Mount Olive’s New Acquisition Holds Much History

By: Megan Roche

 

The property at 5 Pondview Lane in Flanders is now in the process of being turned into another passive recreation spot in Mount Olive. 

 

5 Pondview Lane was an abandoned house which we were monitoring for the past year over property maintenance issues when we decided that it would be a great piece of property for the Township to acquire and add to our park system.  Its 25 acres offers passive recreational, conservation and historic preservation opportunities.  It is locally known as The Tarn, also as the Bartley Foundry/Mill,” Andrew Tatarenko, Mount Olive Business Administrator, said. 

 

The Tarn or Bartley Foundry/Mill, has quite a history. The Bartley Turbine was born at the William Bartley and Sons Foundry and Machine Shop. Turbines began coming about in the late 19th century to replace waterwheels. Turbines were considered to be less susceptible to freezing temperatures and more easily maintained. 

 

Mayor Rob Greenbaum finds the addition to be a great one for many reasons.

 

“The hope is that we can restore the outside of the property initially for passive recreation.  We also thought that we can find people interested in horticulture to create a gardening club there, similar to what they’ve done at the Highline in New York City,” Greenbaum says. 

 

According to the Morris County Heritage Commission, “Bartleyville” was established in 1861 when the foundry was opened for business. The access to the south branch of the Raritan River and the High Bridge branch of the Central Railroad of New Jersey gave great access to wider markets. At the foundry, not only were turbines built, but also bridges, farm machinery and steam engines. The machine shop helped to supply items to local farms and mines. By the year 1887, Bartleyville and the Foundry were so popular, they were shipping an average of 30 tons of feed and flour a week. 

 

There is even a Morris County historical marker on Bartley Road that makes note of the once thriving foundry area. 

 

According to Tatarenko, plans for the property include the use of the outdoor space as another open area for residents to enjoy.  As far as indoor space, that is still up for discussion. 

 

“The indoor space is still being developed but it would most likely be used as a small rental space or meeting area.  Next year, we will hire an architect and start to develop plans for the renovations along with doing the exterior maintenance in house (tree-removal, access road/parking, and landscape clean up” Tatarenko shared. 

 

Overall, the township is excited to get to work on the property. 

 

We were very fortunate to have been able to purchase this land and make it available to all residents to enjoy in the near future. The home was built around 1830 with some great characteristics as well as the property having a large pond with a walkway all around it. The 25 acres are beautiful and I look forward to seeing the home fixed up and become a useful property for all to enjoy,” Council President Joe Nicastro said. 

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