train Sheet, Spring, 1989]


Practically all of the explosives used in the construction of the DL&W “Cut-off’ were supplied by the Forcite Works (American Forcite Powder Co.) which was located on Lake Hopatcong, near Landing, and very close to the construction project.  [Platt, Charles D., Dover Dates, 1722-1922, A Bicentennial History of Dover, NJ]



The Morris Canal Parkway Association released their report “A People’s Parkway 100 miles Long.  Hudson Maxim was a leader in this effort.  They recommended abandonment of the Morris Canal but again nothing was done.  [Goller, Robert R., The Morris Canal Across NJ by Water and Rail]  [McKelvey]


The Frog and Switch Works of the Lackawanna RR, established in Kingston, Pennsylvania in 1899 moved to East Dover in this year.  At this plant all maintenance of way material, such as frogs, crossings, switches, switch stands, etc. were manufactured.  In addition to this a large amount of steel fence, push cars and hand cars were manufactured and gasoline motor cars were repaired.  Also, a large amount of miscellaneous other work was turned out at this plant, such as repairs to track and tools.  All new track tools for the entire Lackawanna System were distributed from the store-house at the plant.  The product from this plant was shipped to every point on the DL&W, this being the only maintenance shop of its kind on the system; and, in fact, there was no other plant of its kind on any other railroad so extensively engaged in the manufacture of track material and equipment.  The location of this shop was particularly advantageous to the DL&W because the large portion of its output was used on the Eastern end of the road.  At peak, the factory employed 100 men (2 managers, 6 office men, nine blacksmiths, 22 machinists, 35 mechanic helpers, and five apprentices.  Note: This was the former location of the DL&W freight and passenger car repair and rebuilding shops before 1912 and the main building remains.  [Schoonmaker, Stanley and Laurie, George, Dover]  [Platt, Charles D., Dover Dates, 1722-1922, A Bicentennial History of Dover, NJ]


The silent film, Grit of the Girl Telegrapher, was a railroad “photoplay” with a typical subplot - that of the heroine who saves the day.  It had the Upper Hibernia (re-christened Oreland) train station backdrop that did not disappoint.  Famous Swedish-born actress Anna Q. Nilssen played the station agent’s daughter and performed several dangerous stunts herself in scenes involving clinging to a runaway train.  Striving for authenticity, one director was impressed by how a local school teacher dismounted from a slowing train and instructed his actors to duplicate her method.    [The Heritage Review, Vol. 38, No. 3 (Morris County Heritage Commission)]


The NJ Legislative Committee on Railroads and Canals made a trip over the Morris Canal in the summer of this year.  On their return a statement was issued asserting that “...from Jersey City to Paterson it was little more than an open sewer,... but its value beyond Paterson was of great importance, no longer as a freight transit line but as a parkway.”  [The Plainfield Courier News, July 7th]  [Veit, Richard F., The Old Canals of NJ]


The NJ Supreme Court ruled that if the railroads in NJ furnished free drinking water on their trains, they had to provide free drinking cups for their patrons as a sanitary.  This order resulted from the passage of a state act in 1911 that prohibited the use of common drinking cups in public places.  (October)  [Lee, Warren & Catherine, A Chronology of the Belvidere Delaware Railroad]


By this year there were only four operating iron mines in NJ, all large ones.  Two of these mines, Richard and Mount Hope, were located near Dover.  [Canal History and Technology Proceedings, V. V., March 22nd, 1986, Richard and Mount Hope, Two NJ Iron Mines, by Kenneth R. Hanson]


After a fire in this year, the Mountain Ice Co. constructed the largest ice house in the country using steel and hollow terra cotta blocks.  [McKelvey]


On December 31st F.V. Pitney was again appointed receiver of the insolvent NJ and Pennsylvania RR.  [Taber, Thomas T., III, The Rock-a-bye Baby]



Atlas Powder Company began business on January 1st with several former du Pont black powder plants, including three dynamite plants at Landing, NJ.  The firm was incorporated in the prior year as part of the court-ordered breakup of the explosives monopoly of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Company into two new companies.  The other spun-off firm was Hercules Powder Company, which had a large operation in Kenvil, NJ.  The Kenvil Works had been under five different companies up to this date: Atlantic Giant Powder Co., Atlantic Dynamite Co., Eastern Dynamite Co., E.I. duPont deNemours Powder Co., and after this date, the Hercules Powder Co., which eventually became Hercules, Inc.  During this year, a smokeless powder line was built and the manufacturing began in September, with 15,000 pounds produced by year-end.  [Internet Search]  [Platt, Charles D., Dover Dates, 1722-1922, A Bicentennial History of Dover, NJ]


President R. W. McEwan of the Morristown & Erie RR investigated the possibility of building from Essex Fells to Montclair and from Morristown to Flemington, using the NJ & Pennsylvania RR to White House.  His consultant recommended replacement of the NJ & PA RR with an entirely new alignment with a maximum of 1.75% grade, costing $1,000,000, and abandonment of the present line.  Another, less costly plan was to form the NJ Connecting RR to link the Morristown & Erie with the NJ & PA RR and rebuild the latter.  McEwan decided to drop the idea.  [Taber, Thomas T., III, The Rock-a-bye Baby]


By this year, Picatinny Arsenal was operating a plant for the manufacture of Explosive “D,” which was used in armor-piercing projectiles.  [Picatinny Arsenal HAER Report]


The first motorized fire truck was acquired by Morristown Fire Dept.  [McKelvey]


In the years after 1867 strikes by miners became a fairly regular occurrence and the workers became more militant.  There was unrest at Richard Mine early in this year and on March 24th a strike began at Mount Hope.  Weeks passed without settlement and on May 12th a crucial conference failed to find a solution.  That night the Mount Hope Mineral RR was dynamited in three places, 300 feet of track was destroyed and a locomotive and passenger coach were wrecked.  Two hundred men recruited by a Newark detective agency arrived in Wharton on Friday, May 16th and were sworn in as deputies.  Skirmishes soon broke out between them and the resentful townspeople.  Soon a mob of about a thousand people gathered.  Saturday night fights had been a tradition in Wharton for decades, but this was only Friday and nothing like it had ever been seen before.  The beleaguered deputies retreated to a grove about 200 yards from the Wharton station of the Mount Hope Mineral RR and took refuge in, behind, and under the derailed coach.  Then bullets began to fly.  Over 500 bullets were fired that night.  One house was struck at least a dozen times.  The next morning the deputies slunk out of town, except for twelve who were taken to All Souls Hospital by auto.  Although a militia troop in Newark was alerted and cars to transport them were held in readiness on a DL&W siding at Roseville Avenue, passions among the citizens subsided once the deputies has been routed.  Negotiations continued and by May 30th the strike was settled.  However, the Empire Steel & Iron Co. and the Mount Hope Mineral RR sued Morris County for $50,000 and $25,000 respectively for failure to protect their property.  The track was soon repaired and the company brought in a new locomoticve from its plant in Catasauqua, PA.  Before long WW I arrived, bringing a boom in the mines and raising wages to unprecedented levels.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


Labor issues and mining companies figured into another locally filmed movie.  The Kalem Company took advantage of the violently real 1913 Mount Hope strike and intertwined that ripped-from-the-headlines plot with a fictional romance between the mine owner’s daughter and a worker.   The movie, filmed in Wharton and released in this year, was appropriately titled The Strike.  [The Heritage Review, Vol. 38, No. 3 (Morris County Heritage Commission)]


In this year, as NJ was preparing to abandon the Morris Canal, a film company thought it might be a good idea to film scenes in and around the 82-year-old waterway in an effort to capture it for posterity.  The National Film Company crew shot film in Dover, Rockaway Borough, and Boonton.  While scenes did include the canal, emphasis gradually shifted to the Morris County towns themselves.  The film evolved into a travel guide and was released to national distribution.  [The Heritage Review, Vol. 38, No. 3 (Morris County Heritage Commission)]


The Morris Canal Investigating Committee (a commission appointed by the NJ Legislature) toured the waterway from Jersey City to Phillipsburg to examine its condition and possible uses.  Fred G. Stickel, Jr. kept a journal of the trip.  [McKelvey]


Deadlines for closure of the NJ & PA RR were set by the Public Utilities Commission and extensions were granted.  F.W. Pitney notified the Interstate Commerce Commission that the road was being closed due to unsafe physical condition.  The last few weeks brought a flood of business to the road as merchants stocked up.  The Central RR of NJ issued a bulletin that freight for the Rockaway Valley points should not be accepted after October 6th, but freight was still coming in.  On Monday, October 13th, the railroad announced that it had closed down for handling any more freight from the Jersey Central.  Many cars waited to be unloaded.  These were removed during the week.  On Saturday, the 18th, the last train left Watnong picking up all remaining cars, thus ended commercial operation.  The two locomotives were returned to the Jersey Central and trhe 30 employees were laid off.  [Taber, Thomas T., III, The Rock-a-bye Baby]  


The CNJ and DL&W jointly constructed a 9' x 9' one story frame interlocking cabin with 5 levers at Lake Junction.  [Bernhart, B. L., CRR of NJ Stations, Structures & Marine Equipment]


The Lackawanna Railroad was the first to experiment with the use of wireless communication between land stations and moving trains and it built wireless towers at Hoboken, Scranton, and Binghamton.  On November 27th the first written message from a moving train and a land station was successfully transmitted.  [White, William, The Lackawanna 1851 - 1951]


A report “Morris Canal Abandonment Problems” was published by Hudson Maxim.  [Lake Hopatcong Historical Society / Museum]


The NJ PUC reported that the Morris County Traction Co. had 47.8 road miles and 59.5 track miles.  [The Marker, Vol. 1, No. 2, April 1st, 1942]



On March 1st, Morris County Traction Co. trolley service finally began running through from Wharton to Maplewood, but the worst blizzard since 1888 promptly stranded the cars.  Dozens of workmen were employed to shovel the snow from the tracks in Dover where several cars were stranded by drifts up to 10 feet high.  Interestingly, after a decade of struggle and construction, it would only be 14 years until the completed MCTC system was abandoned.  The heavy wet snow brought down trees as well as electric and telephone lines including many of the poles themselves.  [Lowenthal, Larry & Greenberg, William T., Jr., Morris County Traction Company]  [Schoonmaker, Stanley and Laurie, George, Dover]  [Dover Historical Society]


The NJ & PA RR had closed, but no one quite believed it.  William Van Derbeek completed his large six pocket concrete coal trestle in Peapack and Charles Garabrant had a new coal trestle at Mendham which received 3,000 tons of coal per year in addition to his large lumber business.  In March Frank W. Patterson asked the courts to allow him, August Durling, J.C. Melton, and Lewis and Joseph DeFour to lease the railroad form one year.  Durling was using the track from New Germantown to Whitehouse to haul his milk on hand cars by a horse when the roads were impassable due to the spring thaw.  Without waiting for the lease, Patterson put 21 track men to work on May 21st, and P. Latourette was rehired as superintendent.  The P.U.C. authorized operation of a small locomotive for a work train.  A week later No. 1943 arrived at White House, and the next day it was put to work taking timbers up the line.  On June 19th the P.U.C. approved the lease, but now demanded a $30,000 bond to cover interchange of cars as previous owner owed $15,000 and it didn’t wan to take similar risks with the new operators.  On July 21st the P.U.C. approved the railroad for service to Peapack.  Service was promised, but it did not start.  In anticipation of service resumption, Garabrant ordered a carload of lath.  When it arrived at White House, Patterson delivered the car to Mendham.  This proved to be the extent of the “reopening.”  Patterson did not send his engine up to get the empty car.  The car remained at Mendham several years, gradually deteriorating until it was sold for scrap by Garabrant.  The locomotive was reclaimed by its owner. Patterson even ran the locomotive to Watnong.  [Taber, Thomas T., III, The Rock-a-bye Baby]


On June 28th, a fire at the Richardson & Boynton stove manufacturing plant in Dover, destroyed three buildings.  Water supply from the 6" city water mains was inadequate for fire fighting and the 20-mile wind condition worked against firefighters.  Two wooden Lackawanna RR freight cars were destroyed, leaving only the trucks.  Seven hundred feet of fire hose was also lost. [Dover Historical Society]


Map and Illustrations of the Morris Canal Water Parkway: A Recreation Project 100 Miles Long was published by the Morris Canal Parkway Association.  The group attempted to preserve the Morris Canal from Phillipsburg to Newark for recreational purposes.  [McKelvey]


The Hygeia Ice Company, associated with the Salem Charcoal Furnace Co., was established in Dover, to produce ice by the brine and compressed ammonia process.  Ice blocks of 300 pounds were produced at the rate of 25 tons per day with steam powered compressors.  The waste gasses from the artificial ice process were used at the other end of the plant to make cold blast pig iron, used in automobile cylinders, chilled RR car wheels and chilled rolls.  The 15 N. Salem Street, East Dover plant became the Crystal Ice Co. in 1922.  [Platt, Charles D., Dover Dates, 1722-1922, A Bicentennial History of Dover, NJ]  [Meeker, Robert M., Dover, the Forging of a Community]


The NJ Power & Light Co. was the outgrowth of the old Dover Electric Light Co.  On August 5th Dover began to receive power from a new 30,000 KW power plant in Boonton, NJ.  [Meeker, Robert M., Dover, the Forging of a Community]



By this year the CNJ had 4,883 feet of sidings outside the main stem in Wharton.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


As early as 1900 the Lackawanna established a program of station ground improvements.  Until 1915 this work was handled by maintenance section forces.  Each year hundreds of trees and shrubs and from 25,000 to 30,000 annual plants were put into the ground.  In those days the DL&W maintained a large greenhouse at Dover where plants were held over the winter and where thousands of annuals were started.  Each spring a special florist train was made up at Dover and was loaded with the entire stock of the greenhouse for distribution over the system.  In 1915 a definite gardening organization was established and placed under the supervision of a general gardener skilled in nursery work, and soon the station grounds began to take on a new and better-kept appearance.  As the shrubs and other perennials established themselves, however, the yearly plantings of annuals gradually decreased, and in 1925 their use was practically discontinued.  [The Diamond, Vol. 13, No. 1.]


“The question of abandonment of the Morris Canal is once more vexing the New Jersey Legislature.”  “A summary of the recommendations of the State Commission was printed in the Bulletin for April, 1914.  Briefly, they were that the canal route through the hills be retained as a State parkway, that the city of Newark acquire the canal property within its limits, that the tide-level section between Newark and Jersey City basins be abandoned, and that the tide-water terminals be sold to the (Lehigh Valley) railroad company for $1,000,000 and that the proceeds be devoted to road building in South Jersey.”  “We cannot claim that the section of canal from Phillipsburg through the mountains and Lake Hopatcong down to Newark has much present value for barge service.  It was out of date when built, its water supply is wholly inadequate, and its equipment of inclined planes and barge cradles running on rails is entirely unsuited to modern traffic units.  The proper place for a modern barge canal across New Jersey is at tide level, the route of the New Jersey Ship Canal from Bordentown to Raritan Bay, and not climbing over mountains 1,000 feet high.”  “The story of the high-level Morris Canal is one of continual loss and disaster.  Its planes and hoists and boat-cradles were built after those on the Allegheny Portage Railroad had failed utterly: its dimensions were much too small, and it could never carry bulk freight across New Jersey in competition with the low-level Delaware and Raritan.  The Lehigh Valley (RR) lease was the best thing that ever happened to the canal stockholders, and perhaps the Lehigh stockholders are entitled to some consideration also for carrying this dead weight so many years.  [Bulletin of the Atlantic Deeper Waterways Association, Vol. VII, No. 2, January 1915]


The CNJs Hopatcong Jct. Station was listed as non-agency.  [Bernhart, B. L., CRR of NJ Stations, Structures & Marine Equipment]


In this year, Alfred T. Ringling, of Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus fame, arrived in Morris County and purchased the entire village of Petersburg (site of a pre-revolutionary forge) which he leveled.  On the property he built a palatial cobblestone-faced mansion, featuring two large ballrooms and a pipe organ.  Ringling auditioned circus acts in the mansion and kept animals and circus equipment in the outbuildings.  Ringling’s time here was brief - he died unexpectedly in 1919 at age 56.  His widow and son sold the property a few years later and a detailed inventory of his estate is in the Morris County Archives.  It lists the circus railroad cars and coaches, wagons, tents, cages, various animals, equipment, etc  [The County Circular, (Morris County Heritage Commission)]


On December 7th, Frank B. Allen reorganized the NJ & PA RR as the PA & NJ RR.  Since the time the P.U.C. had approved Patterson’s operation to Peapack, the track had again deteriorated and additional work was needed.  Extensive work was begun...  [Taber, Thomas T., III, The Rock-a-bye Baby]


Ca. 1915

The little Hopatcong RR was extended to serve an ice house, increasing its original length of 0.89 mile to about 1.6 miles.  Its total track length, including sidings, exceeded 2.5 miles at its peak.  During WW I the Forcite plant, then a part of Atlas Powder Co., on the line, reached a peak of prosperity.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]



In February, it was announced that the New Jersey Power & Light Co. had been formed late in the preceding year and that the headquarters for the new company would be in Dover.  They were dissolving the old Dover company and that they were acquiring the properties of the Eastern Penn Power & Light Co. in Morris County.  The new company planned to erect a new 20,000 KW plant in Dover.  [Meeker, Robert M., Dover, the Forging of a Community]


The Downs-Slater Iron Foundry moved from Wharton to Salem Street, Dover in this year.  They specialized in grey metal castings.  In 1929 they built an addition and began to make bronze and aluminum castings.  Shortly after WW II it was sold to Eisler Transformer Company.  [Meeker, Robert M., Dover, the Forging of a Community]


Dr. William Kershaw, principal of the Germantown Academy, with his son and daughter, passed through the Morris canal in their motorboat.  They had started in Philadelphia, came up the Delaware River and the Delaware Canal to Easton, PA; through the Morris Canal to Newark; the Passaic River; Newark Bay; Arthur Kill, Raritan River, Delaware & Raritan Canal; and back to Philadelphia on the Delaware River.  [Dempsey, Arline Fowler, Memories of the Morris Canal]


A $250,000 bond issue was authorized to rehabilitate the PA & NJ RR (the former Rockaway Valley RR) and grading machinery and a saddle tank locomotive were brought to Peapack.  Proposed improvements included: making cuts at the top of grades to reduce elevations; to relocate the Peapack terminus about 1,000 feet closer to the center of the town and rehabilitation all along the line.  In August Allen received permission from the P.U.C. to commence operations as far as Pottersville, but he lacked a suitable locomotive.  Additional work was interrupted and promises of resumption of service came and went.  [Taber, Thomas T., III, The Rock-a-bye Baby]


A threatened strike of railway train service employees, which had been ordered for the morning of September 4th, was called off on Saturday evening after both houses of Congress had hurriedly passed a bill establishing eight hours as the standard for a day’s work and a day’s wage for employees engaged in the operation of trains on interstate railways.  [Railway Age Gazette, September 8th, 1916]


The Wharton Steel Co., and its wholly owned subsidiary, the Wharton & Northern RR was purchased in November by J. Leonard Replogle.  After being nearly dormant for several years, the new owner spent large sums rehabilitating the Wharton enterprises, including the railroad.  He benefitted from the surge of activity during WW I, but in 1924 was compelled to close the furnace, the source of Wharton’s pride and prosperity.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


Due to faster train schedules, shipping of livestock shifted to shipping dressed meat products.  The DL&W was a RR which had heavy meat traffic which was carried in ice-cooled refrigerator cars.  Meat shipments required lower temperatures to avoid spoilage.  Adding salt to the ice lowered temperatures and maintained them longer, but the resulting brine drippings (up to 20% salt) resulted in damage to steel track components and caused signal system short circuits.  In October of this year the DL&W, in cooperation with the Texas Company, began the operation of a special train to spray oil (Texaco #45) on joint bars & bolts, spikes and tie plates to retard the salt corrosion and conductivity.  Their rail corrosion preventive program was a complete success.  The program ended in 1932 with depression era cutbacks.  This coincided with the death of DL&W Principal Assistant Engineer, Andrew J. Neafie on February 11th 1933 at his home in Mountain Lakes.  [The Diamond, Vol. 28, No. 1, 2014]


The Hibernia iron mines, upon one vein, and extending at least two miles in length were worked from pre-Revolutionary times to this year when they were closed.  Entities which had ownership or leases in Hibernia included: New Jersey Iron Mining Co., Andover Iron Co., Glendon Iron Co., Bethlehem Iron Co., and others.  After its closure, the mine became the largest bat hibernaculum in New Jersey, with as many as 30,000 bats each winter.  [Wikipedia]

The NJ Gas & Electric Co. was organized.  It succeeded the Dover, Rockaway & Port Oram Gas Co. which was founded ca. 1901.  [Platt, Charles D., Dover Dates, 1722-1922, A Bicentennial History of Dover, NJ]



On January 4th, a new power generating plant was opened in the Bowlbyville (NW of downtown) section of Dover with a 3,500 kW G.E. Curtis-type 60-cycle turbine generator.  It was built by NJ Power and Light on a 10-acre tract along the Rockaway River, (which remains occupied by Jersey Central Power & Light as a substation) and was served by the Mt. Hope Mineral RR (today’s Dover & Rockaway branch.  The new plant served Basking Ridge, Bedminster, Bernardsville, Boonton, Chester, Denville, Dover, Far Hills, Gladstone, Liberty Corner, Mendham, Mount Arlington, Mount Tabor, Peapack, Rockaway, and Wharton.  At the same time the company was planning a 11,000-volt transmission line from Mt. Arlington to Stanhope and Netcong.  With the opening of the new plant the Boonton generating plant was closed, and a second generator was ordered to be delivered November 1st of the same year, to double the generating capacity of the Bowlbyville plant.  [Meeker, Robert M., Dover, the Forging of a Community]


In the Dover area alone the Morris County Traction Co. employed 70 men as dispatchers, motormen, conductors and inspectors, in addition to 18 in its mechanical department and 12 more in track-work.  [Lowenthal, Larry & Greenberg, William T., Jr., Morris County Traction Company]




Some rebuilding of the PA & NJ RR continued with a new siding to a New Germantown stone crusher and additional track was laid in the small cuts leading to the Peapack trestle.  Two locomotives were purchased – one was sent to a repair shop at Dover for overhaul, but wartime inflation prevented the work being done.  The other locomotive arrived in scrap condition and was never attempted to be operated.   For years it sat on a siding along with the steam shovel that probably had been used at Peapack.  Once again the elusive resumption of service was again announced.  In May, President Frank Allen began to tear up redundant sidings from Mendham to Watnong as scrap iron prices were good.  His Model T was fitted with flanged wheels and used as the locomotive.  It towed two hand cars on which the rail was piled.  About 100 tons of rail were taken up and proved to be very profitable during the wartime.  At the end of the day the flanged wheels were taken off, the pneumatic automobile tires replaced and Allen drove home on the macadam.  Late in the summer, Allen decided, after looking realistically at the earning power of the railroad, that he and his associates would do best if they abandoned the whole thing.  For four years the communities along the line had gotten along without it, and trucks were starting to be used in and around Morristown.  Without announcement, the entire line was quietly torn up, leaving nothing but the right-of-way, bridge abutments, a station or two, Van Derbeek’s coal dock and a crossing sign here and there.  [Taber, Thomas T., III, The Rock-a-bye Baby]


The NJ Central RR excursions to Lake Hopatcong were advertised at $1.50 round trip from Jersey City.  [Lake Hopatcong Historical Society / Museum]


The powder works along the canal and the Pompton Feeder were busy turning out powder caps for the war effort.  In August, soldiers from Paterson’s Fifth Regiment guarded the4 towpath and lock at Lake Hopatcong.  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]


"Catch-as-Catch-Can Cruising," by Mabel R. Hutchins, a series of articles which appeared in Outing Magazine described a canoe trip west through the Morris Canal and south on the Delaware Canal.  [McKelvey]


The Dickerson Mine prospered through the nineteenth century but was finally abandoned in this year.  [Morris County Heritage Commission]


The iron ore in the Scrub Oaks mine was lean and for that reason, not that successful.  However, by this year remarkable advancements were made in technology and more efficient mining methods were developed allowing a more significant level of production.  From 1939, an average of 200,000 tons of ore were mined each year up until 1950 when production to that date reached 3.7 million tons.  []


James Lee was born.  He became the most celebrated historian, lecturer and author of the Morris Canal.  [McKelvey]


The US Government took over all railroads (and canals) on December 28th.  [Jersey Central Lines, V. 3, No. 5, May 1982]


The sawmill at Waterloo Village burned down this year and was not replaced.  [Giles, John R., The Story of Waterloo Village]


On September 7th the last MCTC trolley departed Bertrand Island at the end of the season.  The next year, with the US straining every muscle to win the Great War, priority was given to shipments from the Atlas Powder works on the DL&W’s Hopatcong RR subsidiary, and trolley service was truncated, never to return to Bertrand Island.  [Lowenthal, Larry & Greenberg, William T., Jr., Morris County Traction Company]


During WW I, Hercules Powder, Kenvil Works made remarkable wartime achievements.  More than 3,000,000 pounds of Cordite were produced during some months of the war.  Two T.N.T. lines were constructed at Kenvil, which toward the end of the war emerged with some splendid record volume runs.  They were equipped to make more than 100,000 pounds of Pyro Smokeless powder daily for the US Government when the Armistice was signed.  At the time the plant area totaled 1215 acres and had about 80 tenant houses for employees.  [Platt, Charles D., Dover Dates, 1722-1922, A Bicentennial History of Dover, NJ]



On January 17th, a motorman was knocked off a Morris County Traction Co. trolley car while it was under way in Dover at night, running out of control down a grade and it derailed at a curve and rolled down an embankment.  The accident was precipitated by the motorman leaning out of the vestibule window after the car crossed Wiggins’s bridge over the Morris Canal to determine the cause of a noise and he hit a line pole, knocking him from the car.  Since it was dark, a curtain behind the motorman was closed to cut off the light of the car from deteriorating the operator’s vision.  Thus the conductor, a green motorman and seven passengers in the car did not realize that the motorman was not on the car.  When they realized the car was out of control the conductor rushed to the door of the motorman’s compartment, but found it locked.  It was thought that injuries would have been worse if the car had not been on of the new steel trolleys recently put into operation.  One of the physicians who responded to the injured was Lackawanna RR physician, Dr. A.L.L. Baker.  [Dover Historical Society]


The working population of Picatinny Arsenal expanded from 200 in 1913 to 1,800 in WW I.  [Internet search]


The silent movie, Laughing Bill Hyde, was partially shot in Boonton with humorist Will Rogers gracing the streets there during the day and commuting to NY City to perform in the nightly Ziegfeld Follies.  [The Heritage Review, Vol. 38, No. 3 (Morris County Heritage Commission)]


Mount Hope Mineral RR on June 30th, had a single track railroad from Wharton to Mount Hope, 3.639 miles, plus 1.873 miles of yard tracks and sidings.  The principal businesses are the Empire Steel & Iron Co. and the Thomas Iron Co., which jointly own and control the railroad.  Interchanges are with the Central RR Co. of NJ and the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western RR at Wharton.  Grading is light, averaging about 21,000 cubic yards per mile, of which about 15% is loose rock.  There are no bridges of unusual importance and the main track is chiefly new 70 pound rail on oak and chestnut crossties.  The main track is ballasted with cinders and crushed stone.  It owns two steam locomotives and two passenger cars, no freight cars.  It's principal office is in Catasaqua, PA.  Empire Steel owned 1,093 shares and Thomas Iron 507 shares, the entire outstanding capital stock.  [ICC Valuation Report.]


The last trickle of commercial traffic on the Morris Canal dried up in this year.  Sunday strollers, canoeists, wandering photographers and sketch-artists became the only life along its towpath.  Because railroads could not furnish cars and motive power sufficient to transport coal for domestic consumption during the First World War, many rural inhabitants got barely enough to run their kitchen stove.  Some urged that the Morris Canal be summoned back from the grave to ease the wartime coal famine, but the Federal RR Administration doused all hope of awakening the old waterway, reporting in July that the Committee on Inland Waterways did not consider the Morris Canal a viable option to relieve rail congestion.  [Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]


The North Jersey District Water Supply Commission wanted to build the Wanaque Reservoir to supply much-needed water to a growing Newark, as well as to other cities.  This reservoir would be fed by waters from the Wanaque and Pompton Rivers, which had been major feeders to the canal.  The Morris Canal and Banking Co., along with its lessor, the LV RR, filed suit in this year to stop construction of the new reservoir, ostensibly to protect the canal’s water sources.  It is probably safe to say that they really did not care about losing the water from the two rivers.  Instead, they used the suit, which they won, as leverage.  The state legislature, realizing that the canal lease agreement was stifling further development and would continue to do so in the future, approved an act in 1922 that would transfer the canal to the State of NJ.  The LV RR retained the two terminals that it had originally desired, while the rest was signed over to the state.  [Giles, John R., The Story of Waterloo Village]


A former garment factory along the Morris Canal in East Dover which had been used as a military barracks during World War I, became the H.S. Peters Overall Factory in September.  They produced garments for all seasons with a working force of about 60, most of whom spent full time producing Girl Scout uniforms.  The firm later moved to Wisconsin and produced the “Oshkosh” brand of work clothes.  [Dover Historical Society]  [Meeker, Robert M., Dover, the Forging of a Community]


Wharton & Northern RR built 0.55 mile of various branches in 1917 and 1918.  [ICC Valuation Report.]


Wharton & Northern RR installed standard grade crossing signs in 1918 at 9 grade crossings. [NJ PUC annual report 1918, pg. 120]


As of this year, Wharton Steel Co., Inc. owned 5,100 acres of iron ore land near Wharton, Hibernia, Oreland, Mine Hill, and Morris County, lands estimated to contain over 100,000,000 tons of crude iron ore @ 45% Fe.  The 29 mines had produced 9,000,000 tons of iron ore up to 1909.  (There were no operations between 1909 and 1918.)  Equipment included a blast furnace of 350,000 tons per year capacity, at the time being modernized by addition of a sintering plant, ore bridge, electric filling devices, concentrating mill, etc.  They also owned 291 dwellings at the Replogle, Hibernia and Wharton Mines.  [Moody’s Manual of Railroads and Corporate Securities, 1920]


On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month (November), an armistice ended the Great War (WW I) between the Allies and the Central Powers.  The allies emerged victorious.  [Lee, Warren & Catherine, A Chronology of the Belvidere Delaware Railroad]


Toward the end of this year the NJ Power & Light Company installed a second 3,500 kW G.E. Curtis-type 60-cycle turbo-generator, and a fourth Babcock and Wilcox 500 hp water tube boiler, bringing the capacity of the Bowlbyville plant to 7,000 kW.  [Meeker, Robert M., Dover, the Forging of a Community]



When it entered WW I, the US found all its pyrotechnic rockets, flares, and cartridges to be obsolete and had to use French items.  The War Department appointed a Pyrotechnics Board which led to the establishment of a Pyrotechnic Unit at Picatinny.  They began work on Air Service signals.  Initially the unit had two buildings and a staff of three.  By 1926 15 people had charge of 20 buildings and had green chain with parachute, white star, cluster, and yellow smoke with parachute signals approved for service.  They also developed a 325,000 candle power night landing flare for the Air Service which burned for three minutes.  It had saved 15 Air Service and air mail pilots and planes by 1926.  [Picatinny Arsenal website]


Wharton & Northern RR on June 13th was a single track railroad from Wharton to Green Pond Jct., 15.677 miles, with a branch from Oreland Jct. to Oreland and another from Wharton Jct. to Lake Jct., totaling 4.899 miles of branches.  It also owns 5.606 miles of yard tracks and sidings.  It has trackage rights over about 1 mile of the Central RR Co. of NJ between Hopatcong Jct. and Lake Jct.  It is controlled through stock ownership by its largest customer, the Wharton Steel Co.  It had interchanges with the CNJ at Lake Jct. and Wharton, with the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western RR at Wharton, and with the New York, Susquehanna & Western RR at Green Pond Jct.  The W&N owns 5 steam locomotives and 23 freight cars.  [ICC Valuation Report, Docket 1030.]


US RR Administration, a wartime agency, returned control of the nation’s railroads to the owners on February 29th.  For the prior 26 months, the US RR Administration had operated 230 principal rail lines as one system as a war-time expediency.  [Lee, Warren & Catherine, A Chronology of the Belvidere Delaware Railroad]  [Jersey Central Lines, V. 3, No. 5, May, 1982]


Post WW I patriotic themes were conceived for the film, The Face at Your Window.  Fox films constructed a small village set in Boonton, reportedly “between the stone bridge and the falls.”  Boonton in the movie, represented a manufacturing town with labor issues.  Spies, murder, and the demolition of the “village” were all featured before the crew left town.  [The Heritage Review, Vol. 38, No. 3 (Morris County Heritage Commission)]


A Supreme Court decision of April 26th ordered the complete segregation of the Reading RR and the Central RR of NJ, and their two coal subsidiaries.  [McKelvey]


The NJ Central RR excursions to Lake Hopatcong were advertised at $1.62 round trip from Jersey City.  [Lake Hopatcong Historical Society / Museum]


Ferromonte RR filed a Notice of Consent to be leased to the Wharton & Northern RR with the NJ Sec. of State on July 9th.  [NJ Sec. of State record #163]


Several movies were filmed in Boonton over the years.  A four-story facade of a large building, named “Maxwell Steel Plant”, with a railroad siding entering a large arched opening in the middle was built at the entrance to Grace Lord Park.  It was torched as part of the movie scenario in this year.  [Rabin, Arthur, Voices of America: Boonton]


This was the peak year for operations of the Morris County Traction Company.  They ran 42 trolleys over more than 50 miles of track, carrying 7.7 million passengers over 1.42 million passenger miles.  [Linda Ross, No. Jersey History & Geneology Center]


The Chester Stage Coach ceased running between Chester village and the Muskrat Depot on the Chester branch of the Lackawanna RR.  [Case, Joan S., Then & Now Chester]


In this year there were fewer than 25 thousand trucks registered in NJ; by the end of the decade, registrations had increased to over 130 thousand.  [McKelvey]



The Beach Glen iron ore property, near Rockaway, NJ, was taken over by the North Jersey Steel Co. on July 1st, 1920.  Ore shipments from the reopened mine commenced on January 1 of this year.  Diamond drilling disclosed four ore shoots.  The property was estimated to contain 10,500,000 tons of crude ore as follows: 1,500,000 tons copper free, low phosphorous ore; 3,000,000 tons Bessemer ore; and 6,000,000 tons non-Bessemer ore.  [Platt, Charles D., Dover Dates, 1722-1922, A Bicentennial History of Dover, NJ] 


In May the Morris County Traction Co. requested an injunction from the Court of Chancery in Newark to bar two jitney operators from competing over the entire trolley line between Morristown and Wharton.  The traction company claimed that although jitneys were permitted only in Morristown and there only interpolated between trolley cars, they usually ran continuously just ahead of the electric cars.  [Lowenthal, Larry & Greenberg, William T., Jr., Morris County Traction Company]


Novelist Rex Beach’s epic, The Iron Trail, was filmed at Beach Glen and Hibernia (mines) at a time when the iron industry there was dormant.  The film company actually employed scores of local out-of-work laborers to lay new track for footage, which benefited the Beach Glen Mine when it reopened a year later.  [The Heritage Review, Vol. 38, No. 3 (Morris County Heritage Commission)]


Ferromonte RR got NJPUC approval on June 10th to sell "certain lands to the Wharton Steel Co."   [NJ PUC annual report 1921]


Within a period of about three months, from July to October, the Lake Hopatcong ice houses at Woodport, Hurdtown and Nolan’s Point, all of which belonged to Consumer’s Ice Co., controlled by the Brady Bros. of New York, were destroyed by fire.  These fires, almost certainly the work of an incendiary, all began about 9pm.  The Hurdtown fire destroyed 9 refrigerator (ice) cars belonging to the CNJ.  Nine others were saved by engineer Lodi Smith who hastened to the scene.  The 350 carloads of ice, which were in the building, melted into a huge iceberg and was a total loss.  The Nolan’s Point fire also destroyed a freight house, trackage, and a tenement house belonging to the CNJ.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


One of Picatinny Arsenal’s earliest research tasks was fuse research, which it took over from Frankford Arsenal in this year.  [Picatinny Arsenal website]


Ca. 1922

The Jersey Central Power & Light Co. built a generating station two miles east of Whippany.  It consumed 50 to 60,000 tons of coal annually - all delivered by the Morristown & Erie RR.  The generating plant was gradually phased out and power generation ceased in 1953.  The site remains an important switching station, but gets no rail deliveries.  [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #1]



By this year Picatinny Arsenal contained 485 buildings.  [Picatinny Arsenal HAER Report]


All the gas supplied to the Dover area prior to January 1st, was produced by the “Lowe Process of Water Gas Manufacture.”  In the old system the gas was produced by decomposing steam over a bed of hot anthracite coal or coke.  Since this gas has a low BTU value, it must be enriched with fuel oil.  The new coal gas is produced by distilling bituminous coal in a retort which produced by-products of coke and tar.  [Platt, Charles D., Dover Dates, 1722-1922, A Bicentennial History of Dover, NJ]


On January 16th, 1922 the Warren Foundry & Pipe Co. acquired control of the Replogle Steel Co., which controlled the Wharton & Northern RR.  Wharton & Northern RR filed with the NJ Sec. of State on Aug. 8th, 1922 a conditional sales agreement (for equipment).  Mt. Hope Mineral RR beginning Jan. 1st, 1924 was operated by the Wharton & Northern RR.  The W&N RR was owned by the Warren Foundry & Pipe Co. at that time.  In Mar. 1927 the Empire Iron & Steel Co. and the Replogle Steel Co. were merged into the Warren Foundry & Pipe Co.  [Book 1 Conditional Sales, p. 117]


On March 12th, the NJ Legislature approved an act creating a commission empowered to make terms of settlement with the Morris Canal company with a view toward securing the transfer of the canal to the State.  On November 29th the Morris Canal passed from the Lehigh Valley Railroad into the hands of the state of NJ, with the exception of the property within the town limits of Phillipsburg and Jersey City (save the Little Basin).  [Lee, James, The Morris Canal A Photographic History]


Katz’s Marina at the Cove on Lake Hopatcong continues a tradition begun in this year by Bill Hockenjos.  Katz’s sells new & used pontoon boats; is a Chris Craft dealer; restores antique wooden boats; rents dock space; performs boat repairs; and recovers sunken boats.  [Katz’s website]


On April 1st, anthracite miners walked out, joining bituminous workers in the first nationwide coal strike in history.  The American Federation of Labor President Samuel Gompers threw the full support of organized labor behind the 600,000 mine workers.  The 163-day anthracite strike ended on September 2nd.  [Miller and Sharpless, The Kingdom of Coal]


The main generating plant of the NJ Power and Light Co. (NJP&L) was located in Dover.  It had a capacity of 7,000 kW and was located on the Rockaway River on the northern outskirts of Dover.   Dover was the distributing center of the new (at the time) industrial force.  The puffing and panting of the steam engine powering it resounded through the narrow Dover valley.  NJP&L, together with the Metropolitan and Pennsylvania Edison Companies were subsidiaries of the General Gas and Electric Co.  A high tension transmission line was under construction to connect the Dover plant with the Easton plant of Pennsylvania Edison Co.  (The Newark News, May 17th)  [Platt, Charles D., Dover Dates, 1722-1922, A Bicentennial History of Dover, NJ]


The Morristown Fire Dept. had acquired sufficient motorized fire apparatus so that all horse-drawn units could be retired.  [McKelvey]


The Wharton and Northern Railroad time table No. 39, dated July 18th, indicated the following stations inside Picatinny: Picatinny Arsenal, Factory, Navy Depot, and Lake Denmark.  In addition, trains would stop at other unofficial stations.  [Frank Reilly] 


Martz Trailways began motor coach operations in the eastern PA coal fields in 1908.  In 1922 they began operating to NYC.  They began using I-80 shortly after it opened.  Today they operate 50 bus trips on I-80 to NYC from Wilkes Barre (their headquarters), Scranton, and the Poconos.  They are a family firm, now in the fourth generation, with 400 employees and 250 coaches.  [Martz website]



On January 1st, the NJ Power & Light Company bought the Hackettstown Electric Light Company.  Their power plant generated electricity with a huge Corliss steam engine.  [Meeker, Robert M., Dover, the Forging of a Community]

On March 1st, the state took formal possession of the canal and, over six years (from early1924 through mid-1929), systematically demolished it.  Cornelius Clarkson Vermeule, Sr. a consulting engineer, was placed in charge of the abandonment.  [Goller, Robert R., The Morris Canal Across NJ by Water and Rail]


The Ulster Iron Works, successor to Quaker Iron Works and Dover Iron Works broke ground for a modern plant at a cost of $100.000 on March 15th.  It consisted of a building for drilling hollow staybolts for steam locomotives.  Their rolling mills produced locomotive staybolts and engine bolt iron.  They ceased operations in 1950, about the time steam locomotives were being mass replaced by diesel locomotives.  [Meeker, Robert M., Dover, the Forging of a Community]


A new bus line between Morristown and Whippany reduced the passenger revenues of the Morristown & Erie by half.  [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #1]


The NJ Central RR excursions to Lake Hopatcong were advertised at $1.75 round trip from Jersey City.  [Lake Hopatcong Historical Society / Museum]


The Bertrand Island Transportation Company’s fleet of steam and gasoline tour boats was destroyed by a March fire at Bertrand Island.  It was the last large fleet on Lake Hopatcong.  [Kane, Martin and Laura, Greetings From Bertrand Island Amusement Park]


The American Society published the first edition of its New York Walk Book.  Included was a short piece on Walking the Morris Canal.  The author writes: “For easy walking in unusual surroundings it would be difficult to find an equal to this towpath way anywhere within reach of the city.  Its merits have never been sufficiently advertised even among walkers.”   [On the Level, No. 124, September, 2016]


In May a complaint by Morris County Traction Co. Lawyers led to the discontinuance of a competing bus service between Dover and Wharton.  [Lowenthal, Larry & Greenberg, William T., Jr., Morris County Traction Company]


Morris County Traction Co's subsidiary, Dover Bus Co. began operating on July 1st between Wharton, Dover, and Rockaway.  [Dover Index and the Jerseyman.]


The Peoples Savings & Trust Co. of Pittsburgh, trustee for the Morris County Traction Co. bondholders, applied for receivership, which was granted by a federal judge in Newark on July 24th.  [Lowenthal, Larry & Greenberg, William T., Jr., Morris County Traction Company]


On August 1st, the NJ Power & Light Company announced that it would be linked with the Pennsylvania Edison Company of Easton, PA, and the Metropolitan Edison Company of Reading, PA in a giant network, as subsidiaries of the General Gas & Electric Company.  High-power transmission and distribution lines were being built by the NJ Power & Light Company to connect the Dover plant with others along the system.  At the same time the company announced the purchase of property at Holland, NJ, along the Delaware River, for a new power plant (Gilbert -which opened in 1926) that would eventually reach a generating capacity of 300,000 kW.  Note: URHS has stored several passenger cars in their collection on the property of Gilbert / Holland since the mid 1980s.  [Meeker, Robert M., Dover, the Forging of a Community]


Passenger service on the Ogden Mine line was dropped effective with the CNJs September 30th timetable.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


Seven Morris County Traction Co. cars were destroyed when a wooden carbarn in Dover was destroyed by fire on December 9th.  Seven months later MCTC placed an order for ten new lightweight cars.  [Lowenthal, Larry & Greenberg, William T., Jr., Morris County Traction Company]


The Thomas Iron Company sold their Richard Mine property at Mount Hope to the Philadelphia and Reading Coal and Iron Company.  [Bartholomew, C.L., and Metz, L.E., The Anthracite Iron Industry of the Lehigh Valley]


In this year Mine Hill separated from Randolph Township to become the independent municipality it is today.  [Morris County Heritage Commission]



Mt. Hope Mineral RR beginning Jan. 1st was operated by the Wharton & Northern RR.  The W&N was owned by the Warren Foundry & Pipe Co. at that time.  (On Jan. 16th, 1922 the Warren Foundry & Pipe Co. had acquired control of the Replogle Steel Co., which controlled the Wharton & Northern RR.  In Mar. 1927 the Empire Iron & Steel Co. and the Replogle Steel Co. were merged into the Warren Foundry & Pipe Co.)  [Reilly]


Hemmings Express was established in this year with office and warehouse at 224 E. Mill Road, Long Valley by principal Gilbert Hemmings.  At peak they had 10 straight trucks and tractor trailers and served northern NJ and had line haul rights between NYC and Allentown, PA.  They sold their ICC rights ca. 1942 but continued local trucking in NJ.  Their office and warehouse remains.  [John Hemmings]


A bill provided that the Morris Canal and Banking Company continue as a corporation holding the property as trustee for the State of NJ, that members of the NJ Board of Conservation and Development be made Directors of the Corporation, that operation of the canal be ended, that Lake Hopatcong, Lake Musconetcong, Cranberry Lake, Bear Pond, Saxton Falls, and Greenwood Lake be retained for public use, and that the remaining property be sold.  This has been done well and faithfully over the years.  [Lee, James, The Morris Canal A Photographic History]


Colonel Cornelius C. Vermeule claimed that he believed that he had the privilege to make the final operation of a Morris Canal inclined plane – raising or lowering a boat.  It is Robert Goller’s “educated guess” that this was the Boonton plane.  Early in the abandonment effort, there was discussion about whether the Boonton plane could be spared as an educational-historical example of 19th-century engineering and combined somehow with a hydraulic laboratory.  That didn’t bear fruit, but it was the plane for which detailed drawings were made, and, by 1924, after the canal was mostly drained, was probably the only plane that still could have been operated before being dismantled, since water could be let in from the Rockaway River above and discharged into the Rockaway River below.  Some think that a short film was made of the operation, but that film has never been found.  [Vermuele, Cornelius C., The Morris Canal in The Newcomen Society (UK) Transactions, Vol. XV, 1934-5]  [Robert Goller]


The NJ Power & Light Company acquired: 1. Companies of the Pennsylvania Power Company, which served the western part of NJ, at Alpha, Columbia, Morris Park, Phillipsburg, and Vulcanite.  2. Branchville Electric Power, Water and Light Company serving Augusta, Branchville, and Culvers Lake.  3. The Vulcan Power Company, serving Budd Lake, the west shore of Lake Hopatcong, Netcong, and Stanhope.  [Meeker, Robert M., Dover, the Forging of a Community]


During the winter of 1924-5 a Philadelphia Toboggan Company roller coaster was built in Bertrand Island Park, using some 280,000 board feet of lumber.  A 75 horse-power electric motor pulled the cars to the top of an 80 foot incline and they then “coasted” back down and over nine dips and a loop back, giving a ride of three-quarters of a mile long.  It gave the park credibility as an amusement park and immediately became it’s most popular  ride.  At the same time parking was expanded for 2,500 autos.  [Kane, Martin and Laura, Greetings From Bertrand Island Amusement Park]



In the hope of finding more economical operation than the conventional steam powered trains, the CNJ arranged a demonstration of gas–electric doodlebug No. 108, photographed at Nolan’s Point.  The unit had been built by the Electro-Motive Corp. of Cleveland, OH in April 1925.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


A long-term lease to operate the sightseeing boats on Lake Hopatcong was given to Bill Hockenjos, who ordered a new 40', open top, tour boat to be built by Barnes Brothers on the lake.   [Kane, Martin and Laura, Greetings From Bertrand Island Amusement Park]


In this year Bertrand Island park took on more of the character of an amusement park, with a roller coaster, swing and whip rides (for a total of some 20 rides), a boardwalk full of games, and a new ballroom.  The following year the first beauty pageant was held.  [Lowenthal, Larry & Greenberg, William T., Jr., Morris County Traction Company]. 


Charles Thompson, owner of Northwood Boat Works on Lake Hopatcong, first fitted a fire pump in a small boat for use of Hopatcong Borough’s volunteer fire department.  In 1948, Thompson purchased a surplus 36-foot Navy boat which had served as a communications boat during the D-Day invasion of Normandy.  He equipped it with a fire pump, and the Perley Boomer became a part of Fire Company No. 2 in 1949.  It sank in 1959, and was eventually replaced by a new fireboat appropriately named the Charles Thompson.  [Kane, Martin, Hopatcong, A Century of Memories]


The Morris County Traction Co. purchased the bus lines formerly operated by the Arendasky Brothers of Netcong.  These buses ran from a connection with the trolley line at Landing to Netcong and Stanhope.  [Lowenthal, Larry & Greenberg, William T., Jr., Morris County Traction Company]


The NJ Power & Light Company purchased the Boonton Gas Light & Improvement Company.  [Meeker, Robert M., Dover, the Forging of a Community]

The Wharton Steel Co. (the old Port Oram Furnace) furnaces closed.  [Kelly, Charlotte & Alan Rowe, Wharton]


After a long period of wrangling with Public Service Railway, Morris County Traction Co. finally extended its service from Morris County into the lower level of Public Service Terminal in Newark via Springfield Avenue on December 6th.  The new service only lasted three years and two months.  [The Marker, Vol. 1, No. 1, January 1942 and Vol. 27, February, 1956.


New Jersey had a State Highway System of 843 miles a County Road System of 3,030 miles; and more than 16,600 miles of roads and city streets under the jurisdiction of other municipalities; for a total mileage of approximately 20,500 miles.  [State of New Jersey Highway Department]



On January 1st, the NJ Power & Light Company connected a new 110,000-volt transmission line between the new Holland Generating Station and Dover’s new West Wharton Sub Station, which was rushed to completion in only one month.  The new line was 142 miles long, and ran through the Glen Gardner Sub Station which was also enlarged.  The total cost of the new lines and the upgraded subatations was close to $1,000,000.  At Holland / Gilbert, the line connected with generating stations at Easton and Reading, PA.  Another 110,000-volt line was built to the NY State Line, to connect with the Central Hudson Gas & Electric Company.  [Meeker, Robert M., Dover, the Forging of a Community]


In January, a Winter Carnival featuring competitions in speed skating, iceboating and hockey was reported to have drawn 15,000 people to Lake Hopatcong.  It became the long-time home of the Skate Sailing Association of America.  [Lake Hopatcong Historical Society / Museum]


The hard coal strike that took place from February to August adversely affected shipments of anthracite coal over the various railroads during this period.  [Lee, Warren & Catherine, A Chronology of the Belvidere Delaware Railroad]


At 5:15 on July 10th a bolt of lightning struck the US Navy Powder Depot detonating storehouse number 8, where 670,000 pounds of high explosives were stored.  At the time, 44 magazines contained high explosives, smokeless powder, aircraft bombs, projectiles – up to 16", mines, and black powder.  The biggest explosion eminated from storehouse number 9, where 1,600,000 pounds of TNT were stored.  Near total destruction was created by subsequent explosions, shock waves, and fires.  Shells landed as far as a mile away in Hibernia, Mount Hope, and Rockaway.  By the time the smoke cleared, 19 persons (16 military) were dead, an additional 38 military personnel were injured, blast craters and building debris piles were everywhere and the damage was estimated at $1,265,000 at the time.  [Rae, John W., Picatinny Arsenal]


The Central RR of NJ advertised and ran special trains to view the Picatinny Arsenal explosion area on July 26th.  [McKelvey]


The NJ Power & Light Company purchased the Belvidere Electric Light Company plant.  [Meeker, Robert M., Dover, the Forging of a Community]


Vermuele had the turbine from Plane No. 3 East, the lower of the two at Ledgewood, housed at Hopatcong (near the lake dam) in a concrete shelter with an informative tablet.  [Vermuele, Cornelius C., The Morris Canal in The Newcomen Society (UK) Transactions, Vol. XV, 1934-5]


The Jefferson House Restaurant and marinas been an important dining and entertainment attraction on Lake Hopatcong since its construction in 1926.  They are located at Nolan’s Point, on the east shore where the CNJ trains once discharged their excursion passengers by the thousands.  They offer one hour narrated pontoon boat tours of the lake during summer.  [Jefferson House website]


The Central RR of NJ earned an all-time high of over $60 million, with over 42 million tons of freight carried.  [McKelvey]



By early this year the Morris County Traction Co. had decided that there was no longer any hope of success as a trolley operator.  In February the MCTC applied to remove its tracks and operate buses over all of its routes.  Permission was received from all municipalities by December.  [Lowenthal, Larry & Greenberg, William T., Jr., Morris County Traction Company]


Air horns became standard equipment on Lackawanna Railroad steam locomotives to supplement whistles.  [McKelvey]


Warren Foundry & Pipe Corp. was immediately organized to take over what was left of Replogle Steel Co. in this year, but it never re-opened the Wharton furnace and it let Alan Wood Steel Co. buy the Scrub Oak Mine.  It continued to operated the Mt. Hope Mine plus a pipe business in Phillipsburg and in Everett, Mass.  In 1953 it started a quarry next to the Mt. Hope Mine.  [Reilly]


In December the Brady ice house at Duck Pond, near Hurdtown burned down.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


Manufactured ice finally eliminated natural ice cut from lakes.  [Flags Diamonds and Statues, Vol. 9, No. 4, Issue No. 36, 1991]



Morris County Traction replaced trolley cars with buses on Jan. 15th on routes #2 Morristown - Netcong via Dover and Hopatcong; #6 Denville to Boonton; and #10 Wharton - Rockaway (via the state highway).  This was all the trolley service west of Morristown.  [Lowenthal, Larry & Greenberg, William T., Jr., Morris County Traction Company] (p. 31 - photo of MCTC poster announcing the change.)  [Railroads of All Types Operated in Boonton, NJ, by Frank T. Reilly and Bill McKelvey]


Prior to abandonment of trolley service, Morris County Traction Co. built a small masonry bus garage at 68 River Road, Summit, adjacent to its trolley right-of-way which turned west from River Road to cross the Passaic River (where concrete abutments and piers survive) and continue into Chatham on Tallmadge Avenue.  The garage was later occupied by Summit Lincoln Mercury dealership, and currently houses Equinox, a fitness club / gym.  [McKelvey] 


The Morris County Traction Co. abandoned its last trolley line - from Morristown to Public Service Terminal, Newark and its substitute bus lines were taken over by Public Service on February 4th.  Five of their newest trolley cars were purchased and operated many years by the Montreal & Southern Counties Ry.  Their hulks remained in a nearby salvage yard for many more years.  [McKelvey]


By February 25th the sale of MCTC was completed and operating rights and assets (buses) were transferred to Public Service Coordinated Transport and the big company began operating over former MCTC routes.  [Lowenthal, Larry & Greenberg, William T., Jr., Morris County Traction Company]


Passenger service discontinued on Apr. 28th, over CNJ's Hibernia Mine (RR) Branch (Rockaway Borough to Hibernia) and the number of passenger trains operating between Wharton and Rockaway (Dover & Rockaway RR) was reduced to two.  Scheduled passenger service to Lake Hopatcong was abandoned.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


The Morristown & Erie RR discontinued all passenger service on April 28th.  [McKelvey]  [Taber, Thomas T. III, The Morristown and Erie Railroad]


The CNJ discontinued passenger service between Hopatcong Jct. & Lake Hopatcong; between High Bridge, Rockaway and Hibernia; and on the Long Valley - Chester Branch.  [McKelvey]


On July 31st, production machinery and 100,000 pounds of smokeless powder for 14" guns were destroyed in an explosion at Picatinny Arsenal.  [Picatinny Arsenal HAER Report]


Public Service route 70 bus began to serve Bertrand Island Amusement Park, meeting the train at the Landing station and taking passengers to the park.  []


Musconetcong Furnace at Stanhope was dismantled.  Recorded on movie film in the archives of the Lake Hopatcong Historical Society.



The Smith family, owners of 2,300 acres in the area of the present Waterloo Village, formed the Lake Waterloo Estates Land and Development Company with plans to develop their property into an exclusive lakeside community.  Despite the Stock Market Crash of October, the project inched forward.  [Kevin Wright]


On April 1st a windstorm (actually a tornado) destroyed many buildings in Netcong.  The damage was recorded on movie film in the archives of the Lake Hopatcong Historical Society. . 


The Final Report of Consulting and Directing Engineer by Cornelius C. Vermeule, Jr., on June 29th mentioned the then “present uses” of the canal bed...  Wharton had bought the canal properties within its corporate limits.  At Dover, however, the entire canal was filled in, and what had been Dover Basin, the largest canal basin on the system, became a park and playground.  [Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]


Turner H. Wills of Hopatcong and Stanhope completed a trip from coast to coast via airplane and train on the new Trans-Continental Air Transport Lines in July.  Also on the inaugural trip were Col. and Mrs. Charles Lindberg.  The Col. piloted the plane on the first leg of the trip.  The last leg of the trip was by train from Columbus. OH to NYC.  The entire trip took less than 45 hours.  Turner was the son of John Wills - John Wills, Inc. of Stanhope sold lumber, coal, brick, sand, cement, plaster, stucco, wallboard, etc.  They made deliveries to Lake Hopatcong by boat or truck.


On August 2nd, 130 buses brought 6,000 employees of the Wright Aeronautical Corporation from Paterson to Bertrand Island Amusement Park.  After every tenth bus there was a spare bus to take care of possible breakdowns or emergencies, and, three wreckers also accompanied the caravan.  The line of buses was four miles long!  [Kane, Martin and Laura, Greetings From Bertrand Island Amusement Park]


The October 29th Stock Market crash produced losses estimated at $50 billion and the worst American depression began.  [McKelvey]


CNJ acquired the Mt. Hope Mineral RR and the Wharton & Northern RR  [ICC Report Vol. 158 1929 pg. 691]


The Seeing Eye established a guide-dog training school in Morristown to assist people who are blind, helping them gain independence, self-confidence, and dignity through the use of Seeing Eye Dogs.



The American Rocket Society was founded in North Jersey.  Four members of the ARS Experimental Committee were Lovell Lawrence, Jr., John Shesta, James Hart Wyld and Hugh Franklin Pierce.  They went on to found the first commercial rocket engine company in the history of the US.  [Van Brug, Jacobus, Vernon Stories of, Power For Progress: Reaction Motors]


On January 30th, the Wharton Steel and railroad enterprises passed under the control of Warren Foundry & Pipe Co., a reorganization of the Replogle enterprise, and was sold by it to the CNJ.  The Central paid $1,250,000, or approximately twice par value, for 68.3% of the outstanding capital stock of the Mount Hope Mineral RR and all the stock of the Wharton & Northern.  Apparently the CNJ didn’t believe the Great Depression was for real.  Within the next fifteen months the CNJ sold the ten locomotives the W & N RR owned, all but one of which was over 25 years old.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


The last of the five sections - from Morristown to Dover - of the Northern New Jersey Electrification Project of the Lackawanna Railroad was placed in operation on January 22nd.  [Newspaper item]


In addition to promoting the resort activities at Lake Hopatcong, the CNJ and the Lackawanna influenced the development of the ice industry.  The business flourished until the development of refrigeration and the last ice was cut from the lake in this year.  [Anderson, Elaine, The Central RR of NJ’s First 100 Years]


CNJ was authorized by the ICC on Feb. 4th to acquire the Mount Hope Mineral RR and the Wharton & Northern RR for $1,250,000.  [Moody's Railroad Manual 1940, pg. 409.]


Mount Hope Mineral RR - Feb. 4th was acquired by the Central RR Co. of NJ from the Warren Foundry & Pipe Corp. by acquisition of 68.3% of the capital stock, at the same time acquiring 100% of the capital stock of the Wharton & Northern RR.  Combined stock cost the CNJ $1,250,000.  [Moody's Railroad Manual, 1940.]


Wharton & Northern RR filed with the NJ Sec. of State on Mar. 13th a change of office to the CNJ terminal, Jersey City.  [Reilly]


CNJ acquired Wharton & Northern RR in this year.  [Railroad Magazine Apr. 1936, p. 93.]


On November 9th a severe fire occurred at the Wills Lumber Yard.  Recorded on movie film in the archives of the Lake Hopatcong Historical Society.


The CNJ purchased and held as of Dec. 31st, a total of 1,093 shares of the 1,600 shares of Mount Hope Mineral RR stock.  [CNJ annual report 1930]


WPA projects in the 1930s at Picatinny Arsenal included: rehabilitation of 65 wooden railroad cars; construction of 13,390 feet of new rail lines; rehabilitation of 18 miles of existing rail lines, including replacement of 22,850 linear feet of rail; construction of 44,551 linear feet of new concrete roads and 6,700 linear feet of macadam roads; rehabilitation of electric distribution lines; installation of new fencing and guard rails utilizing the old railroad rail; new bridges and 41 culverts; roof replacements; rehabilitation of buildings and magazines (many were damaged or destroyed by the 1926 explosion); construction of a new narrow gauge locomotive storage building; reconstruction of the Picatinny Lake dam and containment walls, etc.  [Rae, John W., Picatinny Arsenal]


Phoebe Snow emerged briefly on September 22nd, when she appeared dressed in traditional white to represent the cleanliness of the new electric MU trains which debuted on suburban lines.  [Taber, Thomas T. and T. T. T., III, The DL&W RR in the 20th Century Part Two]


The Sweetser Shaft at Richard Mine was a four-compartment vertical shaft that was completed to a final depth of 1,244 feet in this year.  The shaft was named for Ralph Sweetser, president of the Thomas Iron Company.  [Mason, Eleanor C. and White, Patricia A., Rockaway Township]


In this year an American LaFrance 750 gpm pumper was purchased by the Goshen, NY Fire Dept.  Fifty decades later it was donated to the Florham Park Fire Dept. for use as a parade vehicle and placed in the town’s original, 1899, firehouse.  At the time the fire house, which had also been used as the town library, was moved from its original Ridgedale Avenue site to the east side of the current firehouse. [Rusty King]  [Florham Park website]



On January 22nd the Lackawanna Railroad commemorated the installation of electric train service which was extended with Dover, Wharton, Rockaway, Denville, Mt. Tabor, Morris Plains to New York.  Schools were let out and bands met the special run to Dover.  To celebrate the first arrival of an electric train, employees of the railroad’s Dover Frog & Switch Shop lined the track with dozens of railroad torpedoes which exploded to herald the first Electric Train.  Three days later, on the 25th, the electric trains took over from steam locomotives on both the Dover and Gladstone trains.  [Taber, Thomas T. and T. T. T., III, The DL&W RR in the 20th Century Part One]  [Coates, Wes, 50th Anniversary, 1931-1981, Suburban Electrification, DL&W RR]  A commemorative ticket is on display in the Dover Historical Society.


The Lackawanna Railroad suburban electrification was the first use of 3000-volt DC MU cars on a large scale and the first major all-rectifier 3000-volt electrification.  [McKelvey]


Wharton & Northern RR filed with the NJ Sec. of State on Oct. 14th a change of registered agent to Myron A. Hulsart.  [Reilly]


An Air Circus was held at the Wills Flying Field in Stanhhope on November 1st.  One plane crashed and the pilot was killed.  Recorded on movie film in the archives of the Lake Hopatcong Historical Society.


The Thomas Iron Co. worked its Richard Mine continuously until this year, and it remained in the possession of the company until 1941, an astonishing record.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


The Timken Roller Bearing Co. 4-8-4 locomotive No. 1111 pulled Lackawanna passenger trains in demonstration service.  Timken roller bearings were installed on two of the Lackawanna's new 4-8-4 locomotives built by Alco.  These were the first applications on a steam locomotive after Timken's own 4-8-4 #1111 was built.  [Railroad History Bulletin #182]


A large DL&W Less than Car Load transfer facility at Port Morris yard capable of handling about 100 cars at a time in peak years - around 1900 - was closed at the end of this year.  All L.C.L. freight for NJ and NYC and New England was transferred from through cars to local cars (and vice versa) was handled here until a larger facility was built at Secaucus.  The remaining Port Morris work was transferred to Secaucus.  [Taber, Thomas T. and T. T. T., III, The DL&W RR in the 20th Century Part One]


During the Depression 75% of America’s amusement parks closed and it became apparent that Lake Hopatcong could not support two parks.  They both had train rides, carousels, and roller coasters.  But, Nolan’s Point with the decline of CNJ excursion trains and inadequate auto parking went bankrupt in this year and closed for good in 1933.  [Kane, Martin and Laura, Greetings From Bertrand Island Amusement Park] 



Wharton & Northern RR passenger service between Wharton and Green Pond Jct. and between Oreland Jct and Oreland ended this year.  [Reilly]


The Atlas Powder Co. formerly known as American Forcite Powder Co. ended manufacture of explosives and acids at Lake Hopatcong, in what is now Shore Hills, Roxbury Twp.  [Kane, Martin, Hopatcong, Then & Now]  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


The Lake Hopatcong Racoon Island Ferry began operation in this year.  It remains as the only car ferry operating on any lake in NJ.  [Lees, Lorraine C., and Willis, R. Richard, Jefferson Township on Lake Hopatcong]


The Wharton Steel Co. (the old Port Oram Furnace) furnaces were dismantled.  [Kelly, Charlotte & Alan Rowe, Wharton]


The last regular passenger trains ceased operating on the DL&W Chester Branch on December 31st.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 30, No. 7, July, 2011]  


The Wharton & Northern RR curtailed all passenger trains.  [McKelvey]



Last passenger train on the DL&W Chester Branch (Chester - Wharton - Dover) ran Jan. 1st.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


New Jersey native Richard Hollingshead invented the drive-in theater, receiving a patent in May.  More than 40 drive-in theaters opened in NJ, and the following were, at one time, in Morris County: Dover, Ledgewood (Ledgewood Circle Drive-In), Morris Plains, and Parsippany (Troy Hills Drive-In).  [The Heritage Review, Vol. 38, No. 3 (Morris County Heritage Commission)]


Auto racing began at Dover Speedway, and ended in 1954, shortly after the grandstands collapsed.  [Dover Historical Society]


A three week strike in the bituminous coal mines of western Pennsylvania during July and August and a one-week strike in the anthracite coal fields of northeastern Pennsylvania in August drastically reduced the amount of coal shipped.  [Lee, Warren & Catherine, A Chronology of the Belvidere Delaware Railroad]


In August, 5,000 hard coal miners from Pennsylvania, led by John L. Lewis, seeking a spread-the-work agreement, went out on strike.  [Lee, Warren & Catherine, A Chronology of the Belvidere Delaware Railroad]


The Reading RR assumed control of the Central RR of NJ under Interstate Commerce Commission (ICC) authorization.  [McKelvey]


The dormant Wharton furnace was torn down.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


Morristown National Historical Park was established as the nation’s first national historical park.  The park consists of four separate geographic areas: Jockey Hollow, Fort Nonsense, The New Jersey Brigade Encampment Area, and The Washington’s Headquarters Museum and Ford Mansion.  The Ford Mansion served as George Washington’s military headquarters during the harsh winter of 1779-1780.  [Morris County Tourism Bureau]



The Mountain Ice Co. probably had its last season of ice harvesting at Lake Hopatcong this year.  [Giles, John R., The Story of Waterloo Village]


Sand and gravel had become the principal commodities on the Chester Railroad – at the northern end of the line.  The six miles of track between Chester and Succasunna were removed.  [Taber, Thomas T., The DL&W RR in the 19th Century]


Addison Day, of Chatham apparently won considerable national publicity in the early 1930s, as he celebrated a lifelong history of commuting that went back to 1868 and ended in June of 1934, at which time he had logged nearly one million miles on the train.  The Lackawanna threw him a party aboard the president’s private railway car on his last trip home to celebrate sixty-six years of commuting.  [Douglas, George H., All Aboard! The Railroad in American Life]


The CNJ abandoned the Ogden Mine RR and rails were removed in 1941.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


Two explosions at the Hercules Powder Works killed six workers in this year.  [Roxbury Historical Society]



Wharton & Northern RR abandoned Oreland Branch from Oreland Jct. to Oreland, 3.5 miles, in 1935.  [Reilly]


Following tests with a single car, the Lackawanna Railroad modernized an entire six-car electric suburban train.  The car exteriors were sheathed in aluminum and interiors were painted in various pastel colors.  [McKelvey]



On July 19th the Lackawanna RR fully cooperated with the NY Chapter of the Railway and Locomotive Historical Society in operating a special excursion trip to celebrate the first service of the Morris & Essex RR one hundred years earlier.  The train departed Hoboken, powered by the last active 4-6-0 camelback locomotive, No. 1035, covering the main line of the Morris & Essex and continued on to Scranton to visit the locomotive shops and roundhouse.  The train, which was limited to 165 passengers to allow extra seats, had four coaches and a dining car.  The first railfan chartered train trip on a Class 1 railroad was a roaring success.  The DL&W RR became far and away number one in hosting fan trips, and the road's management actually welcomed such opportunities to exhibit their equipment to the public. The trip, organized by Thomas T. Taber, went west via the old main line and returned via the Cut-off.  [Taber, Thomas T. and T. T. T., III, The DL&W RR in the 20th Century Part Two]  [Railroad History Bulletin #171]  


What is now US 46 was originally designated as three separate routes (Route 5 from Delaware to Denville; Route 12 between Hackettstown and Paterson; and Route 10 from Paterson to Edgewater.  In 1927 Route 6 was legislated to run from Delaware east to the George Washington Bridge, replacing portions of Routes 5 and 12 and paralleling the former Route 10, which itself became Route 5 and Route 10N.  In 1936 US 46 was designated to run from Portland, PA east to the George Washington Bridge.  In 1953 US 46 was realigned to end in Columbia, NJ and its current terminus is an interchange ramp with I-80 and Route 94.  [Wikipedia]



Wharton & Northern RR applied to the ICC for permission to abandon the railroad from Wharton Junction to a point near the Wharton station, approximately 1.25 miles on July 14th.  The branch was built about 1886 to serve the furnaces of the Wharton Steel Co. and connect with the DL&W RR in Wharton.  In 1933 the furnaces of the steel company, after being inactive for several years, were razed.  Prior to 1933 an oil company received oil in tank cars unloaded near the Wharton station, but since then it has been hauled by truck.  The only other shipper on the trackage to be abandoned was a coal company that received its last shipment in 1935 and since then has been receiving coal on the CNJ High Bridge Branch in Wharton.  The operation of the branch ceased in 1936 due to lack of iron ore traffic.  On September 16th the ICC issued a decision to permit the abandonment.  [ICC Financial Docket #11719 decision dated Sept. 16th, 1937.]


An Educational Inspection Tour jointly sponsored by the Lackawanna RR, the Railway & Locomotive Historical Society and Railroad Magazine (Railroad Stories) operated from Hoboken to Scranton, PA and Binghamton, NY on July 25th.  The 15 car train which had two diners and an open observation car was powered by immaculate steam locomotives No. 1649 and 1650.  From Scranton west the special was hauled by double-headed, newly stream-styled Pacific locomotives #1136 and 1123.  The excursion is regarded by many as the Greatest Rail Fan Trip of all time.  The almost 400 mile round trip was a bargain $4.00!  [Taber, Thomas T. and T. T. T., III, The DL&W RR in the 20th Century Part Two]


The Picatinny Arsenal yearbook contained a one page article “The P. A. R. R.”  It was reproduced: [Block Line, V. IX, No. IX, February 1982]



CNJ operated a railfan trip on June 19th, from its Jersey City terminal to Easton, PA, then on the L&HR Ry bridge to the PRR Belvidere Delaware Division in Phillipsburg.  The Bel-Del north to the L&HR Ry and the L&HR to Andover Jct, then the DL&W to Lake Jct. (near Wharton, NJ) then over the Wharton & Northern RR to Green Pond Jct. and return to Lake Jct., then the CNJ High Bridge Branch to the Main Line at High Bridge, then the main line back to Jersey City.  [Ry Age magazine June 11th, 1938 p. 981] This trip utilized CNJ 4-6-2 No. 812, Blue Comet coaches, a diner, a gondola and an observation lounge car.  The fare was only $2.50 round trip!  [CNJ Journal No. 58, December 2013]


The famous Wharton & Northern trestle over Main Street and the High Bridge Branch in Wharton was dismantled.  The bridge had “ Wharton & Northern” (but earlier “Wharton Steel Co.) prominently displayed.  This was also the renowned “three level crossing” with the DL&W RR main line going under the High Bridge Branch and the Wharton & Northern at the upper level, over all.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


On October 16th, a Lackawanna Rail-Camera Safari was operated from Hoboken via Summit & Dover to Phillipsburg, the CNJ to Mauch Chunk, Ashley Planes (photo stop) & Taylor and back to the DL&W to Scranton Shops (photo stop), Pocono Summit, Delaware Water Gap, Summit & Hoboken.  A near identical flyer was produced by the RR Enthusiasts/Ry & Locomotive Historical Society with Rogers E. M. Whittaker (pen name E.M. Frimbo) handling the reservations.  Fare for the 350 mile round trip was $3.50.  [McKelvey - trip promotion flyer]


With a Works Projects Administration grant, Louis Valdemar Fischer of Montclair created an oil on canvas painting of the Morris Canal.  The 15' x 6½’ mural illustrates a boat in cradle ascending an inclined plane, and a boat with coal cargo traveling on the canal.  Painted for an earlier town hall in Wharton, is now located in the new town hall’s Council room.  [Simon, Richard C., The Morris Canal: New Jersey’s Mountain-Climbing Waterway]  [Morris County Heritage Commission]


By this year, American Rocket Society member, James Wyld had developed what he called a “regeneratively cooled rocket engine.”  This was an engine where the combustion chamber was cooled by the incoming fuel.  The design was the basis for Reaction Motor Inc’s earliest rocket motors, fundamentally contributed to future US rocket engine design, and is still in use today.  [Van Brug, Jacobus, Vernon Stories of, Power For Progress: Reaction Motors]


The Becker Farm Railroad (also known as the Centerville and Southwestern Railroad was located on the Becker Dairy farm in Roseland, NJ.  It was the brainchild of Eugene Becker, who began eork on it in this year.  This 2-inch scale, 9 7/16" (240 mm) gauge miniature railway featured a live steam locomotive, small scale diesel locomotives and passenger cars.  The railroad was modeled after the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad’s Sussex Branch, on which Becker had a creamery at Straders, NJ, near the end of the line at Branchville, NJ, about 35 miles west of Roseland.  In 1948 the first public trips began and a year later the track was extended to Peachtree Jct., about a mile from Centerville Station, with a total of 7,000 feet of track.  At full operation, the railroad ran on Saturdays until 5 pm between the beginning of May and the end of October, including Memorial Day, the Forth of July, and Labor Day.  It also operated on Wednesdays during July and August until dusk.  In 1968 a portion of the C&S was condemned for construction of Interstate 280, but Becker relocated track to give a near equal ride.  Roseland town council voted to rescind Becker’s farm assessment in 1972, making their 1,000 acres of farmland assessed as commercial property.  The farm and railroad closed in that year and was converted into a business campus.  The 4-8-4 steam locomotive was donated to the Ford Museum but they later sold it to private hands.  The two miles of track, with ties attached; signals; the two large diesel locomotives; all the rolling stock; the ticket booth; etc. ended up in storage in Middletown Township, NJ and was much later moved to Phillipsburg where the Phillipsburg Railroad Historians have a truncated point to point operation on special days during warmer months.  The original plan was that the C&S RR would operate west and then south to be a part of the proposed NJ State Transportation Heritage Center (Museum).  Unfortunately, the needed 35 acre property was conveyed to a developer for a townhouse complex in place of the Heritage Center - neither of which ever happened.  [Wikipedia]  [McKelvey]  [Espy, Dan, The Story of the Centerville & Southwestern Railroad, a film (DVD) about Becker’s Train, A True Miniature Railroad]



The state of NJ had become a notorious taxer of railroad property; in fact, its railroad taxes were claimed to be the country’s highest, and were a factor in the Central RR of NJ’s bankruptcy.  The C RR filed a petition for reorganization under federal bankruptcy statues.  At this time they were controlled by the Reading RR, which in turn was controlled by the Baltimore & Ohio RR.  [Reilly]


The speedboat “HoBo” advertised sightseeing trips around Lake Hopatcong.  [Lake Hopatcong Historical Society / Museum]


The editor of this chronology was born on July 3rd.  [McKelvey]


On July 9th the newly organized Railroadians of America operated their first Railfan Inspection Trip, the first using a 4-4-0 in the NY area.  Lackawanna locomotive #970 hauled the six car train, including the first gondola to be used on such a train in the NY area.  From Hoboken they traveled to Morristown; then via the Morristown & Erie RR (pulled by their locomotive No. 9) to Essex Fells & return (the first railfan trip to do so); next to Port Morris, then Andover Jct.; the L&HR RR to Warwick, NY and south to Phillipsburg/Easton where the train was backed over the CNJ bridge to Phillipsburg; the return to Hoboken was via Washington, Wharton, & Madison.  Robert F. Collins handled the reservations (at $3.75 each & limited to 150 passengers) and a special 85¢ lunch was available in the air conditioned diner or a dinner of Lamb Chops or Lackawanna Special Steak was $1.  [McKelvey]  [Taber, Thomas T. and T. T. T., III, The DL&W RR in the 20th Century Part Two]  [Railroad Magazine]  [Taber, Thomas T. III, The Morristown and Erie Railroad]  [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #1]  [Railroadians Train Sheet, Spring 1975]


Thousands of Morris County elementary school children were brought in on DL&W trains to Hoboken where they transferred to Hudson River Day Line boats for a special trip to the NY World’s Fair.  [Taber, Thomas T. and T. T. T., III, The DL&W RR in the 20th Century Part One]


The NJ Power & Light Co. acquired 341,350 shares of stock in the Jersey Central Power & Light Company in a duel with the Public Service Gas & Electric Company for control.  [Meeker, Robert M., Dover, the Forging of a Community]


The CNJ owned Lake Hopatcong RR was abandoned.  [ICC V-236, 1939, pg. 9]


On October 15th, with the cooperation of the Railroad Enthusiasts and the North Jersey Chapter of the NRHS, the Lackawanna Railroad operated a rail camera special train over an interesting, 300-mile route through northern NJ and southern NY.  The Special departed Hoboken and followed the DL&W to Bath Jct., L&NE to Hainsburg Jct., NYS&W to Swartswood Jct., L&NE to Pine Island, Erie to Campbell Hall, NYNH&H to Maybrook, L&HR to Andover JCY., and DL&W back to Hoboken.  An observation gondola was attached to the rear of the train and there was a “recreation” car equipped to furnish sandwiches, coffee, milk, etc., at reasonable prices.  [Railroad Magazine] 


The State of NJ forced the CNJ into bankruptcy when on October 20th it served notice that on November 2nd it would apply for summary judgment for unpaid taxes for 1932 and 1933.  The CNJ filed for Section 77 bankruptcy reorganization on October 30th, which was approved the same day. [CNJ Annual Report, 1939]  [Train Sheet, Fall, 1989]  [CNJ Journal No. 62, November 2014] 


The Dover & Rockaway RR on Dec. 31st went from Wharton to Rockaway, 4.54 miles and had 3.76 miles of sidings.  It had 26 stockholders and was leased to and operated by the CNJ.  [Moody's Railroad Manual, 1940.]


Thye Mount Hope Mineral RR on Dec. 31st ran from Wharton to Mount Hope, 3.60 miles and had 0.75 mile of sidings.  It owned no equipment and was controlled and operated by the CNJ.  It had 9 stockholders.  [Moody's Railroad Manual, 1940.]


The CNJ on Dec. 31st had the following subsidiaries and stock owned in them: Allentown Terminal RR - 50% (the Reading Co. owned 50%); American Dock & Improvement Co. - 100%; Bay Shore Connecting RR - 50% (LVRR owned 50%), Communipaw Central Land Co. - 100%; Dover & Rockaway RR - 50%; Elizabethport & New York Ferry Co. - 100%; Easton & Western RR - 100%; Edroyal Corp. - 100%; Hunter Run Water Co. - 100%; Jersey Central Transportation Co. - 100%; Manhattan Lighterage Co - 100%; Mount Hope Mineral RR - 68.31%; New York & Long Branch RR - 50% (PRR owned 50%); Newark Warehouse Co. - 100%; Ogden Mine RR - 93.07%; Penn Haven Realty Co.  - 100%; Railway Express Agency Inc. - 1.1%; Wharton & Northern RR - 100%.  [Moody's Railroad Manual 1940, pg. 410.]


The Wharton & Northern RR on Dec. 31st ran from Wharton to Green Pond Jct. and Wharton Jct. to Lake Jct., 14.69 miles, leased lines 1.21 miles, yard track and sidings 2.13 miles.  Equipment: 10 cars, 1 crane, no locomotives.  [Moody's Railroad Manual, 1940.]



CNJ Trustees Shelton Pitney and Walter P. Gardner took control of the railroad on January 8th  under bankruptcy reorganization.  The financial problem was blamed on the “continued severe recession in business...”  Total deficit from 1932 to 1938 was $17,351,081.  [CNJ Annual Report, 1939]  [CNJ Journal No. 62, November 2014]


During February the Lackawanna Railroad operated weekend Snow Trains from NY (Hoboken) to Norwich, NY.  Round trip rail fare was $5 and overnight accommodations were $1.50.  [King, Sheldon S., The Route of Phoebe Snow]


Wharton & Northern RR abandoned their main line from Wharton to Wharton Jct., 1.3 miles, in 1940.  [Reilly]


Local Dover photographer, Olin F. Vought, born in 1870, died on July 12th in this year.  From the last decade of the 1800s to the first decade of the 1900s over 140 of his photos (taken with glass plate negatives) chronicle the Morris Canal between Lock #7 at New Village and Plane #8 East at Montville.  [Lee, James, The Morris Canal A Photographic History]  [Goller, Robert R., The Morris Canal Across NJ by Water and Rail] [Goller, Robert R., Artist on the Towpath: Olin F. Vought, The Towpath Post, V. 6, No. 1, Autumn 1975] Note: The centerfold of the latter issue is a reproduction of a Vought pen and ink drawing of a pair of Morris Canal hinge boats which appear to be tied up along the surviving watered portion of the canal in Wharton - with the CNJ right-of-way on the hillside above.


The CNJ’s Central Division employees outing for this year was held on August 18th at Nolan’s Point, Lake Hopatcong.  They traveled there by special train.  [Rdg - CNJ employee magazine, Oct. 1940]  [CNJ Journal, #66, December 2015]


On September 12th more than 297,000 pounds of gunpowder blew up at Kenvil Powder Works in a series of explosions and fires, which killed 51 people; injured and burned 200 others; and leveled 20 buildings in the nearby area.  The explosions shook the area so forcefully that cars were bounced off the roads, most windows in homes miles away were broken and articles flew off shelves and walls.  The blasts were felt as far away as Poughkeepsie, NY. [Roxbury Township Historical Society]  [NY Times]  [Ledger Local, Sept. 15th, 2016]


On October 9th an experimental Rabey Automotive Unit #2 - track switcher was tried on the Morristown & Erie RR.  It was a Mack flatbed truck with a 4 ton sand bunker, positioned in a rectangular steel frame supported by two freight car trucks to keep the Mack on the rails.  The unit successfully pulled 100 ton locomotive #9 up thye 4% grade in Morristown.  On November 17th the  Rabey truck pulled a coach and M&E caboose #1 from Morristown to Essex Fells and return.  It ultimately proved unable to handle more than a car or two and was considered too small for M&E’s work.  [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #1]


The Central RR of NJ, which was under reorganization in Federal Court, was ordered to pay 60% of its $3,464,000 NJ tax levy for this year.  [McKelvey]


In this year Picatinny Arsenal was producing the following materials at either experimental or peace-time production levels:  1. Smokeless powder,  2. High explosives,  3. Fuzes and primers,  4. Assembled rounds of artillery ammunition,  5. Bombs and grenades,  6. Pyrotronics (airplane flares and military signals).  [Picatinny Arsenal HAER Report]



The process of tearing up the CNJ Ogden Mine Branch began in June and probably continued south of Nolan’s Point on the Lake Hopatcong Branch.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


The Lackawanna RR advertised Summer Excursions to Lake Hopatcong and Netcong ($1), Hackettstown and Washington, NJ ($1.40), Delaware Water Gap and Stroudsburg ($2) every Sunday from July 4th to September 14th.  [Railroad Magazine]


In November, Lovell Lawrence, Jr., managed to arrange a visit by a representative of the US Navy Bureau of Aeronautics.  American Rocket Society members, Laurence, Wyld, Pierce, Shesta, and the Navy representative convened in a wooded spot near Wanaque to demonstrate the rocket engine.  Soon after the successful testing came the fateful attack on Pearl Harbor.  Less than a week later, the pioneers had their first $5,000 Navy contract for rocket engines.  It was the beginning of a long and fruitful association with the US Navy.  With their Navy contract on the way, the four ARS entrepreneurs formed a corporation which they named “Reaction Motors.”  It was the first commercial rocket engine company formed in the US - on December 16th.  The firm’s first headquarters were in a bicycle shop on Wanaque Avenue in Pompton Lakes, with engines being tested (literally) out the back door, or at nearby Lake Inez.  In their first nine months of existence, RMI designed and produced ten different rocket engines producing between 50 to 1,000 pounds of thrust.  [Van Brug, Jacobus, Vernon Stories of, Power For Progress: Reaction Motors]


When the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor on Dec. 7th, Picatinny Arsenal was the only military installation in the nation capable of producing anything larger than small arms ammunition. Picatinny’s work force practically expanded overnight to almost 20,000 men and women. [Rae, John W., Picatinny Arsenal]


After December 8th, when the US entered WW II, Picatinny Arsenal assumed an important role in: 1. Ammunition manufacturing/production,  2. Ammunition and explosives research, and  3. Civilian and military personnel training.  Almost all artillery fuzes, boosters, grenades, and land mines used by the Army in WW II were Picatinny Arsenal developments.  [Picatinny Arsenal HAER Report]  [McKelvey]



The borough of Victory Gardens, Morris County’s newest municipality, originated at the onset of WW II as a federally funded three-hundred-unit housing project for workers employed at Picatinny Arsenal and other nearby defense-related industries.  Rejected by adjoining municipalities, Victory Gardens was incorporated as a separate borough in 1952.  It has a total area of one-fifth of a square mile and a population of about 1,600.  [Morris County Heritage Commission]


In February the NJ Public Utility Commission, along with similar commissions from the other states, acting upon the orders of the Interstate Commerce Commission, authorized a 10 percent increase in passenger train fares for all NJ railroads.  One-way fares were increased from 2 cents per mile to approximately 2.2 cents per mile.  One-way Pullman car fares were increased from 3 cents per mile to approximately 3.3 cents per mile.  The round-trip fares remained at 1.65 cents per mile.  [Lee, Warren & Catherine, A Chronology of the Belvidere Delaware Railroad]


Former NYC Sixth Avenue “EL” cars began providing passenger service for employees within Picatinny Arsenal.  World War II, with its enforced gasoline rationing, revived passenger traffic fourteen years after regular passenger service on the Wharton & Northern RR had expired.  To bring Picatinny employees to work, a far flung bus system was established.  Once on the government reservation, workers were transported to their jobs by rail.  This service was performed by the former elevated cars which had become surplus when that line was torn down in 1938.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


In April the Lake Hopatcong Fire Association was established.  A month later their name was changed to Jefferson Township Fire Company No. 2.  [Lees, Lorraine C., and Willis, R. Richard, Jefferson Township on Lake Hopatcong]


Wharton & Northern RR filed with the NJ Sec. of State on Nov. 16th a lease to the CNJ dated Apr. 15th , 1941, recorded in RR Book 5, p. 1,688.  [Reilly]


Boonton has massed eleven more tons of scrap to the campaign.  The historic wheels from the old plane on Plane Street, Boonton, used during the Morris Canal days, have been unearthed and shipped to Dover.  The two wheels contain the finest cast iron.  It was Dewey Ackerman, foreman of the Department of Streets of Boonton, who conceived the idea of putting the wheels in the scrap drive for victory.  He worked and worked on the project.  Due credit is given to the employees of the street department who voluntarily gave up two days of their vacation to get the wheels out and up on the bank for transportation to Dover.  (October 23rd)  [Dempsey, Arline Fowler, Memories of the Morris Canal]



In June an explosion at the Kenvil Powder Works killed one and injured three.  [NY Times, June 4th, 1989]


On July 1st, the Central RR of NJ regained control of its railroad from the Reading.  To visually celebrate this event, an new corporate logo and system name was adopted.  The symbol of the CNJ became the bust of “Miss Liberty” and the system name changed from “New Jersey Central” to “Jersey Central Lines.”  [McKelvey]  [Reilly]


The US office of Defense Transportation ordered the Central RR of NJ to discontinue 68 of 338 weekday suburban passenger trains due to shortages caused by World War II.  President Roosevelt, acting through Secretary of War Stimson, took possession of the C RR of NJ and other railroads to avoid a threatened interruption of vital transportation service.  [McKelvey]


Reaction Motors Inc. testing at their Franklin lakes facility attracted unwanted attention due to the roar, flashes, fireballs, and brush fires that were created.  They next moved to Pompton Plains, where the terrific noise of their tests also proved to be an annoyance to neighbors.  [Van Brug, Jacobus, Vernon Stories of, Power For Progress: Reaction Motors]


The annual tax bill for the Central RR of NJ soared to $5 million due to the new state franchise tax. [McKelvey]



The New Leonard Complex at Mount Hope iron mine was opened and the original Leonard Mine and the Brown Shaft were shut down.  The New Leonard Shaft, sunk during WW II, was a three-compartment concrete-lined shaft over 2,700 feet deep, the deepest vertical shaft in the east.  [Mason, Eleanor C. and White, Patricia A., Rockaway Township]


The CNJ inaugurated their employee magazine, The Coupler.  [Reilly]


WW II bombers flying into England’s foggy airfields landed by the light of flares Picatinny pyrotechnics engineers had developed in a 60-day crash program.  Each flare equaled 800,000 candles, produced little or no smoke, and was easily ignitable under the most adverse weather conditions.  They and the engineers who devised them prevented the crashing of more than 100 bombers during the Battle of the Bulge (the last major German offensive campaign of WW II - December 16th, 1944 to January 25th, 1945).  This could not have been accomplished if the Manufacturing Division had not produced the flares 60 days earlier than anyone thought possible.   [Picatinny Arsenal website]



From the beginning of 1941 through May 1945 the CNJ transported more than 1 billion tons of explosives (ammunition, bombs, dynamite, etc.).  Of that number, 12,894 tons originated on the CNJ from such points as the Naval Ammunition manufacturing plant at Picatinny Arsenal, the Naval Ammunition Depot at Earle, and the Atlas Powder Co.  [CNJ Journal No. 63, March, 2015]


A real estate investment company, the Lake Waterloo Association, seeking to take advantage of the booming economy, purchased from the Hackettstown Bank over 1,800 acres of what had been Smith family land in the Waterloo Village area.  It began to subdivide properties for sale and the following year Mr. & Mrs. Percival Leach purchased one of the colonial-era stone houses, the Samuel T. Smith House, as a residence.  When their son, Percy, returned from military service he became acquainted with the village and, later saw an opportunity for exploiting this community of historic, though decrepit, buildings.  Eventually, Percy and his partner, Louis Gualandi, through their interior design company, Colony House Interiors, began buying up Waterloo property with the intent to renovate the builodings and open them to the public as an historic village.  [Giles, John R., The Story of Waterloo Village]


The Lackawanna Railroad at Port Morris Fifty Years Ago (1945) by Thomas T. Taber III documents the railroad operations of the area at that time.  [Railroadians Train Sheet, Winter 1994]


The CNJ went into the red again due to increased state franchise taxes.  [McKelvey]



In March Reaction Motors Inc. leased and moved to a remote section of Picatinny Arsenal which was occupied by the US Navy.  It was close to Lake Denmark, in Rockaway, NJ but provided the necessary remoteness for testing, yet close to the supplies of skilled labor and bulk chemicals they needed.  As the Second World War came to a close, the National Advisory Commission for Aeronautics (NACA, the predecessor of NASA) set as a goal the development of a research aircraft that would break the elusive sound barrier.  RMI was chosen to build rocket motors for this new aircraft – to be called the X-1.  [Van Brug, Jacobus, Vernon Stories of, Power For Progress: Reaction Motors]


A nationwide strike of engineers and trainmen began on May 23rd.  The effects of the strike were immediate and drastic.  Within a week President Truman had forced workers to return.  However, payroll costs of the CNJ increased $5.5 million a year.  [McKelvey]


The body of Public Service streetcar No. 2651 was acquired from the company and moved to the Fairmount Road property of Ms. Sutton at Long Valley.  The owners lived in the trolley while they built their home.  When their home was completed the trolley was used for storage.  [Tony Hall]


Robert V. White, President of Lehigh Coal and Navigation Co. initiated advertising programs aimed at promoting the sale of anthracite coal.  A far-reaching sales promotion program was carried on by use of the radio.  The pioneering”Lehigh Weatherman” broadcast daily weather forecasts in the major market areas of the Company, including New Jersey.  [Parton, W. Julian, The Death of a Great Company]


The CNJ applied to the ICC on September 19th to abandon about 3 miles of the north end of the Hibernia Branch.  The track was taken up in September 1947.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


Wharton & Northern RR filed with the NJ Sec. of State on Nov. 13th a conditional  sales agreement with the Baldwin Locomotive Works (for CNJ’s double ended diesel locomotives) and an agreement and assignment between the Baldwin Locomotive Works and the Manufacturers & Traders Trust Co., dated Oct. 15th, recorded in Conditional Sales Book 1, pg. 1,936.  [Reilly]


Coal miners walked out again on November 20th and within a week the CNJ was forced to drop a total of 100 scheduled trains.  On December 7th the strike was called off.  [McKelvey]



Stock car racing began at Dover Speedway.  [Dover Historical Society]


Morristown & Erie 2-8-0 steam locomotive #12 powered a railfan excursion on September 10th for the Railroadians.  [Pennisi, Bob, The Morristown & Erie Railway]  [Railroadians Train Sheet, Spring 1996]


Morris County’s major role in the dawning space age was firmly established when liquid-fueled rocket engines developed at the US Navy Rocket Test Station by Reaction Motors, Inc. at Lake Denmark, Picatinny Arsenal, were used to power Capt. Chuck Yeager’s supersonic flight in the Bell X-1 airplane on October, 14th.  The X-1, with its RMI-designed and built rocket engine, broke the sound barrier – the first time in human history an aircraft had done so.  That aircraft, with its engine, now hangs in the main “Milestones of Flight” gallery of the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian in Washington, DC.  An experimental rocket-propelled ice sled, an off-duty private project of RMI employees was tested at 90 m.p.h. on Lake Hopatcong.  [Rae, John W., Picatinny Arsenal]  [Van Brug, Jacobus, Vernon Stories of, Power For Progress: Reaction Motors]  [The Heritage Review, (Morris County Heritage Commission)]


The CNJ adopted a new slogan - “The BIG Little Railroad” - and shortly thereafter released a promotional sound color motion picture bearing that title.  [McKelvey]


Rutan Coal & Oil Company purchased new a 1947 model EF Mack Coal Truck with mechanical scissor lift coal body made in Newark.  It was equipped with a 291 cu. in. Continental flathead 6 cyl motor with aa five speed transmission.  The truck basically one driver who made local coal deluiveries until the late 1970s or early 1980s.  Rutan was located at 311 E. Blackwell St., Dover and was served by the CNJ Dover & Rockaway branch.  The truck, with approximately 70,000 original miles was purchased by Kerry Day and Tom Amaducci.  It was later donated to the Friends of the NJ Transportation Heritage Center and subsequently to the Mahan Collection Foundation.  The truck has been cosmetically restored by Gary Mahan and is a display piece at Basking Ridge.  [Tim Day]


An individual acquired the entire abandoned right-of-way of the CNJ Lake Hopatcong RR from its connection with the Wharton & Northern RR to Espanong.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]

In 1947-8 when material development requirements by the newly established US Air Force, formerly the US Army Air Corps, became a dominant factor.  The US Air Force was largely dependent for its ordinance upon US Army Ordinance and in turn on the Army’s arsenals and laboratories.  At Picatinny Arsenal, this created a requirement for pyrotechnic munitions such as aircraft illuminating flares, rescue and distress signals, and photoflash bombs and cartridges for night aerial photography.  A major obstacle was the lack of sufficient funds for pyrotechnics research and technology.  To overcome this management internally taxed the well-funded hardware development and engineering projects and to use the accumulated funds for pyrotechnics research and technology.  [Picatinny Arsenal website]



On January 1st the worst ice storm in NJ’s history struck.  The following day what passenger service there was on DL&W electric lines was provided with all types of steam locomotives pulling the powerless and unheated electric trains.  [Taber, Thomas T. and T. T. T., III, The DL&W RR in the 20th Century Part One]


The US Naval Aeronautical Rocket Laboratory was established at Lake Denmark, Picatinny Arsenal.  Two years later the facility was re-designated the Naval Air Rocket Test Station, which operated alongside the Navy’s commercial partner, Reaction Motors, Incorporated.  [Picatinny Arsenal HAER Report]


Three people were killed in an explosion at Kenvil Powder Works in June.  [NY Times, June 4th, 1989]


Wharton & Northern RR filed with the NJ Sec. of State on June 25th a conditional sales agreement (for locomotives) with the Baldwin Locomotive Works and an agreement and assignment between the Baldwin Locomotive Works and the First National Bank of the City of New York.  [Conditional Sales Book 2, p. 429 effective July 6th, 1948].


On October 17th, the last day of service on the Rockaway Branch loop, a part of the original main line of the Morris & Essex RR, coincided with a Rail Camera Safari over the Lackawanna and Lehigh & New England RRs.  The train paused at Rockaway to sell last day tickets and remove the station sign.  [Taber, Thomas T. and T. T. T., III, The DL&W RR in the 20th Century Part Two]  [Lackawanna Steam, Vol. 1 (DVD), Mark 1 video]


On October 17th a CNJ steam powered railfan trip over the High Bridge Branch and the Wharton & Northern RR from Jersey City ran to Green Pond Jct. (with the NYS&W RR) - fare was $4.25.   [McKelvey]


The Jersey Central reported a loss of $9,923,182 on intrastate passenger service.  [McKelvey]



In this year Reaction Motors Inc. moved their administrative headquarters to Rockaway, NJ.  [Van Brug, Jacobus, Vernon Stories of, Power For Progress: Reaction Motors]


In this year the US Army at Picatinny Arsenal received its first nuclear assignment, for a 280 millimeter atomic shell capable of being fired from a conventional artillery gun, the Atomic Annie.   [Wikipedia]


The ICC approved a plan of reorganization for the CNJ and they emerged from a 10-year bankruptcy.  [McKelvey]


On April 15th DL&W 4-8-4 Pocono locomotive #1641 headed a Rail-Camera Safari excursion.  It traveled from Hoboken via Dover, Washington and Phillipsburg; the Jersey Central to Bethlehem (where #1641 was turned on the CNJ turntable) and then the Lehigh & New England RR to Pen Argyl (where new L&NE Alco diesels were on display for the railfans).  The return was via Portland, Oxford and Dover. [Krause, John & Crist, Ed, Lackawanna Heritage 1947-1952]  [McKelvey]


When the DL&W RR received new passenger equipment it was decided to rename their “Lackawanna Limited” the “Phoebe Snow” to help create a new modern image for the railroad.  With the new diesel locomotives and new cars it would, indeed, be fitting of the best traditions of cleanliness and modernity which the original Phoebe Snow had stood for.  Marion Murray returned to the Lackawanna again in this year to christen the new train called for her namesake, Phoebe Snow.  [Taber, Thomas T. and T. T. T., III, The DL&W RR in the 20th Century Part Two]  [Dorflinger, Don, Phoebe Snow: The Lady and the Train]


The Interstate Commerce Commission approved a plan of reorganization for the Central RR of NJ.  [Train Sheet, Fall, 1989]


To commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Central RR of NJ corporate name the Jersey Central Lines published a 16 page ‘Historical Highlights’ brochure.  [McKelvey]


The Jersey Central Lines emerged from a decade of bankruptcy on October 1st.  [McKelvey]


On October 12th the 19747-49 Freedom Train went on display at Morristown.  It had arrived from Easton, PA via the DL&W and continued on to Orange, NJ on Oct. 20th.  [Trains Magazine, Sept., 2016]



By this year, Reaction Motors Inc. provided the bulk of the test facilities at the new “Naval Air Rocket Test Station” (NARTS) at Lake Denmark, a $7.5 million facility nestled on 650 remote acres adjacent to Picatinny Arsenal.  [Van Brug, Jacobus, Vernon Stories of, Power For Progress: Reaction Motors]


In this year, the US Army assigned the development of nuclear munitions to Picatinny Arsenal.  The arsenal, operating as a subcontractor to the Atomic Energy Commission, formally established the Atomic Applications Laboratory to conduce research and development in this field, which had begun with the development of a 280 millimeter atomic shell (Atomic Annie) capable of being fired from a conventional artillery gun.  [Wikipedia]


When the North Korean Army started using Russian-made T-34 tanks, American soldiers discovered that the Bazooka shells they were using just bounced off the enemy tanks.  Gen. Douglas MacArthur issued a call for larger shells and Picatinny was ready to meet the challenge.  A test plant producing larger shells expanded to full-scale production in less than 24 hours.  As these new rocket shells were finished, they were trucked to nearby Morristown Airport where waiting Army cargo aircraft were on standby to fly them across the Pacific.  Days later North Korean tanks were being destroyed.  [Rae, John W., Picatinny Arsenal]  [Picatinny Arsenal website]


Mt. Hope Mineral RR history - operations feature story appeared in Railroad Magazine, July 1950, p. 64.  [Reilly]


The first annual Armed Forces Day observance, open to the public, was held at Picatinny Arsenal.   [Rae, John W., Picatinny Arsenal]


The US Army seized all railroads on August 27th on President Truman's order to prevent a general strike.  Truman’s intervention was critical, as he had just ordered American troops into a war against North Korean communist forces on June 25th.  Two years later the railroads were returned to their owners.  [McKelvey]


Picatinny Arsenal played a major role in giving US Army tanks their preeminent world reputation.  US expertise in warhead development is without a doubt the primary reason that US tank munitions have the ability to defeat any armor in the world.  Kinetic Energy Projectiles are the oldest form of antiarmor weaponry.  While full-caliber, hardened steel shot remained in the tank ammunitions inventory for many years, Picatinny began looking at an alternative type of Kinetic Energy shot in which a sub-caliber, spin-stabilized penetrator was launched by a pot-type sabot.  Much of the technology was transferred to Picatinny’s tank cannon in all calibers from 76mm to 120mm.  The latest models of the KE penetrator are more than two feet long and concentrate all their energy to an area of about one square inch.  Picatinny began to research upgrades to the penetrator during the Korean Conflict.  They eventually led to the revolutionary development of accurate, long-rod, fin stabilized penetrators encased in aluminum sabots that filled the full diameter of the inside of the barrel and were capable of defeating the heaviest tank armor.  [Picatinny Arsenal website]


The New Leonard Mining Complex at Mount Hope was built in the 1940's in response to the wartime economy, it was a state-of-the-art iron mining and ore processing complex.  The head-frame straddles a 2,700-foot-deep shaft that produced 5,600,000 tons of ore by this year.  [Morris County Park Commission Mount Hope brochure]


The Ulster Iron Works, successor to Quaker Iron Works and Dover Iron Works ceased operations in this year.  [Ye Old Tye News, Vol. XXXVI]


“49 Hours at Port Morris” is an eleven page article covering the DL&W freight and passenger traffic through the area on December 7th to 9th, 1950.  It is followed by a one page article on Port Morris Tower by Robert Bahrs.  [Flags Diamonds and Statues, Vol. 6, No. 2, Issue No. 22 (1986)]



A tornado touched down near Hopatcong Junction on the eastern edge of Roxbury Township on April 29th, injuring one person.  [Tornado History Project]


On May 6th, the Railroad Enthusiasts organized an excursion from the CNJ Jersey City Terminal up the High Bridge Branch, through Wharton, to the Mount Hope Mine.  The trip was hauled by 4-6-2 # 814, the final steam locomotive acquired by the CNJ.  [McKelvey]  [Reilly]



The Morristown & Erie RR purchased their first diesel locomotive, an Alco S4 model on March 25th.  It was delivered a month later sporting a striking red, blue and gold paint scheme designed by M & E director, Henry Becker (Becker Dairy Farms), modeled after the paint scheme used on his miniature live steam railroad, called the Centerville & Southwestern at his dairy farm in Roseland, NJ.  The M&E’s three remaining steam locomotives (#10, #11, and #12) were stored at the Morristown engine house, held in reserve as standby power - never to be used again.  [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #2] 


One of Bertrand Island Park’s largest outings occurred in August, when it hosted some 7,000 Picatinny Arsenal employees and their families.  [Kane, Martin and Laura, Greetings From Bertrand Island Amusement Park]


On August 20th, a DL&W freight train derailed west of the passenger station, blocking tracks with box cars and gondolas.  [Dover Historical Society] 


Iron from the Mount Hope mine was being brought up 2,700 feet, the deepest vertical shaft and narrow gauge mining railway in the Eastern United States.  [McKelvey]


The Lionel Model Train Company produced passenger cars named for Chatham and Maplewood on the Lackawanna’s Morris & Essex Division.   [Hollander, Ron, All Aboard, The Story of Joshua Lionel Cohen & His Lionel Train Company]


Lakeland Bus Lines was founded as a privately owned and operated commuter and charter bus operation with headquarters at 425 E. Blackwell St., Dover, NJ.  This building was the former main carbarn of the Morris County Traction Co. and continues as Lakeland’s Dover Bus Terminal, garage, and offices.  Lakeland provides service along three commuter routes from Morris, Sussex, and Essex Counties to New York City with a fleet of about 70 buses.  They also provide service along routes for day or overnight trips to Atlantic City Casinos, Mt. Airy Casino Resort in PA, and Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, PA.  [Wikipedia]  []



Picatinny Arsenal Test Area “E,” completed in this year, was considered the “elite” among the many facilities at the Naval Air Rocket Test Station.  It had one of the largest static test stands on the East Coast with a capacity to test propellant rocket engines with a thrust of up to 350,000 pounds.  [Picatinny Arsenal HAER Report]


The Lackawanna Railroad purchased the first order of ten H-24-66 Train Master locomotives at $250,000 each from the Fairbanks-Morse Co.  They were the highest horsepower per unit (2,400hp) locomotives available at the time and were used to replace the last DL&W steam locomotives in New Jersey.  [McKelvey]


On May 17th - North Jersey Chapter, NRHS sponsored a Gala Spring Trip to Green Pond Junction covering the Wharton & Northern, Mount Hope Mineral RR and the High Bridge Branch from Jersey City, Elizabethport, Elizabeth, and Plainfield.  The eight car train with 497 passengers was pulled by CNJ Pacific locomotive No. 810.  In the color photo at the bottom left of page 71 of the Classic Trains article, the boy peering down into his Kodak Brownie box camera to capture historic view of Jersey Central Lines steam locomotive on the bank of the Rockaway River in Dover is the 13-year old future Chairman of Liberty Historic Railway...  (This was the first railfan trip taken by Bill McKelvey, your editor, who got to go for the $2.50 half fare rate.)  The excursion passed

through Wharton twice and through Hopatcong Junction four times.  [Classic Trains, Winter 2012, V. 13, No. 4]


A gondola car loaded with 60 tons of sand got loose at Hopatcong Junction and rumbled down the CNJ line to Rockaway and beyond before rolling to a stop.  Miraculously, no one was injured when the car, after gaining momentum on the down grade from Wharton, roared through downtown Dover at speeds estimated at 60 to 70 mph.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


The final steam powered trains on the DL&W were replaced by diesel locomotives on June 5th.  These were commuter passenger trains to Washington and Sussex county.  [King, Sheldon S., The Route of Phoebe Snow]


The Lackawanna Railroad dispatched their last steam locomotive in commuter service on its Boonton Line in July.  [Cranmer, H. Jerome, NJ in the Auto Age]


The NY Society of Model Engineers and the Railroad Enthusiasts cooperated in organizing a Rail-Camera Safari on Saturday, October 24th from Hoboken Terminal via the Lackawanna RR and the Delaware & Hudson RR to Nineveh, NY.  Two rather new DL&W 2,400 hp Fairbanks-Morse Trainmaster locomotives were used to and from Scranton and two Alco Road Switchers were used on the D&H.  The Editor was a passenger on this trip.  [McKelvey]



In an effort to meet the decline in coal traffic, trailer on flat car (piggyback) service was inaugurated between Hoboken and Buffalo on June 16th by the DL&W.  Within a month the service was extended to Cleveland and Chicago.  Along with this positive step toward securing additional freight traffic was the institution of an employee’s magazine, “The Lackawanna”.  [Taber, Thomas T. and T. T. T., III, The DL&W RR in the 20th Century Part One]  [King, Sheldon S., The Route of Phoebe Snow]


The Lake Hopatcong Motor Boat Show was held May 8th to 16th.  [Lake Hopatcong Historical Society / Museum]


A deposit of radio-active rare-earth minerals was found in the Scrub Oaks mine in the Dover magnetite district.  The radioactive rock was found on the 5th level of the mine by employees of the Alan Wood Steel Co.  Uranium, thorium, and rare-earth elements are potential byproducts of iron in magnetic ore.  They were determined by the Larsen method to be about 550 to 600 million years old (late Precambrian age).  [U.S. Geological Survey Bulletin 1082-B, USGPO 1959]


In October, Picatinny Arsenal initiated development of a flare which eventually provided protection to the B-52 bombers.  [Picatinny Arsenal website]


The Lionel Model Train Company produced a Fairbanks - Morse diesel locomotive modeled after the ten H-24-66 models built for the Lackawanna RR in 1953 (#850 to 859).  Two more units (#860 & 861) were ordered by the Lackawanna in 1956.  [Taber, Thomas T. and T. T. T., III, The DL&W RR in the 20th Century Part Two]  [Hollander, Ron, All Aboard, The Story of Joshua Lionel Cohen & His Lionel Train Company]




Ca. The mid 1950s an unaffiliated group of railroad enthusiasts began meeting on the Lackawanna RR at Denville station to watch trains on Friday nights.  Soon, they came under the good graces of second trick (3:30 to 11:30pm) towerman, Jimmy Morris, and began meeting regularly in the tower.  Over the years, the attendees included: Henry Becker and his son, Gene (of Henry Becker & Son Dairy and their miniature Centerville & Southwestern RR fame); author Bill Greenberg, Bill Hopping, Sr. & Bill Hopping, Jr. (of Madison Central model RR fame); Dan McFadden; George MacLean; Dave Phraner; Ed Ruland & son Wayne; and others.  One of the iconic trains they saw was the eastbound milk train from the Sussex Branch which transported Becker’s milk from their Branchville creamery to their Orange distribution facility.  By using rail transport Becker kept the Lackawanna’s Branchville line open beyond its life expectancy. [Dave Phraner]  [Dan McFadden]  [Rusty King]  [Bill Greenburg]


On November 11th, Dover’s Park-Union Lumber Company was destroyed by fire.  [Dover Historical Society]



The Lackawanna Wharton Station was demolished during April.  [McKelvey]


During May a light-weight locomotive and four cars of Spanish-Talgo design operated between Hoboken and Denville for filming of a promotional piece.  The cars were built at the Berwick, PA plant of American Car & Foundry on the Lackawanna’s Bloomsburg Branch.  [Plant, Jeremany F., Lackawanna Railroad Vol. 2]


On July 10th the Electric Railroaders Assn. sponsored a trip on the Wharton & Northern and High Bridge Branches using CNJ camelback locomotive #774 from Jersey City and Elizabethport.  [McKelvey]  [Reilly]


The Lake Hopatcong Historical Society was founded on August 10th. [Lake Hopatcong Historical Society / Museum]


On August 18th, hurricane Diane dumped tremendous amounts of rain in the Poconos, much of it in the small area stretching from Stroudsburg to Scranton, PA, and along the Lackawanna main line.  Streams became raging torrents, rising as much as 20 feet, cutting the DL&W tracks in 88 places.  Locked between the washouts were two passenger trains and four freight trains.  Passenger trains, including the Phoebe Snow, were back running within a few days.  They were routed via Port Morris, Washington and Phillipsburg, NJ to the Lehigh Valley RR and on up to Scranton via Pittston.  Service over the DL&W main line was restored within an incredible 29 days.  [Taber, Thomas T. and T. T. T., III, The DL&W RR in the 20th Century Part One]


On September 24th a railfan excursion was operated from the CNJ Jersey City Terminal to Mauch Chunk and return using camelback locomotive #774.  [Reilly]


Reaction Motors Inc. constructed a massive 350,000 square foot plant at Denville for administration, manufacturing, and research and development.  [Van Brug, Jacobus, Vernon Stories of, Power For Progress: Reaction Motors]


On September 29th, the M&E board of directors approved the scrapping of their last three steam locomotives.  Nos. 10, 11 & 12 were sent to Bethlehem Steel to be scrapped on October 12th.  [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #2]


The construction of a Nike Missile Defense Site (k/a “NY-80L”) was completed on the west side of River Road, near Rt. 10 in East Hanover.  At the fenced and patrolled launch area, missiles were stored horizontally within six individual underground missile “magazines.”  Each magazine was connected to a blast-resistant underground control room.  Ten Nike “Ajax” missiles (or six of the more powerful, “Hercules” missiles) could be stored within a magazine, which was equipped with a large elevator for lifting missiles to the surface.  There the missiles were attached to launchers before being raised to a near-ver4tical position for firing.  With six missiloe magazines (rather than the usual three), site NY-80 was one of a relatively small number of so-called “double” Nike sites.  Although the site was put on a heightened state of alert during times of great tension (for example, during the Cuban missile crisis), it never fired a missile and was inactivated in 1974.  [The County Circulator, (Morris County Heritage Commission)] 


CNJ 1955 annual report, page 5, stated "Iron ore shipments from northern NJ increased  substantially.  After being closed down for 15 months, the Mt. Hope Mine averaged 626 cars a month, in the last half of 1955, compared with 247 cars a month for the three years prior to the closedown.  The Warren Pipe & Foundry Co. is now in the process of expanding production at their Mt. Hope Mine as well as developing several additional deep and open pit mines in that area."  This traffic was routed via Mt. Hope Mineral RR and CNJ High Bridge Branch.  [Reilly]



A snow storm on March 18th - 19th produced pockets of 20" to 30" of snow in parts of Morris County.  [McKelvey]


The CNJ sponsored an industrial park north of Rockaway.  The old Hibernia Branch was re-extended to serve the new plants which required an overpass to be built on the new Route I-80 (which was designated in this year).  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


The last steamer on the Jersey Central roster, 4-6-0 camelback #774, was scrapped in March.  [McKelvey]


On May 20th, the Trolley Museum of NY sponsored an excursion over the DL&W suburban electric lines with MU equipment.  [Reilly]


Solomon E. Shahmoon, a wealthy Arab immigrant, bought a majority interest in the Warren Foundry & Pipe Co. in 1956 and promptly renamed the firm after himself.  He closed the iron mine in 1959 because it was not competitive with open pit iron mines.  In 1970 the pipe business was sold and Shahmoon sold the quarry, concrete, and asphalt operation, with the mine property, to Halecrest Co.  [Reilly]


The Morris County Park Commission was established and is now the largest county park system in NJ based on acreage - with nearly 19,000 acres protected and more than 3.5 million visitors each year. [Morris County Park Commission]



By this year, Reaction Motors Inc. had 21 test stands at Lake Denmark.  Eighteen could handle static testing of engines from 18 to 20,000 pounds thrust.  Three test stands could handle engines from 50,000 to 350,000 pounds thrust.  One of these was the massive Test Stand R-2, which could test rocket engines of up to 1,000,000 pounds thrust.  It was the largest test stand in America that could test engines at all angles of fire.  Engines for the X-15 were tested here.  RMI produced propulsion and attitude control engines for a wide variety of programs: rockets, missiles, supersonic aircraft, spacecraft, and lunar probes.  [Van Brug, Jacobus, Vernon Stories of, Power For Progress: Reaction Motors]


Pequanoc Rubber, one of the nation’s largest rubber reclaiming mills was destroyed by fire on 26 February in Butler.  The three to four stories high mill produced over 100 tons of reusable sheet rubber daily.  The glow from the fire was visible for 100 miles.  Mutual aid was required from a dozen municipalities during the initial hours and then in shifts over the next week.  Help was offered by the NYC Fire Dept. when the bright glow was observed.  Followup investigations determined multiple causes and failures for the spread of the fire, including: 1. Inadequately trained plant fire brigades and leaders (including delayed alarm to public fire companies); 2. Premature closing of sprinkler system water supply valves and drawing water from the system; 3. Confusion due to some sprinkler water supply valves turning in opposite to normal direction (6 were left hand and 11 were right hand); 4. Lack of division of the large plant with substantial and complete fire walls.  [Butler Historical Society / Alan Bird]


Wild West City, a replica western town modeled on Dodge City, Kansas, opened in spring, featuring live-action shows and exhibits, including an authentic stage coach ride; demonstrations of Pony Express horsemanship; and a 2' gauge amusement park type railway ride with a faux diesel locomotive pulling 4 open cars and a caboose around a ¾ mile loop.  The attraction is on Lackawanna Drive, off Rt. 206, three miles north of Rt. I 80. []  []


The Erie, DL&W & B&O railroads raised commuter fares 5% while the CNJ raise was 10.4%.   [McKelvey]


The City of Newark decided to build a reservoir by damming the Pequannock River at Charlotteburg.  Since this would have submerged part of the Wharton & Northern RR, the relocation of the northern end of the line and the junction with the NYS&W RR was required.  Green Pond Junction was moved 7,400 feet west, to the west side of the new Charlotteburg Reservoir.  The new track skirting the reservoir created a picturesque vista that was enjoyed by those who rode the occasional excursion trains up the High Bridge Branch and the Wharton & Northern.  A newspaper writer who traveled over the Wharton & Northern in 1900 said “It is here that the wildest scenery in northern NJ is to be found,” and upon arriving at Charlotteburg observed that “scenery of the grandest sort greets the eye.”  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


The 1571 ton ferryboat Youngstown was acquired by the Lackawanna Railroad from the Erie and renamed Chathan II.  It had been built in 1921 and was scrapped in 1960.  [Baxter, Raymond J., and Adams, Arthur G., Railroad Ferries of the Hudson]


The Lackawanna Railroad inaugurated coast-to-coast piggyback service with the shipment of printing press equipment from Hoboken to California.  [McKelvey]


By August, a ramp was built at Port Morris by the DL&W for central and western NJ piggyback traffic.  Pickup and delivery between Port Morris and Hackettstown, Netcong, Newton, Branchville, Randolph and Succasunna was provided by Servall Trucking Co.  At the time the railroad had 300 piggyback flatcars and 350 trailers.  Ads were taken out by the DL&W in local papers to promote the new service.  Although the traffic potential seemed huge for the many new off-line industries developing in north Jersey, and two hours were saved over going into Hoboken, the service was little used.  [Taber, Thomas T. and T. T. T., III, The DL&W RR in the 20th Century Part One]  [McKelvey]


The DL&W RR operated a Rail Camera Safari from Hoboken to Norwich, NY on Oct., 19th in cooperation with the Railroad Enthusiasts, Inc.  The consist, led by E8 locomotives, included a string of lightweight coaches, an open-door baggage car, diner, and heavyweight parlor-solarium-observation car Princess Margaret.  [The Diamond, Vol. 21, No. 1., 2007]


CNJ 1957 annual report, page 10, stated "The Wharton & Northern RR has commenced work for relocating a portion of its trackage in the area of a new water reservoir to be constructed in Morris County, NJ for the city of Newark.  The entire cost of the track location, amounting to about $590,000 is to be borne by the city of Newark.  The project involves the construction of about 2 ½   miles of new main track and approx. 8,000 feet of new interchange, yard, and wye tracks.  It will result in relocation and improvement of facilities for interchange with the NYS&W RR at Green Pond Jct.  The construction schedule calls for completion of the railroad relocation in the fall of 1958."  [Reilly]


NJ Public Service Coordinated Transport bus route #10 between Wharton, Dover, and Rockaway was extended to Morristown and Ledgewood over the PSCT #72 route in 1957 and became the 10-72 route as the merger of the two routes.  [Reilly]



In January, work commenced at Picatinny Arsenal on incorporating a lightweight sub-kiloton yield fission warhead that could be used as a front-line weapon.  It became known as the Davey Crocket.  [Wikipedia]


Wharton & Northern RR abandoned their main line from Charlottesburg to Green Pond Jct., 1.2 miles.  [Reilly]


CNJ 1958 annual report, pages 9 & 10, stated "Relocation of a portion of the trackage of the Wharton & Northern RR to facilitate construction of a new water reservoir for the city of Newark has been completed.  The project, involving 2.55 miles of main track and approximately 5,740 feet of new interchange, yard, and wye tracks, was built at a cost of about $590,000, borne entirely by the city of Newark.  It was placed in service during Feb. 1959 and resulted in improved facilities for interchange with the NYS&W RR at Green Pond Jct. as well as some improvement in the roadbed and grades."  [Reilly]


Operations were discontinued at Richard Mine in March and at Mount Hope the following year, although shipments were made from stockpiles of concentrated ore at Mount Hope for several years.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


The grand opening of the “authentic” 15" gauge Cagney No. 9 live steam powered Chester Long Valley RR was held on Friday, July 4th.  They were open 9 am to 9 pm, off Rt. 24, Parker road, Chester and had: a railroad museum, snack bar, picnic area, and swimming.  It was stated “full time operations with rides announced soon.”  The 4" to one foot scale railroad was owned and operated by Orville R. Seals and was located behind his home.  Seals began assembling the railroad in 1949 with the restored locomotive, four cars, one caboose and about 100' of track.  By 1951, 1000 feet of track extending to the roundhouse which was completed in 1954, and in 1955 a station was added.  The swimming pool, picnic grounds, more track, an ash pit, and a “Y” were added before the 1958 grand opening.  Mr. Seals died in 1962 and the railroad went dormant.  [Broadside]  [Railroad Model Craftsman magazine, August, 1961]  [Cagney 9 Live Steam, Passaic Valley & Western Railroad in The Wonderful Wizard of Weird Forum]  [Keith Muldowney]


Lakeland Bus Lines authorized by the ICC on July 23rd to start a new interstate bus route between Netcong, Port Morris, Landing, Wharton, and New York City.  (This was the second route approved the same date.)  [ICC application MC-109802, decision dated July 23, 1958.]


Reaction Motors Inc., a liquid propellant rocket company, merged with Thiokol Chemical, the dominant solid propellant company, and RMI became known as the Reaction Motors Division (RMD) of Thiokol.  A deal with North American Aviation led to the development of engines for the X-15 hypersonic rocket powered airplane, a high-altitude research aircraft that was a developmental step toward the modern Space Shuttle.  [Van Brug, Jacobus, Vernon Stories of, Power For Progress: Reaction Motors]


On August 10th a string of 14 cement cars with a caboose on the west end got loose at Port Morris Yard (929 feet above sea level and the highest point on the DL&W RR in NJ) and began rolling west around 6:30 am with no one aboard.  The Cut-Off on which the cars were rolling at estimated speeds of up to 80 mph, was a high-speed main line, largely downgrade, dropping about 600 feet, to the Delaware Water Gap.  The runaway train successfully negotiated 33 miles and the 50 mph curve at the west end of the Delaware River Bridge, but the next 40 mph reverse curve at the Gap proved too much...  The caboose and three cars made it through, but the following 11 loads derailed and tumbled down the embankment with many ending up in the Delaware River between mileposts 75.4 and 75.7 about a half an hour after beginning their journey.  Recreational divers still report seeing some of the cement cars in this very deep section of the river.  [Bahrs, Bob, The Case of the non-union caboose, in The Diamond, Vol. 16, No. 2]  [NY Times, Aug. 10th, 1958]  [Richard Harpster in Newark Evening News, August 11th, 1958]


On September 27th the DL&W RR operated a Rail Camera Safari to Binghamton, NY and return.  [The Diamond, Vol. 21, No. 1., 2007]


The second track was lifted on the Lackawanna Cutoff, except for passing sidings at Port Morris and Greendell.  [Block Line, V. X, No. X, March, 1983]


One of the first section of I-80 was completed between Denville and Netcong - it is one of the oldest sections of Interstate highway in the US.  [Wikipedia]



William R. Whitehead, the founder and president of the Black River & Western Railroad (BR&W) from this year to 1967, wanted to build a tourist railway to give his children and others the opportunity to see for themselves the old-style iron horse that built America.  Using an abandoned railbed that ran behind his property, he negotiated an agreement with the utility company that owned the right-of-way for $50 per year.  The railbed that ran behind the Whitehead property in Oldwick, NJ, was part of the old Rockaway Valley Railroad which had been abandoned in 1913 and torn up for scrap during WW I to aid the Allied cause.  The Whiteheads purchased scrap rail from the recently abandoned New York, Ontario & Western Railroad Company (NYO&W), and railroad ties were donated by Creosoting Works of Manville, NJ.  Some of the original ties, tie plates, and spikes from the old Rockaway Valley Railroad were found as they began digging up the right-of-way and were reused.  Other railroads provided additional spikes and ties, as well as hooks, picks, crowbars, and lanterns to use in the family project.  The family, and friends, spent weekends cutting the overgrowth, grading the right-of-way, hauling railroad ties and rail and putting the track together.  By late summer about 600 feet of track had been laid.  Wanting something to run on the line, they purchased a small former NYO&W motorized track car or “speeder”.  By late fall, the NJ DOT notified Whitehead that his backyard railway was in the path of future Interstate Highway 78 and would be condemned.  When their request to have an overpass or tunnel was refused, the possibility of extending the railroad in the Oldwick area ended.  Meanwhile, William Whitehead’s search for a steam locomotive to operate on a planned tourist railroad in New Jersey resulted in the purchase of a 1906 Alco, 2-6-0 steam locomotive, No. 565, formerly used by the Dansville & Mount Morris Railroad for $2,500.  Needing a place to store his acquisition, Whitehead leased 200 feet of track on the CNJ Chester Hill Branch.  The five mile branch from Long Valley to Chester had been built to serve the iron mines and a furnace in that area.  Although traffic was dwindling, some freight customers still existed at the time.  [Jagger, Jerry J., Black River & Western Railroad]


The Wharton & Northern RR junction with the New York, Susquehanna & Western RR at Green Pond Jct. was relocated to the west for the new Newark reservoir, completed Feb. 1959.  [Reilly]

The CNJ RR was granted a temporary 20% fare increase on intrastate passenger trips.  [McKelvey]


On the weekend of August 21st and 22nd the DL&W operated an excursion to Niagara Falls.  The train departed Hoboken at 10:05 pm Friday, powered by E-8 locomotives with a long string of standard coaches and a snack car.  Passengers were transferred from Buffalo to the Falls by bus where they arrived at 8 am Saturday.  The train departed Buffalo at 12:15 am Sunday, making stops at Dover, Summit, Brick Church, and arrived at Hoboken at 9:15 am Sunday.  It was strictly run by the railroad and not billed as a fantrip.  [The Diamond, Vol. 21, No. 1., 2007]


On Sept. 13th the Trolley Museum of NY sponsored an excursion on the CNJ between the CNJ Jersey City Terminal and Wilkes-Barre, PA.  [Reilly]



The State of New Jersey signed its first commuter rail subsidy contract with Jersey Central Lines to continue essential passenger service.  [McKelvey]


As soon as the BR&W’s steam locomotive No. 565 arrived on the CNJ Chester Branch, president William Whitehead and Lloyd Arkinstall, a former fireman on the New York & Long Branch Railroad, started a fire in its boiler and waited for the steam to come up.  Over the next several hours, the locomotive was run back and forth over the short stretch of leased track.  Whitehead is quoted as saying, “There was no generator so there was no headlight.  I stood out there with a red lantern so Lloyd would know when he was coming to the end of track.  We operated up and down that length of track — I guess it was well after twelve o’clock at night.”  [Jagger, Jerry J., Black River & Western Railroad]


On April 2nd an excursion was operated by the DL&W from Hoboken to Portland, PA via Washington.  Return was via the Cut-Off and the Boonton Line.  Stops were made at Convent, Dover, Port Morris, Manunka Chunk Tunnel, Portland, Slateford Jct., and Denville.  It was sponsored by the Railroad Club of the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn and powered by F units with No. 804A leading.  [The Diamond, Vol. 21, No. 1 and 2 (2007)]


On April 11th, fire destroyed the Morristown & Erie engine house and old boiler room at Morristown.  Alco diesel switcher No. 14 was damaged but two months later was returned from Alco and back in service.  In the interim, the M&E leased Erie RR NW2 diesel switcher #413 was leased.  [Taber, Thomas T. III, The Morristown and Erie Railroad]  [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #2]


On May 15th, the Transit Improvement Association ope4rated an excursion on the CNJ High Bridge and Dover & Rockaway branches using RDC cars.  [Bob Pennisi photo @ Washington Twp. Historical Society]


On June 6th, a Rail Diesel Car (RDC) trip from Jersey City, Elizabethport and Plainfield to Rockaway and return.  Seventeen-year-old Frank Reilly was aboard this trip which used CNJ RDC cars #554 and 555.  [Reilly]


Accomplishments of the US Navy Rocket Test Station at Lake Denmark included development of engines for the X-1, the first rocket to break the sound barrier, and the X-15, which reached a speed of 1,500 miles per hour in 1960.  The Navy’s last role at Picatinny Arsenal – the US Navy Rocket Test Station, was closed in this year.  [Rae, John W., Picatinny Arsenal]  [Picatinny Arsenal HAER Report]


Boy Scout Troop #166 of Rutherford, NJ toured the Morris Canal from Jersey City to Phillipsburg over five weekends in September & October.  The Phillipsburg troop met the 166ers at Port Colden and accompanied them westward to Phillipsburg.  A cake, baked by a local church was shared by all at Phillipsburg.  Roy Creveling filmed the event.   [McKelvey] [On the Level]


After years of increasingly unrewarding struggle the Lackawanna RR merged with the Erie RR on October 17th.  [Lowenthal, Larry and Greenberg, William T., Jr., The Lackawanna RR in Northwest NJ]


The consolidation of the 2,300-mile Erie with the largely parallel 1,000-mile Lackawanna to form the Erie Lackawanna Railway was the first major unification of the 1960s and only the second merger since the ICC gained regulatory authority in 1920.  The two largely double tracked railroads together served 55 common points between Buffalo and the Port of New York.  Extensive savings were predicted from elimination of 73 miles of duplicate routes and extensive single-tracking, plus consolidation of money-losing intercity passenger and commuter / ferry operations.  The EL became one of the few 20th century railroad unifications that failed financially, filing for bankruptcy in 1972.  [Wilner, Frank N., Railroad Mergers: History, Analysis, Insight]


By late in this year, BR&W railroad steam locomotive No. 565 had been cleaned, painted, and oiled.  She was fired up and made an actual “unauthorized run” down the five mile CNJ branch between Chester and Long Valley.  Since they had no coaches, the dozens of volunteers, friends and family members climbed aboard, riding wherever there was room, such as the locomotive’s pilot, running boards and tender.  The run was made to much fanfare, and photographs were taken.  Once some of the photos were printed in the newspaper, the Interstate Commerce Commission immediately shut down further operations of the locomotive until it was properly inspected, since the vision of a 1906, uninspected 200-psi steam boiler with people hanging all over it created quite a stir with the authorities.  Arrangements were made for the inspection, and the smokebox door was opened.  It was determined that extensive and costly repairs would have been required to bring the locomotive back into service.  However, wooden passenger cars began to arrive on the Chester Branch for them.  All the cars were of wooden construction, with tong and groove siding and were painted green with yellow trim and black roofs.  “Black River & Western” in yellow lettering ran along the sides of each car above the windows.  [Jagger, Jerry J., Black River & Western Railroad]  

I-80 was opened from Netcong to Route 15, Wharton in 1960.  [Reilly]



On January 17th, the Black River & Western filed for a certificate of incorporation with Sheldon Fruchtman of Union, William Whitehead of Oldwick, and Mildred Portuguese of Newark signing the papers.  The railroad was named for the Black River which the line crossed just west of Chester, and the “Western” was added to make it sound like an old-time railroad.  The BR&W was incorporated “to establish and conduct a general amusement enterprise and to furnish amusement to the public.”  Thye project was short-lived since both the Chester and Long Valley Planning Boards rejected the proposal for a short amusement ride.  It was believed that the steam railroad trips would bring noisy tourists, and that the noisy, smokey steam engines would scare the cows.  (Today we label such objectors “NIMBYs”.)  [Jagger, Jerry J., Black River & Western Railroad]


The Erie Lackawanna Railroad was the first to haul piggyback trailers in passenger train operations.  The service was initiated between New York (Jersey City) and Chicago with Railway Express Agency shipments.  [McKelvey]


On June 4th The Railroad Enthusiasts and the Branford Electric Railway Assn. sponsored a special farewell excursion billed as a ‘half Lacawanna / half Erie fantrip” nearly six months after the merger of the two railroads.  It covered the Erie Lackawanna and the Lehigh & Hudson River Railroads.   The train was powered by two Alco PA locomotives, one in the old Erie paint and the other in the new EL paint scheme.  There were five Erie Stillwell coaches; five DL&W 200 series coaches; baggage cars (one Erie & one DL&W) were placed on either end of the train ; and an ex-Phoebe Snow Budd dining car was placed in the middle of the train.  Dinner was available all day for $2.50.  The 300 mile route began at Hoboken and went via Paterson, Suffern, Maybrook, Andover Jct., Port Morris, Washington, Manunka Chunk Tunnel, Delaware Water Gap, Stroudsburg, Blairstown, Port Morris, Dover, Paterson, Passaic, and Hoboken.  [The Diamond, Vol. 26, No. 4]


In July the Black River & Western RR moved some of its equipment to Gladstone, NJ for use in filming The Miracle Worker, a movie about Helen Keller starring Anne Bancroft and Patty Duke.  While the producers wanted to use steam locomotive No. 565 in the movie, the CNJ would neither transport nor allow the operation of 565 out of Chester.  Only some of the BR&W coaches were moved and appear in the film.  [Jagger, Jerry J., Black River & Western Railroad]


On November 19th the Railroad Enthusiasts operated a Rail-Camera Excursion from Jersey City to Green Pond Junction and return using CNJ RDC's.  [Bob Pennisi photo @ Washington Twp. Historical Society


The CNJ, which was then losing $500,000 a month, abandoned its Chester Branch to save $4,000 yearly operating costs.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


In the first full year of NJ state subsidy for commuter railroads, the CNJ got $1,420,310.  CNJ Annual Report for 1961.  [Reilly]



I-80 opened from Route 15, Wharton to Route 53, Denville on Jan. 5th.  [Reilly]


In this year, the US Corps of Engineers, in response to major flooding that had occurred a few years earlier, recommended that a series of dams be constructed in the Delaware River Valley.  Included would be a dam on the Musconetcong River at Saxton Falls, a few miles below Waterloo.  The water impounded by this dam would completely cover the Waterloo site as well as miles of the Morris Canal.  [Giles, John R., The Story of Waterloo Village]

Troubles persisted for the BR&W RR as the CNJ planned to abandon the Chester Hill Branch on which they were located.  With the threat of being landlocked, the BR&W tried to negotiate to purchase the rail line from Chester to Long Valley.  By March the abandonment of the 5 mile line was approved and BR&W scrambled to offer the CNJ $32,000 for the right-of-way and tracks to Chester, expecting favorable terms.  But, the CNJ rejected their offer and they had until September 9th to move.  The BR&W moved their equipment to temporary storage at Taylor & Wharton at High Bridge.  Next, their equipment was moved to the Flemington Glass siding in Flemington the following year.  They were able to negotiate a lease of the Pennsylvania RR Flemington to Lambertville branch which was the first step in their long standing operation in Hunterdon County which began in 1965, and is where they remain.  [Jagger, Jerry J., Black River & Western Railroad]


On Apr. 1st, Perry M. Shoemaker was elected President of the Jersey Central, succeeding Earl T. Moore who had become Chairman of the Board.  Before the merger of the Erie and DL&W railroads in Oct., 1960, Mr. Shoemaker had been president of the DL&W.  After the merger he became Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Erie Lackawanna Railroad.  [McKelvey]


On May 6th a DL&W Rail-Camera Safari was operated from Hoboken through Wharton and out the “Old Road”.  [Pennisi, Bob, The NE RR Scene: Vol. 4, The Erie Lackawanna]


The Hoboken to Buffalo Phoebe Snow train was eliminated by the Erie Lackawanna Railway.   [McKelvey]



On June 8th  the Railroad Enthusiasts, NY Division, sponsored an excursion on the Erie Lackawanna Ry from Hoboken via Summit & Washington/Oxford to Scranton & Northumberland and return via the Cut-off & the Boonton Line.  [McKelvey]


In June, Earle Gil received permission to move his recently acquired former Virginia Blue Ridge (originally Southern Railway No. 385) 2-8-0 steam locomotive to a Morristown & Erie RR siding in Morristown.  In just three months Gill and a small group of volunteers completely overhauled his locomotive, converted it to burn oil, lettered it for his Morris County Central RR and renumbered it back to No. 385.  However, it took Earle over two years to gain permission from the M&E to operate steam excursions.  [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #2]


On August 1st, the Erie Lackawanna resurrected the Phoebe Snow name for their re-established main passenger train which formerly terminated at Buffalo, NY.  Now it ran between Hoboken and Chicago.  [McKelvey]  [Block Line, Vol. IX, No. V, October 1981]


The M&E RR decided they needed a second locomotive as a backup to their No. 14.  They acquired a former U. S. Navy, Alco RS-1 locomotive through Striegel Supply & Equipment Corp. which arrived at Morristown in October.  It was finally painted as M&E No. 15 in July of 1964.  [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #2]


On October 19th the Railroad Enthusiasts, NY Division, sponsored an excursion from Hoboken, then via the NYS&W RR to Passaic Jct.; the EL Ry to Suffern & Newburgh Jct.; Greycourt (L&HR RR) to Phillipsburg; Easton; Phillipsburg; Washington; Wharton/Dover; Paterson and back to Hoboken.  [McKelvey]


An aerial survey of the remains of the Morris Canal east from Phillipsburg, performed by Kenneth R. Hanson, was published in the proceedings of the NJ Historical Society.  [McKelvey]



The last traditional (NJ) milk train operating in the NYC region was terminated when Becker’s plant at Strader’s, near Branchville, the last large milk processor on the DL&W Sussex Branch, closed.  [Lowenthal, Larry and Greenberg, William T., Jr., The Lackawanna RR in Northwest NJ]


Percy Leach and Louis Gualandi made their first purchase in Waterloo Village – an 1840s worker’s house, which they began restoring.  The following year they acquired the Waterloo Hotel; the Seymour R. Smith Victorian mansion, along with its carriage barn and ice shed, followed by the Peter Smith Homestead and its carriage house and farm barn.  Their restorations, however, were more geared to showing their expertise as interior designers than as historians.  They did not attempt to restore the buildings to a specific period, nor did they remove modern amenities of later period additions that were not original to the buildings.  The furnishing they selected were more based on eye appeal than historical accuracy.  They opened a few of the buildings to the public in 1964 and continued to purchase properties.  [Giles, John R., The Story of Waterloo Village]


Fire swept through a Picatinny Arsenal building containing smokeless gunpowder, killing two on August 21st.  [NY Times, June 4th, 1989]


Former Erie RR Alco FA locomotives were used on the Phillipsburg to Dover "P'burger" freight run.  [McKelvey]


Tri-State Railway Historical Society Chapter of NRHS was incorporated.  It had originated with a group of individuals who regularly met in the office of Thomas T. Taber II, in the Express building on the platform, west of the Madison station.  They included: Mike Wikman, who became president; Dave Hopper, who became Treasurer; Ray Storey, who became a director; Bob Rose; Joe Lombardi; Joe Schussman; and Warren Apgar.  They outgrew the Madison Express building and next went to the Episcopal church in Madison, the American Legion Hall at Stanhope;  followed by various Dover locations; Allied Chemical in Morris Township, which became Allied Signal and then Honeywell; and finally they moved to the Bickford Theater at the Morris Museum.  Tri-State grew to become onr of the largest NRHS chapters in the 1970's, and its activities often broke ground among similar groups, including the operation of successful rail excursions and tours of NY Harbor by motor vessel and they hosted the 1988 NRHS Convention - “Garden State in ‘88".  For many years they published an excellent periodical - The Block Line with local railroad news and feature stories.  Tri-State was the first in the area to preserve a working locomotive, now the Lackawanna F3 (/DL&W 663), which is based at Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton and is used by the National Park Service to pull excursion trains.  [Tri-State website]  [Ted Glichman]  [Mike DelVecchio]  [Ray Storey]  [McKelvey]  [Walter Zulig]



By the mid-1960s, during the Vietnam War, Picatinny Arsenal tank munitions development efforts concentrated on a very high pressure, smoothbore cannon in a 120mm caliber and on experimental fin stabilized projectiles.  These used a variety of sabot designs and a new penetrating material, depleted uranium, an especially dense metal.  There were difficulties with sabot integrity and excessive gun wear, but the program showed that very high pressures were feasible, that such pressures were essential to greatly improved performance and that depleted uranium could be used as a structural material as well as an efficient penetrator.  The primary effort at Picatinny during that time period was the development of a kinetic energy round for the new 152mm cannon.  A strategy was devised that called for combining ultra-light plastics with titanium sabot components, with the depleted uranium material that acted as both a structural material and as the penetrator body.  These were combined with a plastic driving and sealing band that allowed insertion of the much longer kinetic energy cartridge several feet down the rifled bore of the new cannon.  [Picatinny Arsenal website]


The Morristown & Erie launched a promotional program to attract new freight customers and develop real estate to generate income for the railroad.  This effort produced: Polaner Jellies; a new office building adjacent to Whippany station (Morris County Central RR paid to move the M&E freight station out of the way - across the tracks where it became the Whippany Railway Museum); Newark Steel Products; Royal Lubricants; Vornado/Two Guys; Whippany Paperboard Company expansion; C. G. Winans Co.; Fritzche Bros.; Prince Range Co.; National Oil Co. (which became Quaker State and didn’t use rail for long); Tower Crane Co. of America; and an investment in Livingston Audio Products.  Ironically, of all the promising customers, Polaner turned into a great rail freight customer.  [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #2]


A serious blow to the volume of freight on the CNJ High Bridge Branch occurred when the Alan Wood Steel Co’s Scrub Oak Mine in Mine Hill closed.  It had generated 4,000 carloads of iron ore annually.  [CNJ Annual Report 1966]  [CNJ Journal No. 67, March 2016]


On May 9th, Sunday and holiday steam passenger excursion service was started on the M&E RR by the Morris County Central RR between Whippany and Roseland Morristown.  [Taber, Thomas T. III, The Morristown and Erie Railroad]  [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #2]


The CNJ opened new Trailer on Flat Car (TOFC) facilities in Somerville and Kenvil in May.  A new TOFC train for the operation was called the “NY Trailer Jet” which began running in late May.  CNJ wanted to make sure that it ran on time before issuing a news release on it.  TOFC business from Kenvil was poor, so the contract trucker handling the Somerville TOFC Yard hauled the Kenvil TOFC business over the road to and from Somerville.  [Reilly]


On May 30th the nation’s first commercial Electronic Switching System was placed in service by NJ Bell Telephone Company.  The structure, which housed the No. 1 ESS Central Office Switch, remains at 144 Route 10 West in the Succasunna section of Roxbury as a Verizon facility.  Developed, designed, manufactured and installed through the combined efforts of Bell Laboratories, Western Electric and NJ Bell, it ushered in a new era of telephone communications.  Electronic switching represents a major milestone in the Bell System’s efforts tom produce better, faster, more flexible communications service to meet the needs of a growing and ever-changing country.  The early telephone system was a modern version of the telegraph which Samuel Morse and Alfred Vail made the first successful public demonstration at Speedwell Village on January 11th, 1838.  So, the most modern communications development occurred in Morris County, the “Birthplace of the Telegraph”.  [The Heritage Review, (Morris County Heritage Commission)]


From a CNJ News Release dated June 1st: “New Piggyback facilities were opened at Somerville and Kenvil, NJ and a new high speed all Piggyback train with second morning delivery in Chicago and St. Louis has begun operation.”  [CNJ News Release, June 1st, 1965]  [CNJ Journal, #66, December 2015]  [Reilly]


A New York Division, Railroad Enthusiasts excursion on June 12th originated at Hoboken on the Erie Lackawanna Railway and traveled via the Boonton Line to Dover; Washington & Phillipsburg; on to the LV RR and stopped at Easton.  It followed the LV to Scranton and returned via the Delaware Water Gap on the former Lackawanna.  The Railroad Enthusiasts, NY Div. sponsored the $12.50 trip using Stillwell coaches, a diner and a buffet lounge.  It was powered by diesel locomotives #1404, 918 and 909 - all still painted in Erie colors.  [McKelvey - trip brochure]


On November 9th, a massive power failure in the Northeast left over 30 million people and 80,000 square miles of NJ, NY, PA, CT, RI, MA, NH, and VT in the US and parts of Ontario, Canada without power for up to 13 hours.  [Wikipedia]



The State of New Jersey eliminated railroad right-of-way and rolling-stock taxes for passenger railroads.  Under the New Jersey Transportation Act, a new Department of Transportation (NJDOT) absorbed the functions of the New Jersey State Highway Department.  The Act also created the Commuter Operating Authority to administer rail carrier contracts and subsidies for capital improvements.  It was the first legislation in the nation to combine funding for both highway and public transportation.  [McKelvey]


The Sheffield Dairy Company’s creamery at Homer, NY was the largest on the Lackawanna – and the last to ship milk over the railroad.  Four or five cars of milk were shipped to Hoboken each day until this year.  [Taber, Thomas T. and T. T. T., III, The DL&W RR in the 20th Century Part One]


Public Service Coordinated Transport bus route #10-72 between Ledgewood, Wharton, Dover, Rockaway, and Morristown was sold on June 20th to the West Morris Transit Co., which was a new company formed as a subsidiary of the charter bus company Conover Brothers Bus Service of Chester (759 Highway 206).  The Canal Society of NJ used Conover charter buses for nearly all of their early trips, including those to: NJ, PA, NY, OH, IN and to the C&O Canal.  They permitted us to park our cars in their rear lot for the duration of our longer trips.  Ca. 2002 the charter operations of Conover and some of their coaches were taken over by Passaic Valley Coaches of Chatham.  [Frank T. Reilly]  [Morris County Metro history]  [McKelvey]


In furtherance of the US Corps of Engineers plan for a flood control dam on Musconetcong River at Saxton Falls, the State of NJ used the Green Acres Program to acquire a majority of the remaining land holdings from the Lake Waterloo Corporation, including some of the historic buildings at Waterloo Village that had not yet been purchased by partners Percy Leach and Louis Gualandi.  The state’s initial acquisitions included the Smith General Store, the blacksmith’s shop, the gristmill and several historic houses.  In 1974, more purchases were added, including Peter D. Smith’s mansion and carriage house.  The state’s planned damming of the river presented a threat to Percy Leach’s plans for an historical village under his control.  The state’s plans for the Hackettstown Reservoir at Saxton Falls were eventually abandoned, likely with some assistance from Percy’s friends in high places.  The state now owned property that it did not know what to do with...  [Giles, John R., The Story of Waterloo Village]


By July 9th, passenger service on the DL&W Sussex Branch was down to one daily round trip, and the Railroadians of America used it to run a fantrip from Hoboken to Branchville and back on the last Saturday of scheduled service.  They persuaded Erie Lackawanna management to use a pair of EMD E-8 locomotives and add a diner to the consist, making the end of almost 112 years of passenger service a memorable occasion.  [Lowenthal, Larry and Greenberg, William T., Jr., The Lackawanna RR in Northwest NJ]


Near Ferromonte Junction was a level area of storage tracks for cars loaded with ore and sand, the mineral wealth of the nearby hills and plains.  This was the heart of the Ferromonte-Mine Hill ore district, and the surrounding hills were honeycombed with mines.  Directly up the hill from the storage tracks was Scrub Oak Mine, the last producing mine in Morris County.  When it closed in 1966 it marked the end of an era.  Shahmoon Industries, owner of Mount Hope and Richard Mines, sold the remaining stockpiled concentrate which was shipped out this year and in the first months of 1967.  This was the last iron ore taken out of NJ and these last somber ore trains rolled out over the fading Mount Hope Mineral RR almost exactly 100 years after the first.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


The Morris County Central Railroad acquired former Virginia Blue Ridge 0-6-0 steam locomotive #5, renumbering it #4039 and first operating it on August 27th.  [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #2] 


Frank T. Reilly began working for the CNJ as a clerk-typist in their Communipaw roundhouse in Jersey City (now the site of Liberty Science Center).  He was promoted to a management position in the Employee Relations Department and later became Freight Sales Manager.  In 1972 he left the CNJ to create the Morris County Department of Transportation and became its executive director until retirement.  Frank has held the offices of the president of the Central RR of NJ Veteran Employees Association and president of the C RR of NJ Historical Society and is a past president of the United RR Historical Society of NJ.


The Railroad Enthusiasts, NY Division, sponsored a Rail-Camera Excursion on the Erie Lackawanna Ry.  They covered the following lines: Northern Branch; Piermont Branch; NJ & NY; Main Line, Newark Branch; Greenwood Lake Branch; Boonton Line; Morris & Essex out to Port Morris & Washington and back to Hoboken on Sept. 25th.  [McKelvey]


On October 3rd Erie Lackawanna passenger service on the Sussex Branch; the Newark Branch; Caldwell Branch; and the Greenwood Lake Division between Mountain View and Wanaque was discontinued.  [McKelvey]


On November 1st, the crew of two Erie Lackawanna locomotives left them for a lunch stop at Lake Hopatcong station.  The unattended locomotives began rolling downgrade, eastward.  The two reportedly passed Kenvil at 40 miles per hour, then Wharton and thru Dover.  At east Dover, the runaway locomotives met four car westbound MU passenger train No. 615 head on under the Salem Street bridge.  The lead locomotive and the lead passenger car were both destroyed and the MU motorman was killed.  [Newark Evening News, November 2nd, 1966]


The final run of the Erie Lackawanna's luxury Phoebe Snow train was on November 27th. [McKelvey]


Thatcher Glass Manufacturing Co. opened a glass bottle manufacturing plant in Wharton.  It was built on the former Wharton Steel Co. property.  They made more milk bottles than any other company in the world.  In 1985 they went bankrupt and closed their Wharton plant.  [Borough of Wharton 75th Anniversary]


The three GP-18's owned by the NYS&W RR traveled to and from the Jersey Central's Elizabethport shop via the High Bridge branch to have their wheels turned.  [McKelvey]


Over the years more than 20 iron mines operated in Mine Hill, including those owned by the Baker, Crane, Dover, Boonton, Trenton, Replogle, and Alan Wood companies.  The last of these, the Scrub Oaks iron mine was permanently abandoned. In this year.  It was likely the largest iron producer in all of NJ.  Total life-long production has been estimated at 7,000,000 tons.  []  [Morris County Heritage Commission]



The Jersey Central RR filed for reorganization in Federal Court under Section 77 of the Bankruptcy Act on March 22nd.  This was their final bankruptcy.  On April 13th, the US District Court at Newark appointed Perry M. Shoemaker, CNJ President since Apr. 1st, 1962 and John E. Farrell, retired Chairman of the Board of P. Ballentine & Sons Brewery at Newark, NJ, Trustees of the railroad.  Shoemaker was also appointed Chief Executive Officer.  [McKelvey]  [Parton, W. Julian, The Death of a Great Company]


Texas Eastern Transmission Corp. had Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval of public convenience and plaintiff sought to acquire by condemnation a right-of-way across property of defendant Wildlife Preserves, Inc. (Troy Meadows).  After a trial on the merits, the NJ Supreme Court held the condemnation to be lawful on June 14th.  [Ted Brewer]


The Vail and Lidgerweood family descendants lived in the Vail Homestead at Speedwell until 1955, treasuring its memories and savoring its beauty.  There followed a period when the property changed hands several times until a group of public-spirited citizens, with the support of the Lidgerwood/Vail family, formed a nonprofit corporation in this year called The Speedwell Village.  Many of the original furnishings were returned, as were family mementos, photographs, account books and letters, including the fourteen journals of Stephen Vail.  [Cavanaugh, Hoskins & Pingeon, At Speedwell In The Nineteenth Century]


Passaic Valley Coaches began charter operations in this year.  They are based at 71 River Road, Chatham.  Ca. 2002 they took over the charter operations and some of the coaches of Conover Brothers Bus Service of Chester.  [McKelvey]


On September 17th the High Iron Co. operated Safari #4 from Elizabeth, Plainfield, and High Bridge to Green Pond Jct. via the CNJ and Wharton & Northern and return using CPR steam locomotives #1286 and #1238.  The train had 10 open window coaches with a baggage (snack) car in the middle, an open door baggage car and a Rocky Mountain type open observation car.  [McKelvey]


An explosion and fire at Kenvil Powder Works killed two workers.  [Roxbury Township Historical Society]


A wreck on the L&HR RR caused them to detour some of their trains over the Erie Lackawanna's Washington Line between Phillipsburg and Port Morris.  [McKelvey]


Percy Leach and Louis Gualandi incorporated the Waterloo Foundation for the Arts and transferred the property they owned to the foundation.  However, they continued to be the driving force behind the foundation.  [Giles, John R., The Story of Waterloo Village]



In early February Harry Rinker, founding president of the Pennsylvania Canal Society wrote to Clayton F. Smith of Madison, NJ that “...they were vigorously pursuing Morris Canal materials and information...” for their out-of-state canal museum.  Smith swiftly acted and proposed a meeting at McCullouch Hall, Morristown to establish a Canal Society of NJ.  On March 14th, the date set for the meeting, the hall was packed!  An organizational meeting was set for June 7th at Waterloo Village - 170 individuals attended!  Over the years regular public meetings have been held at Maccullouch Hall, Jersey Central Power & Light auditorium, Allied Chemical, which became Allied Signal and then Honeywell.  Meetings are currently held at the Morris County Cultural Center, Headquarters of the Morris County Park Commission.  [Canal Society of NJ History]  [McKelvey]


Approximately 120 members of the Pennsylvania Canal Society, the Canal Society of NY State and canal societies in other states, turned out May 2nd, 3rd, and 4th for a delightful week end and tour of the Western Division of the Morris Canal.  Headquarters for the affair were at the Hotel Bethlehem, Bethlehem, PA.  On Friday evening James Lee gave a slide presentation of the western section of the Morris Canal, as well as reminiscences by Mrs. Chester Mann about her experiences while living on a Morris Canal boat, 1898 to 1914.  The Saturday tour included stops at Plane 9 W and a number of other sites; a noon meal at the Hotel Claredon, Hackettstown, and the tour windup at Lake Hopatcong Historical Society.  That evening, future Canal Society of NJ president, Clayton F. Smith, gave a color slide illustrated presentation on the Eastern Section of the Morris Canal.   [Canal Currents, Issue No. 9, Summer 1969]


A restored railbus entered service on the Morris County Central this summer.  The M&E had donated the frame of their original 1918 White railbus.  The ever resourceful Earle Gill located an original 1924 White bus body and motor and installed it on the historic frame.  [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #2]


S. J. Groves & Sons Co. contractors of Woodbridge, NJ got the contract for construction of the new Interstate 280.  They built a single track railroad on the I-280 right-of-way to haul the blasted rock from the Orange Mountain cut in West Orange to provide fill across Hatfield Swamp west of Roseland.  In October Groves began building a connection to the Morristown & Erie to allow them to bring in two new GE U33C diesel locomotives and two trains of side dump cars to move the material.  They later purchased and moved in a second hand Alco RS3 locomotive to push the loaded trains up out of the cut and over the second hill.  The trains passed just west of Laurel Avenue, Livingston, where a passing track and temporary engine house was built.  The Groves railroad operation ended and their equipment was all moved back onto the Morristown & Erie on October 10th, 1971 and was taken to Essex Fells for the Erie Lackawanna to take away.  [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #2]



The last regularly scheduled Erie Lackawanna train over the Cutoff, the Lake Cities, was made on January 5th- 6th.  [Lowenthal, Larry and Greenberg, William T., Jr., The Lackawanna RR in Northwest NJ] 


Declining ridership resulted in West Morris Transit abruptly ending service by notifying its customers on the morning of February 3rd that service would end that night.  Morris County government recognized the need to continue this local bus service.  With unprecedented speed and cooperation from the NJ Dept. of Transportation, bus service resumed 5 days later, on February 9th,  under county sponsorship.  After this, the Morris County Metro bus system was expanded and new routes were added to other areas of Morris County such as Boonton and the County College of Morris. [Morris County Metro history]


The all-time record for commuting on the Lackawanna Railroad was held by W. Parsons Todd of Morristown, who commuted to NYC for seventy-two years, between 1898 and 1970.  Mr. Todd was a member and supporter of the Canal Society of New Jersey, hosting some early board meetings at his former mansion on Madison Avenue. \[Douglas, George H., All Aboard! The Railroad in American Life]  [Taber, Thomas T. and T. T. T., III, The DL&W RR in the 20th Century Part One]


The Canal Society of NJ was incorporated under the laws of the State of NJ on January 12th.  It is a non-profit, non-political, public benefit organization formed solely for the educational and recreational benefit of the public.  Periodic membership / public program meetings are held at the Morris County Cultural Center, also HQ of the Morris County Park Commission.  [Canal Society of NJ History]  []


“The Passing of the Wharton Lock” is a story written by Canal Society of NJ Editor, Robert R. Goller, about the fire loss of the Wharton Locktender’s house in August.  [The Towpath Post V. 2, No. 1, Autumn 1970]


The population of Picatinny Arsenal reached 9,000.  [Picatinny Arsenal website]


Picatinny Arsenal has been at the forefront of Smart Munitions development since the beginning.  The first development in smart munitions was the Copperhead, a 155mm, indirect fire weapon that gave artillery a new long range capability to destroy tanks, self-propelled artillery, air defense vehicles, armored personnel carriers and other hard point targets.  The Army initiated Copperhead development in this year and the world’s first smart, guided artillery round was fielded in 1982.  Picatinny has advanced from laser-designated weapons to those using infrared and Global Positioning Systems and seeker technology to become the recognized leader in smart ammunition.   [Picatinny Arsenal website]


On February 10th, the tire on a wheel of Morristown & Erie locomotive No. 15 began to split while switching.  It received a temporary weld repair (approved by the EL) to allow it to be towed the Erie Lackawanna shop at Scranton where the wheelsets could be replaced.  It was moved to Denville where it was picked up by westbound EL freight CS 9 on February 22nd.  Approximately 8pm on that evening No. 15 became derailed and was allegedly dragged three miles until the sparks were discovered while the train was passing through Roseville Tunnel on the Cut-Off.  After lengthy legal wrangling the M&E was found not responsible to the EL for the bill for $27,517.86 for main line track repairs.  [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #2] 


In March, as part of its “Blueprint for Survival,” the collapsing CNJ decided to eliminate most of its remaining rail branches in order to preserve a fragment of the system.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


On May 23rd a group of more than a score of Canal Society of NJ members gathered in the municipal parking lot of Boonton to follow the Morris Canal from that town to Lake Hopatcong in a caravan of cars.  Their key stops were: Powerville - where the canal crossed the Rockaway River; Peer’s store in Denville; the watered section of canal, lock, and locktender’s remains at Wharton; a lunch stop at Lake Hopatcong, near the former Brooklyn Lock; then back to explore the remains of the inclined planes, Plane 3E locktender’s house, and Plane 2E brakeman’s house & mule barn at Ledgewood.  [The Towpath Post, V. 2, No. 4, Summer, 1971]


CNJ issued an official notice that on May 25th, it filed an application for abandonment of several branch lines with the ICC that included the Mt. Hope Hope Mineral RR between Wharton and Mt. Hope, 3.60 miles which is the entire railroad; the Dover & Rockaway RR between Wharton and Rockaway, 5.11 miles which is the entire railroad; and the Wharton & Northern RR between Wharton (Morris County Jct) and Green Pond Jct. (with the NYS&W RR), 14.64 miles which is the entire railroad; and the entire High Bridge Branch (High Bridge to Wharton).  Carloadings for the MtHMRR were inbound and outbound respectively: 1968 39 and 6; 1969 0 and 188, 1970 1 and 116, and 1971 0 and 58.  [CNJ Freight Traffic Dept. records, Frank Reilly, Sales Manager all CNJ operations in northern and central NJ]


The entire Wharton & Northern was slated for abandonment by the CNJ, but the Department of Defense raised strenuous objections.  It pointed out that the W&N shipped approximately fifty cars per month to Picatinny Arsenal, that the government had a system of approximately forty miles of track connecting with the W&N and that in the year ending June 1st, 1971 Picatinny had received 498 carloads of coal alone.  The CNJ later submitted a plan to convert the W&N to a terminal railroad, serving track from Rockaway to Kenvil, including Picatinny, and connecting with the Erie Lackawanna Ry.  Originally the NYS&W RR had also protested the application to abandon the Wharton & Northern, stating that it received 10% of its revenues from the interchange at Green Pond Junction.  But on August 30th, a flood washed out a section of NYS&W track near Smoke Rise.  It estimated that it would cost $200,000 to repair the break and the Susquehanna, which had been cutting back its trackage for many years, saw a chance to prune off another section and did not press its objection in the later stages of the abandonment hearing.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


On August 8th Nickel Plate Road 2-8-4 steam locomotive #759 departed Bethlehem for Hoboken, NJ.  The train traveled via Phillipsburg, the Washington and Boonton lines to Hoboken Terminal for a two day, 18 car, (August 14th & 15th) excursion to Binghamton via Port Jervis and return via Scranton / Boonton line.  The Editor was on board!  [McKelvey]



The CNJ increased passenger fares 20% on intrastate trips on January 1st.  [McKelvey]


Sometimes a railroad would go tom ridiculous extremes to grab just a little more revenue from its neighbors.  The little Jersey Central had run from Jersey City to Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, but the bankruptcy court had ordered that it shut down all operations west of the Delaware River, leaving that business to the ailing Lehigh Valley, which paralleled its lines so closely that the two sets of tracks often lay in sight of one another.  Now, to capture just a bit more of the division on the freight rate, the Jersey Central negotiated a deal with the Erie Lackawanna, which ran west to Scranton and Chicago on a track further north.  Rather than haul a daily Chicago-bound train to the Delaware River and hand it over to the Lehigh Valley for a miserably small division of the rate, the Jersey Central refurbished a muddy little track that snaked north from High Bridge for roughly 20 miles through the wooded hills of western New Jersey and ran trains west to that rail line and up it to a junction with the Erie Lackawanna.  The line was so rickety the 100-car trains had to creep up it, and at the north end the entire train had to be run up the Wharton & Northern branch and then backed down and out on the Erie Lackawanna’s main line.  There the EL picked it up and hustled it west off to Chicago.  For those efforts, the EL divided the revenue much more handsomely than could the LV, which went only to Buffalo and would have to share its revenue with a third railroad in order to get the cars to Chicago.  [Loving, Rush, Jr., The Men Who Loved Trains]


On January 3rd the Jersey Central and Erie Lackawanna railroads began operating pooled freight trains between Elizabeth and Scranton via the High Bridge Branch and the former DL&W Main Line, passing through Hopatcong and Lake Junctions, just west of Wharton.  [McKelvey]


Lehigh Valley and Reading railroads begin meetings to counter CNJ pulling out of Penna. and interchanging most traffic with the E-L at Lake Jct (near Wharton) on January 11th.  This meeting evolved into the proposal to create Middle Atlantic Rail Corp (MARC).  [Reilly]


By this year Picatinny Arsenal developed a small, high-energy, rapid ignition flare to provide protection for rotary wing aircraft against ground-launched missiles such as the Redeye, Sidewinder and Chaparral missiles.  [Picatinny Arsenal website]


Wharton & Northern RR operated the last train to the NYS&W on January 20th when CNJ locomotive #1093 went to get a tank car at the water purification plan near Green Pond Jct.  This car was stranded by the washout at Smoke Rise, between there and Butler.  The only way to recover it was via the W&N.  A NYS&W crew met the W&N train and did the work on the NYS&W.  Following this the W&N track was broken near Egberts Lake and track to the north was removed by a contractor using trucks.  [Reilly and Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


Wharton & Northern RR abandoned their main line from Picatinny Arsenal to Green Pond Jct., 11.1 miles.  [Reilly]


West Morris Transit abruptly terminated service and the County of Morris took over that service the following week and had Dover Mt. Hope Picatinny Bus Lines provide the service under a contract.  Frank Reilly was hired in March as manager of operations and he renamed the bus service Morris County Metro.  He renumbered it the 1072 route instead of the 10-72 route.  [Reilly]

Mt. Hope Mineral RR General Order #2 dated Apr. 6th, “effective immediately abandoned the entire railroad from Mt. Hope to approx. 1320 ft. west of the track connection with the CNJ at Wharton.”  That portion of track in Wharton was used by the CNJ to connect to the CNJ's Dover & Rockaway RR.  [Reilly] 


Picatinny began development on the 25mm Bushmaster Cannon in May.  The weapon system received its Full Material Release in July 1984.  It became an outstanding gun system for the Bradley Fighting Vehicle, the US Marine Corps Light Armored Vehicle, and on numerous surface ships of the US Navy and US Coast Guard.  Over 14,000 Bushmaster weapon systems were put in service in 23 countries worldwide.  [Picatinny Arsenal website]  


ICC ruled on CNJ application of May 25th, 1971 to abandon certain lines.  ICC on Jun 2, 1972 approved abandonment of L&NE Ry, L&S, Seashore Branch between Keyport and Atlantic Highlands, and W&N RR between Picatinny Arsenal and Green Pond Jct.  ICC denied application to abandon the CNJ main line High Bridge - Phillipsburg, the South Branch from Royce to Flemington, and the Freehold Branch between Matawan and Freehold; and the Industrial Branch between E. Long Branch and Branchport.  [Feature story and new system map in CNJ Employee magazine Aug. 1972, p. 3.]


With both No. 14 and No. 15 of M&E’s locomotives out of service on June 9th, Morris County Central Railroad’s 0-6-0 No. 4039 was fired up for the day to power freight trains.  [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #2]


The Erie Lackawanna Ry entered bankruptcy on June 26th.  This then saddled New Jersey with six major bankrupt railroads: Penn Central, CNJ, Lehigh Valley, L&HR, Erie Lackawanna and Reading.  [McKelvey]


The CNJ adopted a new red with white trim paint scheme for diesel locomotives.  [McKelvey]


In the 1960s many new competitors took business from Reaction Motors Division and in 1970 Thiokol Chemical began phase-out of RMD operations.  RMD, America’s first family of liquid rocketry, ceased to exist in June 1972, but it was not for lack of talent, boldness, and vision.  RMI had played a most significant role in the development of American aerospace technology.  Many RMI engines and associated artifacts can be found on display in museums and air bases across the country.  [Van Brug, Jacobus, Vernon Stories of, Power For Progress: Reaction Motors]


The CNJ Kenvil station was destroyed by fire.  [Bernhart, B. L., CRR of NJ Stations, Structures & Marine Equipment]


CNJ’s Trustee, R.D. Timpany, on December 13th, submitted to the US Railway Association (the government entity given the task of finding a solution for the numerous bankrupt railroads of the Northeast) a proposal to transform existing rail trackage in NJ into a single terminal railroad, with CNJ trackage as the basic grid.  At relatively small railroad rehabilitation and equipment costs, all industries requiring rail service would receive it in a non-discriminatory or “neutral” manner, with the neutral terminal company delivering the products of those industries to and from designated interchange points where the larger rail carriers could compete on equal terms for the (more profitable) long haul.  USRA’s final plan adopted many of Timpany’s proposals and formed the basis for the Conrail Shared Assets Organization which survives to this day.  [How a Neutral Terminal Company Plan would Work, The (CNJ) Coupler, June 1975]



After the CNJ withdrew from Pennsylvania, they operated a through freight trains between Jersey City and Scranton in cooperation with the Erie Lackawanna Ry.  The trains operated up the refurbished High Bridge Branch where they then reversed direction and backed through Lake Junction to the EL main before proceeding west.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


On January 13th an excursion train, called the “CNJ Winterland Accommodation” was operated by the CNJ and the Railroad Enthusiasts, NY Division to Wharton.  The train began at the Elizabeth-Broad Street Station; went east to Bayonne-W. 8th St. Station and then reversed west making a stop at Lebanon to view the High Iron Company’s Reading T-1 4-8-4 steam locomotive, then north on the High Bridge branch and finally an hour-long stop at Wharton.  On the return to Elizabeth a photo stop / run-by was made at Long Valley.  Frank Reilly chased the trip to take photos.  It was powered by CNJ GP7 locomotives 1524 on one end and 1528 on the other end.  This was the last railfan trip on the High Bridge Branch.  (No. 1524 was built in 1952 and is now owned by URHS.  It was the only GP-7 painted in the NJ Transit scheme.  Funding for its cosmetic restoration to its original livery in November 1996 was provided by the Jersey Central Railway Historical Society.)  [Trip description and timetable by Gordon R. Fuller, Gen. Mgr., CNJ Passenger Operations]  [Reilly]  [Bob Pennisi photo @ Washington Twp. Historical Society]


On May 26th - 27th the Reading T-1 4-8-4 No. 2102 operated on an excursion from Hoboken to Binghamton, NY and return.  [A Look Back at the Erie and Lackawanna Railroads, DVD, Railroad Video Productions]


On May 27th, a two day High Iron Company Hoboken to Binghamton via the Erie returned via the DL&W through Scranton passing through Wharton.  It was powered by Reading RR 4-8-4 steam locomotive No. 2102, in the guise of Delaware & Hudson No. 302.  [Peterson, Henry W., Lackawanna Railroad Trackside]  [McKelvey]

On May 28th a tornado touched down in Mt. Olive, for 0.4 miles and 50 yards wide, causing the destruction of a dozen homes, 12 injuries and $250,000 damage.  [Tornado History Project]


The last Wharton & Northern revenue freight train to Picatinny ran on June 11th and the line north of Picatinny Arsenal was abandoned thereafter.  (Note: A scrap train ran in Dec.)  [Reilly]


The CNJ-Reading-B&O periodically started new freight trains, and after the CNJ pulled out of PA they started two new TOFC trains on July 13th between Elizabethport and Scranton.  [Reilly]


On July 27th the High Iron Company operated their “Steam over the Poconos” excursion using Nickel Plate Berkshire locomotive No. 759.  It had 15 cars and ran from Hoboken, via the Greenwood Lake - Boonton line, to Scranton and return via Dover.  The train consisted of passenger cars from the Erie, Reading, Chesapeake & Ohio and several private cars.  On the tail was the American Freedom Train’s open platform, heavyweight observation car Splendid Spirit.  No. 759 is now located at Steamtown National Historic Site in Scranton, PA.   [A Look Back at the Erie and Lackawanna Railroads, DVD, Railroad Video Productions]


The Erie Lackawanna and CNJ started two new cross country piggyback freight trains, NE 99 and NE100, between Elizabethport Yard and Chicago via Lake Jct. on a trial basis in mid-August.  These 5 to 15 car trains passed through Lake Jct., the EL-CNJ interchange point, at 12:40 and 2:45 AM.  [CNJ Journal, #66, December 2015] 


The Erie Lackawanna Railway abandoned the last section of their Sussex Branch - between Netcong and Andover.  [Anthony Troha]


An oil embargo by several oil producing countries was imposed on October 19th affecting the US and other oil importing countries caused a quadrupling of prices.  In the US severe shortages resulted in long lines at gasoline stations, rationing and restrictions for purchasers based on odd-even license plate numbers.  Although the embargo officially ended in March 1974, oil prices remained at their post-embargo level.  [The oil weapon: past, present, and future, Oil & Gas Journal  May 2nd, 2005]


Morris County Metro bus Rt. #1072 extended from Wharton to Budd Lake Oct. 29th.  The number was later changed to the #10 route.  [Reilly]


In November, the late Thomas T. Taber, then Chairman of the Morris County Board of Public Transportation, advanced the idea of operating weekend passenger service between Hoboken, Netcong and McAfee, NJ with equipment which was usually idle.  The proposed trains would have operated Friday evenings, Saturdays and Sundays, making most station stops between Hoboken and Dover.  The proposal was welcomed by the Lehigh & Hudson River RR as they were in bankruptcy, but the Erie Lackawanna Ry senior management was opposed to the idea.  In spite of a major gasoline shortage at the time, a positive resolution by Morris County, and support by the Playboy Club, NJ DOT didn’t have the staff to champion this initiative and it died.  [Block Line, V. 12, No. 6, May, 1985]


The Morris County Central, a tenant of the M&E since 1965, opted not to renew its contract for the 1974 season.  M&E management began organizing their own steam passenger operation to replace the announced departure of the MCC.  On November 27th, an agreement was signed with Sam Freeman, owner of former Florida East Coast 4-6-2 #148, to move the locomotive from the Black River & Western RR in Ringoes, NJ to Whippany to be used on the M&E’s new “Whippany Toonerville” excursion train.  Several former Central RR of NJ commuter coaches were acquired for the service.   [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #2]


On December 16th the entire Morris County Central operation and all its equipment was moved from Whippany to Essex Fells.  From there, the motley consist proceeded over the next several weeks and months via a tenuous and roundabout route to its new home in Newfoundland, NJ on the NY Susquehanna & Western RR, where it continued to operate until 1980.  [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #2]



"The basic purpose of the Regional Rail Reorganization Act of 1973, signed into law by the President on January 2nd was to establish special procedures for restructuring the rail system in the northeast and the Midwest where seven Class I railroad are in bankruptcy, some of them in danger of being liquidated.  Existing rail reorganization laws apparently incapable of satisfactorily solving the problems created by these bankruptcies, the need seemed clear for the establishment on a one-time basis of a process whereby they could  be dealt with as a group, and vital rail transportation service preserved.  The Act established two new major organizations, the United States Railway Association (USRA) and the Consolidated Rail Corp. (ConRail).  USRA, an incorporated non-profit association, is given broad powers to plan and finance a new rail system for the northeast and midwest.  As directed by the Act, USRA has released a Preliminary System Plan and is expected to issue a Final System Plan by July 16th, 1975.  ...The purpose of ConRail is to acquire and operate all of the new rail systems designated by USRA, except those rail properties which the Final System Plan designates for sale to the above mentioned railroads."  [CNJ employee magazine "CNJ Coupler" May 1975, pg. 3.]


On January 2nd, President Richard M. Nixon signed the Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act, which set the national highway speed limit at 55 mph.  The new speed limit law was passed in response to the 1973 oil crisis, when an oil embargo led to gasoline and diesel fuel shortages in the US.  The law was intended to get Americans to drive at what were considered more fuel-efficient speeds.  The law was repealed in 1995 and the authority over speed limits was give back to the states.  [McKelvey] 


Founders of the North Jersey Electric Railway Historical Society acquired the intact body of Public Service streetcar No. 2651 from Ms. Sutton at Fairmount Road, Long Valley and moved it to property owned by the Black River and Western Railroad at Ringoes, NJ for preservation and restoration in March.  The car had been acquired from Public Service in 1946 and moved to Long Valley to shelter the Sutton family while they built their home on the front of the property.  The car was moved from Ringoes to a building in Phillipsburg in 2001 to protect it whil restoration continued.   [Tony Hall]


The first operating season of the Whippany Toonerville began in April, but their steam locomotive was plagued with mechanical problems for which it was repeatedly pulled out of service.  [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #2] 


The Morristown Powder Mill was located and well documented by Archeologist Edward J. Lenik,  of Drew University in his report dated April 12th.  The site can be accessed by walking into the woods toward the Whippany River from the bottom of the Governor Morris Inn parking lot in Morristown.  However, it is now very difficult to find any of the mill remains.  [Bartenstein, Fred and Isabel, New Jersey’s Revolutionary War Powder Mill, with a Preliminary Archeology Survey of the Ford Powder Mill Site by Edward J. Lenik]


On May 23rd, a truck hit the low-clearance River Road bridge on the M&E and knocked it out of alignment.  It would take 23 days for the bridge to be replaced.  At the time of the accident, both of the M&E locomotives, No. 14 and No. 15, were working east of the bridge at Polaner in Roseland.  This required the use of MCC steamer No. 148 in freight service for several days.  It was decided to get the two diesel locomotives back to Morristown.  This required the cooperation of the Erie Lackawanna to move them via Essex Fells, Great Notch, Denville and back to Morristown.  [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #2]


On June 17th, an Erie Lackawanna freight train came through the new run-through connection at Lake Junction too fast and crashed into a standing CNJ locomotive and caboose #91508 (which was destroyed), killing two EL crewmen.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]  [Reilly, Frank, T., Central RR Company of NJ, Its History and Employees]


The Morristown & Erie Railway temporarily leased Boston & Maine EMD GP-7 #1567 while both their locomotives, No. 14 & No. 15, were out of service from August 4th  to September 28th.  [Pennisi, Bob, The Morristown & Erie Railway]  [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #2]


The Morris Canal was entered on the National Register on October 1st.  [Wikipedia]  [McKelvey]


Halecrest Industries, which had taken over the Mount Hope Mines in 1972, announced late in 1974 that they would begin shipping crushed stone.  A test train was operated on November 14th, and a train of empty hopper cars was delivered the next day by CNJ locomotive No. 1532, the same unit which was wrecked in the infamous Newark Bay drawbridge accident in 1958.  Halecrest also began preparations to resume iron mining, two years later, but bankruptcy intervened and all operations ceased.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


The charter of the Morris Canal and Banking Company was to terminate on December 31st, thus causing the remaining properties to revert to the State of NJ for all time, but this did not happen.  It remains an active corporation administered by the NJ DEP.  [Lee, James, The Morris Canal A Photographic History]  [McKelvey]


Speedwell Village was declared a National Historic Landmark. 


The Lake Hopatcong Antique Boat Club was formed.  [Lake Hopatcong Historical Society / Museum]


On January 8th, Sam Freeman’s No. 148 departed the M&E for the New Hope & Ivyland RR shop in New Hope to be completely rebuilt for an estimated $35,000.  The locomotive was finally returned to operation on the M&E in August.   [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #2]


Railroad enthusiast extraodinair, Thomas T. Taber of Madison, died.  In his honor, the Erie Lackawanna Railway named their 5:30pm Hoboken to Dover commuter train the Tom Taber Express.  This was the only known passenger train ever named for a railfan.  The citizens of Madison later placed a bronze plaque honoring him in the Madison station and the legislature passed resolutions in recognition of his contributions to transportation.  [Railroad History Bulletin #171]


"On Feb. 26th, the United States Railway Association (USRA) issued its Preliminary System Plan (PSP) for restructuring bankrupt northeastern railroads.  ...ConRail is the proposed new railroad which would be authorized and directed to acquire, rehabilitate and operate the ‘recommended’ properties of the region's bankrupt carriers."  [CNJ employee magazine "CNJ Coupler" May 1975, pg. 1.]


On June 1st, the Canal Society of NJ opened a canal museum at Waterloo Village, Stanhope, NJ, in a building which they leased from the State of NJ.  The records, memorabilia and artifacts displayed there come mainly from the Morris Canal and NJ’s Delaware & Raritan Canal.  Waterloo Village is unique in that it is the only spot along the Morris Canal which has a watered section, complete with an inclined plane, a lock, an aqueduct, a bridge, a dam, a canal store, a water raceway, a water-powered mill – as well as an entire canal town...  [Canal Society of NJ History]


In the mid-1970s, it became evident that the latest generation armor was impervious to tungsten carbide penetrators.  Picatinny Arsenal engineers had been working on improving the properties of depleted uranium, and saw potential for its use in the 105mm M774 cartridge.  In conjunction with the Department of Energy’s Battelle Pacific Northwest Laboratories, Picatinny developed the unique material purity and heat treatment process necessary to produce a hard uranium/titanium alloy penetrator.  The next evolution of the kinetic energy cartridge was a projectile which incorporated a longer monolithic depleted uranium penetrator which made it go faster and reduced the weight of the sabot by making longitudinal cuts.  This gave the projectile the strength it needed on launch and the penetration necessary to defeat the threat.  As effective as this cartridge was, threats became even more sophisticated and it was replaced with the M900 depleted uranium projectile.  Improved versions of this cartridge became the Army’s primary antiarmor 105mm tank ammunition, and is used by the Marine Corps.  The M900 can penetrate the frontal slope of enemy armor systems and has excellent accuracy at all combat ranges because of the penetrator and sabot design.  In this time period the Army also began deciding what kind of new tank it needed.  Picatinny Arsenal was an active member in the design, development, and fabrication of ammunition to support the tank which was to become the Abrams.  Picatinny developed 120mm armor piercing cartridges which gave the Abrams tank the greatest killing potential of any fielded NATO tank.  The Abrams is the premier tank in the world.   [Picatinny Arsenal website] 


On July 12th  the Canal Society of NJ organized a Sesquicentennial Celebration at Ledgewood, NJ (where excavation for the Morris Canal began) as a joint project with the Roxbury Township Historical Society.  A small monument was erected on the lawn of the Capt. Silas Riggs House at a point less than 300' from the canal.  Accompanying the monument is a stone “sleeper” which once helped support the rails on one of the Morris Canal’s inclined planes.  Capt. Riggs not only held the first contract for digging the section of the Morris Canal in that area, but he later had three boats which operated on the canal.  [Canal Society of NJ History]  [The Morris Canal’s Sesquicentennial – July 12th, 1975, The Towpath Post, V. 5, No. 4, Summer 1975]


Dover - Mt. Hope - Picatinny Bus Co. of Dover discontinued service on July 18th, on its sole bus route (Victory Gardens, Wharton, Picatinny Arsenal) that it owned and was not subsidized.  It consisted of one round trip a day.  Seven CNJ subsidiaries named Joseph Marko VP of Finance for Central RR Co. of Pennsylvania, Communipaw Central Land Co., Dover & Rockaway RR, Jersey Central Transportation Co., Lehigh & New England Ry, Mount Hope Mineral RR, and the Wharton & Northern RR.  [CNJ employee magazine Sept. 1975, p. 3]


On September 13th the Sussex County portion of the Waterloo Village Historic District was placed on the National Register.  At the time the Morris County portion of the village (which straddles the Morris / Sussex County line) was not so designated.  [The Heritage Review, (Morris County Heritage Commission)]  


The ex-DL&W, ex-Danville & Mount Morris 2-6-0 steam locomotive #565 was moved from Citro's restaurant in Wayne to the E-L at Pompton, east to Croxton and west via Dover, Phillipsburg/Easton to New Hope, PA.  [McKelvey]



The Chester Long Valley Railroad was acquired by Keith Muldowney and over 6 months was dis-assembled transported, in a series of moves using U-Haul trucks and much manual labor, to his residential property in Ringoes, NJ.  It was renamed the Passaic Valley & Western Railroad - the “Goose Route”, with a 900' loop. After being restored to operating condition it was used for many years as a privately operated feature of Keith’s backyard for family parties, birthdays, and gatherings.  Eventually, heavy maintenance was needed on the locomotive and the PV&W fell into disuse.  In 2012 it was sold to the Strasburg Railroad in Pennsylvania where it is held in as a backup currently operating Cagney locomotive.  [Keith Muldowney]  [Cagney 9 Live Steam, Passaic Valley & Western Railroad in The Wonderful Wizard of Weird Forum]


Under the Emergency Rail Services Act of 1970 the CNJ RR received a $6 million loan guarantee on January 15th.  [McKelvey]


Morris County bus Rt. #10 was extended from Wharton into Picatinny Arsenal (rush hours) on January 15th; Rt. #1 was rerouted to Ridgedale Ave., Cedar Knolls.  [Reilly]


On March 11th an earthquake of about 5 in magnitude were felt near Boonton.  [Geologic History of Morris County]


On Apr 1st, most of the CNJ rail assets were conveyed to Conrail pursuant to the Regional Rail Reorganization Act of 1973.  As compensation, the USRA and CR deposited $10,300,000 in securities with the Special Court created by the Act based on the net liquidation value as determined by the USRA.  (CNJ strongly contested and eventually got more money.)  Conveyed to Conrail were CNJ affiliates: L&NE Ry (100% CNJ owned), Wharton & Northern RR (100% CNJ owned), Mount Hope Mineral RR (owned 68.3% and Halecrest Industries, Mt. Hope Mine owner, owned 31.7%), and others.  [Reilly]


At 0001 hrs, Thur., Apr. 1st, the following CNJ lines became  part of Conrail and became CR's CNJ District, Elizabeth Div., Atlantic Region: entire Main Line, West Side Branch, Lafayette Branch, Newark & New York Branch, Newark & Elizabeth Branch, Manufacturers Branch, South Branch from main line (MP 0.0) to MP 0.6 at 300 ft east of Rt 206 grade crossing Somerville, High Bridge Branch (MP 0.0 main line connection) to MP 0.3 east side of Main St. grade crossing; Perth Amboy Branch, Sound Shore Branch, Carteret Branch, Carteret Extension Branch, Reformatory Branch, Southern Div. main line from NY&LB jct. at Red Bank to Winslow Jct., Freehold Branch (MP 12.1 Matawan) to MP 11.9 Atlantic Ave. overpass west of Matawan, Seashore Branch, Industrial Branch, West End Branch, and Toms River & Barnegat Branch MP 0 Lakehurst to MP 8.1 (300 ft. east of Flint Rd grade crossing in Toms River.)  [Reilly]


The following rail lines became Conrail CNJ District, Hoboken Div., Atlantic Region: High Bridge Branch MP 22 (west of Kenvil) to MP 31.6 (end of track in Rockaway Twp.), Lake Hopatcong Branch, Wharton & Northern RR, and Mount Hope Mineral RR.  [Reilly]


On April 1st, when Conrail took over operations of Northeast railroads, the NJ Department of Transportation purchased many branches used by commuter trains, including the Morris & Essex and Boonton Line to preserve the service.  Conrail operated the commuter service for the state from April 1st, 1976 to January 1st, 1983 when NJ Transit took over the operation of commuter trains.   [Railroads of All Types Operated in Boonton, NJ, by Frank T. Reilly and Bill McKelvey]


Kenvil Powder Works Plymouth locomotive No. 7 was painted into a red/white/blue Bicentennial color scheme.  Their 8 Plymouth locomotives were all acquired new and were sold off when the company ceased shipping by rail.  [The Short Line, No. 53]


The public’s interest in historical buildings and event energized by the bicentennial activities taking place that year.  By this time the state owned the majority of the historic properties at Waterloo.  It could not afford to maintain these properties but was reluctant to give them up in light of the bad press that was sure to accompany such a decision.  It had no resources to run a living history museum there, as Percy was doing, and certainly had no desire to be involved in any part of the concert or festival business.  The state needed a way out - it found it in a no-cost lease of the state’s Waterloo properties to the Waterloo Foundation for the Arts.  [Giles, John R., The Story of Waterloo Village]


The Morris County Board of Transportation created the New Jersey County Transportation Association, the brainchild of Board Chairman, Thomas T. Taber.  [McKelvey]


The Erie Railfan Society held its annual meeting in Dover, NJ in June, hosted by Tri-State Railway Historical Society.  Over 100 took advanbtage of the special $8 “ride-all-day” pass, good on E-L diesel and electric trains.  The ERS organization changed their name to Erie Lackawanna Historical Society in 1981, the same year they held their annual meeting in Parsippany, NJ.  [The Diamond, Vol. 11, No. 2., 1996]  [Tri-State 1977 Scrapbook]


When Conrail took over they discontinued the through freights via the High Bridge Branch and Lake Junction as they had other more direct routes.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


On July 17th, more than three months after Conrail began, a young railfan, Dan McFadden, was visiting Denville tower when he had the opportunity to photograph a trio of Erie Lackawanna GP7 locomotives as freight train CS-9 (Croxton to Scranton) worked its way west through Denville, Dover, Chester/Lake Junction, Lake Hopatcong and the Cut-off.  His day of photographing is documented in a photo story titled “Erie Lackawanna Reprise” which appeared in the Winter 2016 issue of Classic Trains Magazine.   


The NJ DOT Commuter Operating Agency contracted with Conrail to operate the commuter rail systems in NJ.  [McKelvey]


The 1975-6 American Freedom Train arrived from Scranton to make a stop at the Mennen Co. in Morristown on July 23rd- 25th.  From there the train departed for the NY Belmont Park Racetrack on  July 26th via NY Penn Station.  However, shortly after the train departed the big 4-8-4 steam locomotive (AFT No. 1 - former Reading RR No. 2101) suffered a bearing failure and was diverted to the nearest shop - the M&Es shop in Morristown.  Because it could not move through NYC, AFT No. 1 had to detour via the former Erie Lackawanna Boonton - Greenwood Lake Line to Jersey City, to the River Line and Selkirk, NY to rejoin the train at New London, CT.  [McKelvey]  [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #2]  [All Aboard America: The American Freedom Train]


The Borough of Wharton excavated the existing watered sections of the Morris Canal prism that reflects its historic appearance.  [Historic Site Master Plan & Feasibility Study - Lock 2E of the Morris Canal, for Wharton Borough Council, by HJGA Consulting, Project No. 0616H, February 4, 2008]


In October the Morristown & Erie Railroad Locomotive Rebuilding Division began offering contract locomotive rebuilds.  A variety of old, used locomotives began arriving at the Morristown shop for work.  [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #2]


On October 23rd & 24th the new (founded 1975-76; Ed Rutsch’s wife, Jane, was the first president) metropolitan NJ / NY, Roebling Chapter of the Society for Industrial Archeology hosted a Passaic Valley fall tour, with two bus-loads of participants, led by Ed Rutsch.  The first day included the following Morris County stops: Speedwell Village, Morristown and the Boonton Historic District with its former Morris Canal inclined plane and Boonton Iron Works remnants.  [Tom Flagg]


Famous Tiller Sharks, a documentary film about the Morris Canal, starring James Lee, was produced by New Jersey Public Television Corporation.  [McKelvey]


Scouting the Morris Canal, a Celluloid College film by Roy Creveling depicts boy scouts exploring the remains of the Morris Canal across NJ.  [NJ Transport Calendar, Vol. 3, No. 4, November 1994]


In December, the Midland Holding Company of Maryland moved to purchase 95% of Morristown & Erie Railroad’s outstanding stock.  Unfortunately they turned out to be a bunch of crooks who behind-the-scenes began liquidating the assets of the M&E.  In less than a year the M&E was forced to file for bankruptcy.  [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #2]



Morris County bus Rt. #10 extended Wharton to new Rockaway Townsquare Mall on Feb. 2nd (the day the mall opened).  [Frank Reilly]


A four car Conrail inspection train toured the former DL&W main line and the Cut-off on June 24th.  It was powered by E8 #4022, former EL #833.   [McKelvey]


When the Erie Lackawanna was absorbed into Conrail in 1976, the Sussex Branch was excluded.  The track of the branch was unceremoniously torn up in July.  [Lowenthal, Larry and Greenberg, William T., Jr., The Lackawanna RR in Northwest NJ]


Morris County Metro route #10, on Aug. 11th, was split into two.  The portion from Dover to Netcong and Budd Lake became the #9 route and the #10 route Morristown to Wharton was extended to the new Rockaway Townsquare Mall.  [Reilly]


The Mount Hope mine was de-watered and reactivated, the mill restarted and some ore was actually produced.  This was part of a project to convert the mine to a pump - storage hydroelectric plant.  The plan was to mine out an extensive room and pillar cavern to be used for the lower reservoir.  Excavation would concentrate on areas containing ore bodies.  Magnetite ore would be a byproduct that could be sold to reduce costs.  However, the rate of increase in electricity demand slowed substantially and the project was abandoned.  []


Following the bankruptcy of the Morristown & Erie on October 21st, Whippany Toonerville excursions ceased on October 31st.  [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #2]



John J. Francis was appointed Trustee of the Morristown & Erie RR on January 9th or 10th? when the court placed the company in receivership.  Analysis of financials in the course of the bankruptcy proceedings uncovered more illegal activities.  It was discovered that track materials the M&E was buying at bargain prices were actually being stolen from Conrail and Amtrak...   [Block Line, Vol. IX, No. VI, November, 1981]  [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #2]


Tri-State Railway Historical Society held their 4th annual Railroad Extravaganza at Dover Senior High School on April 9th.  [Promotional Flyer]


On June 30th earthquakes of about 4 and 3 in magnitude were felt near Milton.  [Geologic History of Morris County]


Morris County began an employee vanpool program on Aug 1st, created by the Board of Public Transportation of Morris County and Dept of Civil Defense (Alfred A DeMatteo).  DeMatteo volunteered to be administrator of program.  Started with 3 vans Aug 1 carrying 23 employees in 13 towns.  BPTMC acquired 90% federal funding for vans under FAUS program, total cost $27,000 FAUS and $3,000 county.  Fees 20 mi = $24 mo, 30 mi $27, 40 mi $30, 50 mi $33, 60 mi $35.  Based on 8 passengers, if surplus funds at end of year van poolers ride free to use surplus.  Routes: Newton - Sparta - Wharton; Butler - Boonton - Mtn Lakes; Lk Hiawatha - Lk Parsippany; Succasunna - Ledgewood - Kenvil; and Chester - Mendham.  [Frank Reilly]


Morris County began first county government sponsored employee vanpool program in NJ on Aug. 1st.  Freeholder Director Peter Burkhart and administrator Fred Rossi kicked-off the service.  Three routes were run with 23 employees on the 12 passenger vans.  The Butler route stopped in Boonton, Mountain Lakes, Par-Troy, Lake Hiawatha, and Lake Parsippany enroute to Morristown; the Succasunna route stopped in Ledgewood and Kenvil; and the Newton route stopped in Sparta, Lake Hopatcong, Randolph, and Wharton.  [Frank Reilly]


Because of poor track on the former DL&W line to Phillipsburg, freight service over it was discontinued between Port Morris and Easton by Conrail.  [McKelvey]


The New Leonard iron mine complex at Mount Hope finally closed in 1978.  [Mason, Eleanor C. and White, Patricia A., Rockaway Township]


Effective November 13th, ex-CNJ - NJDOT GP-40P #4101 was pulling trains 627 and 608 on the Conrail Dover Line (Morris & Essex).  The train consisted of 8 old crippled MU cars which had pantographs raised for heat and light.  Additional diesels-pulling MU were probable in December.   [Block Line, Vol. VII, No. I, January, 1979]


Since Christmas Weekend, 1978, there was no electric service on the Morris & Essex (Conrail Dover Line) on weekends.  Service was being provided by diesel push-pull trains, using the U34CH diesel locomotives to prolong the life of the frail old electric MU’s as much as possible.  The U-boats covered the weekend service through March 1979.  [Block Line, Vol. VIII, No. III, March, 1979]



On January 30th an earthquake of about 4 in magnitude was felt near Harding.  [Geologic History of Morris County]


On February 1st earthquakes of about 2 and 3 in magnitude were felt near Chester.  [Geologic History of Morris County]


On February 2nd an earthquake of about 3 in magnitude was felt near Mendham Township.  [Geologic History of Morris County]


On February 23rd an earthquake of about 3.7 in magnitude was felt near Chester.  [Geologic History of Morris County]


On March 9th an earthquake of about 4 in magnitude was felt near Harding.  [Geologic History of Morris County]


A program on The Towpath Trail, A Proposed Linear Park Along the Morris Canal was given to the Canal Society of NJ on March 9th by Pat Tice.  The proposed Towpath Trail was to be a 13 mile path along the Rockaway River and the Morris Canal from Boonton through Wharton to Roxbury Township.  The proposed path was to provide for historic preservation and education, nature study and year round physical fitness activities such as hiking, jogging, bicycling and cross-country skiing.  It was to connect existing parks and other open space facilities.  This effort led to the establishment of Morris Canal Greenway across New Jersey.  [On the Level, No. 7, 1979]  


Tri-State Railway Historical Society sponsored a “Military Special” excursion train on Armed Forces Day, which was operated inside Picatinny Arsenal on May 19th.  The train consisted of one flat car with a railing and benches which was pushed by their US Army #1217, a 44 ton Davenport locomotive.  On display was their other unit, #1222, a 44 ton Davenport  locomotive built in 1953.  Those on the tour noted two miles of newly rebuilt track within the arsenal - with new rail, ties and ballast on the section connecting the Picatinny power plant with the Wharton & Northern.  However, much of the other arsenal trackage had been or was being scrapped.  [McKelvey]  [Block Line, Vol. VII, No. VII, Summer, 1979]


On May 30th & 31st a High Iron Company steam powered “Special” using Nickel Plate 759 was operated from Hoboken to Binghamton and return. The train had 18 cars and the return trip was via Dover.  [A Look Back at the Erie and Lackawanna Railroads, DVD, Railroad Video Productions]


Traffic over the Lackawanna Cutoff was steadily reduced and finally, in the first week of April, one piece of rail was removed from each rail in the track west of Port Morris, and the Cutoff was cut off from its connection with other railroads in New Jersey.  [Lowenthal, Larry and Greenberg, William T., Jr., The Lackawanna RR in Northwest NJ]


In mid-year, a local businessman, Benjamin J. Friedland came to the M&E as an unpaid advisor and gained the trust of the trustee.  He ended up purchasing the railroad in 1982.  [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #2]


The CNJ corporate existence officially ended on September 14th when the railroad came out of bankruptcy and was renamed Central Jersey Industries.  The new company was able to sell off some of the former (abandoned) railroad property it owned.  This consisted of 350 acres of land in NJ (100 of which was in Rockaway Township) and 69 miles of railroad right-of-way (about 200 acres) of wholly owned subsidiaries, including the Central RR Co. of PA and the Wharton & Northern RR.  [Reilly, Frank, T., Central RR Company of NJ, Its History and Employees]


On November 13th an Amtrak inspection train, consisting of a locomotive, an executive car, and a coach, headed out of Hoboken for Scranton to check feasibility of re-establishing regular passenger service on the route.  Conrail would not trouble itself to bolt  in place the two removed sections of rail at Port Morris, so the Amtrak train had to make a complicated maneuver through the yard, utilizing a segment of the “wye” to get to the Cutoff.  The proposed “Pocono Day Express” was shown not to be practical...  [Lowenthal, Larry and Greenberg, William T., Jr., The Lackawanna RR in Northwest NJ]  [McKelvey]  [Block Line, Vol. VII, No. I, January, 1980]


Most of the Wharton and Northern RR tracks through Picatinny Arsenal were ripped up in this year.  [Rae, John W., Picatinny Arsenal]


The Lackawanna Coalition, a rail advocacy group with a focus on NJ Transit’s Morristown / Dover and Gladstone lines (former DL&W), was founded.  They are an advocacy organization which promotes improvements and safety in rail passenger service.  [LC Website]  [McKelvey]


The Jersey Central Railway Historical Society, a National Railway Historical Society chapter was established.  They adopted the CNJ’s Statue of Liberty logo with the words ‘Jersey Central Chapter,’ and they call their annual sell & swap the Jersey Central Train Show.  [McKelvey]



The bankruptcy and cessation of operations of Whippany Paperboard Co. put the Morristown and Erie Railroad in serious financial trouble.  Unless there is a firm commitment to reopen the plant soon, M&E Trustee John. J. Francis of Morristown will file a petition to abandon the entire railroad and liquidate its assets.  [Block Line, Vol. VIII, No. VII, October, 1980]


The American Society of Civil Engineers designated the Morris Canal a National Historic Civil Engineering Landmark.  [McKelvey]


The Jersey Central Chapter, NRHS chartered NJ Transit’s ex-Pennsylvania Reading Seashore Lines Rail Diesel Cars for a “Lackawanna Ramble” over the Morris & Essex to Port Morris and the Passaic & Delaware to Gladstone on July 20th.  Vinyl “Lackawanna Railroad” logos were applied to front and rear ends of the four car train.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 22, No. 7, July, 2003] [Jersey Central Lines, V. 1, No. 5, August 1980]


Removal of High Bridge Branch track began from Bartley south to High Bridge.  [Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ]


The Delaware Otsego Corporation purchased the NY Susquehanna & Western Ry.  [Railroadians Train Sheet, Winter 1993]


The Jersey Central Railway Historical Society was established as an NRHS chapter and began to publish their monthly Jersey Central News.  [McKelvey]


The New Jersey Association of Rail Passengers was established.  [McKelvey]



On January 25th a plaque commemorating the 50th anniversary of the completion of electrified train service by the D. L. & W. RR was placed in Hoboken Terminal by The Tri-State Railway Historical Society, Inc., Dover, NJ.  [Block Line, Vol. VIII, No. IX, March, 1981]


The Pennsylvania Canal Society convened at the Holiday Inn in Phillipsburg for a weekend tour of the west end of the Morris Canal on May 15th - 17th.  Highlight of the tour was a visit to Jim Lee's Plane #9 West; Plane #10 West (where Jim's son lives) and Waterloo Village.  Lectures illustrated with color slides were provided by Bill McKelvey and Jim Lee.  [McKelvey]


The trustee for the Morristown & Erie RR announced that the 10.5-mile-line was seeking a buyer.  [Block Line, V. IX, No. I, May 1981]


Jersey Central Power and Light Company donated portions of the former Morris County Traction Line right-of-way to the Morris County Park Commission.  It is now the 2.7 mile, 15.10 acre, Traction Line Recreation Trail which is parallel to the NJ Transit Morristown Line between Madison and Morristown.  [Morris County Park Commission]


“Abandonment of the Mount Hope Mineral Railroad” Special Report by Frank Reilly.  [Block Line, V. IX, No. I, May 1981]


Federal subsidy of freight service on High Bridge Branch (Wharton - Bartley) ended Aug. 30th.  (Note: A portion of line reopened on May 2nd; and the balance in February 1993.).  From 1976 to 1981 service was provided by Conrail; beginning in 1988 service was provided by the M&E Ry.  CR abandoned ex-Wharton & Northern RR main line, (mp 11.4 - Roxbury, mp 14.8) Dec 23rd, 1981.  [Reilly]


In September the Roebling Chapter, Society for Industrial Archeology held their first annual symposium in the Hall of Science at Drew University, Madison, NJ.  Presentations were given by Ed Rutsch and Abba Lichtenstein.  [Tom Flagg]


On October 13th, Morristown & Erie RR Trustee John J. Francis endorsed the sale of the 10.5 mile-long short line, headquartered in Morristown, to the M&E Railway, a partnership consisting of Benjamin Friedland, Wesley Weis, and Edward Wilczynski, all of NJ.  They offered $500,000 cash for the freight railroad’s assets.  At the time the M&E RR was approximately $2.5 million in debt.  [Block Line, Vol. IX, No. VI, November, 1981]


Morris County DOT advised Conrail on Dec. 28th, 1981, "The County of Morris is seriously considering purchasing the following four rail lines which Conrail has filed an application for abandonment.  Wharton & Northern RR entire line, Mt. Hope Mineral RR main line, E-L Lackawanna Cutoff, and E-L Pompton Industrial Track.  We respectfully request that you perform a net liquidation value appraisal on these particular four lines at your earliest convenience per federal legislative guidelines." signed Frank T. Reilly, Exec. Dir., Morris County DOT.  [Reilly]


Mount Hope Mineral RR was abandoned Dec 31st from Dewey Ave, Wharton, mp 0.5 to end of track in Mt Hope, mp 3.2.  [Reilly]


Tri-State Railway Historical Society published Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ by Larry Lowenthal.


New Jersey Transit officially inaugurated a 25,000 volt AC test track in the Kearny meadows on December 10th.  It was the first official run of a 25kv, 60hz electric passenger train on the Morristown / Dover Line (and in North America).  [McKelvey]




The bankrupt Morristown & Erie Railroad was reorganized as the Morristown & Erie Railway, Inc.  Effective January 1st the (Ben) Friedland Group (M&E Ry) was authorized by the bankruptcy court to lease the M&E and operate it.  The new owner acquired used Alco locomotives, a flat car and an ex-NYS&W caboose for the operation.  [McKelvey]  [Block Line, Vol. IX, No. IX, February 1982]


The NJ Rail Transition Task Force recommended that NJ Transit assume direct operation of the remaining commuter rail service.  NJ Transit established a subsidiary NJ Transit Rail Operations, Inc.  [McKelvey]


On April 12th, Representatives of the Pittsburgh & Lake Erie RR met with selected NJ Legislators and officials to unveil their plan to purchase almost 640 miles of ex-Erie RR main line from Croxton (Secaucus) to Creston, OH.  P&LE also offered to buy over 130 miles of branch lines in NJ and elsewhere.  They also proposed to operate local freight service via trackage rights over certain lines owned by NJ Transit, including the Boonton Line (Montclair to Dover, NJ).  Conrail did not accept P&LE’s initial purchase offer, and thus, the P&LE attempted to drum up local support for their plan, which could bring a major independent RR back to NJ.  The plan did not get any traction.  [Block Line, Vol. X, No. II, June, 1982]


On May 10th, the court officially approved the Morristown & Erie Railway’s purchase of the property and assets of the Morristown & Erie Railroad.  The owners of the new M&E Ry were Benjamin Friedland, Wesley R. Weis, David Mandelbaum, and Ed Wilczynski.  [Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #2]


Picatinny Arsenal held their annual Armed Forces day open house for the public.  Rail rides were given to visitors on flat cars fitted with seats, pulled by their two Davenport 44 ton locomotives, Nos. 1217 and 1222.  At the time the arsenal was preparing to switch their power plant from oil back to rail-delivered coal and they still had 25 miles of track.  [Railpace V. I, No. 5, September 1982]


Conrail went through the prescribed procedure to have the Cutoff officially abandoned.  [Lowenthal, Larry and Greenberg, William T., Jr., The Lackawanna RR in Northwest NJ]


In spite of surcharges charged by Conrail and paid by freight customers on the Chester Branch, due to deteriorated track conditions, on October 29th Conrail posted notices of insufficient revenue to the two remaining customers.  This set the stage for an application for complete abandonment 90 days later.  [Block Line, V. 11, No. 7, January, 1984] 



Officials in Monroe County, PA completed arrangements with Conrail to purchase the former Lackawanna route between Scranton and Port Morris.  They were unable to secure funding and the deal collapsed.  [McKelvey]


On February 22nd Conrail filed for abandonment of their Chester Branch.  [Block Line, V. 11, No. 7, January, 1984]


By early 1983 Conrail had begun to dismantle the Lackawanna Cutoff track, planning to relay the rails elsewhere.  [Lowenthal, Larry and Greenberg, William T., Jr., The Lackawanna RR in Northwest NJ]


On March 21st, Morristown & Erie Ry Alco C430 No. 16 made two trips from Dover to Morristown to move a fleet of 13 GE U30B locomotives for storage on their Morristown Line.  The locomotives, belonging to US Leasing, had been leased to Conral.  [Block Line, Vol. 11, No. 1, April, 1983] 


Morris County DOT advised Conrail on Mar. 23rd, "We are interested in purchasing these lines (Mt. Hope Mineral Branch Line Code 0210 and the Wharton & Northern Br. from Picatinny Arsenal to Morris County Jct. Line Code 0209) for immediate use as a linear park but also for future rail use should the need arise.  We would like to know if the rail will remain on the right-of-way, the width of the right of way, and any other details regarding these parcels of property."  CR sold the Chester Branch (ex-DL&W) from near Wharton to Succasunna (MP 41.4 - 45.4) to two shippers on the line on Aug. 31st.  During 1985 221 carloads were received and 13 shipped.  Rail customer employment 628, FRA classification "Excepted Track".  NJ DOT reported in Apr. 1986 "Track rehabilitation has been initiated to up-grade this branch line for FRA Class 2 specifications.  The Morristown & Erie Ry presently provides rail service along this line.  Recommendation: continue rehabilitation of this line.  [Reilly]


On May 7th, the town of Roseland celebrated its 75th anniversary with free train rides to and from Whippany.  The Morristown & Erie supplied the motive power (Alcos S-4 #14 and C430 #16), while the consist was five of NJ Transit’s ex-DL&W MU trailer cars.  [Pennisi, Bob, The Morristown & Erie Railway]


Progressive Charter, Inc. a bus operator at 201 Division St., Boonton, was established in this year.  Fred Barkman, their president, was also the operator of Barkman Buses.  [McKelvey]


The Federal Northeast Rail Service Act required Conrail to shed commuter rail service by July 1983 to make Conrail profitable.  [McKelvey]


NJ Transit subsidiary, NJ Transit Rail Operations, Inc. assumed direct operation of the remaining commuter rail service from Conrail.  [McKelvey]


A labor strike by the United Transportation Union on March 1st halted NJ Transit rail service for 34 days.  Buses were marshaled at train stations to help move commuters.  [McKelvey]


Local matching funds are being provided by the rail shippers using this branch line.  Project cost was $226,800, and the state share $113,400" (50%).  [NJ State Rail Plan Up-date for 1985 dated April 1986, p. 138.]


Bertrand Island (Amusement) Park at Lake Hopatcong closed on Labor Day and was demolished in 1986.  The park began as a bathing beach and soon started adding amusements in the 1910s when a trolley connection was constructed by the Morris County Traction Co.  During the 1920s it was expanded and ultimately included a wooden roller coaster (the Wildcat), an Illions Monarch II Supreme carousel, an airplane swing, bumper cars, picnic areas, a Skee-Ball arcade, haunted house, dance hall, a bathing beach, a diving tower, boat docks, and a cafeteria  [Kane, Martin, Lake Hopatcong Then & Now]  [wikipedia]  [Lake Hopatcong Historical Museum]


Conrail notified shippers along the Dover & Rockaway Branch Nov 3rd that they would file for abandonment of the rail line with the ICC.  This began an extraordinary effort by the county, shippers, & M&E Ry to save the railroad.  The High Bridge Branch from MP 22.66 (Kenvil) north to Wharton was also included in the abandonment notification.  [Reilly]


Tour operators Turker Lamkin and William Gearhart proposed to buy the abandoned Lackawanna Cut-off between Port Morris and the Delaware Water Gap from Conrail.  There followed dozens of proposals to operate: RoadRailer trains; United Aircraft Turbo Trains; Delaware & Hudson RR trains; Norfolk & Western RR trains; Piggyback trains; Amtrak trains; NJ Transit trains; Steam excursion trains; etc.  [Railpace, V. 3, No. 9, Sept., 1984] 


On December 20th, Railmen for Children operated their first annual Santa Special train from Hoboken to Denville and return.  Railmen for Children, a volunteer group of NJ Transit employees, began running Santa Express trains on the Morristown / Dover Line for special needs students.  Shriners dressed as clowns and entertained the young passengers.  [McKelvey]  [Reilly]


On December 21st the ex-DL&W Chester Branch was sold to the Chester Branch Co., a consortium of Holland Manufacturing Co. and Westinghouse Elevator Co. with the Morristown & Erie Ry. providing service.  [Block Line, V. 11, No. 7, January, 1984]


Conrail asked $710,000 for their Dover & Rockaway branch.  After extensive negotiations, the final price paid by Morris County was $105,745.  [McKelvey]


The Morris County based Metro Jersey Chapter of the American Truck Historical Society was chartered.  For many years they held a large truck show at the Automatic Switch facility in Florham Park.



M&E locomotive #16 made a nocturnal trip from Morristown west via Phillipsburg to Packerton Jct. (Lehighton, PA) on January 5th to swap GE U30-B #2896 for Panther Valley U30-B #2882 which was brought back to Morristown for repairs.  [McKelvey]


M&E Ry acquired second hand the former Toledo, Peoria & Western Alco C-424 No. 801 and began to use it before repainting.  The 1964-built locomotive became M&E #19.  [Pennisi, Bob, The Morristown & Erie Railway]


Conrail train WJAL-18 crossed the Delaware River bridge with former Toledo, Peoria & Western RR Alco C424's 800 & 801 in tow.  While en-route to new owner, Morristown & Erie Ry. WJAL-18 derailed 14 cars at Broadway, but the Alcos were not damaged.  The two C424's became M&E #17 & 18 and with #16 have been used on numerous excursions.  [McKelvey]

After more months of agonizing delay, negotiation and false promises, it proved impossible for the government of Monroe County, PA, to obtain financing to purchase the Lackawanna Cutoff from Conrail and the RR resumed removal of 28 miles of track between Port Morris and the Delaware River bridge in June.  [Lowenthal, Larry and Greenberg, William T., Jr., The Lackawanna RR in Northwest NJ]


On June 24th Tri-State Chapter, NRHS operated their Lehigh River Express excursion from Hoboken,  to Haucks, PA via the Boonton Line, Washington Secondary & Lehigh Main Line, etc., using Morristown & Erie RR diesels #16, 18, & 17. Frank Reilly was the trip co-director.   [McKelvey]  [Reilly]


During August a Conrail rail lifting train was working on the “Cut-off.”  [Railpace, V. 3, No. 9, Sept., 1984]


The ICC approved abandonment of the Mt. Hope Mineral RR on Sept. 27th, - Docket No. AB-167 (Sub-No. 652N) - from Wharton at the NJ Transit railroad to 310 ft. north of Dewey Ave, approx. MP 0.5) since no financial assistance was offered to keep this section of track in service.  [Reilly]


Filming for Cyndi Lauper’s music video, “Time After Time” was done in Wharton.  [Wikipedia]


A massive, multi-year re-electrification project of the NJ Transit (former Lackawanna) Morris & Essex commuter lines was completed.  Work included replacement of catenary for change-over from 3000 volts DC to 25,000 volt AC current; replacement of substations; upgrading of signal systems, replacement of interlocking towers by centralized control; and station repair and upgrading.  After 54 years the old Lackawanna MU cars were replaced by Arrow III cars.   [McKelvey]


On September 8th, the Annual Roebling Chapter, Society for Industrial Archeology, Corn Roast was held at the farm of Charlie Emmerich, Park Avenue, Randolph.  For many years this was a popular event, hosted by one of the founders of Roebling Chapter.  Charlie worked for ITT Avionics Laboratory in Nutley, where the Roebling Chapter held many of their early Annual and regular meetings.  [Roebling Chapter Summer Newsletter, August 25th, 1984]


On October 14th, Tri-State Railway Historical Society hosted their first annual Fall Foliage Festival excursion - the Jim Thorpe Express.  Starting from Hoboken, it traveled via the Boonton Line, and Conrail’s Washington Secondary & Lehigh Main Line and Panther Valley RR to Hometown Trestle at Hawks, PA  The train was powered by Morristown & Erie Ry Alco diesels 16, 17, & 18 on the head end and Frank Reilly was the co-director of the trip.  [Block Line, V. 11, No. 10]  [Reilly]  [Trip flyer - McKelvey]


Firstborn, a Paramount Pictures drama was filmed at the Morristown rail yard.  [NJ Transport Calendar, Vol. 3, No. 4, November 1994]


The Jefferson Township Fire Department acquired The Defender, a fireboat to fight fires around Lake Hopatcong, not readily accessible by land or road.  [  February 5th, 2016]



CR received ICC certificates of abandonment on Feb. 11th for the ex-CNJ Dover & Rockaway RR (Wharton - Rockaway), the remaining High Bridge Branch segments (Kenvil - Wharton), the Lake Hopatcong Branch (in Roxbury Twp), and the Mt. Hope Mineral RR (in Wharton, MP 0.0 - 0.5).  Balance of Mt Hope Mineral was abandoned some years earlier, but after 1976.  Mt. Hope Mineral RR tracks from Dewey Ave, Wharton - Mt. Hope, about 2.7 miles, scrapped and removed during week of Sept.12th, by Southard Salvage Co.  [Reilly]


Lackawanna Valley RR locomotive #901, a GE U30B, was refurbished and painted in NY Ontario & Western colors by the Morristown & Erie RR at Morristown.  The 901 was test used on M&E operated lines before going to work on the former Delaware & Hudson between South Scranton and Carbondale, PA.  It traveled west, under its own power, down the Washington Secondary and through Phillipsburg en-route to lessor Al Leudtke's RR at Scranton on April 30th.  [McKelvey]  [Pennisi, Bob, The Morristown & Erie Railway]


The Morris County Central Veterans Association sponsored a picnic at Whippany.  As part of the festivities a special train, powered by M&E Alco #18 took participants to Roseland and return.  [Pennisi, Bob, The Morristown & Erie Railway] 


Morristown & Erie RR Alco RS-1 #15 was moved west through Phillipsburg to Allentown en-route to new owner, Valley RR of Essex, CT.  [McKelvey]


Tri-State again operated their Jim Thorpe Express excursion from Hoboken to Jim Thorpe, PA via Wharton, Washington and Phillipsburg/Easton on October 13th to coincide with the Jim Thorpe Annual Fall Festival.  This time M&E locomotives 17 & 18 were used with NJT U34CH #4167, which was needed to supply power to the NJT coaches used.  Starting from Hoboken, it stopped at Maplewood, Summit, Morristown and Netcong.  [Block Line, V. 12, No. 10]  [Block Line, Vol. 13, No. 3]  [Railpace, V. 4, No. 9, September, 1985]  [McKelvey]


The Whippany Railway Museum held its Grand Opening on Oct. 26th.  [McKelvey]


The North Jersey Electric Railway Historical Society was founded.  [McKelvey]



The Roebling Chapter of the Society for Industrial Archeology adopted their bylaws.  For over 20 years they held an annual symposium at Drew University in Madison.


The Delaware Otsego Corp. began rebuilding the NY Susquehanna & Western Ry for through freight train operation between Binghamton, NY and Little Ferry, NJ with the former Lehigh & Hudson River RR providing the new connection between Sparta Jct. and the former Erie RR main line west to Binghamton.  [Railroadians Train Sheet, Winter 1993]


Tri-State Ry. HS and Anthracite Ry. HS each purchased EMD F-3 diesels from the Bangor & Aroostook RR.  Both traveled east via Phillipsburg, Washington, and Dover en-route to the M&E RR shop at Morristown.  Both units were painted in Jersey Central colors and operated on the Southern RR of NJ.  In recent years the units, along with a “B” unit have been repainted into maroon and grey Lackawanna colors and are based and used at Steamtown, Scranton, PA. [McKelvey]  [Pennisi, Bob, The Morristown & Erie Railway]


The last Conrail train operated on the Dover and Rockaway branch on June 26th.  [Railpace, V. 5, No. 9, September, 1986]


The Deed to the Dover & Rockaway RR and the High Bridge Branch RR passed from the Consolidated Rail Corp. (Conrail) to the County of Morris and was recorded July 9th in Morris County in Book 2870, pages 611 - 672.  The County took title to the two railroads at 12:01am on July 1st.  The sales price for the D&R RR was $89,675.00 for the entire railroad, from milepost 25.4 in Wharton to milepost 31.6 in Rockaway Township.  The High Bridge Branch sales price was $16,070.00 for the segment within Roxbury Township from milepost 22.0 (about 1,000 feet west of Kenvil Rd) to mile post 22.66.  The sale was negotiated by Frank Reilly of Morris County DOT.  The original net liquidation value of the rail lines was over $700,000.  Morris County thus became the first county in New Jersey to purchase a rail line to preserve freight service.  The Morristown & Erie Railway became the designated operator of the former Jersey Central Dover & Rockaway Railroad.  [Deed filed in Morris County Courthouse, Book 2870, p. 611 - 672]  [McKelvey]


On August 1st, Blue Mountain & Reading RR Pacific steam locomotive No. 425, (having been hastily substituted for Nickel Plate Road #765 which encountered insurance problems) arrived at Allentown from Reading with 12 vintage coaches.  Morristown & Erie Ry Alco diesel locomotives Nos. 17 & 18 met the train at Allentown and piloted it up the Washington Secondary to Dover and Hoboken for the excursions scheduled for Saturday and Sunday.  [McKelvey]  [Blue Mountain Odyssey, Mark 1 Video]


Eastern Steam Spectacular, Erie Limited, trains sponsored by Tri-State and Jersey Central Railway Historical Societies, were powered by Blue Mountain and Reading RR 4-6-2 No. 425, (having been hastily substituted for Nickel Plate Road #765 which encountered insurance problems) operated on August 2nd & 3rd between Hoboken and Port Jervis.  The train both arrived from and was returned to Reading via Dover.  [McKelvey]  [Blue Mountain Odyssey, Mark 1 Video]


Wharton & Northern RR from CNJ at Lake Jct (Wharton) to NJ Route 15 (Jefferson Twp) was sold Apr 7th to Highlands of Morris, NJ for approximately $264,000.  The company planned a major residential development using the railroad ROW for a road.  The Wharton & Northern RR was to be rebuilt by Picatinny Arsenal with new rail to their power plant being converted from oil to coal, the US Army announced in the fall of 1986 - including the portion of track purchased by the private developer.  The Army plans did not materialize.  [Reilly]


In this year a new connection (a diamond was replaced by a switch) was constructed at Ferromonte Junction, linking the Chester Branch with the High Bridge Branch.  This allowed the former High Bridge Branch track between Ferromonte Jct. and Lake Junction to be lifted.  Most of this right-of-way distance was through the County Concrete Co. sand quarry and has subsequently been excavated by as much as 100' deep.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 30, No. 7, July, 2011]


The main feature of the NJ Transit Festival-6 at Hoboken on September 27th was Blue Mountain & Reading RR Pacific steam locomotive No. 425, which arrived from and returned to Reading, PA via Phillipsburg and Dover.  The train included BM&R’s set of 7 ex-Lackawanna MU coaches; Andy Muller’s private car, Queen of the Valley; Pennsylvania RR E8 diesel locomotives No. 5706 and 5898; plus Reading Company Technical & Historical Society’s GP30 diesel No. 5513.  The steam train ran four short round trips to East Rutherford on Saturday and a one way trip to Dover on Sunday.  At Mountain Lakes a run-by was made for photographers and a brief stop was made at Denville.  At Dover, passengers were discharged and returned to Hoboken by a NJ Transit extra service MU special.  Then the diesels, which had preceded the steamer, were combined into one train for the deadhead move west through Wharton, Washington and Phillipsburg, back to Reading.   [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 5, No. 11, November, 1986]


The final segment of Interstate 80 was opened.  It connects Teaneck, NJ - opposite NYC, with downtown San Francisco, CA, passing through or near Wharton, Toledo, Cleveland, Chicago, Des Moines, Omaha, Salt Lake City, and Sacramento.  [Wikipedia]


A Special Morris Canal Issue of the PA Canal Society's Canal Currents (No. 76-77, Fall - Winter 1986-7) was co-sponsored by both the PA and Canal Society of NJ with the research efforts of the staff of Hugh Moore Historical Park and Museum, Inc., and the Canal Museum of Easton, PA. [McKelvey]


The Stirling Hill Mine closed, thus ending underground mining in the state of NJ.  [McKelvey]



A tour of the Hercules Powder Co., Kenvil Works was organized by the Roebling Chapter, Society for Industrial Archeology on January 10th.  Charlie Durfee of Hercules led the tour, which took place prior to the mass demolition of remaining buildings.  The power plant was a major attraction.  Much of the 2' gauge plant railway was intact, including one operable Plymouth locomotive and a second without engine, a snow plow, and a freight car.  Robert Barth documented the tour with photos, now in the archives of Roebling Chapter, Society for Industrial Archeology.  A few years later the Haluwasa Christian Camp and Retreat Center at Hammonton, NJ acquired much of the rail by donation from Hercules for their 2' gauge Haluwasa Shoreline Railroad which continues to provide transportation to and from the satellite sites of the camp.  They hauled it away on a trailer towed by a big station wagon and sold much of it to other privately owned but similar railways.  Years later we were able to salvage a trailer load of the last remaining rail, spikes, and some re-useable ties for the NJ Transportation Heritage Center.  [McKelvey]  [Robert Barth]


United Railroad Historical Society of New Jersey, Inc. was incorporated by representatives from all of New Jersey's major railroad-interest organizations, in order to coordinate resources and avoid duplicative or conflicting historic preservation efforts.  [McKelvey]


On July 1st the Morris County Board of Transportation sponsored an inspection train over the County-owned, former CNJ Dover and Rockaway Branch, now operated by Morristown & Erie RR.  M&E Alco diesel No. 17 powered RRP passenger cars 2066 and 2936 over the entire branch from Wharton to end of track north of I 80 in Rockaway and return.   [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 6, No. 9, September, 1987]


Two Picatinny Arsenal switcher locomotives were photographed by Bob Pennisi at Ferromonte Jct. on August 14th.  They were being moved by Morristown & Erie Ry locomotives with Ben Friedland at the throttle, going to Netcong for interchange with Conrail.  [Steve Hepler, Whippany Railway Museum]


During the second week of August, Picatinny Arsenal locomotives Nos. 1217 and 1222 were transferred to a US Army base in Oklahoma.  Due to clearance problems they were loaded onto low-boy trucks and taken by road to Allentown where they were loaded onto flat cars.  [Block Line, October 1987 (with photo)]


M&E Ry changed their interchange with Conrail from Morristown to Lake Junction yard (a/k/a Chester Junction) west of Wharton.  [Reilly]  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 7, No. 1, January, 1988]


Tri-State Railway Historical Society published The Lackawanna RR in Northwest NJ, by Larry Lowenthal and Bill Greenberg.



The ex-CNJ High Bridge Branch, was reopened from Ferromonte Jct (Mine Hill) to Flanders on Jan 1st by the County of Morris under lease to Morristown & Erie Ry.  At Ferromonte Jct it connects with the ex-DL&W Chester Branch to connect with NJT's Morris & Essex Line at Lake Junction (a/k/a Chester Junction) west of Wharton.  Chester Branch was owned by the Chester Branch Assn. and is operated by M&E Ry. (Freight service ended on High Bridge Branch between Wharton - Bartley on Aug. 31st, 1981.) [Reilly]  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 7, No. 7, July, 1988] [CNJ Journal No. 58, December 2013]


On Monday, May 2nd Morris County celebrated the reopening of the first of two segments of the former CNJ High Bridge Branch.  The ribbon cutting took place at the R. P. Smith siding in Ledgwewood with Morris County Freeholder, Alex DeCroce, Henry Crouse, Mayor of Roxbury, Jerry Peach, President of R. P. Smith, and John Drake, Director of Development for Morristown & Erie Ry.  [Block Line, V. 15, No. 8, July 1988]


The NRHS annual convention was hosted in Northern NJ by Tri-State Chapter July 23-31.  On July 23rd, Morristown & Erie Ry Alco Century diesel locomotives hauled an excursion via the former NY Central River Division to Selkirk Yards and return.  All former Lackawanna Electric Lines were covered on July 27th.  A tour covered he Morris Canal in Morris County on July 28th.  On July 29th an excursion was operated over the Morristown & Erie Ry.  [Convention Brochure]


Morris County celebrated their 250th Anniversary on October 2nd and the Morristown & Erie Ry was invited to participate in the celebration at Mennen Arena in Morristown.  The M&E brought their locomotive No. 17; Steve Hepler’s ex-D&H caboose; and Tri-State’s museum car - EL Safety and Instruction Car #10.  [Block Line, V. 16, No. 2, December, 1988]


On December 28th the NJ RR & Transportation Museum Commission chose Flemington as the site for the future venue over Port Morris, Waterloo, and Phillipsburg.  However, the NJ Legislature failed to provide any funding for land purchase and the effort failed.  [Block Line, Vol. 16, No. 4, March 1989]  [McKelvey]


On May 13th Bob Barth led a “Canoe the Morris Canal Across NJ” extravaganza for the Canal Society of NJ’s 20th anniversary.  The canoe-toting caravan began at the Morris Canal Outlet Lock in Liberty State Park (NY Harbor tidewater) and worked their way west.  They canoed the following watered sections of canal: Clifton Canal Park; Lincoln Park; Montville; Boonton; Wharton; Port Morris; Stanhope; International Trade Zone; Starport; Elsie’s Tavern; Saxton Falls; and Rockport.  The Watered section of the canal at Waterloo Village was skipped because the village was very busy with the wedding of a niece of Donald Trump.  [Linda Barth]


The former Wharton & Northern RR station at Wharton, located on Main Street, adjacent to the DL&W Line, has been converted into a cable television company’s office.  This station was one of the last open freight stations in NJ.  [Block Line, Vol. 16, No. 8, July, 1989]


Four successive explosions at Hercules Powder Works injured 20 people, leveled three buildings, damaged eight other buildings and shattered windows up to two miles away at 5:05 am on June 3rd.

At least 85% of Roxbury Township buildings suffered damage. [Roxbury Township Historical Society]  [NY Times, June 4]


Mt. Hope Mineral RR was sold by Conrail to the MHMRR Corp (Mt. Hope Hydro) from the Mt.  Hope Mines to Richard Mine Rd in Rockaway Township (Block 100001, Lot 4) for $183,300; deed recorded on Oct. 17th, 1990 DB 3358, P206.  Conrail retained ownership from Richard Mine Rd. to its connection with the Dover & Rockaway RR in Wharton.  The W&N RR station in Wharton was sold and converted to cable TV office in June.  It was formerly a Conrail freight station, one of the last in NJ.  [Reilly]


NJ Transit crews demolished the former Lackawanna switch (interlocking) tower in Dover on November 24th & 25th.  It had controlled the numerous crossovers in Dover as well as the Dover Yard but had been closed for several years.  The tower was unique in that it was located across a public street from the tracks that it controlled.  [Block Line, Vol. 17, No. 1, November, 1989]


The NJ RR & Transportation Museum Study Commission was expected to release its final report by December 28th.   The report recommended four towns (Flemington, Phillipsburg, Port Morris, and Waterloo) as possible sites for the museum.  [Block Line, Vol. 16, No. 3, January, 1989]



Rodney Fisk, a Princeton, NJ rail developer and Easton resident announced that his company, Princeton Rail Development hoped to offer commuter and excursion rail service to Easton.  His Easton Overlander Co. planned to revive rail service between the former LV RR 3rd St. station in Easton; Phillipsburg; Washington; Hackettstown; and Morristown using rail diesel cars.  Fisk was optimistic about gaining the cooperation of Conrail to operate on their lines.  He also planned dinner excursion trips to Milford or to Washington.  None of his plans ever materialized. [McKelvey]


Richard and Robert Hauck purchased the NJ Zinc Co. Stirling Hill property at auction and opened the Stirling Hill Mining Museum in Ogdensburg, NJ.  [McKelvey]


The Columbia Gas Company bought 15 miles of railroad right-of-way of the former CNJ High Bridge Branch south of Bartley (specifically Bartley Road on the border of Mount Olive and Washington Townships - this is the southern end of freight track owned by Morris County), which was abandoned by Conrail in 1976 and rails removed in 1980.  Columbia built an underground gas transmission pipeline which was completed in the mid-1990s.  The right-of-way and bridges were resurfaced in 2004 and it has become a recreational trail serving the surrounding communities.  The Morris County Park Commission and the Hunterdon County Division of Parks and Recreation now operate and maintain the Columbia trail under lease, although ownership of the right-of-way remains with the Columbia Gas Company.  Just north of Long Valley, Patriots’ Path provides links east towards County Route 513 and west towards Schooley’s Mountain Park.  [Wikipedia]  [NJ Dept. of Transportation]  [McKelvey]


On June 2nd United Railroad Historical Society (URHS) and the Friends of the NJ Railroad & Transportation Museum sponsored a Farewell to the NJ Transit E8 locomotives (including No. 4323) with an excursion from Hoboken to Denville via the Boonton Line (passing the Orange Branch Junction at Forest Hill), then east on the Morris & Essex to West End Junction, reversing for a run up the Pascack Valley Line to Spring Valley / Woodbine and return to Hoboken.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 9, No. 8, August, 1990]  [Jersey Central News, Vol. IX, Issue VI, June 1990]


On July 21st the Morristown & Erie operated caboose hops on the Chester Branch to celebrate the 250th anniversary of Roxbury Township.  Six trips were operated between Horseshoe Lake and Lake Junction with seven cabooses powered by M&E Alco C424 locomotive No. 18.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 9, No. 10, October, 1990]


On October 14th a Fall Foliage Express Train was operated from Dover to Hoboken to Port Jervis and return by Tri-State Railway Historical Society in cooperation with NJ Transit.  [Block Line, V. 17, No. 4, Summer, 1990]



Picatinny Arsenal advances in high-energy propellants, lighter sabots, penetrators of increased mass and length, sabot designs, subprojectiles and fin designs culminated in the fielding of a cartridge nicknamed the “Silver Bullet” by Operation Desert Storm tank crews because it was widely regarded as the most effective tank fired antiarmor weapon in the world.  [Picatinny Arsenal website]


The Intermodal Transportation Efficiency Act (ISTEA) was passed.  It committed our nation for the first time to building a balanced transportation system with seamless connections.  It also provided federal funding for transportation-related restoration projects such as the grants URHS has received for restoration of rail cars for excursion service and Friends of the NJ Transportation Heritage Center  received for bus restoration.  The program continues under the Transportation Efficiency Act for the 21st  Century (TEA-21).   [McKelvey]


During the Persian Gulf War, Picatinny Arsenal provided support in their development of the Patriot Missile warhead that was used as a counter measure to the Iraqui SCUD missile.  [Wikipedia]


On May 18th, a Morristown & Erie Ry rare mileage excursion was run over the Chester, High Bridge and Dover & Rockaway branches for Tri-State Railway Historical Society.  The train, powered by a M&E Alco locomotive consisted of the private cars Mountain View, Imperial Sands, Morris County, Jersey Shore and Blue Ridge.  [Jersey Central News, Vol. X, Issue IX, September 1991]


During the summer the Morristown & Erie Ry was moving carloads of ballast from the NYS&W interchange at Passaic Junction to the Morris County owned Dover & Rockaway Branch.  The M&E locomotives moved the ballast trains over the NJ Transit Bergen County and Morristown lines.  [Jersey Central News, Vol. X, Issue V, May 1991]


The Friends of the NJ Railroad & Transportation Museum and United RR Historical Society jointly sponsored the first annual symposium for the museum effort in March.  The day-long event was held for 20 years in the Drew University Hall of Science Auditorium on their Madison Campus for the next 20 years.  Bill McKelvey was the organizer/coordinator of the event for the entire period.  [McKelvey] 


Railroad Construction Co. of Paterson completed the rehabilitation of the Dover & Rockaway Branch in December.  The seven miles of track of the branch were ballasted and surfaced.  [Jersey Central News, Vol. XII, Issue IV, April 1992]


“The Jersey Central’s High Bridge Branch” and “Riding the Branch” are excellent articles by Warren B. Crater, followed by a collection of diesel locomotive photos on the branch - for a total of 12 pages in one magazine.  [Flags Diamonds and Statues, Vol. 9, No. 4, 1991]


Mount Hope Historical Park was established by the Morris County Park Commission.  Comprised of 479 acres, the park was the location of a booming iron mining and processing industry.  Mining began c. 1710, making it one of the oldest mining areas in Colonial America.  For 270 years, mines at Mount Hope, and throughout Rockaway Township, were worked almost continuously, with the last mine operating until 1978.  Three separate veins of ore were mined and the park contains the remains of the Teabo, Allen, and Richard Mine properties.  [Morris County Park Commission]



On February 20th, the Morristown & Erie Ry operated an inspection trip over its Chester Division.   The train consisting of the “Blue Ridge” and the “Mountain View” was powered by their ALCO No. 18.  [Block Line, Vol. 18, No. 2, February - March, 1992]


On April 3rd the Morristown & Erie Ry operated a special passenger train for the NJ Shortline RR Assn.. over the Dover & Rockaway Branch.  It consisted of private cars Blue Ridge, and the Mountain View and was powered by M&E Alcos C424 No. 18 and C430 No. 17.  [Jersey Central News, Vol. XII, Issue V, May 1992]  [Block Line, Vol. 18, No. 4, May, 1992]


A tour of the M&E electrified lines, including the Montclair & Gladstone Branches was operated by Tri-State Railway Historical Society in cooperation with NJ Transit on May 2nd.   The train featuring and powered by the ALP-44 locomotive began and ended at Dover.  [Block Line, Vol. 18, No. 4, May, 1992]


A license was issued to Halecrest Co. for a 2,000-MW pumped-storage project at the Mount Hope Mine Complex in Rockaway Township which would generate electricity by pumping water up from the mine to a surface lake at night when there was a surplus of power and allow it to drop down through turbine generators into the mine voids during daytime, when power was needed.  The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission rescinded the license for the original 2,000-MW project in December 2005 because construction did not commence in a timely manner.  In June 2006, FERC blocked an attempt by Mt. Hope Waterpower to revive the pumped storage project.  []  (May 3, 2007)


NJ Transit demolished the fire-damaged former DL&W Denville station on October 31st.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 12, No. 2, February, 1993]  [Block Line, Vol. 18, No. 7, December, 1992]


On December 12th, Tri-State Railway Historical Society, in cooperation with NJ Transit operated two (morning and afternoon) Morris & Essex Christmas Specials from Dover to Hoboken and return.  Santa Claus was aboard!  [Block Line, Vol. 18, No. 6, Fall, 1992]



D&R Jct between Morris County owned Dover & Rockaway RR and NJT at Wharton had first train operate over it on Jan 25th.  M&E Ry #19 hauled one load in and one empty out.  It operated to Rockaway via the switchback (through Thatcher Glass, across Washington & Main Sts to the D&R).  On the return trip it operated via the new connection.  New connection eliminated 3 grade crossing (one very busy), 1 bridge over NJT, and trackage at entrance to Lock Joint Pipe Co.  Travel time over the D&R from NJT was reduced by 20 minutes in each direction.  [Reilly]



The I-80 high occupancy lane between NJ 15 (Wharton) and Beverwyck Rd. (Parsippany) was created on January 19th, under NJDOT Rule NJAC 16:30-3.9 - Eastbound 6am - 9am and westbound 3pm - 7pm weekdays in left lane for passenger vehicles with 2 or more riders plus motorcycles.  State police enforcement cost $300,000 first year and less in following years, excluding inflation.  [Reilly]


A tornado touched down in a line through Mt. Olive, Netcong and Hopatcong on June 29th.  [Tornado History Project]


On July 17th the Morristown & Erie Railway operated a pair of excursion trains for the 25th Anniversary of the Train Station Hobby Shop, located in the former Lackawanna station on the Boonton Line in Mountain Lakes.  The morning deadhead move from Morristown reversed at Denville and went east to Mountain Lakes, powered by M&E Alco’s C424 No. 18 and C430 No. 17.  The first trip made a circle tour via the Boonton line to West End (Jersey City), returning via Morristown and Denville.  The second trip operated via the Boonton Line to Suffern, NY and return via West End.  Thus the Erie Orange Branch Junction at Forest Hill was passed three times.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 13, No. 10, September, 1994]


On July 30th & 31st Whippany Railway Museum held their Railroad Festival ‘94 featuring a US Postal Service dedication of their new 29¢ Locomotive Stamp series, and two steam locomotives.  Black River & Western RR 2-8-0 No. 60 and Erie caboose C140 arrived via Conrail’s Lehigh Line, Phillipsburg, Netcong and Dover with a Conrail pilot locomotive(they later returned via the same route).  Susquehanna 2-8-2 No. 142 arrived via NJ Transit’s Bergen County and Morris & Essex lines.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 13, No. 9, September, 1994]  [McKelvey]


Four workers were sent to the hospital after a  machine mixing 500 pounds at Hercules Powder Works exploded.  [Roxbury Township Historical Society]


On August 27th URHS ran a Farewell to the U34CH locomotive excursion in cooperation with NJ Transit.  The trip departed Hoboken with No. 4172 on one end of the train and No. 4176 on the other end and went up the Boonton Line to Denville and Netcong; back to West End via Morristown; to Suffern and return; to Spring Valley and back to Hoboken.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 13, No. 10, October, 1994]


A bus-load of Pennsylvania Canal Society members toured the western half of the Morris Canal on October 15th.  Tour guides were Bill Moss and Bob Barth, both officers of the Canal Society of NJ.  Guest speaker at the Saturday evening banquet was “Capt. Bill” McKelvey, Vice President of the American Canal Society.  “Zip” Zimmerman was general chairman for the entire affair.  The group visited a number of sites of the former inclined planes, both east and west of Lake Hopatcong, feeder reservoir for the canal.  [Best of American Canals No. VII]


Several ballast trains were operated by the Morristown & Erie Railway during October and November via NJ Transit between the NYS&W RR at Passaic Junction and the former CNJ High Bridge branch Rt. 206 bridge project at Mt. Olive.  The stone originated at the Limecrest Quarry on the NYS&W south of Sparta Junction.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 14, No. 1, January, 1995]



The Picatinny rail was developed for mounting scopes atop the receivers of large caliber rifles, but, once established, its use expanded to other accessories such as tactical lights, laser aiming modules, night vision devices, reflex sights, foregrips, bipods, and bayonets.  The rail is named after Picatinny Arsenal where a military standard for it was dated February 3rd.  [Picatinny Arsenal HAER Report]


Toys “R” Us received its certificate of occupancy on Friday, May 5th for its sprawling new distribution facility in Flanders, NJ on the former CNJ High Bridge branch.  The following Monday the first four carloads were delivered by Morristown & Erie locomotive No. 19 and URHS Lehigh Valley F7A No. 578.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 14, No. 7, July, 1995]


A small portion of the D&R RR in Wharton was transferred to the Boro of Wharton for free on May 10, (Block 901, Lot 1) by Morris County DOT at the request of the Borough.  Mt. Hope Mineral RR from E. Dewey Ave. to the Dover & Rockaway RR (Block 301, Lot 22) in Wharton was sold by Conrail to the Borough of Wharton for $2,000 on Apr. 27th, recorded in Morris County Clerks book DB 4193 P 032 on June 5th.  [Reilly]


URHS Lehigh Valley Limited excursion on May 20th was organized to celebrate the return of two F7A locomotives painted in the Lehigh Valley paint scheme by Metro North RR in exchange for URHS leasing the locomotives to them for two years.  The trip operated from Hoboken Terminal to Suffern; back to West End, where the train was reversed on the “Y”; then west on the Boonton Line via Forest Hill (the junction with the Erie Orange Branch),  and Dover to Rockport.  The return to Hoboken was via Morristown.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 14, No. 7, July, 1995]


The last annual Armed Forces Day observance, open to the public, was held at Picatinny Arsenal in this year.  The events which drew up to 10,000 people, featured military equipment demonstrations, artillery and bomb displays, mock battle exercises using helicopters, rides on the Picatinny Arsenal railroad, and visits to the arsenal museum.  Former Picatinny Arsenal Museum visitors could view bombs, mortars, land mines, small arms ammunition, large artillery shells, demolition munitions, tube fired munitions, and rockets, many of which were developed and manufactured at the arsenal during WW II and the wars in Asia – from Korea to Vietnam.  Primary visitors to the museum were school classes.  During this era the arsenal also had an exhibit on a trailer which displayed rockets and shells developed at Picatinny, including a Nike guided missile, “Atomic Annie” – the 280-mm artillery shell developed to contain a nuclear warhead, recoilless rifle ammunition, and a multitude of shells.  In addition, for many years the arsenal also operated a mobile museum in a bus vehicle which visited schools, museums, shopping centers, and special events throughout Northern New Jersey with a display of weapons, explained by an ordinance officer.  [Rae, John W., Picatinny Arsenal]


Captain Dick Titus, the last surviving Morris Canal boat captain died on June 25th, less than a month before his 107th birthday.  [McKelvey]


Morristown & Erie RR operated a passenger extra from Morristown to Flanders, NJ and return for the NJ Railroad Freight Symposium on June 28th.  The special was powered by URHS Lehigh Valley-painted F7As 576 and 578 and included the cars Alder Falls, NJ Rails 5450 (a/k/a the Walter G.) and PRR Broadway Limited observation Mountain View.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 14, No. 9, September, 1995]


The sale of the aerospace business of Hercules, Inc., to Alliant Techsystems, Inc., for $440 million in cash and stock was finalized on July 1st.  The former Hercules Kenvil facilities were taken over by Alliant, and the smokeless powders produced there were to be marketed under the Alliant name.  Alliant established a smokeless powder sales office 100 Howard Blvd., Mt. Arlington, NJ.  The former Hercules powders continued to be available under their well-known trademarks of Bullseye, Red Dot, Green Dot, Blue Dot, Unique, Herco, 2400, and the Reloder Series.  [Free Online Library]


Monday, September 11th marked the first day of regular service for NJ Transit’s new layover yard at Port Morris.  The facility, located between Lake Hopatcong and Netcong, allows several diesel powered trainsets to be stationed further west into the suburbs, which will also help ease congestion at NJT’s Dover Yard.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 14, No. 11, November, 1995]


The State of New Jersey condemned (and in 2001 paid $21 million for) the abandoned Lackawanna Cut-off which Conrail had sold to a developer for $1,000,000 in the 1980's.  [McKelvey]


Starting Friday evening, December 1st, NJ Transit crews began removing the center track at Dover Station to make way for a new high level, ADA compliant, center platform.  Three tracks had existed at the station since 1901.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 15, No. 3, March, 1996]



On January 7th 23" to 28" of accumulation were deposited in Morris County by a snow storm.   [McKelvey]


Presentations were made to the NJ RR and Transportation Museum Commission by the City of Elizabeth and Netcong/Port Morris supporters.  [McKelvey]


Conrail took their Operation Lifesaver train, which had been stored at Whippany by the Morristown & Erie Railway, to Stroudsburg, PA for a Memorial Day celebration.  They also took Tri-State Railway Historical Society's restored DL&W RR baggage car #2038.  The routing was via Allentown, so the train passed through Phillipsburg four times (twice each on the former Jersey Central & Bel Del lines).  [McKelvey]


Big URHS equipment move - Morristown & Erie Ry. moved GP-7's #5681 & 5902, GP-9 #7000, and Baldwin VO-1000 #19 from Morristown to Denville where they were met by two Conrail GP-38's to pilot them to Easton and back to Hudson Yard in Phillipsburg.  Belvidere Delaware River Ry. had moved lounge car #4443, RDC #556, and F-7's #418 & 424 from Gilbert Generating Station to Hudson Yard.  When Conrail/M&E attempted to move the equipment they discovered defective brakes on F-7 # 424 so it had to be left at Hudson. Conrail/M&E took train from Hudson to Easton and then reversed for the Black River & Western at Three Bridges.  All equipment was dropped there except RDC # 556 and private car #3079.  Conrail/M&E then returned to Easton, dropped the CR engines and M&E #17 pulled the train up to Washington, where the crew "outlawed."  CR later moved the train back up to Dover where a M&E crew took it back to Morristown.  [McKelvey]


On July 21st, URHS owned, Budd-built Rail Diesel Car (RDC) M-1 (leased to NY S&W T&H Socirty) operated four public trips on the Dover & Rockaway in conjunction with the Chester Lions Flea Market in downtown Dover.  The four trips ran between Rockaway and the line’s junction with NJ Transit at Wharton.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 15, No. 10, October, 1996]


A small portion of the D&R RR in Wharton through a portion of the Lock Joint Pipe Co. was transferred to the Boro of Wharton for free on Oct. 4th for industrial re-development by the Boro.  They sold it to the Wharton Warehouse Associates LLC for $1,600,000.  Recorded in Morris County Clerks Office DB 4467, p 40 on Oct. 31st, 1996.  [Reilly]


The NJ RR & Transportation Museum Commission announced their recommendations of Phillipsburg, Plainfield and Netcong/Port Morris for the Heritage Center to the legislature. [McKelvey]


Hercules, Inc., (originally Hercules Powder Company, ceased producing explosives at their Kenvil Powder Works.  The site of more than 1,000 acres once had as many as 300 buildings and both standard and narrow gauge railways.  [Franke, Jakob, etal, Field Guide to the Morris Canal of NJ]


Guide to the Morris Canal in Morris County, a publication of the Morris County Heritage Commission, was authored by Joseph J. Macasek.



Tri-State Chapter, NRHS and the URHS, in cooperation with the Morristown & Erie Ry, Conrail and NJ Transit fielded a colorful Operation Lifesaver train for the Borough of Lincoln Park’s 75th anniversary on Saturday, April 26th.  The consist included the URHS-owned  pair of Lehigh Valley F-7 locomotives & RDC M-1; Morristown & Erie caboose & two first class coaches; Operation Lifesaver box car; and Tri-State’s restored Lackawanna baggage car.  The train backed from Morristown to Denville and then headed east on the Boonton Line to Lincoln Park.  At the conclusion of the Lincoln Park festivities, the Operation Lifesaver special continued east Saturday evening to make a Sunday appearance at Franklin Street in Belleville on the former Erie RR Orange Branch, for the annual Cherry Blossom Festival.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 16, No. 17 July, 1997]


The Lord Cultural Resources Planning & Management, Inc., of Toronto, Canada, was chosen to develop the NJ RR & Transportation Heritage Center requirements and final site ranking (between Phillipsburg, Plainfield and Netcong/Port Morris).  [McKelvey]


The Netcong-Port Morris Site Committee (for the NJ RR & Transportation Museum), in cooperation with NJ Transit, the NY S&W T&H S, Morristown & Erie Ry, and the International Trade Center sponsored rail excursions out of Netcong, NJ as part of that town’s “Netcong Day” festivities on September 7th.  The URHS-owned RDC car operated alternating round trips to Dover and Hackettstown on NJ Transit throughout the day.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 16, No. 12, December, 1997]


Bill McKelvey acquired 43 of the 56 surviving letters from the CNJ Elizabethport Locomotive Shop building which had been demolished.  The collectors/sellers were Frank Farnkopf and Nicholas Buli who worked nearby.  One complete set spelling out "CENTRAL RAILROAD OF NEW JERSEY  1901" was assembled and "C (&) SW RR," made up from the excess letters, was donated to the Phillipsburg RR Historians.  Each two foot tall cast iron letter weighs an average of 35 pounds. [McKelvey]


The Community Children’s Museum of Dover was founded in this year as a traveling road show.  In 2002 they moved into leased space at 77 E. Blackwell St., Dover.  They closed in 2012 due to a funding shortfall by the economic recession.  [McKelvey]



A three day bus tour by the Canal Society of NJ covered the remains of the Morris Canal.  On April 18th two buses brought 85 members to Phillipsburg/Easton followed by a visit to Jim Lee's Plane No. 9W and stops at the following Morris County sites: Lake Hopatcong, Powerville - Boonton, Port Morris, and Stanhope.  A 68 page soft cover guide booklet was produced for the event.  [McKelvay]


Morristown & Erie Railway Alco C-424 #18 traveled down the Washington Secondary and through Phillipsburg on a run to deliver the heavyweight coach American Dream to the Reading & Northern RR at Jim Thorpe.  Friends members Fred Heide, Bob Hingel, Jack McDougal, Ross Rowland and John Willever were among those who went along on the May 30th trip.  The M&E's Morris County carried the riders and Ben Friedland was the engineer, both ways.  [McKelvey]


Congress approved the restoration of passenger service on the Lackawanna Cut-off as part of a package of transportation projects, but a specific amount of money was not set aside for it.   [McKelvey]


The URHS sponsored an all-day excursion over NJ Transit lines on Saturday, September 19th using repainted “Erie” E8s 835 and 834 pulling URHS Lounge Car and five Bombardier coaches.  Photo stops were executed at Kingsland, Waldwick, the lunch stop at Ridgewood, Harmon Cove, (passing by the former Erie RR Orange Branch Junction at North Newark) Boonton, and at the Trade Center in Roxbury, west of Netcong.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 17, No. 11, November, 1998]


HOV lanes on I-80 and I-287 were eliminated and opened to all traffic on Nov. 29th due to extremely low usage and outrage by motorists sitting in heavy congestion in the non-HOV lanes and virtually no one in the HOV lanes.  A ceremony ending the HOV lanes was held in late November announcing the end of the HOV lanes.  [Frank Reilly, attendee of “the end” ceremony held in the Morristown I-287 rest stop.]



On February 1st January 21st memo from Stanley J. Rosenblum, Acting Executive Director of NJ Transit, which supported the decision of the NJ RR & Transportation Museum Commission to locate the proposed Heritage Center in Phillipsburg was made public.  It stated that NJT would soon start construction of a Facilities Maintenance Center in the western portion of the Port Morris site and that a Heritage Center there would be in conflict with their plans.  [McKelvey]


CSX and Norfolk Southern began operating the portions of Conrail which they purchased.   [McKelvey]


Bob Petillo painted a mural, entitled “NJ Rail Legacy” on an interior wall of Ken’s Trackside Restaurant in the Dover railroad station.  It was reproduced as a limited edition of 500 lithographs.  [Dover Historical Society]


On May 30th NJ DOT released "Report of NJ State Planning Process" which in part identified the Boonton Line - Washington Secondary as a double stack route for Norfolk Southern between Phillipsburg and Croxton Yard.  It would require the restoration of the Croxton - Boonton Line connection and increased clearances under bridges and catenary.  [McKelvey]


On June 12th the Canal Society of NJ hired in a special canalboat for Waterloo Canal Day.  A replica canalboat, the Neversink Kate was trailered down from Cuddebackville, NY on the Delaware & Hudson Canal and put into the watered section at Waterloo.  Over 400 were given mule-drawn rides.  The event was coordinated by CSNJ President, Bob Barth.  [On the Level] [Barth]


On July 2nd, the NJ Historic Preservation Office concurred that Picatinny Arsenal test area E, with buildings 3617 and 3618, was eligible for listing on the National Register of Historic Properties. [Picatinny Arsenal HAER Report]


On July 21st the local NS freight from Dover delivered six Trailer Train flats loaded with 422 tons or over 4 miles of rail to Silver Lake (Belleville) on the former Erie RR Orange Branch.  The 115# rail was rolled at Bethlehem Steel Co. Steelton Works (1999) and came by way of Phillipsburg.  It was used to rebuild the portion of the Orange Branch now traversed by Newark City Subway cars and for the new Bloomfield light rail maintenance/storage facility.  [McKelvey]


Norfolk Southern Corp. confirmed that they considered the Lackawanna Cut-Off, and the Boonton Line, a serious option for access to the New Jersey Meadowlands.  [McKelvey]



The CNJ Wharton & Northern Station in downtown Wharton was demolished during February.   [McKelvey]


A Railroad Symposium “Making Tracks: Morris County’s Historic Railroads” was the topic at Ken’s Trackside Supper Club at the Dover railroad station on May 23rd evening.  It was sponsored by Morris County Heritage Commission and presenters were historian Larry Lowenthal, civil engineer Bill Wilkie and Morris County’s Director of Transportation, Frank Reilly.  [The County Circular, (Morris County Heritage Commission)]


Doppler radar estimates of total rainfall for the August 11th - 14th period reached about 15 inches along the border between Sussex and Morris Counties.  A severe thunderstorm on August 12th dropped so much rain in six hours that it was judged a 1,000-year event.  Peak flows from Lake Hopatcong and on the Musconetcong River exceeded those of a 100-year flood.  [Wikipedia]


A four day conference "Preserving the Historic Road in America", which was attended by 300, was held at Headquarters Plaza Hotel in Morristown in April.  Sponsors included: NJ DOT; NJ DEP; NJ State Historic Preservation office; National Trust for Historic Preservation; National Park Service; NY State DOT; and NY State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.  [McKelvey]  [The County Circular, (Morris County Heritage Commission)]


The Master Plan for the New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center at Phillipsburg with a satellite site at Netcong Station was completed.  [McKelvey]


The US Postal Service's "Celebrate the Century Express" exhibit train visited the NJ Transit "Try Transit Festival" at Hoboken Terminal and a week later the Morristown & Erie Railway hosted the train at the Whippany Railway Museum.  [McKelvey]



On May 17th, Morris County Heritage Commission held its annual history symposium at the US Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center (ARDEC), commonly known by everyone else as Picatinny Arsenal.  The evening program was held at Club Picatinny opening with a buffet dinner and featuring presentations by author Fred Bartenstein; Morristown National Historical Park Ranger / Historian Eric Olsen; former Hagley Museum curator Robert Howard; and Picatinny historian Patrick Owens.  An optional pre-dinner tour of the Picatinny museum was available.  [The County Circular, (Morris County Heritage Commission)] 


The NJ Senate voted to designate Phillipsburg the location for the New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center with a satellite location at Netcong Station.  On June 21st acting Governor Donald DiFrancesco signed the legislation into law creating the New Jersey Transportation Heritage Center. [McKelvey]


An accident on June 22nd involving a gasoline tank truck and two other tractor trailers caused an intense fire which severely damaged an Interstate Rt. 80 bridge over Den Brook, near exit 39 in Denville.  Gasoline from the overturned tanker trailer flowed under the bridge, creating an intense fire which damaged the steel beams of the bridge.  The busy highway was closed for several days while a prefabricated, erector set - like, temporary bridge was installed.  Complicating matters was the hot weather and the multiple thick layers of hot asphalt used to build a ramp up to the temporary two-lane bridge.  As soon as it was opened to heavy traffic the uncured asphalt failed.  The solution was to drill holes into the too hot asphalt and insert crushed dry ice to cool and solidify it.  It took several weeks to make full repairs, during which much through traffic diverted to I-78.   Later a $6.2 million claim was filed against Jersey City trucker J'Low Express which the state found was at fault.  The trucker was put out of business by federal regulators, partly because it did not have sufficient insurance.  [McKelvey]


The State of NJ paid $21 million to acquire the former Lackawanna Cutoff, between Port Morris, NJ and Slateford Junction, PA.  The purchase included 26 miles of right-of-way across Sussex and Warren Counties, as well as the bridge spanning the Delaware River.  The State finally agreed to the purchase price, although the property was acquired during the early 1990s by eminent domain.  Conrail had sold the property to developer Gerald Turco in the mid-1980s, in the hopes of preventing the right-of-way from ever being used again for railroad purposes.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 20, No. 8, August, 2001]


On July 12th, Morristown & Erie‘s new business car 364, Ohio River, made its debut over the Morris County-owned Dover & Rockaway RR.  The trip inspected work performed on the $1 million upgrading of the 7-mile line.  The train consisted of M&E Alco C424 No. 18 and SW1500 No. 20, with ex-PRR lounge car Alder Falls, and ex-L&N business car Ohio River, which had been acquired by the M&E in May.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 20, No. 10, October, 2001]


On Sept. 11th a special Morristown & Erie Railway train of NJ County Transportation Association members and their guests (including the Editor) were awaiting departure from Whippany Railway Museum.  They were to proceed to Hoboken where a tour boat was to give them a cruise around NY Harbor with lunch aboard.  Unfortunately, cell phones of passengers began ringing as early details of the horrendous events of the day began to unfold.  The train never departed Whippany...  Islamic/Muslim terrorists had hi-jacked four commercial passenger jet planes and crashed two of them into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in NYC.  The resulting fires caused the collapse of both 110 story WTC towers as well as four adjacent office buildings.  Many other nearby buildings were damaged.  About twenty eight hundred lives were lost and 700 of these were New Jerseyians.  At least 45 of the victims were residents of Morris County.  Bridges and tunnels were closed, halting rail and road service into and out of Manhattan for hours and days.  Twenty three NY Waterway ferries rushed to the scene aiding in the rescue effort.  In that first terrible day, NY Waterway evacuated 160,000 people from Manhattan, many of them injured. All air service was grounded for nearly two days.  PATH service to WTC and Exchange Place was terminated.  Rail freight service into and out of the NY area was immediately suspended, but resumed the following day. The Holland Tunnel was closed to normal traffic for weeks.  It was used exclusively for emergency vehicles and trucks removing debris for many days.  Many NJ truckers helped bring in emergency supplies and remove the 25,000 loads of debris.  NJ Transit buses were operated as emergency services vehicles for the Salvation Army and others.  Randy Emr of Roxbury, future president of the Military Transport Association of North Jersey, volunteered and drove his 1967 M35A2 2½ ton Army truck to deliver (via the GWB) donated sweat-suits, socks and underwear to EMT and rescue workers at Ground Zero.  Randy was waved through several checkpoints where all other traffic was stopped.  In following days he also transported exhausted firemen and emergency workers north to active transportation hubs so they could get home to rest and re-cooperate. [McKelvey]


NJ Transit became the nation's largest statewide public transportation system for bus, rail and light rail services for 372,000 daily commuters on 240 bus routes, two light rail lines and 12 commuter rail lines.  There were 162 rail stations, 26 light rail stations, and more than 17,000 bus stops linking major points in the tri-state area.  [McKelvey]



In May, four barge-mounted, paddle-wheel powered, Aquarius Systems, water weed harvesting vessels were purchased by the Lake Hopatcong Commission and put in operation on Lake Hopatcong.  They have subsequently been transferred to the NJ DEP but remain at Hopatcong State Park.  [McKelvey]


A joint tour of the Morris Canal from Lake Hopatcong to Plane 9W in Stewartsville was held with the Canal Society of NY and the Canal Society of NJ on May 11th.  [McKelvey]


On September 20th, the final passenger train to operate over the lower Boonton Line made it’s last scheduled stop at Lake Hopatcong.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 21, No. 11, November, 2002] 


On September 29th NYS&W RR GP38 No. 2912 led the Susquehanna excursion consist into Dover during the “Lincoln Park Days” trips on NJ Transit’s Boonton Line.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 22, No. 1, January, 2003]


On October 20th the Tri-State Chapter, NRHS operated a series of caboose trips on the former CNJ Dover & Rockaway Branch, in conjunction with a giant flea market in downtown Dover.  Originating at the Dover town hall, the morning trips went west to D&R Junction in Wharton and at 1pm the train of three cabooses ran east to the end of the line in Rockaway.  The line was built in 1881 to serve the iron mines at Hibernia.   [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 21, No. 12, December, 2002]



With the initiation of combat activities during Operation Enduring Freedom in 2001 and Operation Iraqi Freedom in this year, the need for Improvised Explosive Device training resulted in many training systems being safety certified and fielded by the ARDEC Pyrotechnics personnel at Picatinny, including Suicide Vest, small hand held pen flare launchers, pyrotechnic signals, “Flash Bang” cartridges, and Target Hit Simulator Cartridges.  [Picatinny Arsenal website] 


The American comedy - drama film, The Station Agent, starring Peter Dinklage was released.  The film was shot on a shoestring budget of $500,000 in a limited amount of time at the NYS&W Newfoundland Station, Lake Hopatcong, Dover, Hibernia, Rockaway Township, Rockaway Borough and other locations.  The filming which included NYS&W trains, Morristown & Erie locomotives and Morris County Central coaches produced a box office take of $8,000,000.  [Wikipedia]


During the afternoon of August 14th, a massive power failure halted train traffic in the northeast and the metropolitan NY-NJ area.  It affected 45 million people in eight US states and an estimated 10 million in Ontario.  NJ Transit did not full restore rail service until Saturday the 16th.  At the time, it was the world’s second most widespread blackout in history.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 22, No. 10, October, 2003]  [Wikipedia]


Morristown & Erie FL9 locomotives 488 and 489 were borrowed by Norfolk Southern for use on train HO-2 between Dover and Washington on October 28th & 29th because the NS units must have cab signals to operate on NJ Transit.  The FL9s were borrowed again by NS on December 4th, when the Dover local had to bring 59 cars west to Washington and were needed to assist NS’s lone GP15 assigned to Dover.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 23, No. 1, January, 2004]



On April 20th NYS&W RR 2-8-2 steam locomotive No. 142 arrived at Dover from Butler.  On the following day it was moved by NS and delivered to the Bel-Del at Phillipsburg.  [McKelvey]


The award-winning Hollywood film, The Station Agent, was released on DVD on June 17th.  A segment of the production was filmed with the Morristown & Erie RR on the Dover & Rockaway Branch.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 23, No. 6, June, 2004]


Your Editor, Bill McKelvey, was presented with the second John Augustus Roebling Award for Contributions to Industrial Archeology at the annual symposium of the Roebling Chapter, Society for Industrial Archeology at Drew University, Madison.  [McKelvey]


The Mahan (truck) Collection was founded in this year at Basking Ridge, NJ.  The purpose of the organization is to acquire, preserve, restore, maintain, and hold for display to the public directly or through other organizations, antique and historic vehicles, equipment and machinery.  In addition to the aforementioned purposes, the organization was formed for the preservation of our mechanical history and for the education of the public about these historic items.  The organization will acquire such items through donations and purchases and restore those in need of repair.  This private collection of Gary Mahan, who began collecting in _______is unfortunately not open to the public at Basking Ridge.  The Mahan Collection has the largest collection of restored Mack trucks in the world. [ ]


In this year “Dan” began studying the mining history of the NJ Highlands and has a website: []



Following the 9-1-01 terrorist events, a Homeland Defense Technology Center was established at the U.S. Armament Research, Development, and Engineering Center (ARDEC), Picatinny, NJ.  By early 2005 a panel of track was installed at this facility on Lake Denmark Road and two surplus NJ Transit Comet I cars, Nos. 1608 (former Snack Bar car) and 1756, were trucked to the site and unloaded by a large crane.  The multi-functional testing and training site exploits the engineering expertise that is resident at ARDEC to further equip soldiers in the war on terrorism and to leverage that same technology for the civilian needs of Homeland Security technology development with comprehensive and integrated training scenarios in a realistic environment.  [Picatinny - Home of American Firepower website and several individuals]


The former CNJ Dover & Rockaway freight depot in Dover was virtually razed during Summer.  About 1/3 of the 1881 wooden structure was removed as were the prior railroad architectural details and the remainder was heavily rebuilt and renovated.  Large show windows were installed on the west end, making it’s prior use unrecognizable.  [Block Line, 2nd Quarter, June 2006]


Morris County Heritage Commission held their 35th anniversary symposium, From Telegraph to Telstar: The History of Communications Technology in Morris County, on November 19th at the Fairleigh Dickinson University Library.  Lecturers included: John T. Cunnuingham; Kevin Gumienny; Paul Israel; David Hochfelder; and Sheldon Hochheiser.  [The County Circular, (Morris County Heritage Commission)]


The Hetman brothers, Greg & Mike, founded Iron Miners to preserve America’s mining history.  They specialize in the documentation and investigation of historic underground mines, including North Jersey’s iron mines. []


The Mine Hill Fire Department donated their 1975 Pierce pumper, equipped with a Detroit Diesel and Waterous Co. pumps, to the NJ Fire Museum.  [Mine Hill FD]



On February 15th a derailment on the Chester Branch in Kenvil trapped both Morristown & Erie’s SW 1500 No. 20 and C424 No. 18.  The railroad leased NS GP38-2 No. 5355 to assist in re-railing.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 25, No. 4, April, 2006]


On April 7th Norfolk Southern’s HO-2 “Dover Drill” used Morristown & Erie’s SW-1500 No. 20 to switch Hartz Mountain on the ex-Erie Orange Branch due to low catenary restrictions on the NJT Montclair Line and the Newark City Subway extension to Bloomfield.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 25, No. 6, June, 2006]


Wharton Borough began the process of restoration of Morris Canal Lock No. 2 East in their Hugh Force Park with a feasibility study.  In subsequent years they received grants administered by NJ Department of Transportation, Morris County Historic Preservation Trust Fund, the Morris County Park Commission and NJ Historic Trust.  [The Heritage Review, (Morris County Heritage Commission)]


The Mount Hope Miner’s Church was added to Morris County Park’s Mount Hope Historical Park.   [Morris County Park Commission]

Waterloo Village seemed to flourish under the guidance of Percy Leach and Louis Gualandi - Percy can be described as brilliant, talented, artistic, flamboyant, persuasive, cunning and politically well-connected.  Louis was more grounded in reality and more cautious.  However, as far back as 1981 Waterloo was apparently on the brink of bankruptcy and was rescued by a consortium of banks. Louis Gualandi died in 1988, and without his voice of reason, there was no one to hold Percy back.  In the 1990s the Waterloo Foundation for the Arts ran into a number of problems: inability to show accounting for grants; bank overdrafts and technical insolvency; complaints from local residents due to traffic gridlock caused by oversold festivals; competition from the NJ Performing Arts Center in Newark; a decline in attendance after the 9/11 attacks; and finally, the cutting of grants for maintenance and general operating expenses from the State of NJ.  On December 31st, the contract between the state and the foundation was terminated.  Waterloo Village was closed and the state assumed ownership as a state park, but no staffing was provided.  Waterloo was a victim of poor management, lack of state oversight, dreams that went beyond reach and pervasive insolvency.  In February 2007, the visionary Percy Leach passed away at age eighty.  [Giles, John R., The Story of Waterloo Village]



On February 2nd Morristown & Erie Alco locomotive No. 18 was becoming the regular engine used on Dover local freight HO-2 because NS could not provide a locomotive that could fit under the NJ Transit catenary between Dover and Denville.  No. 18 was used to serve customer Hartz Mountain on the former Erie Orange Branch.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 26, No. 3, March, 2007]


At the end of April, the former licensee for the 2,000-MW Mount Hope pumped-storage project renewed plans to develop the project at the inactive mine, but scaled back the project’s capacity to 1,000-MW.  Mt. Hope Waterpower Project LP filed a new application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission asking for a preliminary permit to study the project.  However, the project was never built.  []  (May 3, 2007) 


New MTA/New York City Transit R160 subway cars were delivered by special 7-axle low-bed tractor-trailer from the Alstom plant in Hornel, NY during July, via I-80 across northern NJ.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 26, No. 10, October, 2007]


URHS obtained a lease of the dormant Boonton freight yard from NJ Transit.  Historic locomotives and railcars were moved from the former DL&W MU yard at Morristown to their new home at West Boonton Yard.  The move was completed over the weekend of September 8th- 9th.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 26, No. 11, November, 2007]


Tri-State Railway Historical Society (NRHS) hosted caboose trains on the Dover & Rockaway Branch (ex-CNJ Hibernia Branch) on October 14th.  The trains, powered by M&E’s RS1 No. 21 covered the west end of the branch to Wharton in the morning and the east end to Rockaway in the afternoon.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 26, No. 12, December, 2007]


In mid-November NS freight HO-2 moved Maine Eastern FL9 No. 488 from the Washington Secondary for delivery to the Morristown & Erie shop in Morristown.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 26, No. 12, December, 2007]



NJ Transit held a grand opening celebration for their new Mt. Arlington Station adjacent to I-80, between Dover and Lake Hopatcong, on January 20th.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 27, No. 3, March, 2008]


The Historic Site Master Plan & Feasibility Study for Lock 2E of the Morris Canal was completed, for Wharton Borough Council by HJGA Consulting (Project No. 0616H) on February 4th.  The link for that excellent report is: 


Wharton’s 33rd Canal Day Festival was held at their Hugh Force Park on Central Avenue on August 23rd.  [The Heritage Review, (Morris County Heritage Commission)]


After cancellation of the agreement with the State of NJ, the Waterloo Foundation for the Arts, believing that it was the owner of all the furnishings in the village buildings, loaded them into trailers and removed them from the village.  The state sued, but due to lack of adequate record keeping, was not able to prove ownership.  In this year, the foundation was allowed to sell over 4000 items at auction to pay off its debts.  The Canal Society of NJ fortunately, using its own money, was able to buy back many items at auction and they were restored to the Smith General Store and Rutan Cabin.  [Giles, John R., The Story of Waterloo Village]


In the Fall of 2007 Supor & Son Trucking & Rigging Co., Inc. donated former Southern Railway 2-8-0 No. 385 to Whippany Railway Museum.  In February the locomotive was trucked from Supor Industrial Park in Harrison, NJ to the Morristown & Erie Ry at Cedar Knolls.  On the same day Supor also delivered an 0-4-0 fireless cooker locomotive which worked at the Texaco facility in Bayonne. [Railpace Newsmagazine Vol. 27, No. 3, March 2008]


On August 12th the Morristown & Erie RR and Norfolk Southern operated a joint office car special inspection train between Dover and Washington to view the route currently served by NS Dover local HO-2.  M&E was pursuing a lease of NS Washington Secondary trackage.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 27, No. 10, October, 2008]



On February 2nd a small earthquake, magnitude 3.0, was reported at Victory Gardens, although it could be felt in Rockaway, Dover and Morris Plains.  [New York Times]


The Roebling Chapter, Society for Industrial Archeology held their last (No. 29) annual symposium at Drew University in Madison.  Subsequent symposia have been held in Paterson, NJ.  [Tom Flagg]


Morris County purchased the four-mile (ex-DL&W) Chester Branch, between Chester Junction in Roxbury and the former Westinghouse Elevator industrial complex in Randolph.  The track was acquired for the sum of $1 from Jack Holland, owner of Holland Industries, the major freight customer on the line.  Ownership of the line allowed Morris County to begin a $5.8 million upgrading of the line, funded by ARRA federal stimulus money.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 28, No. 12, December, 2009]


United Railroad Historical Society held their first open house at their Boonton Yard restoration facility.  [McKelvey]


Operation Toy Train began operating on the three freight lines owned by Morris County to collect Toys for the US Marine Corps Reserve Toys For Tots Foundation.



During the period of 2000 to 2015 the Picatinny Pyrotechnics Team grew from a staff of 19 personnel and 6 buildings with a $2M budget to the Picatinny Pyrotechnics Division with a staff of over 60 employees and 14 buildings with a $16M budget.  [Picatinny Arsenal website]


In this year United RR Historical Society moved most of their collection of rail equipment from Lebanon, Ridgefield Park, and Morristown to their new yard facility in Boonton.  [McKelvey]


In this year Picatinny cut the ribbon on a new state of the art 27,000 SF Pyrotechnics Laboratory and Pilot Manufacturing Facility.  This $21 M facility (structure and equipment) was the major piece in the re-investment of the Pyrotechnic Competency at Picatinny.  Picatinny now has the staff, equipment and facilities in place to address the pyrotechnic technology needs of the war fighter and Homeland Defense for the foreseeable future.  [Picatinny Arsenal website]


On August 17th, a low-boy truck carrying a PATH car destined for a scrapper in Ohio was photographed crossing the former DL&W Chester Branch in Succasunna.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 29, No. 10, October, 2010]


On November 10th, the Algonquin Gas Transmission Co. put into service its Hub Line East to West Project (E2W).  The E2W Project included piping modifications at Algonquin’s westernmost, Hanover Compressor Station in Morris County, to permit reverse flow of gas and back-haul capability along their entire main line to New England. [Federal Energy Regulatory Commission]


After closure of the Hibernia mines it became the largest bat hibernaculum in New Jersey, with as many as 30,000 bats each winter.  In this year less than 10% of that number was found alive in the mine following an outbreak of white nose syndrome.  [Wikipedia]



Morristown & Erie Alco C424 locomotive No. 18 derailed at the Morris Avenue crossing in Dover on January 21st.  On the following morning, Joe Manzi Crane Service lifted the engine and placed it back on the rails.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 30, No. 3, March, 2011]


The final technical progress report of the remediation of a series of subsidences of the abandoned White Meadow iron ore mine in Rockaway Township was issued.  Seven subsidence events occurred along the 2,200 foot length of the abandoned White Meadow Mine over time, including: 189 White Meadow Road in 2002; 4 N. Lake Shore Drive in 2006; the intersection of Iowa and Erie Avenues in 2007; Nos. 9 and 11 Erie Ave.; and others.  Remediation under Township owned roads was accomplished by drilling and grouting.  [Remediation of Abandoned Iron Ore Mine Subsidence  in Rockaway Township, NJ] 


Brush clearing and regrading of the Lackawanna Cutoff commenced in February in preparation for relaying to track between Roxbury and Andover, NJ.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 30, No. 4, April, 2011]


On May 11th, Morris County hosted a golden spike ceremony to dedicate the rebuilt Chester Branch.  The special Morristown & Erie inspection train also covered the High Bridge Branch to Flanders and return to Holland Manufacturing Co.   [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 30, No. 7, July, 2011]


On July 10th the Morris County Central RR’s iconic 1923 Pennsylvania RR N6b Cabin Car (caboose) was returned to Whippany Ry Museum.  It had been relocated from Whippany to Newfoundland in December 1973.  [The Heritage Review, (Morris County Heritage Commission)]


During the massive flooding following Hurricane Irene in August, the Rockaway River crested approximately 6 feet above its previous record flood level.  The flooding was considered to be a 500 year event.  The downtown Denville business district and surrounding residential areas were flooded, in some places with up to 8 feet of water.  [Wikipedia]


The former Hockenjos Marina on Lake Hopatcong was purchased by and became Katz’s Marina.  They began restoring the buildings.  They specialize in classic wooden motorboats.  [Katz’s Marina website]


The $37 million reconstruction of the first 6 miles of the Lackawanna Cutoff by NJ Transit was begun in December with the delivery of a train of welded rail by NS to Port Morris.  Reinstallation of track began in the same month.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 31, No. 2, February, 2012]



The NJ State Parks Dept. assigned four staff members to operate Waterloo Village.  The Canal Society of NJ hosts an annual “Canal Day” at Waterloo and six heritage days when several buildings including the ca. 1831 General Store, the ca. 1760s Grist Mill, the ca. 1860 Canal Museum, and the  ca. 1780 Blacksmith shop are open and their members act as guides / interpreters.  The Canal Society also has their pontoon boat available for rides along the short stretch of watered canal.  [Giles, John R., The Story of Waterloo Village]


LHRy Chair, Capt. Bill McKelvey, provided a $100,000 interest-free, penalty-free loan to StarTrak, Inc. to construct the Boonton Yard Shop building.


Black River & Western locomotive No. 1856 was repainted by StarTrak at Boonton in July-August.  It was moved both ways via Dover and Allentown, PA.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 31, No. 10, October, 2012]


Bill McKelvey donated $10,000 to Whippany Railway Museum for work on several pieces of equipment, including the former Texaco fireless cooker 0-4-0 locomotive No. 7240.


During the week of December 17th, NJ Transit moved a string of 28 ALP44 locomotives onto the Lackawanna Cutoff at Port Morris for storage.  This was the first train to occupy the Cutoff since the last segment was taken up in 1984.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 32, No. 3, March, 2013]


During March a 20' x 20' sinkhole from an abandoned mine opened on Fireman’s Field off Randolph Ave., in Mine Hill.  It was filled.  [McKelvey] 


Morristown & Erie Railway successfully operated a 175-mile round trip passenger excursion over the tracks of four railroads: NJ Transit, Amtrak, Conrail Shared Assets, and Norfolk Southern on Saturday, August 24th.  The 16-car Lehigh Limited was operated in celebration of M&E’s 110th year of operation since its inception in 1903.  The train was powered by NJ Transit, Morristown & Erie, and NS locomotives.  The westbound trip was via the former Lehigh Valley main line and the return was via the Washington Secondary and Dover/Morristown.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 32, No. 10, October, 2013]


Dover, NJ recalled its Lackawanna Railroad heritage on September 18th when Norfolk Southern Lackawanna heritage locomotive arrived from Phillipsburg via former Lackawanna rails.  At Dover, NS 1074 became the first of the NS heritage fleet to be mated with an authentic namesake caboose, Lackawanna steel hack 896, owned and restored by the Tri-State Chapter, NRHS.  The pair were delivered to Boonton for display at URHS’s third annual Transportation Festival on Sept. 22nd.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 32, No. 12, December, 2013]


In this year a little 0-4-0 steam locomotive, Philadelphia & Reading Coal & Iron Co. No. 91, built by H.K. Porter, which had been displayed on the property of Pete Critelli in Kinnelon, NJ, was sold by him to new owners in Sedalia, MO.  The 40" gauge locomotive had been acquired from the Ashland, PA anthracite coal mine breaker for static display at the Morris County Central RR @ Whippany.  Several years after the MCC went out of business, the locomotive came under the ownership of Mr. Critelli and was moved to his residence in Kinnelon.  Critelli altered No. 91 to make it look like Morristown & Erie RR Forney No. 2 and promised to return it to Whippany.  The new owners, “Trail’s End Project” in MO, have drastically altered the look of the locomotive to give it an Old West look, by adding a fake cowcatcher, fake balloon stack, fake headlight, etc. for their static exhibit.  [Steve Hepler]


LHRy Chair, Bill McKelvey donated $10,000 to Whippany Railway Museum for boiler work on 0-6-0 steam locomotive No. 4039.


Tilcon, a subsidiary of the Ireland-based Oldcastle Co., currently operates the old Mt. Hope mine property, producing crushed stone and asphalt.  In this year they upgraded with a state-of-the-art asphalt plant capable of producing 600 tons per hour.  [Reilly]



A major portion of Katz’s Marina building on Lake Hopatcong collapsed in mid-February due to the weight of a 30" snowfall.  This was the former Hockenjos Marina building dating from 1910.  [McKelvey]


Another mine sinkhole appeared in Mine Hill, this one 20 feet across on Xenia Court and has been capped with large boulders and concrete.  [Randolph Reporter, April 25th]


On May 13th Norfolk Southern northern NJ local freight H-02 moved Reading Company-liveried F7a No. 284 from the United Railroad Historical Society’s storage facility in Boonton to Dover, NJ.  The cab unit was enroute to the Streamliner Festival in Spencer, North Carolina via Allentown, PA. [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 33, No. 7, July, 2014]


The Ice Age Trail in Roxbury Township opened to the public.  The short 1.5 mile trail through a heavily wooded area is aptly named for the time on earth when glaciers pushed through the area, depositing rocks, boulders and soil which ultimately shaped the local terrain.  The trailhead in the Landing section of Roxbury is marked by a kiosk on Orben Drive with a small parking lot.  Ice Age Trail is marked with distinct orange and white Township of Roxbury 1740 trail markers.  [Lake Hopatcong News]  (Publication date June 14, 2014)


On June 18th a presentation was made to Union County elected officials on the proposed Pilgrim Pipeline Project for the construction of two parallel petroleum pipelines (mainlines) 170 miles from Albany, NY to Linden, NJ.  The proposed pipeline would cross 5 NJ counties and 30 NJ towns, including through or near Riverdale, Pequannock, Kinnelon, Montville, Towaco, Parsippany - Troy Hills, E. Hanover, Florham Park, Chatham Borough, and Chatham Township.  Each line would be up to 20" in diameter and be capable of transporting the equivalent of 200,000 barrels of oil per day.  One mainline would carry crude oil south and the other would carry refined products north.  Considerable opposition has developed throughout the New Jersey section. [NY Dept. of Environmental Conservation]  [McKelvey]


Lake Hopatcong Cruises, begun in this year, offers lunch, dinner and specialty cruises during summer months.  Their 57-foot cruise vessel, Miss Lotta, the largest boat on the lake, accommodates up to 45 guests.  It has a full dining room, bar, and upper deck and sails from Alice’s restaurant at Nolan’s Point.  [LakeHopatcongCruises website]


A GE 45 ton switching locomotive was acquired by LHRy Chair, Bill McKelvey and moved from the Detroit area to Boonton Yard by truck.  It was restored, repainted, named “Capt. Bill” / “William”, and donated to URHS.


On the weekend of October 17th- 18th the Pennsylvania Canal Society toured the eastern section of the Morris Canal.  They toured Waterloo Village, Liberty State Park, a ride on the Newark City Subway - built in the bed of the Morris Canal, Great Falls National Historical Park & Paterson Museum, Griffin Park on the Rockaway River, Lock 2E @ Wharton & their canal park, Plane 2E, King Store & Salt Box Museum @ Ledgewood.  [Canal Currents No. 170, Winter 2015]


In November, new lock gates were installed on Morris Canal Lock No. 2 East in Wharton’s Hugh Force Park.  [The Heritage Review, (Morris County Heritage Commission)]


The cover of the Field Guide to the Morris Canal, published in this year features a 2012 color photo of Lock 2E in Wharton.  [Franke, Jakob, etal, Field Guide to the Morris Canal of NJ]



The portion of Waterloo Village in Morris County was added to the NJ State Register on February 2nd.  On April 28th it was added to the National Register.  State and National Register of Historic Place status is an important element in saving and preserving historic resources.  It is usually an essential requirement for properties to be eligible for grant funding at county, state and national levels.  [The Heritage Review, (Morris County Heritage Commission)]


In July the Morris County Freeholders awarded the Lake Hopatcong Foundation $192,500 from the Morris County Historic Preservation Trust Fund to help pay off the mortgage on the Lake Hopatcong Station which the Foundation purchased on November 6th, 2014.  center and make it into LHF’s headquarters.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 34, No.10, October, 2015.  The LHF plans to restore the station, constructed by the Lackawanna RR in 1911, to create a community center.]


Melverne Cooke, former Chief of Staff for Representative BettyLou DeCroce, helped us by setting up a meeting on August 6th to discuss our Proposed Wharton - Hugh Force Park Trolley Project with local stakeholders.  The meeting was held at the Morris County Cultural Center, Headquarters of Morris County Park Commission, 300 Mendham Road, Morris Township.  In attendance were: Dave Helmer, Executive Director; William Chegwidden, Wharton Mayor; Jon Reinhardt, Wharton Business Administrator; John Manna, Wharton Grants Administrator; Melverne Cooke; Frank Reilly, Retired Executive Director of Morris County DOT; and Bill McKelvey, Chairman of Liberty Historic Railway and URHS Site Committee Chair.  After we gave our presentation, Mr. Helmer showed us the additional properties they were trying to acquire to expand Hugh Force Park and create a buffer for it.  There was much agreement on our trolley shuttle proposal and future goals.   [McKelvey]


On August 25th, a tractor trailer headed west on Route 24 in Millburn with a portion of the carcass of a NJ Transit, GE-built Jersey Arrow-III headed for scrapping.  The load was headed for Southyart Scrap and Salvage located on Green Pond Road in Rockaway.  [Railpace Newsmagazine, V. 34, No.11, November, 2015]


LHRy funded and coordinated the cosmetic restoration and repainting of URHS-owned former Erie RR SW9 locomotive No. 436 at Boonton.


Patriots Path is a well marked system of about 35 miles of connected trails and branches crossing Morris County from east to west, through Morristown, maintained by Morris County Park Commission.  Under development for many years, the system has been expanded and by October it connects with the Essex County Environmental Center; the Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary; Allamuchy State Park; Willowwood Arboretum; and many other parks, wildlife management areas, and reservations.  Portions of the path follow, or extend along: the Traction Line Recreation Trail (former right-of-way of the Morris County Traction Co. trolley line along the north side of the NJ Transit Morris and Essex line between Madison and Morristown); Rockaway Valley Railroad; CNJ Chester Branch; CNJ Hacklebarney Mine Branch; the Lackawanna Chester Branch; the Columbia Trail (former CNJ High Bridge Branch); and along / between the west side of the former Lackawanna (NJ Transit) Morristown coach yard and Whippany River & Pocohontas Lake.  Much of the trail follows the corridors of the Whippany and Black Rivers and the South Branch of the Raritan River, the latter two creating some of the most pristine trout production streams in NJ.   Patriots Path also makes connections with: the Lenape Train in Essex County; the Randolph Trails; and the village of High Bridge in Hunterdon, the south end of the Columbia Trail.  [Morris County Park Commission]  []  [McKelvey]

On December 4th the annual Santa Special train was operated by Railmen for Children on NJ Transit from Hoboken to Denville.  [McKelvey]


A mine subsidence sink hole began to open adjacent to the Kauff residence on Randolph Avenue, Mine Hill on December 30th.  It grew to 20' x 20' and 30 feet deep.  It was filled with rock and concrete.  [Randolph Reporter, Jan. 8th, 2016]  [Anthony Troha]



On January 24th snow of 24"+ accumulated in Morris County.  [McKelvey]


On March 26th the Roebling Chapter, Society for Industrial Archeology hosted a tour of Morris County’s only ghost town - the early 1900s Oreland.  Access is via the abandoned right-of-way of the Oreland Branch of the Wharton & Northern RR to see the ruins of an exclusive system of mine shafts and ore crushers, Kelly’s Row - a street where miners lived, and a cemetery where many miners are buried.  Tour was led by Joe Macasek.  [McKelvey]


On April 6th the Roebling Chapter, Society for Industrial Archeology hosted a tour of Split Rock, Morris County’s only surviving iron furnace.  Located in Rockaway Township and Kinnelon, the remains of the stone furnace stack, forge sites, charcoal houses, an ore roaster, and archeological remains of the village that supported its operation in the 1790s to 1880s were explored.  Tour leader was Joe Macasek.  [McKelvey]


The first annual NJ Canals and Local History Symposium was held at the Frelinghuysen Arboretum on April 16th.  Sponsors were the Morris County Heritage Commission and the Canal Society of NJ.  [The Heritage Review, (Morris County Heritage Commission)]


The Metro-Jersey Chapter of the American Truck Historical Society held their last annual antique truck show in Morris County on June 5th at Automatic Switch Company in Florham Park.  For 2017 they moved their show to the Skylands Ball Stadium in Sussex County.


On June 13th URHS, NJERHS and LHRy made a presentation to the Mayor and Borough Council of Wharton, seeking permission to proceed with the construction of a carbarn and track on the former CRR of NJ Mount Hope branch along and above the watered section of the Morris Canal in Hugh Force Park.  While all seemed positive to the idea of operating historic trolley cars in the park, the Business Administrator stated that the former RR right-of-way was owned by Morris County and we will next meet with them.  [McKelvey]


In August the Morristown & Erie Ry placed a former Amtrak Material Handling Car on the High Bridge Branch near the Rt. 10 crossing.  It was wrapped as a Polar Express billboard to advertise their upcoming Polar Express trains from Whippany.  [Carl Perelman]


A wig-wag signal, recovered from Smith Mills on the NYS&W RR (by Jack Bayles of Butler) and moved to Phillipsburg by Bill McKelvey for Friends of the NJ Transportation Heritage Center was donated to Whippany Railway Museum.  It was restored and made operational for display and enjoyment of the public at Whippany.


A 25 ton 1926 Whitcomb diesel-mechanical, side-rod switching locomotive was donated by Public Service Gas & Electric Co. to LHRy and moved to Boonton Yard for restoration.  


On October 11th the URHS Site Committee made a presentation on our trolley shuttle initiative at Wharton’s Hugh Force Canal Park to the Morris County Park Commission.  They owned the section of the former Jersey Central High Bridge Branch where we proposed to relay track and build a trolley carbarn.  Our PowerPoint and video clip illustrated presentation was met with positive response.  Executive Director, Dave Helmer, said they would work up a Memorandum of Understanding between the Commission, Wharton Borough and URHS.  [McKelvey]


The long established Mass Transit and Trolley Modelers Convention moved the location of their shows to the Parsippany PAL Center facility (October 15th and 16th).  [Website]  [McKelvey]


The remains of Private First Class William V. Giovanniello were escorted from Newark Airport to Port Jervis, NY for burial on November 5th by 100 motorcycle police officers.  He was killed in action in Korea on April 25th, 1951 and his remains were only recently recovered.  The route they took was 78, 24, 287,80, 15 and 206 into NY.  [NJ Herald]  [John Sobotka]


During September the remains of the bow section of a Morris Canal canalboat were moved from Highlands, NJ to Waterloo Village for the Canal Society of NJ for public display.  LHRy funded the move and McKelvey coordinated the trucking by Capt. Phil Francis. 


On November 18th Picatinny Arsenal welcomed more than 50 students from five local middle and high schools for the first Picatinny Pumpkin Slinging Competition.  The devices employed the following historic principles: trebuechet, catapult, and slingshot.  The farthest launch was achieved by the team from Morris Knoll High School, whose catapult managed to fire their pumpkin a staggering 380 feet into Picatinny Lake.  Arsenal team members were waiting on an island with high-tech laser measurement devices to determine the distance of each launch.  [NJ Herald] 


Morristown & Erie Ry Polar Express trains operated from the renovated Whippany RR station on weekends in December.  The train, which made 43 sold out trips consisted of 10 coaches with Maine Eastern FL9 locomotives on either end carried a total of well over 22,000 passengers.  [McKelvey]



A graffiti attack occurred at the URHS Boonton Yard in mid-January causing an estimated $15,000 damage to rail cars and locomotives.


On February 2nd the Morristown & Erie Ry operated a special train for the Western NY and PA RR board of directors.  It ran from Morristown to Succasunna on NJ Transit’s Morris & Essex Line and the M&E operated Chester Branch with M&E Alco C424 No. 18, Maine Eastern FL 9 No. 489 and three M&E passenger cars.  [RailPace Newsmagazine] 


The second annual NJ Canals & Local History Symposium, sponsored by the Canal Society of NJ and the Morris County Heritage Commission was held at the Freelinghuysen Arboretum on March 25th.  [Canal Society of NJ]


Roebling Chapter Society for Industrial Archeology sponsored a tour of the Hibernia iron mining area, including the remains of the Hibernia Underground RR, the Hibernia Furnace and 150-year-old miner’s houses on April 1st – leaders were Joe Macasek and Bierce Riley..


On April 23rd the Boonton Historical Society sponsored a tour of the Boonton Historic District, led by Canal Society of NJ president, Joe Macasek.  Participants learned of Boonton’s growth from a small iron making village to a large industrial town, and how the completion of the Morris Canal and the railroad contributed to this growth.  The tour included the remains of the iron works, the bases of two anthracite blast furnaces, and some of the oldest workers houses in town and followd the Morris Canal from Lock 12 East to Inclined Plane 7 East.


On 24 May former Blue Comet car Westphal was moved north from Winslow Jct. to Kenvil, where it was placed on rail for movement to Boonton.  Significant funding for the move was provided by LHRy.  


The last run of Morristown & Erie Railway Alco locomotive No. 19 made its celebratory last run on their line on June 4th.   LHRy provided a $45,000 grant to acquire the locomotive from the M&E for scrap value for preservation by the Tri-State Railway Historical Society.


The Dover and Rockaway River Railroad (DRRV) was formed on 12 July to operate the three rail lines owned by Morris County - the Chester Branch, the northern end of the High Bridge Branch and the Dover and Rockaway branch.  They provide freight service to Roxbury, Succasunna, Dover, Rockaway and the surrounding area, interchanging with NS @ Dover and Lake Junction.  The DRRV is a wholly owned subsidiary of Chesapeake and Delaware, LLC formed in 2016 with Kean Burenga, Prez. And Scott Harris, V.P.


On 12 August LHRy purchased a US Army ca 1960s M123A1C 10 ton Mack tractor from Capt. Phil Francis for preservation and donated it to the Mahan Collection Foundation in Basking Ridge - the largest collection of restored Mack trucks in the world. 


On 22 August former Blue Comet car D’Arrest was moved north from Winslow Jct. to Kenvil, where it was placed on rail for movement to Boonton.  Significant funding for the move was provided by LHRy.  D’Arrest and Westphal have been moved to Boonton Yard to join the Divico - all three cars are in need of major funding for restoration to operational condition.


Dover and Rockaway River RR has partnered with Tri-State Railway Historical Society to operate free shuttle trains for the town of Rockaway’s annual Rockaway Day event on 17 September.


The annual URHS Museum for a Day event was held at Boonton on 24 September.


This second year of The Polar Express event at Whippany was directly managed / coordinated by the licensee, Rail Events Incorporated (REI) of Durango, CO, rather than the Morristown & Erie.  Between November 18th  and December 31st, 126 trains were operated on 29 days for a total of over 51,000 guests.  The M&E again provided the site, infrastructure, train and operating crew but this year REI managed and operated the event directly.  They are in the business of coordinating licensed special events, event promotions, merchandising and related activities to railroad and museum operators throughout the United States (36), Canada (6), and the United Kingdom (3).  


On 9 December the new Dover & Rockaway River Railroad partnered with NS Corp., NJ Transit, URHS and the US Marine Corps Reserve Toys for Tots Foundation to collect over 25,000 toys.  LHRy is a sponsor of this operation, coordinated by the Military Transport Association, Railroad Batallion.



Liberty Historic Railway provided a grant of $44,000 to pay the outstanding restoration invoice of contractor StarTrak for DL&W MU commuter Club car No. 2454 owned by Whippany Railway Museum.  LHRy also agreed to provide additional funding for the completion of the restoration of this iconic car.


In February a US Army 1970 Kaiser M36 deuce-and-a-half cargo (missile) / troop carrier was acquired from Capt. Phil Francis for preservation by LHRy Chair, Bill McKelvey.  It was moved from Mahwah, NJ to Boonton by Bill and Ed Amaducci.


LHRy Chair, Bill McKelvey provided $10,000 funding in the name of LHRy to assist in the movement of 16 inch spare Battleship NJ guns from Portsmouth, VA, one each, to Philadelphia Naval Yard, Battleship NJ @ Camden and to the Mahan Collection Foundation @ Basking Ridge.


LHRy provided funding for re-upholstery of all seat cushions for Morristown & Erie RR railbus #10 owned by Whippany Railway Museum.


On March 7th a “Northeaster” a heavy, wet snow of 16" to 26" caused widespread falling branches and trees which caused massive power outages in the area.  Remedial action saw utility trucks and crews from MD, MO, NC, OH, PA, TX, VA and other states come to the rescue.  A half a dozen trees fell in Boonton Yard, some on URHS rail equipment.


On March 21st - 22nd the fourth in a series of similar “Northeasters” in a month deposited another heavy, wet snow of .........................................................




Dover and Delaware River Railroad took over of freight service on the former Norfolk Southern Washington Secondary Line ..............................


A Railfest on the Morristown & Erie Railway at Whippany was organized by Tri-State Railway Historical Society on July 14-15.  Featured were two different trains for public rides: 1. To the east powered by Jeddo Coal Co. 0-4-0 steam tank locomotive #85, (which was trucked from PA to NJ), and, 2. To the west powered by Tri-State-owned former Morristown & Erie Alco locomotive No. 19 to tour the M&Es shop facility.  (Note: LHRy funded the purchase of No. 19 by Tri-State)





The Wharton Trolley / Rail Shuttle Initiative was a proposal for the reuse of the available former Central RR of NJ right of way of the Mount Hope Mineral Railroad which is on a shelf above and paralleling a watered section of the Morris Canal in Wharton’s Hugh Force Park.  This initiative would involve a partnership between the Borough and the Morris County Park Commission and United Railroad Historical Society, relaying tracks, construction of a car barn, and movement of materials and railcars - all of which Liberty Historic Railway has offered to fund.  LHRy, in cooperation with the URHS Site Committee, developed a site plan, an executive summary, an orientation program for riders and visitors, an extensive chronology of Transportation and Industry in the Morris County area, a Power Point Program of the initiative and a video of the area filmed during the 2016 annual Wharton Canal Day.  Unfortunately, this excellent initiative has not advanced and been in limbo for some time.


Bibliography for the above

[All Aboard America: The American Freedom Train]

[Anderson, Elaine, The Central RR of NJ’s First 100 Years]

[Bartenstein, Fred and Isabel, New Jersey’s Revolutionary War Powder Mill, with a Preliminary

             Archeology Survey of the Ford Powder Mill Site by Edward J. Lenik]

[Bartholomew, C.L., and Metz, L.E., The Anthracite Iron Industry of the Lehigh Valley]

[Baxter, Raymond J., and Adams, Arthur G., Railroad Ferries of the Hudson]

[Bernhart, B. L., CRR of NJ Stations, Structures & Marine Equipment]

[Best of American Canals No. VII]

[Bianculli, Anthony J., Iron Rails in the Garden State: Tales of NJ Railroading] 

[Brown, John K., The Baldwin Locomotive Works 1831-1915]

[Canal History and Technology Proceedings, V. V., March 22 1986, Richard and Mount Hope, Two

            NJ Iron Mines, by Kenneth R. Hanson]

[Canal Society of Pennsylvania - publisher of Canal Currents]

[Case, Joan S., Then & Now Chester]

[Casey & Douglas, The Lackawanna Story]

[Cavanaugh, Hoskins & Pingeon, At Speedwell In The Nineteenth Century]

[Central RR of NJ Historical Society is the publisher of CNJ Newsletter / Journal]

[Coates, Wes, 50th Anniversary, 1931-1981, Suburban Electrification, DL&W RR]

[The County Circular, (Morris County Heritage Commission)]  

[Cranmer, H. Jerome, NJ in the Auto Age]

[Dempsey, Arline Fowler, Memories of the Morris Canal]

[Dorflinger, Don, Phoebe Snow: The Lady and the Train]

[Douglas, George H., All Aboard! The Railroad in American Life]

[Espy, Dan, The Story of the Centerville & Southwestern Railroad, a film (DVD)

            about Becker’s Train, A True Miniature Railroad]

[Franke, Jakob, plus R. Barth, L. Barth, J. Drennan, R. Rice, and G. Kleineder, Field Guide to the

            Morris Canal of NJ]

[Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #1]

[Garbely, Rudy, Morristown & Erie, Vol. #2]

[Giles, John R., The Story of Waterloo Village]

[Goller, Robert R., Artist-Life in the Highlands and Among the Nail-Makers: An 1859 visit to

northern New Jersey’s Iron Industry and the Morris Canal] (Reprint published by the Canal Society of NJ in 1994)

[Goller, Robert R., The Morris Canal Across NJ by Water and Rail]

[Goller, Robert R., Reflections on the Morris Canal, No. 56, Autumn-Winter 2016]

[Hanson, Kenneth R., Port Oram circa 1882: A NJ Iron Town]

[The Heritage Review, (Morris County Heritage Commission)]

(HJGA) [Historic Site Master Plan & Feasibility Study - Lock 2E of the Morris Canal, for Wharton

            Borough Council, by HJGA Consulting, Project No. 0616H, February 4, 2008]

[Hollander, Ron, All Aboard, The Story of Joshua Lionel Cohen & His Lionel Train Company]

[The Iron Era]

[Jagger, Jerry J., Black River & Western Railroad]

[Jefferson Twp. Bicentennial Website]

[Jersey Central Chapter (NRHS) was the publisher of Jersey Central Lines]

[Johnson, Rodney P., Thomas Edison’s “Ogden Baby”: The NJ & PA Concentrating Works]

[Kalata, Barbara N., A Hundred Years A Hundred Miles]

[Kane, Martin and Laura, Greetings From Bertrand Island Amusement Park]

[Kane, Martin, Hopatcong, A Century of Memories]

[Kane, Martin, Hopatcong, Then & Now]

[Kane, Martin, Lake Hopatcong Then & Now]

[Kelly, Charlotte & Alan Rowe, Wharton]

[King, Sheldon S., The Route of Phoebe Snow]

[Krause, John & Crist, Ed, Lackawanna Heritage 1947-1952]

[Lee, James, Tales the Boatmen Told]

[Lee, James, The Morris Canal A Photographic History]

[Lee, Warren & Catherine, A Chronology of the Belvidere Delaware Railroad]

[Lees, Lorraine C., and Willis, R. Richard, Jefferson Township on Lake Hopatcong]

[Loving, Rush, Jr., The Men Who Loved Trains]

[Lowenthal, Larry, Chester’s Iron Heyday]

[Lowenthal, Larry, Iron Mine RRs of Northern NJ - 1981]

[Lowenthal, Larry and Greenberg, William T., Jr., The Lackawanna RR in Northwest NJ - 1987]

[Lowenthal, Larry & Greenberg, William T., Jr., Morris County Traction Company]

[Macasek, Joseph J., Guide to the Morris Canal in Morris County]

[Mason, Eleanor C. and White, Patricia A., Rockaway Township]

[Meeker, Robert M., Dover, the Forging of a Community]

[The Midlander Trainsheet, Vol. 7, Nos. 2 & 3]

[Miller and Sharpless, The Kingdom of Coal]

[Moody’s Manual of Railroads and Corporate Securities, 1920]

[Mtn and Lake Resorts on the Lackawanna RR - 1909]

[Mtn and Lake Resorts on the Lackawanna RR - 1910]

[On the Level, Journal of the Canal Society of NJ - various issues]

[Parton, W. Julian, The Death of a Great Company]

[Peterson, Henry W., Lackawanna Railroad Trackside]

[Pennisi, Bob, The Morristown & Erie Railway]

[Pennisi, Bob, The NE RR Scene: Vol. 4, The Erie Lackawanna]

[Phillips, Lance, Yonder Comes The Train] 

[Picatinny Arsenal HAER Report]

[Plant, Jeremany F., Lackawanna Railroad Vol. 2]

[Platt, Charles D., Dover Dates, 1722-1922, A Bicentennial History of Dover, NJ]

[Rabin, Arthur, Voices of America: Boonton]

[Rae, John W., Picatinny Arsenal]

[Railroadians of America was the publisher of Train Sheet]

[Railroads of All Types Operated in Boonton, NJ, by Frank T. Reilly and Bill McKelvey]

[Reilly, Frank, T., Central RR Company of NJ, Its History and Employees]

[Schoonmaker, Stanley and Laurie, George, Dover]

[Sim, R.J. and Weiss, H.B., Charcoal-Burning in NJ From Early Times to the Present]

[Simon, Richard C., The Morris Canal: New Jersey’s Mountain-Climbing Waterway]

[Taber, Thomas T., The DL&W RR in the 19th Century]

[Taber, Thomas T. and T. T. T., III, The DL&W RR in the 20th Century Part One]

[Taber, Thomas T. and T. T. T., III, The DL&W RR in the 20th Century Part Two]

[Taber, Thomas T. III, The Morristown and Erie Railroad]

[Taber, Thomas T., III, The Rock-a-bye Baby]

[Train Sheet, Summer, 1976]

[Tri-State Railway Historical Society (NRHS) was the publisher of Block Line]

[Van Brug, Jacobus, Vernon Stories of, Power For Progress: Reaction Motors]

[Veit, Richard F., The Old Canals of NJ]

[Vermuele, Cornelius C., The Morris Canal in The Newcomen Society (UK) Transactions, Vol. XV, 1934-5]

[White, William, The Lackawanna “The Route of Phoebe Snow” 1851 - 1951 A Centenary Address]

[Wilner, Frank N., Railroad Mergers: History, Analysis, Insight]

[Wilson, Jeff, Express, Mail & Merchandise Service]

[Wright, Kevin W., The Morris Canal and the Age of Ingenuity]

[Zimmerman, Albright G., Pennsylvania’s Delaware Division Canal]


NOTE: Items under each captioned year may not be in perfect chronological order due to the absence of specific dates for some of the entries...

Wharton & Northern RR locomotive roster was published in Railroad Magazine, Feb. 1959, p. 45; July 1969, p. 50; and Oct. 1974, p. 49.  [Reilly]

W&N RR history in Railroad Magazine: July 1950 p. 64.  Locomotive rosters in Feb. 1959 p.45 & July 1969 p.50.  [Reilly]

Reports on the Morris County Traction Co. are in the annual reports of the NJ Board of Assessors as follows: 1902 listed, not operating; 1903 & 1904 (missing from the state library); 1905 had 13.75 miles operating in Dover, Wharton, Milburn, Randolph, Rockaway Boro, Rockaway Twp., Springfield, Summit, and Union.  1906 total 20 miles, add Roxbury; 1907 total 30 miles, add Boonton and Morristown; 1908 had 34.48 miles, add Hanover Twp. and Morris Twp; 1909 had 35.1 miles (no new towns added); 1910 had 39.78 miles (no new towns), 33.49 miles was single track and 6.29 miles double track; 1911 had 40.19 miles (no new towns added), 32.32 miles was single track and 7.87 miles was double track; 1912 had 44.11 miles, add Chatham and Madison; 1913 had 57.673 miles plus the Morris RR 2.69 miles, total 60.363 miles, add Denville and on the Morris RR add Morristown, Morris Twp., and Florham Park; 1914 had 62.25 miles including Morris RR 2.69 miles and the Hopatcong RR 1.22 mile, add Bertrand Island Amusement Park; 1915 had 64.91 miles, no new towns and same mileage for the Hopatcong RR and the Morris RR.  The last annual report was for 1915.  [NJ Bd. of Assessors annual reports.]  [Reilly]


Contributors, Assistants, and Proofreaders;

  • Bill Amaducci
  • Robert Barth
  • Mike DelVecchio
  • Lynda de Victoria
  • Tom Flagg
  • Ted Gleichman
  • Pete Hasler
  • John Hemmings
  • Steve Hepler
  • Martin Kane
  • Rick Kelly
  • Rusty King
  • Keith Muldowney
  • Dave Phraner
  • Frank T. Reilly
  • Ron Rice
  • Rand Urmstrom
  • Jason Wechsler
  • Lisa Wernett


TO DO: Finish Iron Era newspaper; Scan all NJ Transport Heritage issues; Scan R&LHS bulletins; Antique fire apparatus; GE 45 T; Whitcomb 30 T; Nat. Guard Armories; LHRy Boonton Shop building Edits/corrections; REINSERT  ALL  ITALICS - REFERENCES @ 50%



  • Boonton Morristown Express (was across from Norda in Parsippany)
  • Cardinale Trucking Corp., Whippany
  • Hemmings
  • Mitchko Trucking, Boonton
  • North Jersey Transfer Co.
  • Paperboard Trucking, Whippany
  • Shallcross Express, ???  Kenilworth
  • Tre(a?)dway Allied Moving, (separate from Treadway Express), Boonton
  • Tredway Express, (used DL&W RR Freight Station @ Boonton)
  • UPS - Parsippany