There's a hidden gem in the woods of Monmouth County that provides a look into what life was like in New Jersey almost 200 years ago.

For those of you who don’t know, inside Allaire State Park is historic Allaire Village. The village features buildings from the 19th century, and actors who perform jobs that were appropriate to the time period. There is a blacksmith with a working forge, a tinsmith, and several carpenters.

The village was built around a furnace for bog iron known as the “Monmouth Furnace” and then the “Howell Works” after it was purchased by James Howell. It was later purchased by James Allaire in 1822, according to the museum on the property, who tried to make it a self contained village.

Unfortunately, by 1846 the iron market had turned to other sources of ore that were more easily extracted, and the village was deserted.

You might notice I only took pictures of the exteriors of buildings; the state does not allow photography in any of its buildings. The village is pretty cool and it doesn’t take a whole day to explore it.

See more of Bill's pictures from the Asbury Park Zombie Walk the Mermaid Promenade, and the annual St. Patrick's Day Parade.

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