Hamburg, New Jersey Revolutionary War Sites
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Hamburg New Jersey - Revolutionary War Sites
Joseph Sharp's Iron Works
Hamburg, New Jersey

Joseph Sharp's Iron Works
Gingerbread Castle Rd., off of Rte. 23
Map / Directions to Joseph Sharp's Iron Works

The historic marker on Gingerbread Castle Rd. marks the area on the Wallkill River where Joseph Sharp Sr.(born c. 1709) erected the Sharp Iron Works forge and furnace  in 1768. The village around the iron works took on the name Sharpsborough, which would later become Hamburg. Sharp abandoned the property in 1774 for financial reasons.  The iron works then fell into the hands of Stephen Ford Sr.  Ford had been born in England, and was a Tory at the time of the Revolutionary War. During the war, Ford used the iron works to produce cannonballs for the British in secret, for which he is believed to have been well paid.

Joseph Sharp Sr. died in 1776; after the war, his son Joseph Jr. reclaiming the property. He built a stone grist mill in 1808, which would go on to provide flour for the American troops in the War of 1812. " [1]

Hamburg Historic Sites


1. ^ For this entry, I drew on:
the information in the historic sign at the site (erected by Sussex County New Jersey in 2003.)
Haines Alanson A. Hardyston Memorial - A History of the Township and the North Presbyterian Church (Newton NJ, New Jersey Herald Print 1888) p.84  A digitized version of the book is available at Google Books here
Haines account includes details which I chose not to include in the entry above, because for some reason it sounds unreliable to me. Like many history books from the time, it doesn't list its own sources, and the account sounds a little to fanciful. (To me anyway).
For those interested, here is the text from Haines book that I am referring to:
" [Stephen Ford's] men often performed their work at night, and the children and females of the family carried food for the workmen from the house to the forge after dark. He received considerable sums of English gold which he secreted in small bags let down in the partition walls between the plastering. He had sheet iron shutters made at the forge for the windows of his house. This was reputed to be a place of retreat for the more open Tories and free booters when they were closely pursued. He seems to have been on good terms with his neighbors, even the patriotic ones, and kept quiet in the later years of the war, escaping arrest although under surveillance."

The years of Joseph Sharp Sr.'s birth and death do not appear in either of these, but appear often in biographical information about him.

Revolutionary War New Jersey