The Deserted Village is the local name for The Feltville Historic District. It is situated within the Watchung Reservation in Berkeley Heights. The historic area in Union County of New Jersey has a church, eight homes, one general house and one carriage house. Most of these buildings date back to the eighteenth century. Also known as the deserted village of Feltville, the place has been a summer resort, the farming community and mill town in the past. There are three families who can be called permanent residents and the area beyond their private properties is open to the public, locals, and tourists–anyone who wishes to learn more about the history and evolution of the place. The Deserted Village has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1980.
About The Deserted Village
Circa 1736, one Peter Willcocks developed a sawmill to produce lumber by the Blue Brook. This initiative was taken up bearing in mind the need of farmers that would settle in the area but it also led to clearing several hundred acres of forest. Almost ninety years later, David Felt purchased more than seven hundred acres to develop a printing factory. He ended up developing a town and in five years there were almost two hundred people living in the area called Feltville, named after David Felt. Following his retirement in 1860, the town was deserted owing to lack of financial sustenance and business opportunity.
The desertion was short-lived though as Warren Ackerman came by in 1882 and purchased the property, transformed the deserted mill town to a summer resort and named it Glenside Park. Mountain resorts lost their popularity to Jersey Shore and eventually, Glenside Park was shut down by 1916. Following the setting up of Union County Park System in 1921, Feltville was included in the Watchung Reservation, which was among the earliest county parks in America. Today, the Deserted Village is open every day from dawn till dusk. There is a Visitor Center that opens on Saturdays and Sundays apart from major holidays. You can get all the help and information available at the center from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Stay at the Kenilworth
Kenilworth is less than ten miles east of the Deserted Village. It is a short eighteen to twenty minutes drive to this historic place. There are various parks and preserves en route so you may want to stop by along the way. Reserve your stay on the hotel website to get the best deal online: https://www.kenilworthinn.com