Annandale, New Jersey History

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'Historic' Title - Sought For - Annandale
Hunterdon County Democrat (Flemington, NJ) - Thursday, October 28, 1993

CLINTON TWP. -- After more than two years of research, the township historic commission is ready to send an application to the state requesting that most of Annandale be named to the state and national registers of historic places.

``It's very important to understand that it's only just to recognize Annandale and give it recognition as an old railroad town. It puts no restrictions whatsoever on properties,'' said commission chair Cathy Sipe.

The bulk of the 80-plus page application describes the properties included in the application. Each description notes the type of architecture used in the

building and, if applicable, how it fits into Annandale 's history.

Included are ``parts that are architecturally significant and show the succession of architectural change,'' Mrs. Sipe explained. ``It just kind of paints a picture of Annandale , architecturally speaking. ''

`` Annandale 's architecture includes many of the building types which characterized the region's growing towns and villages in the late 19th and early 20th centuries,'' the application reads. `` Annandale owes its existence to the construction of the main line of the Central Railroad of New Jersey, the first railroad to penetrate northern Hunterdon County in the early 1850s. ''

Originally, Annandale was called Clinton Station, but was renamed in 1871, the application reads, ``and soon acquired an important economic role as the local center for shipping agricultural and other products, most notably lime, milk, coal, lumber and peaches . ''

Some of the notable buildings that contributed to this commercial role include the Wettstein Cheese Factory, built in 1871, and the Annandale Creamery, from the late 1880s. Other nonresidences include the Protestant Reformed Dutch Church, circa 1868, and the Old Annandale School, built in 1888.

The application includes properties on Center, East, Main and West Streets, Beaver, Maple and Roosevelt Avenues and Humphrey Road, encompassing homes, commercial buildings, schools and churches from the period 1852 to 1930, or almost the entire village.

Many are 19th century buildings and one is not a building at all -- it's a hitching post from the 1800s. The application includes 192 structures that contribute to the town's historic significance, including 147 principal buildings.

Once the application is complete and the state reviews it, it will determine if it qualifies for consideration. If it does, the state will hold a public hearing, probably in Annandale .

``There'll be plenty of time for people to ask questions and get more information,'' Mrs. Sipe said.

A copy of the application is on file in the research department at the North County Branch of the county library in Annandale .