Historical Facts About East Amwell

  • Peacock’s Store in Wertsville was built in 1883 as a general store by P.V.D. Manners. The family lived upstairs. The sheds behind the building (now apartments) housed horse drawn school buses.
  • In the late 1870’s a one-room school house existed to the left of the present Harvest Moon Inn. When a new two-room school house was built down the road (next to Clawson Park) the one room school house was moved to Wertsville Rd. near the Municipal Building and turned into a blacksmith shop. In those days that section of road was called Hemlock Street. In the 1920’s the two room school was rented out on Sundays and used as a church for a local black congregation.
  • Van Lieu’s General Store was not at Van Lieu’s Corner but on Wertsville Rd at the intersection of Wertsville and Reillyville Roads. The family also owned several houses in the area and ran a hotel/tavern across the street that fronted on Reillyville Rd.. This building has only recently been torn down.
  • Col. Chamberlain’s Grist Mill stood on the river at the foot of Rainbow Hill Rd. During the American Revolution, British foragers burned the mill to the ground. It was later rebuilt and operated by the Nevius and later Scudder families.
  • Dr. Jacob Kirkpatrick, minister at the United First Presbyterian Church preached over 11,000 sermons, conducted 900 funerals and married 705 couples during his pastorate in the Amwell Valley. After his death, Kirkpatrick Church was named after him.
  • The Census for East Amwell in 1870 shows there were 1,709 white people, 94 Negroes, 346 dwellings, 354 families, 439 white voters, and 19 Negro voters in the Township. It also shows that 18 deaths had occurred in the Township the previous year. Note: women were not allowed to vote until 1918.
  • In 1920 there were two Baptist Churches in East Amwell. One in Ringoes that has since been torn down and one in Wertsville, now a house.
  • In 1920, Ringoes had 3 churches, a hotel, a library, a creamery, a coal and lumber yard, 2 feed mills, 2 general stores, a shoe maker, a harness maker, a wheelwright, 2 blacksmith shops and two doctors.
  • In the 1950’s, the present Harvest Moon Inn was owned by Jack Colligan and named the Ringoes Steak Tent. At the rear of the building was a huge tent that dinners were served in. Two successive hurricanes totally destroyed the tent so Jack Colligan sold the business and went to work for his brothers who owned Colligan’s Stockton Inn.
  • Lindbergh Road, earlier known as Amwell Road was cut through the Sourland Mountains in 1770. It was widen during the 1930’s as part of a WPA project.
  • The cornerstone of the EA School was laid in June of 1939. The cost of the building was $75,000. It was part of a PWA Project and took ten months to build. The initial enrollment was 150 students and the school owned four school buses. New Jersey Governor Moore gave the principal address at its dedication on Sept 12th, 1939.
  • Upon completion of East Amwell School the Wertsville School, now a house, was sold by the School Board for $550. The 2-room school in Ringoes (also now a house) was sold to the Ringoes Lumber Company for $1350

Jim Davidson