Tuesday, October 7, 2014

House of the White Lions


This house was at 44 South Munn Avenue, east side of Munn near the Chesnut Street intersection; It was the home of Winthrop Eugene Scarritt and was known as the "House of the White Lions." Mr. Scarritt was a staunch supporter of Teddy Roosevelt and his progressive agenda, and, when the progressive Republicans lost the House in 1910, Mr. Scarritt put his house up for sale and said he was leaving the country. Mr. Scarritt died in East Orange on December 7, 1911, so it appears that he did not sell his home or leave the country before his death.


"Mr. Scarritt  represented the City of New York in the National Good Roads convention at the Louisiana Purchase exposition in St. Louis (1904), delivering an address on "Good Roads, the Automobile and Civilization, " and was inspector of motor vehicles for the state of New Jersey in 1906. He was the author of "Three Men in a Motor Car" (1906) and of numerous magazine articles on the automobile and allied subjects. He was president of the Automobile Club of America in 1903-04; was a founder and vice-president of the American Automobile Association, and was a member of the Automobile Club of New Jersey, Aero Club of America, the leading automobile clubs and associations of Europe, and Phi Kappa Psi. During the later years of his life, he was also interested in aeronautics, making balloon flights both in this country and abroad. Scarritt was a 32d degree Mason. In religion he was a Methodist and politically was a Republican. He was married at Providence, RI, Sept 20, 1887, to Lerria, daughter of Horace Sumner Tarbell [whose biography is just before this one], and they had three sons: Winthrop Tarbell, Horace Sumner and Ellett Gibbs Scarritt. His death occurred at East Orange, NJ, Dec 7, 1911." (from American Biography, 1940)

The house later became the Elks Home and, in 1958, was torn down to be replaced by an apartment building.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

John Amos


 Actor John Amos (Mary Tyler Moore Show, Good Times, and Roots) lived on Division Place (the street behind the Hotel East Orange), attended Stockton School and Columbian School, and was a 1958 graduate of East Orange High School.


Above: 1958 East Orange High School yearbook

"I really didn't decide on an acting career until after I had exhausted just about every other job possibility in the world. I'd been a truck driver, a garbage man, right in the streets of East Orange, a job that I got immediately after graduation that was to be a summer job. And I found I was capable of doing a job society looks on as being demeaning, but to do it with a certain amount of pride.
It was ``Roots,'' and the character of Kunte Kinte, that gave me the greatest satisfaction as an actor, and as an Afro-American. While attending grade school here in New Jersey, Stockton School, and Columbian Junior High, I was given the unique opportunity of being one of a small group of black students that integrated both those ."
From a graduation speech by John Amos in 1987 at Drew University.

                                    Mr. Amos as part of the first student-faculty play in 1958

                                                 
                                 Above and below: the 1958 yearbook (the 1957 football season)


Below: the 1957 yearbook (the 1956 football season)


                                 Below: his homeroom class during his sophomore year, 1955/56;
                                          Mr. Amos is in the top row, fourth from left

One former classmate has written "I remember him, in HS, as being "Amos the Famous." Little did he know how famous he would become. One of the funniest people that I've ever had the pleasure of knowing. But it was all good fun. Drove our 8th grade Science teacher absolutely insane."
(There were 8th grade classes at East Orange High School at that time)

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Fire House No. 4, Ampere

This Firehouse #4  building was  at the intersection of Springdale Avenue and the railroad until it was moved several hundred feet to allow for the elevation of the railroad about 1921. Eventually a new firehouse was built and this building became the Ampere Library






                                                             Below: from a 1911 map




                                              Below: the same area on an 1895 map

Arlington Hotel


The Arlington Hotel was on the NW corner of the William Street/North Arlington Avenue intersection. It's shown below on a 1911 map at 50 North Arlington Avenue.


Berkeley College



Berkeley's educational traditions date back to 1931 when the school first opened in East Orange, New Jersey as a private institution dedicated to executive secretarial training for women. From an initial class of 50 students, learning in two rented classrooms in a Spanish villa known as the Dane Building, which had just been built about 1930. The school moved in 1976 and the building was torn down in 1999

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Hyde Park

Hyde Park was a housing development bounded by Central Avenue, South Munn Avenue, Wilcox Avenue, and Holy Sepulchre Cemetery. Much of the area was lost with the construction of the Garden State Parkway.







Below: the house above is shown on a 1911 map at the SE corner of Central Avenue and Whittlesley Avenue