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Phillipsburg Town

Philipsburg Town Hall is located at 675 Corliss Avenue, Philipsburg NJ 08865; phone: 908-454-5500.

Beginnings [1]

The present site of Phillipsburg was in 1654 an Indian village, and according to a map published at that time by a Dutch engineer named Vander Dork, was called Chintervink. It is said to have been a favorite fishing ground of the Indians. The History of the Lehigh Valley, published in 1860, gives the following interesting facts:

"The origin of the name of Phillipsburg is not well-known, the impression being that it was named after a large landholder by the name of Phillips, who resided here at an early day; but the more plausible supposition is that it was derived from the Indian chief Philip, who took up his abode in this place. The Indian chief was an intimate friend of the great chief Teedyuscung. The name Phillipsburg was found on the map of the inhabited parts of Pennsylvania and New Jersey, published in 1749 by Evans, which was before the time of Mr. Phillips' residence here."

Phillipsburg was evidently settled by the white people before Easton inasmuch as Easton was not laid out until some time after the different maps were published giving the name of Phillipsburg. About the time Easton was laid out, the land upon which Phillipsburg was built was owned by the heirs of David Martin, a ferryman, and a Mr. Coxe, a merchant of Philadelphia, Mr. Coxe owning the principle part — about four hundred and eleven acres, among which were the 'Old Fields' — on which, on account of their beautiful location and the advantages they appeared to have possessed for the purposes of a town over the land on the opposite side of the Delaware River, he contemplated in 1752 to lay out a town. The intention of Mr. Coxe appeared to greatly alarm the proprietors of Pennsylvania, who were afraid that it would injure the infant town of Easton. In a letter from Thomas Penn, dated March 9, 1752, to Richard Peters, he said, "I think we should secure all the lands we can on the Jersey side of the water;" the intention being evidently to get this land in their possession, and thus prevent any settlement there.

Phillipsburg was not incorporated as a town until March 8, 1861. Its growth had been slow, and in 1850 it was but a struggling village.

The presence of the flourishing town of Easton on the opposite bank of the Delaware seemed to operate against its growth. In 1832 the Morris Canal was completed, and Phillipsburg was made one of the termini of that waterway. That was a step upward. A bigger one was made in 1848, when the Trenton Iron Company established a furnace here; and again in 1852 when the New Jersey central Railway was completed to that place. In 1854 the Belvidere Delaware Railroad was completed, and manufacturing began to enlarge as it was fairly upon that railroad prosperity was achieved as known by the 1880s.

  1. Weaver & Kern, Warren County History and Directory or The Farmers Manual and Business Mens' Guide, Press of the Review, Washington N. J., 1886.
**Information is curated from a variety of sources and, while deemed reliable, is not guaranteed.
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