Incorporated in 1845, Sparta was once a Colonial farming village comprised of stone mills, general stores, and one-room schoolhouses. Summer visitors from surrounding metropolitan areas were drawn to Sparta in the late 1800s for the fresh mountain air. During that time, Thomas Edison came to Sparta to extract iron ore at his massive Edison village manufacturing plant on Sparta Mountain. The 1920s saw the development of Lake Mohawk, permanently changing the landscape of the township as the windswept Brogden Meadow was transformed into a sparkling 3-mile-long lake, which attracted hundreds of part-time residents. While Sparta is longer a farming community, mining town, or seasonal vacation destination, today s residents take great pride in its small-town appeal and rich, colorful past.