Thursday, June 30, 2011
In the early 1970's, Mrs. Edna Kuser, contacted former Mayor Maurice "Maury" Perilli, a fellow Democrat and a member of the Hamilton Democratic Organization. Edna and Fred Kuser were getting to the point where they were no longer capable of giving the attention necessary to maintain the property. Mrs Kuser didn't want the property to be turned into a housing development which would be a very negative change for the citizens who lived in close proximity to the farm. Maury referred Mrs Kuser to Mayor Jack Rafferty, and thankfully then Mayor Rafferty lost not time in working with the Green Acres authorities, and purchased the land for the enjoyment of future generations. Jack Rafferty has proved to be an ardent and enthusiastic supporter of local history.
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
Each of us has the desire to live in a bucolic community like Groveville; Hamilton's answer to Andy Griffith's Mayberry. Gary is a local expert on the history and lore that is one of Hamilton's more fascinating neighborhoods. Gary tells of the years when everyone knew everyone else, and his tales of hearing the Sunday Morning music from the Groveville M.E. church is completely charming. If you haven't visited Gary's site, you are missing a real treat. Click on http://www.grovevillememories.blogspot.com and return with us to "those thrilling days of yesteryear!"
I had intended to photograph the left side and the right side of the folks who attended the June 26th sing along program I am presenting at the Kuser Farm Gazebo. Unfortunately, the right side shows only a few of the attendees who choose to sit away from the main stage of the gazebo. When I swiveled to the left to photograph the other half of the area where most of the folks were sitting, "Shutting down; low battery" came on the screen of my little Canon "PowerShot" SD 630. However, you can see by the numerous autos that are parked in the background, you can see that we had a very nice turnout. A pleasant two hours went by far too quickly.
Tuesday, June 28, 2011
The committee preparing for the centennial celebration of the Mercerville School on Regina Avenue have requested information for their September centennial event. Accordingly I felt it would be much more convenient to post bits and pieces relating to that great old edifice in Mercerville which will allow the committee to right click and save these graphics for their use. At the same time, they are being posted here for posterity.
Monday, June 27, 2011
Up to this point, I have found nothing in my extensive research on the one room schools in Hamilton Township. I do know that our schools were numbered, and that Farmingdale was among the oldest. The above article was printed when Mercerville School was located on Quaker Bridge Road, but after it was known as "School No. 27."
In September, Hamilton Township's Mercerville School will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the construction of that beautiful building on Regina Avenue in Mercerville. The original Mercerville School was designated as "School No. 27" back in the 19th century. It was located on Quaker Bridge Road in the area of today's Quakerbridge Commons. I will be working with the area organizers of the celebration, posting additional material on the school in future posts. These posts can be be saved to the computers of those who are working on the 100th anniversary project. Mercerville is another of Hamilton's neighborhood schools that evolved from the classic one room school house to the two story schools which were popular in the early to mid 20th century.
Friday, June 24, 2011
How well I recall those innocent 1940's and 50's! The girls wore dresses, skirts and blouses, the boys wore shirts and neckties, and the teachers wore dresses, skirts and blouses, while their male counterparts wore a suit. There were no tie-dyed jeans, no bare feet peeking out of flip flops, and a self imposed dress code. Were you to have attended that "Peggy and the Pirates" operetta back in 1952, you would have seen all of the audience also dressed as described above. Wouldn't it be a delightful experiment to bring back some of those great old Gilbert & Sullivan, Rudolph Friml, Jerome Kern etc. operettas and expose our present generation to a bit of high school musical history? Dream on, Glover! Those simple and less complicated years are no more.
Thursday, June 23, 2011
The Goldy name is another old Hamilton family name, dating back locally to the mid 19th century. One can only imagine the beauty that was Charles Teunon's Lakeside Park when he began developing the community back in the first decade of the 20th century. Maybury Goldy was a Trenton coal dealer who resided on South Broad Street in the original area known as Chambersburg. He chose the beautiful environment of Lakeside Park, along the banks of Hutchinson's Pond, as it was known before Teunon gave it the name of "Lakeside."
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
At first glance the above aircraft would seem to be an early helicopter. However, the helicopter has rotary blades that are POWERED by an engine. The Auto giro's rotors are powered by air. Think of the seeds of a maple tree as the rotate to the ground rather than fall flat. The gas driven propeller on the auto giro give the aircraft the power to climb and descend, all aided by the rotation of the rotors through various air changes in the speed of the craft. Further fascinating information on this incredible aircraft is to be found right here in the Mercer County area, where the Garth Pitcairn auto giro is housed in a hangar at Robbinsville Airport. If you Google PITCAIRN AUTO GIRO you will find fascinating videos and info on the auto giro.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
Fleetwings? When was the last time you heard that name? They were located across the river in Bristol and many locals including my neighbor Gordy Soffel had a job there during WWII. Mike Kuzma, is this a relative? And Ralph Lucarella, you probably know all these players.
Monday, June 20, 2011
The news photos above showing the original Woodruff homestead was modified by adding the huge columns as seen in the 1938 photo, also note the highlighted left side of the current building, and the chimney on the other side. Note also that the original doorway and lintel were also preserved. The large columns and "gingerbread" were added, as were the buildings on either side.
Saturday, June 18, 2011
The old inspection station on Prospect Street near Pennington Avenue was in the news in 1938. As you read the article, you will note that many new cars were being rejected due to defects that apparently came upon the new vehicles while they were in transit from the factor to the dealer. It is interesting to note that "nearly 200 cars were in line awaiting inspection as they lined up on Brooks Street.
When I was a teenager with my very first car, I remember dreading the trip over to Prospect Street in Trenton to have my car inspected. I had a 1938 Ford "Business Coupe." (That's a model that only had a driver and passenger seat, and a small area in the back for golf clubs, baseball bats, lunch boxes, etc. I paid 25 bucks for the car from a guy in Morrisville.The tires were bald (remember 600 x 16 tires?), the muffler had a leak, as did the radiator, and there were other defects that turned up as I began to drive that little flat head V-8. With all those defects, that little car could move! I discovered another very serious and unknown defect one night when I and my buddy Don Slabicki were exiting Atlantic Products, where I worked in the shipping department. I was all set to show the other folks who were leaving the parking lot what that old Ford had under the hood. I flipped her into 1st, spun wheels and headed toward Johnston Avenue. A car was coming along the road at the time and I slammed on the MECHANICAL brakes. I heard a loud thump, the clanging of steel and the silence of a stalled engine. Popping the hood, I found that the battery didn't have a lock down clamp and it flipped off of its tray and slammed into the fan which had a number of bent out of shape fins from the collision. Remember that inspection station on Prospect Street? Remember: how we couldn't afford a new muffler from Penn Jersey or Pep Boys, so we put steel wool in the muffler and wrapped it tape, the guy who slid that headlight testing bar in front of the car and seeing that the left beam was out of line with the right beam which was also out of line, the vacuum windshield wipers that made a pass across the windshield every 10 or 15 seconds.....Remember how you drove up to the wheel alignment equipment and your car was raised as the inspector wiggled your wheels to check for bad wear and out of alignment problems? Remember looking anxiously at the M.V. guys who seemed to be required by the state to not smile and be cordial, but be sure to take those nasty pills every morning before work.......Ahh, the memories are rather pleasant these 70 years later, but at the time, they were !
Wednesday, June 15, 2011
THANKS TO MY HAMILTON HIGH CLASS OF 1951 CLASSMATE, ALICE SCHMIDT MULLEN FOR THIS HISTORIC MAP SHOWING WHO LIVED THERE 152 YEARS AGO! ALONG WITH PENNINGTON AND GROVEVILLE, CROSSWICKS IS STILL ANOTHER TOWN THAT WOULD BE A GREAT PLACE TO LIVE.
Civil War enthusiasts would love to attend the auction at the Trenton Barracks! As is apparently always the case, after the conflict, we found ourselves with an overage of inventory of military equipment. I experienced that at the end of World War II when millions of surplus military materiel were sold for consumption or salvage. I particularly recall a farmer in Columbus New Jersey stocking up on hundreds of military surplus items including a Grumman Avenger! As I recall his last name was Michaelchuk. I pass the farm field on which he stored the material as I travel Route 206 south.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
Few people associate Edward Boyd with Villa Park. In my computer database I have a photo of him when he was very active on the Boyd Farm in the area Nottingham Way and the old De Laval plant. Boyd was one of the earlier persons involved with Henry N. Smith's old Fashion Stud Farm which was located where the old N.J. State Fair was located. Mr. Boyd sheds some hitherto unknown information on the location of the Quintin track in the short extract above. Until I am proven wrong, I speculate that the track was located between Quinton and Melrose Avenues from Hamilton Avenue to Jefferson Street (Today's Liberty Street.) Boyd lived at 837 Hamilton Avenue.
Sunday, June 12, 2011
I have an intense interest in maps such as the Ewing map posted above. This map shows home sites and lists the approximate acreage of the landholder. This one is for those you "Ewingites" who are interested in the way the township looked in 1875, 136 years ago. It will also be of interest to those local residents to determine the approximate location of their current home. Have fun locating the streets and roads that still exist; you might even find the location of the land owner who owned the land that ultimately became your home!
Wednesday, June 08, 2011
One Sunday last summer when I went to Kuser Farm Gazebo to set up for my afternoon sing along, I saw the "artistry" of whomever it was who brought chalk to the park and proceeded to scribble pink, white, and blue graffiti all over the concrete dance floor. It was only chalk, but there were no sources of water nearby to wash the stuff off. A harmless prank, right? WRONG! As I sat on the steps of the gazebo, I also noted that some little darling took a black marker and wrote on the newly painted, newly restored wooden post on the gazebo steps. The township spent many man hours bringing that beautiful structure back to its original state! Vandalizing teens who choose to deface public property should be held accountable and their parents held responsible for the financial damage they have caused. I took many photos which clearly showed what they did along the edge of Kuser Farm Park in the area of the windmill. Spray paint on Rusling Paving's relatively new concrete buildings is an outrageous insult to Hamiltonians as is the damage they did to a very large cinder block structure adjacent to Rusling Paving's facility along the Kuser property on Loomis Avenue. Were I a judge, they would be given a tooth brush to clean off their anti social graffiti, or their parents would be fined in the amount it would take to bring the buildings back to their original state. There needs to be vigilance on the part of the community to thwart these anti social acts of vandalism that are becoming all too common in "America's Favorite Home Town."
PUBLISH THE NAMES OF THE LITTLE DARLINGS AND WATCH THE VANDALISM DISAPPEAR!
When the Trenton Police Department's new history book arrives later this summer, you will undoubted read about Captain Cleary, along with contemporary photographs. This is just one of the hundreds of files in the Hamilton Township Public Library's Local History Collection. More to come.
Monday, June 06, 2011
JESS ANDERSON, DON SLABICKI AND I WERE INSEPARABLE BUDDIES BACK IN OUR YOUNGER YEARS. JESS' MOM AND DAD WERE VERY ACTIVE MEMBERS OF THE KUSER SCHOOL P..T.A. AS SEEN BY THE CERTIFICATE IN THE GRAPHIC ABOVE. LIKE MY FATHER, JESS' DAD WAS ALSO AN AIR RAID WARDEN BACK DURING WWII. THE CERTIFICATES WERE SENT TO ME BY JESS' SON, ANDREW. THE GRAMMAR SCHOOL PHOTOS OF JESS ARE IN A TREASURED FILE IN MY PERSONAL FILES UNDER, "MEMORIES, PRECIOUS."
Wednesday, June 01, 2011
The folks over at the Camp Olden Civil War Roundtable can give a very detailed treatise on the weaponry of the Civil War. A few years after the war, the above article refers to the Remington Arms company playing a part in the local manufacture of gun barrels. The article above relates the details.
There aren't too many of us around who remember the years when the Trenton Evening Times was just that: an evening newspaper. Our delivery man through all those years was Tony Olympio, a very happy man who loved his job and almost always had the paper delivered to our door step on time. It's difficult to imagine an afternoon paper in today's society. Indeed, the afternoon paper, along with the numerous "Extra" and "Late" Editions have gone the way of the passenger pigeon. All of which makes the above graphic very interesting as we look back on the way we used to obtain the daily news.