By Jeanne Dikdan Gigli
DENVILLE / MT. OLIVE
- Out of the 39 municipalities in Morris County, Denville now has a new book out about the history of its Union Hill section, published as part of the "Images of America" series by Arcadia Publishing. There are 15 other Morris County towns featured in books in this series.
Started in 1993, the series celebrates the history of towns and cities from all 50 states. Using archival photographs, each title presents the
distinctive stories from the past that shape the character of the community today.
In Denville's Union Hill, author Vito Bianco takes a proud look back at a place the Quakers called "A New Promised Land" and the
site where prospectors established iron forges. No longer a religious sanctuary or iron mecca, this southern half of Denville Township is an upscale residential area that, despite great change, maintains many of the
old homes and historic sites.
Some 200 images from the Denville Historical Society's superb collection fill the pages, providing a spectacular view of a charming community and
its people. There are photos of a one-room stone schoolhouse built in 1816, the historic Ayers-Knuth farm and family, a map by A. Vanderdonck from 1656 that shows the area of New Netherlands, later known as New
Jersey, manufacturing companies along the Den Brook and many, many more.
Proceeds from the sale of the book will go to the Denville Historical Society & Museum.
Another book from Morris County that this writer is familiar with is Mount Olive by Rita L. Hilbert, director of the Mt. Olive Public Library, that was published in 2001. It brings together the history of the two very different sections of the township - Flanders and Budd Lake. Photographs in this collection include gristmills and farms, the neighborhoods surrounding them, and the resort areas around the lake, the largest natural lake in New Jersey.
The book beautifully portrays an era and a way of life long past. Mount Olive begins with the township's earliest days and includes the recollections of longtime residents and a newcomer's delight. Royalties from this sale will be used to continue the collection, preservation and display of historical documents and artifacts at the Mt. Olive Library.