The oldest settlers in Chester Township came in 1640 when “Black River” established itself as a settlement primarily because of the intersection of two Lenape Indian trails. These old trails, used for hundreds of years by the native Americans were traversed by the early settlers to go to all regions of New Jersey.
The first permanent European settlers arrived in Black River around 1720. They came mostly from Long Island to “the Landing” in New Brunswick and then overland on the “Grate Road” west to Roxbury. By 1740, the area of Black River was well established with settlers who had land grants from the King of England. The first residents farmed, operated mills, and distilled whisky from apples and peaches. The native Americans began to disappear, although evidence of their activities and settlements can still be found on various hillsides near the River…. read more.