New Jersey History January 13, 2022
by Kim Magaraci Travel Back To The 1800s By Visiting New Jersey’s Very Own Historic Village
Allaire State Park has been an important cultural site for New Jerseyans for centuries. Originally, it was sacred ceremonial ground, until the indigenous people were pushed off of their land by European settlers. It didn’t take long for the settlers to begin to the area, and by the late 1700s, a small Industrial village was established. One of New Jersey’s most charming historic villages, Allaire Village makes for a fun and unique day trip!
Today, you can visit the historic village, which has been preserved and restored. Walking around here is like taking a trip back in time.
The area now known as Allaire was first developed as a sawmill in 1750. Once bog iron was discovered in the area, it turned into a furnace known as the Williamburg Forge and then renamed the Howell Works. It took on the name Allaire in 1822, when it was purchased by James P. Allaire.
Allaire, a philathropist, wanted to build a self-supporting community village. Bog iron business was booming, and soon nearly 500 people made their homes and their lives here.
Unfortunatley for Allaire Village and its residents, the wood burning furnace industry took a few hits, and the village was forced to close by 1846.
A few residents came and went, and someone even attempted to open an inn on the site. However, the property was passed around through the Allaire family, and not much was done with it. In 1901, the village was purchased by Arthur Brisbane.
Brisbane used the houses as residences for about a decade. In the meantime, the village was used as a filming location for silent movies. He also began to rent the dilapidated buildings to Boy Scouts, who worked on restoring the area and using it as a camp. Community groups and churches pitched in to help them, and slowly, the village began to show signs of life.
The village was deeded to the state in 1941 so that it could become a park and recreation area. For a few years, it was used as a training grounds for soldiers stationed at Fort Monmouth, and in the 1950s, a substantial renovation effort began.
To this day, renovations efforts are ongoing. Visitors to Allaire Historic Village can buy cookies from the old bakery, watch blacksmiths and tinsmiths at work, and visit the general store museum. The church is even used for weddings!
Allaire Village is part of Allaire State Park. You can see park maps and check the calendar for upcoming events
on the village’s website, here.
If you’re looking to explore more of New Jersey’s historic villages,
check out this article!
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Address: Allaire Village, Wall Township, NJ 07727, USA