Aviva Blog Directory » Local & Global » North America » United States » New Jersey » Eastampton

Eastampton Township, New Jersey is in Burlington County. Up until the late 1600s, the area was populated by Delaware Indians. The first European settler was Henry Stacy, who lived on a 500 acre tract until he died in 1686. At that time, a widow with five children named Sarah Parker bought the tract and raised her children there, living there for 44 years. One of her descendants, Jacob Parker bought 37 acres on the Rancocas Creek and built a dam there. He founded Parker Mills in 1790, and shortly after that, his neighbor, Thomas Merritt, wanted to get into the sawmill business. For reasons which are unclear, the two ended up involved in lawsuits until Mr. Merritt died and Mr. Parker filed for bankruptcy. In 1831, Jonathan and Samuel Shreve bought Parkers Mills. The Shreve brothers built the mills into an industrial village, and they called it Shreveville. They expanded, opening a cotton spinning and weaving factory, a spool cotton factory, and other businesses, all of which prospered until 1850, when the steam engine became popular, leading to the decline of water-powered industries in rural America. By 1854, they owed $1,000,000, and by 1858, both of the brothers were dead. For the next seven years, the property remained vacant. It was not until after the Civil War that inventor, industrialist, and politician Hezekiah Smith arrived in what would be renamed Smithville. In 1880, at the township meeting, Eastampton was incorporated.

Regular Blogs