Tuesday, October 5, 2010

ANNE O'BRIEN LOCAL HISTORY ROOM


The Clarence Dillon Public Library is giving the Anne O'Brien Local History Room a makeover. Named in honor of the former Bedminster Historian, this room houses a local history collection primarily of Bedminster and Far Hills along with information on the Somerset Hills. The collection is being reorganized and the furnishings updated. One of the primary initiatives is the digitization of the photograph collection. Many of the photographs can now be viewed online at the New Jersey Digital Highway or by clicking on the link on the library homepage (http://www.clarencedillonpl.org/). These images can be viewed anywhere there is Internet access 24/7.

The photo shown here is of the Burnt Mill between 1903 and 1909. Among those pictured are: Mr. Erdley, the miller, dressed in white, his wife Anna standing in the doorway, and their daughter Mabel by the tree. The mill was built after the Civil War and stood on the south side of Lamington River just west of its confluence with the North Branch of the Raritan. The mill had a sideshot wheel. Part of the millrace remains. The old road passed in front of the mill. The bridge is to the left of the photo. Mr. Erdley left Burnt Mill in 1909 to purchase the Weston Mill which he ran for 11 years. William Eberbach operated the Burnt Mill mill from 1909 to 1911, then it stood idle for several years. Frank Reger ran the mill from 1915 until his death in 1923. From 1923 to 1927 the millers were Otto Eberbach and Abram Ten Eyck, who rented the mill from George Fields. The mill was torn down in 1928 by Kenneth B. Schley when he purchased Field Farm (now Lana Lobell Farm) and the nearby land at Burnt Mill. Photo from the collection of Robert J. Sutton. Information from Marie Eberbach and Robert J. Sutton.

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