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Local History


About Roxbury

Roxbury was founded in 1740 and has a rich heritage. Originally a center for Iron Mining and forges that supplied George Washington and the Continental Army, the community grew with the cutting of roads east and west and the building of the Morris Canal in 1827. Roxbury was a major hub for the Canal, with Lake Hopatcong as a water source. Four inclined canal planes and two locks were located within Roxbury, with many businesses established during the 19th century to service the canal. Local explosives plants would supply dynamite for the mines and railroad building and employ generations of Roxbury Township residents. By the 1880's the railroad would overtake the canal for commercial transportation and Roxbury exploded in growth with two major, and competing rail lines. By 1890 Roxbury was 'the' gateway to the busy resorts of Lake Hopatcong, one of the region's most popular summer destinations for over 50 years. The coming decades brought a 'boom time' of new train stations, schools, homes and businesses. Today Roxbury is a vibrant township with a top-rated school system with over 3,750 students, and is the gateway to the Lake Hopatcong recreation area. -- from http://www.roxburynewjersey.com/.

For a complete timeline of the Roxbury Township's rich history, visit the Roxbury New Jersey History website here.

Local Groups & Museums

The Roxbury Township Historical Society owns and operates the historic "Silas Riggs Saltbox House", dating from the time of the Revolutionary War. Located at 213 Main Street in Ledgewood, it is open on the second Sunday afternoon of each month April thru December. They have published books on Roxbury Township History and sponsor an evening lecture series, open to the public, as well as the very popular "A Saltbox Christmas", an Open House with an Olde Fashioned Soup Supper, held on the first Friday in December.  

Roxbury Township Historical Society
PO Box 18
Succasunna, NJ 07876.  

The Roxbury Historic Trust has responsibility for the "King Canal Store" & the "King Home Museum" at 209-211 Main Street in Ledgewood. The Store and the Homestead Museum are open for tours on the second Sunday of the months of April thru December, from 1-4 PM. Overseen by volunteers from the Trust, this is well worth a visit. Operated by Theodore F. King from 1874 through 1928, the Store was originally built in 1826 and retains its turn of the Century appearance. The Trust is also restoring the adjacent 1881 Victorian House built by the King family. A newly restored Parlor and Exhibition rooms are open to the public. The Trust is very active and invites new members!

Roxbury Historic Trust Inc.
209 Main St 
Ledgewood, NJ 07852  

New Jersey (Genealogical and Historical Resources)

  • New Jersey Digitized Historic Newspapers: This guide indexes all known digitized newspapers published in New Jersey, whether currently available or in process, including links and other access information
  • New Jersey State Archives: Imaged Collections: Over 20,000 images from the State Archives photograph and manuscript collections including Military and Wartime Activities, Cultural Resources and Historical Geography, Governors' Documents and Institutional Records, County and Municipal Records, and Family Papers and Non-Governmental Organizations.
  • New Jersey State Archives: Searchable Databases: access to over 1,000,000 database entries, indexing over 500,000 documents and photographs housed at the New Jersey State Archives. Database development is currently focused on post-1878 death records (now complete through June 1896), early land records, and the records of the Supreme Court. Archives staff add and edit database entries daily. Please be sure to re-check this site often for new content. Note: the state archives charges a fee to retrieve certain records.
  • The Rutgers Oral History Archives: records the personal narratives of:
    • Men and women (either New Jersey residents and/or Rutgers University alumni, faculty or staff) who served on the home front and overseas during World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Cold War and the nation's most recent conflicts
    • People with a story to tell about some aspect of New Jersey's proud history, its towns and cities, its diverse populations, organizations within the Garden State and/or social/cultural movements and events
    • Men and women who helped shape the history of Rutgers University as students, alumni, faculty, staff and in other roles
  • West Jersey History Project
  • New Jersey Death Index: A free searchable database of 1,275,833 deaths in the state of New Jersey between 2001-2017, and over 500,000 free digitized images of the death index for the years 1901-1903, 1920-1929, and 1949-2000.
  • New Jersey Marriage Index: online for free public use at the Internet Archive. There is a brides index for 1901-2000, a grooms index for some but not all years within 1901-2000, and a combined index that is in roughly chronological order for 2001-2016.
  • New Jersey Dept. of Health for Vital Records: The Office of Vital Statistics and Registry registers vital events and maintains the following vital records:
    • Birth, marriage and death records starting at 1919
    • Domestic partnership records starting at 2004
    • Civil union records starting at 2007
    • Adoptions – foreign and domestic
    • Certificate of Birth Resulting in Stillbirth data starting at 1969
      • Please note, New Jersey law protects and restricts the release of vital records. Vital records are not public records and cannot be searched online. 
  • The Jewish Historical Society of New Jersey: The Archives of the JHSNJ contain many of the treasures of the Jewish community of Greater MetroWest, including photographs, documents, oral histories, audio-visual materials, private papers, newspapers, memorabilia, and artifacts.
  • Rutgers University Special Collections and University Archives
  • Historical Maps of New Jersey: Images principally from Rutgers University Special Collections include 1784 boundary lines, 1928 and 1959 electric companies, 1960s high schools, and more.
  • Kean University NJ History Project: consists of mostly full view (and some limited view) non-fiction books and novels that represent the broad and rich history of New Jersey in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
  • New Jersey Women's History: Laws, letters, petitions, poems, reports, and more about the conditions affecting New Jersey women, Black and white, from the Revolutionary era to contemporary times.  Website also includes notable facts, timeline, and images. 
  • Where to Write for Vital Records (CDC-NJ): From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) where to write for birth, marriage, divorce, and death records in the State of New Jersey.