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Millburn: 1857 - 1957
. . . and set out to Make a Community

By the Millburn Centennial Committee

Originally appeared in 1957
This Web version, copyright 2004

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They called their little community by many names – "Rum Brook" (said to be because mash from homemade applejack dumped in the stream added a piquant flavor), "Riverhead," "Vauxhall," "Milltown," "Millville," and finally "Millburn" because many of them were Scotch, and mill burn, the mill river, had the sound of home. As late as 1857, however, the place was still often called "Millville," but a duplication of the name caused the Post Office Department to insist on another name, and so "Millburn" became fixed. Samuel Campbell is supposed to have first used the name, but Wooldridge Eaglesfield seems to have finally decided it. However, these various names were only local reference names as the settlement was not dignified by fixed or established name on the maps of this period. Generally, the settlers looked to Elizabethtown and Springfield for their religious, social, and cultural life. In Springfield was the nearest Protestant Church, and in it was the home of the only physician in the area, Dr. Jonathan Dayton, who lived there until his death in 1778.

In 1709 New Jersey had been divided into nine Counties, Essex being one of them. In this County were but two large settlements, Elizabethtown and Newark. In 1793 Elizabethtown was divided and the Township of Spring- field was formed, within which the Millburn area was included. Union County was not created until 1857.


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