Thursday, September 26, 2013

Franklin Hose Company No. 3

Franklin Hose Company No. 3 came into existence in 1884 when the 1825 Franklin School building was modified to become a fire house

In 1890 a brick firehouse was built on the SE corner of Dodd Street and Brighton Avenue.

Above: 1895 map

Below: 1911 map

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

John Alexander Tenney: In Memorium

One of my best friends at Stockton School during the 3rd through the 5th grades was John Tenney, probably because we shared a similar sarcastic, Mad magazine sense of humor and an interest in nerdy things like science and chess, and in military strategy which we carried out using our collections of toy soldiers.

Below: John, probably in 6th grade

 He lived at 39 North 16th Street between Eaton Place and William St. and, one time, John came to me and said he and another kid had found a source of iron filings, and we did some experiments with the filings and magnetism. At first he wanted to keep the source secret and sold me a jar of filings for 25 cents, but he finally took me to the source, the back lot of a business on Hedden Place next to the Lackawanna Railroad tracks just a couple of blocks from John's home.

John moved away from our neighborhood about 1958 (6th grade), but I recently learned that he ended up going to Columbian School and then Clifford J Scott High.

Above: John as a freshman at Clifford J Scott High School (1961/62)

Below: John in the Photography Club, sophomore year (1962/63)

Above left: John as Mortimer Brewster ( the character played by Cary Grant in the movie) in Arsenic and Old Lace during his junior year (1963/64)

Below: another junior year photo

After finding John in the 1965 Clifford J Scott yearbook and seeing his full name, I immediately had hopes of finding him and getting back in touch, but, unfortunately, an internet search found the following: 

Below: Eureka Times Standard for February 18, 1975

                           Lakewood Hope Chapel Cemetery
                                 Hope Chapel Road
                             Lakewood, NJ Ocean County 

Raymond Parker Tenney    14 Sep 1913   5 Sep 1989         1st LT, US Army, WW II
Ludmilla ( Lund) Tenney  1921          2016            born in Oslo, Norway
John Alexander Tenney  6 Sep 1947    16 Feb 1975    US Navy 1968 - 1972, Antarctica 1970
Charles Parker Tenney              1952          No Date

John's grandfather was born in China, son of an American diplomat and educator, Charles Daniel Tenney

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

East Orange Centennial Celebration 1963

East Orange came into existence in 1863 after splitting from Orange. In 1963 the city celebrated its first 100 years.

 Abraham Lincoln was president when East Orange was formed. In 1864 the majority of voters in East Orange voted for Lincoln rather than his opponent, General George McClellan, a resident of West Orange:

"East Orange, however, was staunchly Union, and Republican. It gave Lincoln 354 votes to 109 for neighbor McClellan. This despite the fact that New Jersey was one of the three Northern states to go for McClellan." (from the East Orange History Timeline)

                                           Below: 2nd from left, Mayor James W Kelly, Jr. 

photos courtesy of  former Stockton student Edith Dim who is in the photos

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Eastern Hose Co. No. 2

The original Eastern Hose Company #2 firehouse was built on the northern side of Main Street between Grove Street and Greenwood Avenue in 1883 before there was a North Hollywood Avenue (what would become South Hollywood Avenue was Pulaski Street at the time), so it wasn't on a corner at that time. The firehouse was the two story brick building shown below in a 1964 photo and on the 1890 and 1895  maps. 

Above photo from the 1964 Berg collection and is courtesy  of the Newark Public Library

                                                    Below: 1895 Sanborn insurance maps

From an early description: "Eastern Hose Company No. 2. Organized and accepted by the township December 11, 1883; located in brick building, north of Main Street, east of Grove Street. Equipment, on hose wagon (carrying 1,000 feet of hose), two horses, one permanent man. Building contains company room, bunk-room and bath-room." 

Below: an 1890 map showing "Eastern Hose House No2" in the lower right-hand corner

Above: In 1909 the "new" firehouse below was built on the new North Hollywood Ave next to the Lackawanna Station that had been built about 1901. 

Below: the station on 9/4/1913

The 1909 building is shown below on a 1911 Sanborn map and is referred to as Hook and Ladder No. 2 and Chemical No.2.

                                                   Below: 1911 Sanborn insurance maps

Both buildings were bulldozed in the mid-1960's when the area was destroyed to make way for I-280.

Below: a ceremonial helmet presented to Eastern Hose No.2 by an East Orange official

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Zane Grey in East Orange

Pearl Zane Gray grew up in Ohio and as a teenager he played baseball and assisted in his father's dental practice. Despite having been a poor student and leaving grammar school at 16, Gray left Ohio in 1893 at age 21 to attend the University of Pennsylvania on a baseball scholarship and to major in dentistry. While at Penn he changed the spelling of his last name to Grey and graduated in 1896. 

Immediately after his 1896 graduation he signed to play baseball with the Orange Athletic Club whose home field was The Oval in East Orange, and he reportedly was making more money with baseball than with dentistry. A biography says he may have practiced dentistry for a short time in Newark, but then began working at a dental practice in East Orange under Dr. Roderick McLean Sanger.* During that time Grey rented a room in Orange** and in 1897 began dating the landlord's daughter, Doris, a relationship that lasted eight years.***

Above: Grey is on the far right

Grey never really wanted to be a dentist. His main ambition for many years had been to become a writer, and getting to New York City, the center of publishing, was the driving force in his coming to the East. In the fall, 1897 he was finally able to move to NYC and open a dental practice there, but he continued commuting from NYC to The Oval in East Orange to play on the Orange Athletic Club baseball team until July 13, 1901.

The layout of The Oval baseball field from 1890 to 1905 can be understood by the photo above and the position of the grandstand in the lower right corner (SE) of this 1895 map.  It appears that the grandstand was along the 1st base line and that the pitcher faced south. The houses in the background fronted on Greenwood Avenue.

Until 1901 the Grove Street Lackawanna station was at the intersection of Grove Street and the railroad. In 1901 a new station was built several hundred feet farther east , closer to Greenwood Avenue.

*Below: from The New York Daily Tribune, Thursday, July 30, 1896

***Four letters from Doris (she signed her letters as Diosus) were auctioned in 2007 and the auction house described them as follows: "This is another interesting Zane Grey lot from our purchase earlier this year. Grey was a dentist in Manhattan when he received these four love letters from an East Orange [sic], NJ woman who signed herself as "Diosus" (the God of Good Fortune and Prosperity). Obviously infatutated [sic] with Dr. Grey, her emotions do the talking for her and she goes from admitting to someone else that she's affianced to Dr. Grey, to expressing somewhat suicidally that if she were to die it would be the best thing that could happen to her and would make things easier for Zane. She addresses him as "Dearest Boy" and Sweetheart". She lives with her family, and makes mention of her singing lessons in Manhattan. T [sic]are four letters, all dated from 1900-1901. From one of them: "I certainly was a very cross, disagreeable little girl yesterday morning, was I not? Please forgive me. I deserve a punishment for nearly killing you on Saturday night." The writer never used a return address, adding to the mystery of the relationship, and interestingly enough, Zane never threw the letters out...."

A biography of Zane Grey, Zane Grey: His Life, His Adventures, His Women by Thomas Pauly has the following:

** While the biography says Doris lived in  "Orange," her letters that were auctioned are postmarked East Orange. East Orange seceded from Orange in 1863, and for many years thereafter, people in the New York City metropolitan area  used the term "Orange" for all the "Oranges." Adding to the confusion,  the "Orange Athletic Club"  (club house and athletic field) was in East Orange.