Jefferson Township was once part of the much larger Pequannock Township until 1804. It includes Milton, a name whose origins are apparently lost to time; an area once known as Petersburg (now the Lake Swannanoa area); and parts of Oak Ridge.
Like much of northern New Jersey, the area was settled by Europeans in the early 1700s. Iron (and other) mines characterized much of the area, especially around Hurdtown (roughly upper Weldon Road). There were 19 active iron mines in the township. Some of the shafts — and hundreds of abandoned shafts — still exist mostly in wooded areas.
Much of the township’s history can be found at the library, and at the museum of the Jefferson Township Historical Society known as the Chamberlain house.
Want more about Jefferson? See the blog.