2006 Officers of The Historical
Society of the Somerset Hills
Chairman, June Campbell
President, Daniel Lincoln
V.P. Diane O'Connor
Secretary, Lawrence Terricone
Treasurer, Richard Macksoud
Trustees: Joseph Callahan,
Mildred Van Dyke
Tom & Karen Fitzsimons
Significant Dates Relating
to the Somerset Hills
Somerset County set off from Middlesex on May 22.
Early settlers 'in Bedminster area are Huguenots, Scots-Irish and later,
Germans from the Palatinate--John Van Doren, Hugh Gaston, the Castners,
Craigs and others.
Large contingent of Scots-Irish Presbyterians arrive in Bernards Township
area. John Harrison agent of the King of England, who purchased land from
Indians, sells parcels for development. Also, there are "squatters" who
John Annin (really John Johnston of Annandale, Scotland) arrives 'in
Bernards and soon takes title to 1,000 acres purchased for him by his
father. The settlement is known as Annin's Corner until the Revolution,
when the area's name is changed to Liberty Comer. Logtown, a distinct
settlement near Basking Ridge, is founded and exists 100 years as an
independent community along Hardscrabble Road. It may have been named for
a sawmill or logs brought in for an iron forge, In 1723 an Englishman,
Canfield, establishes a fulling and textile mill and brings in workers
from abroad to man it. Several multi-family houses are said to have been
built near the mill for workers. During the period of greatest activity,
there is believed to have been a gristmill, a carpet weaving shop, several
stores and some mechanics' shops. Nearby farms raise wool and flax for
In May, Frederick Freylinghuysen, William Paterson, John Witherspoon,
Jacob Hardenbergh and James Linn serve as Somerset's delegates to the
Provincial Congress meeting 'in Burlington.
1781 - August
The French troops, including Rochambeau stops over at what was then called Bullions
Tavern (Liberty Corner) with somewhere around 4,000 troops for a brief stopover
before marching South to argubely the deciding battles of the Revolutionary
Warren Township is formed from Bernards and Bridgewater Townships.
The Basking Ridge Classical School (the Brick Academy) is built in Basking
Ridge, its pupils drawn from areas along the Eastern Seaboard. Graduates
enter the College of New Jersey (Princeton)
The Lenape Indians accept $2,000 from the white settlers for relinquishing
their remaining hunting and fishing rights in Somerset County.
The railroad arrives! Many more people settle in area.
In the 90s flamboyant Bernardsville mountain life reaches its peek with
polo matches, private racetracks, balls, servants' balls, commuters'
coaches-and-fours racing-to the railroad station. The town grows as large
numbers of Italian and Hungarian artisans and gardeners, and English
and Irish servants are brought 'in to build and serve the great estates.
At 5 A.M. each morning, it is said, bands of laborers start for work
up the mountain, many on foot, singing. Today, the estates are being
divided into smaller acre plots.
Peapack-Gladstone is set off from Bedminster Township as an independent
Far Hills is set off from Bernards Township.
Bernardsville is set off from Bernards Township.
The Veterans Administration Hospital at Lyons opens its doors to receive
and treat the nation's veterans.
AS THEY SAY, THE REST IS HISTORY .........
Landed Gentry Map - Click
Bernardsville - Upton Pyne Estate
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