Feltville Historic District, Berkeley Heights

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The Feltville Historic District, located in the Watchung Reservation in Berkeley Heights, Union County, New Jersey, United States, is a historic area which contains several buildings dating to the 18th century. It is known locally as "The Deserted Village."The district includes eight houses, a church, a carriage house, and a general house. Over the years the "deserted village of Feltville" was a mill town, a farming community, and a summer resort. Only three families remain as permanent residents, while the remainder of the site is open to visitors who wish to learn of its history or to simply enjoy the forested surroundings. In 1980 it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.HistoryThe first settler of this area was Peter Willcox, an Englishman who moved here from Long Island about 1736. The area then was a frontier. He built a sawmill, but it was demolished as more people came to the area.David Felt, a businessman in Boston, Massachusetts, decided to move to New York City in 1825. By 1844, the production of his mill could not grow fast enough to meet the demands of the merchants he supplied, so Felt began to look for land in New Jersey on which to build a second factory. Eventually he bought land from the descendants of Peter Willcox, and in two years, he had built a mill on Blue Brook, two dams for the mill, and a town for the workers in the mill. He named this new town “Feltville”. Within the little town, Felt gained the nickname of "King David", for he required the residents to attend services in the churchhouse and their children to attend classes in a one-room schoolhouse.
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Feltville Historic District Reviews
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  • Feltville Historic District hosts a haunted hayride that takes you though the woods and past the old houses. It it not only spooky but informative at the same time! There is an old cemetery in woods b...  more »
  • We love walking through the area with the old houses, cemetery and other buildings related to the history of our local area! People live in some of them and some are completely condemned and falling a...  more »
  • I live only a few minutes from here and am always surprised how quiet it is. The only time it's crowded is during some weekends. There are some old buildings left and the carriage house has been resto...  more »

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