There is alot of restoration being done in the park, so we'll skip the mill next to the water and shoot to the next building, the bakery. The bakery is strategically located right next to the mill, as the milled flour didn't have to travel far. Allaire employed a full time gardener to grow produce for the village, so he probably employed a full...more
Another strategic positioning in the village is the placement of the iron works building. Right next to the blast furnace. Didn't have far to travel with the heavy processed iron. When open, you can get a good look at some antique equipment. Here, the smith did everything from making cannonballs (that were secretly floated down the creeks in flat...more
One of the largest buildings in the restored village is the general store. This is a four story building that acted as the local mart...boasting they had everything one would need. There was a post office, a general goods store, a butcher, an apothecary, a furniture store, and storage of essentials grains and screws.The Howell Works Company Store...more
The foreman's cottage stands on it's own, with a strategic view of the blast furnace. This little cottage shows the difference in the social classes in the village, as it has one and a half stories! This offered a second floor sleeping area with storage, with it's own hearth for heat upstairs. There is the cooking hearth downstairs and a medicinal...more
There is one section of row houses that have been restored. Most of the employees of the industries here, lived in one of the many row houses that evidently stood here. The remaining row house was refered to as the "White Row" and actually provided nicer accomodations than the other row houses (which were situated by the church but did not...more
I really wish it was open when we were there. The carpenter's shop is full of interesting antique wood working equipment and tools. It's neat to see how things were done then. The village carpenter was there to help create the molds for casting for the Howell Iron Works, as well as household needs and even toys.When the village is open, a period...more
The most important part of any village is the church. Not only was it the center of worship, but also acted as a meeting place for the village and the school. James Allaire did not require his employees to attend church, as he believed in freedom of religion. It was, however, a requirement that all children of the village attend the school. So...more
The carriage house that now stands was built out of need, since Howell Works had become such a transportation hub in the area. As the Howell Works community grew, and people started coming from all around, eventually a US Post Office was established here. One could hop on a stage to go to Freehold, Red Bank, Lakewood and more. From there, travelers...more
The barn that now stands next to the carriage house is actually a smaller recreation of the barns on site. The barn was used to house the oxen and mules needed for the iron productions, as well as the Allaire's personal horses. Since Howell Works had become such a transportation hub, these barns would also offer boarding for visitor's horses or...more
The mansion, which is the largest residence in the village, was actually a farmhouse that was built in 1790. Whe Allaire first purchased this area for it's iron rich bogs, he hadn't intended to live here. As the village became such a well traveled depot, he eventually moved his family there. It is believed that he moved here for the health of...more
The blast furnacewas the most important part of the operation. By the turn of the 19th century, the furnace was already being used to process the raw bog iron into ingots. The furnace was called the "Monmouth Furnace" and was being operated by Benjamin Howell. That's how the industry village got it's name "Howell Iron Works." in 1822, Howell...more
The funny thing is...explorers had reported back to the homeland that the area around here was completely uninhabitable because of the amount of bugs. Now, mind you, this is in the swamps of Jersey, and we do have mosquitoes that would give a New York City cab driver a run for his money. But the mosquitoes are just the beginning. If you're heading into the trails, bring plenty of bug spray. Make sure it works to repel chiggers. Trust me, you don't want to get into a nest of these bloodsuckers.
If you get past the bugs, you're gonna have a great time.
Visitors can take a walk through the Manasquan floodplains. The trail leads around from the blast furnce to the mill area. If you want to walk out there, make sure you're not wearing your dress shoes. As it is floodplains, it does flood. The earth out there is full of clay, and when wet makes an incredible slick mud. Also, there are many sections...more