Hackettstown History

While exploring the woods of Florence Kuipers park off grand avenue. Found 2-3 rock rectangular foundations with iron pipes in them and what appears to be a metal smoke stack with various other metal structures in the woods. Possibly something connected to Lackawana Leather? Although their building was about 1/4 mile away. Cant find much on what would have been in that area way back. Was going to try the historical society too. Anyone have any feedback?

Bob1234 Bob1234
Mar '22

Hello:

The property was a home...an old home that burned down many years ago. The remains were foreclosed on and it was acquired by Warren County who created the park.

Towny

Towny Towny
Mar '22

Towny, are you talking about the house that was along the morris canal up the hill a bit? I remember that one burning down. These foundations are in the woods a bit as soon as you walk under the train tracks on the right side.

Bob1234 Bob1234
Mar '22

Perhaps there were the base of a few old old signals related to the railroad?


Maybe moonshine stills !!


Re: Hackettstown History

Bob1234

If you can pinpoint about where that is in reference to the streets around that area, you can check upstairs on one of our hanging maps from the 1800's to check in the same area to see what businesses. etc. are shown in that area to figure what it was.

I'm not sure if that would have been on the Sanborn maps, but we do have them as well. Ray Lemasters, Town Historian is there Wednesdays from 2pm-4pm and he may also know for sure what the structure was. I'm somewhat doubtful that it would have been associated with Lackawanna Leather, but it is possible.

My best guess, from checking our maps after today's Board meeting would be that it may be the remnants of the brewery that was on the Easterly side, though depending on where you saw it, could be a number of other structures. Here's a picture I took from the 1874 Map in our collection that hangs in the Business Room. Sorry for the reflections, but that's the best shot I could get.

Phil D. Phil D.
Mar '22

Re: Hackettstown History

Red circle is where the stone foundations are. Blue circle is where the smoke stack" looking thing is with various other things.

Bob1234 Bob1234
Mar '22

If you look back through the years here https://www.historicaerials.com/ you can see there was a variety of buildings there. Too hard to tell what though.

Grascal
Mar '22

Thanks for specifying where you saw them. I'll take a look at later maps than the 1874 one and perhaps Hackettstown directories. Since the town border is actually on the canal itself there, everything on the Westerly side of the canal is in Independence Twp., but will still likely be on a Hackettstown map.

Phil D. Phil D.
Mar '22

There are the remains of a foundry around there, right next to the tracks across from the lone white house on that side of Grand Avenue.

Shawn Burke Sr.
Mar '22

Is that near where the mass shooting occurred in 1977?

danny zucko danny zucko
Apr '22

Bob1234

There were apparently 2 businesses there. Both are on the late 19th Century and early 20th Century Sanborn insurance maps. The "Warren Iron Foundry" and the "Hackettstown Zinc Company." I think it may have been the site those two businesses that were the cause of a development being nixed that was at one time to be built South of the Leatherworks building.


Bob1234 and anyone else interested

Oldman posted a picture with a view of the Ironworks from further South of that location on the old towpath for the canal and I believe mentions that it was torn down in 1975 or thereabouts.

http://www.hackettstownlife.com/forum/274755

The "Directory to Iron and Steel Works of the United States" (available on Google Books) states that "Warren Furnace, Warren Iron Company," with a 56x16 stack was built in 1874-5 and "put in blast in 1875." It used a mix of 2/3 magnetic ore and 1/3 hematite ore. Using anthracite (hard) coal as the heat source, it produced Foundry Pig Iron and had an annual capacity of 15,000 tons. The iron ore was likely sourced locally, since the Shields Open Pit mine (off Airport Road, above and behind Walmart) was known for Hematitic iron ore and many of the others in the area produced Magnetitic ore. The Scranton area is well known for Anthracitic coal, used in this foundry.

The 1892 Sanborn map shows the Warren Foundry operation as closed, but the Hackettstown Zinc Company in operation in the building next to it. The Zinc Co. is identified as a Tier 1 site in the draft of potentially contaminated properties in the Highlands District:

https://www.nj.gov/njhighlands/master/june_2006_release/contaminatedtechmemo_june_draft.pdf


I remember someone trying to put a foundation in on grand ave somewhere near the leather factory and watching purple water run down the street..in the late 1989's


Bug3

Purple water could have either been a safe dye purposefully put into a local stream, drain or other water-carrying pipe or other water feature in order to track where the flow goes to.

That said, if you look at the link I posted, the leatherworks, which I think was under that name when they last operated and consisting of 0.6 acre would very likely have used chrome tanning as their main and possibly only method. Chromium turns up as either a deep Bluish Green or Purple, so it could actually have been from pollution due to that particular tanning process. "Veg-tanning" is now becoming more popular, but Chrome tanning has been the standard for many years now, due to its ease of use and reliable results.


The Lackawanna Leather works dumped the factory waste water and effluent on the property for over 100 years. There were leach ponds behind the plant and right next to the baseball field. During baseball and football games the pumps would turn on and pour the putrid waste fluids into the ponds. There was also a dump located near the railroad tracks that was used until the factory closed down.

Dodgeball
2 weeks ago

Dodgeball

Unfortunately, before the Federal DEP was created things like this were commonplace. Companies operating either out of ignorance, or callously dumping out of greed, even knowing the dangers of what they were doing, created many of the current day Superfund sites and places like Love Canal.

In fact, while Edison favored moving towards wind, water and sun energy to replace burning oil products and coal, his factories and research facilities were responsible for a large amount of pollution and environmental damage in his day. This is noted in this book, which can also be found in the Hackettstown Free Public Library on Church St.:

https://www.amazon.com/Edisons-Environment-Invention-Pollution-Career/dp/0979507308


Back to the Top | View all Forum Topics

Leave a Reply

To comment on this topic, fill out the form below. If you would like to comment directly to one person, you may click on the envelope next to the posters name if they provided their email.

Re: Hackettstown History
Name (Required)
Email (Protected)
Add Photo (Optional)
By pressing Submit Comment, you are agreeing to the terms and conditions.