A Historical Look into Boonton, NJ

The personal injury attorneys in Boonton, NJ, at Garden State Justice Group, have sponsored the following article on the area's history.


Boonton is a town located in the eastern portion of Morris County, New Jersey. The Rockaway River runs through the southwestern corner of the 1497.6-acre town, dumping into the Boonton Reservoir to the towns south.  It is 20.6 miles northwest of Newark. 

Early History

In the mid-1700s, the area was home to Obadiah Baldwin. He ran an iron refining forge using charcoal and iron ore from the area. The water along Rockaway River supplied power to his operation. As the forge grew, so did the area's population. The town would be named Boone-Towne after the Colonial Governor, Thomas Boone, in 1761.

Industrial Growth

In 1770, the Boonton Iron Works was founded by Samuel Ogden. Along with his brothers, he developed his business on top of six acres. During the Revolutionary War, the company supplied iron products to the military. However, after the war, business began to decline. 

Another group of men from New York City created the New Jersey Iron Company. The company brought more growth to the area for almost fifty years. Unfortunately, the company shut down in 1876, and the area struggled. 

More businesses would come to the area, such as:

  • 1891 - Loanda Hard Rubber Company - founded by Edwin A. Scribner
  • 1917 - Butter Works - established by E.A. Stevenson & Company
  • 1920 - Boonton Molding - founded by George Scribner
  • 1920 - Radio Frequency Laboratories - Richard W. Seabury


The area located around Boonton Avenue and Main Street is referred to as Boonton Art District. The are is home to six art galleries, including the following:

  • Broadfoot & Broadfoot, LLC - A Collection of Fine Art - 819 Main Street
  • Speakeasy Art Gallery - 816 Main Street
  • Inquiry Art Gallery - 820 Main Street
  • Tyndale Collection - 920 Main Street
  • Black River Gallery - 820 Main Street
  • Compton Gallery, Inc. - 820 Main Street

The area between Church and Cornelia Street is known as Boonton Historic District. Many of the buildings date back to 1830. Some of the lots were once home to the Boonton Iron Works. In 1959 the Boonton Historical Society and Museum was founded by a group of businesspeople that shared the goal of preserving the area's history. Located in the historic John Taylor Building that was used in 1897 by Dr. John L. Taylor as his office and residence. 


In 2010 the population was 8,347 and consisted of 3,235 households and 2,112 families. As many as 23.37% of the residents were born in countries other than the United States. In addition to English, Spanish and Urdu are spoken by the townspeople. 

  • 78.81% white 
  • 4.82% African American
  • 11.02% Hispanic or Latino
  • 10.05% Asian 
  • 0.31% Native American
  • 0.01% Pacific Islander
  • 2.79% other races
  • 3.21% two or more races

The average income per household was $79,097, up from $65,322 in 2000. The working population consists of 85.12% white-collar employed adults, and the occupational breakdown is the following:

  • 13.4% office or administrative support 
  • 11.2% sales or service jobs
  • 9.23% executive or management occupations

Continue learning about the area: Getting to Know Boonton Historic District, NJ

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Boonton, NJ 07005
(862) 305-9300

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Date Published: April 1, 2021
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