If New Jersey was the crossroads of the Revolutionary War (or the cockpit, as others have said), Morris County was the arsenal. It was no coincidence that Washington spent a fair amount of his time here: the hills were full of iron which were used to make guns and ammunition, making the area well worthy of defending.
Ivan and I braved the mosquitoes on Memorial Day to check out the Mount Hope mining area in Rockaway. I'd remembered that several years ago, a developer wanted to build a pumped storage hydro power plant in the area, capitalizing on the long shafts of a huge iron mine that had been tapped out and abandoned many years ago. Essentially, pumped storage uses two reservoir areas, one higher than the other, and connected by shafts with turbines in them. Power is created when water is released from the upper reservoir into the shafts, turning the turbines as the water flows downward. Gravity does the work. As part of the plan, the company was to restore several historic buildings, including a Revolutionary-era house and church.
Move ahead several years, and the project has yet to move forward. Approvals from several agencies, including the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, were needed to enable the hydro plant to connect to the electricity grid to contribute power, and, well, you know how that kind of thing goes.
I had an address for the house on Mount Hope Road, but barely an idea of what to look for. When we saw signs for the Mount Hope Historical Park, we thought we'd found it, but instead we'd found a new adventure: a series of paths leading to a string of smallish but often deep mine holes.
And as for the house and church, they clearly weren't to be found on this stop, at least not unless we wanted to take along walk along the power line cut. Onward...