Our History Methodist Congregations in Vernon Township
"The Vernon Methodist Church we know today traces its roots to August 8, 1835 when Robert A. Linn of Hamburg conveyed the property on which the church building stands, on Route 94 in the village of Vernon, to the Trustees, which included members of the Winans, Van Gelder, DeKay, Denton, Simonson and Rutan families, all old names. The property conveyed was 7,800 square feet, purchased for a price of $50.00. The first church on the site was erected in 1837. The congregation apparently flourished, for the old building became too small, was demolished, and the present church was erected." [Excerpted from "Vernon 200. A Bicentennial History of the Township of Vernon, New Jersey." © 1992 by Ronald J. Dupont, Jr.]
Mr. Dupont also reports: "In the late 19th century there were actually three Methodist Churches in Vernon Township: the present one in Vernon, another in Glenwood (North Vernon), and a third at Canistear. There were two Methodist churches at Canistear Village. The old Canistear Methodist Episcopal church was located right next to the Canistear Cemetery, on Canistear Road. The foundations of this structure are still quite visible today. This church, which is later referred to as the Smith church, was built in 1857 by Adam Smith, and shows up on the Hopkins map of 1860. [Shown above.] In 1878, the Trustees of the Methodist Episcopal Society of Canistear accepted a donation of land for a new church from Christian D. Day. This parcel adjoins present-day Canistear Road about a half mile north of the Cemetery.
"The new Methodist church at Canistear was being framed and enclosed by October 1878. The cost of the church was $600.00, and it was dedicated in early December 1878. A surviving photo shows a modest but attractive little church, with pointed gothic windows and a neat little steeple atop the roof. At the time of its consutrction, the congregation was proposing to buy land adjacent to the new church for a burial ground, the old burial ground being nearly full, but this apparently never happened. Both the old and new churches at Canistear show up on a 1907 topographical map of the area, but neither survived much longer. The City of Newark had, by 1900, established the Canistear Reservoir of the Pequannock Watershed, and was buying up all the land around the new lake. The new Methodist church at Canistear awas bought by the Mayor and Common Council of Newark and auctioned off as scrap lumber; the old church presumably suffered a similarly inglorious fate.
"The Baptist and Methodist congregations of North Vernon (Glenwood) originally met in the same church building, owned by the Baptists [shown on the left, above]. The Baptists set themselves up as a formal church body in 1862, and thereafter seems to have been disagreements with the Methodists over the use of the building. the Methodists solved the problem by constructing their own church a year later, in 1863.
"The North Vernon Methodist Church was constructed in 1863, and shared pastors with the Vernon Methodist Church. The land on which the church was built was donated by Gabriel Houston, who lived in the large farmhouse nearly opposite it (now the Apple Valley Inn [as of 1968]).The North Vernon Methodist Church congregation survived into the 1930s, but by this time the building was growing old and was a burden to maintain, and the congregation elected to close the Glenwood Church and merge with the Vernon congregation. The North Vernon Methodist Church was closed and sold about 1935. The old North Vernon Methodist Church, with some remodelling and additions, now serves as the Pochuck Valley Farms grocery and produce market."