There are many historic locations in Hillsborough but we had to choose sites that were easily accessible and safe for letterboxes.

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Location 1 - Old Millstone Forge

Old Millstone Forge was the longest operating blacksmith shop in America. This blacksmith shop continued to operate until the death of Edward H. Wyckoff in 1959. He was the last blacksmith who served for 64 years. After the building was restored in the 1960s by residents in the area, it became an operating blacksmith shop and history museum run by the Millstone Forge Association.

Source: Somerset County Tourism

Location 2 - Bloomingdale School

On the evening of April 3, 1928, Hillsborough and Manville residents packed the little one-room Bloomingdale School on Amwell Road near the intersection of today's Route 206 to hear what the school board was going to do about the "Manville problem" - especially since they had just learned that because of the board's inaction the state was withholding the final school aid payment for the year. After a summer spent sorting out legal problems, the school board met on November 8 to award contracts for a new eight-room school in Manville, a four-room addition to School 1, and a new four-room schoolhouse at Bloomingdale. Construction took place throughout 1929 on the lot just behind the one-room school, which was torn down. More than 150 people attended a reception for the new "Central School" soon after it opened in September 1929. All hailed the school for its thoroughly modern facilities. The pairs of classrooms at the left and right of the building could be opened up and combined to make larger rooms for activities. The school was in regular use until 1950 when the consolidated school (HES) was built next door.

Source: Gillette on Hillsborough

Location 3 - Neshanic Reformed Church

Members of the Dutch Reformed faith in Hillsborough Township who had been variously "alienated and excommunicated" and split among different congregations in Harlingen and Readington desired to reconcile and form a new congregation closer to home. On the 25th of August, 1752, church elders met at Readington to hear the petition for a new congregation with a church to be built somewhere along Amwell Road. Permission was granted to form the Neshanic Dutch Reformed Church, and by October 11 a site was chosen. It wasn't until 1760, however, that a deed to the property - consisting of one acre of land with a dwelling on a knoll on the north side of the road - was obtained. Surviving account books show us that work on the church actually began a year earlier, in 1759. Trenches were dug for the foundation, and enormous amounts of stone were cut and hauled from the Sourland Mountain. It is likely that services were held in the church before the interior was complete in 1772. Today, the Neshanic Reformed Church is the centerpiece of Hillsborough's Neshanic Historic District, entered on the National and State Historic Registers in 1979.

Source: Gillette on Hillsborough

Location 4 - Woodfern Bridge

The Woodfern Road Bridge across the South Branch of the Raritan River is significant for engineering and method of construction (Criterion C). Built in 1902, the Pratt thru truss with its nearly identical companion truss to the north are the youngest of 4 surviving pin-connected Pratt thru-truss highway bridges built in Somerset County between 1885 and 1902, and the 9th youngest of 10 surviving thru trusses of all types. The Woodfern Road bridges retain integrity of design and has been in continuous use at the present site since the time of its construction. This crossing was an important link in the rural transportation network. The two trusses at Woodfern Road Bridge were built under two separate contracts by the same builder, John W. Scott, a small, locally-active bridge manufacturer from Flemington. Scott appears to be typical of many small bridge builders who remain largely anonymous to history except for the bridge's they built, making the Woodfern Road bridges all the more significant.

Source: Historic Bridges

Location 5 - Elm Street Bridge

This is one of two lenticular, or parabolic truss, bridges in the state of New Jersey. The bridge displays the shape and details of its patent holding builder, Berlin Iron Bridge Company of Connecticut, who successfully marketed this design nationally. The bridge, which consists of two spans and is 285 feet in length, retains its historical integrity and original design. It carries County Route 567 over the river and is a major road link in the western part of the county.

Source: Somerset County Tourism

Location 6 - Opie/River Road Bridge

This two-span, six-panel, riveted Pratt pony truss bridge is one of the least altered of over 15 pony trusses built between ca. 1900 and 1927, and it is the only rivet-connected one in the county. It is a well-preserved example of a historically and technologically significant type that is becoming increasingly rare. The riveted Pratt was not a common 20th-century pony truss type which adds to its historic value. The original bridge was built by Dover Boiler Works in 1921 and rehabilitated truss members were used in the bridge replacement in 2005.

Source: Historic Bridges

Location 7 - South Branch Reformed Church

Around 1830 the inhabitants of Branchville, now known as South Branch, decided they needed a church of their own. It was not until 1842 when a committee was formed to discuss the plausibility regarding the Reformed Church of South Branch. Finally, on the 17th of December, 1849, several Dutch immigrants traveled to and located at the schoolhouse across the river in Ancient Branchburg. They accepted 58 families who were committed to joining an assemblage connected to the Dutch Reformed denomination. This church still stands today, it plays a significant role in many people’s lives and the people of Hillsborough still come to this church every Sunday.

Source: Gillette on Hillsborough

Location 8 - Seedlings (original Mary Mother of God church)

On Sunday, July 12, 1931, one thousand people - including various councils of the Knights of Columbus and twenty assorted clergymen - witnessed the dedication ceremonies of the newly-renamed Catholic Church of Mary, the Mother of God. This was the first Catholic Parish in Hillsborough. Monsignor James T. Mckean of Bernardsville delivered the sermon from the front steps of the church. Until 1948 Mary, Mother of God was not its own parish, but rather a mission church directed by the parish of Immaculate Conception. This church, now Seedlings Preschool, was the first Catholic church in Hillsborough, making it a predominant and well-known historic landmark.

Source: Gillette on Hillsborough

Location 9 - Original Municipal Building

The Original Municipal Building stood where the Hillsborough Public works still stands today at the intersection of South Branch and East Mountain Road. Lord Hillsborough was the founder of Hillsborough and he would often meet with other officials to discuss the split from Montgomery in 1771 at this building, which back then was known as Jacobs Tavern. This tavern is where Lord Hillsborough and other officals signed the documents to officially create the town we live in today, Hillsborough.

Source: Gillette on Hillsborough Hillsborough Content (cnhillsborough.blogspot.com)

Location 10 - Current Municipal Building - Famous Women

  • Silvia Dubois: Silvia was born about 1788 in the tavern owned by Richard Compton just north of Rock Mills in Hillsborough Township, NJ. Silvia's mother, Dorcas, was a slave belonging to Compton, whose name she took and used throughout her life. Silvia was only fourteen when she walked the 152-mile trek with the Dubois family to Great Bend. Silvia had many masters but was freed by Dominicus Dubois after she delivered a mighty blow to his wife. She walked the 152 miles back to Flagtown and ran the tavern at Rock Mills owned by her maternal grandfather - a freed slave named Harry Compton. Still drinking and smoking her clay pipe well into her 90s, Silvia deigned to allow herself to be exhibited as a curiosity at the state fair at the Waverly fairgrounds in Elizabeth in 1887. She lived to be 100 years old with full of freedom to the end.

  • Anna Case: When operatic soprano Anna Case made her debut with the Metropolitan in 1909, much was made of the fact that she was the first American singer to appear with the famed company never having had any training in Europe. This fact only added to the fascination people had with the twenty-one-year-old daughter of the South Branch, NJ village blacksmith. Before long, syndicated feature stories began to appear in the pages of newspapers across the country. Anna Case belongs to a group which includes Frankie Valli and Bruce Springsteen - singers for whom the New Jersey of their youth became an essential element of their larger-than-life stories.

  • Doris Duke: Doris Duke was an American billionaire socialite and philanthropist, who was also the only child of James Buchanan Duke, a tobacco tycoon. She worked as a news correspondent for a short while and also traveled extensively. She preserved more than 80 heritage buildings in Newport and created one of America’s biggest indoor horticultural gardens. Most people in Hillsborough know of her home that she stayed at the most, Duke Farms. When, Doris Duke died in October 1993 at the age of 80, she left the majority of her estate to the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation.

  • In 1969, Marian Fenwick became the first woman elected to the township committee, and was chosen as the first female mayor in January 1972. Marian's term on the township committee, 1970-1972, overlapped with one of her two terms on the school board, making her the only township official to serve concurrently in the posts - a practice that was eventually outlawed. One of Marian's proudest moments in her public life was to have been an elected official during Hillsborough's bicentennial celebration in May 1971. For Marian, the preservation of the history of Hillsborough was of the utmost importance - she had no use for longtime residents who couldn't tell you where Clover Hill was located, or on which corner you could have found Woods Tavern.