Stanhope began as a small iron forge town in the late 1700’s and eventually developed into a vibrant, bustling community hub powered by the Morris Canal and the Musconetcong River. Lake Musconetcong was created in the mid 1800’s as a water supply to the Morris Canal and the local iron works.
Throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, Stanhope’s iron-manufacturing complex continued to expand. With the dawning of the 20th century came new transportation networks and technologies. By the mid 1920’s, the iron era in Stanhope ended. The Morris Canal was abandoned in favor of the railroads. Today, Stanhope is a bedroom community of approximately 3,610 residents.