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Bowerstown, New Jersey facts for kids

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Bowerstown, New Jersey
Old Bowerstown Road
Old Bowerstown Road
Country  United States
State  New Jersey
County Warren
Township Washington Township
Named for Michael B. Bowers

Bowerstown is an unincorporated community in Washington Township, Warren County, New Jersey near the Morris Canal and the Pohatcong Creek. It was founded in 1829 by Jesse Vanetta and Michael B. Bowers with the building of an iron foundry. The Bowerstown Historic District, encompassing the village, was listed on the state and national registers of historic places in 1996.


The iron foundry, built in 1829 by Jesse Vanetta and Michael B. Bowers, denotes the start of the community. It then developed around the Morris Canal, in particular, Inclined Plane 7 West and the boat basin by the Pohatcong Creek. In 1838, Peter Van Doren constructed a gristmill by the creek and the canal. Michael Bowers purchased the foundry in 1843 and concentrated on producing iron plows. The canal company built a house for the plane tender in the c. 1850s.

In 1933, Consumers' Research, at the recommendation of co-founder Frederick J. Schlink, moved from New York City to the Florey Piano Factory in nearby Washington, New Jersey. The company then built an office building, 1934–1935, and later a research laboratory, 1939–1940, on the Bowers Foundry property. The contributions of consumer advocate Mary Catherine Phillips, author of Skin Deep: The Truth About Beauty Aids – Safe and Harmful and member of the Board of Directors of Consumers' Research, is recognized here on the New Jersey Women's Heritage Trail. In 1986, the office building was bought by the Warren Hills Regional School District for use as district offices by the Board of Education.

Historic district

Bowerstown Historic District
Bowers Foundry, Bowerstown, NJ.jpg
Bowers Foundry, built c. 1829
Location Bowerstown, Plane Hill, Lannings Trail, and Mine Hill roads
Area 72 acres (29 ha)
Architectural style Mid 19th Century Revival, Colonial Revival, Greek Revival
NRHP reference No. 96000537
Significant dates
Added to NRHP May 10, 1996

The Bowerstown Historic District is a historic district encompassing the village and bounded by Bowerstown, Plane Hill, Lannings Trail, and Mine Hill roads. The district was added to the National Register of Historic Places on May 10, 1996, for its significance in science, social history, communications, industry, architecture, and transportation from 1829 to 1945. It includes 42 contributing resources.

The Bowers Foundry, rubble stone, and the Consumers' Research office and laboratory buildings, both of Colonial Revival style, are at the center of the district. The two-story brick house on Old Bowerstown Road shows Federal influences with Victorian embellishment. The two-story brick house on Mine Hill Road has Greek Revival style, with Italianate influences.

After the Morris Canal was decommissioned in 1924, Washington Township purchased Inclined Plane 7 West and the aqueduct over the Pohatcong Creek to build Plane Hill Road. The plane tender's house also remains, but with modern additions on both sides. The retaining wall by the house on Old Bowerstown Road uses sleeper stones from the inclined plane as the base layer.


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