The area that is now known as Tinton Falls was originally settled in the late 1600s, probably beginning with the initial land purchases from the Lenni Lenape Indians in 1664. Water power and iron ore were likely the incentives that encouraged settlement: shortly after [the land was purchased], a man by the name of James Grover had an ironworks built along the river.
Grover was likely the founder of the community, which, in the 1600s, was named “New Shrewsbury”. At this time, the waterfall was known to be about 30 feet (9.1 m) high; erosion and the destruction of the dam near the ironworks have led to its diminishment.
The ironworks. Grover’s ironworks was the central fixture of the community, and it was one of the earliest ironworks built in the country, predated only by buildings in Jamestown and Massachusetts. In 1675, a half-interest in the ironworks company was purchased by Colonel Lewis Morris, [who obtained a title granting him 3,540 acres (14.3 km2) along the Shrewsbury River]. Morris also obtained land owned by Bartholomew Applegate, who had built a corn mill on the other side of the river. Morris, who procured the land for iron mining, named his holdings “Tintern Manor,” after his family lands in Monmouthshire, England. Tintern Abbey, located in Monmouthshire, Wales, is often accepted as the namesake of Tinton Falls.
Tintern Abbey in Monmouthshire, Wales, is often accepted as the namesake of Tinton Falls.
In 1691, Colonel Morris died, leaving Tinton Manor (a variation of “Tintern Manor”) and the ironworks to his nephew of the same name. By 1714, the ironworks had become less profitable, but mention of a Tinton Falls ironworks can be found as late as 1844.