Lafayette Center Preservation Foundation

P.O. 702
Lafayette, NJ 07848
Phone: 973-222-5816

'Committed to the Preservation and Beautification of our Community'


Lafayette Historic Dates

Pre 1716: Lenni-Lenape Indians populated the area until 1716.

1716: A surveyor, John Reading, mapped a tract of 250 acres to an absentee English owner, John Belers. Olde Lafayette Village is almost in the center of this tract.

1750: Henry Bail, a German and a squatter, built a grist mill on the Paulinskill.

1753: Peter Warbasse, a Moravian from Denmark, settled a farm here and was a blacksmith by trade.

1790: Peter Demarest came to Lafayette.

1800: Belers tract sectioned off into farms proved to be 3000 acres, instead of 2500 acres. Recorded deeds began. Peter and Henry Bale moved from the Paulinskill to Baleville and build a mill there.

1801: The Union Turnpike (now Route 15) was built.

1820: Lafayette Cemetery was deeded to the township. Oldest inscription found is dated back to 1753.

1825: Visited by the Marquis de LaFayette.

1825: The cluster of houses near Ludlam's Mill, formerly Bails, was named La Fayette in honor of the Marquis de LaFayette.

1828: A hotel was opened by Hugh McDonald.

1830: The Baptist Church was formed, 5/19/1830.

1830: Foundry was established by Jonathan Owen, then taken over in 1833 by Alexander Boyle.

1835: Hazlett Slater took over the hotel from Hugh McDonald, and built the existing Lafayette House.

1837: The Methodist church was formed, 12/9/1837.

1845: March 20, 1845. The first annual town meeting was held at the home of Hazlett Slater on the second Monday in April, 1845. Lafayette Township was carved out of Newton and Frankford Townships (about 12,000 acres). The present Route 94, known as the Great Road, existed before the revolution from Easton, PA to Chester, NY. In 1782, George Washington traveled this road from Bethlehem, PA to Newburgh, NY.

1845-1870: Population reached 928. The town was prosperous with 70-80 farms bordering it. Then gradual decline, and in 1920 the population was only 620.

1857: The Presbyterian Church was built (now the Post Office) and was dedicated on 5/12/1857.

1869: The railroad came to Lafayette.

1871: The 2-story Lafayette Brick school was built on a plot from the Charles Mackerly farm.

1877: The Lafayette Debating Society was organized, its object being the discussion of popular questions of the day.

1881: Harmonyvale School built.

1923-1925: School in Lodge Hall.

1924: Brick school destroyed by fire.

1925: New 2 room school built.

1927: Lafayette Volunteer Fire Co. organized - Harry Rude was first chief.

1929: Three schools consolidated.

1939: Added 2 rooms and auditorium.

1955: Five rooms and office added.

1958: The Lafayette Federated Church was built.

1966: Railroad discontinued.

1982: New 9 room school built on new tract.

1985: Lafayette Village between Routes 15 and 94 near Klatchner Bridge was build and opened with 50 stores.

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