Since I moved with my family to the Skillman section of Montgomery Township in 2001 I have been interested in the history of the area. What are all these names I see repeated on street names and buildings even in Princeton? Names like Harlingen, van Zandt, and Skillman.

Belle Mead was part of the Western Precinct of Somerset County before the creation of Mercer County. Until 1838, the Montgomery Township border went as far south as Nassau Street. In fact, portions of the town and Somerset County were later ceded to from Mercer County and Princeton Township.

The township was settled by land speculators from the former New Amsterdam (Long Island) after the land area was ceded to the British.

The first grist mill, built in 1721, was destroyed by fire about the end of the 18th century.

Bhavana and I showed up to the Grist Mill site about one hour before sunset. We chatted while I walked around looking for the “right” composition. She wanted to know why we got there so early so I explained to her that sunset to blue hours occurs in a very short period of time and rushing around while the light faded was not what I wanted. I think she was annoyed by the bugs that were buzzing around. She walked back to sit in the car.

I had some challenges with cars driving over the bridge in the middle of my exposures and soon I grew tired of being bitten by mosquitoes and other insects. After about two exposures I packed up and joined her in the car to head back home.

I think I’ll come back another time, perhaps in the early morning, to shoot some long exposures of water flowing over the small dam. It’s at an odd angle but I may be able to setup the tripod near the foot of the water.

Montgomery Township, New Jersey, United States of America