Netcong A Brief History
Netcong, formerly South Stanhope was incorporated as a Borough on October 22, 1894. Parts of Mt. Olive and Roxbury Townships were added to South Stanhope to form the Borough, which is about one mile square. Netcong received its name from the Musconetcong River, which the Delaware Indians called grass creek or swamp stream. The proximity of the old Morris and Sussex Turnpike, which passed through the region shortly after 1801, and the coming of the Morris Canal, in 1831, also made the site a favorable one for development.
After becoming a Borough, the residents had to elect the first Governing Body. The first Mayor was Abraham J. Drake, elected November 14, 1894. A census of Netcong taken July of 1895 showed a population of 877 people. Today's population is around 3,600.
Netcong derived much of its business from the Delaware-Lackawanna & Western Railroad, which had its last stop in Morris County in the heart of the Borough. The big railroad roundhouse in Port Morris also supplied many jobs for the town residents.
In 1903, a major fire destroyed about half of Netcong's business district and necessitated the reconstruction of about half a dozen buildings. Also in 1903, Citizens National Bank was organized, and municipal water was installed along with electricity. The electrical power was supplied by theWillsbrook Electric Company, of Stanhope. Shortly thereafter, the Netcong Fire Department was formed, and in 1905 a new wood-frame Borough Hall was erected.
The earliest churches in the community were St. Michael's Roman Catholic Church, organized in Sept. 1880 and Grace Baptist Church, which was founded in August 1890. Another church established in town was the Methodist Church known as "The Church in the Glenn", this church was built in 1915, along the Musconetcong River.
In 1889 the first post office was built and a school was built on Budd Lake Road. In 1892, a more modern two story brick building was built on College Road having a primary school with six teachers and grammar school with three, all under the direction of a supervising principal.
As the years passed, Netcong grew and prospered. In the summer, many people from New Jersey's large cities came to this area for vacations. Several homes took in overnight guests and there were cottages to rent along the lake shore.
This information was contributed by the Musconetcong Foundrymen Historical Society and the records of the late Louis M. Huyler.