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Saturday, October 31, 2009

1951: REMEMBERING BILL BAGGOTT

It was my privilege to have been in the same graduating class as William R. Baggott III. It was also my privilege to have been part of a boys' singing group that included Bill Baggott, Lee Belardino, and Keith Kauffman. It was once again my privilege to have been a lead in the 1951 Hamilton High operetta, "Tulip Time," where Bill loaned us his incredible tenor voice. The Lord took Bill much too early in life. He was an integral part of the music program at Trenton's Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. Indeed, there is a plaque on one of the choir pews honoring an incredible musical tenor who most certainly could have gone on to be a star in the Metropolitan Opera. Perhaps the one thing I remember about Bill was his humility. People would compliment him on his splendid vocal talents, and Bill would very humbly thank them; not a hint of conceit or pomposity. Bill, even after these 50+ years, I will never forget you and the guys we sang with back in an era "when music was music."

1952: OBIT Jim "Skip" Porter HHS 1952


From "THE TIMES," October 31, 2009

James Porter "Skip"

James 'Skip' Porter PENNINGTON- James "Skip" Porter, 74, devoted husband, loving father and grandfather, passed away peacefully at home. Born in Hamilton Township in 1934, Skip lived most of his life as a Hopewell Valley resident. He enjoyed summers on Long Beach Island and winters in Hobe Sound, FL. He was a graduate of Hamilton High School West, four year class president and four year captain of the Hamilton High School football team. He spent a year as a post graduate at Hun School of Princeton then attended Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, MA, where he was a part of the undefeated 1954 football team. He was a U.S. Army veteran involved with the Second Guided Missile Group at Fort Bliss, TX. Skip enjoyed being a part of his community, serving as the president of the YMCA, coaching many athletic activities in the township and enjoyed serving as a deacon of the Pennington Presbyterian Church. He was instrumental in initiating the boys basketball and girls softball leagues, and enjoyed coaching in these leagues as well. Son of the late Robert S. Porter and Mae Porter, he is survived by his wife Janet; son, James Thomson, his wife Debbie and grandchildren Hunter and Jessica Porter of Port St. Lucie, FL; daughters, Jill Ellen Jones, her husband Randall and grandchildren Randall and Tyler of Titusville, and Janiene Elizabeth Baxter, her husband Gary and grandchildren Jeffrey and Paige, of Titusville; also surviving are brothers, Robert Porter of Browns Mills, William Porter of Whiting and Earl Porter of Walla Walla, WA. We are so appreciative of the many hours of care given to Skip over the past three years by Kris Niepsiej, a loyal and dedicated caregiver and friend. A special thanks to our many friends that always gave Skip a helping hand, a smile and constant support. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to The Parkinson's Alliance, P.O. Box 308, Kingston, NJ 08528-0308. A celebration of life service for James Porter will take place at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 6, at The Pennington Presbyterian Church, 13 S. Main St., Pennington, NJ 08534. Calling hours will be from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 5 at The Wilson-Apple Funeral Home, 2560 Pennington Rd., Pennington, NJ 08534.

1952: Jim "Skip" Porter HHS 1952

From "THE TIMES," October 31, 2009

James "Skip" Porter

James 'Skip' Porter PENNINGTON- James "Skip" Porter, 74, devoted husband, loving father and grandfather, passed away peacefully at home. Born in Hamilton Township in 1934, Skip lived most of his life as a Hopewell Valley resident. He enjoyed summers on Long Beach Island and winters in Hobe Sound, FL. He was a graduate of Hamilton High School West, four year class president and four year captain of the Hamilton High School football team. He spent a year as a post graduate at Hun School of Princeton then attended Worcester Polytechnic Institute in Worcester, MA, where he was a part of the undefeated 1954 football team. He was a U.S. Army veteran involved with the Second Guided Missile Group at Fort Bliss, TX. Skip enjoyed being a part of his community, serving as the president of the YMCA, coaching many athletic activities in the township and enjoyed serving as a deacon of the Pennington Presbyterian Church. He was instrumental in initiating the boys basketball and girls softball leagues, and enjoyed coaching in these leagues as well. Son of the late Robert S. Porter and Mae Porter, he is survived by his wife Janet; son, James Thomson, his wife Debbie and grandchildren Hunter and Jessica Porter of Port St. Lucie, FL; daughters, Jill Ellen Jones, her husband Randall and grandchildren Randall and Tyler of Titusville, and Janiene Elizabeth Baxter, her husband Gary and grandchildren Jeffrey and Paige, of Titusville; also surviving are brothers, Robert Porter of Browns Mills, William Porter of Whiting and Earl Porter of Walla Walla, WA. We are so appreciative of the many hours of care given to Skip over the past three years by Kris Niepsiej, a loyal and dedicated caregiver and friend. A special thanks to our many friends that always gave Skip a helping hand, a smile and constant support. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in his memory to The Parkinson's Alliance, P.O. Box 308, Kingston, NJ 08528-0308. A celebration of life service for James Porter will take place at 11 a.m. Friday, Nov. 6, at The Pennington Presbyterian Church, 13 S. Main St., Pennington, NJ 08534. Calling hours will be from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 5 at The Wilson-Apple Funeral Home, 2560 Pennington Rd., Pennington, NJ 08534.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

1945: TRENTON'S WOODEN WATER PIPES

Every history-minded person knows about the wooden water pipes which once served the downtown area of Trenton. A number of years ago, a lady called me and asked me if I was interested in a piece of an original wooden water pipe from Trenton. Realizing that I was not a craftsman who could turn that old relice into a coffee table, I gave her my "No thenks."

1945: HARRY PODMORE'S CHAMBERSBURG

Many years ago, an elderly gentleman down in Rancocas offered to sell me some vintage material on Trenton. He had a very large collection of trade cards, post cards, and other paper memorabilia, which was what I was searching for. I told him that I was mainly interested in old Trenton area scrapbooks. He reached into a drawer and produced two old raggedy scrapbooks and wanted to know if I was interested in purchasing them. I opened up one of them and there it was: "TRENTON IN BYGONE DAYS!" Opening the other, I found that it was also a Bygone Days collection identified as "No. 2."I trembled with excitement and asked him for the price. Knowing he had a history buff's treasure, he said he wouldn't let it go for any less than $100. That was about $90 dollars more than I had at my disposal in my very limited teen age bank account, so I had to forgo the privilege of traveling back to Hamilton with those two rare scrapbooks. Every page in those scrapbooks had taken on a "corrugated" physical shape, due to the shrinkage of the paper and the glue that held the articles. All of which brings me to the graphic above. The original was in two long vertical columns. With Photoshop software, I enhanced the image, then cut, copy, and pasted the article into four columns. The final touch was to add the source and date, producing a pristine digital version of one of Trenton's finest historians.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

1921: PUBLIC SERVICE TROLLEY IN HAMILTON TOWNSHIP

Thanks to Mr. Bob Schopp for this great photo of the old Public Service trolley which cut through Hamilton Township from the Liberty Street-Sylvan Avenue area and headed north to New Brunswick and points north. Bob Writes:
Tom,

I enjoy your column and website.

I found a poor quality photo in a union booklet on the Public Service Railroad published in 1968. Photos of the Public Service Fast line in Hamilton Township are not very common. My best guess is that the photo was taken just east of Hoover Avenue in Mercerville. I base this on the earth cut to the right of the trolley. I was surprised that the high tension (voltage) towers were there while the trolleys were still running. The trolley is going toward Trenton. A scan of the photo is attached.

Bob Schopp

1945: DAVID DINKENS TRENTON HIGH CLASS OF 1945

Here's a young fellow who really went on to bigger things when he became Mayor of New York City. A progressive Democrat, Mr. Dinkens was loved and respected by many citizens of the city of New York and his native city of Trenton.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

1945: THE SIMPSON BROTHERS

This one is for Bob and Ray Shinkle who were in my office just yesterday. Tommy Simpson's name was brought up and at the time I had no Simpson material in the "WWII" Local history digital folder. By sheer coincidence, I came across this WWII photo from a 1945 Trenton Times.

1945:V.E. DAY - WILD CELEBRATIONS

Here is an historic photo of Peter Frascella selling the historic Trenton Times newspaper...."Extra, Extra, read all about it, Germany Surrender.....War is Over....Extra Extra,,,!"
How I remember that day! Fire whistles were blowing, firecrackers were poppin,' and cars parading all over the place with their horns blaring. This was another of those "Do you remember where you were when.....?" questions. I was on the front porch of Don Slabicki's 914 Sylvan Avenue home. All we had to celebrate were a few rolls of horse caps from McEwan's corner store.


1946:GEORGE CASE OPENS A SPORTING GOODS STORE

What an interesting article on the famous Washington Senator baseball star. George Case, like Willie Mays and Al Downing after him, were local baseball icons back in the 1930's and 40's. Here we get a good idea of the speedy George who was not only an incredible base stealer, but nearly equaled Jesse Owens Olympic speed in Nazi Germany in the 1930's

Monday, October 26, 2009

1955: Ca, 1955 Sleepy Hollow Motel

Who could forget old Rip Van Winkle sound asleep under that tree in front of the Sleepy Hollow Motel on Route 1 north? It fell into bad times and disrepute in the 1980's, but in its heyday it was a first class motel. I also remember the orange roof of the Howard Johnson restaurant that was located further up the road on Route 1 north. "28 flavors," and at one time or another I imbibed in at least 20!

1946: CATHEDRAL BLUE AND GOLD NEWS STAFF

How could one write about the legendary "Blue and Gold" Cathedral High newspaper without embellishing the graphic with the school colors? Here are the movers and shakers who carried on the tradition of journalistic excellence during the year 1946.

1946: HAMILTON HIGH'S NEW ATHLETIC FIELD

The new field was made ready just 2 years before I began my Sophomore year at Hamilton. It was located on the former Pittman Farm.

1946: IKE BASH, JUNK DEALER AND HIS HORSE DRAWN WORK PLACE

I can't say I remember Ike Bash, but our neighborhood also had a junk man who brought his horse drawn vehicle into our neighborhood. I can still hear his familiar call as his "Raaag's, Raaags" call mingled with the clip clop of his horse. He dealt in both discarded rags and metals.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

1946: TERNSTEDT DIV. OF GENERAL MOTORS EWING

"Gentlemen, start your engines!"
Ahh yes, I remember it well. Parkway Avenue in the area of the late lamented General Motors plant was no place to be whether in an auto, on a motorcycle, and especially on a bicycle. When the quitting bell rang ending another day of making hardware for GM cars, all hell broke loose as the employees raced to the gate, and continued racing eastward on Parkway Avenue. We all stayed away from GM at closing time.

1946: CRISIS ON CROSSWICKS CREEK

As a dedicated metal detector operator for many years, I often wondered what lies beneath the mucky surface of Mercer and Burlington's Crosswicks Creek. Stories from the pages of history tell of merchants whose ships plied those waters in ye olden days, bringing their goods from Philadelphia to our area and returning southward with a return cargo . A Revolutionary War skirmish took place at a drawbridge that was located along today's Route 206 It was replaced long ago by other bridges including the current bridge. There's a certain romanticism surrounding historic Crosswicks Creek.

1946: VANDALS AT THE HAMILTON SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANT

Compassion for vandals as it occured before their very eyes!
"The boys threw stones at watchmen and attendants..." "He said he was not anxious to hail the youths into court...."

Thursday, October 22, 2009

1946: PAT MCGARRIGLE HHS '51 IS TOM SAWYER

My classmate from Hamilton's class of '51 entered the 1946 Tom Sawyer look alike contest and won. The Trenton area was celebrating the arrival of the Hollywood movie, "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" and for publicity held a contest for a look alike.

1946: PAT MCGARRIGLE HHS '51 IS TOM SAWYER

My classmate from Hamilton's class of '51 entered the 1946 Tom Sawyer look alike contest and won. The Trenton area was celebrating the arrival of the Hollywood movie, "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" and for publicity held a contest for a look alike.

2009: The Wyckoff homestead, White Horse


Thanks to Andy Kusnirik Esq. for this beautiful photo of the Wyckoff homestead at 365 White Horse-Mercerville Road. Don't miss that gorgeous front porch!

Andy Wrote, (and thank you) Andy:

I believe you may find my law office located 365 White Horse Avenue of interest. The house (now an office) was built in the late 1800s early 1900s by the Wycoff family. Elmer Wycoff still lives in a house next door. He was born at 365 White Horse. His brother lives in a home next to him. Andy Kusnrik

1946: CATHEDRAL HIGH SCHOOL STUDENT COUNCIL

These winsome ladies were brought together as a group to introduce the public to the Student Council at Trenton's Cathedral High School back in 1946. Once again, many familiar names are among those in the photo.

1946: HOLY NAME SOCIETY RALLY AT CADWALADER

LOOK AT THAT CROWD!
I was the President of the St. Anthony Holy Name Society for something like 4 terms back in the 1980's and early 90's. The attendance at the monthly meetings was pathetic. If we had 10 men in attendance it would be considered a record breaking crowd. Most of those in attendance were in their late 70's and 80's. In going through the newspapers from earlier years, I found that the annual Mercer-Burlington Federation of Holy Name Societies was hosting a group of men who were active participants. It was not unusual to find those annual rallies attended by thousands of loyal Holy Name men from parishes all over the Mercer-Burlington area. Television and other diversions, along with a growing lack of interest in fortifying their faith, led to the lack of interest in the enhancement of religious faith. I "gave up the ghost" back in the late 80's or early 90's when 2 or 3 men would show up for the meetings. In their day, the Holy Name Societies were valuable assets to the local parishes, as they hosted fund raising programs, worked at carnivals, bingo, "50-50's" and other necessary events, but most of all, their dedication to the Roman Catholic faith.

1946: OBIT CARL ADAMS, ADAMS ELECTRIC

This article is from the "CRIME-MORALS-SOCIAL VALUES" folder. Carl Adams was the man who constructed the "hot seat" (better known as the electric chair), for the Trenton State Prison. The electric chair is no longer used in New Jersey to send perpetrators of heinous crimes to death.

1946: JOHN L. KUSER'S GOLDSMITH MAID MONUMENT

John L. Kuser was the man responsible for memorializing "the Maid," as she was known in her championship years. Kuser had the monument placed in the grandstand area at the old New Jersey State Fairgrounds. Thanks to former Mayor Jack Rafferty's interest in local history, the monument to "Goldsmith Maid" (a champion trotting horse in the 1800's) was saved for posterity. Jack had the monument moved from the N.J. State Fairgrounds when the property was sold, and had it re-positioned at Kuser Park. Thanks also to Pat Rose's maintenance crew at Kuser Farm. The monument looked absolutely exquisite this season as brilliant red Impatiens flowers bloomed at the base.

1946: Hopewellk's Calvary Baptist Church

How I love the intimacy of those country churches! Hopewell's involvement in the Baptist church dates well back into the 18th century,

1929: JOHNSTON INC.: MARMON AND PIERCE ARROW

Auto buffs who are visitors to this website will appreciate this beautiful ad from 1929 for Johnston, Inc. ad for luxury autos. They will look closely ath the autos, especially looking for the familiar "bull frog" headlamps on the Pierce Arrow. I always wanted to be an antique auto collector, but learned early on that it is a very expensive hobby. I had a 1940 Buick straight 8 4 door sedan back in the 1960's, but it needed work and the $$$ necessary to restore it was far above my meager salary. I sold it to Nat Adelstein who shipped it to a collector in Sweden. However, I am still always interested in the autos of yesterday and you can look for more similar posts of little-known local auto lore in the future.

Local auto Historian Ray Paszkiewicz has added additional information on William Johnston's automobile history. This was posted in my guest book, but I find that relatively few visitors take the time to sign the guest book or read the comments, and his auto expertise is a valuable addition.

Ray writes:

Hi Tom,
You are absolutely correct. This is the same William S. Johnston, who operated the Cadillac dealership at 1655 North Olden Ave. for many years.
The building shown, stood at the corner of Artisan St.

William Johnston was born in Trenton in 1899. The family home was at 602 Greenwood Ave. Both his parents passed away when he was a teenager and when he was 18years old, he opened his first dealership at 44 North Stockton St. He sold Marmons, Chalmers,and Maxwell cars, as well as Selden Trucks at this location. In 1929, he added Pierce Arrow to the Marmon franchise at 222 North Hermitage. Pierce folded in 1937, and in 1938, Johnston became the Cadillac distributor for the Trenton area.

Johnston was called up for service in 1941 and served in WWII for the next 4 and a half years. Ending up as a Brigadier General in the Army Air Corp. He served from WWI and was a rated Command Pilot, serving many years in the Reserves.

In 1946, he purchased the former Heinemann Electric plant on Olden Ave., totally renovating the building into the Cadillac dealership.

General Johnston's brother, T. Irving Johnston, was the owner of the local Oldsmobile agency, first operating at the Hermitage address, and then building a very modern facility near the corner of Olden and Prospect St. That is another story.

I might add that General Johnston's dealership was one of the most respected in the area.
Much of this information was taken from the December 1957 issue of Trenton magazine. My own experience with this story, is that I was helping my father (if you can be of much help at the age of nine) on a Saturday afternoon. He was doing some cabinet work at a home on Edgewood Ave. Restless, I took a walk to the corner of Hermitage, and saw the Oldsmobile sign, just up the block. I walked to the building and went inside. I picked up the latest sales literature and looked over the shiny new cars. My guess is 1948, but that was a long time ago. I do remember the wooden floor and potted plants. Neat old place. My Dad wasn't too happy about my wandering away.

Ray Paszkiewicz

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

1946: ST. JAMES ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH TRENTON

North Trenton's St. James R.C. Church celebrated their 25th anniversary in 1946. Today the church has combined its facilities with Ewing's Church of the Incarnation. The photo of the church was lifted from the St. James/Incarnation website.

1946: RUSLING HOSE FIFTIETH ANNIVERSARY

Here's the Times' coverage of the anniversary celebration of Hamilton's legendary Rusling Hose Volunteer Fire Company. Rusling was a neighboring fire company for those of us in the Hartley-Sylvan-So. Olden area. But for a block or two, Rusling would have been the fire company serving our neighborhood instead of Colonial.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

I received this from Bernie Lenhardt, an old neighbor from the Colonial Gardens area. Even though I published "What We Know" in one of my "Sentimental Journey" columns a number of years ago, "Yes, I Am A Senior Citizen" is a new one and it really hits the bulls eye.

Bernie wrote:

Senior Citizens - What We Know




Senior citizens are constantly being criticized for every conceivable deficiency of the modern world, real or imaginary. We know we take responsibility for all we have done and do not blame others.

HOWEVER, upon reflection, we would like to point out that it was
NOT the senior citizens who took:
The melody out of music,
The pride
out of appearance,
The
courtesy out of driving,
The
romance out of love,
The commitment out of marriage,
The responsibility out of parenthood,
The togetherness out of the family,
The learning out of education,
The service out of patriotism,
The
Golden Rule from rulers,
The civility out of behavior,
The refinement out of language,
The dedication out of employment,
The
prudence out of spending,
The ambition out of achievement.
And we certainly are NOT the ones who eliminated patience and tolerance from personal relationships and interactions with others!!
And, we do understand the meaning of patriotism, and remember those who have fought and died for our country.
Does anyone under the age of 50 know the lyrics to the Star Spangled Banner?


Just look at the Seniors with tears in their eyes and pride in their hearts as they stand at attention with their

hand over their hearts!

YES, I'M A SENIOR CITIZEN!

I'm the life of the party...... even if it lasts until 8 p.m.
I'm very good at opening childproof caps.... with a hammer.
I'm usually interested in going home before I get to where I am going.
I'm awake many hours before my body allows me to get up.
I'm smiling all the time because I can't hear a thing you're saying.
I'm very good at telling stories; over and over and over and over...
I'm aware that other people's grandchildren are not nearly as cute as mine.
I'm so cared for -- long term care, eye care, private care, dental care.

I'm not really grouchy, I just don't like traffic, waiting in long lines, crowds, lawyers, unruly kids, Toyota commercials, barking dogs, politicians and a few other things I can't seem to remember right now.
I'm sure everything I can't find is in a safe secure place, somewhere.
I'm wrinkled, saggy, lumpy, and that's just my left leg.
I'm having trouble remembering simple words like........
I'm beginning to realizing that aging is not for wimps.
I'm sure they are making adults much younger these days, and when did they let kids become policemen?
I'm wondering, if you're only as old as you feel, how could I be alive at 150?

And, how can my kids be older than I feel sometimes?

I'm a walking storeroom of facts..... I've just lost the key to the storeroom door.




Yes, I'm a SENIOR CITIZEN and I know that I am having the time of my life!

Thanks, Bernie, you're my kind of guy!

Tom Glover

I received the following guest book entry from Betty Smith Lewandowski from the Klockner Class of '54. I am re-posting this class photo of the class in case any visitor from that class would like to communicate with Betty. Her email address is marylew@aol.com. I hope you can find a classmate, Betty. This photo came to me via my dear friend, the late Billy Opferman, who purchased it at the Columbus Flea Market. He donated it to the Library's "KLOCKNER" folder.

Betty Writes:

Tom,
The Klockner school class of '54 was my class! Would love to hear from anyone else in the photo.
Betty

1946: JUDGEMENT AT NUREMBURG

From the extensive "WWII" folder, this article on the pending sentences of the Nazi war criminals. Goering would committ suicide a very short time after these trials, escaping the hangman's noose.

1946: LOGUE'S CHAMPIONSHIP 15 YEAR OLDS

From the "BASEBALL" folder in the Hamilton Library's Local History Collection, this graphic has been preserved for posterity. There are many familiar names in that photo, including Ron Schnorbus, who went on to greater things in local Trenton area baseball history.

From Ralph Lucarella:

Hi Tom: Thank you very much for the photo of the 1946 Logues. That is my younger brother Joe(Chuck)Lucarella in the first row. The Logues was the beginning of a great era for Chuck. He went on to play with Trenton High, 3 years with the Schroths and then played short stop with the University of Wake Forest in North Carolina. He was captain of Wake Forest the same year Arnold Palmer was captain of the golf team. The New York Yankees sponsored him in a league in New England composed of college players. While at home, he was involved in a serious car accident which ended his baseball days and allowed him to attend Medical school. He became a heart specialist in the Chambersburg area and tragically passed away at age of 56. He overcame many bad breaks to become a doctor. may God Bless Him and may he rest in peace.

Regards, Ralph

Thanks, Ralph; once again an interesting addition to local history.
Tom Glover

1974: PETER INVERSO: FREEHOLDER, SENATOR, BANKING EXECUTIVE

From the "NOTABLE PERSONS" folder, here's a photo and article relating to the popular Peter Inverso. Some time ago, Peter told me that he too was a fan of my favorite female vocalist, Joni James. Peter, we're proud of your distinguished career serving the community from Grand Knight to Roma Bank Executive.

Monday, October 19, 2009

2009: An Historic Home Site From Andy Kusnirik


I received the following guest book entry from Andy Kusnirik, Esq. regarding the Wyckoff home on White Horse Avenue. Many thanks, Andy. I am posting a bird's eye view of the 365 area but don't know which house it is perhaps you can clue us in and we will have still another little know historic site in the Hamilton Library Local History Collection. And Andy, please correct me. I have a number of Wyckoff names in my files. Should it be Wycoff?

Andy Wrote: I believe you may find my law office located 365 White Horse Avenue of interest. The house (now an office) was built in the late 1800s early 1900s by the Wycoff family. Elmer Wycoff still lives in a house next door. He was born at 365 White Horse. His brother lives in a home next to him.

Andy Kusnrik



1946: BROOKHILL DAIRY FARM HAMILTON TOWNSHIP NJ

The township has bestowed upon me the unofficial title of Hamilton Township Historian. The gentleman shown in the photo above is the late Robert "Bob" Simpkins. Bob should have been formally and officially appointed as the historian of Hamilton Township. He was one of the Charter members and organizers of the Hamilton Township Historical Society. He was also a walking-talking encyclopedia when it came to Hamilton history. As I have said so many times in so many posts on this website, I was completely out of touch with Hamilton Township during the decades of the 60's, 70's, and 80's, commuting daily to my office in New Brunswick. It was only after I retired in the late 90's when I became active in the Hamilton Historical Society that I got to know Bob . During my terms as President of the Society, Bob and I became fast friends. His advancing age precluded driving to the monthly meetings, and it was my privilege to be his chauffeur, bringing him to the monthly meetings and driving him home at their conclusion. Bob loved the idea that I was bringing local history into the 21st century and concentrating not only on the John Abbott II House, but all the countless interesting persons, places, and things relating to Hamilton that have been buried in oblivion. When I would pick him up from his Yardville home and we headed to the meetings, Bob would point out the location of the farms and farmers he remembered from his youth. The Stelle, Quigley, Bertothy, and other farms which were now carved into offices, Condos, shopping centers, etc. He told of his younger years as a student at the old Edgebrook School and the old Yardville School. He told fascinating tales of his experiences at his family's Brookhill Farms, and equally fascinating tales of his family's relationship with the neighboring Allinson family. I really miss Bob Simpkins; the fellow who should have been formally given the title of Hamilton Township Historian. His lack of a formally bestowed title reminded me of my mother's admonition that she would rather have flowers given to her while she was alive instead of laying them on her grave. Bob passed away in 2008 at the age of 102; I really miss his gentlemanly demeanor.

1946: TRENTON HIGH FOOTBALL CANDIDATES

Here's the candidates who are vying for varsity spots on the Trenton High 1946 football season. There are numerous familiar names in the listing of candidates.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

1912: Trenton City Hall Ca. 1912

I am experimenting with a number of templates to enhance the historic posts. The above is one, and there will be others in future posts. That beautiful building at State and Broad Streets in downtown Trenton was once the abode of the Mayor of Trenton, a Jail, and a municipal court. Even though that beautiful clock tower is long gone, the mansard roof and architecture of the building remains. It was beautifully restored back in the 1960's or 70's.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

1946:TRENTON POST 491 JUNIOR BAND

It was the first anniversary of the Junior Band of VFW Post 491. I found this to be an interesting set of photos. I didn't realize that there was a Junior Band.

2006: TAKE A WALK WITH ME IN KUSER PARK

That's me way back in 1947 standing in the grape arbor at Kuser Farm. Click on my current Trenton Times columns on the link to the right of this page, or on this link:
Join me in a pleasant walk with me into Kuser's woods. Note the flourishing grape arbor which was carefully tended back then, resulting in bushels and bushels of wonderful Concord grapes. When you read my article, you will be transported back to a simpler, more innocent and gentle time. While you are there, check out the Times website. There's something for everyone, and this is going to be the future of the printed page.

1946: THE FEAST OF LIGHTS REVISED THANKS TO CARLO BENEDETTI





Thanks to my friend, Carlo Benedetti, a regular visitor to this blog for pointing out that there were previous posts relating to the demise of the Feast of Lights. I have gone back and picked up those articles and linked them here in order to tie all the events together. Many thanks, Carl. Your comment pointing to the earlier articles relating to the Fest has given us a complete chronology of the events that led up to the demise.

1946: GROVEVILLE: HOMECOMING FOR WWII VETERANS

I've said it before and it bears repeating: Groveville is Hamilton Township's answer to Mayberry RFD. It must be a wonderful feeling to be a native of that bucolic little village to the south of Hamilton Township. When I think of community "togetherness," Groveville immediately comes to mind. Their annual parades, the pride the firemen and women have in their town, and other Mayberry-type traits make this little village a stereotype for the typical midwestern small town that most of us love and admire.

1946: HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP SCHOOLS OPEN

Six new teachers embarked on careers in the Hopewell Township school system. As seen in the article, God had not yet been expelled from the public schools as Rev. Kenneth Magner opened the meeting with an invocation, (HORRORS!)

1946: MOBILE VOTER REGISTRATION IN TRENTON'S CHAMBERSBURG

The fabled Italian bistro Roman Hall was chosen as the venue for signing up voters from the Chambersburg area. Here we see two of the more prominent political volunteers at work as a number of residents look on.

1946: TRENTON WELCOME HOME TO SCHROTH'S POST 93 TEAM

Even in defeat, loyal Trenton Baseball fans gave the boys from Post 93 a rousing and very impressive welcome home. These two photos have been re-arranged and enhanced in order to give the best possible clarity to the person shown in the photo. I looked in vain for Reynold "Rennie" Funari among those Trentonians in the crowd. I'm sure he was there; he was a champion of local Trenton baseball.

Friday, October 16, 2009

1937: TURKEY DINNER FUND RAISER AT GROVEVILLE METHODIST

Borden, McElmoyl, Dwier, Lippincott....the list goes on. When and if a future history of Hamilton is published, the Groveville section will most certainly highlight the families that had a major part of the development of that quaint village to the south of Hamilton Township. The Dwier family has already made a huge mark. Thankfully, Ms. Claire Dwier and Gary Lippincott will assure that the Groveville heritage will be etched in the local history books. Veteran Groveville resident Ray Bell has constructed beautiful wooden models of the more historic Groveville buildings.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

1946: SCHROTHS POST 93

Back in the 40's Post 93 was a very popular local baseball entity. They were usually at or near the top in championships. Unfortunately, the team was defeated in 1946.