MONTVILLE MORRIS CANAL SITE
Route 202, Montville, Morris County, NJ


Directions:

US 80 west to Exit 43 for US 287 north;  get off at Exit 47; turn right onto Route 202; drive 0l6 of a mile and turn right onto Asa Street; park along the road. 


History:

before 1749 -- Michael Cook built a gristmill on Stony Brook.

early 1800s -- the town had 16 houses, a gristmill, 3 sawmills, a cider mill and distillery, 2 tanneries, a store, and blacksmith.


Chris Lytle (http://members.aol.com/ChrisEll/canal.html)

For several years I have lived in a townhouse in Changebridge at Montville, New Jersey. Along the edge of our complex is a 4,300 foot long, straight and narrow furrow in the earth. In the winter, we sometimes see people practicing their speed skating. In the summer, after heavy rains, it forms a part of the storm drainage system. It's one of the largest remaining sections of one of the greatest engineering feats of the early 19th century, the Morris Canal. And the road in our townhouse complex that parallels the canal bed is "Macculloch Drive." The financial wizard who started the Morris Canal and Banking Company was George P. Macculloch.

Although it is small and almost never open, the Montville Museum has a great collection of Montville and Morris Canal memorabilia. The museum occupies the Montville School of 1867. Built on the site of the original 1837 school, the building has served the community continuously. It was a school, the Methodist Episcopal Meeting Place, Temperance Headquarters, Town Hall and a Post Office before becoming the Museum. Taylortown Road near the junction of Route 202, Montville. Open Sundays 1-4.


Trail:

Start at the intersection of Asa Street and Rout 202 in Montville (site of Deck's Grist Mill). Walking toward the Main Road you cross over the Morris Canal (and Stony Brook) that diagonally crosses Route 202 twice here (because Route 202 turn right in town).

The main street (now Route 202) passed over the canal into the center of the village.

Turn right onto the Main Road (the former Farmer's Hotel is here); turn left onto Emery Lane. A private residence at the corner once belonged to the canal company. Plane 9 was located along Emery Lane.

The Plane Tender's House is at the end of Emery Lane across from the top of the inclined plane.

The area becomes very overgrown and it is hard to cross the overgrown canal basin that once separated the two planes. If you can do it you will find the stone-lined tailrace of Plane 8 East. An arched bridge crosses the race (the path has now disappeared).

Near US 287 are the remains of the powerhouse. Now a pile of rubble it is located at the top of the hill, near the highway fence. Construction of US 287 obliterated the summit of the plane. The canal company had two planes here to lift the boats to this summit.

11/20/04.  We followed the above directions but with some modification.  From Asa Street we turned right onto Route 202 to head along the Main Road.  We passed over the bridge spanning a brook.  Here there is a sign that the Morris Canal, Plane 9 - East, crossed here.  Plane #8 East is wes6 of here above Plane 9.

We passed by Canal House Interiors on the right and River Road on the left.  Then any semblance of a shoulder disappeared.  So we crossed the road and walked behind the Montville Professional Building through their parking lot and walked to a left turn onto Emery Lane.

We walked by a house with a US flag and a Confederate Flag being flown from a short flag staff.  (I guess the guy hasn't heard about the meaning of the Confederate Flag to blacks and those others who are not racist.)  Walked up to the end of the Lane and entered the path heading alongside the canal on the right.  The path was clearer than we thought it would be.  And I did a bit of trail maintenance while walking.  We passed by a left turn and reached the arched bridge over the trail race. Then we returned to that left turn and walked along the trail race toward US-287.  We tried to find the pile of rubble that was once the powerhouse but were not sure we found it. Turned around and headed back. 

Rosemary decided to head slightly up hill to an open area.  We followed.  The area appears to be a gas line right-of-way, but I can't be sure of this. We investigated the area as we slowly worked our way downhill.  We then walked down the road at the bottom of the gas line cut to a left turn onto River Road.  Turned right onto Route 202 and walked back to Asa Street and our car.  Dr. Patrick L. Cooney.


PLANT LIST:
Dr. Patrick L. Cooney, Rosemary Cooney, Sarah-David Rosenbaum
* = blooming on date of field trip, 11/20/04


Trees:
Acer negundo (ash-leaf maple)
Acer platanoides (Norway maple)
Acer rubrum (red maple)
Acer saccharum (sugar maple)
Ailanthus altissima (tree-of-heaven)
Betula lenta (black birch)
Fraxinus americana (white ash)
Juniperus virginiana (red cedar)  lots of it
Platanus occidentalis (American sycamore)
Prunus serotina (black cherry)
Pyrus malus (apple)
Quercus palustris (pin oak)
Quercus prinus (chestnut oak)
Quercus rubra (red oak)
Robinia pseudoacacia (black locust)
Ulmus sp. (elm) ?

Shrubs:
Berberis thunbergii (Japanese barberry)
Buddleja davidii (butterfly bush)
Euonymus alatus (winged euonymus)
Ligustrum sp. (privet)
Lindera benzoin (spicebush)
Lonicera morrowii (Morrow's honeysuckle)  -- the dominant shrub
Rosa multiflora (multiflora rose) lots of it
Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry)
Rubus phoenicolasius (wineberry)
Rubus sp. (blackberry)
Viburnum dentatum (arrowwood viburnum)
Viburnum prunifolium (blackhaw viburnum)

Vines:
Celastrus orbiculatus (Asiatic bittersweet) lots of it
Lonicera japonica (Japanese honeysuckle)
Smilax rotundifolia (round-leaved greenbrier)
Toxicodendron radicans (poison ivy)
Vitis sp. (grape)

Herbs:
Acalypha sp. (three-seeded mercury)
Alliaria petiolata (garlic mustard)
Allium vineale (field garlic)
Arctium sp. (burdock)
Artemisia vulgaris (common mugwort)
Aster spp. (aster)
Chrysanthemum leucanthemum (ox-eye daisy)
Cirsium arvense (Canada thistle)
Cirsium vulgaris (bull thistle)
Dianthus armeria (Deptford pink)
Euphorbia sp. (euphorbia)
Gnaphalium obtusifolium (sweet everlasting)
Hackelia virginiana (Virginia stickseed)
Lobelia inflata (Indian tobacco)
Oenothera biennis (common evening primrose)
Phytolacca americana (pokeweed)
Polygonum cuspidatum (Japanese knotweed)
Polygonum sp. (smartweed)
Potentilla recta (rough-fruited cinquefoil)
Rumex obtusifolius (broad dock)
Senecio vulgaris (common groundsel)
Solidago spp. (goldenrod)
Trifolium spp. (clover)
Tussilago farfara (coltsfoot)
Typha latifolia (broad-leaved cattail)
Verbascum blattaria (moth mullein)
Verbascum thapsus (common mullein)
Verbena urticifolia (white vervain)

Rushes:
Juncus effusus (soft rush)
Juncus tenuis (path rush)

Sedges:
Cyperus sp. (flat sedge)
Cyperus sp. (nut or umbrella sedge)
Scirpus cyperinus (woolly grass bulrush)

Grasses:
Phalaris arundinacea (reed canary grass)