Washington Township History
Washington Township is the most westerly township in Morris County. It was one of the six townships into which the county was divided in 1798. Prior to that, Washington Township was part of Roxbury.
The first settlers of this township set foot on the shores of the New World in 1707. They were German Protestants from Saxony, Germany, who left their native land in search of a place where they could worship God in the way they thought right without fear of persecution.
They sailed to Holland and formed many acquaintances with the Dutch. When they decided to travel to America, their destination was New York, to settle among the Dutch. They traveled in the general direction of New York, until they arrived in the region now known as German Valley. According to tradition, when these early settlers saw the beautiful country spread out before them, they believed that this was the promised land which the Lord designed for them before they left their homes. They gave up their project of going to New York and agreed to settle down and make their homes in the peaceful valley.
A large portion of Washington Township is occupied by Schooley's Mountain, which was probably America's earliest summer resort. The pure mountain air, the romantic surroundings, and the mineral spring, which in 1815 was declared to be the purest and best chalybeate water known at that time in the country, attracted people to this area. The Lenape Indians had long known about the waters which drew healing powers from the iron deposits found in the nearby mountains.
Many people were drawn to the reputed beneficial effects of the springs in Schooley's Mountain. They came to drink and bathe in the waters which were known to heal all types of disorders. The old hotel register shows a large number of distinguished guests, including many frequent guests from other sections of the country.
Washington Township was incorporated on February 12, 1798.
6 Fairview Avenue
Long Valley, NJ 07853
Museum Hours - Sundays , 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM or by appointment
No Admission Charge
Our collection of photographs, furniture, local artifacts, farm tools, clothes and books, in conjunction with our genealogy library, helps to support the preservation of the history of Washington Township.
Originally built in 1830, this stone building has served as the first schoolhouse, a private residence, the public library, and since 1981, the museum. The building is maintained by the Washington Township Historical Society, a membership organization, and is open to the public.
Washington Township is one of the last municipalities of Morris County where agricultural traditions continue to define the environment. The earliest important settlement in the Township was named "German Valley", a name that survived until World War I, when the present day "Long Valley" replaced it.
The fertile, 8 mile long valley, with the South Branch of the Raritan River at it's center, was the center of a Palatinate German community, and today includes some excellent examples of architecture from the second half of the 18th century and the first quarter of the 19th century. The heart of the settlement is now the German Valley Historical District, and is included in the National Register of Historic Places.
Please explore this site and enjoy our rich historic architectural heritage.
A survey of Morris County Historical Information is on file at the following locations:
- Office of New Jersey Heritage
Labor and Industry Building
- Morris County Heritage Commission
300 Mendham Road
- County College of Morris
Center Grove Road
- Morris County Library
East Hanover Avenue
- Morristown-Morris Township Library
1 Miller Road
· National Register of Historic Places for Morris County, NJ ·
Long Valley Historical Museum
Still known as the Union Schoolhouse, this structure was built in 1832. and is one of the best preserved fieldstone buildings in the area. It's purpose when built was that of a schoolhouse, although it reflects the residential architecture of the same period
The Old Union Church
Built in the meeting house style, the original structure was built in 1774 to replace a log Church on the same location and has recently undergone extensive stabilization work (funded by Morris County Heritage Commission and the Morris County Preservation Trust Fund) which included reconstructing the collapsed entryway which had not been seen in over a century. The ruin is surrounded still by the church yard burial ground which contains the second largest collection in NJ of gravemarkers by master carver John Solomon Teetzel. The Church was shared by both the Evangelical Lutheran and the Dutch Reformed (later Presbyterian) Communities which still own the site. First settler Johannes Welsh is buried here.
The Phillip Weise House
1 East Mill Road (the intersection of Route 24 (E. Mill Road) and Fairmount Road), was constructed in 1744. Architecturally, this is the best constructed and maintained early 18th century dwelling in the German Valley Historical district. The house is constructed of random and cut stone. The main unit is a 2½ story nearly square, gambrel roofed, 3 bay house with center entrance. The windows are 6/6 on the second floor and 9/6 on the first floor, all with louvered shutters. The stone lintels over the appertures have keystones. The roof has a pair of gable end chimneys, and a slight overhanging and returning cornice with plain frieze. On tbe north, (front) facade the stonework is rough, but in the west gable end it is carefully coursed. Characteristic of the German-type structures built in New Jersey and Pennsylvania is the one and one-half story kitchen projecting out from the east gable end facade. This wing is also dressed stone with a gable roof, and an interior end chimney.
The Long Valley Brew Pub
An excellent example of one of the few surviving stone barns in Long Valley. The structure, built in the forebay style originally had vertical "loopholes" for light and ventilation, features common to the Pennsylvania Culture reigon, but rare in Morris County.
Bridge over the South Branch of the Raritan River - Center of Long Valley
The Quadruple Arch Stone Bridge carrying Route 24 over South Branch of the Raritan River dates to about 1870. The bridge is one of the few stone arch road bridges left in Morris County. The four segmental arches make this an exceptionally long span across the river. The road-bed is two narrow lanes. The bridge is constructed of random fieldstoneand the sidewalks are topped by flat-stone. Until the summer of 1976 there was a iron frame walkway across the bridge on the east side. The walkway was probably of early 20th century construction.
Located at the intersection of Wehrli Road and West Springtown Road
The Weimer House
This house, with the ell added after it's 1790 construction sits on West Springtown Road, and may be considered the sister house of the stone house at the intersection of Wehrli and West Springtown (the house gracing the header of some of the web pages.)
The Lyman Kice General Store
(one of the original meeting places for the Township Committee)
Center of Long Valley
The Jesse Weise House
Located on Schooley's Mountain Road (Route 24), just north of South Branch of the Raritan River, was constructed in 1803. This 2½ story fieldstone dwelling is characteristic of stone buildings erected in the valley under the influence of the German or Pennsylvania-German culture in the 18th-early 19th century. the front facade has three bays with a center and side entrance. The windows are all 9/9 wooden pegged double hung sash save the two smaller 6 pane windows in the attic. Over the windows are stone lintels with keystones. The corner stones are roughly coursed and larger than those of the central construction thereby producing a quoin-like effect. The roof is gable and has end chimney's on each gable end. Both long facades have a two bay protective porch. The gable end faced the road.
Zion Lutheran Church The Zion Evangelical Lutheran Church is located on Route 24 on the banks of the South Branch of the Raritan River. In 1832 the Old Union Church was abandoned for the new more impressive edifice on Route 24. This stone church building with stucco wing probably dates to its early construction date. but also exhibits numerous Gothic characteristics as reflected in the Gothic arch windows and doorways and the octagonal spire. Even with a projected center vestibule tower, the Evangelical Lutheran Church maintains a basic rectangular form. The front facade of the edifice has a tower which extends to a point just above the roof peak of the main building. The vestibule has a double door capped by a Gothic arched transom. In the transom is a stained glass circular window. Above the entrance are two paired Gothic arched windows which are highlighted brownstone. The tower has a wooden hiproofed capping and is topped by a full one story towered belfry and a reaching octagonal spire. Flanking the tower are Gothic tracery windows with stained glass. The long facade of the church has five bays; all Gothic arch tracery with stained glass windows. A modern one story flat roofed stone and concrete multi-purpose facility has been added to the south.
The Springhouse is located at the intersection of Pleasant Grove Road and Mount Lebanon Road.
Located on Mission Road
Washington Township 's extensive collection of municipal records received preservation help with a grant from the Morris County Heritage Commission and a matching grant from the Washington Township Library. The $4,470 in grant monies will provide for the preservation and conservation of municipal documents along with the digitization of conserved records.
The preserved documents were scanned and are available electronically as PDF files.
Portable Document Format (PDF) files use a file format that is device and resolution independent. Each PDF file includes the text, fonts, images, and graphics that make up the document. PDF files are not application software, hardware, or operating system dependant allowing a PDF file to appear the same on any type of machine or system. The document requires Adobe Reader to view. The viewer, or a substitute must be installed on your computer.
The following is a list of currently available electronic images of historic documents. Individuals with a slow connection to the internet may experience long download times. Documents are listed by year.