Morristown in Morris County, New Jersey — The American Northeast (Mid-Atlantic)
— Birthplace of the Telegraph —
Stephen Vail employed a large workforce to operate his Ironworks and to maintain his estate. Some of these workers lived on the property. Early views show that a number of worker houses once stood along the road forming a little village. They were simple dwellings each facing the street with a garden plot behind.
Speedwell Avenue must have been a busy place as business activity from the Ironworks and Sawmill mingled with the passing traffic to and from Morristown. Today, the road has been raised and widened burying many of the original road side features and now dominates the landscape. The archaeological remains of one of the worker houses can still be seen just off the path. It is interesting to compare the size of this tiny cellar hole, to the size of the Vail House, just up the hill.
The Changing Landscape
At Speedwell, the deep ravine cut by the Whippany River made an ideal site to build a dam and Ironworks. However, the road through the ravine, Speedwell Avenue, was steeply graded and difficult for horse drawn wagons. When the road was raised and a new bridge was built in the 1890’s, the old
Erected by Morris County Park Commission.
Location. 40° 48.825′ N, 74° 28.829′ W. Marker is in Morristown, New Jersey, in Morris County. Marker can be reached from Speedwell Avenue (U.S. 202), on the right when traveling north. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Morristown NJ 07960, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. The Factory (within shouting distance of this marker); Ford Cottage (within shouting distance of this marker); Wheel House (within shouting distance of this marker); The Homestead Farm (within shouting distance of this marker); The Granary (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); Vail House (about 300 feet away); L’Hommedieu House (about 300 feet away); Vail Homestead Farm (about 300 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Morristown.
More about this marker. A map of how the Speedwell Iron works appeared at its prime appears along the bottom of the marker.
A picture on the left of the marker contains a caption of “This 1860’s engraving shows the tri-arch stone bridge that replaced the 1848 wooden bridge shown in the larger illustration below.”
Also see . . . Historic Speedwell - "Birthplace of the Telegraph". (Submitted on June 9, 2019, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.)
Categories. • Industry & Commerce • Settlements & Settlers •
More. Search the internet for Worker Housing.
Credits. This page was last revised on June 9, 2019. This page originally submitted on June 9, 2019, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey. This page has been viewed 84 times since then. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on June 9, 2019, by Bill Coughlin of North Arlington, New Jersey.