Kingsland Manor: Out of the Past

History and Legends Merge in 1700s Colonial Manor

Kingsland Manor Restoration Trust
3 Kingsland Street Nutley, NJ 07110

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The history and legends surrounding Nutley's Kingsland Manor are fascinating. Far more than just another early American homestead, the Kingsland Manor has a captivating personality and charm.

The brownstone and lumber from which it was built were still unquarried and uncut in 1668 when Major Nathaniel Kingsland of Barbados dispatched his nephew, Capt. William Sandford to the territory of East Jersey to acquire land for British colonization.

The task was accomplished and Sandford purchased in his own name 15,000 acres between the Passaic and Hackensack Rivers seven miles north from their confluence in Newark Bay. It was called New Barbados.

Sandford built a home near what is now Union Avenue, Lyndhurst, in 1670. Soon after, he agreed with Major Kingsland that the territory would be divided between them. The Major retained the portion north of a line from Snake Hill in the Meadows to a 'blazed tree” in what is now Belleville.

Sandford's home was taken over by Isaac Kingsland, another nephew of the Major, in 1673. The first Kingsland to settle here, Isaac, fled London because he had married the daughter of his employer against her father's wishes. His wife disowned and himself jobless, Isaac had written to his wealthy Uncle Nathaniel in Barbados for help.

Nathaniel offered him the New Barbados tract and a home to settle in if he would come and develop the land. Making his home in Sandford's house, Isaac became an influential force in developing East Jersey, serving two terms on the King's Council. Later another brother, Gustavus, joined Isaac. Thus, began the Kingsland “dynasty” in America.

It was Isaac's grandson, Joseph Kingsland, who purchased the Nutley property in 1790. Born in Kingsland, Bergen County in 1738, Joseph grew up across the Passaic River.

The Kingsland family was torn by loyalty to the crown and devotion to American freedom and independence. Our Joseph was a Tory with such a loyalty to King George, that during the Revolution he emigrated to Nova Scotia, where he remained until after the conflict.

Joseph Kingsland then returned to New York City and took up residence at 29 Greenwich Street. There he ran a lumber yard and made a living as a carpenter. Needing timber to fill an order for curbing for New York Town, Joseph looked to the forests of New Jersey.

He found the perfect spot by the mouth of the Third River across from his boyhood home. He set his slaves to work felling trees and, in the Third River Saw Mill he erected, he cut them into curbing, which was shipped on his sloops to the developing city from a dock at the mouth of the Yantacaw or Third River.

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