Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Allaire State Park and Historic Village in New Jersey



Historic 1830's industrial village Allaire, New Jersey

Allaire State Park and Historic Village gives a unique peek into the early industrial history of New Jersey. The historic site is the location where iron was ored and smelted into pig iron. The pig iron was then transported to New York where it was used in ship building.



Wandering down the road at Allaire Historic Village, New Jersey
Wandering down the road at the village
The village dates back to the 1820's-1830's. There was activity on the site as early as the 1750's. James P. Allaire purchased the site in 1822 in order to ore iron to be sent to his New York shipbuilding business. Interpretation on the site is representative of the 1830's when the village was at its height. The industrial site's village was alive with workers and their families. About 400 people lived in Allaire. The village evolved into a self-contained community with workers of various skills including welders, carpenters, millers, wheel-wrights and more. There even was a screw factory that employed women and children. The village's museum provides a nice overview and introduction to life in Allaire in the 1830's. The museum is actually housed in former employee row houses.

Employee row houses at Allaire Historic Village an industrial village in New Jersey
Employee row houses
Seasonally, interpreters bring the village alive. We were pretty impressed with the depth of knowledge each interpreter had. We really felt like we walked into the village during the 1830's.

Blacksmith at Allaire
Blacksmith at work
The furnace is a pretty impressive structure. During its tenure, the furnace was on 24-hours a day to keep it hot enough. That would have made me nervous! If you have traveled through New Jersey and Pennsylvania, you have probably seen a few of these furnaces -- reminders of industry's beginnings.

Early industrial furnace in New Jersey
The huge furnace!
Interpreters throughout the village provide in depth insight and engage children in memorable history learning. I was pretty impressed how well they entertained the children's questions. Well done!

Soldier and village interpreters at Allaire Village
Soldier and village interpreters warming up by the fire.
In addition to sending pig iron to New York, other items were made at Allaire including pots, kettles, pipes and more. Today, the village does make some items that are for sale in the gift shop. The shop also includes additional items made in New Jersey. Additionally, the bakery bakes treats including a range of cookies. Who can resist a nibble?

Scenic pond at Allaire State Park in New Jersey.

The landscape is striking at Allaire and there are hiking trails for a natural escape. The park hosts quite a few events, so check the schedule. Allaire State Park and Historic Village is easily one of our favorite treasures in New Jersey combining both nature and history.



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