History of Franklin Township

Hunterdon County, New Jersey


Lockatong Creek starts in Franklin Township and flows 13 miles of Franklin, Kingwood and Delaware Townships to join with the Delaware and Raritan Canal and the Delaware River.

Communities in Franklin Township:

Allens Corner

Cherryville – a hamlet




Oak Grove – a hamlet

Pittstown – a village

Quakertown – a village; has one of the state's few remaining stone Friends meeting houses.


Communities around Franklin Township: clockwise

Clintontown, Clinton Township, Raritan Township, Delaware Township, Kingwood Township, Alexandria Township,Union Township


early 18th century – the future Franklin Township settled by Quakers moving north from the Trenton area. Quakertown was named Fairview until the mid 1830's.

1712 – in Oak Grove, The original parcel of land consisted of 2,225 acres and was owned by Thomas Gardner.

1714 – the King of England created Hunterdon County from Burlington County.

1723 – Thomas Episcopal Church established.

c. l 730 – in Oak Grove, Samuel Willson bought 600 acres of land.

1730 – Bethlehem Presbyterian Church organized.

1733 – Quaker Church built.

l 742 – in Oak Grove, Dr. James Willson, son of Samuel Willson, bought 220 acres including his father's dwelling.

1748 – the first mill was built along Capoolong Creek. The only mill that remains is King’s Manor on the corner of Kingstown Road.

1759 – a new Quaker church built in Quakertown.

1762 – Charles Hoff Jr., owner of the Pittstown Tavern (today known as the Hoff Mills Inn) located in the center of the village of Pittstown, sold the tavern to Isaac Fitzrandolph.

1775-1782 – Revolutionary War. The colonials and local militia used the Quaker meetinghouse for their meetings.

1777 – Dr. James Willson’s youngest son James inherited the Oak Grove land.

1777 – William Davison owned the Pittstown Tavern.

1781 – John Rockhill owned the Pittstown Tavern.

1785 – James Willson died at the age of 25. His land was divided between between his two sons, Samuel (born 1782) and John (born 1784).

mid to late 1700s – Samuel Large and his wife, Susan, built the oldest part of the house at 261 Quakertown Road, Quakertown.

c. 1790 – a log schoolhouse, the first school house at Quakertown built on or near the sight of the present building, was built of logs about 1790.

1799 – King’s Mill built. At first it was known as "Twinings Mills."

1801 – Moore Furman remodeled the Pittstown tavern and renamed it The Century Inn.

1809 – in Quakertown, James Powers bought a small lot from the Large family.

1811 – Thomas Twining, and his wife Sarah, deeded the mills, the mansion and considerable farm land to Joseph King.

1812 – James Powers went bankrupt and was sent to debtor's prison in Flemington. The house went back to William and Susan Large.

1813 – King built the first oil mill in Franklin to turn flax seed in to oil and "cake meal."

1814 – the Large family sold the house to William Probasco. Although not Quakers, the Probasco family was one of the most important families in Quakertown.

1827 – the original King flax mill, found to be unsatisfactory for the business at hand, was replaced by a larger mill.

1830s – Fairview changed names to Quakertown.

1835 – the future Quakertown United Methodsit Church had its first church service in the house of Mr. and Mrs. Daniel Green. The preacher was Brother David R. Bodine.

1840 – the wooden Quakertown United Methodist Church built.

1845 – Franklin Township established as an agricultural community.

1847 – Samuel Willson died. His land was divided with the Oak Grove area going to son Josiah Willson.

1845 – the Quakertown Store built by G.W. Waterhouse and Benjamin Shackelton at the corner of Quakertown Road and Croton Road. The building served as a general store, a post office, an auctioneer’s office, and an Antique Store.

1850 – Quakertown Academy built by the Franklin Educational Association and known simply as The Academy. The Quakertown Academy never succeeded.

1860 – Josiah Wilson built the three-story Federal Plantation House known as the Mill House.

ater the Mill House became the Mansion Hotel.

1862 – in Quakertown, the old Quaker church torn down and replaced by a smaller, sturdier building.

1800s -- Oak Grove consisted of a grist mill (1856), a saw mill (1805), and a blacksmith shop, along with three houses: the Mill House, The Tenant House and the Red House. (All three homes still exist today.)

1867 – what became Perricone’s Market was established by Sylvester Probasco. It was also the Pittstown post office until 1964.

1870 – in Quakertown, a new schoolhouse built on a small triangular piece of ground leased by Henry Cliffton.

c. 1875 – a train station built in Pittstown.

1885 – Josiah Wilson sold his property to his son-in-law, W. Howard Lake.

1885 (August 3) – the Capoolong Creek flooded affecting the road from Quackertown to Pittstown.

1892-1979 – Dalrymple's market (the future Perricone’s) was in business. It was a grocery store with a gasoline pump out front.

1896 – in Oak Grove, the Grist Mill burned down.

1897 – the Calvary Brethren congregation organized. The church sits on Brethren Church Road.

By 1900 – the old Quaker church was no longer being used by Quakers.

1913 – the old Pittstown Tavern burned and later rebuilt.

1929-1939 –the old Quaker meeting house in Quakertown served as Boy Scout headquarters.

1936-1937 – the old Quaker meeting house used as a school, while Franklin Township School was being built.

1959 – the First Day School started in the old Quaker meetinghouse.

1970s – James Farley and his wife owned the old Pittstown tavern, called the Pittstown Inn.

1977 – in Oak Grove, Ted and Susan Blew bought the Mill House along with 160 acres.

1980-1990 – the Dalrymple family sold the store (the future Perricone’s) to the Kuchman family.

c. 1990 – the Skillman family ran the future Perricone’s market store for a few years.

c. 1993 – the Perricones bought what became Perricone’s Market. Perricones is now a pizza parlor.

Today – population of 3,097.


Franklin Township www.co.hunterdon.nj.us/mun/franklin.htm

Most Historic Sites in Franklin Township, Hunterdon County, New Jersey http://www.ftschool.org/fourth/historic.franklintwp/