History of Stanhope Boro

Sussex County, New Jersey


The Musconetcong River ran along the edge of the town and this made the town amenable for iron manufacture.

Stanhope began as an unincorporated village of southern Byram Township.

1794 the Dickerson family of Morris County produced iron along the Musconetcong River in Stanhope. Silas Dickerson, brother of the future state governor and U. S. Senator Mahlon Dickerson, erected the first forge and nail factory (one of the earliest in the state).

1798 -- Byram established as a municipal corporation.

late 1700s -- Stanhope began as a small, forge town.

1800s -- Stanhope developed into a substantial iron-manufacturing community. The iron ore came from the nearby Stanhope or Hude Mine (near present-day Pennyton Homes), the Roseville Mines in Byram Township, and the Dickerson Mine on Mine Hill in Morris County. Limestone came from the Andover area.

c. 1800 a forge, gristmill and sawmill erected in Stanhope just downstream from the earlier iron works.

1810 or earlier the Morris & Sussex Turnpike was completed through the center of Stanhope. Early hotel-stage coach stops were erected in town. The Stanhope House still remains.

1820 early double family tenant housing constructed.

1830 the wood supply for charcoal was exhausted and the iron works were forced to shut down.

1830 the Morris Canal was completed and saved the day for Stanhope iron manufacturing by bringing in Pennsylvania anthracite coal. The major outlet for goods into upper Sussex County was through the Morris Canal which flows through the center of the community and later by the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad.

By 1841 -- the Stanhope Iron Company acquired the iron works' tract of land in Stanhope and had erected three anthracite blast furnaces.

1835 the Stanhope Iron Company incorporated as the Morris and Sussex Manufacturing Company producing cotton, wood, iron and window sashes.

By 1841 -- name change back to the Stanhope Iron Company. The company then focused its attention on manufacturing iron, acquiring the iron works' tract of land in Stanhope and erecting three anthracite blast furnaces.

1844 the Stanhope Presbyterian Church erected on land donated by the iron company.

By 1845 Edwin Post, a New York capitalist, became the head of the iron complex and operated a very successful concern.

1845 the Sussex Iron Company and the Morris Canal and Banking Company reached a mutual agreement. Most of the rights to the water were granted to the canal company (with permission to construct a reservoir, present Lake Musconetcong) and in return the canal company had agreed to a branch canal extending from the main canal at the head of Plane No. 2 West at Stanhope to the furnace site.

1853 a devastating explosion at the Post furnace led to the end of the active operation of the Sussex Iron Company.

c. 1853 the Morris and Essex Railroad built.

1855 the Stanhope School erected on iron company land.

1864 the Musconetcong Iron Works, incorporated by a group of New York capitalists incorporated the Musconetcong Iron Work and rebuilt and enlarged the iron works complex at Stanhope.

1869 A. Pardee and Company of Philadelphia gained control of the company and continued the renovations.

1875 directly across from the furnace site, the U. S. Mineral Wool Company began to manufacture slag wool for insulation from the furnace waste products and still functions today.

1902 -- the iron complex had enlarged and was now owned by the Singer Manufacturing Company of Elizabeth, New Jersey. This endeavor lasted to 1925.

1904 -- Stanhope incorporated as a Borough. The village was built around the Morris Canal, the iron ore mines and highlands forest.

1908 Singer erected a poured concrete structure straddling the Musconetcong River. (The structure is the only extant structure of the furnace complex proper.)

1924 end of the Morris Canal operations.

1925 -- end of Stanhope's iron manufacturing period.

1930 to 1980 -- Even though a portion of Stanhope split off to join Byram Township, the Borough's population tripled.

Many summer homes were constructed in the township, many of which were later converted to year-round houses.

The building of interstate highways led to rapid population growth. Stanhope is somewhat of a suburb of larger cities to the east.


Borough of Stanhope, New Jersey: Local History. http://www.westfieldnj.com/whs/history/stanhope.htm