History of Washington Township

Morris County, New Jersey


Long Valley (for 100 years known as German Valley) runs through the heart of Washington Township, north to south.


pre-colonial times – the Lenni Lenape Indians lived in the area.

1707 – arrival in the future America of the German Protestant immigrants from Saxony who eventually came to settle the German Valley (a.k.a. Long Valley) section of Washington Township.

1750 – Philip Weise built the Obadiah LaTourette Grist and Saw Mill. (The mill is being restored by the Washington Township Land Trust.) Located at 2 East Mill Road (Route 513), Long Valley.

1774 – the Old Union Stone Church built.

Revolutionary War – it is believed that many of the Hessian troops routed in Trenton, as well as other Hessians deserters, sought refuge in the fertile German Valley (a.k.a.. Long Valley).

Revolutionary War – iron ore was taken from the mines above German Valley to produce iron and make iron utensils, cannon and cannon balls to aide Gen. George Washington.

1798 – Washington Township incorporated. The township is the largest in Morris County, encompassing more than 45 square miles.

1801 – Joseph Heath opened the first of several buildings near Pleasant Grove Road. The Heath House was built and became a renowned spa.

1815 – the mineral spring on Schooley’s Mountain was declared the purest and best chalybeate water known at that time in the country.

1830 – a schoolhouse built and later transformed into a library. In 1981 it was made into a museum (the Washington Township Historical Society Museum/Old Union Church Ruins and Cemetery museum with exhibits, a genealogy library, photographs, and displays of local artifacts and farm tools.)

Washington Township Park preserves a quarter mile stretch of Morris Canal prism and towpath.

Civil War (1861-1865)

post Civil War – Schooley's Mountain was probably America's earliest summer resort many drawn there by the reputed beneficial effects of the mountain springs.

1868 – a boarding school holding 120 students opened at Schooley's Mountain Springs.

By 1880 – Morris County ranked third in the nation in the production of iron ore.

late 19th and early 20th centuries – people traveled by rail and by stagecoach to ``take the waters'' of spas located on Schooley's Mountain, one of the highest and most heavily forested hills in Morris County.

1920 through 1950s – Schooley’s Mountain was a favorite destination of children, with the Morristown YMCA operating a camp.

1981 – the Washington Township Historical Society Museum/Old Union Church Ruins and Cemetery museum established in the old school house/library building. It is located at 6 Fairview Avenue, Long Valley Next to the museum are the ruins of the Old Union Stone Church.

Today – Washington Township has almost eighteen thousand residents, the majority of whom work outside the township.


Washington Township: History; http://www.wtmorris.org/town/history.html