We stumbled upon the fine website of the First Baptist Church of Bloomfield, which features this incredible page of history on The Caldwells.
Among our favorite photos include Bloomfield Avenue, The Monomonock Inn, and of course the Crane House. The “Denver of the East” never looked so good!
These fantastic photos got us thinking about the history of our own property. Crane’s Mill was originally built by Caleb Hatfield in the 1780s. The land and mill were purchased by Samuel Crane, and the mill was run by his family. Four of Crane’s grandsons (Nathaniel, Moses, Zenas, and Asher) rebuilt the mill after it was destroyed by fire in 1851.
In 1955, Herbert Crane, Asher’s grandson, took over the mill and operated it until his death in 1967. At that time, the mill ceased operation after serving the region for more than two centuries. Besides the milling of lumber, Crane’s Mill was also used to grind feed and flour. Waste wood was sold for cooking and heating. Even the sawdust was used to insulate local ice houses. Many older local buildings have framing timbers cut at the mill from the once-abundant virgin forests of the area.
The old mill wheel now stands silent in Allaire State Park in Monmouth County, where it is slated for restoration.
What are some of your memories of the Caldwell area? We’d love to hear–send us an email by clicking here. We may just share your thoughts in a future post.