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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Raritan in Somerset County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
 

Raritan Water Power Canal

1840

 
 
Raritan Water Power Canal Marker image. Click for full size.
By Alan Edelson, March 12, 2009
1. Raritan Water Power Canal Marker
Inscription. The potential of the Raritan River to provide waterpower for industry was recognized early. In 1840, the success of similar projects along the Passaic and Delaware Rivers prompted the Somerville Water Power Company to begin building a power canal along the north bank of the Raritan River. Unlike some other canals in New Jersey, the Raritan Water Power Canal did not transport goods and passengers, but instead provided waterpower to mills.
The Raritan Water Power Canal was completed in 1842. The Somerville Water Power Company leased waterpower and land along the canal to industry, but was heavily in debt for the expenses of initial construction. In 1863, the company reorganized as the Raritan Water Power Company and improved the dam. By 1881, the company had sold $35,000 in property along the canal, which powered seven businesses, including a gristmill, machine shop and foundry, a paint factory, flour mills, woolen mills, the Somerset Manufacturing Company and the pumping station of the Somerset Water Company. The steady wages received by the mill workers were a major factor in the economic growth of Raritan, which became a town in 1869. By the mid 20th Century, the mills had closed, and the canal was used to provide drinking water to area towns.
In the 1970s, this portion of the canal was filled, and Somerset County Park
Raritan Water Power Canal Marker image. Click for full size.
By Alan Edelson, March 12, 2009
2. Raritan Water Power Canal Marker
was built. Because of the significance to local history, on August 27, 2001, The New Jersey State Historic Preservation Office determined that the Raritan Water Power Canal Historic District is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.
 
Location. 40° 33.913′ N, 74° 38.267′ W. Marker is in Raritan, New Jersey, in Somerset County. Marker is on Canal Street, on the right when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Raritan NJ 08869, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within one mile of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Memorial to the Naraticong Indians (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); John Basilone (about 500 feet away); Nevius Street Bridge (about 500 feet away); Hibernia Mine Railroad Bridge (approx. 0.6 miles away); Jersey Central Lines (approx. mile away); The Official End Of World War I (approx. 0.9 miles away); Furman Frederick Kugler (approx. one mile away); Somerville Borough Hall (approx. one mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Raritan.
 
Categories. Industry & CommerceWaterways & Vessels
 
Raritan Water Power House image. Click for full size.
By Alan Edelson, March 12, 2009
3. Raritan Water Power House
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Alan Edelson of Union Twsp., New Jersey. This page has been viewed 1,283 times since then and 92 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on , by Alan Edelson of Union Twsp., New Jersey. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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