Monday, February 11, 2013
1932: JOHN J. CLEARY, TRENTON'S LOCAL HISTORIAN
My statistical research on this website has shown an average of anywhere from 300 to 450 visits per day. Many are those who are more interested in the more recent posts, such as the R.C. Maxwell-Duke University Library photos of the Trenton area of long ago. However, and this is a very important point, actual hard core history will always be on the front burner. I realize that there are many who could care less about Mahlon Stacy, the Old Barracks, Mill Hill, the old wooden Delaware River Bridge, the Raftsmens' Inn, Duck Island, Deutzville, Lamberton, Rose Hill, Goosetown, Coalport, Millham, etc. However, very little publicity is given to these lost vestiges of an evolving city, all of which have stories to tell. Along with the Trenton Historical Society, (www.trentonhistory.org) these stories will, and certainly should be told. As we senior citizens like to boast, "we've been around the block," so it is with our recollection of the incredibly interesting writings of Trenton's John Cleary who for years gave invaluable historic insight to the magnificent history of the city of Trenton. Over his many years as a Trenton Times employee, Cleary spoke with many elderly citizens and wrote about their collective recollections of the city as they remembered it. The results are a gold mine of local history. The Hamilton Township Public Library's Local History collection is well on its way to digitizing these writings, going back to the early part of the 20th century, along with those of his successor, Bill Dwyer whose articles are also an incredible retelling of Trenton History. The last half of the 20th century saw my beloved city of Trenton begin the descent from a viable town with beautiful homes and few drive by shootings, along with equally beautiful citizens who were instrumental in maintaining the character of the capital city of New Jersey.