Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Main Street and Greenwood Avenue, Early 20th Century

Above: view is looking west on Main Street; Greenwood Avenue intersection is to right in front of horses

Above: postmarked 1914; view is looking east from SE corner of Main and Steuben Streets

Above: NW corner of Main Street and Greenwood Avenue

                            Below: NE corner of Main Street and Greenwood Avenue

Below: 1911 Map; Building on corner is marked on map as "East Orange Bank"
Below: 1911 Sanborn map from Princeton University archives; corner building is marked as "Bank," next building, as "Drugs."

Monday, August 15, 2011

6th Grade 1952/53: George Dorn, Teacher

Photo courtesy of Judy Quinn, a student in the class. Identifications will be added as received.

5th Grade 1951/52: Frances B Jarvis, Teacher

Photo courtesy of Judy Quinn who was a member of the class and is in the photo. Identifications will be added as  received.     


2nd Grade 1948/49

Photo courtesy of Judy Quinn who was a member of the class and
is in the photo. Identifications will be added as received.

Kindergarten 1946/47: Miss Velma Anne Todd, Teacher

Photo courtesy of Judy Quinn who was a member of the class and
is in the photo. Identifications will be added as received.

4th Grade 1949: Mildred A Schenck, Teacher

Photo courtesy of Barbara Quinn who was a member of the class and
is in the photo. Identifications will be added as received.

Teacher Mildred Anita Schenck is also on a Stockton teachers' list from the 1930's and was co-author with Dr Paul S Miller (Stockton principal 1929 to 1940) of a 1939 article on visual teaching aids in the journal The Educational Screen

1st Grade 1946: Miss Burns, Teacher

Photo courtesy of Barbara Quinn who was a member of the class and
is in the photo. Identifications will be added as received.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Battery "A" Armory

Built in 1912, the Armory was on North Oraton Parkway between Park Avenue and William Street. The building is still there but was sold by the NJ Military Dept. in 1997 and now serves as "The Islamic Center."

A former Stockton student writes that she remembers going to the Armory to see her uncle, who was in the army reserve,  play indoor polo there. Below is an early 20th century description of the building's interior:

Below: The stone monument was in the grass median on Oraton Parkway in front of the Armory. When the Garden State Parkway was built about 1954, the monument was moved to within a few feet of the front of the Armory. The stone is still there in front of The Islamic Center but the plaque has been removed.
 Postcard view of Battery "A" (circa 1915/1920) and family photo (circa 1951) above are both courtesy of former Stockton student Pat Quinn who lived a few houses from the Armory on its William St side.  

Inez Louise Wilcox: Stockton Teacher 1905-1906

In the following 1955 letter, Mrs. Inez Louise Wilcox Dennison briefly describes her education and career which included being a teacher at Stockton, "the beautiful new school," during its first year, 1905/06. Mrs. Dennison was born in 1881 and died in 1961. Her letter mentions that she started her time in East Orange at "Eastern Grammar School" in 1901.

Above: 1905 postcard photo. Willimantic Normal* School was established in 1889 and eventually had its own campus around 1895.

*A "normal school" was a school created to train high school graduates to be teachers. Its purpose was to establish teaching standards or norms, hence its name. Most such schools are now called teachers' colleges; however, in some places, the term normal school is still used. (from Wikipedia)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Parks, Parkways, and The Garden State Parkway

The first parkways in the US were developed in the late 19th Century by landscape architects Frederick Law Olmsted and Beatrix Farrand as roads segregated for pedestrians, bicyclists, equestrians, and horse carriages. The terminology "parkway" to define this type of road was coined by Calvert Vaux and Frederick Law Olmsted in their proposal to link city and suburban parks with "pleasure roads."

Above: "Black Brook Valley" on 1878 Map.

 "Black Brook Valley" was the bog land between Grove St and Arlington Avenue; drain lines were installed in the "Valley" in 1899 and the first section of the East Orange Parkway (later known as the Essex County Parkway and then Oraton Parkway) from William St to Main St was built in 1900; the William St to Park Avenue section was built soon after. By the 1930's Oraton Parkway ran from Springdale Avenue at the north end (less than a mile from Watessing Park) to Springfield Avenue at the south end, a distance of three miles. It passed by Holy Sepulchre Cemetary, Vailsburg Park, and, on the south end, came within two blocks of Irvington Park.

Below: 1911 Map

Below: probably looking south from near Park Avenue
Below is a small section of a plan for the entire Essex County Park system commissioned 1898 to 1900 by a county committee and completed by the Olmstead Brothers, sons of the designer of Central Park. The plan covered the design of Branch Brook Park, Eagle Rock Reservation, South Mountain Reservation and all other parks in the county. Connecting all the parks with parkways was part of the plan. To paraphrase one quote from the era:  "We have the pearls, we just need to string them together." The Parkway in East Orange was one small part of the plan: 

                                     Above: probably looking north from near New Street

                                                  Below: looking north from Main Street

Above and below: looking north from Lackawanna Railroad bridge

Above: circa 1905 view north toward New St from Lackawanna overpass
(There is a circa 1901 photo looking up from the parkway south toward the  same overpass on p.69 of  East Orange Images of America by Bill Hart, Arcadia Publishing)

Above: looking north at Lackawanna overpass from Main Street side 

Below: looking south at the Lackawanna overpass from the New Street side toward Main Street

Above: looking south from Main Street circa 1911

Below: looking south from Main Street toward Central Avenue, circa 1915-1920; many of the houses shown here had been built after 1911 

Above and below: looking NE from near railroad; Davis Place is to the right

Above: circa 1911 view north toward New St from Lackawanna overpass

Above: postcard view is from under the Lackawanna overpass looking north toward New St (a through street then). The statue of Lincoln at New St and Oraton appears in the distance.

Below: President Taft laying a wreath at the statue in 1912 about eight months after the statue's dedication on June 14, 1911

The statue was moved to the City Hall area in the mid-1950's when the Garden State Parkway was built

Below: the southern end of the parkway near the Newark/Irvington line

Below: from a 1909 story in the New York Times

Above: from a 1922 planning report

Below: postcard view (circa 1935) is from on or near William St looking north toward Park Avenue with rock monument in front of Armory in the distance. 

                                          North Oraton Parkway postcard photos courtesy of Pat Quinn

By the 1930's and 40's, the 19th century concept of parkways was considered to have been made obsolete by the modern automobile. A 1945 report admitted as much and foresaw the coming Garden State Parkway:

Above: Garden State Parkway, looking south from the William St overpass toward the
Lackawanna overpass 1959

The construction of The Garden State Parkway started the destruction of a historic African-American neighborhood sometimes called the "Jones Street" neighborhood. The building of I-280 completed the loss of that neighborhood and many other neighborhoods.