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Knowlton Township

Knowlton Township municipal offices are located at 628 Route 94, Columbia, NJ 07832; phone: 908-496-4816.

Beginnings [1]

Knowlton Township originally developed as a rural, agricultural community. Many families established homesteads during the 1700's in the fertile Paulins Kill Valley near the present-day village of Hainesville. The Delaware River served as a principal transportation route that attracted industrial operations, such as mills, tanneries, and quarries, during the 1800's. By 1887, most of Knowlton's 2,000 residents lived near these operations in the small villages of Columbia and Delaware. The Township's proximity to the Delaware Water Gap—a major transportation route to Pennsylvania—made Knowlton a crossroads town. At one time, no less than six railroad lines ran through Knowlton. In addition to carrying industrial freight, these railroad lines allowed local farmers to transport their products east to the New York markets or west to Pennsylvania.

The manufacturing plants and railroad lines, as well as the population that worked in them, eventually moved westward during the early twentieth century. Residents that remained in Knowlton were mostly career farmers, and agriculture was once again the dominant economic activity in the Township. The residential population of Knowlton grew modestly during the first half of the twentieth century as vacation homes on the Delaware River were converted to full-time homes and the local road network was expanded. Completion of Routes 46 and 94 during the 1930's and Interstate 80 in the early 1970's drew new residents to the area after World War II. Today, Knowlton's residents are spread among its small, historic towns and rural homesteads located along the Township's local roads.

  1. Morris Land Conservancy and the Township of Knowlton Agricultural Advisory Committee, Comprehensive Farmland Preservation Plan for the Township of Knowlton, County of Warren, 2008,, accessed April, 2013.
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