on Saturday 27 May 2006
by admin author list
in content > Store

Memoirs and Reminiscences
together with
Sketches of the Early History
Sussex County, New Jersey
By Rev. Casper Schaeffer, M.D.

<- Memoirs and Reminiscences Book - $20.00

Memoirs and Reminiscences

Memoirs and Reminiscences was written by the Reverend Casper Schaeffer, M.D. in 1855. Dr. Schaeffer's grandfather and namesake was one of the original settlers of Stillwater who settled on the banks of the Paulinskill in 1741 or 1742. Dr. Schaeffer's original manuscript was completed in 1855, and it describes his life experiences during the early days of Stillwater. This wonderful historical guide to the village was first published in 1907 by William M. Johnson, who added genealogical notes about the Schaeffer family. The Historical Society of Stillwater Township initially reprinted the book in 1984. Those copies are long since sold, and the Society is pleased to present this edition to a new generation of readers.

Over 150 years have gone by since the book was written, and although the village has not changed very much, the surrounding hills and valleys are now dotted by homes that make the township a bed- room community. For these new residents, this book gives a sense of the village's history by describing life in a house built in 1741 (with a 1750 addition), that still stands on Main Street. They can also learn about the Schaeffer's grist mill and the miller's house on the Kill, as well as the gracious old homes still standing on Main Street. The mill and miller's house have recently been acquired by the NJ State Green Acres program and are being restored to be opened to the public.

Stillwater Township consists of three villages: Stillwater, Middleville and Swartswood. Each one is distinct and charming on its own, and together they form a dynamic community. The Township Hall is located in Middleville, the Court House is in Swartswood, and Stillwater Day, an annual celebration of great fun and pride is held Swartswood State Park on the first Saturday in June.

One constant is change, and during the past hundred and fifty years, each of the three villages was supported by numerous stores and services. At one time, they each had their own general store and gas station. Stillwater had three general stores and two garages -- all of which sold gas. Each village had, and continues to have, a post office usually located in the general store. The general stores did not carry many perishables. Dugan's bakery truck delivered bread and pastries, Walter's delivered fruits and vegetables, and John Gaal with his meat wagon called at the homes at least twice a week. And today, we think we have it convenient!

In the early days of Stillwater, the Post Office moved from store to store each time there was a Presidential election. Whenever the incumbent party was defeated, the Post Office would move to a new store where the postmaster belonged to the victorious party. It would be unheard of today, but in the days before telephones, there were three postal deliveries each day: at 8 a.m., 12 noon, and 5 p.m. Cards could be mailed at 8 a.m telling a relative or friend of a planned visit for that same afternoon.

The flood of 1955 ruined the old swimming hole in the Paulinskill that had been a source of much entertainment during summers. Ice was harvested each winter from the old ice pond in East Stillwater when the farmers would get together to harvest the ice that was used to cool the milk in the summer months. The ice was also used to make ice cream.

The land itself reminds us all of our heritage. Wonderful homes, some with stately farm buildings and quaint privies, lime I and the stone walls found along the roads are all treasures to be admired and preserved. We are hopeful that our beautiful township of Stillwater can maintain the peace, beauty and charm of the early years.

Historical Society of Stillwater Township


Alford, Alston, Anness, Archer, Armstrong, Ayres, Babbitt, Backer, Beach, Beaver, Bell, Bentley, Bernhardt, Berrien, Berthoud, Bird, Blair, Boenning, Bowman, Broadley, Brown, Budd, Bunn, Bunting, Burbank, Burr, Candee, Cary, Casterline, Castner, Clark, Cole, Comes, Condit, Cook, Cooper, Copeland, Coursen, Cox, Cramer, Crane, Davis, Day, Deazley, DeGroot, Denis, De Noyles, Dobbins, Donelly, Doren, Doughty, Drake, Dunlop, Durfee, Dusnberry, Edwards, Ellermeyer, Ely, Endean, Evans, Fairchild, Fear, Finley, Fisher, Forman, Freeman, Fildersleeve, Golden, Gordon, Grant, Green, Greenmyer, Gruendyke, Gunn, Gustin, Hahn, Haines, Halsey, Hamner, Hankinson, Hardin, Harris, Hart, Havens, Hay, Hays, Hazard, Hazen, Hendric, Holloway, Hooker, Hopkins, Hopping, Huff, Hulbert, Hunt, Jacoby, Jarden, Johnson, Kampen, Kealer, Kennedy, Kerr, Kierstead, Killgore, Kimber, Kirzel, Kishbaugh, Koch, Kretschmann, Lambias, Larey, Linn, Little, Logan, Losey, Love, Lowery, Lyman, Lyon, MacMillan, Madoc, Marcellis, Marriner, Marsh, Marshall, Martin, Marvin, McCarter, McCord, McFarland, McGahan, McNair, Menagh, Miller, Mosson, Morris, Morrison, Noyes, Owen, Park, Parseon, Pellet, Pendreigh, Perron, Post, Prichard, Primrose, Pruden, Rea, Redding, Reed, Rice, Richards, Rorke, Ross, Roy, Ryerson, Sanderson, Syre, Schaeffer, Shaffer, Shafer, Shaver, Schlegel, Scott, Scripture, Searles, Sharp, Sharpe, Shotwell, Simpson, Slockbower, Smillie, Smith,Snell, Stewart, Stiner, Stinson, Sutphin, Terry, Thayer, Thompson, Timmerman, Trask, Trowbridge, Turner, Vail, Van Camp, Van Deren, Van Horn, Van Syckel, Vought, Walsh, Walton, Ward, Webb, Welsh, Wheatley, Whitaker, White, Whyte, Wilkie, Wilson, Winter, Woodruff, Wright