Place:Boonton, Morris, New Jersey, United States


Coordinates40.905°N 74.409°W
Located inMorris, New Jersey, United States
source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
source: Family History Library Catalog

the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

Boonton is a town in Morris County, New Jersey, United States. As of the 2010 United States Census, the town's population was 8,347,[1][2][3] reflecting a decline of 149 (−1.8%) from the 8,496 counted in the 2000 Census, which had in turn increased by 153 (+1.8%) from the 8,343 counted in the 1990 Census. The settlement was originally called "Boone-Towne" in 1761 in honor of the Colonial Governor Thomas Boone.[4]

Boonton was originally formed on March 16, 1866, within portions of Hanover Township and Pequannock Township. The town was reincorporated and became fully independent on March 18, 1867.

The development of Boonton began in about 1829, as a result of the construction of the Morris Canal and the formation of the New Jersey Iron Company. The original location of the town is now largely under the Jersey City Reservoir, completed in 1904. In 1908, the waters from this reservoir were the first municipal water supply in the United States to be chlorinated. The decision to build the chlorination system was made by John L. Leal and the facility was designed by George W. Fuller.



the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia

During the 18th century, the settlement of Boonetown Falls (variously spelled as Booneton or the current Boonton) was established on the Rockaway River, about downstream from the current site of the town. As early as 1747, Obadiah Baldwin ran an iron refining forge there. He used the iron ore and charcoal available in the area together with water power from the river. As the ironworks grew, workers and their families formed a community in 1761 that was named "Boone-Towne" in honor of the Colonial Governor, Thomas Boone.[5]

The present town developed separately from the settlement of Booneton Falls. The population moved away after 1830, when a canal was completed that drew off business and traffic. The site of Old Boonton downriver has been covered since 1903 by the Jersey City reservoir formed on the dammed river.


The Boonton Iron Works were founded about 1770 by Samuel Ogden of Newark, New Jersey. Together with brothers, he purchased a tract along the Rockaway River. Throughout the American Revolutionary War, the Booneton Iron Works was busily engaged in supplying numerous miscellaneous iron products for the military. After the war, operations at Boonton were continued under John Jacob Faesch and his two sons, and, later, by William Scott. He tried to revive the declining business. In 1824, Scott's interest in rejuvenating the antiquated ironworks faded when he learned that the Morris Canal was soon to be constructed, and that it would bypass the community of Booneton a mile or more away.

But the proximity of the canal to Booneton Falls made that site ideal for a large factory. In 1830, a group of businessmen in New York City incorporated as the New Jersey Iron Company, with a capitalization of $283,000. Machinery and ironworkers were imported from England, and with the erection of the mills, a new community, called Booneton Falls, began to be developed on the rugged hillside overlooking the river.

The community Main Street is unique in that it is pitched against a cliff overlooking the 'Hollow' of the Rockaway River. This was said to follow an old Native American trail, developed from a deer path along the hillside.

The new Iron Company flourished for nearly 50 years. The settlement of Booneton Falls—like the older Booneton downstream—was essentially a one-industry town. After the Company closed down its operations in 1876, the town was on the verge of collapse. Although several attempts—one by Joseph Wharton—were made to re-establish iron works on a smaller scale, none endured for any great length of time. In the 21st century, only vestiges of foundations and structures remain in the "Hollow" between Plane Street and the river, to remind Boonton of its own Iron Age.

Other industries

One of the first of the new industries secured for the town was a silk factory, which, as Pelgram & Meyer, and, later as Van Raalte, Inc., contributed materially to the town's prosperity. Others that followed were a knife factory, a paper mill (at the old settlement, by then called Old Boonton), a nail factory, a brass and iron foundry, and a carriage factory. The Morris Canal, although going into a rapid decline when superseded by railroads, still employed a number of men. The Lackawanna Railroad completed its Boonton Branch in 1870, giving employment to a number of Boonton people and providing commuter service to Boonton residents who worked in New York City. The town supported many individually owned businesses, such as blacksmith shops, machine shops, bakeries and a miscellany of stores, which began to prosper anew as the nation emerged from the depression of the 1870s.

In 1891, the Loanda Hard Rubber Company was founded by Edwin A. Scribner, and began the manufacture of molded hard rubber products. After Scribner died, the management of the firm fell to his son-in-law Richard W. Seabury. In 1906, Seabury learned of experiments with synthetic resins made by Dr. Leo Baekeland, for whom Bakelite was later to be named. Originally intended by Dr. Baekeland for a synthetic varnish, the new material was used by Seabury in making the world's first molding of organic plastics in 1907. Boontonware, a molded plastic dinnerware, was sold nationwide.

George Scribner, son of Loanda founder Edwin Scribner, opted to continue the business of plastics molding and established Boonton Molding. The company produced the line of Boontonware dinnerware, molded plastic plates, bowls, and cups manufactured in the 1950s and 1960s. The company also operated a factory outlet store in Boonton for many years. George Scribner was eventually inducted into the Plastics Hall of Fame as a pioneer in developing molding techniques and applications at Boonton Molding Co. from 1920. He is considered a preeminent contributor to the development of the industry through his services as president and board chairman of the SPI during the period 1943–1947.

The molded plastics industry attracted the radio and electronics industries to the Boonton area. In the 1920s, the burgeoning radio industry created a large demand for molded parts. Richard W. Seabury organized Radio Frequency Laboratories to exploit that new field. More than a half dozen radio and electronics firms were later formed as spin-offs, and recognized internationally for the excellence of their products. Radio engineers had respect for the Boonton Radio Co., located in nearby Rockaway, which manufactured a high-quality test instrument known as a Q meter, still used by hobbyists today. Most of those companies have been bought up and are now divisions of larger corporations and have relocated elsewhere, having undergone name changes in many cases. The Boonton Radio Co., for instance, was purchased by Hewlett-Packard. RFL Industries, Aircraft Radio Corporation, Measurements Corporation, and Ballantine Laboratories are among those that contributed materially to the prosperity of the area.

In 1917, E.A. Stevenson & Company established the "Butter Works" on the site of the old Knox Hat factory. Stevenson started processing coconut and other vegetable oils and making margarine. Under later operation by E.F. Drew & Company, the Boonton plant grew to be one of the largest edible oils processors in the country. It was the largest industry in the town of Boonton during the 20th century. The plant closed in the early 1990s, and the site was developed for a Walmart store.

In recent years, Boonton has attracted several art galleries. Most of the galleries are located on the 800 block of Main Street, with a total of six galleries in the area surrounding Boonton Avenue and Main Street. This is often referred to as the Boonton Art District. The galleries hold an art walk showcasing gallery openings on the first Friday of each month.

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