Warren County Community College To Watchung Reservation (New Jersey)

Warren County Community College. This two-year, public, coeducational institution of higher education is located in Washington Township. The school was founded in 1981 after a decade of planning by county officials. Classes began during the fall of i982 and were conducted at local high schools before a central campus was established four years later. Warren County Community College has state approval to issue associate degrees, and the first diplomas were granted in 1988. The Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools granted the school accreditation status in 1993. The present site of the seventy-five-acre campus hosts an average student body of fifteen hundred per semester.

Warwick, Dionne (b. Dec. 12, 1940). Singer. Born in East Orange, Dionne Warwick sang in the choir of Newark’s New Hope Baptist Church and in the local groups the Gospelaires (also featuring her cousin Cissy Houston, mother of Whitney Houston) and the Drinkard Singers. While doing session work in New York, she met Burt Bacharach, who, with song-writing partner Hal David, would write most of her hits. From 1963 to 1970, she was a constant presence on the pop charts, with Bacharach-David songs like "Walk On By,” "Alfie,” "I Say a Little Prayer,” "Message to Michael,” "I’ll Never Fall in Love Again,” and "Do You Know the Way to San Jose?” Her sophisticated phrasing and cool bearing proved perfect for the Bacharach-David songwriting style, which featured winding melodies, conversational lyrics, and orchestral arrangements. Later hits would include "Then Came You,” a 1974 collaboration with the Spinners, and "That’s What Friends Are For,” a i985 single also featuring Elton John, Stevie Wonder, and Gladys Knight, which benefited the American Foundation for AIDS Research. Warwick made a questionable career move in the i990s, filming infomercials for the Psychic Friends Network (which made predictions over the phone, for a fee), but remains a classy, almost regal presence in concerts.

Emanuel Leutze, Washington Crossing the Delaware, 1851. Oil on canvas, 149 x 255 in.

Emanuel Leutze, Washington Crossing the Delaware, 1851. Oil on canvas, 149 x 255 in.

Washington, George (b. Feb. ii, 1732; d. Dec. 14, 1799). Revolutionary War general and U.S. president. New Jersey’s role as a battlefield of the Revolutionary War was the context in which George Washington left his greatest mark on the state. From November i3 until December 8, i776, Washington conducted his troops in retreat from New York across New Jersey and into Pennsylvania. On the night of December 25-26 he recrossed the Delaware River to victory at Trenton, and on January 3, i777, he commanded at Princeton before retiring to winter quarters at Morristown. Washington kept winter quarters at Morristown from January to May i777 and from December 1779 until June 1780. In 1777, Washington stayed at Jacob Arnold’s tavern on the public square; in 1779-1780 he occupied a mansion formerly owned by Jacob Ford.

After maneuvering in New Jersey in the summer of 1777 to avoid British attempts to draw him into a general engagement, Washington left the state in August for the campaign that was to culminate at Valley Forge, Pennsylvania. He returned to New Jersey in June i778 as the British withdrew from Philadelphia, fighting a bloody but inconclusive battle with the British rear guard at Monmouth Court House on June 28. Although Monmouth was the last major engagement in New Jersey, Washington established winter quarters at Middlebrook from December i778 until June i779 (staying at John Wallace’s house, four miles from the town), and spent much of the summer and autumn of i780 near the Falls of the Passaic River, making his headquarters in Theunis Day’s mansion. From August to November i783 Washington waited for the end of the war with his wife at Margaret Berrien’s Rockingham estate at Rocky Hill, near Princeton.

Washington’s last significant visit to New Jersey came on the way to his presidential inauguration in New York in April 1789, at which time he received public praise from the ladies of Trenton, the president and faculty of Princeton College, and citizens of other towns.

Washington’s wartime campaigns in New Jersey left an indelible mark on local folklore, where legends of the great man abound; for Washington himself, the New Jersey campaigns were crucial to the development of his national reputation.

Washington, George Constant (b. 1871; d. Mar. 29,1946). Inventor. George Constant Washington was a Belgian chemist who created the powder for making America’s first instant coffee in 1910. His product was called G. Washington Coffee. In 1926, Washington, then fifty-five, moved his G. Washington Coffee Refining Company operation from Brooklyn to Morris Plains and, a year later, opened a factory in the Morris County borough. In 1945, Washington, who lived in Mendham, retired and sold his company to American Home Foods, a division of American Home Products. After his death on March 29, 1946, his product survived thirteen years until a subsidiary of the Coca-Cola Company bought the site in 1959. Soon after, G. Washington Coffee disappeared from the shelves.

Washington, Sara Spencer (b. June 6, 1889; d. Mar. 23,1953). Businesswoman. In 1913, Sara Spencer Washington owned a one-room beauty shop in Atlantic City, and by 1946 had created a $500,000 business—Apex News and Hair Company in Atlantic City—with beauty colleges in twelve states, as well as in Johannesburg, South Africa, and the Caribbean Islands, graduating four thousand students a year. She has been called one of the most important business executives in the black community. Washington was a pioneer in promotional techniques; she established a public relations department that worked with African American organizations to support black-owned businesses throughout the country.

More than seventy-five beauty products were manufactured in Washington’s Atlantic City Apex plant. She had her own delivery system using a fleet of company trucks and cars. Her company employed 215 men and women as chemists, lab technicians, office workers, sales representatives, and chauffeurs, as well as 45,000 agents. Some of her other properties included a drugstore in Atlantic City, Apex Farm, and Apex Rest, a fifteen-room recreation center primarily for her employees. Washington also published a national magazine, the Apex News, for Apex beauticians and agents.

At times Washington was affiliated with Father Divine (George Baker), a flamboyant religious leader of the 1930s and 1940s, and was often seen at his "banquets,” the low-cost meals with songs and sermons he served at missions in New York and Philadelphia. Father Divine supported her belief in racial solidarity for black businesspeople, and after Washington purchased Divine’s Hotel Brig-antine on Brigantine Island, New Jersey, assuming the unpaid taxes, this hotel became the site of the first integrated beachfront in the Atlantic City area.

Active in politics, Washington served as an Atlantic City committeewoman for several years and also as a delegate to the Republican national convention. In 1939, Washington was awarded a medallion at the New York World’s Fair. She received a citation for meritorious service during World War II, as secretary and treasurer of the New Jersey Welfare Commission on the Conditions of the Urban Colored Population, and as assistant public director of the Atlantic City Welfare Association. She received many other awards from schools, organizations, and businesses nationwide.

After she died, the bulk of her estate, valued at over $1 million, was left to her adopted daughter.

Washington Association of New Jersey. Four private citizens, including former governor Theodore Randolph, founded the Washington Association of New Jersey in March 1874 in Morristown. There, the previous year, Randolph had purchased at auction the Ford Mansion, Washington’s headquarters during the bitter winter of 17791780. After failing to convince the state to reimburse them and run the house as a historic site, the founders formed a company to preserve the Ford Mansion and operate it as a museum. They embarked on a vigorous acquisition program and built a large collection of colonial and Revolutionary War artifacts and documents. In 1933 the trustees and stockholders voted to donate Washington’s headquarters and its collections to the National Park Service. On March 3, 1933, President Herbert Hoover signed legislation to accept the association properties, along with Jockey Hollow and Fort Nonsense lands, and so created the first national historical park in the country.

The association continues its mission to support the Morristown National Historical Park in the preservation and interpretation of this Revolutionary War site, as well as to honor the contribution of Washington and his troops to the cause of independence. It subsidizes the park’s development fund and is its official advisory body. The association sponsors educational programs, lectures, symposia, and related publications.

Washington Borough. 1.95-square-mile borough in Warren County. In 1868 Washington was created from the most populated section in the center of Washington Township. It was named after the Washington House, a brick tavern. As a commercial and industrial complex, the borough owed its early growth to the railroads, and to the organ and piano manufacturers and their related mail-order sales. Highly promoted by Daniel F. Beatty, Joseph Cornish, and others, Washington was the self-proclaimed "organ capital of the world.” By the end of World War I, the music makers were out of business. In 1919 the Pohatcong Hosiery Company began operation, employing a work force of 600 who made silk, then nylon, stockings. It closed its doors in 1948 because of labor difficulties. Tung Sol Electric replaced the hosiery mill; in the decade following the 1950s, it employed 900 people who produced radio and television tubes. Downtown Main Street, a shopping area for farm families, dwindled with the coming of the malls. Washington is now a residential community. The site of the 1900s railroad station is on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places.

According to the 2000 census, the population of 6,712 was 91 percent white. The median household income was $47,000.

Washington Crossing State Park. This 1,773-acre state park, established in 1912 and situated along the Delaware River in Mercer County about eight miles north of Trenton, preserves the site where George Washington and the Continental Army crossed the river from Pennsylvania en route to attacking the British at Trenton on December 26, 1776. Preserved in the park is the Johnson Ferry House, an early eighteenth-century farmhouse and tavern where Washington and his officers probably spent time on the night of the river crossing. The park also features a large nature preserve and a headquarters building that displays the Swan Historical Foundation Collection, containing more than seven hundred original American Revolution military objects from the years 1745 to 1789.

Washington Township (Bergen County). 2.96-square-mile township. The Lenape Indians and the Dutch were the earliest inhabitants of the area known today as Washington Township. The Dutch cultivated apple trees, and the area was known for its apple cider. In 1840, when Washington Township broke away from the township of Harrington, its territory stretched from the Hackensack River to the Saddle River. Between 1894 and 1906, however, many settlements in the township became independent municipalities, until Washington was only one-tenth of its original size.

Prominent among the early industries was the Kent sawmill and chair factory, in operation from 1857 to the 1930s. The Kents manufactured Hitchcock, Windsor, fan-back, ladder-back, and bamboo chairs, as well as steamer chairs for the Ocean Comfort Company. Beuerlein’s Home of Flowers took over the Kent property in 1918, and raised 300,000 cut flowers annually, in fourteen greenhouses. The housing market flourished in the twentieth century as Washington became a suburban community. In 1957 the Thruway Feeder Road, linking the Garden State Parkway with the New York State Thruway, was opened through the center of the township.

Washington Township (Burlington County). 107.32-square-mile township in the southwestern part of the county, along the border of Atlantic County, with the Mullica River serving as a natural boundary. Washington Township was first established in 1802, from parts of Evesham and Northampton townships in Burlington County, and Little Egg Harbor Township in Atlantic County. Portions of its landmass were given up at various junctures of the 1800s to create or realign the borders of Bass River, Shamong, and Woodland townships. It shares the distinction of simultaneously being one of Burlington County’s geographically largest and least populous townships. More than half its area consists of portions of the Penn, Green Bank, and Wharton state forests. One of southern New Jersey’s most historic locales, the village of Batsto, is within the township. This was the site of a furnace and foundry built in 1765 that produced cannonballs and other bog-iron products for the Continental Army, and was once the target of a British naval operation. It exists today as a restored state historic site. Principal villages along the Mullica River are Green Bank and Lower Bank. The township’s leading agricultural product is cranberries, with one of the largest bog and processing complexes along county Route 563 owned by the Haines family.

The 2000 population of 621 was 84 percent white, 3 percent black, and 17 percent Hispanic (Hispanics may be of any race). The median household income was $41,250.

Washington Township (Gloucester County). 21.49-square-mile township. When incorporated in 1836, farmers made up a large majority of the population of Washington Township, and by 1885, the township had more than two hundred farms. Some of the early settlers include the Heritage family, who began the Heritage Dairy Farm Stores, and the Bell family, who turned the township’s 139-year-old gristmill into General Mills. The mill was destroyed by a fire in 1963. Though farmers dominated the population at the time of incorporation, American Indians were the first to make this area their home. The township’s oldest community, Grenloch Terrace, originated as a thriving Lenape Indian village called Tetamekon. Twenty other American Indian encampments exist within township borders, comprising twenty-one American Indian sites and burial grounds. Today, Washington Township includes the communities of Turnersville, Hurffville, Grenloch, Cross Keys, Mayfair, Bunker Hill, and Chapel Heights. Farming continues in these communities, along with retail, healthcare, professional, and corporate businesses.

In 2000, the population of 47,114 was 90 percent white. The median household income was $66,546.

Washington Township (Mercer County). 20.5-square-mile municipality. Although first settled by European immigrants in the seventeenth century, the township was not incorporated until 1859. It was formed from the southern part of East Windsor Township, after the Camden and Amboy railroad had spurred growth in the region. The two principal settlements are Robbinsville (formerly Newtown, before that Hungry Hill) and Windsor (originally Magrilla, and then Centerville). Farms predominated in the area until World War II; residential growth in the years since has been rapid. In 1875 the Pennsylvania Railroad took over from the Camden and Amboy. It was followed by Conrail until it discontinued service in the 1980s. Today Interstate 195 and the New Jersey Turnpike link the township to New York City and Philadelphia. State Routes 130 and 33 link to Trenton, Bor-dentown, and New Brunswick. The Trenton-Robbinsville Airport is among the state’s ten largest, and is home to a pilots’ school. While half the township’s 13,250 acres is still agriculture-based, another one-fourth is residential, with predominately single-family homes. Only 3 percent is zoned commercial.

The 2000 population of 10,275 was 91 percent white. The median household income was $71,377.

Washington Township (Morris County). 32.7-square-mile township set off from Roxbury Township in 1798. The South Branch of the Raritan River flows through the town, and the Musconetcong River forms its northwestern border. The ample water-power drove many lumber and grain mills in the nineteenth century. Iron mining was also an important industry. Most notable was Schooley’s Mountain, site of one of the oldest summer resorts in the United States. A famous therapeutic mineral spring led to the construction of two large nineteenth-century resort hotels, now gone. The township includes many open spaces, including Schooley’s Mountain Park (which preserves the resort sites and spring) and Hacklebarney State Park. Agriculture has always been an important activity, and Long (formerly German) Valley includes many farms that have been entered in the state farmland preservation program.

In 2000, the population of 17,592 was 96 percent white. The median household income was $97,763.

Washington Township (Warren County). 17.9-square-mile rural township. Washington was separated from Mansfield Township in 1849. (At that time the borough of the same name was still a part of the township.) Among the historically important villages of Washington Township are Changewater, Pleasant Valley, Bowerstown, Brass Castle, Port Colden, and Imlydale, which is on both the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places. The township relied on its waterways for its early growth. The fast-moving Musconetcong River furnished power for industrial mills, especially the earliest county forge at Changewater. The old Morris Canal brought markets and prosperity to busy inland port villages such as Bowers-town and Port Colden. Despite the arrival of the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western Railroad and the Central Railroad of New Jersey in the mid-nineteenth century and the construction of nearby Routes I-80 and I-78, the villages have settled back into historic residential communities. The land remains rural, with dairy and produce farming as its main source of income. Its fertile lands have recently begun to disappear into ever-expanding pockets of residential developments, whose population commutes to jobs outside the area. The township is the home of Warren County Community College.

The 2000 population of 6,248 was 96 percent white. The median household income was $77,458.

Watchmaking. Evidence suggests that watchmaking in New Jersey dates as far back as the mid-nineteenth century. Several watchmaking businesses from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries stand out. One of the most successful was the Keystone Watch Case Company, organized in 1899 in Philadelphia. Keystone controlled the New York Standard Watch Company in Jersey City; the Crescent Watch Case Company in Newark; and the Philadelphia Watch Case Company at Riverside. From 1907 to 1921, Charles and Robert Ingersoll’s Trenton Watch Company manufactured millions of watches, and exported their product to London. The company failed in 1921, however, when the Ingersolls could no longer hold their watch price to one dollar apiece. The United States Watch Company, established in 1864 in Marion—now Jersey City—made only twenty watches a day the year it was founded, but by 1871, it had doubled its staff and increased production fivefold.

Henry Abbott, a resident of East Orange, was another prominent watchmaker. Working in Newark, Harrison, and New York City between 1850 and 1893, he had more than forty patents for interchangeable watch movements, stem winding devices, color enameling of watch dials, and other production details. In 1888, Abbott invented the calculagraph for measuring the passage of time. New Jerseyans also held important patents for watchmaking innovations. F. A Giles of Jersey City held one for a mainspring barrel; the Holley Watch Company of Jersey City had several for duplex watches; and A. Milne of Newark held one for a watch crown.

Watchmaking created an offshoot industry, the printing of watchpapers. The earliest in the country was perhaps pulled from the press of Hugh Gaine of New York City in 1757; sometime around 1730 they had made their first appearance in England. Watchpa-pers are round pieces of paper designed to act as padding between the two cases of pocket watches or inside the back of a watch case. Typically, they are highly ornamented with decorative flourishes, portraits, and illustrations, and they always contain the name and address of a watchmaker or jeweler. For example, the watchpaper used by J. Giles of Trenton shows a cherub holding Giles’s shop sign, and instructions for regulating the speed of the watch encircle the vignette.

Watchung. 6.2-square-mile borough in Somerset County. First settled by Europeans in the early decades of the seventeenth century, the community takes its name from the Watchung Mountains in which it nestles. Wacht unlis means "high hills” in the Munsee dialect.

Primarily a residential town of large, single-family homes on heavily wooded sites, civic activity centers on Watchung Lake, an artificial body of water formerly used to harvest ice and now owned by the borough. Other town features include Wilson Memorial Church, a landmark since 1890, and the Somerset Street Gap through the First Watchung Mountain. It was once the site of copper mines and a vast traprock quarry, and, until washed away in a 1973 flood, picturesque Wetumpka Falls. Moldenke’s Castle was one of the borough’s most peculiar homes, a forty-two-room poured-concrete mansion on Valley Road that took thirty years to build. At the foot of the mountains lies the bustling Route 22 corridor, with several major shopping centers and the Mount Saint Mary Academy, opened in 1908. Formerly known as Browestown and Washing-tonville, the borough was formed from North Plainfield Township by referendum on April 20,1926.

The population in 2000 of 5,613 residents was 84 percent white and 10 percent Asian. The median household income was $101,944.

Watchung Mountains. The Watchung Mountains consist of three curvilinear ridges in northeastern New Jersey that are composed of basalt, a resistant igneous extrusive rock. They resulted from early Jurassic volcanic activity in the Newark Basin rift zone about 190 to 200 million years ago. Although they are called mountains, most of the ridges have elevations of only 400 to 500 feet. However, the Watchungs stand out as prominent ridges over the less resistant shales and sandstones in the surrounding lowlands. During the Revolutionary War, Washington’s Continental Army was able to use the Watchungs as a refuge while the British occupied the lowlands. Since then they have been extensively quarried for crushed stone at a number of locations.


Watchung Reservation. A2,000-acre park operated by the Union County Department of Parks and Recreation, the reservation falls within Mountainside, Scotch Plains, Summit, and Berkeley Heights. Settled in the mid-i600s by miners from Cornwall, England, the land was later owned by the Wilcocks family, who ran a gristmill and a lumber mill. A small cemetery plot with four gravestones dating to the 1700s is the only evidence of the earliest settlers. The reservation contains numerous marked and maintained hiking, nature, and bridle trails (not open to bicycles) and is home to the Trailside Nature and Science Center, which contains a visitor center, museum— reputedly the state’s first nature center—and planetarium. It is also the site of an 1840s mill village, Feltville, which became the resort community of Glenside Park in the 1880s and is today known as the Deserted Village, where many original buildings still stand.

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