Brief History


Brief History

In 1753 when the county was formed, Hamburg was part of New Town; in 1762 it became part of the newly established Hardyston Township.  In 1792 when Vernon Township was formed from Hardyston, Hamburg was included within the boundaries of Vernon.  IN 1852 the boundary line was changed so that Hamburg was again in Hardyston Township, where it remained until its incorporation in 1920.

The first people to settle in Hamburg arrived in the area in the mid-eighteenth century.  Joseph Walling, Sr. came to Hamburg in 1740 and built an inn in the center of town where the Wachovia Bank now stands.  It was a landmark for over one hundred years and, for a short time, Hamburg was called Wallings in honor of this man.  During the Revolution a local legend has it that General George Washington spent the night in the Walling Inn while enroute to Easton, Pennsylvania from Newburgh, New York.  It is also said that Washington and several troops spent the night in a field near Hamburg in 1779 while heading to Morristown.  A stone marker on Route 94 South indicated the spot where this happened.

Joseph Sharp was another early settler.  Around 1770 Joseph Sharp built a forge which was called the Sharpsoboro Iron Works.  The present Hamburg was originally named Wallings after one of its first settlers Joseph Wallings, Sr., and after the building of the Sharpsboro Iron Works, the town was renamed Sharpsboro.

In 1928 Joseph Urban designed and built the famous Gingerbread Castle.  It took two years to build and was completed at a cost of $250,000.00.  The castle provided a perfect setting for figurines illustrating fairy tale characters from the Grimm Brothers’ collection of folk tales

Governor Daniel Haines remains the town’s most famous citizen.  He settled in Hamburg at the age of 23 as a lawyer.  Some of his credentials include being ordained an elder of the church, Governor of the State in 1843 and again in 1847, Justice of the State Supreme court for fourteen years, and in 1877 he was involved in the making of a new state constitution.

Colonel Joseph Edsall was a prominent businessman owning a forge and a blacksmith shop.  He was elected to the United State Congress in 1847

Hamburg was a stopping place for stagecoaches traveling on a turnpike that was constructed in 1910 from Milford, Pennsylvania to Hoboken, New Jersey.  The toll house for this thoroughfare still stands on Route 23 South.

In the middle of the 1800s the railroad came.  The New Jersey Midland’s tracks ran from New York City to Oswego, New York and was completed in 1873

Life in the village of Hamburg at the turn of the century was much different than it is today.  The pace of life was slower and the social life revolved around the clubs and organizations of the community.  The Hamburg Concert Band was organized in 1888 and weekly summer concerts were a feature of community life.  A bandstand was located in the center of town where Route 23 and 94 intersect.

An important event in the life of the town was the formation of the fire department in 1909.  The first equipment purchased was a hand-drawn hook and ladder truck with 24 rubber buckets.

On May 8, 1906 the Hardyston National Bank was organized and one can still see the works on the building located on Main Street.

For more historical information visit the Historical Society page under Boards and Commissions.