Wanaque History

Early European Settlers  | Exploration and Conveyance  | Historic Wanaque Borough
Iron Works | Lenni Lenape | Railroad in Wanaque | The Lost Children
Wanaque Reservoir | Works Cited

Wanaque Area Local History

Welcome to Wanaque Area Local History. Presented here for your study and enjoyment find writings on New Jersey history, particularly on the early days of the Wanaque and Haskell area from the time of the Lenni Lenape, through British Colonial America, to the Twentieth Century.
European settlement of old Pompton Township, the chartering of the Borough of Wanaque, the iron mining, the railroad days, the building of the Wanaque Reservoir. Historical photographs from the collections of area residents Sam DeBenedetto and Bill Trusewicz, including some photographs from the older collections of Louis P. West and Clinton W. Ackerman, provide a window into New Jersey’s history and that of the young Nation. Along with this photographic history of the early United States, you will find related historical text and some genealogy drawing upon a variety of sources as noted. Take a walk through our online trove and learn about the past of the area now home to the Wanaque Reservoir, which provides water to many of New Jersey’s cities.

This project was originally funded by the Technology Bond Fund administered by the New Jersey State Library. It was realized under the auspices of the Wanaque Borough Free Public Library by Richard Mariconda, our former Library Director.

A note from the Web Master: The photograph was taken in 1870 by Vernon Royle, a well known area photographer of the time. As I considered this photograph, and the others that have come my way for inclusion in this effort, I reflected that there will be no new photographs taken of 1870. Whatever photographs of 1870 exist now, in museums or private collections, tell the entire photographic story of 1870. I offer that you bear this in mind as you peruse this site and others of its kind, taking the thought with you to the future when you yourself next photograph this time we call the present day.


Freedom Furnace circa 1870
Freedom Furnace circa 1870