History of Middle Valley Community Center Building

Restoration work on the Middle Valley Community Center

MVCC pre 1924

The actual date this photo was taken is unknown but the lack of a paved road dates it prior to 1924. An interesting detail is the bell tower roof which has graceful sloping sides, a scalloped bottom first course and tight spacing between courses. Unfortunately these details were lost when the tower was re roofed in the early 1990s.

MVCC post 1924

This photo was taken during or after 1924. Much of the background has been whited out for an unknown publication. The process of whiting out a background was common in the printing trade but is reliant upon the artist's interpretation of the foreground and background elements. In this photo the darker trim above the top of the tower legs does not protrude as far as the artist leads us to believe.

1792 David Miller opens first general store in Middle Valley, New Jersey
1802 A Post Office is established at David Miller’s store
1804 A new building is constructed for the store (future MVCC building)
1836 David W. Miller (son) takes over business
1847 David W. Miller sells his store to John C. Welsh
1863 John C. Welsh sells the store to Elias Bartles
1868 William S. Naughright enters into partnership with Elias Bartles
1870 Elias Bartles leaves business
1871 Jacob Welsh partners with William Naughright to run the Middle Valley general store. Welsh later starts the Welsh Farm Dairy business in German Valley
1891 Middle Valley Hall Association was formed. Store is bought from Jacob Welsh for $150
1903 Building serves as meeting place for Ladies Home Union Society of Middle Valley
1904 Bell tower added to building
1905 “A Valentine supper was held on Tuesday evening at the Middle Valley chapel. The enterprising people interested in the Chapel are now gathering a fund to decorate the interior and repair the furnishings” Hackettstown Gazette
1926 Building serves as school for grades 1 to 5 after fire destroys Middle Valley school
1975 Middle Valley Hall Association changes name to Middle Valley Community Center (MVCC)
1990 MVCC Trustees succeed in placing Middle Valley on the Register of State and National Historic Places. The community center is a contributing building in the Middle Valley Historic District
2003 MVCC Trustees begin restoration project using Morris County Heritage Commission and Morris County Historic Preservation Trust Fund matching grant programs
2007 MCHPTF grant restoration work completed
2013 MVCC Trustees adopted a strategy to increase intergenerational appeal by focusing the community center’s public events on music and food. Your Table in the Valley was developed as a continuing multi-part series on food in our area raising awareness of our rich agricultural setting, offerings of the local farm economy, and improving community health
2018 Continuing on the success of community outreach, the MVCC Trustees put forth increased emphasis on cultural events such as the Music in the Valley Series which helps support local artists.
2020 Due to the coronavirus pandemic, MVCC’s building closed to public events. To continue the Music in the Valley Series, MVCC Trustees partnered with the Raritan Inn to cohost safe distancing outdoor music concerts.
2021 The Community Center created the Middle Valley Cultural Center subgroup. A reflection of the emphasis on broadening our scope of social events beyond the immediate community.

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