Green Township is a rural area nestled in beautiful Sussex County, New Jersey. It is a township rich in history dating back to the Paleo Indians who settled in this region circa 10,000 B.C. Thousands of years later, the Europeans settled in northwestern New Jersey. The King of England bestowed a large tract of land to Samuel H. Hunt in 1656 to compensate him for surveying the reserved lands of the Indians.
The first settlers built their homes in the Brighton-Hamlet area around 1725. From this point on, Green Township developed into four villages: Greendell, Huntsburg, Huntsville and Tranquility. Two hamlets - Brighton and Whitehall, three areas - Yellow Frame, Dark Moon, and Wolf's Corner, and one community Lake Tranquility completed Green Township. Early industries included blacksmith shops, dairy farms, creameries, clover mills, a distillery, iron forges, gristmills, taverns, and sawmills.
A Quaker and preacher by the name of Ephraim Green established Greensville in 1770. Eventually the township was named after him. Ephraim Green manufactured shoes and boots which were used by the Continental Army during the Revolutionary War.
The Sussex Mine Railroad, built in 1854 was the first of its kind in Green Township. It was primarily used to haul iron ore during this era. In the beginning of the twentieth century, the Lackawanna Cutoff was constructed. To erect this wonder of its time, a man-made mountain was built without any earth moving machinery. Tracks for the new railroad were laid upon this mountain and the Lackawanna Cutoff was completed in 1910. The remnants of the station and control tower can be found in Greendell.
Today Green Township still retains its rustic charm and breathtaking views. Although the railroads gave way to highways, and the dairy farms are fewer in number, its history is evident in the quaint churches, schoolhouses, old grist mills and farmhouses, and general stores which presently remain. Green Township is aptly named not only for its founder, but for its lush "green" natural beauty.
- Resource: Historic & Cultural Inventory of Green Township