Atsion's history begins with iron. In 1765 Charles Read purchased lands at Atsion and established an iron forge. The village's most prosperous period began in 1824 when Samuel Richards purchased the property. Under his ownership, Atsion consisted of the family's mansion, a church, three sawmills, numerous worker dwellings, the company store, a furnace, a forge, a grist mill and a workforce of over 120 men. Following Richard's death in 1842, and the decline of the local iron industry, Atsion's new owners looked for ways to keep the village alive. A paper mill was built and later converted to a cotton mill. With the completion of a railroad line to Atsion, real estate developments attempts were made but were unsuccessful. Joseph Wharton purchased the Atsion property in 1892, to support his sizable farming and forestry enterprises. After his death in 1909, his heirs continued to farm the land. The Wharton estate was sold to the State of New Jersey in 1954. While the forges, mills, and workers are gone, some buildings remain to tell the story of this once thriving village.