Middlebrook Washington Rock
(Click on pictures for a larger version)
McBride's Rock is a newly identified Washington outlook at Middlebrook Heights (The first range of the Watchung Mountains in Washington Valley Park between Vosseller Ave and Chimney Rock Rd. in Martinsvill NJ), uncovered by Historian, Robert A. Mayers' and described in his new book, Revolutionary New Jersey: Forgotten Towns and Crossroads of the American Revolution. where he named this rock "McBride's Rock", because I had guided him thru the woods to show him the view from the 25 foot cliff, I had enjoyed for 40 years, 1/4 mile from the McBride/Chien house.
George Washington used it to watched British General Howe in New Brunswick in 1777 when his army was camped on the ridge above it right where we lived.
The traditional Washington Rock is at Washington Rock State Park in Green Brook (5 miles from the Middlebrook Encampment). Washington used it when the British moved east towards Amboy (Perth Amboy), Staten Island or New York. He also used it during skirmishes in Quibbletown (now New Market section of Piscataway), Plainfield, Scotch Plains, Woodbridge and Edison, including the battle of Short Hills, which actually occurred at what is now the Plainfield Country Club. Mayers has more about that in his book.
It is a basalt (blue stone) rock cliff near the top of the first range of the Watchung s near Vosseller Ave in Martinsville (Middlebrook Heights). It is 240 ft above the valley below. It's about 110 ft. wide and the top is 25 feet above the ground at the bottom.
There was another candidate for Middlebrook Washington Rock between Herb Patullo's Eagle's Nest Museum at the end of Miller Lane and Chimney Rock.
I thought the sketch looked like a rock I had walked by for 30 years. In 1979 I used to take my 1 year old son, Tom, riding in a child backpack, on hikes across Vosseller ave through the woods in the undeveloped Washington Valley Park .
I hadn't been by it in years so went over to take a look at it.
I showed Mayers the location nearer Vosseller Ave, which which only the mountain bikers knew about because of the proximity to one of their trails.
The traditional Washington Rock is at Washington Rock State Park in Green Brook (5 miles from the Middlebrook Encampment).
In the meantime Herb Patullo had expanded his Eagle's Nest Museum near his house at the end of Miller Ln. with an expansive view of the valley below including New Brunswick to include the area around the rock there. There was parking and easy access there, so that location became the official Middlebrook Washington Rock.
In Chapter 6 "Washington Rocks: Perches of the American Eagle (1777-1778)" of his book Revolutionary New Jersey: Forgotten Towns and Crossroads of the American Revolution Mayers has labeled the rock near Vosseller Ave. McBride's Rock.
(Click for a larger map)
There is no parking near McBride's Rock. In the summer you can see it from Vosseller Ave. but there is no place to pull over or stop.
Case for McBride's Rock:
Field of view from McBride's Rock (B) (With some tree cutting done by Washington's Army)
I did quite a bit of excavating to improve access and kept a lookout for artifacts. The only thing I found was borken piece of a square cobalt blue glass bottle. See archaeology.
Contact: Don McBride -