From silk to guns, Paterson, New Jersey has a prominent place in the annals of American manufacturing history – and some of that history might become more accessible in the near-future as plans at the Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park begin to unfold, the NY Times reports,
The two attributes of Paterson Great Falls National Historical Park — natural wonder and machine-age crucible — are at the center of differing visions for the 52-acre site.
One option would pour more resources into the natural landscape, creating opportunities for recreation along the river and educational programs about the waterfall, the habitat and the city’s past.
On July 10, 1778, a young Hamilton picnicked on cold ham, tongue and biscuits here with General George Washington and the French general the Marquis de Lafayette. It was then that Hamilton became acquainted with the setting of his future industrial city, one that would be powered by water and churn out everything from textiles and paper to locomotives and guns.
Located 15 miles west of New York City, Paterson became Hamilton’s incubator for an economy rooted in industry rather than agriculture. At the heart of his plan was a canal system, which was created not for transporting goods, but for powering the water wheels that turned the cam shafts that drove the industrial equipment inside scores of mills.