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Washington Borough

Washington Borough Hall is located at 100 Belvidere Avenue, Washington NJ 07882; phone: 908-689-3600.

Beginnings [1]

From Hunterdon County, in 1738, Morris County was set apart, and again in 1753 Sussex County, and finally in 1824, Warren County was made from a portion of Sussex. This was a part of Mansfield Township until 1849 when a mile square was made into the Borough of Washington.

Port Colden was chosen as a site for a city, the fates ruled otherwise, and it is now content to be a pretty suburb of its lucky sister. It will be from gross neglect of its opportunities if Washington does not grow into a city of many thousands. The beauty of its location, the healthful climate, the rich surrounding country, the facilities for transportation, all make it likely that it has a future.

The first we hear of white folks at this place was a cry for preaching, and to this day it is a church-going people that live here. In 1740 an application was made to Presbytery "for supplies of preaching in Mr. Barber's neighborhood, Muscannekunk," in response to which appeal the Presbytery erected a log building on the hill, by what is now known as the old cemetery; this being at first called "the Barber Neighborhood Church," the first pastor being an Irishman named McCrea. He had no parsonage here, his home being on the saddle, whence he could overlook the various charges committed to him in the wilderness we now know as the garden section of New Jersey. His sister was murdered by Indians at the Fort Edward massacre, New York State, during the Revolutionary war. His successor was an Irishman, as also was the third pastor, Reverend John Rosburgh, who left his charge to join the Revolutionary army as chaplain, to meet his death at the battle of Assunpink, a few days after the battle of Trenton.

A stranger in Washington will notice as a peculiar feature that it looks as if recently built. Out West that seems a matter of course, but in Jersey one expects to see new and old side by side. The fact is that Washington has only recently begun to grow. Our townsman, J. V. Graveling, Esq., still in his prime, when a boy ploughed ground that had never before been cultivated, in the limits of what is now known as Washington Borough.

  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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