…What?!! 52 degress? Holy crap, let’s grab the cameras and go somewhere! And we did, one recent Saturday where Mother Nature tricked us into thinking it was April and not January. We drove north to Union County and the Watchung Reservation. There we found the Deserted Village of Feltsville. With Interstate 78 humming in the background and NYC only 35 minutes away, we were tucked into an area in the hills that was certainly on the border of the beautiful, scenic, quiet, natural part of NJ that most people don’t even know exists and the congested, noisy, fast paced, horn honking, finger flippin madness leading to the largest metropolitan area in the country that is always portrayed in movies.
David Felt created his town in 1845 on the land from the Willcock family so he could build a self sufficient manufacturing town to produce stationery products for his New York and New Orleans stores.
Mills, a church, store, and homes for factory workers were built in this village. It is situated on the Blue Brook which provided power to the village and factory. Orchards, barns and farming also made up the village to create a sustainable life away from the city.
A few of the original structures still stand today. The park is very walkable with a paved road for walking that leads to every building left on the site along with kiosks outlining the history of the area.
Down behind the buildings are hiking paths that lead down to the Blue Brook where the factory, mills and copper mine used to be. There are quite a few scenic paths leading along the brook and up into the hills. A really cool place to take a hike and wonder what made those huge paw prints in the mud. We narrowed it down to coyote. Luckily, the only sign we saw were footprints.
The only remnants left of the factory that used to produce stationery products.
This Deserted Village of Feltsville was a cool little gem to find hidden off the loud, busy beaten NJ path. Great hiking, beautiful scenery, lots of history, most interesting remains of homes on the premises.
Thank you Mother Nature for the Saturday Spring teaser. Got us out of the house and back to another time. Now back to hibernation mode…