I often heard my mother comment that she felt sorry for those folks who lived in the city with the hot concrete sidewalks, row homes with ventilation only on the front and back of the buildings, and other urban disadvantages. On the other hand, I remember Uncle Charlie pointing out that he didn't have the mosquito problems we had in the rural areas. Check out the graphic above, those of you Chambersburg natives who are in your 70's and 80's; you may well be enjoying that refreshing shower of cold water on a sweltering Central Jersey Summer day.
I remember the days before air conditioning. The newpaper reporter caption says they are well behaved....well if its a super hot day they just wanna cool down as they are too tired to be mischievous LOL. We would go to Junior Four Pool or Skelton Library (which had decent air conditioning). And there was nothing more beautiful than a summer storm to cool us down for a while on a super hot day...I still remember the curtains blowing in the window as the sky darkened (and we cheered)..and to be fair
about it, there were only so many
UNBEARABLE summer days:)
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
All right, all you contemporaries from the 30's and 40's, admit it! You also sloshed around in those post thunder storm summer rains. I was a kid long before there was a TV set to occupy my childhood hours during a summer rain storm. I suspect that I am not the only one who recalls the joy of traipsing outside after a passing thunderstorm left huge puddles along the street. I am sure I am not the only one who remembers going bare foot and splashing haphazardly all over the place. Out in the boondocks where I grew up, there were no concrete sidewalks; the street met grassy pathways and the puddles were supreme before the advent of municipal drains. Remember how we floated our boats on those all too temporary puddles? Ahh, recalling the joys traveling outdoors after a summer thunderstorm; a journey embellished with the aroma of a fresh spring rain. You talk about aromatherapy! For those who are not familiar with Clay Street where the boys are frolicking, it is located in the Mill Hill area just bordering the freeway exit to Morrisville.
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
I am always happy when the public expresses an interest in Hamilton, and Trenton area history. It's nice to be recognized. As can be seen in the letter in my files, former Mayor Glen Gilmore took the time to stop in to visit the Local History Collection for a personal tour. Above is his acknowledging letter.
Tom that was a nice acknowledgment for the excellent work you do providing us with the past and present history of Trenton and Hamilton. I truly enjoy reading your blog and wish you the best to come.
These folks were the "blue bloods" of pioneer Nottingham Township in the very earliest years of Hamilton Township. The Tindalls, Cubberleys, Rogers, and Robbins families, and I'm sure others which I have not named, were farming the land from the earliest years of old Nottingham. I have inserted the Hamilton Square Baptist graphic. In 1912 when it was printed, there were 19 Hutchinson family members who were communicants at the historic Hamilton Square Baptist Church. .
The above is extracted from a Joseph H. West booklet relating to the centennial celebration of the James and Sarah Hutchinson homestead in Hamilton Square. I have printed up an 11 x 17 graphic of this page which will be presented to Ms. Lillian Tindall Smith whose parents lived on the Tindall Farm on Kuser Road. Today, the home has been historically preserved and known as the John Abbott II house.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Competing beauty shop operators, perhaps with mob involvement, were really up in arms back during the depression when some beauty shops in the area cut prices in order to make their services available to a public which was smack dab in the middle of the Great Depression. Times were very tough, and I imaging a trip to the beauty parlor would be low on the list of financial priorities for the average citizen.
Thanks, Bill Schultz for sending me a heads up on still another beauty shop bombing. I scanned another copy from the December 19th 1931 Times into my computer and had quite a bit of re-formatting to do in order to get a legible post that fit in the screen. Your personal family involvement really adds a lot historically to the incident. Thank you very much! The graphic below gives an insight into your Grandfather's roofing business, and the building at 809 today.
Sunday, February 13, 2011
red or white paper, pasted on red or white hearts, carved a slot in the top, and placed the big box of dreams in front of the class room. Boys would never admit it, but we all avidly looked forward to the valentine we got from that special girl. Ahh, the memories and simplicity of youth!
Saturday, February 12, 2011
This would have been ten years before the Glover family moved to Hartley Avenue. At this juncture, I have not found succeeding articles relating to the opposition local neighbors lodged against the placing of the incinerator in the Patterson Avenue area. However, I do know that the residents' appeals to change the location were in vain. My buddy Don Slabicki and I made many trips to the incinerator when I worked for Fred and Edna Kuser. In fact, I remember the day when Don's dog "Rex" died. We carried him to the incinerator and cremated him in the huge underground oven that always burned brightly. (There was a very large steel manhole cover over the underground incinerator. A chain driven block and tackle with a huge hook on the end raised and lowered the cover.
I dare say there are a few visitors to this web site who remember the Trenton Times when the paper was located on South Stockton Street in Trenton. The above photo is an interesting illustration of what the building looked like back in the day. The Times was rightly proud of the large electric "TIMES" sign that graced the top of the building.
Thursday, February 10, 2011
As we all know, February is Black History Month. Part of that celebration must include the negative aspects of the black experience in America's past. Nowhere is that experience more negative than one finds in the pages of yesterday's newspapers as accounts of anti black outrages were committed all over the United States. Above is an article I wrote in 1986, recalling a Klan auto parade and rally that culminated in Springdale Park in Yardville. .
Wednesday, February 09, 2011
From the "CRIME-MORALS-SOCIAL VALUES" Folder, this graphic:I will keep looking for additional information on this possible gang-related article in which a bomb exploded on Franklin Street in Chambersburg. An aerial view of 129 Franklin Street shows that the original buildings do not appear to be the same as in the aerial view.
Just look at those prices! Even before the fire sale at Haveson's, the "Regular" prices shown are a livid example of how tough the times were back during the Great Depression. Imagine paying $5.95 for an overcoat, or a suit marked down from $15 to $20 for the amazing price of $4.95! This was one of the years when many citizens were unable to keep their homes, had no work, and some were even selling apples on the street corners of American cities.The chopper view of the neighborhood and the location of the Haveson store is marked in the graphic. The most beautiful building in Trenton during that era was the furniture store of J.B. Van Sciver. Judy and I had a rock maple dining set from that quality furniture store that lasted for many years.
The building still stands today. Surprisingly, they didn't demolish it with the wreckers' ball!
Tuesday, February 08, 2011
I have always had a "soft spot" for old advertising, whether for old automobiles or merchants who once set up shop in our local area. The above vignette is a representation of just a few of the downtown establishments that were popular back then. Convery's Furniture survived until the 1960's when rioters burned the town down and looted many Trenton stores.Note: I have not been able to establish the exact location of DeCou's building lots. I do know that it was within the boundary of South Broad Street, Chambers, and South Clinton Avenue. The ad also includes Hamilton Street which was probably re-named. I don't know which area street was once Hamilton Street. Time will tell.
Monday, February 07, 2011
I have been diligently working on source material for the Reynolds Middle School 50th anniversary program which will be held this week, and have limited my blog posts for today.
This graphic shows what the Battle Monument area along North Broad and Tucker Streets in Trenton looked like 74 years ago, and of course, the lower birds' eye view shows the area today. This is one of a number of high definition Trenton area folders I received many years ago from Mr. Bob Kelly.
Saturday, February 05, 2011
This photo and article from 1916 gives a nice view of Trenton's Mott School. The historic edifice has been the school of many notable Trentonians over the years, and continues today to educate South Trenton students. My friend, the late Leon "Lee" Buker gave me a photo copy of an 8-1/2 x 14 twelve page pamphlet entitled, "MOTT SCHOOL MEMORIES' which is filled with brief memories of many of the alumni who attended the school from its earliest years up to 1983 when the pamphlet was published. Unfortunately the interesting document does not lend itself to re-producing as a web graphic. I am working on bringing extracts of some of those memories, and will publish them in future blog posts.The building to the right in the photo is of the Wesley Methodist Episcopal Church which was also a South Trenton landmark.
(Of course, My Kuser School, and Hamilton High School web sites reflect my personal affection for both of those local institutions of learning. (www.hhs51.blogspot.com and www.kuser-school.blogspot.com )
The beautiful old building still stands on Tyler Street in the city of Trenton. Its neighbor, the old Trenton High School was located diagonally across the "lots" on Greenwood and Chestnut Avenue. This article gives a detailed description of the building as it was proposed in the 1906 article above. It would be interesting to learn how many changes have taken place over the past century.
An interesting history of Carroll Robbins, for whom the school was named, can be found at
It was a landmark along Villa Park's Park Avenue when I was a boy. I passed the school whenever I was going to Tony Amato's for a haircut, ,or to Margerum's delicatessen on the corner of Hamilton and Park Avenue to get a "side by side" double dip French Vanilla ice cream cone. Many local Villa Park residents went to Moses school; indeed, I would bet that many who are no longer residents of that fascinating community in Trenton also attended the school. like many neighborhood schools, Moses became the victim of the wrecker's ball and is no more, but I'm sure the memories remain for those who were educated there,.