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Thursday, August 16, 2012

1947: 300 BLOCK OF BRUNSWICK AVENUE

I am not too familiar with this neighborhood, but I do recall traveling from North Broad Street past the Battle Monument and driving out Brunswick Avenue to get to North Olden Avenue. The area has changed greatly since the civil unrest of the 1960's.

7 comments:

Anonymous said...

Tom, in there weren't many things of note in that neighborhood. The only things I can recall were Al's Auto Body and Trenton Pipe & Nipple. The major landmark would have been the Public Service natural gas tanks that were huge. That area was primarily a Black neighborhood till Evans Avenue with Chase Street as the start of Trenton's other "Little Italy" that ran till Fuld. It was anchored by Saint James on Paul Avenue (no one called it East Paul). Across from Helene Fuld Hospital was Finks Florist that had an amazing display of tropical fish and the brothers sold turtles and lizards in addition to the fish. Mitchell Bissel Tile was the start of the Polish neighborhood and Trenton Sportswear had plant with a small factory store; in the 50's it was a machine woks before the change to making shirts. Trenton Sportswear made a good and inexpensive line of menswear and had a huge plant and store in the Olden and Meade Street area.

Ed Millerick

Anonymous said...

Tom & Ed:

The bar on the left, was on the corner of Rose St. where it headed down the hill to the canal feeder.
The "New" Chevy in the middle of the Street is virutally at the front double doors to Al's auto body. Al Leopardi, and his wife Ceil Mulryne Leopardi built a very successful business in this block.
Like most Trenton neighborhoods there was a bar on every corner.
In lower right corner was a great red brick building with a bar of course at the corner of Bond St.
Ed, not to take issue with you, but "North Trenton" Italian neighborhood began at the Battle Monument. Princeton Ave. where it joined with Pennington Rd. and Warren St. had dozens of Brutzase (sp) San Felice, Vilabians, Scicians, etc. Bond St. was home to the Bond AA with the Pecci's, Armenti's Teasauro's, Mennellas, Robinson's (my cousins et,al bonding ( no pun intended) to form the Bond AA as mean and tough football club to be found, and perenial City Champions. Their arc enemies were the Santuzza Oilers, children of the Romans, and Neapolitans from Chambersburg.
I spent many a night,and day playing cards on Princeton & Rose Sts at Tassone & Zuccarelli's ( My brother in law) North Trenton Social Club.
The italian Section was large, and extended over to Calhoun St. again running from the Monument,and Pennington Ave. and all the cross Streets in between north to Miller St which was just south of the Railroad spur which biforcated the area and began the Polish Neighborhood at Heil Ave. and the great Servus Bakery.
From 1950 into the next decade, when I got married, I hung out with the crowd at the "Joint to Vito;s barber shop across Chase St. from St. James on Paul Ave.
Yes Chase St. wrapped aroung behind Rossi's bakery on Paul Ave, and came out on Brunswick Ave. Across from PS&G.
I still stay in touch with the Radices, Vizzini's, Penzone's, De Fortes,Rondinelli's, and many more old friends now scattered across the country. Great Bunch of guys.

Thanks for Shaking my memory of a great period of time in my life.
Regards
Mike Kuzma

Tom Glover said...

WONDERFUL RETROSPECTIVES HERE, ED AND MIKE. KEEP 'EM COMING! THEY WILL PROVE TO BE INVALUABLE IN YEARS TO COME, ASSUMING THIS HISTORIC TABLEAU SURVIVES.

TOM GLOVER

Anonymous said...

The photo you posted shows stretch of Brunswick Avenue that ran adjacent to where my family lived, on Cavell Avenue. The Trenton Orthopedic Hospital, Blakely Laundry, Al's Auto Repair, Brinley's Market, and Druck Cadillac would have been some of the places/businesses of note in that stretch. Between the 1920s to the early 1960s this was a solidly middle-class neighborhood made up of various ethnic groups. There was a strong Italian presence around the Battle Monument, but also a number of Greek, Polish, and German families. Also, as I recall, a large number of what we used to call `English' families-- people who had deep roots in the neighborhood and could trace their lineage to 18th century Trenton. The Daughters of the American Revolution used to hold teas and luncheons at the Presbyterian Church on Princeton Avenue, near the Battle Monument. The neighborhood also had a large black population that, as I recall, was made up of middle-class families, most of whom owned their homes. It was an extremely convenient area to live in-- there were so many stores and shops within walking distance, and downtown Trenton was accessible by bus or foot. It was also a very warm, friendly neighborhood. Everyone knew each other. The homes were beautifully maintained. There were so many different ethnic and religious groups living together, and everyone got along. So many successful kids came out of that neighborhood too and went on to become businesspeople, doctors, lawyers, teachers, even a US Supreme Court judge. The bottom fell out in the 1960s. The suburbs sucked the middle class out of that part of Trenton. Shady realtors block busted our street. Property values fell overnight. The 1968 race riot was the final nail in the coffin. Today the neighborhood is depressing to drive through. Such a waste, and tragedy what happened to it, especially for someone my age who remembers how incredibly nice, busy, and convenient it was.

Anonymous said...

Mike, I respectfully defer to your observations. They are so accurate indeed! Now you are shaking my memories and I recall John Zuccarelli telling of how he changed a tire on the Enola Gay the day before it's flight. My understanding of "The English" in the area was that they were highly skilled artisans who came from the traditional heart of Britain's ceramic tradition. Sadly, this soured when the pottery industry began to mechanize and the skilled English were being replaced by machines and a workforce from Italy and Poland. Mike, once again, thanks for cleaning my cob-webs out.

Ed Millerick

Anonymous said...

Ed:Thanks for the compliment.
My brother in law John was quite a story teller! Funny he should tell that story. We are talking about Zookie the Garbage King, Interstate Waste, and than National Waste, right? That Johnny Zook was in the Merchant Marine.

Ed, have we met? you seem to know many of the same people as I.

Mike Kuzma

Anonymous said...

Mike, I have been wondering the same thing and the places of employment seem to cross also. The "Zookie" I knew had the tavern on Paul and had a son named Tommie.

Ed Millerick