Middlebrook Washington Rock
(Click on pictures for a larger version)
McBride's Rock is a newly identified Washington outlook at Middlebrook Heights (First range of the Watchung Mountains between Vosseller Ave and Chimney Rock Rd. in Martinsvill NJ., where we lived for 40 years), 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 reveal it and had enjoyed the view for 40 years.
George Washington used it to watched British General Howe in New Brunswick in 1777 when his army was camped on the ridge above it. General Wayne's brigade was camped 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 (actually occurred at what is now the Plainfield Country Club).
Mcbride's Rock, is a 1/4 mile from our old house on Vosseller Ave thru narrow trails in tick infested woods .
It is a basalt (blue stone) rock cliff toward the top of the first range of the Watchung Mountains 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' 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 .
It was now a jungle; The rock face was covered with vines with downed trees from hurricane Sandy leaning against it and thickets of stickery Japanese barberry at the top and bottom.
I invited Mayers over to look at it and he agreed that it was the best match for the 160 year old sketch of the lookout at Middlebrook Heights in his forthcoming book.
It would make sense for Washington to use this rock since General Wayne's Brigade was camped right behind it according to Captain Scull's map.
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.
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.