The oldest lighthouse in the United States, the Sandy Hook Lighthouse, is located in New Jersey. The lighthouse was built in 1764 and still functions as an aid to navigation.
Sussex County, located in the northwest corner of the state of New Jersey, has a rich and diverse history. The area was originally inhabited by the Munsee and Lenape Native American tribes. European settlers arrived in the late 17th century, with the first permanent settlement established in 1738. The county was officially established in 1753, named after Sussex County in England.

During the American Revolutionary War, Sussex County played a significant role. It served as a critical supply route for General George Washington's troops, and the area saw several battles and skirmishes. The county's iron industry also contributed to the war effort, providing weapons and materials for the Continental Army.

In the 19th century, Sussex County experienced rapid industrial growth, fueled by its vast natural resources. The mountains were rich in iron ore, which led to the development of numerous iron mines, forges, and foundries. The agricultural sector also thrived, with farms producing crops like dairy, apples, and grains. The Delaware and Hudson Canal, opened in 1828, further facilitated transportation and trade in the region.

In the 20th century, Sussex County saw a shift towards tourism and recreation. The construction of Lake Mohawk and other man-made lakes transformed the area into a popular vacation destination. Today, Sussex County maintains a balance between its rural charm and modern amenities, attracting visitors with its natural beauty, outdoor activities, and historic landmarks. The county's diverse heritage and past continue to shape its identity, making it a unique and captivating part of New Jersey.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Sussex County, New Jersey.

  • 1694 - Sussex County is created as part of the Province of West Jersey.
  • 1731 - The first courthouse is constructed in Newton, becoming the county seat.
  • 1762 - The first iron forge is built in Andover, which becomes an important industry in the county.
  • 1793 - The Andover Ironworks is established, boosting the local economy.
  • 1805 - The construction of the Morris Canal begins, providing transportation for goods between Sussex County and New York City.
  • 1824 - The Sussex Railroad is established, further improving transportation in the region.
  • 1844 - The county's first newspaper, the Sussex Register, is published in Newton.
  • 1853 - The county's border is expanded, incorporating parts of Morris and Warren counties.
  • 1872 - The Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad opens, leading to more industrial development in the area.
  • 1923 - The county's first radio station, WSYL, begins broadcasting in Newton.
  • 1968 - The Appalachian Trail, stretching over 2,000 miles from Georgia to Maine, passes through Sussex County.
  • 1989 - The Sterling Hill Mining Museum opens to the public, showcasing the county's mining heritage.