Hunterdon County, NJ
Communities in Kingwood Township:
Barbertown (named after Isaac Barber, is about a mile north of Kingwood Hotel/Tavern on Kingwood Road)
Byram (the village to the southern-most point of the township; location of the Byram-Point Pleasant Bridge over the Delaware River)
Milltown (located where Kingwood-Byram Road (Spur 519) crossed the Lockatong Creek via an old iron bridge)
A quarter mile north of Tumble Falls is Warford Rock, better known as the "Devil's Tea Table" because it look like an Indians head with a flattened skull. The story goes that Chief Big, Big Mountain, was resting in his favorite place from which he could view the river. His enemies pushed a large boulder down the hillside crushing his head. As he died, the chief vowed that his spirit would guard his favorite spot.
pre-Colonial period archaeologists found ancient Native American artifacts one-fifth of a mile outside the border of Frenchtown NJ in Kingwood Township. The area is now known as the
DeRewal Prehistoric Site. The site contained some artifacts over 10,000 years old. The Unami Lenape Tribe lived in Hunterdon County (in Kingwood Township, Alexandria Township and Frenchtown). (Unami means the people down the river).
Settlement of Kingwood Township Most of the early settlers in the township were located in the village of Kingwood, located near the center of the township where Route 519 (Kingwood Road or the King's Highway) joins Spur 519 (Kingwood-Byram Road).
Joseph Helmsley and Thomas Hutchinson were the earliest land owners of Kingwood Township. They bought ten proprietaries of land in Hunterdon, then Burlington.
1676 William Biddle bought portions of the Helmsley proprietaries.
1677 William Penn and associates conveyed to Francis Collins, Richard Mew, and John Ball one proprietary in Kingwood and Alexandria Townships. The Mews sold half of their tract to John Munford. Mumford sold to Dr. John Rodman. Both the Collins and Rodman tracts bounded the land of the Pettits near Kingwood-Byram Road and to the area previously owned by Biddle on the east.
1686 Biddle purchased land of 1665 acres from Hutchinson.
Biddle sold 1150 acres to Peter Emley. In turn, Emley sold 400 acres to Daniel Howel, part of which was sold to Francis Tomlinson. This part was conveyed to Dennis Wolverton (Woolverton).
Emley also sold 300 acres northwest of the Kingwood Methodist Church to Charles Wolverton, who sold 150 acres to Dennis Wolverton, willed to Jonathan Wolverton and conveyed to Henry Slaught.
1693 Edward Billings and trustees Penn, Lawrie, and Lucas conveyed large tracts of land to Thomas Olive, Daniel Wills, and William Biddle. Portions of the Olive tract, east of Kingwood Hotel, were sold to George Fox, and in turn part of the land was sold by Fox to Joshua Waterhouse.
???? an early settler was Joshua Opdyke who purchased several hundred acres of the heirs of William Biles northeast of Barbertown. (It is said that Joshua Opdyke was the mover and shaker behind the building of the King's Highway.) Joshua's grandson was George Opdyke, father of Hon. George Opdyke, Mayor of New York City.
1703 in the Lotting Purchase or New Indian Purchase, much of the area along the Delaware north of Trenton was bought by the proprietors from the Indian Copnnockow. Homhammoe bought additional land on both sides of the Raritan and adjoining Copnnockow's land.
Until 1713 Kingwood and the surrounding townships were part of Burlington County until they became part of Hunterdon County, so named after the then Governor Robert Hunter.
1720 . Baptistown settled by the Baptists. It is located where Routes 12 (Frenchtown Road) and 519 (Kingwood Road) cross.
1740 Abraham Shurts and Auche (later his wife) arrived from Germany along with the Besson Family. The Shurts lived near 'Peaceable Island,' a piece of firmer land in the middle of a boggy area. (Their old stone house is located far back off Barbertown-Point Breeze Road.)
1744 the Society of Friends (West Jersey Society) owned 91,000 acres in the
area north of Amwell and Bull's Island near the Delaware. 10, 000 acres of it
were sold to James Alexander forming Alexandria. Many Quakers settled near Oak
1746 Kingwood Township established. Previously it was part of Bethlehem Township.
1746 the Inghams moved into the area near the Kingwood hotel. They also bought a tract of land from George Fox.
1754 The Old Stone Meeting House (on the corner of Route 519 and Oak Summit Road), established when Lawrence Hoff, the owner of an adjoining plantation, granted 1.25 acres to James Barcalow, Charles Hoff and Henry Cock, Trustees of Presbyterian Congregation of Kingwood. Mr. Hoff was a member of the Readington Reformed Church until he moved to western Hunterdon County. The original church was constructed in the grave yard across Oak Summit Road from the present structure.
1755 Thomas Lowrey arrived in this country from Ireland. He came from a wealthy family and speculated in land and other commodities throughout Hunterdon. (He later lived in Flemington and later Milford.)
1758 -- Kingwood Forges.(located on Lockatong Creek). Charles Hoff had a store in Pittstown at a place called Hoffs. He also had a forge in front of the tavern.
1762 -- Charles Hoff offers the Kingwood forge for sale. Capacity = 50 tons of bar iron yearly. But the sheriff sold the land to satisfy creditors. Andrew Reed and Charles Pettit bought the forge.
1764 Thomas Runyon (born c. 1701), a tailor, joined the Baptist Church in Baptistown.
1765 three years later, Reed and Pettit put the Kingwood forge up for sale.
1770 death of Thomas Runyon.
1773 -- one forge fired assessed in Kingwood. Then it disappeared from the written record.
1774 100 acres of the Wolverton property was conveyed to General Daniel Bray.
1775 Thomas L. Lowery was elected to the first provincial Congress for New Jersey. (He married Ester Fleming, the eldest daughter of Samuel Fleming for whom the town of Flemington was named).
1778 for 10 days in December, the Continental Army camped at the Old Stone Meeting House and on surrounding plantations, while transporting British and Hessian prisoners to Virginia.
18th century the Oak Summit Cemetery established at about the same time as the Presbyterian Church. It contains the graves of many early pioneers and prominent citizens of Kingwood Township.
1791-1792 Col. Lowery served in the New Jersey Assembly.
1791-1794 Lowery was a member of the Hunterdon County Board of Chosen Freeholders during which the first courthouse was built in Flemington.
1791-1803 Col Lowery served as a US Marshal.
1794 Thomas Lowrey bought the Rodman tract of 961 acres.
1809 Colonel Thomas L. Lowrey, who served as a supply officer in the New Jersey Militia during the Revolution and was the first cousin of William Patterson who became the Governor of New Jersey, was laid to rest at the Oak Summit Cemetery.
1832 John Lequear built a lime kiln on the banks of the Delaware.
1837 the Old Stone Meeting House deteriorated during and after the Revolution, so the Presbyterians built the present structure using some of the stones from the old church.
1845 Franklin Township, formerly northeastern section of Kingwood Township,
became a separate township.
1849 the original schoolhouse (later named the Oak Summit school) built.
1853 incorporation of the "Point Pleasant Delaware Bridge Company" that built the bridge over the Delaware River at the southern most point of Kingwood Township.
1861-1865 Civil War. The Oak Summit cemetery contains the remains of at least four Civil War Veterans (and five veterans of the American Revolution).
1869 the Oak Summit one-room Schoolhouse built on land donated by the Hoff family. The structure, 30 feet by 40 feet, housed up to 40 students.
1914 the last known burial in the Oak Summit Cemetery.
1953 -- the Oak Summit school was abandoned when Kingwood Township consolidated its one room schoolhouses.
1955 the flood of 1955 destroyed the bridge spanning the Delaware River at the southern-most tip of Kingwood Township.
1979 the Oak Summit School Historical Society took over the old Oak Summit school.
20th Century the Old Stone Church was vacant for many years, but is now the home of The First Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of the Township of Kingwood..
Barbara & Alexander Farnham. Kingwood Township of Yesteryear. In Kingwood Township History. http://twp.kingwood.hunterdon.nj.us/township_history_of_yesteryear.html#th_main_top
Frenchtowner. Frenchtown New Jersey History: The Lenape Era. http://www.frenchtowner.com/frenchtown-nj/lenape.html
Hunterdon County, New Jersey. Kingwood Township History. http://www.co.hunterdon.nj.us/mun/kingwood/history.htm