Wharton is a community of approximately 6,500 residents in the highlands of Morris County. Wharton is located between Routes 15, 46 and 80, stretching south from the main entrance of Picatinny Arsenal, a major army research and development center, to Route 46 abounded on the west by Roxbury Township and the east by Dover and Rockaway Township. The Borough is approximately 2.2 square miles.
History of the Borough of Wharton
On June 28, 1895 voters from the settlements of Port Oram, Irondale, Luxemburg, Maryville and Mount Pleasant voted 143 to 51 to incorporate as a town under the name of Port Oram, the largest member of the group. These localities covering an area of two and a quarter square miles west of Dover, New Jersey were basically mine camps or housing for blast furnace and silk mill workers. A mayor, six councilmen, an assessor and a collector were elected to govern this new borough which had started life as an ore shipping port on the Morris Canal. These Elected officials--mine superintendents, store owners, a railroad superintendent and a school teacher--represented the leaders of these settlements where iron ore was mined, melted and shipped. In 1831 the Morris Canal was completed from Newark to Phillipsburg, New Jersey across the Delaware River from the terminus of the Lehigh Canal. On the way, it passed through Boonton, Dover and Port Oram all connected with iron. On this route it tapped the Morris County ore fields and became a carrier for both ore and pig iron. Its main purpose, however, was as an extension of the Lehigh Canal to furnish a route for anthracite from the Pennsylvania mines to the seacoast. Sites on the canal were selected for docks and industry--including iron works. Joesph Wharton was born in 1826 in Philadelphia to an old Quaker family. He first studied at a local Friend's school but being sickly he did not attend college, rather he was sent to a farm to regain his health and during the winter he studied chemistry at the laboratory of Martin Boye in Philadelphia. Joseph Wharton died in January 1909.