Annandale, New Jersey History

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Annandale once was at end of the line by James Wright- from Easton Express

The Village of Annandale in Hunterdon County, NJ is not one of the area's oldest communities. It does, however, have an intersting history dating back to the pre-Civil War era. Like other villages at that time, it's development was directly related to the early railroad industry.

The village was originally know as Clinton Station and originated with the completion of the New Jersey Central Railroad to this point in 1852. With the line's completion to here on June 20, 1852, a number of enterprising gentlemen moved to the new station. Among this group were N.N. Boeman, a tavernkeeper; George M. Frech, a station agent; and Thomas Kinney and James Kenna, two railroad employees. All of these individuals came from White House, NJ. Frech was transferred here by the CRNJ as a station agent along with Kinney and Kenna. Young came as a merchant to open a store and Boeman had similar plans for a tavern or hotel.

Upon their arrival at the new station, the group found surrounding lands owned largely by John H. Cregar, Mrs. Peter Young, and Mrs. Jane Huffman. Frech, as railroad agent, occupied the newly built station. Boeman purchased the first town lot and erected a tavern, of which he was landlord from 1852 to 1879. Jacob Young built a grain warehouse and the first store. On July 4, 1852, the first passenger train passed through Clinton Staion on its run from New York to Easton.

The village was known as Clinton Station until 1873, when it was renamed Annandale. The inspiration of the name came from John T. Johnston, president of the CRNJ. Annandale was a town in Scotland where Johnston had hailed from.

The earliest physician in Annandale was William Knight who practiced here from 1872 to 1878 before removing to Clinton. Theodore Risler was the first postmaster. He was succeeded by Josiah Cole and John Lair.

By 1880, the village had a population of 380 persons. B.E. Young & Co. operated a large sash and blind factory here and also had a large lumber trade. Eighteen passenger trains stopped here daily as did a large number of freight and coal trains. More than 200 railroad cars of lime annually were supplied by the lime kilns in the area. Each year, the railway milk shipment averaged about 80 cans daily. Lumber, malt, and coal were also shipped from Annandale in huge amounts.

The first church in Annandale was the Reformed Protestant Dutch Chrch of Clinton Station, which was organized in June 1866. The church was an outgrowth of the Reformed Protestant Dutch Church of Lebanon, NJ. A permanent house of worship was not erected until 1868. Early pastors of the congregation included Rev. J.A. Van Dorn (1869-1873), Rev. Robert Van Amburgh (1873-1877), and Rev. George H. Cleaveland. In 1880, the church had a membership of 111 persons.