I hoped to stumble upon a jug of forgotten moonshine during my visit to Jugtown Mountain , but I only found rocks and mud as I hiked the 586- acre Jugtown Mountain Nature Preserve . If you visit, wear boots and bring bring trekking polls. The terrain is surprisingly rugged.
Hunterdon County acquired the property from Margaret Devonald in 1983. Her parents both worked for Thomas Edison at his West Orange, NJ laboratory and her mother offered her voice for the production of the first talking dolls – considered one of Edison’s greatest flops . Listen to the recording and you will understand why little girls were terrified when they hit the shelves in the 1890s.
The mountain was also home to the Swayze mine , one of the main producers of magnetite ore during the 1800s. In the 60’s and 70s there was even a small ski area with a 1,200 foot slope. All that remains, are some pretty wildflowers.