Millville, NJ sits about twenty miles from the mouth of the Maurice River. The first industry appeared here before most settlers. Leamings Mill was built on a plot of land known as Shingle Landing in 1720. The early place had a small bridge and a road, in addition to the boat pier.
In 1776 a group of men led by Joseph Smith formed the Union Estates Company and collectively bought twenty-four thousand acres of land. They built a dam and a mill. The place was then called Maurice River Bridge for some time. Plans for the town weren’t made until Captain Joseph Buck & his associates made them in 1795. Many more plans for mills and factories were made, and the land was nicknamed Millville. Lumber, charcoal, and ore were exported from Millville. By 1801 there were enough people to organize a township, but Buck didn’t see it, he passed away in 1803 when there were only twenty homes.
The silt and sand provided glass factories that flourished here, as well as an iron foundry. The iron furnace was started in 1814, and it made cast iron water pipes that were in great demand, making the area an industrial center. That same year David and his brother Richard Wood built the Wood Mansion House, which still stands today.
In 1850, David Wood, of Smith and Wood Company formed the largest man-made dam in the state. The dam was powerful and it was a game changer for the area. Twenty years later the mills there employed over six hundred people, one-third of the whole town, and it grew from there.
Today there are over twenty-eight thousand residents here. When you live here or visit, you can attend the renewed Levoy Theater or you can still see the beautiful artistry that came from the many glassworks here in the museum of glass. There is even an arts district named the Glasstown Art District. When you stop by old shops, be sure to keep an eye out for Millville roses. They are paperweights that Millville became famous for creating. They made the finest glass paperweights and perfected several weighted techniques and specialties over the years.
We always keep our eye out for local treasures when our contractors make house calls.
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