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Wednesday, November 25, 2015


That beautiful old red brick building fascinated me every time Judy and I made a trip to her sister's Bordentown home. The article is from 1909 but I don't have the actual date.


Here's Mill Hill, 1849; the year of the California gold rush. This incredible Trenton neighborhood has a splendid historical heritage. Back in the early 19th century, hotels, blacksmith shops and numerous other merchants made up a very attractive community which has succeeded even today to maintain some of the charm it had in years past.

Monday, November 23, 2015


He who opens a school door, closes a prison. ~Victor Hugo
They were our nemesis all through my years at Hamilton High School. They were also the epitome of good sportsmanship. No one was more disappointed than I when I heard that the building had to be razed. In my uninformed mind, the red brick structure could be preserved and an interior renovation with new material being brought into play to re-design the interior with classrooms, and add the more modern rooms necessary to the back of the interior restored building. However, I ultimately found that it was beyond preserving. Thus another local Trenton landmark goes the way of the passenger pigeon. Even though I am a Hamilton High graduate, I followed their activities during my school years as did many non Trentonians who were interested in their annual Sports Night, Operettas, and other social outreach programs served up by Tornadoes from the golden years.

Sunday, November 22, 2015


For over 20 years since the advent of the personal computer, I have been diligently researching that area of Trenton that I consider to be the cradle where "Littleworth" or today's Trenton was born. Mill Hill is a fascinating study for those who are interested in the oldest area in the city of Trenton. Before I returned to St. Anthony of Padua parish recently, I had been attending Mass at Mill Hill's historic Sacred Heart parish. Each Sunday morning as I ministered to the folks at Trenton's VIllages I and II down on Lalor Street in Trenton, I would pass through that incredibly historic Trenton treasure and breathe deeply of the always present sense of history. Though I only have some 300 files in my Hamilton Township Public Library Local History database, I find myself taking a break from other local historical research and journeying back in time as I read the reminiscences of old timers who were around when there was a Lee Blacksmith shop, a Whittaker, Corey, Quintin Washington Retreat, and countless other fascinating stories from an illustrious past. Here's just one of those fascinating Mill Hill historic favorites. One can just imagine sitting on a bench and having a refreshing dip of ice cream at the bucolic retreat.

Friday, November 20, 2015


Take a very close look at this photo. It is the very first row of my personal collection of VERY RARE Trenton Evening Times, Daily State Gazette and Daily True Americans that will be the property of the Hamilton Township Public Library's "Hamiltonia" collection when I am forced to retire and no longer able to perform the physical and mental requirements of Township Historian. While you are taking that close look, you will see through the first row to the second row which houses the collection from the 20th century....1900 to the early 1930's, and around to the front row as seen in the photo which starts in the mid 1930's and ends up with those volumes you see in the lower right which are only a small part of the 1940's. Not seen in the photo is the very back of the room in which these valuable volumes are carefully stored in a temperature controlled, insect free room (that would be my Library Local History workshop.) That back row houses the 19th century volumes from 1870 up to the 20th century. I got tired of patting myself on the back for having the foresight to preserve these treasures. When I acquired them, computers and digital imaging technologies were just evolving. "MICRO FORMS" (Microfilm) was the flavor of the day. Bell and Howell took on the monumental task of photographing trillions of pages from daily newspapers all over the world and selling them to the libraries all over the world. The libraries were delighted to be able to get rid of those huge, heavy bulky bound volumes and the space they took up. They sent them to the recycle bin and replaced their collections with a cabinet full of 4 inch 35 millimeter reels of microfilm; which over time and use develop vertical scratches as they pass through the film viewing gateway. I have never heard any librarians mention it, but I would bet that many if not most librarians regret the destruction of their bound newspaper collection. I have become moderately proficient in using "PhotoShop" computer software and digital reproduction technology. Indeed, there are some photos in those older newspapers that have been scanned into the computer, enhanced and tweaked and are superior to the original copy on the original source page.
BOTTOM LINE: This collection will be a gold mine in the future of Hamilton Township insofar as historical preservation. Indeed, the sheer volume of pages in this collection renders it an impossible feat to copy (digitize) all those articles and photos that exist within all those millions of pages. My successor, then his or her successor, and yes, even numerous successors well into the future of the Hamilton Township Public Library's Local History Collection will still be unearthing historically valuable news articles and photographs.

Thursday, November 19, 2015


Here's a chance for all you arm chair historians to delve into the history of one of the more historic areas and families in the Hamilton-Trenton area. The "Lalor Tract" once encompassed a very large part of the southern part of Mercer County from the Riverview Cemetery area to So. Broad Street, along the canal and river, right up to the Broad Street Park-Cedar Street (Cedar Lane) are. the map immediately below the article shows property owners as of the year 1875. The numerals indicate the acreage and the little squares when present, is the approximate location of the home of the land holder. This is one of those "Armchair Historian" types of graphic that will fill a very pleasant evening during the upcoming cold wintery nights!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Here's still another extracted and enlarged map showing Hamilton Square and Mercerville from the 1875 Evert & Stewart Atlas. Fascinating to travel those roads on the map and comparing them with today's towns.


This extract from an 1849 "Dripp's" map of the city of Trenton is a gold mine for historic researchers. A mere 73 years away from 1776! Whenever I find a pertinent article in the press of the past, I can use this map to pinpoint the location. assuming it is within the year of the date of the map. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

1941: Among the first to be inducted into WWII, January 1941

Here are just a few of the members of the "GREATEST GENERATION" who were inducted into military service mere weeks after the December 7, 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


I am a hopeless romantic. Way back in 1986 I wrote a column dealing with "Lifebuoy," Palmolive, and other soaps of the day; all of which were commonly available in almost every store. One of them was the fabled "IVORY" brand that thick rectangular bar that unlike other bathing soaps, floated. I liked that and so did many. So here we are in the 21st century and across my desk comes this folio filled with Ivory engravings as Proctor and Gamble celebrated the centennial of the classic brand. And guess who wrote an article about Ivory? You guessed it: Tom Glover back in the 1980s. The Ivory lady in the photo is a classic example of what I call the "feminine mystique;" she is absolutely physically gorgeous, and wears the classic dress that was common during the era of the "Gibson Girl." Yep, hopelessly romantic and not ashamed to say it either!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Much of what I have read and studied relating to the history of the city of Trenton indicated that Warren Street was the main thoroughfare during the early 19th century. While trying to find very elusive information of the Hezekiah Anderson Farm that once reposed in the area of today's Greenwood and Woodlawn Avenue just a bit from the Trenton city line on Logan Avenue. During my search I come across ads as shown above rouse the love of local history in me. Imagine a stage coach office in center city Trenton back in those primitive early years as well as the steamboat landing that was at the foot of Ferry Street; delightful antiquarian Trenton!

Monday, November 02, 2015


They aren't wasting any time starting the advertising blitz for Christmas, 2015! Unless I miss my guess, Ms. Patti Krzywulak (Che-Vo-Lahk) is already amassing a group of volunteers to bring the Christmas spirit ot Hamilton's beautiful Kuser Mansion. Here's a file scan I did from the HAMILTON OBSERVER, December, 1989.

Saturday, October 31, 2015


Memories of crisp fall evenings, Judy rising at 5 A.M. to put that turkey in the oven, scraping the ice off the windshield of the car, witnessing the first snowflakes of the season, remembering our military veterans....ah yes, it's November; time for bittersweet memories.


I spent many hours researching this early 20th century version of today's "Big Foot" All the newspapers of the day were telling stories of citizens from Bordentown to Groveville, to Morrisville and other local appearances of what was originally known as the "Leeds Devil" then the fabled "Jersey Devil." It all started in South Jersey.

 At the request of my Editor and friend Wayne Davis for one of my MERCER MESSENGER Halloween columns, artist Sharon Tondreau was kind enough to furnish this exquisite drawing of the Jersey Devil based on the many descriptions of those who claimed to have seen the creature. Like the Loch Ness Monster, and "Bigfoot," many persist that the creature was and is real.

Friday, October 30, 2015


This fascinating photo shows the Bromley area as views from an airplane looking down on Greenwood Avenue. Fellow Bromley resident Bobby Shinkle was kind enough to locate all the many friends and neighbors he had back in his youth where he lived on Dickinson Avenue. FASCINATING INDEED!

Wednesday, October 28, 2015


I'm still scratching my head as I try to understand the trend in music over the last 50 or so years. I am hopelessly stuck in the genre that contains happy, sad, bittersweet, beautiful lyrics and melodies. Thank heavens there is still a WBCB 1490 in Levittown, WFJS 1260 in Ewing where civilized real harmony is still in style!

Monday, October 26, 2015


I have established a sub-folder in my KUSER FARM master folder and named it
 "TOM GLOVER'S KUSER FARM." It will be a pictorial look back at the COUNTLESS places with which I have become so familiar over all these years. I mentioned to Ms. Patti Krzywulak ("Che-vo-lock") who is Curator of the mansion, that I would like to do a walking tour of the Kuser property, pointing out the many interesting stories that will be re-told in a number of stops on the tour. The scanned photo below was taken yesterday as my dear little dog "Daisy Mae" and I took one of my many walks in the place I love so much and the place where memories of the Kusers are alive and vivid in my memory.

Thursday, October 22, 2015


Back in the 1980's I was approached by the County of Mercer to write articles throughout the Sesquicentennial year relating to various Mercer County persons, places and things. Above is one of the columns I wrote, part of a 4 part series of that wonderful old parochial grammar school which is no longer in existence.  How ironic that those closed parochial schools who took pride in the fact that their students far out performed those in the public school system, but were doomed for failure for financial reasons!

Monday, October 19, 2015

1946: Route 25 (today's Rte 130) at the Route 33 turnoff

How this intersection has changed! Back when I was a daily commuter to New Brunswick, I opted for Route 130 as opposed to alway clogged Rte 1.
Down Route 33 to 130, stop for coffee and a donut at Russert's Deli, then north on 130 to Adams Lane in No. Brunswick, Adams Lane over the mainline railroad bridge to Route 1 and then to 600 Jersey Avenue. Back then there were two traffic lights on 130. The first at 33 and 130, then to Princeton-Hightstown Road at the Old Hights Inn. Look at it now!


Remember the "bouncing ball" on screen sing alongs we saw at the movies back in the 40's and 50's? This Thursday night from 6 to 7:30, my singing partner Jack Pyrah and I will be bringing "NOSTALGIA NIGHT" to the Hamilton Library's "Little Theater," Room 3. The program is free and open to all who are within driving range of the Hamilton Library. Quite a few of those who attended our summer "Kuser Koncerts" expressed an interest in a continuing program, and Jack and I will be going for a monthly program until the 2016 season begins. Come on out this Thursday night for an hour and a half of music and memories!

Saturday, October 17, 2015


Today, this historic old tavern is known as "Bill's Olde Tavern." Back in the Late1800's and early 1900's it was known as the Mercerville Road House. Mercerville was originally known as Sandtown. George Washington marched from Trenton along today's Hamilton Avenue (then the Sandtown Road) on his way to the battle of Princeton. He never made it to the old tavern as his march veered to the north west (think Mercerville School area) thence to Quaker Bridge thence to Princeton. A note about this photo. Offset printing was in its early stages and most old news photos from this era where of poor quality; this one is relatively better than others from the era.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

1909: The Poor Claires Arrive in Bordentown

I always loved that old convent. Each Sunday as Judy and I made our way to my sister in law's Bordentown home, we passed by that classic old architectural treasure.

Sorry...the text on the article is a bit faded. here's an adjusted version:

Monday, October 12, 2015


Here's a splendid view of a very familar downtown Trenton view. A trip to Gimbels or across the street to Goldberg's or perhaps a Saturday night at the RKO Capitol with that significant other.

Thursday, October 01, 2015


I remember so many local newspaper columnists who have devoted their output to the history of Trenton. John Cleary, Harry Podmore, Bill Dwyer, and many others among whom is my favorite local historian, Ms. Sally Lane. Sally's columns were always accompanied by very interesting graphics. Unfortunately, in today's newspaper industry, graphics take a back seat to written content. Be that as it may, some time ago, I began digitizing some of Ms. Lane's columns. Details follow.
So many subjects, so much fast fading history, so little time! I envision myself standing at the edge of a heavily forested area trying to identify each tree; an impossible task. My computer is a Dell Precision M6400 which was manufactured to replace that huge tower those of my fellow computer users have on their desk top. There are 46,542 files on "TOM'S HISTORY" computer found in 1,199 folders. Indeed 53 gigabytes on my hard drive are taken up by the aforementioned files and folders. The graphic shows just one of those folders; in this case my favorite local historian, Ms. Sally Lane. As of the present time, I have succeeded in digitizing 48 of Sally's past newspaper columns. My point? Go back to that forest to the trees I referred to. It will give you an idea of how much more yet to be digitized local history is to be added to the hard drive on my M6400 Dell Precision computer. Please Lord, let me have 10 more years to keep adding!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015


The venerable old Colonial town of Trenton was changed forever on that fateful April of 1968. Gone were honest, respected businesses that had survived in the downtown Trenton for decades. Convery's Dunham's Elsie Gallivan, and many other anchor stores fled the city to the safer suburbs as their downtown stores were looted, burned and destroyed. Innocent business owners' buildings were decimated, valuables looted and Trenton was left in chaos. The carnage was done as vengeance for an unspeakable incident with which those downtown merchants had nothing to do with. 


What a wonderful gift God has given to me! At the much too rapidly advancing age of 82, I have been gifted with the ability to digitize my life! Well, not only my life, but many of my fellow citizens as I am able to bring photos, articles, ephemera, nostalgia and countless other physically visible memories of years gone by. Above is an example of a small remnant of time relating to my beloved Kuser Farm. One of the many questions people have asked me over the years relates to the fabled dining room which doubled as the Kuser Farm little theater. Today. As can be seen in the October, 1931 news clipping from my collection, William Fox was helped along in his efforts to establish a motion picture company. With the recent addition of the "talkies" in the late 1920's, the industry mushroomed and many film companies were established. The Kuser boys were instrumental in giving William Fox a financial interest in his film company which over the years would evolve into 20th Century Fox films. One of the perks the Kuser family got in return was the privilege of screening any and ALL movies released by the studio before they were introduced to the public. New York City's famous "Roxy" theater was the flagship theater for 20th Century Fox. The Glover connection to the Kusers began way back in 1938 when my brother Bud worked at odd jobs at the Kuser Farm. Bud went to to become an operator of the Kuser 35 millimeter Simplex-Acme portable projectors; a task he quickly learned.  When brother Bud entered the Navy in 1945, I assumed his position at the farm. During our years of working for Fred and Edna Kuser from 1945 up to adulthood, when my best buddy Don Slabicki and I married and started our families. I didn't have the very necessary ability to run those projectors as did my brother. However, my buddy Don Slabicki was the one who became the replacement for my brother. I hope to do a Kuser Mansion program in the future, relating to my years at a place I consider to be my "outdoor chapel." Stay tuned.

Monday, September 28, 2015


1983: COLONIAL VFD: THE FIRE COMPANY OF MY CHILDHOOD It was there when I was a boy during WWII. The scary Colonial siren went off every time there was a fire in our neighborhood, and during those frightening "blackouts" that were part of the scene during the early years of the war when there was thought to be the possibility of an enemy air attack. It was there when I was a teenager and my dear friend Jesse Anderson joined as a volunteer at the tender age of 17. I can still see that blue light and "COLONIAL VFD" emblem on the front of his 1940 Pontiac sedan. Memories of Chief John Lenhardt with the stump of a lit cigarette burning every closer to his lips. "Big John," who was the consummate Fire Chief; always ready, any hour, day or night. It was the boys in his family, all of whom I seem to recall becoming dedicated fire fighters. It was young John, moving to the Mercerville area and becoming Chief of that fire company after serving at Colonial. The memories just keep on coming. 1983: COLONIAL VFD: THE FIRE COMPANY OF MY CHILDHOOD It was there when I was a boy during WWII. The scary Colonial siren went off every time there was a fire in our neighborhood, and during those frightening "blackouts" that were part of the scene during the early years of the war when there was thought to be the possibility of an enemy air attack. It was there when I was a teenager and my dear friend Jesse Anderson joined as a volunteer at the tender age of 17. I can still see that blue light and "COLONIAL VFD" emblem on the front of his 1940 Pontiac sedan. Memories of Chief John Lenhardt with the stump of a lit cigarette burning every closer to his lips. "Big John," who was the consummate Fire Chief; always ready, any hour, day or night. It was the boys in his family, all of whom I seem to recall becoming dedicated fire fighters. It was young John, moving to the Mercerville area and becoming Chief of that fire company after serving at Colonial. The memories just keep on coming.

Saturday, September 26, 2015


My dear friend, the late Bob Simpkins was the real, genuine Hamilton Historian, Bob passed away at the ripe old age of 102 and left behind the legacy of being one of those responsible for the restoration of Hamilton Township’s colonial treasure, the John Abbott II house on Kuser Road. Bob often spoke of the Yardville-Groveville area of Hamilton, and in my files I have found this graphic telling of the legendary “Wesley Grove” which I put together a number of years ago.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Few people outside of my Hamilton neighborhood will recognize what was the very best bakery in our area up to the time they closed in the 1970's. Mr. Nowak (pronounced "NoVock" )was a Polish gentleman who had the most incredible bakery business going back to the late 1930's. I remember as a boy he had a delivery truck where he delivered his baked goods to many of his fellow customers who immigrated from Poland. My best buddy Don Slabicki's family was one of his customers. Fast forward 20 years or so and the building in the photo, still standing on Hamilton's Partridge Avenue was where one could get what I can only describe as baked delicacies. After Mr. and Mrs Nowak passed away, son Stanley took over the business and the family baking formulas for the various products. Mine happened to be the Nowak Coconut Melt aways. This bakery was so popular folks had to get there early on a Sunday morning before they sold out. They limited their baking schedule to only one per day. Stan old me how he would get up each Sunday morning at 3 A.M. and bake until dawn and open the shop. Any Facebook visitor to this page will agree with my assessment of what I consider to be the very bast bake shop that unfortunately is now a vacant building. How I miss those Sunday morning melt-aways and "sticky buns!"

Monday, September 14, 2015

When I started my volunteer "singalong" program at Kuser Park 9 years ago, I found that there are many local area citizens who love to remember the "MUSIC WE GREW UP WITH;" which just happens to be the moniker I chose for this weekly summer Sunday concert series. As I explained to my friend, former Mayor Glenn Gilmore back in the early 90's, when I volunteered to do this weekly program, I am not a professional vocalist, but according to Miss Louise Baird, my Hamilton High School vocal music teacher, I am among those fortunate enough to be gifted with what is called "perfect pitch." I have been singing for well over 75 of my 80 plus years from our countless around-the-piano family singing when I was only 4 or 5, all through my grammar and high school years, and even when I formed a group of 3 other buddies from my company in the U.S. Army where we sang for hours and hours during my time in the army. The accompanying photo was taken by a member of my partner Jack Pyrah's family. We were, singing along to "In the Garden:" ("I come to the garden alone, while the dew is still on the roses, and the song I hear falling on my ear, the son of God discloses....and He walks with me, and He talks with me, and He tells me I am his own..": The young lady standing with my partner Jack is Miss Kathleen Fennimore. She got out on the dance floor as I was singing "Far Away Places" at our program yesterday afternoon, and as I sang she was dancing and "signing" the lyrics (hand signs for the hearing impaired). It was one of "those moments" for all who were there as Kathleen visually interpreted each word I sang.

Friday, September 11, 2015


The war to end all wars was over and it was time to welcome in the new year of 1946. Thirteen year old Tommy Glover was entering Hamilton High School as a Freshman at the Kuser School's Kuser Annex, where his neighborhood attended before going to 10th grade sophomore year at Hamilton High. Look at all those places one could go to celebrate! It was the year of "The Bells of St. Mary's" with Bing Crosby and Ingrid Bergman in a move that still brings me to tears as a convert to the Faith. So beautiful! As to the full page graphic, there are countless venues I recognize and many of my visitors will too

Thursday, September 10, 2015


Fifteen cents for a roast beef platter! Note: The Delaware Inn was advertising back during the depression year of 1935. That old historic inn is being restored and the last I heard it was going to become a museum. 150 years or so ago, that old inn was a stopping over place for old river barges that were carrying coal, stone and other material down the Delaware to Philadelphia and points south. This is a huge graphic and may not be legible here on Facebook. The full size readable version can be found at

Tuesday, September 08, 2015


Here are a few of the graphics I have digitized from the "SEPTEMBER FEST" folder in the Hamilton Township Public Library Local History Collection. The top graphic brings us then Mayor Jack Rafferty's ingeniously named "Seymore of Hamilton;" a beaver who delighted many a young child. Jack Rafferty was not only a great Hamilton Mayor, he also had some very progressive (as in progress, not political) ideas including the enhancement of former Hamilton Mayor Maury Perilli's "Hamilton Park" into "Veterans Park.) acquisition of Kuser Park, Sayen Gardens, the Kuser Park summer concerts which brought quality big name entertainers like Bob Smith's Lamplighters, Benny Snyder Orchestra, Dick Chime Polka band and many other quality programs that filled the gazebo area of Kuser Park with local citizens who loved nostalgic music in as bucolic Victorian setting.