History of Newton

Sussex County, New Jersey

1751  --  Newton was formed as New Town Precinct. 

1786  --  Newton's Presbyterian congregation was formed. 

1798  --  the designation as precinct was dropped from New Town Precinct.

1828  --  building of the Presbyterian stone church began at the corner of High and Church Streets.

1845  --  two sections of the township were given over to two new municipalities, Sparta and Lafayette Townships.

1845-1871  --  a wood picket fence enclosed the public green.

1853  --  Green Township annexed another portion of the township.

1853  --  the trustees of the Newton Academy, a private school for boys, moved the school to Anderson Hill (later renamed Academy Street).

1855  --  the Newton Academy renamed the Newton Collegiate Institute. 

1861  --  Methodist church built.  Torn down in 1963. 

1864  --  Newton Township abolished and was divided into Andover Township, Hampton Township and the town of Newton.

post Civil War  --  the Bentley Mansion on Main Street reflected the newfound wealth of the nation.  Thomas Bentley was the owner of the local silk mill. 

1871  --  Samuel Johnson built a brick storehouse at the corner of Main and Spring Streets. 

1871  --  the Sussex Bank building erected. 

1871  --  the Second Empire style Library Hall erected.  It housed the Dennis Library, the post office, the Newton Operation House, and other businesses. 

1873  --  W. W. Woodward hardware store extensively remodeled after a fire.

18o81  --  the Ryerson pharmacy built. 

1883  --  Henry W. Merriam started building a Victorian gentleman's country villa at the corner of Main Street and Maple Avenue. 

1889  -- Merriam enlarged his house. 

1895  --  ground broken for the Sterling Silk Mill complex.  The Merriam Shoe Factory was across Sparta Avenue.  The mill was razed in 1994.

early 20th century to 1923   --  the Newton slate quarry, located on West End Avenue, in operation.

1903  --  at the celebration of the town's 150th anniversary, the Park Block Building was the premier business structure.

1907  -- a postcard of this year shows the Merriam Shoe Factory to be of an impressive size. 

by 1913  -- the Merriam Factory employed 550 workers.

1915  --  Spring Street change from dirt to concrete. 

1929  -- demolishment of the last surviving wood-frame buildings on Park Place: the Lanterman and Iliff furniture shop and Thomas M. Kay's law office to make way for the new Sussex County Hall of Records..

1930  --  opening of the new Sussex County Hall of Records.

early 1970s  --  all the buildings at the west end of Spring Street were demolished as part of an urban renewal program.

1974  --  the buildings of the Newton Collegiate Institute were torn down. 

1980s  --  realignment of many Newton streets.

1994  -- the buildings of the Sterling Silk Mill were razed. 


Wayne T. McCabe.  2003.  Images of America: Sussex County.  Charleston, SC: Arcadia Press.