HARRISVILLE


Here are the ruins of Harrisville (located to the south and southeast of the dam at Harrisville Lake), whose heart was its paper mill (with wall up to three feet in thickness). (see Pierce 1957: chapter 6)

Built here about 1750 were a sawmill and a gristmill. Another sawmill was added around 1760. The next industry to arrive, 1795, was "The Wading River Forge and Slitting Mill," built by Isaac Potts. (Slitting = narrow strips of iron that were then made into nails, etc.)
In 1797 the property was purchased by George and William Ashbridge and Joseph Walker (a part owner of the Speedwell and West Creek Forges).

William McCarty started the paper mill (around 1835) across the present-day road south of the dam at Harrisville Lake. He built an ingenious system of canals and millraces. McCarty made use of salt grass from the marshes of the Jersey seacoast. He made heavy-grade paper from this salt grass, which was abundant in the nearby areas, including the flats of the Mullica River. The grass was carried from the marshes by barge to "The Landing," about a mile below the paper mill. The marsh grass was brought in by mule team and dumped into cooking vats (ten feet in diameter and set below ground level). The resulting paper was very strong and used for wrapping. Some writing paper was also produced here.

The name Harrisville comes from the four Harris brothers. They continued to expand the paper mill and develop the town.

In 1896 Harrisville as sold to Joseph Wharton.

In 1914 Harrisville was swept by fire. Then the vandals and thieves moved in to devastate the area.


Originally known as Harrisa. Then Howard Harris married old McCarty's daughter and the name was changed to McCartysville.

1795 -- a slitting mill here. Slitting was a process that reduced lumber to commercial sizes. Sliting was a splitting of the logs buy use of mauls and wedges.

Later the four Harris brothers took charge. Richard and Howard lived in Harrisa.

1815 -- There was a paper mill built that perhaps was the largest in New Jersey in the 19th century. Rent was free to the workers of the plant.

Richard Harris founded the paper mill. Richard was the wealthiest and was the director. There was a canal leading from a lake fed by the Oswego Branch that wound its way back of the houses and provided water power to the plant that processed salt hay into heavy paper and boards. Paper made from hay and from rags, rope and waste paper shipped from New York and Philadelphia. 176 and 180

There was also a grist mill.

1893 -- After the town burnt down Harris lived there by himself.

The Mexican flier Carranza crashed near Harris ten miles from Harrisville, which brought some notice to the area for awhile.

Beck, Henry Charlton. 1983. 1936 original Forgotten Towns of New Jersey. New Brunswick, NJ: Rutgers University Press.