The mill once stood close to the intersection of Montgomery and Greene Streets
Source: H. Eaton: Jersey City and Its Historic Sites
Isaac Edge Jr. (1801-1859)
Before any sleek wind
turbines began to appear across the modern landscape, the traditional
looking windmill tapped into this freely available source of energy to
grind the grain of colonial and early nineteenth century American farmers.
Isaac Edge, the son of an English miller, settled in Paulus
Hook (now Jersey City) in 1806. Wishing to continue his father's trade
on the waterfront area, Edge bought property from the Associates
of the Jersey Company to establish his own gristmill, near the present-day
Place. It became one of old Jersey City's first manufacturing businesses.
Edge's quality milling process and efficient business practices attracted a burgeoning clientele. Farmers from as far south as Bergen Point (Bayonne), northern parts of Bergen County, Manhattan, Staten Island and Long Island brought their grain by sloops to be processed at Edge's mill. For a time, Edge also operated a bakery at the southwest corner of Greene and York streets, no doubt a spin-off from the grain operation. A storm, on September 3, 1821, destroyed the canvas fans on the wings of the mill, Edge replaced the canvas sails with those made of iron; he also rebuilt the dock damaged by the storm.
In 1839, the New Jersey Railroad and Transportation Co. (later the Pennsylvania Railroad) bought Edge's property and covered the pier with landfill to build its terminal at Exchange Place; it also resulted in the layout for Hudson Street, and straight line bulkhead at the waterfront. The mill was dismantled, parts labeled, shipped and reassembled at Mill Hill in Southhold, Long Island. It was destroyed by fire on June 25, 1870.
Later, Edge's son, Isaac Edge, Jr., opened a fireworks plant that became a training center for pyrotechnics. His fireworks displays, for which he was internationally known, depicted figures and scenes. Besides pyrotechnics, Edge experimented with rocketry. Because of the hazardous nature of his business, Edge had to relocate his facilities to the outskirts of the rapidly growing municipality of Jersey City.
Dr. Benjamin Edge, a descendant of Isaac Edge, bought the Cornelius Van Vorst mansion at 89 Wayne Street in 1874, which was demolished circa 1925. The mansion was the twin building of the Barrow Mansion at 83 Wayne Street.
Eaton, Harriet Phillips.
Jersey City and Its Historic Sites. Jersey City, NJ: Women's Club
of Jersey City of Jersey City, 1899.
| By: Carmela Karnoutsos
Project Administrator: Patrick Shalhoub