Explore Warren History Trail

Many of Warren County’s historic sites have coordinated plans for a self-guided county-wide tour, with family activities at each location, on the weekend of November 6-7, 2021. Join us for a weekend of fun and discovery as each stop along the trail offers something different and exciting for the whole family. Start at any site and pick up your map and guide. Mark your calendar, and keep an eye on warrenhistorytrail.org for more information!

At Ramsaysburg, trail visitors will enjoy docent tours of the grounds on Saturday, Nov. 6 and the annual Fall Festival on Sunday, Nov. 7, 10am-4pm both days.

As it approaches its bicentennial in 2024-2025, Warren County will celebrate a remarkable history as well as its reputation for the cleanest waterways and richest farmland in New Jersey. Stemming from wilderness times well before the county’s official formation through 1824 legislation, the area’s earliest settlements were in Greenwich, Oxford Furnace, and Pahaquarry. Situated at the confluence of the Delaware and Musconetcong Rivers, Greenwich was the gateway for the northward migration of Quaker, German, and Scots-Irish settlers landing at Philadelphia. Oxford Furnace’s first pioneers arrived in 1726, but real growth followed the building of the furnace in 1741, creating Warren County’s first hub of commercial activity and population growth. In 1732, Abraham Van Campen built a mill in what became the tiny village of Calno in Pahaquarry, the southernmost settlement in a chain of Dutch villages extending down the Minisink Valley from Esopus (now Kingston), New York. Warren County’s agricultural heritage, in combination with eighteenth and nineteenth century innovations in transportation and industry, are important chapters in the rural American tradition.

James Maddock Band, October 9

A rock & roll lifer, the British-born singer/songwriter has been carving his path since the 1980s with a raw, soulful voice; a storyteller’s sense of narrative; and the ability to blur the lines between folk, classic pop, and rock.

James Maddock

Since those early days in London, James has ridden the wave of a music industry that’s ebbed, flowed, peaked, and crashed. Maddock has stayed afloat throughout the entire ride, enjoying a brush with commercial success during the late 1990s — including a major-label record deal, a Top 5 AAA radio hit, and a song placement on Dawson’s Creek — before transforming himself into an independent solo artist during the decades that followed. If you’re not familiar, you’ll find Maddock’s large catalog full of great tunes on your favorite streaming outlet. More about James Maddock…

The concert will take place outdoors in the Riverside Amphitheatre. Bring a lawn chair or blanket. Picnic tables are available.  

$10 suggested donation.  Gates open at 2 pm, music begins 3 pm. Rain date is Sunday, October 10.

For directions, check the map on our home page. The property address is 140 Route 46, Delaware, NJ, located at the intersection of Ramseyburg Road and Route 46, east of the village of Delaware. From Interstate Route 80, Exit 4, take Route 46 eastbound approximately 4 miles.

Moss Henry and the Bryophytes: July 31, 2021

The band will fill the amphitheater with unrepentant Honky Tonk & Western Swing that harkens back to the days of the opry and cowboy movies. Ramsaysburg concert at the barn outdoor amphitheatre. 6pm. $10 donation suggested.. Ramseyburg Rd, and Rt 46.

Moss Henry and the Bryophytes

The concert is made possible with generous support from the Warren County Cultural and Heritage Division of the Department of Land Preservation, a partner of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

2021 Upcoming Events

July 24: Plein Air Painting.

Potluck lunch and bucolic scenery, 10 am.

July 31: Moss Henry & the Bryophytes.

Country Western swing in the amphitheater, 6pm.

August 21: The Lion King.

On the Big Screen outdoors in the amphitheater, dusk.

September 25: Riverside Rhythm.

Big band in the amphitheater, 6pm.

November 6-7: Explore Warren History Trail.

A self-guided county-wide excursion.

Ramsaysburg COVID Concert at the Barn

On August 16, 2020, the Walt Bibinger Trio (Walt on guitar with Nancy Coletti on vocals and Paul Rostock on bass) and classical harpist, Andrea Wittchen (accompanied by violinist Rebecca Brown) performed for an audience stuffed with a love for good music. The concert was produced by the Knowlton Township Historical Commission with generous support from the Warren County Cultural and Heritage Division of the Department of Land Preservation, a partner of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts.

2020 Activity Adjustments

Your friends and neighbors at the Knowlton Township Historic Commission wish you well at this difficult time. While we shelter in place, protected by Knowlton Township’s generous open space and access to nature, the inconveniences in our lives are negligible compared to the suffering borne by others during this pandemic. As heroic doctors, nurses and health care workers risk their lives to save others, social distancing seems a small burden indeed.

Ramsaysburg’s oldest surviving citizen

When society emerges from isolation our cultural institutions will change, creating new opportunities that will require more public involvement. Volunteer contributions of time, talent and energy will be critical to organizations large and small. Here in Knowlton, sustaining the beauty and character of our community’s historic resources and scenic treasures, as well as those throughout the region, will present new challenges. Consider joining the Knowlton Township Historic Commission when we resume our work together as neighbors. We look forward to that moment with hope and enthusiasm, knowing that our best work is ahead. 

Until then, many events and performances at the Ramsaysburg Historic Site won’t occur as planned, including the annual Memorial Day Flag Ceremony and Picnic and the annual Summer Concerts in the Barn series, normally presented on the last Saturday of June, July and August. Just as organizations around the world postponed programs and closed public spaces, we must also pause to allow time to recover with hope that other annual events, including the Fall Riverside Festival and Christmas in the Country, will take place later this year. 

Even as these events are put on hold, the important architectural and planning work for the full restoration of the historic Ramsaysburg Homestead will proceed. New grants awarded in 2019 will enable ongoing improvements to resume as we emerge from this difficult time.

While we will miss the solace that art, music, dance, cinema, drama and other cultural pursuits bring to our lives, know that all of us who volunteer on the Knowlton Township Historic Commission will work to provide the anchor that our heritage provides. With your help and support, we pledge to bring back the community-enriching events, exhibitions and concerts that you enjoy as soon as possible. Stay in touch, stay well and consider joining as a volunteer. Your talents and energy are crucial to our continued success.

Plein Air Painting and Photography: July 24, 2021

Plein-air artists, please join us at 10:00 am for a day of painting and photographing the beautiful views along the Delaware River, intimate woods scenes along our paths and of course the old restored buildings at Ramsaysburg Homestead. Bring your lunch and join us to dine at 12:30. This is always a fun day of painting outside and getting to meet fellow local artists. Bring your easel and paints, camera, lawn chair and any other materials you might need. Feel free to come early or stay late. 

Christmas In The Country House Tour: December 8, 2019

Featured

The Knowlton Historic Commission will sponsor the first Christmas In The Country House Tour, a self-guided tour of historic homes decorated for the holiday season, and sites of historic interest in Knowlton Township, on December 8 from 1-4pm. 

Advance tickets for the holiday house tour are available for $15 at Eventbrite.
Or admission may be purchased on the day of event for $20.

Ramsaysburg

The excursion begins at the historic Ramsaysburg Farmstead Tavern House, the prominent building fronting Route 46, where participants can collect tickets, a tour map and program and enjoy a cup of wassail and holiday refreshments any time until 2:30pm. 

Catering to both road and river traffic and commerce, the tavern and about fifty acres along the Delaware River in newly formed Knowlton Township appealed to brothers James and Adam Ramsay in 1795. The prime location, complete with a tributary cascading from the mountains into the Delaware River, held unlimited potential.Built in two parts, the building’s original portion is dated circa 1800. It is at once typical of the average construction of its era, and atypical in its form and function. Built as a tavern/store and a dwelling place, the original portion of the homestead was definitely a multi-use structure.

Delaware

In the mid 1800s, commerce at Ramsaysburg yielded to the village of Delaware, which was established by local businessman John I. Blair for the purpose of serving as a terminus for the Warren Railroad, built in the 1850s. Blair laid out the streets, and built a hotel, store and train station in 1856 that turned the town into a commercial center and a main shipping point for local agricultural products. The railroad also brought tourists to town, capitalizing on its proximity to the Delaware Water Gap, the river, and the surrounding woods and fields. The Delaware Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2003.

Historic view of Delawanna House, just north of the village of Delaware. The river is visible at the left side of the picture.

Your tour map will direct you along Valley Street past the Delaware Presbyterian Church, built in 1875. The Delaware Post Officeat 9 Clinton Street has occupied the building since 1884 without interruption, making it the oldest in New Jersey still operating in its original building. Dr. Jabez Gwinnup came to Delaware Station from Belvidere in 1816. He was the first to build a home here actually which predates the village.  The pioneer physician died at age 70 and is buried at Ramseyburg Cemetery in Knowlton. The Gwinnup House still stands today at 61 Valley Street. On Ann Street, Albert Ammerman’s blacksmith shop, which he established on property he purchased from Blair in 1866, is also still prominent in the village on Ann Street. The Delawanna House, a former summer boarding house on the outskirts of the village, will be open for inspection. Further up Delaware Road, the Silverthorne Farmhouse, built sometime before 1825, will also welcome visitors. And don’t miss a visit to the Garden State Heirloom Seed Society Museum which now occupies an old farmhouse at Delaware Lake. The museum occupies three rooms on the ground floor of the old home and includes an assembly of ingenious aides for the everyday manual tasks of a “pre-industrial” farmer, as well as artifacts that document the extensive dairy industry that characterizes the township’s agricultural heritage.

Garden State Heirloom Seed Museum

Polkville

In addition to Ramsaysburg, a number of small farming and milling villages arose late in the eighteenth century, including Centerville, Polkville, and Warrington. By the nineteenth century, each of these villages had a post office, and several had taverns. There were thirteen gristmills, seven sawmills, ten tanning vats, four distilleries and a glass manufactory. The Knowlton Presbyterian Churchwas one of the first places of worship in the historic community. The crossroads community of Polkville was named in the 1840s when then President Polk selected this vicinity for a post office. The hamlet contained a large grist mill, school, smithy shop store, tannery, tavern, and several dwellings. Two surviving nineteenth century residences on Polkville Road will open their doors for this year’s house tour.

Howell Farm at 150 Polkville Road

Hainesburg

Travelers can cross the Paulins Kill on the historic Warrington Stone Bridgenear the village of Hainesburg. Originally known as “Sodom”, the town was renamed when the post office was established, in honor of John Haines who made a liberal donation to the school district in which the village is located. John Blair acquired the land now occupied by the village in 1843 and divided it into building lots. Within a few years, there were numerous stores, shops and houses in the town. By 1880, Hainesburg had a Methodist Episcopal Church, a hotel, school, store, two blacksmith shops, three mills, and two wheelwrights. There was also, of course, a railway depot which, by 1918, was serviced by the New York, Susquehanna and Western, and the Erie-Lackawanna railroads.

The hamlet’s most prominent structure is the former Hainesburg Inn. This odd building, a combination of Italianate, Second Empire and Queen Anne styles has been adapted as an animal hospital. Across the street, Winterberrie’s Yarn Shop now occupies a former general store where you can purchase a wide variety of knitting and sewing supplies. Another stop you won’t want to miss is The Rosemary Inn, a beautifully restored farmhouse on a farm set beneath the Kittatinny Ridge just off Hainesburg River Road. And on Frog Pond Road, Jim and Cheryl Mangine will be delighted to show you around a burgeoning crop of Christmas trees at Triple Creek Farm and Nursery.

Advance tickets for the holiday house tour are available for $15 at Eventbrite. Or admission may be purchased on the day of event for $20.

The Ramsaysburg Homestead is a twelve-acre historical park along the Delaware River in Knowlton Township. The property and the structures on it—a tavern, barn, cottage, smokehouse and shed—were built from 1800 to 1870, and represent the activity that occurred at the homestead during its heyday. A natural amphitheater stretches from the historic structure to the bank of the Delaware River, a serene setting for picnics. There is walk-in access for canoes and kayak paddles on the river.

The Ramsaysburg Homestead is located on Route 46 east at the intersection with Ramseyburg Rd. in Delaware, NJ.

More Warren County Holiday Fun!

On Sunday Dec 1 and Dec 8, tour Shippen Manor, a c. 1754 ironmaster’s mansion associated with c. 1741 Oxford Furnace in Oxford, NJ.. Hear colonial and Victorian holiday customs. The Manor will be decorated for the holiday season in the Victorian tradition. In addition, visitors will be able to listen to the musical talents of Steve Miller and his dulcimer while docents discuss origins of the holiday and Victorian traditional practices. 

On December 7 and 8, make your weekend complete with a visit to the 42nd annual Hope Christmas Craft Market.

The Knowlton Twp. Historic Commission received an operating support grant from the Warren County Division of Cultural and Heritage Affairs with funds from the New Jersey Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State.