Historical Society of Rockaway Township

Rockaway Township Public Library

The Blue Tour

Saturday, May 4, 2024
12pm to 5pm

Rockaway Township Public Library

Historical Society of Rockaway Township

Rockaway Township Public Library

For information on events, click on the website below:

Facebook: Historical Society of Rockaway Township

Rockaway Township, incorporated in 1844, is the largest municipality in Morris County. Encompassing an area of 45.89 square miles, it was originally part of Hanover and Pequannock Townships. The name “Rockaway” came from the Lenni Lenape Native American tribe who, in 1715 negotiated a land grant with William Penn. Rockaway Township’s rich iron ore heritage impacted our nation’s history from the 1700s to the 1970s. The Mount Hope and Hibernia mines and forges, owned by notable iron masters and patriots, John Jacob Faesch and Lord Stirling, provided General George Washington and the Continental Army with cannon balls, shot, as well, as cooking stoves and utensils. The Ford-Faesch iron master’s house c.1772 is on the NJ and National Registers of Historic Places and is being restored with grants and support from Morris County Historic Trust, Morris County Historical Preservation Trust, Rockaway Township and HSRT.

As the iron industry declined during the 1800s, other industries developed, including major employers Picatinny Arsenal, Reaction Motors and Shamoon Industries. During the 1940s – 50s, Rockaway Township’s many lakes became a destination for vacationers from nearby urban areas. Telemark, Green Pond and White Meadow Lake soon became year-round communities.

The Bicentennial Quilt, sewn by women ages 13 to 80, is comprised of 40 squares. It celebrates Rockaway Township’s vibrant past and diverse ethnicity. The quilt was donated to the HSRT in 1976.

Walk across the Library parking lot to the Rockaway Township Municipal building to view an original iron ore car from the Beach Glen Mine in operation, on and off, from 1808 – 1930.

This year's Pathways tour features topics of discussion established annually by the New Jersey Historical Commission (NJHC).