Uncover the Mysteries of Feltville - A Hidden Gem in Berkley Heights, NJ
Nestled within the breathtaking landscape of Watchung Reservation lies the enigmatic and long-forgotten village of Feltville. This abandoned settlement, once a bustling mill town, has a captivating history that dates back to 1736. As you tread upon the remnants of this lost world, you'll be transported through time, witnessing its transformation from a thriving mill town to a serene farm community and, astonishingly, even a sought-after summer resort.
From Humble Beginnings to Feltville: The Vision of David Felt
The tale begins with the establishment of the first sawmill in 1736, which sadly met its demise as more settlers flocked to the area, seeking a better life. Fast forward a decade, and the enterprising David Felt acquired land from the descendants of those early settlers to realize his ambitious dream - the construction of a second factory for his thriving mill business, hailing from the bustling city of Boston. Under his skilled hands, not one, but two magnificent mills arose, and with them, an entire town for his loyal workforce. Thus, "Feltville" was christened, and it thrived under the industrious spirit of its founder.
The Rise and Fall of Feltville: A Saga of Succession and Change
As the wheels of time turned, so did the fate of Feltville. After a prosperous 15-year reign, David Felt sold the property, leading to a series of business ventures that struggled to maintain the village's once-glorious charm. Gradually, the village earned its haunting moniker, the "Deserted Village," echoing its mysterious aura and whispered tales of the past.
The Glenside Park Era: A Summer Retreat Like No Other
But the story doesn't end there! In 1882, a visionary by the name of Warren Ackerman breathed new life into the forsaken village, transforming it into a delightful summer haven named Glenside Park. For years, vacationers sought solace in its serene surroundings, relishing in the cool embrace of nature and the quaint charm of Feltville. Yet, as the allure of the Jersey Shore beckoned, the resort's popularity waned, and Feltville retreated into silence once more.
A Resurrection by the Union County Park Commission
Just when it seemed that Feltville's tale had been etched in history forever, a glimmer of hope emerged in the form of the Union County Park Commission. They recognized the untamed beauty of the abandoned village and decided to preserve its legacy for generations to come. Watchung Reservation welcomed Feltville back into its embrace, offering a sanctuary for the curious to explore the secrets of the past.
Embark on an Unforgettable Journey!
Today, Feltville awaits your visit, inviting you to delve into its intriguing history through a captivating self-guided walking tour. As you wander through the timeless remnants of this bygone world, download a pamphlet that will serve as your companion, unraveling the mysteries hidden within its walls. Get the Pamphlet Here
Immerse Yourself in the Past
But that's not all! On the third weekend of October, the county staff arranges Four Centuries One Weekend. A mesmerizing display all designed to transport you back to the village's vibrant past. And as you meander through the Watchung Reservation, an expansive network of scenic trails awaits your exploration, revealing nature's wonders in all their glory. When visiting on this weekend you can take a guided tour, view exhibits in the restored Church/Store, ride a hay wagon, and take part in other activities, free of charge.
Come, Discover the Untold Stories of Feltville!
Plan your adventure now and witness the captivating legacy of Feltville, where the echoes of the past blend seamlessly with the beauty of nature. Unravel its enigmas, connect with its history, and embrace the tranquility of this timeless village - a true hidden gem in the heart of New Jersey.
When visiting you’ll notice that the energy there is eerie so why not make it a special spooky visit! Every year the weekend before Halloween the county of union hosts a haunted hayride in the deserted village. Tickets for this usually go on sale mid September. The hydride consist of a historical story line mixed with costumed characters and special effects. It’s the perfect local activity to get you in the spooky spirit!
"During the hayrides, visitors are taken around the 130-acre grounds and the “ghost” of David Felt, who built this former mill town in 1845, will briefly explain the history of the site and introduce characters from its past, telling tales of mystery and tragedy. Visitors will also get the opportunity to take a short walk into the village’s Revolutionary War-era cemetery. " - UCNJ.ORG
Location & Hours
2 Cataract Hollow Road
Berkeley Heights, NJ 07922
The Deserted Village of Feltville/Glenside Park is located off of Glenside Ave, along Cataract Hollow Road in the Watchung Reservation.
The grounds at the deserted village are open daily dusk to dawn.
The Church/General Store is open Saturdays and Sundays and some holidays, noon to 5 pm.
View @seek.discover.play and their original instagram post here!