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Saturday, November 28, 2015


More "Hard Core Hamilton History:"
This is Josiah Allinson, son of Samuel Allinson who founded the New Jersey State Home for Girls in Ewing, and also the State Home for Boys in Jamesburg. Mr.Josiah Allinson is shown in the graphic I composed with an accompanying 1848 advertisement for fruit trees which the his father, Samuel Allinson cultivated on the Farm which is on today's Yardville-Hamilton Square Road in the development known as "Locust Hill.". The family home was known as "Burholme" The derivation of the name "Burholme" is unknown. There is a Pennsylvania connection to that name. The Allinsons were ardent followers of the Quaker religion and were regular attendees of the Crosswicks Meeting.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015


That beautiful old red brick building fascinated me every time Judy and I made a trip to her sister's Bordentown home. The article is from 1909 but I don't have the actual date.


Here's Mill Hill, 1849; the year of the California gold rush. This incredible Trenton neighborhood has a splendid historical heritage. Back in the early 19th century, hotels, blacksmith shops and numerous other merchants made up a very attractive community which has succeeded even today to maintain some of the charm it had in years past.

Monday, November 23, 2015


He who opens a school door, closes a prison. ~Victor Hugo
They were our nemesis all through my years at Hamilton High School. They were also the epitome of good sportsmanship. No one was more disappointed than I when I heard that the building had to be razed. In my uninformed mind, the red brick structure could be preserved and an interior renovation with new material being brought into play to re-design the interior with classrooms, and add the more modern rooms necessary to the back of the interior restored building. However, I ultimately found that it was beyond preserving. Thus another local Trenton landmark goes the way of the passenger pigeon. Even though I am a Hamilton High graduate, I followed their activities during my school years as did many non Trentonians who were interested in their annual Sports Night, Operettas, and other social outreach programs served up by Tornadoes from the golden years.

Sunday, November 22, 2015


For over 20 years since the advent of the personal computer, I have been diligently researching that area of Trenton that I consider to be the cradle where "Littleworth" or today's Trenton was born. Mill Hill is a fascinating study for those who are interested in the oldest area in the city of Trenton. Before I returned to St. Anthony of Padua parish recently, I had been attending Mass at Mill Hill's historic Sacred Heart parish. Each Sunday morning as I ministered to the folks at Trenton's VIllages I and II down on Lalor Street in Trenton, I would pass through that incredibly historic Trenton treasure and breathe deeply of the always present sense of history. Though I only have some 300 files in my Hamilton Township Public Library Local History database, I find myself taking a break from other local historical research and journeying back in time as I read the reminiscences of old timers who were around when there was a Lee Blacksmith shop, a Whittaker, Corey, Quintin Washington Retreat, and countless other fascinating stories from an illustrious past. Here's just one of those fascinating Mill Hill historic favorites. One can just imagine sitting on a bench and having a refreshing dip of ice cream at the bucolic retreat.

Friday, November 20, 2015


Take a very close look at this photo. It is the very first row of my personal collection of VERY RARE Trenton Evening Times, Daily State Gazette and Daily True Americans that will be the property of the Hamilton Township Public Library's "Hamiltonia" collection when I am forced to retire and no longer able to perform the physical and mental requirements of Township Historian. While you are taking that close look, you will see through the first row to the second row which houses the collection from the 20th century....1900 to the early 1930's, and around to the front row as seen in the photo which starts in the mid 1930's and ends up with those volumes you see in the lower right which are only a small part of the 1940's. Not seen in the photo is the very back of the room in which these valuable volumes are carefully stored in a temperature controlled, insect free room (that would be my Library Local History workshop.) That back row houses the 19th century volumes from 1870 up to the 20th century. I got tired of patting myself on the back for having the foresight to preserve these treasures. When I acquired them, computers and digital imaging technologies were just evolving. "MICRO FORMS" (Microfilm) was the flavor of the day. Bell and Howell took on the monumental task of photographing trillions of pages from daily newspapers all over the world and selling them to the libraries all over the world. The libraries were delighted to be able to get rid of those huge, heavy bulky bound volumes and the space they took up. They sent them to the recycle bin and replaced their collections with a cabinet full of 4 inch 35 millimeter reels of microfilm; which over time and use develop vertical scratches as they pass through the film viewing gateway. I have never heard any librarians mention it, but I would bet that many if not most librarians regret the destruction of their bound newspaper collection. I have become moderately proficient in using "PhotoShop" computer software and digital reproduction technology. Indeed, there are some photos in those older newspapers that have been scanned into the computer, enhanced and tweaked and are superior to the original copy on the original source page.
BOTTOM LINE: This collection will be a gold mine in the future of Hamilton Township insofar as historical preservation. Indeed, the sheer volume of pages in this collection renders it an impossible feat to copy (digitize) all those articles and photos that exist within all those millions of pages. My successor, then his or her successor, and yes, even numerous successors well into the future of the Hamilton Township Public Library's Local History Collection will still be unearthing historically valuable news articles and photographs.

Thursday, November 19, 2015


Here's a chance for all you arm chair historians to delve into the history of one of the more historic areas and families in the Hamilton-Trenton area. The "Lalor Tract" once encompassed a very large part of the southern part of Mercer County from the Riverview Cemetery area to So. Broad Street, along the canal and river, right up to the Broad Street Park-Cedar Street (Cedar Lane) are. the map immediately below the article shows property owners as of the year 1875. The numerals indicate the acreage and the little squares when present, is the approximate location of the home of the land holder. This is one of those "Armchair Historian" types of graphic that will fill a very pleasant evening during the upcoming cold wintery nights!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


Here's still another extracted and enlarged map showing Hamilton Square and Mercerville from the 1875 Evert & Stewart Atlas. Fascinating to travel those roads on the map and comparing them with today's towns.


This extract from an 1849 "Dripp's" map of the city of Trenton is a gold mine for historic researchers. A mere 73 years away from 1776! Whenever I find a pertinent article in the press of the past, I can use this map to pinpoint the location. assuming it is within the year of the date of the map. 

Monday, November 16, 2015

1941: Among the first to be inducted into WWII, January 1941

Here are just a few of the members of the "GREATEST GENERATION" who were inducted into military service mere weeks after the December 7, 1941 bombing of Pearl Harbor.

Saturday, November 14, 2015


I am a hopeless romantic. Way back in 1986 I wrote a column dealing with "Lifebuoy," Palmolive, and other soaps of the day; all of which were commonly available in almost every store. One of them was the fabled "IVORY" brand that thick rectangular bar that unlike other bathing soaps, floated. I liked that and so did many. So here we are in the 21st century and across my desk comes this folio filled with Ivory engravings as Proctor and Gamble celebrated the centennial of the classic brand. And guess who wrote an article about Ivory? You guessed it: Tom Glover back in the 1980s. The Ivory lady in the photo is a classic example of what I call the "feminine mystique;" she is absolutely physically gorgeous, and wears the classic dress that was common during the era of the "Gibson Girl." Yep, hopelessly romantic and not ashamed to say it either!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


Much of what I have read and studied relating to the history of the city of Trenton indicated that Warren Street was the main thoroughfare during the early 19th century. While trying to find very elusive information of the Hezekiah Anderson Farm that once reposed in the area of today's Greenwood and Woodlawn Avenue just a bit from the Trenton city line on Logan Avenue. During my search I come across ads as shown above rouse the love of local history in me. Imagine a stage coach office in center city Trenton back in those primitive early years as well as the steamboat landing that was at the foot of Ferry Street; delightful antiquarian Trenton!

Monday, November 02, 2015


They aren't wasting any time starting the advertising blitz for Christmas, 2015! Unless I miss my guess, Ms. Patti Krzywulak (Che-Vo-Lahk) is already amassing a group of volunteers to bring the Christmas spirit ot Hamilton's beautiful Kuser Mansion. Here's a file scan I did from the HAMILTON OBSERVER, December, 1989.