Montville Township

Morris County, New Jersey

Montville is located near the junction of I-287 and I-80.



Dutch farmers migrated here from Montville, Connecticut.


1714  --  Humphrey Davenport settled in this vicinity.  Zabriskie's grist-mill stood at the beginning corner of Humphrey Davenport's tract of 750 acres.


By the 1740s  --  a settlement grew in the area.  And an early road (now Route 202), connected various farms with Montville’s first gristmill.


prior to 1745  -- Michael Cook had a grist-mill at Montville.


as early as 1749  --  Michael Cook elected to a town office.


1756  --  The oldest church in the township is the Reformed church at Lower Montville (started at Old Boonton this year as the Reformed Dutch Congregation). 


Revolutionary War  --  Montville was one of the major military routes from Morristown to the Hudson River. General Washington’s troops often took the route.


1780 (June)  --  Washington stayed in Montville. French troops also passed through Montville on their way to the War’s final victory at Yorktown, Virginia.


1781  --  Albert Alyea purchased Zabriskie's mill from David Brower. 


1785  --  Daniel Duryea, who came from Harrington, Bergen County, purchased 120 acres from Albert Alyea.   The old Zabriskie grist-mill became known as the Duryea mill. 


c. 1785  --  Revolutionary War veteran  Nathaniel Gaines settled near Pine Brook. He was a nail-maker by trade.


About 1787  --  the Cook mill and a saw-mill were owned by John Pierson and Elijah Dod. (Mr. Dod erected a house that is now the residence of the widow of Frederick W. Cook.)

c. 1795  --  Silas Cook came to Montville.

1798  --  Silas Cook bought one-quarter of the cider-mill and distillery belonging to Zadoc Baldwin.

1799  --  Silas Cook bought another quarter from Baldwin.  Cook soon was the sole owner of the distillery.

From 1800 to 1820  --  Montville village contained about sixteen dwellings, two bark-mills and tanneries, three sawmills, one grist-mill, cider-mill and distillery, blacksmith shop, carpenter and wheelwright shop and a small store.


1804  -- death of Daniel Duryea.


1806  --  Silas Cook became a county court judge, an office he held for almost 40 years..  He was also a justice of the peace and for one term represented the county in the upper house of the State Legislature.


1807  --  after the death of Elijah Dod, Frederick W. Cook (a son of Silas Cook) bought the Dod property.

c. 1809  --  Conrad Estler bought a lot from Henry I. Vanness and opened the first store at Montville. 

c. 1809  --  Nicholas J. Hyler and Leonard Davenport built an old woolen factory for a carding and fulling mill. 

1812  --  Benjamin L. and Stephen Condit bought 24 acres of land of Daniel T. Peer at Montville and built a bark mill and tannery.

1813  --  the Cook brothers sold their bark mill and tannery to their brothers Nathaniel 0. and Timothy D. Condit.

1815  --  Hyler died.

1818  --  the oldest son of Nathaniel Gaines, Dr. Ezekiel Baldwin Gaines, settled in Lower Montville and practiced medicine for thirty-seven years.


1819  --  building of the Reformed church in Montville. 


1821-1824  --  first minister of the Reformed Church in Montville, Rev. James G. Brinckerhoof.


1824  --  there was doctrinal disputes in the Reformed Church and Rev. Brinckerhoof sided with the dissenting portion and helped form the True Reformed Dutch Church.  A new church was erected about two miles South on the road to Pine Brook. 

1825  --  prior to this year, distilleries were numerous and the use of whiskey quite general.

1825  --  the great distillery discontinued when the building of the Morris Canal was commenced. This canal passed through the village.  In half a mile the canal descended 150 feet by two inclined planes; the lower plane passing over part of the ground where the old distillery stood.

1827  --  Nathaniel 0. Condit built a one-story tavern to take advantage of the Morris Canal under construction.  He kept the business going for some 30 years. 

1828  --  Morris Canal completed in the area, bringing commercial navigation to the Montville/Towaco area.


c. 1828  --  the area became “Montville.”


c. 1843  --  Methodist church at Pine Brook erected.

1844  --  Rockaway township set off from Montville Township.  At this time the Nathaniel O. Condit tavern became the place for holding town meetings and elections in Pequannock to 1867. 

mid-19th century  --  development of two smaller village centers: 1) Pine Brook in the Township’s southern end;  and 2) Whitehall (later called Towaco), situated on the Morris Canal.


1851  --  the  Methodist church at Whitehall (Towaco) built.


1867  --  the Township of Montville formally chartered, created out of part of Pequannock Township.

1867  --  the Nathaniel O. Condit tavern became the place for transacting the public business of Montville township.

1867  -- one of the first one-room schools in the area built  (It is now home to the Mountville Museum at 6 Taylortown Road) .


1962 --  dedication of the “new” Montville Municipal Building on River Road.  Population was 7,000. 


1970s-1980s  -- great growth in population in the area. 


1989  --  Montville residents voted overwhelmingly for a dedicated open space tax.


1994  --  the municipal offices relocated to the new Municipal Building on Changebridge Road.


1995  -- the Library moved from the old facility a new facility.


2002  --  the Senior House on Route 202 renovated and expanded.


2l003  --  the new Public Safety Building on Route 202 opened.


2003  --  dedication of the new Youth Center, located in Community Park on Changebridge Road.

Today  -- a suburban community of 21,000.  Thee Township is comprised of 3 sections: Towaco, Pine Brook and Montville. 


Township of Montville:

About Montville:

Hon. John Kanouse. 1881.  Township of Montville: Early History of Montville Township.