Raritan Water Power Canal

Raritan Water Power Canal (HMB3C)

Location: Raritan, NJ 08869 Somerset County
Country: United States of America

N 40° 33.913', W 74° 38.267'

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Inscription

1840

The potential of the Raritan River to provide waterpower for industry was recognized early. In 1840, the success of similar projects along the Passaic and Delaware Rivers prompted the Somerville Water Power Company to begin building a power canal along the north bank of the Raritan River. Unlike some other canals in New Jersey, the Raritan Water Power Canal did not transport goods and passengers, but instead provided waterpower to mills.
The Raritan Water Power Canal was completed in 1842. The Somerville Water Power Company leased waterpower and land along the canal to industry, but was heavily in debt for the expenses of initial construction. In 1863, the company reorganized as the Raritan Water Power Company and improved the dam. By 1881, the company had sold $35,000 in property along the canal, which powered seven businesses, including a gristmill, machine shop and foundry, a paint factory, flour mills, woolen mills, the Somerset Manufacturing Company and the pumping station of the Somerset Water Company. The steady wages received by the mill workers were a major factor in the economic growth of Raritan, which became a town in 1869. By the mid 20th Century, the mills had closed, and the canal was used to provide drinking water to area towns.
In the 1970s, this portion of the canal was filled, and Somerset County Park was built. Because of the significance to local history, on August 27, 2001, The New Jersey State Historic Preservation Office determined that the Raritan Water Power Canal Historic District is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places.
Details
HM NumberHMB3C
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Date Added Sunday, September 14th, 2014 at 5:06am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)18T E 530662 N 4490556
Decimal Degrees40.56521667, -74.63778333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 40° 33.913', W 74° 38.267'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds40° 33' 54.78" N, 74° 38' 16.02" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)908
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 69 Canal St, Raritan NJ 08869, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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