Union Forge Heritage Association/Solitude Heritage Museum
Located near Spruce Run Reservoir, The Union Forge Heritage Association’s mission is to preserve and protect the rich history and natural environment of Hunterdon County and the state of New Jersey. For the past 13 successful years, we have accomplished this mission through restoration and adaptive re-use of historic properties and structures associated with the Union Iron Works and the Taylor Wharton Iron and Steel Company in High Bridge New Jersey, as well as, creating the Solitude House Museum, numerous environmental and trail projects. . How we accomplish our mission is as varied and unique as our dedicated group of Trustees, Volunteers, Patrons and supporters. Each member of our family brings a special and unique talent to the group and our mission. Our group includes individuals from architects and carpenters, to tradesman, Master Gardeners and corporate professionals. Many in our family are life long residents of Hunterdon County, while others are transplants from other communities who want to become involved in the preservation and promotion of local history, environment and culture
Backstory and Context
The philosophy and idea of “historic preservation” and "environmental protection" for the Union Forge Heritage Association means many different and challenging things to our dedicated group of volunteers. As well as performing the necessary and sometimes tedious research required for an accurate lecture or presentation, activism on a topic or historic or other account, the UFHA has also taken a more “hands-on” and pro-active approach to the ideal of historic preservation, activism and promotion. Rather than being content to just report and catalogue the rich properties and structures , the UFHA for the past 13 years have worked to restore these properties voluntarily. By seeking out necessary funds by donation or grant, and amassing a skilled volunteer base, we were able to not only restore many of the endangered structures, but present and successfully implement adaptive re-uses for these properties, improve the natural environment and create trails. Being proactive and dedicated in our philosophy of preservation and longevity through adaptive re-use has been an important part of our culture and identity in the historic and environmental community. It is only through our collective mind-set and working together as a team that has made our projects successful.