The History of Mount Olive

Morris County, New Jersey

(Excerpts taken from The History of Mount Olive by Rita Hilbert)

Mt. Olive Township is located in southwestern Morris County (surrounded by Netcong and Roxbury, Chester and Washington, and Warren County) and is comprised of 32 square miles.


Villages:

Bartley named for the Bartley family;

Budd Lake, named for John Budd;

Drakestown named for the Drakes;

Flanders, named for a group of early settlers who vacationed in Flanders, Long Island.

Mt. Olive when Napoleon met his defeat, the Americans there, who were sympathetic to the British, named the Township, Mt. Olive, for Benjamin Olive, a local landowner.

Smithtown so named because of the many Smiths that lived there;

Waterloo -- which had served as a French Army Officer's hospital in 1740;


History:

Pre-colonial days the Lenni-Lenape Indians (Hatacawanna tribe) lived here and held their councils in the Budd Lake area near High Street.

1708 the land was purchased from the Indians.

1713 Hunterdon County created.

1713 Peter Garbut and Francis Breck staked out the initial settlement area of 2500 acres (part of which was Mt. Olive). Soon after John Reading acquired 250 acres, including the northern half of Budd Lake.

1700s  --  the Smith and Batson families established early farms in the area that became Smithtown. 

1714 --  John Budd acquired 1300 acres, including the present Flanders.

The area was rich in water power and iron ore. Grist and saw mills, distilleries, tanneries and creameries popped up in the area.

1718 Joseph Pigeon acquired the great Boynton tract of 3314 acres. (It was sold in part to Boynton and Allen.)

1738-1740  -- William and Elizabeth Salmon of Southold, Long Island built a house on Corey Road. 

1740 Roxbury Township, including what is now Mt. Olive, became the fourth township in Morris County.

1759 Ebenezer Drake purchased a 200 acre farm in what became Drakestown. The land was once part of the great Boynton tract.

1764  --  Israel Rickey built the house (later known as the Homestead or the Marvin Estate) at 36 North Road.  (It later became the home of the newlyweds Rev. Manning Force and Nancy Monro.)  Swackhamer's Lakeside Farm was next to the Homestead.  The two homes shared "Lake Monro"  -- formed by building a dam across Drakes Brook. 

shortly after Revolutionary War  --  Col. John Budd married Julianor Dickerson and they moved from Chester to Budd's Lake. 

after Revolutionary War  --  in Flanders, Jonathan Nicholas, a barrel maker, built his home in Flanders.  It housed six generations of the Nicholas family. 

late 1700s  --  the Batson House built on Wolfe Road.   

1789-1857  --  the original Flanders Methodist Church. 

1799 Chester broke away from Roxbury.

1800 Samuel Barber bought the Drake farm and then sold it to John Peter Sharp of German Valley (Long Valley).

1810 Col. Hugh Bartley settled in Mt. Olive. He had a large farm and constructed an iron forge known as the "William Bartley & Sons Foundry and Machine Shop".  (Later the company was taken over by the Richardson Scale Co. of Passaic.)

1817 Jonathan McPeak born in Sparta. (His family later became prominent in Drakestown.)

1822  --  the Flanders Post Office organize with Rhece Nicholas as the first postmaster. 

1826 John Peter Sharp left the old Drake farm to his son, John. John built a store and Matthias Thomas, his clerk, purchased the store and house connected with it, including five acres, a wagon house, a barnyard and an orchard.

by 1831  --  Waterloo had become an important lock and incline plane stop on the Morris Canal. 

1837-1911 the store on the old Drake farm housed the post office. Matthias Thomas was the last postmaster. (The store became the home of Frank Harvey.)

1837 Jonathan McPeak moved to Drakestown and purchased a seven acre farm and turned it into 152 acres.

1837  --  in Drakestown, the general store of Lawrence H. Sharpe was used as the first post office.

1840  --  Jonathan Potter Bartley constructed the Bartley grain mill. 

1843  --  Jonathan  Hubert bought the Batson farm, later known as the Elle estate. 

1845 a foundry built.

1850s  --  A.S. Drake built the North Mill.  

1852  --  the First Presbyterian Church of Flanders organized. 

1854  --  Enos Goble Budd went west on a wagon train and reached Salt Lake City.  He became friends with Mormon leader Brigham Young and accomplished guide Kit Carson. 

1855-1928  --  Flanders Grammar School on Main Street.

1856  --  Jesse Sharp build the Forest House on Budd Lake.  Jesse was also Budd Lake's first postmaster. 

1856  --  the Drakes bough a 120-acre farm to raise Black Angus cow.

1857  --  Force Manning (1789-1862) made his home in Flanders where he aided in the construction of a new Methodist Church.

1857  -- the new Methodist Church of Flanders built at North Road and Park Place.

1858  --  David A. Nicholas, grandson of Jonathan Nicholas, built a new house (still standing) on the site of the old Nicholas Homestead. 

1858  --  the four-story Larison Mill built on Park Place in Flanders to crush rock brought from Newark. (It is now a private home.)

Civil War (1861-1865)  --  Enos Goble Budd fought in all of the battles of the Army of the Potomac. 

1867  --  Enos Goble Budd returned to Budd's Lake and established a family and a prosperous farm. 

Post-Civil War Mt. Olive developed a resort area around Budd Lake. (This even included bungalows and tent colonies around Budd Lake.) Flanders also had a tourist trade with the Flanders hotel, where the drummers (salesmen) stayed overnight. (Flanders Hotel was located at the corner of Ironia Road and Main Street)

1868  --  A. S. Drake built a house that later became the McClain House.  (Located on the corner of Flanders-Netcong Road and Route 206.)

1871 (March 11) Mt. Olive was created by splitting off from Roxbury. Present were Jared Hathaway, John Smith, David Wolfe, Richard Stephens, Harry Sovereign, Josiah Meeker, Mr. McNeeley and a Mr. Riggs.

by 1871  --  Flanders had several mills, a creamery, two doctors, a post office, a railroad stop and 50 houses.

1871  --  the Forest House expanded and became the largest summer resort in Mount Olive Township.  A Forest House Annex was built and became so popular that it became known as the Forest Park House.

1874-1902  --  William Bartley, first postmaster of Bartleyville. 

1875  -- Budd Lake Chapel built. (Located on Sandshore Road across the Budd Lake on land donated by John Budd.)

1876 the Central Railroad of New Jersey built from High Bridge to Dover (passing through Bartley).

after 1877  --  Matthias Thomas bought the Lawrence H. Sharpe general store and became the postmaster in Drakestown. 

1882 there were two churches and four houses in the village of Mt. Olive. Flanders had 50 houses, while Budd Lake had 20 houses clustered around Sharpe's Boarding house (later known as the Forest House).

1882 there were six houses, an iron foundry, a school and a post office in Bartleyville.

1883  --  Judge Mann of Newark bought 155 acres of land on the east shore of Budd Lake and built the mansion Pinecrest (so-called from the many pine trees the Judge planted to please his wife who missed the pine trees of Maine).  (The house was eventually sold to the Vockraths who converted it to one of the most popular places in the area.)

1885  --  Veterinary Dr. Daniel Elmer Salmon of Mount Olive isolated the group of bacteria that cause the disease known as Salmonella (named after the Doctor).

1887  --  according to the Atlas of Morris County, Old Budd Lake School was located on the east side of Budd Lake.  It was located on property belong to the Budd family.

1888  --  a newspaper article talked about the ice cutting on Budd Lake. 

1890  --  A. J. Drake of Stanhope built the Hatakawanna Inn on the hill back of the Forest House at Budd Lakes.

1898 to 1925 in Drakestown, a new school house was built.

early 1900's Pennsylvania iron ore and coal overwhelmed the operations in the Mount Olive area.

early 1900s photo  -- shows Edgerton's boat dock on Budd Lake.  J. A. Edgerton had a thriving business there.

1900s  --  Mary Force Marvin, granddaughter of Rev. Manning Force, retired to the Marvin estate (the original Israel Rickey home). 

1901 Bartleyville name changed to Bartley

1902 the High Bridge to Dover branch railway line had four three-car passenger trains a day.

1906 the Jonathan McPeak grandsons, John and Charles, took charge of the farm, known as the McPeak Brothers Farm.

1909  --  Charles C. Oeder bought the Hatakawanna Inn and expanded it to accommodate 80 guests.

1909  --  Budd's Pavilion built.  It provided boat and bath houses as well as refreshment, a bowling alley and a movie theater.  (It later became known as Club Fordham.)

1913 the quaint Bartley Chapel built in Bartley.  on land donated by the R. C. Bartley family.

World War I to early 1920s according to Florence Pfalzgraf Kern summers at Budd Lake "were country summers with plenty of swimming, hayrides, canoe trips across the lake into the blueberry swamps and the cove called The Green Room. Dances and shuffleboard and pool at the Budd Lake Athletic Club, hikes along the Morris and Essex Canal, where an occasional horse-drawn barge could be seen gliding along or maneuvering the incline and the lock at Waterloo."

1918  --  Heber C. Peters built the well-known Wigwam Restaurant in Budd Lake.  It was one of the first 10 cent a dance halls in the state.  Peters, owner of the Peters-Morse Manufacturing Company, had other buildings in his Budd Lake complex: the Wigwam luncheonette, Craig's Cabin and the CasinO. 

1919 photo  -- shows Green's Store in Flanders. 

1920s  --  the Forest House fell into disrepair and was razed.

1922  --  in Flanders, prominent Morris County businessman Charles L Lade purchased what became Lade's Mill.   (It is located at the corner of Flanders-Netcong Road and Route 206 in Flanders.)  (It is now an antique shop.)

1923 With the building of the State Road - Route 46, the whole character of Budd Lake changed. Now day-trippers came for the swimming and picnics and with them came the need for -hamburger stands, filling stations, dance halls, and more police, garbage collection and ambulances.

1923  -- Route 6 expanded to a two-lane highway. 

1924-1943  --  artist Joseph Briggs had a lake cottage in Stonewald Court and along Route 6.  Briggs was the foreman at the Louis Comfort Tiffany studios. 

1925 the old Drakestown school abandoned when buses took the children to Flanders or Budd Lake.

1926  --  the YMCA camp established on the L. B. Stephens Farm along River and Drakestown Roads. 

By the end of the 1920s "the 'old' Budd Lake had disappeared."

Many of the large Budd Lake hotels were clustered around the 'old' municipal building on the Lake: the Greene Inn (later named Greycourt Inn, La Baule and now the Le Rendezvous); the Mendota House (that became the Budd Lake hotel, the Budd Lake Inn and now the Hofbrau; and the Roberts' House).

Along Mt. Olive Road and Budd Lake shore were: the Poplars, Sunset Lodge, the Victorian-style John Budd House (later known as Minnie Mitchell's boarding house, then Candlelight Inn, and then Zigs Service Station); the Florence House run by Colleeneys and later the Quicks; and the Forest Park house, which changed owners many times (Sharpe to Benedict to Rowland to Herring, Hanley, Fuchs, Eichler).

Across the lake was Silver Dollar Smith's mansion which became known later as the Manor House.

1928  -- the Hatakawanna Inn destroyed by fire. 

1928  -- Flanders School built across Main Street from the old one-room school. 

1929  --  the Morris Canal ceased operation.

1930s  --  in Budd Lake, Heber C. Peters, owner of the Wigwam and the CasinO, built a stone house (still standing) on Wildwood Avenue.

1930s  -- famous sculptor Lee Lawrie (Atlas statue in front of Rockefeller Center and Roosevelt image on the dime, etc.) had a home on Stephens Mill Road.

1930s  -- the Oasis Beach complex at Budd Lake included the stone, castlelike structure Oasis, Norton's Store (with soda fountain), a merry-go-round and a water toboggan.

1930s  --  appearing at the Wigwam Restaurant on Route 6 in Budd Lake were such acts as Glen Miller, Count Basie, the Dorsey Brothers, Ozzie Nelson, and Les Brown. 

1932 the four three-car passenger service on the High Bridge to Dover branch line discontinued.

1934  -- Heber C. Peters built the CasinO on the side of Budd Lake opposite the Oasis. 

1936  --  the Vasa Order bought the Elle estate (originally the Batson House).

1936 -- the last performance of the Les Brown band, the Duke Blue Devils, was at Budd Lake.   Les Brown met a woman at the Wigwam Restaurant that he later married in 1938.

1937  --  Irvin E. Sharp brought a carousel to Budd Lake.   

1939  --  Skarin Enterprises took over the Wigwam Restaurant. 

1940s  -- Route 6 widened again. 

1940s  --  Forest Park House destroyed in a fire. 

1940  --  Henry Diage bought 80 acres of the old Drake farm and built a resort for French men living in New York during World War II. 

1941  --  the CasinO was transformed in the Mount Olive Township Municipal Building.

1950s motels built before an ordinance was passed that prohibited more motels from being built.

1953  --  the Flanders Hotel burned to the ground.

1957  --  fire complete destroyed Club Fordham (formerly Budd's Pavilion). 

1957 -- a fire destroyed Sharp's carousel at Budd Lake. 

1958 the McPeak brothers retired.

1959 the McPeak brothers sold their farm. A Christmas tree farm established on the property.

early 1960's with the advent of the Clover Hill Residential area in Flanders, water and sanitary sewer systems designed and constructed to service the area. The new sewage facilities set off a building boom.

1962  -- the Henry Diage resort (originally part of the old Drake farm) sold to the Ivaldi family.

1966 after 80 years of service, the Florence House burned down.

1968 in Mt. Olive the three-man Township Committee increased to five.

1969 the people voted for a new mayor-council form of government.

1969  -- the Wigwam Restaurant burned down. 

1971  -- the Vockrath hotel burned down.

1972 there was an elected mayor and seven-man council.

1974  -- the Ivaldi family close the old resort, but their restaurant remained.  (It still exists as the Silver Spring Farm French Restaurant.)


Sources:

from The History of Mount Olive by Rita Hilbert; Mount Olive Townshsip; Town History;

http://www.mountolivetownship.com/town_history.html

and

http://www.webtourist.net/touristinformation/about-mount_olive-nj_usa.html   and

Rita L. Hilbert. 2001. Images of America: Mount Olive. Charleston, SC: Arcadia Press.