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Ford’s Gun Powder Mill on the Whippany
September 23, 2020 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm$3 – $6
History and culture will be celebrated when the Morris County Historical Society offers hikes along Patriots’ Path to the archaeological site of Jacob Ford Jr.’s Powder Mill along the Whippany River on Wednesday, Sept. 23, at 11 a.m.
MCHS’s history with the Powder Mill stretches to 1969, before the formal acquisition of Acorn Hall, back to a time when the installation of Route 287 was looming heavily over the area. Without knowing the exact location of the archaeological site and fearing its destruction as the roadway progressed, then-MCHS President Alex Fowler initiated to find and document the site. Fowler, working with Fred and Isabel Bartenstein and archaeologist Edward Lenik, located the site and several key artifacts, including a wrought iron pit rake, used to stir coals.
The Bartenstein’s book, “New Jersey’s Revolutionary War Powder Mill,” chronicles the climate, legal paperwork, and history of Ford’s Mill while lending insight into the investigations completed and artifacts found. Copies are available in the Gallery Gift Shop.
The hike will be led by MCHS Executive Director Amy Curry. Topics will include the founding and operation of the mill, the role it played locally during the Revolutionary War, and our current plans to learn more about the site, get it nationally recognized, and increase public awareness of this little known, but very important local historic resource. Visitors will walk about one-quarter of a mile from Acorn Hall to the site of the mill and return. Hikes are $6 for adults and $5 for seniors, and last about an hour.