High Point State Park
Early Settlement Were Sparse
Since prehistoric times the rugged landscape of the Kittatinny Ridge has made it more a place to visit than a place to live. Native Americans hunted the forests and fished the lakes here, but their villages were located in the more fertile river valley below.
By the early 1800s a few settlers built farmsteads amongst the rocks. These hardy mountain dwellers survived by logging the forests for cordwood and charcoal, growing crops and raising livestock.
The Rocky Ridge Attracted Hunters, Fishermen, and Sightseers
In 1855 the State Geological Survey identified the summit of the Kittatinny Mountains as New Jersey's highest point. It became a popular destination for sightseers who trekked up the mountain to fish and picnic on the banks of Lake Marcia, gather huckleberries and to hike to the "high point" to enjoy the panoramic view.
"High Point is a spot of beauty and a joy forever to every lover of Nature's handiwork."Sussex Independent
(July 11, 1890)
The High Point Inn: An Era of Lavish Recreation
Around the turn of the century, those who could afford to escape city life traveled via train and carriage to remote mountain resorts for the fresh air and natural beauty.
In 1890 Charles St. John of Port Jervis, New York built the High Point Inn. It stood on this bluff overlooking Lake Marcia, offering views of both the summit above and the river valley below. At this grand hotel vacationers played croquet and lawn tennis, cards and billiards. They danced to the Inn's resident orchestra and went swimming, boating, fishing, hunting and hiking. Although its remote location made access to the Inn difficult, it operated successfully for almost 20 years until it closed in 1908.
High Point to 1900
? ? The Dutch settle Manhattan.1726
? ? Population of NJ: 32,4421775-1783
? ? The American Revolution. New Jersey becomes a state.1784
? ? Population of NJ: 149,4351803-1806
? ? Lewis and Clark lead the first exploration across the continent of North America.1840s
? ? A railroad is built through Port Jervis, NY.1850s
? ? Kittatiny Mountain is heavily logged. Some of the cleared slopes are used for pasture.1855
? ? The State Geological Survey identifies the peak of the Kittatinny Ridge as New Jersey's highest point.1861-1865
? ? The American Civil War1870s
? ? High Point is a popular destination for picnics, fishermen, and carriage rides.1878
? ? A wooden observation platform is built at the summit of Kittatinny Mountain.1890
? ? Charles St. John builds the High Point Inn.