About Tinton Falls NJ

Tinton Falls has a history as intriguing and important as many of Monmouth County's more prominent historic areas. Think Allaire's 19th century ironworks is interesting? Tinton Falls had one in the 17th century!

The village at Tinton Falls was first settled shortly after the 1665 issuance of the Monmouth Patent, probably by James Grover, one of the original patentees. Grover realized that the abundant local bog iron, combined with forests to supply wood for charcoal and the water power of the falls, added up to an opportunity for him. He and some unknown associates established an ironworks.

The venture must have required more capital than Grover and his partners anticipated, for Grover mortgaged half of the ironworks in 1674, then sold his half interest to one Lewis Morris in 1675. Lewis Morris apparently had the means and political connections to make the ironworks a success. He expanded and invested in the enterprise, even obtaining a seven-year tax exemption.

A 1676 map of the tract shows the forge and other buildings associated with the ironworks, as well as a grist mill, operated by Bartholomew Applegate. Apparently there was some problem with operating the corn mill in such close proximity to the ironworks, for in 1683 Applegate turned his property over to Lewis Morris in exchange for another 200 acre parcel of land nearby.

The Tinton Manor ironworks was a very important early industrial enterprise in New Jersey; the first ironworks to be established in this area, and one of the earliest in the colonies. Morris invested heavily in the venture, the largest capital investment in any ironworks before 1700. Tinton Manor was probably the first colonial ironworks to be equipped with machinery made in the colonies. Of about a dozen ironworks built in 17th century North America, it was the only one in the area south of New England to have reached the production stage.


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