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Mount Olive Township


Mount Olive Township administrative offices are located at 204 Flanders-Drakestown Road, Budd Lake, NJ 07828; phone: 973-691-0900.

Beginnings [1]

The first inhabitants of what is now Mount Olive Township were the Lenni Lenape and the Hatacawanna tribes of the Delaware Native Americans. The area's natural features of streams, woodlands, fertile fields and marshlands provided for these people who lived by hunting, fishing and farming.

The historic development of the Township was greatly influenced by the geologic and physical features of the land. The various areas of Budd Lake, Flanders, Mount Olive, Drakestown, Waterloo, Smithtown and Bartley have their separate, yet intertwined histories emerging from the 1700s with their unique geography. Many of these sections obtained their names from the families who lived there. Mining in the hilly northern portion and agriculture in the fertile fields of the southern part of the community all needed transportation to move their goods.

Flanders, first settled in 1750, was the largest village in the Township. The village grew up around the Methodist Church, and later the Presbyterian Church. It was a convenient stopping place for travelers on the old road from German Valley (now Long Valley) to Succasunna. After the Civil War, with the railroad connection, Flanders grew to a sizable village with about 50 homes. Products from the iron mines and foundries, the mills, farms and sand quarries were shipped through the village. Flanders had a creamery with the first pasteurizing plant in New Jersey, several mills, a post office, three general stores, two butchers and two doctors.

Native Americans originally called Budd Lake Kawkawanning or "Little Pond." In the early 1800s the area around the east side of Budd Lake was developed with several mills and an ice company, by the Budd, Sharp and Wagner families. There was a post office, store, hotel and several homes in the vicinity at the time. By 1850 the area started to grow as a resort, attracting visitors from New York and Philadelphia. A hamlet developed along Sand Shore Road and Netcong Road, and the area included some large hotels and boardinghouses. Summer tent colonies sprung up before vacationers could construct cottages and bungalows. In the early 20th century Budd Lake continued to grow as a resort and recreation destination. Bungalows were built and boardinghouses were filled during the summer months.

Before the construction of Route 6 (now Route 46) in 1923, visitors to Budd Lake from the east would usually take a train to Netcong and make their way to the Lake via a winding macadam road. The new state highway made it easier for day-trippers to the lake, and as a result, the character of the area changed. Hamburger stands, filling stations and dance halls serviced these new visitors and residents who came to swim, picnic and enjoy the lake. The area also became more of a year-round community. With the completion of Interstate Route 80 in the 1970s, the year-round status of the community became even more solidified.

The Village of Mount Olive is located on the peak of Schooley's Mountain and was originally called Rattletown. This was the site of the Mount Olive Baptist and Presbyterian Churches, as well as the first school in the community, the Mount Olive Academy. The land that is now Mount Olive Township was part of Roxbury Township until March 22, 1871, when it was independently incorporated.

  1. Township of Mount Olive Planning Board, Township of Mount Olive 2003 Master Plan and Master Plan Rexamination, December, 2003, www.mountolivetownship.com, accessed August, 2013.
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