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Sunday, December 31, 2006

1918: The Influenza Epidemic of 1918

An earlier post told of the horrible flu epidemic which afflicted the U.S. back in 1918. Quarantines were commonplace, and as you can see by the article, even the churches suspended services.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

1966: Steinert Class of '66 Website

I received an email from Lee Donehower, Steinert H.S. Class of 1966. He has set up a very nice website dedicated to that Spartan Class. There are also some photos of the Kuser Class of '53 who became the class of '66. Check it out at

Friday, December 29, 2006

1946: Monday Morning Quarterbacking

As a student of history, I often wonder at America's aloofness and laxity in the weeks preceeding December 7, 1941. As you can see in this article, there were others who shared my view.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

1931: Taxes, Taxes, Taxes

You think we have it bad here in Hamilton with our taxes? Just look what the schools did to the taxpayer's wallet back in 1931. A 16 cent increase in the school tax, and look what they did to the teachers!
(Note: Tongue firmly implanted in cheek)

1931: Pastor Thatcher's Surprise Resignation

Here's another Article relating to the historic First Baptist Church on Centre and Bridge Streets in Trenton.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

1934: The Trenton High "SPECTATOR" Staff

Hamilton High had "The Criterion," Cathedral "The Blue and Gold," and Trenton Central High School had
"The Spectator." Here's a group photo of the budding journalists during the school year of 1934.



1935: Facism Rears An Ugly Head

In the late 1920's and into the early 1930's, the words "brownshirt," "gestapo," "Il Duce," and "Der Fuerher" were becoming more and more prominent. Nazi Germany's hatred of the Jews, Catholics, and ultimately Protestants was detailed much like the column submitted here.

1937: Pennington Grammar School

Here's the class of '37 from Pennington Grammar School. Once again, this photo was scanned in at a resolution which would provide legibility and also fit on the screen. I note the name John Van Wagoner; a customer of my years in the bearing and belting distribution industry.

1935: Obit of George F. Wyckoff

The town of Hopewell has managed to maintain that rural, New England type of small town character over the decades. One can only imagine the town when the village blacksmith was a part of the town. The Wyckoff name is legendary in central Jersey from Hightstown west to the Sourland mountains.

1034: Class of '34, Cathedral Grammar School

I scanned this in at 115 dpi, hoping that I can acheive a fairly legible copy of the photo.

1935: The Tourist Camp

Today they are known as motels. Back in the early years, they were called "tourist camps" or sometimes "tourist courts." There are still a few old fashioned tourist court type roadside resting places along Route 206 in south Jersey, and I' sure many other areas.

1934: Cathdral High School

Here's an article listing the honor students at Trenton's Cathedral High School. Many of the names are familiar to me, and I bet there are a number which you recognize also.

Monday, December 25, 2006

1918: Chambersburg World War I and Social Notes

Each week, the Trenton Times devoted space to news from Chambersburg and other areas of the city. Here's a clip from the October 2nd edition.

1918: Local News World War I and Activities in Chambersburg

It was called "The War to End All Wars." It was a war which cost the lives of thousands of men and countless thousands of severely wounded. During the war, the Trenton Times published news of those local men who were involved in the fray. This is a clipping from my Hamilton Scrapbook. More to come in future posts.

Sunday, December 24, 2006


Yup, that's MERRY CHRISTMAS......not "Happy Holiday." It's not in the picture, but Tommy fell asleep next to a CHRISTMAS tree which his decadent, politically-incorrect parents put up to ring in the CHRISTMAS season! It's not a Holiday" tree. That fellow looking at Tommy in the graphic is St. Nicholas.....YES, SAINT Nicholas; a benevolent saint who lived in Turkey many centuries ago. SAY IT WITH ME: CHRISTMAS.

I also wish a Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Hannakah, AND A VERY HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

1923: St. Anthony Trenton Grammar School

Anyone here you know? I see Dick Pollard, our insurance man for over
40 years. Dick is now in his 90's and a regular parishioner at my church,
Sacred Heart on Broad and Centre Streets in Trenton. "Goeller,"
"Donlon," and "Goeke" are familiar names from the church and


The news of the 1920's was literally filled with accounts of the Ku Klux Klan. Many of the stories tell of ministers and politicians who were supporters of the organization. In the news article, Rev. Van Dyck and his Wanaque Reformed church hosted a contingent who donated $25 to his church.

1923: Broad Street Park - Rowan-Willey

One of the more interesting areas of Hamilton is the Broad Street Park area. As usual in most of our school systems, the PTA played a very important part in the educational process of the public and parochial school systems.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

1918: The National Influenza Expidemic

As I page through the 1918 Trenton paper, sad stories of the many deaths from the notorious flu epidemic of 1918. This is one in a series which will be forthcoming in future posts of local victims.

1918: Corporal Spencer Bloor

The Bloor family holds the distinction of being one of the earliers residents of the old Boro of Wilbur bufore it was annexed to the city of Trenton in the 1890's.

1918: Sgt. David C. McGalliard, U.S. Army

I just began to search the Fall, 1918 edition of the Trenton Evening Times, and lo and behold, a local Hamiltonian from a very prominent Hamilton Family. Sgt. McGalliard was the son of William McGailliard, the noted White Horse farmer and realtor. Elsewhere in this website (probably 2005 or earlier 2006) there is a photo of the McGalliard "Acre Lots;" a real estate venture in which the McGalliards instituted in the first part of the 20th century.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

1907: Gunfight In Trenton

Even back in the early part of the last century, there were those elements in our society who resort to firearms. Here's the story of a rookie Trenton policeman who courageously confronted and ultimately captured a demented citizen.

1905: St. Francis Hospital Adds a Wing

Sister Hyacinthe proudly gave a pre-completion tour of the new addition to the hospital.

1907: Thanksgiving Service at First Baptist Church

The Trenton area Baptist converged on the Centre Street church to celebrate the Thanksgiving, 1907 holiday.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

1870: C.C. Havens on the 2nd Battle of Trenton

Circa 1985: McGalliard Christmas Tree Farm

Here's an interesting story about the first Christmas tree farm in the, make that in America! I have never been able to substantiate that historical statement, but even if it turns out to be untrue, William McGalliard's White Horse Christmas tree farm and the establishment thereof makes for fascinating reading. I would say it is safe to say the the McGalliard Christmas tree farm was the first in the local area.

1877: "Happy Holidays?" NO! MERRY CHRISTMAS!

One thing that has changed over the past 35 or so years is the seperation of God and state. In order "not to offend," many in the print press and broadcast media refrain from printing or broadcasting anything which acknowledges the fact that the holiday of Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. It was not so in years past. As you can see by this 19th century editorial the writer (and most of his contemporaries) had no problem using the now forbidden reference to the Nativitiy as the "birth of our Saviour."

1909: A Dunham's 1909 Christmas

Articles such as this is what makes historical research so fascinating. Not only does it give a pretty interesting view of "Christmas Past," it also provides an interesting view of the merchants in downtown Trenton may decades ago.


Did you ever wonder what would happen if American had to mobilize as it did in World War II? Our heavy industry is gone, our steel mills are gone, and most "raw material" is being imported. Scary thought!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

1915: Thompson Yardville "Smithy"

"Under a spreading Chestnut tree, the village smithy stands. The smith a mighty man is he, with strong and sinewy hands.." (Longfellow)
This old invoice takes us back to the days when a blacksmith shop was in almost every neighborhood. As can be seen by the invoice, James Thompson took over the blacksmith shop of Mr. Pancoast. I'm still looking for a Pancoast ad.

1916: Farmingdale School

This graphic speaks for itself! Mr. Bradshaw's bill for painting 4 rooms in the Farmingdale School, and obviously doing some window replacement. 30 dollars per room!

1989: Christmas at Kuser Farm

This vignette photo was extracted from a feature I did back in 1989 for the late, lamented "Mercer Messenger." Seventeen years ago...How time does fly!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

1875 Groveville

Groveville and Yardville are very interesting historically. Over the years, Groveville has managed to maintain that small village look. Anyone Jim Humphrey, Fire Captain at the Groveville Volunteer Fire Company dropped me an email telling me of the Groveville F.D. website. You can reach it a It is a very interesting site. You can contact Jim at

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

1886: Nottingham Taxes

You think your taxes are high? Just read this article of the taxing situation in 1811 Nottingham Township, and you will see how well of we really are here in the Hamilton Township of 2006!

1870: Hendrickson's "Harvest Home"

The Hendrickson family is one of Ewing's older families. One of the Hendrickson's had a farm in the area of today's Prospect and Olden Avenues.

1873: John Raum's History Book

Anyone who has an interest in local history will be familiar with John Raum's History of Trenton. I have a very worn copy which one day I hope to digitize into an "E-book." Raum details each and every facet of the History of Trenton from the earliest years and right up to the 1870s.

1879: Immaculate Conception Neighborhood Developing

One of the more interesting subjects in the Hamilton Library's Local History Collection deals with the development of the suburban areas. Back when this article was written, the Chambersburg area was considered the suburbs. From cornfields and fruit orchards to paved streets, the borough of Chambersburg has a fascinating past.

1879: Pastor Lucas's Daughter - First Baptist ChurchA L

A large crowd of parishioners of Trenton's First Baptist Church attended the funeral service for Pastor Lucas' 21 year old daughter

1934: Interesting Ewing History

This HUGE file, a full page from the Trenton Times, will give you an idea of the full page newspaper collection at the Hamilton Library's Local History Collection. Due to the size of the page, the the page was reduced the size to fit the screen. It will be legible only on larger monitors. These pages have yet to be catalogued, but will be in the future. This fascinating feature article details much very interesting Ewing history.

Monday, December 11, 2006

1873: St. Francis Hospital Fund Raiser

Back when St. Francis Hospital was in its infancy, Franciscan Sister Hiacinth was looking for money in order to keep her hospital running. In these days of 900 to 1,000 dollar per day hospital stays, it seems unbeliveble that the Sisters of St. Francis treated ALL patients: those who could pay for the service and those who were destitute.

1873: The Circus Comes to Trenton

This great old broadside ad for P.T. Barnum's "Greatest Show On Earth" conjures up memories of the circus coming to town via the railroad, unloading the train and marching in a procession to the circus grounds. I know that the area off Greenwood Avenue near the Junior Two school was the site of carnivals and circuses, but I
suspect that there was another location closer to the city of Trenton back in the 1870's.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

2006: Hamilton Historical Society Wassail Party

Sunday, December 11,2006: Once again it was time for the annual Hamilton Township Historical Society's annual Wassail Party. 40 or 50 true lovers of our historical Hamilton Heritage flocked to the little John Abbott II house on Kuser Road to partake of a few very fleeting hours journeying back to Hamilton's Colonial past. I will be posting photos from this memorable event; an event gone un-noticed by many local residents.

2006: Hamilton Historical Society Wassail Party

This beautiful time keeper rests comfortably in a corner of the John Abbott II house. It is a true treasure of antiquity.

2006: Hamilton Historical Society Wassail Party

Upon entering that old farmhouse, one is transported back to the earliest years of our country's history. Here is a digital photo of the hearth and just two examples of truly antique furniture.

2006: Hamilton Historical Society Wassail Party

I was completely enthralled by the lovely Miss Julia Cuddahy, a local student at Steinert. (I think Julia told me she was in the class of 2009 at Steinert High School, but I'm not sure). Thank you Julia, for being you, and thanks to your Mom and Dad for attending with you. You do indeed make a lovely Colonial Nottingham Maiden!
It is so very refreshing to see our younger lads and lasses as they also lend their youth and vigor to our historical preservation efforts. Thanks also to Chris, who gave of his afternoon to play the Abbott House organ. He is a multi-talented musician, being comfortable playing an organ, piano, harp, and probably other instruments, all self taught!

2006: Hamilton Historical Society Wassail Party

Historical Society members Gordon Kontrath and Bill Ford toast the Colonial and Civil War era, Gordon with his pewter stein, and Bill has the old fashioned porcelain cup.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

1873: Remember the "Original Trenton Cracker?"

Adam Exton's cracker factory was a thriving industry back in the 19th and early 20th century. The manufacturing complex still stands on Centre Street, and the building is being renovated and will ultimately be made into apartments. My friend Billy Powers from DeSantis Mason establishment is busily re-pointing and repairing the red bricks on the building. Centre Street holds a special fascination for me. The antiquity of the area as it is today still maintains a bit of the old Centre Street as it was in the 1800's and early 20th century. Of special fascination to me is the old Centre Street Theater building, now a pharmacy. However, the old cement "Centre Street Theatre" is still proudly displayed on the top front of the old building.

1873: Trenton Advancing From Village to City

This post and the post that follows is another article detailing the interesting growth of the city of Trenton.

1868: The Village of Trenton Expanding to a City

Perhaps nothing is more interesting than reading of the growth of Trenton from a small village to a city as new neighborhoods are created and real estate ventures proliferate. Particularly interesting is the area of "Calhoun's Lane," and its widening and changing to Calhoun Street. Back in the days of the horse-drawn trolley, Calhoun and West State Street was the end of the line.

Friday, December 08, 2006

1922: Trenton's Washington Market

There are quite a few articles on the profusion of markets which were once located in various locationS in Trenton. There will be other posts relating to Trenton's markets in the future.

1873; St. Francis Hospital Fundraising Picnic

1869: Trenton State Prison - Part One

This is the first of a comprehensive look at Trenton's State Prison, located on Cass and Centre Streets in Trenton. It is interesting to read the account as written more than 137 years ago. See the next post for a continuation of this interesting series.