Scott, the enclosed retyped newspaper document is from the early 1960's. There is mention of Henry Wandling who was by the way my GGGGGrandfather.
Gene Daryl Wandling
â€œBlacksmith Led Way To Pleasant Valleyâ€
Copy of a newspaper clipping from Phillipsburg, NJ issue-circa 6/8/62 Easton Express
The first settler in the Brass Castle and Pleasant Valley areas was Jacobus Van der Lin, a Hollander, who arrived with his wife probably about 1765. His son Adam was born in the valley in 1769, another son John in 1771, and a daughter Catherine probably about 1774. There were two other sons who may have been older than Adam but nothing is known about their birth dates.
Where Jacobus came from to the valley has never been determined, but he may have come down the Old Mine Road from Esopus, N. Y., now Kingston, where there was a large settlement of Dutch people. Almost surely he spent considerable time in looking for a place to make his home before deciding on the beautiful spot he chose at the foot of Scottâ€™s Mountain near what is now called Brass Castle Creek. Whether he came alone at first and prepared some sort of shelter before bringing his wife to his lovely valley, we will never know.
Jacobâ€™s homestead farm of 67 (entire line of article not legible) Brass Castle (word not legible) and Meadow Breeze Lane on the east, to the lane on which Roger Kayhart now has his farm on the west. Jacob chose his homestead well, for it had sufficient woodland to keep him and his descendants supplied with firewood and lumber for years, good bottomland for farming and plenty of good water.
The house the family lived in for many years was a small one which may originally have been the beam and plaster variety so common in Europe and found in many of the old communities in this country. It is still standing as part of the home of Phillip and Winifred Friese on Meadow Breeze Lane. It is big now, having been added to over the years, but the oldest part was just two rooms downstairs and one big room upstairs, possibly a story and a half house. In the big downstairs room there was a large stone fireplace, built of rocks picked up nearby. There is still an overabundance of rocks on the bottomlands. The floor boards downstairs were native oak and those in the room with the fireplace were sawed and laid without being cut to uniform width. They were tapered and carefully fitted together, broad end next to narrow end, to make a fine lasting floor which was still there nearly 200 years later.
The outside of the house has long since been covered with siding and no hint of possible (not legible) show through the plaster, giving evidence of the age of the structure and its original type.
Jacobus was a blacksmith. He carried on his trade in a log shop which stood near his house on the spot where a stone one is now. Perhaps the log shop was the first house used by the family until Jacobus could get his permanent home built. Though the Van der Lins were the first people in the valley, there were already quite a number of families in the surrounding area.
There was at that time no town of Washington, for the first houses within the present borough limits were built about 1810. The nearest important center when Jacob arrived, was Oxford Furnace on the other side of Scottâ€™s Mountain, but there was a fair scattering of settlers reasonably near the Van der Lins.
John Sherrerd had built a grist mill over on the Pohatcong Creek, his beautiful old house now the home of Dr. and Mrs. William Horwitz. The VanHorn family lived in a stone house on the (not legible) on the Kayhart farm. By 1739 there were enough families about to organize the Mansfield Woodhouse Presbyterian Church.
So, even if the Van der Lins didnâ€™t have very close neighbors, Jacobus could ply his trade and we can imagine he was quite a busy blacksmith when we look at the iron hinges, locks, fireplace cranes, andirons, etc. still in existence in old homes in the valley, which may very well have come from the young but (not legible) forge. In addition to (not legible) there was form work to do, cords and cords of wood to cut, buildings to construct, fences to set and all the many things required around a new farmstead.
By the 1790s the valley had become a good farming community, the family name had become Vandelin, the children were grown, and Jacob began to feel crowded. He left his comfortable valley home and went out to the practically undeveloped wilderness of Montour County, Pennsylvania, taking with him three of his sons, Jacob, John, and Henry, and leaving Adam on the homestead farm in the valley. By this time the name had been corrupted to Vandlin or Wandling, both of which are used interchangeably by Adam in his legal papers, but in his Bible, he spells it Wandling.
Adam had almost no formal education, for there werenâ€™t any schools, and in 1838 when he made his will, he signed it with his mark. But he was nevertheless able, by good management and hard work to add to his land holdings until, at his death, he owned 500 acres of fine farmland. This was divided among his sons by his will, except the homestead farm of 67 acres which was left to his wife, Margaret Winegardner Wandling. The first generation of a pioneering family has about all it can do to provide the necessities of life; the next should be able to have some luxuries of good living. This Adam accomplished, living to see his family all settled in good homes.
In 1831, a strip of land 1,867 feet long and containing approximately four acres, extending the whole length of the Wandling farms, was obtained from Adam by condemnation, for the Morris Canal. Adam didnâ€™t want that canal cutting up his farm but he made the best of it, building a grain storehouse from which he conducted a flourishing business for some years.
Adam Wandling died in 1857, just a few less than a hundred years after his father first came to the valley. He had spent all his life in this area, building for the future of himself and his family. In doing so he had built for the community as well. Where his father built the first house Adam left a complete settlement, prosperous and self-contained, with commerce moving through it on the canal.
Maybe he never did learn to write his name but no one can (not legible).
Article Notes: This article also had a picture with a sub title â€œHOMESTEADâ€”This is the Wandling (Van der Lin) homestead at Brass Castle. The house now is occupied by Mr. and Mrs. Phillip Friese. The larger stone building at the right is the blacksmith shop. The smokehouse is at the leftâ€.
Under the picture was the following explanation: â€œThis is the first in a monthly series of Warren County historical articles prepared by the Peggy Warne Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution, of Washington. This article deals with the first settlers in the present Brass Castle and Pleasant Valley areas of Washington Townshipâ€.
The copy of the newspaper article I have was sent to me back in the mid 1980â€™s. Mr Hershal D. Wandling Jr sent the article to me back when most the information was passed between relatives by either photocopy or hand written letters and notes.
Retyped by Gene Daryl Wandling April 10, 2004
964 Dunberry Lane
Oâ€™Fallon IL 62269
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