Mount Vernon

Mount Vernon was the name of an area in northern Bernards Township (now the Borough of Bernardsville, NJ).  It stretched from Lloyd Road, where there was a little settlement at the junction of Hardscrabble Road, north to the Mendham border.  In the 1840s, a school called Mount Vernon School was built on the north side of Lloyd Road (see map).  This was a one-room structure, and it’s first schoolmaster was John Y. Marsh.  Thomas Nutt, a trustee of the Mount Vernon School District, lived to the north on what is now Washington Corner Road.[1]

1850 Map of Somerset County (Van Derveer), showing school house (S.H.) and residents, Library of Congress. Click to Enlarge.

Methodist Bishop Edmund S. Janes (1807-1876) was also associated with Mount Vernon.  “In the spring of 1849, after holding his spring Conferences, the Bishop settled his family for the summer and autumn at Mount Vernon Cottage, near Mendham, New Jersey.”[2] The exact location of “Mount Vernon Cottage” has not been determined, but Bishop Janes had early ties to the area beginning in 1846 when he was assigned a mortgage on the former Walter Greacen/Grearson (1771-1842) farm along Mendham Road.  In 1850, Janes began purchasing land in Mount Vernon including the Greacen farm that eventually became the site of the historic Somerset Inn.[3]

 In 1850, the Rev. Daniel H. Johnson from the Mendham Hilltop Presbyterian Church, conducted the marriage of Elizabeth Day and William McMurtry at “Mt. Vernon.”  The residence of Elizabeth, the bride, was also listed as “Mt. Vernon.”   Elizabeth Day was the daughter of Calvin Day who lived on Mendham Road just south of the Mendham border.

Elizabeth Day marriage record, Bernards Township Marriages, 1850s, THSSH Archives.

[1] Josephine M. Waltz, Schoolhouses of Early Bernards Township: A Photographic History of Schools (2007), p. 67.

[2] Henry Bascom Ridgaway, The Life of Edmund S. Janes (1882), p. 118.

[3] Somerset Co. Deed Book E2, p. 237; Deed Book L2, p. 586.

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  1. Hi Joseph, Maybe they were standard in Jersey City, but these were tiny for Bernards Twp. I’ve always heard them…

  2. Not sure where you got your information about "picnic" lots, but a 25' x 100' lot was a standard size…

  3. The trust bought the open land (athletic fields and woodland). The site of the buildings was sold to a developer.

  4. I hope the open space will still be preserved. Did the trust own the mansion when it was demolished?