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Journey Through The Past

The Sourland Mountain region, spanning 20 miles from Lambertville to Hillsborough in Central New Jersey, boasts diverse natural features and a rich cultural history. Initially settled by Lenape Indians, Dutch farmers introduced slavery in the 1600s, continued by the British. Mills in the 19th century fueled development, with black freedmen contributing to various industries. The region attracted artists, writers, and notable figures like Charles Lindbergh. Despite this history, the story of African Americans remained overlooked until the establishment of the Stoutsburg Sourland African American Museum.  


Explore the links below to uncover their impact on the region's unique geography.

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The People

It's not known for certain when the first human beings settled the Sourland region. Lenni Lenape Native Americans may have had small villages on the
mountain’s flanks for ten thousand years.


The Land

Sourland Mountain, whose highest elevation is 568 feet,
is less of a mountain and more of a hill. It is made of volcanic rock, but there was never a volcano in this part of 
New Jersey.

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The Places

The name Sourland is believed to be derived
from 17th century Dutch settlers, who referred to the area as "sauer landt" because the hardscrabble
region was clearly not suitable for farming.


Oral Histories

These oral history recordings share the stories
of people who descended from African American
pioneers who settled in the Sourland Mountain region.
The oral histories will also be available to the public at the museum’s listening stations.

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