Early Settlements in West Milford

Extracted from History of Bergen and Passaic Counties, New Jersey…
Compiled by W. Woodford Clayton,
Assisted by Wm. Nelson, 1882, p. 576

Early settlers came into this section long before the Revolution from Germany and other European countries, having been first called here on account of the extensive iron-mines, some of which had been worked early in the eighteenth century.

The Strubels, Schulsters, Vreelands, and the Kanouse families were early settlers within the present territory of this township.  John George Kanouse, the ancestor of this family, came from Holland about the year 1720, paying for his passage thither by selling his time and labor for about two years after his arrival.  He afterwards owned a thirty-acre tract near the present (1882) residence of John P. Brown, in New Foundland.  His son, Jacob Kanouse, was born in 1762, and his daughter Elizabeth, now living (1882), is the mother of John P. Brown, the proprietor of the famous hotel or tavern at New Foundland.

Peter P. Brown, father, and John P. Brown, his son, have kept a hotel here, just on the edge of West Milford township, for more than sixty-five years.  Half a century ago this tavern was known far and near.  Travelers from two and three hundred miles away, then remote parts of the country, from Pennsylvania and the southern ranges of counties in the State of New York, making their long journeys in private conveyances, before the advent of railroads, journeyed long and late to reach this favorite stopping-place.  Hunters and pleasure-seekers resorted thither, and many are the stories of the good cheer with “mine host” in the olden time.