Grace Lord Park
Plane Street, Boonton, Morris County, NJ
No Dogs Allowed


Directions:

US 80 west; US 287 north; exit 44 for Main Street; turn right onto Washington/Main Street; turn left down Plane Street; bear left and then bear left again and park behind the recycling center building near the Rockaway River. Or you can park at the end of Plane Street. Or you can drive down Main Street and turn left onto Essex Avenue (where you will see a sign for Grace lord Park) and park on the street and walk back to the park.


History:

The village of Boonetown (Booneton, Boonton) was established on the Rockaway River, about a mile and a half downstream from the center of the present Town (now submerged by the Jersey City Reservoir).

As early as 1747, Obadiah Baldwin operated an iron refining forge at that place, where water power was in ample supply, and raw materials, such as iron ore and wood for charcoal, were not too far away.

1740s -- David Ogden of Newark erects a forge at Old Boonton.

1770 -- son Samuel Ogden having taken over the business erects a slitting mill.

Under David Ogden, the owner of the site and a large tract of surrounding land, and, later, under his son, Samuel, the ironworks was enlarged, and a village of workmen and their families emerged. This village was named by the Ogdens "Boone-Towne" in honor of the Colonial Governor, Thomas Boone, in the year 1761.

Throughout the Revolutionary War, the Booneton ironworks, which, a few years before, had been enlarged to include a rolling and slitting mill - the first in the County, was busily engaged in supplying numerous miscellaneous iron products for the military. Axes, kettles, horseshoes, tires, cups, rods and sheet-iron were among the items supplied.

1784 -- Samuel Ogden leases the works to John Jacob Faesch, the ironmaster from Mount Hope. Operations continued under Faesch and his two sons, but the inexperience of the sons and a downturn in the market forced the sons to sell to William Scott, a local forge owner.

1822 -- Scott builds a road through the property to his forge and gristmill at Powerville.

1824 -- Scott's interest in rejuvenating the antiquated ironworks faded when he learned that the Morris Canal was soon to be constructed, and that it would be of little service to the Village of Booneton a mile or more away.

The original village of Boonton now lies under the Jersey City Reservoir. Today's Boonton began in about 1829 as a result of the construction of the Morris Canal and the development of the New Jersey Iron Company.

1830 -- William Scott was not the only one to see that the nearness of the canal to Booneton Falls (in the present Town of Boonton) would make that site ideal for a large manufactory. A group of business men in New York City shared Scott's view, and incorporated themselves in 1830 as the New Jersey Iron Company, with a capitalization of $283,000.

1831 -- Morris Canal completed.

Machinery and families of ironworkers were imported from England, and with the erection of the mills, a new town, called Booneton Falls, began to appear on the rugged hillside overlooking the river. With but few lapses the new Iron Company flourished for nearly fifty years, during which time the works were greatly enlarged, and many more employees were hired and encouraged by easy terms to own their own homes. The new village of Booneton Falls - like the older Booneton downstream - was essentially a one-industry town.

The Iron Company supported the Town with its payrolls, and owned most of the land that was later to be within the Town limits. In a spirit of benevolent paternalism, the Company encouraged its employees to be not only industrious, but also sober, church-going, and responsible citizens, and, toward that end, made generous contributions of land for churches, schools, and cemeteries. With the fortunes of the Town so intimately tied in with those of the Iron Company, what followed when the Company closed down its operations in 1876 can be described as nothing short of a major disaster.

1833 -- a charcoal iron furnace built.

1848 -- addition of an iron furnace fueled by anthracite coal. And a nail factory is built. Eventually, the company had 150 nail machines producing 200,000 kegs of nails a year.

1864 -- branch line of the Morris and Essex Railroad built that connected Boonton the the main line at Denville.

1867 -- Boonton gets a charter.

1868 -- a second anthracite furnace constructed.

1873 -- The Panic of 1873 forces the Boonton Ironworks to close. Later it started up again for a short while.

The discovery of large deposits of surface iron ores in the Great Lakes region, and the national depression of the 1870's had a paralyzing effect on the iron mining and manufacturing companies in the East; the deaths of D. B. Fuller and J.C. Lord, who had acquired ownership of the New Jersey Iron Company properties in 1852, made the collapse of the industry in Booneton more precipitate and final. Although several attempts - one by the eminent Joseph Wharton - were made to re-establish iron works on a smaller scale, none endured for any great length of time. Only vestiges of foundations and structures remain in the "Hollow", between Plane Street and the river, to remind Boonton of its own Iron Age.

1880 -- Boonton Ironworks closes for good.

1903 -- a fire destroys most of the buildings.

The Boonton Historical Society and Museum's extensive collection of Boonton historical material is housed in the landmark John Taylor Building at 210 Main Street. This house, which combines elements of Colonial Revival and Victorian Gothic styles, was built in 1897-8 for use as a residence and office for Dr. John L. Taylor. His wife Adelaide had received the land as a gift from her father, the Hon. John L. Kanouse.

Sources:
http://www.boonton.org/
(Macasek, Joseph J., 1997, "Guide to the Morris Canal in Morris County." Morris County Heritage Commission)

Old Boonton Works

1759 -- forge built here, then known as Old Forge. Later change to Boonetown, after Thomas Boone, an early colonial governor.

1770 -- purchased by the Ogdens and Nicholas Hoffman (David Ogden's former son-in-law).

1772 -- Samuel Ogden advertises for a black slave who had run away.

1777 -- Nicholas Hoffman and Isaac Ogden join the army of the King of Great Britain.

1780 -- Samuel Ogden purchases the one-third interest held by Nicholas Hoffman and Isaac Ogden from the Commissioners of Forfeited Estates of Morris County (because the latter were Tories).

1783 -- Samuel Ogden moves to New York.

c. 1785 -- John Jacob Faesch leases the Boonton tract, a forge of four fires, a slitting mill and a gristmill.

1805 -- John Jacob Faesch dies. Samuel Ogden sells the equity to Richard B. and John J. Faesch, sons of John Jacob Faesch, Sr.

1820 -- a freshet carries away the dam; Richard B. Faesch became insolvent. Works sold to Israel Crane and William Scott, who made extensive improvements. But dissatisfied, the iron works went to Crane and the rest to Scott. Crane then sells his ownership to John Righter.

1829 -- the New Jersey Iron Company erects a new mill, called Boonetown Falls.

1851 -- works acquired at a sheriff's sale by Dudley B. Fuller of New York City. He soon associated himself with James C. Lord, under the firm name of Fuller and Lord.

1876 -- firm name remained Fuller and Lord until this year (although both partners had already died).

Boonton made the axles of the first passenger coaches on the old Camden and Amboy Railroad, New Jersey's first railroad.


Trail:

This park is a visual treat. Especially when the waters of Rockaway River are running fast, the small water falls are fascinating.

From the formal entrance (Main Street and Essex Avenue), pass the gazebo and head down the path into the woods. Soon there will be a grassy area on the left. Go to the edge of the grassy area and look down - you will get your first view of the waterfall that drops the river some 20 feet in a thunderous roar. The Rockaway River takes a leap of about 25 feet. The pool at the base of the falls is a treacherous swirl that has claimed several lives when people have slipped while near its edges. Do not climb on the rocks. The canal passed through the park just below, between the high stone wall and the river.

Across West Main Street by what is now the Boonton Water Supply was Lock 12 East. A short stretch of water-filled canal can be reached by walking behind the Boonton Water Supply building.

Continue down the path in the woods until you get to a picturesque arch bridge. Directly across the river is a huge boulder, Washington Rock, once a tourist spot and before that shelter for Native Americans. Walk to the right to see evidence of Boonton's industrial past, including arches in an ancient wall on the left that once were part of great iron furnaces.

A now very wet and faded historical display says: The New Jersey Iron Company, under the management of William Green, began operations in the hollow in 1831. At the peak of its operation the company covered six acres of land and employed 600 men and boys. Tall stacks of the blast furnace can be seen in the picture. Here also was a machine shop, blacksmith shop, foundry, rolling mill, saw mill, and nail factory. At one time 320 tons of iron were produced each week along with 4,000 kegs of nails.

(The corner of Cronk Place and Plane Street is the site of Incline Plane 7 East.)

Turn around when the path meets a parking lot of a modern industrial complex and return along the "right bank" of the Rockaway River. Continue past Washington Rock and the bridge. In summer, as the path narrows, stay in the center, as poison ivy grows here. The end of the path will present an awesome view of the falls and the swirling water in the basin below. Do not approach the rocks - they could be slippery.

Source: Dan Goldfischer, Special to the Daily Record.


PLANT LIST:
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney


Trees:
Acer rubrum (red maple) 4/15/00
Acer saccharinum (silver maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven)
Albizia julibrissin (silk tree)
Amelanchier arborea (shadbush) 4/15/00
Betula lenta (black birch)
Betula populifolia (gray birch)
Cercidiphyllum japonicum (katsura tree) planted
Fagus grandifolia (American beech)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)
Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree)
Morus alba (white mulberry)
Paulownia tomentosa (empress tree)
Picea abies (Norway maple) 4/15/00 planted
Picea sp. (spruce) planted
Pinus strobus (white pine)
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Prunus avium (sweet cherry) 4/15/00
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Prunus sp. (weeping cherry) planted
Pyrus sp. (crab apple) planted 4/15/00 soon
Quercus alba (white oak)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Quercus velutina (black oak)
Taxus canadensis (American yew)
Tilia americana (American basswood)
Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock)
Ulmus americana (American elm)

Shrubs and Sub-Shrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Cephalanthus occidentalis (buttonbush)
Chimaphila maculatum (spotted wintergreen) -- good patches of it
Cornus amomum (silky dogwood)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Forsythia sp. (golden bells) 4/15/00
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) 11/10/01 waning
Ilex verticillata (winterberry holly)
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)
Mitchella repens (partridgeberry)
Pachysandra terminalis (pachysandra)
Philadelphus sp. (mock orange)
Rhododendron periclymenoides (pinxter flower)
Rhus glabra (smooth sumac)
Rubus laciniatus (cut-leaved blackberry)
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose)
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Vaccinium sp. (hillside or low bush blueberry)
Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum)
Vinca minor (periwinkle) 4/15/00

Vines:
Ampelopsis brevipedunculata (porcelain berry)
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet)
Cuscuta sp. (dodder)
Euonymus fortunei (climbing euonymus)
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Polygonum scandens (climbing bindweed)
Solanum dulcamara (bittersweet nightshade)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vincetoxicum nigrum (black swallowtail)

Herbs:
Acalypha sp. (three-seeded mercury)
Achillea millefolium (common yarrow)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Apocynum cannabinum (Indian hemp)
Arctium minus (common burdock)
Arisaema triphyllum (Jack in the pulpit)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed)
Aster acuminatus (sharp-leaved aster) 11/05/01
Aster cordifolius (heart-leaved aster) 11/05/01
Aster divaricatus (white wood aster)
Aster lanceolatus (panicled aster) 11/05/01
Aster lateriflorus (calico aster) 11/05/01 waning
Barbarea vulgaris (common wintercress) 4/15/00
Bidens frondosa (devil's beggar ticks)
Centaurea maculosa (spotted knapweed) 11/05/01
Chelidonium majus (celandine) 4/15/00
Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade)
Cirsium sp. (thistle)
Datura stramonium (jimsonweed)
Epilobium sp. (willowherb)
Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane) 11/05/01
Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot)
Euphorbia nutans (eyebane spurge)
Galinsoga sp. (gallant soldiers) 11/10/01 waning
Galium asprellum (rough bedstraw)
Geranium sp. (hort. geranium) escaped
Geum canadense (white avens)
Hypericum punctatum (spotted St. Johnswort)
Impatiens sp. (jewelweed)
Iris sp. (blue or yellow flag)
Lamiastrum galeobdolon (golden dead nettle)
Leonurus cardiaca (motherwort)
Lycopus virginicus (Virginia water horehound)
Lythrum salicaria (purple loosestrife)
Maianthemum canadense (Canada mayflower)
Marrubium vulgare (horehound)
Melilotus sp. (sweet clover)
Osmorhiza claytonii (sweet Cecily)
Pedicularis canadensis (wood betony)
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed)
Polygonum cespitosum (cespitose smartweed)
Potentilla recta (rough-fruited cinquefoil)
Ranunculus abortivus (kidney-leaf buttercup)
Rumex obtusifolius (broad-leaved dock)
Sagina procumbens (pearlwort)
Saponaria officinalis (bouncing bet) 11/10/01
Sedum sp.
Silene vulgaris (bladder campion)
Solidago bicolor (silverrod)
Solidago caesia (blue-stem goldenrod)
Solidago canadensis var. scabra (tall goldenrod)
Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) 4/15/00
Tussilago farfara (colt's foot)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)

Sedges:
Carex laxiflora type (sedge)
Carex pensylvanica (Pennsylvania sedge)

Grasses:
Dactylis glomerata (orchard grass)
Digitaria sp. (crab grass)
Echinochloa crus-galli (barnyard grass)
Eleusine indica (zipper grass)
Elymus virginicus (wild rye grass)
Festuca pratensis (meadow fescue grass)
Muhlenbergia schreberi (nimblewill)
Setaria faberi (nodding foxtail grass)
Tridens flavus (purple top grass)

Ferns and Fern Allies:
Asplenium platyneuron (ebony spleenwort)
Dennstaedtia punctilobula (hay-scented fern)
Polypodium sp. (rock cap fern)
Polystichum acrostichoides (Christmas fern)
Woodsia obtusa (blunt-lobed cliff fern)


GRACE LORD PARK, BOONTON, MORRIS COUNTY, NJ, November 11, 2001.

On a cool, but nice day a group of Torreyites met to look at the plants of Grace Lord Park. This park contains the site of the New Jersey Iron Company (ruins still there) and the Morris Canal, Plane 7 East. The Rockaway River with the Boonton Falls goes through this small park.

Among the trees spotted were Acer saccharinum (silver maple), Ailanthus altissima (tree of heaven), Albizia julibrissin (silk tree), Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree), Morus alba (white mulberry), Paulownia tomentosa (empress tree), Picea abies (Norway maple) planted, Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore), Quercus palustris (pin oak) and Q. prinus (chestnut oak),
Tilia americana (American basswood), Tsuga canadensis (eastern hemlock), and Ulmus americana (American elm).

Among the shrubs and sub-shrubs were Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry), Cephalanthus occidentalis (buttonbush), some good patches of Chimaphila maculatum (spotted wintergreen),
Hamamelis virginiana (witch hazel) with waning yellow flowers, Ilex verticillata (winterberry holly), Ligustrum sp. (privet), Mitchella repens (partridgeberry), Pachysandra terminalis (pachysandra), Philadelphus sp. (mock orange), Rhododendron periclymenoides (pinxter flower), Rhus glabra (smooth sumac), Rubus laciniatus (cut-leaved blackberry), Viburnum acerifolium (maple-leaf viburnum) and Vinca minor (periwinkle).

The vines included Ampelopsis brevipedunculata (porcelain berry), Cuscuta sp. (dodder)
Euonymus fortunei (climbing euonymus), Polygonum scandens (climbing bindweed), and quite a bit of our old nemesis Vincetoxicum nigrum (black swallowtail).

Among the flowers in bloom or in bloom but with waning flowers were Aster lateriflorus (calico aster), Centaurea maculosa (spotted knapweed), Erigeron annuus (daisy fleabane), Eupatorium rugosum (white snakeroot), Galinsoga sp. (gallant soldiers), and Saponaria officinalis (bouncing bet).

Other herbaceous species were Acalypha sp. (three-seeded mercury), Arisaema triphyllum (Jack in the pulpit), Bidens frondosa (devil's beggar ticks), Chelidonium majus (celandine), Circaea lutetiana (enchanter's nightshade), Datura stramonium (jimsonweed), Epilobium sp. (willowherb), Euphorbia nutans (eyebane spurge), Galium asprellum (rough bedstraw), Hypericum punctatum (spotted St. Johnswort), Leonurus cardiaca (motherwort), Marrubium vulgare (horehound), Osmorhiza claytonii (sweet Cecily), Pedicularis canadensis (wood betony), Potentilla recta (rough-fruited cinquefoil), Ranunculus abortivus (kidney-leaf buttercup), and Solidago bicolor (silverrod) and S. caesia (blue-stem goldenrod). We saw a number of water plants including species of the genera Elodea, Myriophyllum, Potamogeton, and the alga Chara.

A specially intriguing escape was Lamiastrum galeobdolon (golden dead nettle) which was a ground cover in a small area of the park. Another plant that caused some interest was Sagina procumbens (pearlwort).

Among the ferns found were Asplenium platyneuron (ebony spleenwort) and Woodsia obtusa (blunt-lobed cliff fern).

Jackie and Bill Burkett were kind enough to invite us to visit their nearby Mountain Lakes home for a place to lunch. In addition to a delicious dessert of apple and cranberry compote made by Jackie, we were treated to a tour of both the garden and house. The house has been named Fernewell in the Scottish tradition. The name has nothing to do with ferns, but rather is a take-off from one of the names of the dwellings in the castle where Bill and Jackie stayed. (Bill having served in Scotland while in the Navy.)