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Belvidere Town


Belvidere Town Hall is located at 691 Water Street, Belvidere NJ 07823; phone: 908-475-5331.

Beginnings [1]

This is the county seat of Warren County and is beautifully located on either side of Pequest Creek at its confluence with the Delaware River. The south side of the creek was the portion first settled. It is regularly laid out in squares about 30 or 40 feet above the level of the river. Here is the public square, the Court House, and the most beautiful part of the town. Around the public park are located, with one exception, the churches of the town: Protestant Episcopal, Methodist Episcopal, Presbyterian and Baptist churches, facing the east, south and west sides of the park. The Second Presbyterian Church is located on the north side at the river.

Belvidere is situated about 75 miles from New York, 65 miles from Philadelphia and 13 miles above Easton, PA, and was home to about 1,800 inhabitants in 1886.

It is supposed that the portion of the town upon the south side of the Pequest was at one time an Indian village. Robert Patterson was the first pioneer of Belvidere and probably built the first house, which was torn down in 1858 by Major Depue. It was a block house, or double log house, as they were called in those days. The next land owner was Robert Morris, who in 1793 "gave a deed of the entire tract to his son-in-law and daughter, Charles and Mary Coxall." By deed dated September 30, 1825, the entire 614 acres embraced in this tract were transferred to Garret D. Wall by Charles Coxall — Mary Coxall having previously died. Subsequently Mr. Wall generously donated to Warren County the grounds upon which the county buildings stand, and the public square. To his generosity, also, all the churches which face the park with the exception of the Baptist, owe the lands upon which the churches and parsonages stand. The Baptists purchased their church lot of Honorable George M. Robeson, in 1866. Major Robert Hoops came to Belvidere about the year 1770. He gave Belvidere its present name, and was an extensive land proprietor in and about the place. He acquired by purchase some 500 acres of land on either side of the Pequest, including the mill and water power. He afterwards erected a large slaughter house on the lot where now stand the buildings of D. C. Blair. In this building "large numbers of cattle and hogs were slaughtered and packed, which together with the flour manufactured at the mill, were transported to middle Jersey for the use of the Revolutionary army, and not infrequently at that period, all the farmers wagons and sleds were put into requisition to convey these articles to the half-starving thousands under the command of General Washington in the vicinity of Morristown."

During Major Hoops' ownership of the land to the north of the Pequest, he had it surveyed and divided into town lots, and called the town "Mercer," which remained its name for many years. This was, at that time, the only business part of the town, except the double-log or block-house, of Patternson's, which was occupied as a store, and subsequently as a tavern and the Coxall mansion, which was in all probability built by Robert Morris about the year 1780. Belvidere is at the western terminus of the Belvidere & Delaware Division of the Pennsylvania railroad, and is well supplied with good hotels. The Warren House, the American House, and the Pequest House are all kept in a first-class manner, and receive a liberal patronage.

  1. Weaver & Kern, Warren County History and Directory or The Farmers Manual and Business Mens' Guide, Press of the Review, Washington N. J., 1886.
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