Morris County Celebrates the Restoration of the Iconic Speedwell Wheelhouse
About The Speedwell Wheelhouse
Historic Speedwell is an 8.2 acre National and State Register Historic Site that contains the estate of Stephen Vail, proprietor of the Speedwell Ironworks. The Factory Building and attached Wheelhouse are an excellent example of a preserved, early nineteenth-century vernacular farm building modified for various industrial purposes, typical of the early Industrial Revolution in the United States. Construction of a water-powered factory began in 1829 by Dayton Canfield and was eventually completed by his father-in-law, Stephen Vail, later that same year. The Wheelhouse contains a magnificent 24’ overshot waterwheel. The present wheel was installed in 1853 replacing an older one. By this time, George, Stephen’s younger son, had taken over the Ironworks, giving it his own name in 1845. The Waterwheel is made of wooden spokes and iron parts cast at the Speedwell Ironworks and bearing the “Geo. Vail and Co.” trademark visible on the outer rim of the wheel.
Information and Video Courtesy of the County of Morris.