Pictured: Freeholder Richard Zeoli, Amy Cradic, Deputy Commissioner, NJDEP, Steve Ellis, NJ Parks and Forestry, Freeholder Susan Zellman, Mayor Jim Oscovitch, Byram
photo by Joyce Bambach
Historic Waterloo Village to Come Alive Again!
Waterloo Village, Byram Township, NJ
Thursday, May 27, 2010
Historic Waterloo Village to Come Alive Again
Byram Township, NJ - History is our link to the past - from those who lived on canal boats passing through Waterloo Village on the Morris Canal, to the generations who visited Waterloo Village as school children, to the school children who will visit Waterloo Village in the future - Waterloo Village in southern Sussex County helps us look back - and helps young people see there is still an abundance of opportunity and reason to believe in the United States of America.
A few months ago NJ Monthly reported that "the gates (of Waterloo Village) shut for what could be the last time." But a group of a dozen dedicated individuals, Friends of Waterloo Village, are collaborating to revitalize and help restore Waterloo Village for generations to come. The "Friends" are working in partnership with the NJ Division of Parks and Forestry to raise awareness and to raise funds to restore Waterloo Village, one building at a time. The group plans to begin their efforts with the grist mill and blacksmith shop by raising $100,000. Donations will be deposited with the NJ Land Conservancy earmarked for Waterloo Village.
The announcement was featured at a breakfast celebration on Thursday, May 27, 2010 at Waterloo Village in Byram Township. Among officials attending were Amy Cradic, Assistant Commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection's Natural and Historic Resources Group, Sussex County Freeholder Susan Zellman, founder of the Friends, Freeholder Rich Zeoli, and Morris County Freeholder Director Gene Feyl, as well as Mayor Jim Oscovitch and Councilwoman Marie Raffay of Byram, organizing members of the Friends.
Featured in a 2007 New York Times article as a "mothballed 19th-Century village which awaits revival," Waterloo Village has been closed with the exception of several special events, such as Canal Days and school trips to the partially restored Indian Village.
The village of Waterloo had its most active period with the arrival of the Morris Canal in 1831. With a canal lock and inclined plane located here, Waterloo Village became a small inland port on the cross-state trip from the Delaware River to the Hudson River. Today, Waterloo Village is the only place on the East Coast where both a canal lock and the remains of an inclined plane can be seen along with the town that grew up around them.
A living example of a bygone era, Waterloo is the source for great lessons in history, architecture, social studies, industry, and more.
For more information on how to join the Friends of Waterloo Village or assist in the efforts of the Friends, email firstname.lastname@example.org.