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Stillwater Township Sussex County NJ from

Complied and Edited by: Edward A. Webb 1872

This township is contiguous to Warren County, which forms it southern border. It is wedge-shaped, its apex pointing due north towards Sandyston. The Blue mountains on the west separate it from Wallpack. It has Hampton and Green on the east and southeat. Its extreme length from north to south is ten miles, and it's greatest width six and a half.

Originally it was included in Hardwick, but in the year 1824, when Warren County was erected, it was made a separate township and received its present name. Its surface is throughout uneven, and in some parts rough and mountainous but the land is fertile, and well suted for the raising of all kinds of grain and farm produce. Swartswood Pond, near the centre of the township is a beautiful sheet of water about three miles long by one wide. It was first called Swartwout's from a man of that name who had a farm near by. At the time of the Frendch and Indian wars this man was brutally tortured to death by Indians. Besides this large pond there are numerous smaller ones. These together with the Paulinskill river and its tributaries abundantly water this township.

The Villages are Stillwater, Fredon, Middleville, Swartswood, and a cluster of houses in the southwestern corner of the township named Gratitude.

The site of the present village of Stillwater was bought and first settled by John P. Burnhardt and Casper Shafer, in the year 1742; after them came the Wintermutes, Mains, Staleys and others, principally Germans, who settled in the valley of the Paulinskill, some of whom afterwards moved off into other sections of the country. Mr. Shafer erected the firest mill at this place, and as it was the only mill for many miles around, it was resorted to from far and near.

The difficulties which attended the getting of their grain to mill were very great, as the roads were simply paths through a continuous forest. Wagons were not then used. The grain was brought on horses led over the mountains, for many miles; and the flour carried back in the same way. This mill was at first very simple in its construction, and could only grind four or five bushels a day. As the business increased a large one was erected, after which flour ground here was shipped down the Paulinskill to the Delaware, and thence to Philadelphia. But the construction of other mills below on the Paulinskill soon cut it off from this source of trade.

A German church was erected here in 1771 on ground set apart for it, and for a cemetary, a number of years before, by Mr. Burnhardt on of the first persons buried in this cemetery. In 1775 a fulling mill was erected here by Peter Wintermute, about a half a mile below the village.

At one time Stillwater was weriously talked of as the most suitable place for the county seat and for the erection of the county buildings, but Newton was finally decided upon, at the present time there is in the place a large grist mill, one or two stores, an hotel, a Presbyterian church, a Methodist church, and fifteen or twenty dwellings. Stillwater wants the facilities of a railroad to make it a thriving village.

The first church erected in what is now Stillwater Township, was a stone building about 35 by 40 feet with galleries on three sides, bearing date 1771. It was a Union enterprise. One branch was of German Lutherans, and the other of German Calvinists. These constituted the church. They do not appear ever to have had a pastor, but were supplied with occasional preaching until 1816, when they were taken under the care of the Classis of New Brunswich, and supplied till 1823, when they transferred to the Presbytery of Newton. The present church edifice was erected in the year 1838. Size, 36 by 45 feet; with 20 feet front pillars, and a gallery on three sides, at a cost of $2,220. The parsonage, one and a half stories high, twenty-six feet front, by some fifty deep, cost about $2,000. The present pastor Rev. T. B. Condit, after about two years labor was installed in Jun, 1839.

Is a post village situated in the southeastern corner of the township. The short low range of hills which separates this township from Green, lies just to the east of this village. It is on the stage road from Newton to Blairstown in Warren County, about fout miles from the former place. The stage and mail route from Newton to Flatbrookville also passes through Fredon.

The "Fountain House" here is a fine, large, well-furnished hotel.

The church is used during the week for a school. The attendance on the Sabbath is always very large.

The population of Fredon is about 150.

This place, about two miles north of Stillwater, is a small post village of about twenty or thirty inhabitants. It contains a hotel and store, and a good-sized building which has been leased at various times for different mechanical purposes.

It is situated on a branch of the Paulinskill, half a mile from Swartswood Pond.

Swartswood or Paterson, as it was called, is on the northwest boundary of Swartswood Pond, near the line which separates this township from Hampton. It contains a store, a cooper and two blacksmith shops, an hotel and a saw-mill. There are also here two churches - Methodist and Presbyterian.

During the summer months pleasure and fishing boats are in constant demand on the pond by parties visiting the place.


In the year 1833 a house was dedicated and a congregation organized known as the Second Presbyterian Church of Stillwater. It was placed two and a half miles northwest of the present building. Owing to the unfavorable locality the building has been abandoned and the congregation dissolved. The present church edifice was erected in 1855, size 32x42 at a cost if $2,250. It was organized in December, 1853, by a committee from Newton Presbytery. It has had no pastor but has been chiefly supplied by Rev. T. B. Condit.