Minutes: August 5, 2020

Call to Order

Present are Nancy Adam, Will Brown, Barbara Kostenko, Shawn Mazur, Jessi Paladini, Ann Ross. Absent Dee Franklin.

Statement of Compliance was read by Debbie Coulson.

Jessi Paladini asked for thoughts on Zoom meetings versus municipal center. Wearing of masks and social distance would be mandatory. Shawn Mazur stated that Zoom meetings were more convenient and easier.

Ann Ross’s daughter had a baby boy this morning.

Meeting opened at 7:13 p.m.

Jessi Paladini stated that this is the first time in 30 years that we have had a meeting change of day and time.

A motion to open the meeting to the public by Barbara Kostenko, second by Shawn Mazur. There were no comments from the public. Motion to close the open session by Nancy Adam and second by Ann Ross.

Old Business

Historic Glenwood sign is done. Jessi Paladini spoke to the studio and they will be late getting us the sign, it should be in September. The commission has been waiting on it for 8 years in the making and we plan on having a lot of “hoopla” with the placement and dedication.

Reading of Marker for Wawayanda Iron Furnace


Constructed by William L. Ames in 1846, Wawayanda Furnace used locally extracted iron ore, charcoal, and limestone to produce pig iron. Using waterpower from Wawayanda Lake, the furnace was the center of an industrial village here that began around 1812 and also included grist, saw, shingle, and stamping mills as well as an office, barns, storehouses, dairies, a general store, blacksmith shops , a bunkhouse, and numerous dwellings. Pig iron was transported by wagon down Wawayanda Road (built by Ames in 1847) to the Erie Railroad at Chester, NY, where it was shipped to the Hudson River. During its lifetime the furnace consumed over 6,000 acres of forest for charcoal fuel. Ames’s family, Oliver Ames & Sons, shovel manufacturers of Massachusetts, owned it thereafter. The iron furnace ceased operation in 1869.

Jessi Paladini stated that she heard the county is only paying a portion of the marker which is $2500. We could ask the township since the mayor allotted $4000 for markers. We could use money from Wawayanda State Park, (Official Recognition Friend of Wawayanda) with $900 in account now. Jessi Paladini will look into furnace money.

Jessi Paladini asked Will Brown to put thoughts on paper regarding the Historic Farming District for the next meeting.

Shawn Mazur stated that with the certified government we should pursue with what we have in place and fill out the application then go before the council. He will forward application to everyone for input.

New Business

NJDOT Road Restoration Rte. 94, McAfee to Maple Grange Road, Jessi Paladini advised them to be careful with the Smith House, Black Creek site, no guard rails or taking of trees.


The British Crown established King’s Highway in the 1730s. Today we know it as Route 94. Vernon Village grew because of this important early road, as well as because of Route 515, which follows Vernon Village through a small valley and up through the heart of the Highlands. Native Americans used both routes, and settlers used Route 515 since at least the 1760s. By around 1770s, most Indians left the area, and Vernon emerged as a center for farming families. King’s Highway runs through Vernon’s historic farming district along Route 94 to the Warwick, NY, border. During the Revolutionary War, King’s Highway was the route for General George Washington and his troops en route to battles in New York State. General Washington and his troops are said to have stopped along this farming district overnight.

Jessi Paladini said Sweetman stated that J. Rickey claimed that Washington stopped by his farm but as of now there is no proof.

A motion was made by Nancy Adam and second by Barbara Kostenko to approve the signage for Kings Highway.

New Nominations: Jessi Paladini discussed the Russ Wynans house that is owned by Bruce Zaretsky. In the attic a hand truck used by the railroads that swiveled was invented.

Shawn Mazur discussed the “Ryan McLaughlin” house on Drew Mountain Road. A very rustic looking home that was an Indian trading post. The outside character was not touched. Shawn Mazur will look into it. A motion made by Barbara Kostenko, second by Nancy Adam to nominate the historic site.

Signage on Rte. 517 with in memory of Dan with historic preservation commission logo on it is not authorized, stated Paladini. It was never approved and the signage is wrong. The sign should come down. Possibly Boy Scouts doing an app for a badge.

Jessi Paladini will look into it. Also the historic preservation Facebook page should be deleted because of inaccurate information. Brown suggested we focus on the Facebook page and not worry about the sign. It does not appear to be permanent. Ron Dupont might be able to take Facebook down.

Jessi Paladini suggests that no one talk to anyone about the sign and we will revisit this issue at another time.

Approval of minutes of July 2, 2020: A motion from Will Brown and second by Shawn Mazur to approve. All in favor.

Review of Land Use Board Applications

None (12th Love of Mud)

Commissioner Comments


Jessi Paladini stated that there is a Zoom meeting on Friday for the historical society.

Discussion on moving out of the Green Team Building due to animal damage to archives. Jessi Paladini said we need one room to store archives. Historical society in Newton offered room also Mountain Creek offered at one time

Barbara Kostenko made a motion to open meeting to the public, second by Ann Ross. Peg Distasi said the commission is doing a “job well done.” Motion to close meeting by Barbara Kostenko, Second by Will Brown.

Meeting ended 8:05 p.m.

Respectfully submitted by Debbie Coulson