History of Roxbury Township

Morris County, New Jersey

Roxbury Township is now comprised of:

Succasunna (formerly Suckasunny, name changed 1888)

Ledgewood (formerly Drakesville, name changed 1891)

Kenvil (formerly McCainesville)

Port Morris

Landing (on Lake Hopatcong) and

Lower Berkshire Valley.


1600's - - The Nariticong clan of the Delaware Indian Nation live on the east shore of Lake Hopatcong, with a large village on Halsey Island, which was then connected to the mainland.

1633 – the Dutch established trading outposts in the future northern New Jersey.

1664 – the English take over from the Dutch and New Jersey becomes an English colony.

1666 – Puritans settle Newark.

1708 – the Indians sold a large piece of land that included Roxbury Township.

c. 1708 – white settlers established homes in the future Landing with the center of the settlement at Mountain Pond. They belonged to a Christian group known as Rogerenes (or Rogerines), named after founder John Rogers of Connecticut

1740 -- Roxbury incorporated as the fourth township in Morris County. It included the future Chester Borough, Chester Township, Mt. Arlington, Mt. Olive Township, Netcong Borough and Washington Township, in addition to parts of Hopatcong Borough and Stanhope.

By 1800 – most of the Rogerene group left the area.

1912 – Mountain Pond changed to Lake Rogerene (or Lake Rogerine).

1750's -- Lake Hopatcong was called Great Pond.

c. 1750 – the Brooklyn Forge built by New York City businessman Garret Rapalje near the southern end of the Lake Hopatcong where it flows into the Musconetcong River. (The Forge was located in the future Hopatcong State Park. A dam was built on the river and the Brookland Pond thereby created. The Forge operated for 30 years. .

1758 - - The "Treaty of Easton" completes the sale of Lenape land to European settlers.
1776-1783 -- Roxbury Township and the surrounding area become an important iron producing hub. The iron works produced iron ore that was worked into cannon and cannonballs to supply General George Washington and his army.

1804 -- The Essex - Morris - Sussex Turnpike completed, running through Roxbury Township. The turnpike started in Elizabeth, went through Chatham, Madison, skirted Washington's headquarters in Morristown; ran along Sussex Avenue in Morristown, through Succasunny Plains, Drakesville (Ledgewood) and Stanhope to end at Newtown.

1824 - - the Morris Canal chartered.

1831 – first complete trip from Newark to Phillipsburg completed.

1830's -- a small community known as Brookland develops around the canal lock in what is now Hopatcong State Park. Over time the name Brookland changed to Brooklyn.

1834 -- Charles Shipman builds a sawmill near the top of Canal Inclined Plane Number 1 East, in the future Shippenport.

1844 -- John Slade built an iron forge at Shippenport.

1845 -- construction of the dam at Netcong/Stanhope created a water reservoir known as Stanhope Reservoir (today’s Lake Musconetcong). This provided water power for Stanhope industries as well as giving Lake Musconetcong to Port Morris.

1854 – the Morris and Essex (later taken over by the Lackawanna) Railroad are laid through the area.

1865 -- the Ogden Mine Railroad built to carry iron ore from the mines in the hills of Jefferson Township to Nolan's Point at the north end of Lake Hopatcong. This ore was transferred to canal boats which were towed by a steam tug across the Lake to "Brooklyn" lock.

1866 -- the most prosperous year of the Morris Canal.

1867 – in Port Morris, Nathan Davis laid out a number of building lots along the railway.

1869 – in Port Morris, the oldest part of the Roundhouse built by the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad Company (which recently had taken over the Morris & Essex Railroad).

1870s – John Slade’s forge was enlarged by Anson G. P. Segur.

1871 -- Mt. Olive Township created by separating from Roxbury Township.

1873 – in Port Morris, the DL & W built a row of 12 workers’ houses (that still stand). .

1874-1928 – the "King Store" at 211 Main Street in Ledgewood was operated by Theodore F. King. It is open for short tours on the second Sunday of each month from 1-4 PM.

1875 -- R. L. Edwards, a Wall Street banker, summers at Lake Hopatcong. He built a 7 mile wagon road to Landing to facilitate purchases since Hopatcong had no stores at that time.

1875 -- the Port Morris Post Office established..

1881 -- the Central Railroad of New Jersey took over the Ogden Mine Railroad and laid track to connect to the Central's High Bridge Branch.

early 1880's – the New Jersey Central Railroad built a Passenger Station at Drakesville (modern Ledgewood).

1880s – in Port Morris, hundreds of employees worked for the "Morris and Essex Railroad", which was later acquired by the "Delaware, Lackawanna & Western".

1887 map of Landing – shows Dynamite and Gunpowder works on the grounds of the American Forcite Powder Mfg. Co. (later renamed the Atlas Powder Co.) located on the southeast shore of Lake Hopatcong.

1887 – brothers, Theodore F. King and William E. King, ran 2 stores on the corner of Lakeside Blvd. and Landing Road.

By 1886 – the Landing/Lake Hopatcong Railway Station on the Lackawanna Line built.

1886 -- the "Lake Hopatcong Steamboat Company" (a.k.a. the Black Line) founded. The company provided service from the "new" Landing railroad station to all areas of the Lake by means of a 'feeder canal' that traveled from the Lake at the area of the State Park and connected to the Canal in the area of the current Landing Shopping Center.

c. 1890 photo – Port Morris grew up around the Morris Canal. The photo shows the Blackwell General Store along the canal. The store’s upstairs was rented out as a Hotel. (A Historical Plaque marks the place at the bottom of the hill where the Canal Plane crossed what is today Main Street, Port Morris.)

1890's -- Lake Hopatcong became a summer resort. Wealthy people rented "cottages" (really large furnished houses) on the waters edge, while middle-class people would set up large canvas tents on wooden platforms to live in for a week or so.

1890 – Mount Arlington split from Roxbury Township.

1890 – Theodore F. King founded the "Hopatcong Steamboat Company" (a.k.a. the 'White Line'). Its "feeder extension" ran from the main part of the Lake right up to the Landing RR Station.

The Nolan's Point Villa was the best of the Lake hotels, while the Hotel Breslin in Mt. Arlington was the most popular..

1892 – Port Morris Methodist Church built on land donated by the railway.

1898 -- Hopatcong breaks away from Byram Township and establishes its own municipality, the Borough of Brooklyn (later renamed Hopatcong). Brooklyn had three hotels, no churches and no stores..

1900 thru 1939 – there would be over 40 hotels and rooming houses all around Lake Hopatcong. During this time, Henry Scheer (1860-1933) of Ledgewood, built the grand Silver Spring Park hotel on Lake Hopatcong, in Landing.

1900's -- Hudson Maxim, inventor of smokeless powder, along with shells and torpedoes, he purchased a lot of land and built an estate on Lake Hopatcong.

c. 1900 photo – the photo shows a steam locomotive moving coal cars (coming in from the Pennsylvania coalfields) at the Port Morris Transfer station.

1903 – the photo, looking west, shows the top of the Morris Canal Inclined Plane "No. 1 West" in Port Morris. The views looks down to Lake Musconetcong which has an earthen causeway to allow the mules to pull the canal boats.

1908 -- the stone and masonry Landing Bridge completed.

The Morris County Traction Company Trolleys from Dover came to Landing.

The clubhouse for the Lake Hopatcong Yacht Club built on Bertrand Island.

1910 – the building of the "Lackawanna Cutoff" rail line led to the building of two new bridges over Center Street in Port Morris. Looking east from one of them, Landing could be seen in the distance.

1912 – the wooden storange hanger of the Mountain Ice Company in the Silver Spring section of Landing burns to the ground

1913 – the Mountain Ice Company built the largest Ice House in America. (It was located near the current day Nixon School.)

1920s -- the Lackawanna Railroad route, now the predominant rail link to Lake Hopatcong.

1922 – the Westmoreland Hotel (near today's Station Hardware) had a fire and closed.

1922 -- in Port Morris, an elementary school with 8 classrooms built.

1923 – the Atlas Dynamite Powder Co. closed.

1924 -- Morris Canal shuts down. Steamboat Dock at Landing removed.

1925 – 'The Westmoreland Dining Room' opened a short distance away the Westmoreland Hotel.

1925 -- the current dam built in what became the State Park.

1928 -- death of Theodore F. King.

1928 – closing of the Morris County Traction Company trolley. A bus line replaces it.

The Great Depression – bad economic times closed many of the grand hotels around Lake Hopatcong, including the last one in Landing: The Silver Springs Park House.

1935 – the Mountain Ice Company closed.

1939 – the Mountain Ice Company torn down.

c. 1940 photo – the Silvio De Marino 'Confectionery Store in Port Morris.

World War II (1941-1945)

1943 – in Kenvil, an explosion at the local dynamite plant killed six and shattered windows for miles.

Post World War II – building boom in Landing. Emmanuel 'Manny' Selengut developed the Shore Hills area.

The kids of Landing went to school in Port Morris.

1961 – in Landing, a new Post Office built on Lakeside Blvd.

1969 – in Landing Nixon Elementary School completed. Port Morris children started going to the Landing school

1970's – the Landing Shopping Center built on Lakeside Blvd.

1971 – the old Elementary School in Port Morris closed.

1983 – in Port Morris, closing fo the last retail business in Port Morris, after the building of the Landing Shopping Center.

in Succasunna, Horseshoe Lake has swimming, fishing, and sports activities.


A Short History of Landing, Morris County, New Jersey. http://www.landingnewjersey.com/history.htm

Mottel Balston. An Illustrated History of Port Morris, New Jersey. http://www.landingnewjersey.com/portmorris.htm