Middlebrook Washington Rock
In "Finding the Eagle's Perch" | www.GardenStateLegacy.com Issue 40 June 2018 Mayers describes when Washington might have used each of these locations depending on where the action was.
In Chapter 6 - "Washington Rocks: Perches of the American Eagle (1777-1778) "he says,
"It is difficult today to imagine te significance that the Watchung Mountains held during the Revolutionary War. ...
"Returning to the village, we proceeded to visit the camp-ground, which is upon the left of the main road over the mountains to Pluckemin [now Vosseller Ave]; also "Washington's Rock." The former exhibits nothing worthy of particular attention; but the latter, situated upon the highest point of the mountain in the rear of Middlebrook, is a locality, independent of the associations which hallow it, that must ever impress the visitor with pleasant recollections of the view obtained from that lofty observatory. We left our wagon at a point half way up the mountain, and made our way up the steep declivities along the remains of the old road. How loaded wagons were managed in ascending or descending this mountain road is quite inconceivable, for it is a difficult journey for a foot-passenger to make. In many places not even the advantage of a zigzag course along the hill sides was employed, but a line as straight as possible was made up the mountain. Along this difficult way the artillery troops that were stationed at Pluckemin crossed the mountain and over that steep and rugged road heavy cannons were dragged. Having reached the summit we made our way through a narrow and tangled path to the bold rock seen in this picture [drawing to the right).Two possibilities:
Lossing had a sketch of the Middlebrook Rock. Mayers has identified 2 possibilities, one between Herb Patullo's place and Chimney Rock and another nearer Vosseller Ave. (red dots A & B on map below) (red dots A & B on map below)
At "Washington Rock is Focus of Renewed Intrest" from Warrren History Vol. 2, No 3 Spring 1995 they say,
Lossing's "Washington Rock" is actually a rock located near today's Hillcrest Road in Bridgewater. This "Rock" can be located on several early maps and would have been part of the Middlebrook Encampment. Unfortunately it was not preserved and now sports a swimming pool on top of it.
I walked for 1/2 mile along the ridge east of Vosseller and south of Hillcrest and didn't see any rock formation with a swimming pool on top of it.
Topo and Trail map:
A - Middlebrook Washington Rock B - McBride's Rock Maps (Longitude, Latitude) 40.58155,-74.55476 40.5815,-74.5438In his book "Revolutionary New Jersey: Forgotten Towns and Crossroads of the American Revolution"
Mayers has labeled the rock at location A near Chimney Rock, Middlebrook Washington Rock and the rock at location B near Vosseller Ave. McBride's Rock. has labeled the rock near Vosseller Ave. McBride's Rock.
There is no parking near location B. In the summer you can see it from Vosseller Ave. but there is no place to pull over or stop.
You could park at the Chimney Rock parking area and then follow the trails for about 2/3 mile to get there. There is a place to pull off Miller Lane where it bends to the right and follow the trail 1/3 mile to the top of the rock.
From the top of the rock it about 1/4 mile to the trail at the bottom.
Chimney Rock was ruled out. There is no view to the SE toward New Brunswick.
Other rocks shown on topo map above:
1. 40.5805, -74.5479 2. 40.5805 -74.5461
Mayer's article "Finding the Eagle's Perch" | www.GardenStateLegacy.com Issue 40 June 2018
describes the section of his new book "Revolutionary New Jersey: Forgotten Towns and Crossroads of the American Revolution ", Mayers, 2018, which includes a section on the history of the area around Middlebrook Heights.
Return to: Middlebrook Encampment