New Jersey Skyland region: Ringwood Manor

The Skylands Region located in the Northern and Central part of New Jersey, a little bit more than  an hour from New York. I wrote about one of the parks in Skyland, New Jersey Botanic Garden, in one of my posts.
Ringwood State Park Manor,  located a few miles away from New Jersey Botanic Garden, features both wild lands and landscaped gardens.  The park is named after Ringwood Manor, a large mansion containing collection of relics from the iron-making days.  There are a lot of iron gates  standing  without attached fence all over the garden near the house.

Cornelius Board, a Welsh miner, was probably the first person to mine for iron in the Ringwood area. He was followed shortly thereafter by the Ogden family who established the Ringwood Company and built the first blast furnace in 1742.
Ringwood was very important as a strategic location during the American Revolution. The iron mined at the site helped to supply the Continental Army. In 1807, Martin J. Ryerson purchased the historic ironworks and began building the first section of the present Manor circa 1810.


New York's Peter Cooper, an inventor and industrialist, and his young son-in-law, Abram S. Hewitt, purchased Ringwood in 1854.
Cooper and Hewitt were the major supplier of gunmetal to the Union cause during the American Civil War.  The forges, mills, and farms   gradually turned into the Victorian summer estate of the Hewitts.

 The completed house of 51 rooms was built in a wide range of styles that characterized the Victorian period with the interior furnishings equally eclectic since the Hewitts were avid collectors and traveled extensively around the world.
Eventually, the iron industry moved further west in America and Ringwood's iron mines finally closed.  In 1938, the Hewitt family donated Ringwood Manor and its contents to the State of New Jersey.

There are very pretty picnic sites near a rolling stream in the park.The best time for barbeque is  late September or early October( as on the photo) , when it is not hot and the leaves turn gold.