A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Welcome to 2011

To my readers:

By the way, it will be 1-1-11 on Saturday. And Veteran's Day will be 11-11-11. Yikes!

Civilian Conservation Corps and Cheesequake State Park

The PBS history series The American Experience was on WNJN on my cable system this evening. The episode was about the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) and its work in parks nationwide during the Depression days of the 1930's. (You can read more about the episode or even watch it online here)

The show mentioned that there were 48 CCC work camps in New Jersey, so I looked online and found a NJ DEP article about the CCC's efforts in our state. Turns out that nearby Cheesequake State Park was among the parks established or improved by CCC teams.

I found a front page article in The Matawan Journal dated 27 January 1938 that details the state's first acquisition of land and structures for the new park and outlines the budget for additional land purchases. The State Board of Conservation and Development had just acquired a 250 acre tract of land and a manor house from the Favier Brothers, according to an assemblyman quoted by the Journal. The land was acquired at approximately $30 an acre. The manor house reportedly was built during the Civil War by the Gordon family.

The Journal article said that surveyors were at the ready to prepare the ncessary estimates so the CCC could begin clearing land for roads and working on the manor house. Additional tracts were being title searched and other acquisitions were under review. The state legislature had allotted $100,000 for development of the park and $50,000 more was being sought. A general warning was issued that lands would be condemned for use by the park if "fancy prices" were sought by land owners.

I found a modest history of the park that says the park was opened on 22 June 1940, but I couldn't double check that fact because the 1940 editions of the Journal are not available online. That opening date also appears on a regional botanists website. I found Journal articles from 1944 showing routine use of the park for scouting events. The Wikipedia article on the park has a dismal history section and would be worth updating. A USGS blurb on the park is misleading and poorly written.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Trenton is Low; Loews Is High

There was an awful traffic snarl on Hope Road at Route 36 in Tinton Falls yesterday afternoon. My wife and I were having lunch at Applebee's after returning her Red Cross vehicle at the end of a hectic volunteer weekend for her. Two lanes of backed up traffic were turning the corner to enter GSP Exit 105 southbound in lieu of Route 18, which was still closed. Our waiter at Applebee's said he had a devil of a time getting to work from Long Branch that morning and might as well stay the night to make sure he could make it to work for the early shift. APP blames the problem on a late announcement of a state of emergency by Trenton. An earlier warning might have kept many motorists from having to spend the night in a shelter.

The Red Cross housed many of our region's hapless travelers at the Loews theatres at Monmouth Mall. The operator on duty is to be commended for his sense of civic responsibility in the crisis. Be sure to thank Loews for taking in strangers in their time of greatest need.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Route 34/Lloyd Road Intersection Construction Completed

The Independent has an interesting story about the 8 December completion of the $1.5 million Route 34/Lloyd Road improvement project. This widening project, begun in December 2009, was completed three months ahead of schedule. Those of you who have been avoiding that intersection can now resume normal travel.

Sambo's opens. Sambo's Restaurant, Route 34, Matawan, opened last week. Checking the menu on the first day were Stormy Arrow, the manager, and one of the restaurant's striped (and stuffed) mascots. Putting the table in order is Laurie Geldziler. The restaurant is open 24 hours a day.
Speaking of Route 34 in Aberdeen, did you realize that we used to have a Sambo's Restaurant on Route 34 in Matawan? Grand opening was in March 1977, according to page 11 of the 30 March 1977 edition of The Independent.

UPDATE: Someone initially told me that the Sambo's restaurant was at the intersection of Oxford Lane and Route 34, where Friendly Dental is currently located, so that was what I wrote. But someone else wrote today to say no, the restaurant was across from the Grand Union and Franklin State Bank. The Grand Union closed and that space is now a Bed, Bath & Beyond. Franklin State Bank was taken over by Summit Bank and then by United Jersey Bank, which vacated the building and moved across the street. UJB was bought out by Bank of America, which is next to McDonald's. Best I can tell, Sambo's would have been located at 1124 State Route 34, where Foot Locker and Domino's are currently located. Is that right? Could that be the same building?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Aberdeen Stores Back to Business After Storm

The A&P lot in Cliffwood has a huge mound of plowed snow but plenty of clear parking and the stores are open for business.

Monday, December 27, 2010

The Answer My Friend Is The Jersey Guy Did It

A New Jersey man has owned up to stiffing an Amherst pizzeria for nearly $4000 worth of pizzas after representing himself as being with Bob Dylan's stage crew, according to The Huffington Post. The shop's staff stayed up all night making 148 pies, but the guy never returned for the order, per WWLP. Dylan had played a local venue and the guy, in his forties or fifties, had a backstage pass around his neck.

Way to represent, dude.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas Weekend Snow Storm Up Close and Personal

The view out my front door around 9:30 pm ET tonight. A serious snow storm.

Christmas Weekend Snow Storm Burying Aberdeen

My living room window screens are covered with a patchwork of snowflakes.  AccuWeather is calling for nearly 15 more inches of snow overnight. Hope you have your shovels handy for the morning.

History: 19 January 1978 Blizzard

Aberdeen was hit with 16 inches of snow on Thursday 19 January 1978, according to The Independent's edition the following week. The storm was the township's worst in nine years.

William Smith, Jr was acting foreman of township snow removal due to the illness of George White. Only one of the township's snow removal vehicles was operational when the storm began. When its crew drove the only vehicle into a snowdrift and became stranded for twelve hours on Friday, no plowing took place in the township. Two township vehicles were made operational by Monday, while the two remaining vehicles remained out of service throughout the crisis.

Cleanup took almost a week, angering residents. Two letters to the editor suggested that residents shouldn't complain; instead they should applaud the snow removal crews for clearing the roads despite the circumstances. I imagine there was plenty of blame to go around: insufficient funding of Public Works, insufficient maintenance of vehicles, and insufficient management of the town. Hopefully things are running smoother after over twenty years and we're better prepared for today's storm.

Christmas Weekend Snow Storm Begins in Cliffwood Beach

The snow has begun to fall here in Cliffwood Beach. The Weather Channel is now calling for 3-5" of snow this afternoon plus 5-8" tonight, with heavier accumulations near the coast.

Below is a mini time lapse of the beginning of this storm.

11:30 am
12:30 pm

Saturday, December 25, 2010

King's Speech Finally Showing in Central New Jersey

I see that the film King's Speech is showing this weekend at Clearview Cinema in Red Bank.  Finally, a local showing of this highly acclaimed flick. Black Swan is also playing there.

Christmas Weekend Snow Storm Heading for Aberdeen Township

There's a winter storm warning in effect for Aberdeen Township. Accu-Weather Newark is calling for a major snow storm to deliver 3-6" of snow Sunday afternoon and another 3-6" overnight into Monday.

The Weather Channel says the snow will begin in the morning, with expected accumulations of 4-6". TWC calls for wind gusts up to 40 MPH at times during this storm.

The Township delivered a Red Alert message at 8 pm Saturday, advising all residents to move their vehicles from the street to facilitate snow removal. The Township recounted the Weather Channel's forecast and expects the storm to begin in the morning and last all day. The Township reminds residents not to toss snow into the street as they clear their driveways as this is against the law, not to mention dangerous.

The Aberdeen Township website says the Township's automated telephone system has been out of order since 22 December. This outage does not affect 911 dispatch service or police operations, according to the site, but you may have a wait or call back as the receptionist handles all calls individually and takes messages. (The website makes no mention of the snow emergency.)

African Americans in the Independent: 20 April 1977

On the occasion of the 125th anniversary of St James AME Zion church, the 20 April 1977 edition of The Independent (pages 1 and 7) included a detailed article discussing the history of the African American community in what would soon (Nov 1977) become Aberdeen Township. I can't attest to the reliability of the history, but there are plenty of details to pore through.

Merry Christmas 2010 from Aberdeen NJ Life

Friday, December 24, 2010

Retired Lloyd Road Elementary Teacher Dies

Bonnie McCullough died on Wednesday at her home in Matawan, where she lived most of her life. She served our community in the Matawan Aberdeen Regional School District for 34 years, retiring from Lloyd Road Elementary School in February 2010, according to the MRTA.

One of the more unique tributes a teacher can get is for bravery and quick thinking in the face of danger. I reproduce below a proclamation, delivered by Aberdeen Mayor David Sobel at the 5 November 2007 meeting of the Aberdeen Town Council, that demonstrates her faithful dedication to our district's students.


     WHEREAS, it was just another day for the fifth graders at Lloyd Road Elementary School as Bonnie McCullough and Brenda Adelson taught a vocabulary lesson; and
     WHEREAS, a crash, the sound of glass breaking and a 200 pound buck flying through the window, dashing through the classroom and out the door stunned and terrorized the fifth graders; and
     WHEREAS, thinking quickly, Bonnie McCullough called the principal, Patricia O'Keefe who quickly announced to close all doors, as school nurse, Rosalie Preuss raced to close the door she was face to face with the four-point antlered buck; and
   WHEREAS, the buck took a tour of Lloyd Road Elementary School, sliding and running through the halls before being corralled into the empty cafeteria by lunch tables and lead out the back door by the school custodian, security officer and Aberdeen Police where he ran into the woods.
     NOW, THEREFORE, I, DAVID G. SOBEL, MAYOR OF THE TOWNSHIP OF ABERDEEN, do hereby proclaim, on behalf of the Township Council and the citizens of Aberdeen Township our most sincere congratulations and thanks to the faculty and staff of Lloyd Road Elementary School (Patricia O'Keefe, Rich Abrahamsen, Bonnie McCullough, Brenda Adelson, Rosalie Preuss, Maggie Friedman, Scott Purdie, Theresa Piccolo, Rich Vitaliano, David Galvao, Ron Gregorio, Hidojet Hamzic, Michael Homoky, Thomas Parry and Richard Carroll) and the Aberdeen Police Department (Lt. Al Geyer, Sgt. Ted Sigismondi, Ptl. Kathy Sisti and Ptl. Edgar Serrano) for their quick response and professionalism on the day a deer jumped through the window at Lloyd Road Elementary School.

Cablevision and Tivo Pass Buck on Tuning Adapter Issue

Cablevision's Cisco STA1520 tuning adapter and my Tivo aren't playing nice together. I keep getting the above message on my tv screen saying that my tuning adapter is connected. I receive the message several times a day and it interrupts any recordings in progress.  Cablevision has switched out the adapter twice with no result. The two companies are pointing fingers at each other, so the problem remains.

Tivo pretended not to know what I was talking about, but it is obvious from the online chatter that the problem is well known in the industry but not yet resolved. It seems to be a problem with something called Switched Digital Video (SDV).  Read the sad saga of another Cablevision customer trying to resolve this issue. Or this one. I'm sure there are many more tales of woe out there as well.

If anyone has a solution to this, I'm interested. Otherwise my next step is to write a formal letter of complaint to the FCC and copy the two companies.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Matawan Teen Arrested in Cedar Grove

A 17 year old Matawan female was taken into custody in Cedar Grove (Essex County) last Friday on drug charges during a traffic stop for speeding, according to the North Jersey Police Blotter. The driver of the car in which she was a passenger was arrested on outstanding warrants and charged with possession of 16 packets of drugs with intent to distribute. A second passenger was also arrested for being under the influence of drugs. The driver was from Montclair; the second passenger was from Wayne.

Former Cliffwood Glass Plant Employee Dies in Michigan

Louis "Chuck" Atterberry died recently at the age of 73 on the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. After reading his obituary, it's clear that the deceased worked for some period of time in Cliffwood, NJ for Midland Glass or its successor, Anchor Glass, which acquired Midland on 29 February 1984. The company produced bottles for numerous companies.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Aberdeen to Recognize Art Perri for Community Service

The Aberdeen Council is set to honor resident Art Perri for 25 years of faithful service to our area's young soccer enthusiasts through the establishment of recreational sports leagues in Matawan and Aberdeen through Husky Sports Inc. Not only is the Mayor set to issue a proclamation at the council's Tuesday meeting, but Assemblyman Samuel Thompson is expected to confer a commendation to Mr Perri, according to the APP.

Local Councils Regroup on New Year's Day

The Matawan Borough Council has announced its annual reorganization for New Year's Day at noon and the public is invited. The council will welcome November's victors, namely returning Councilwoman Linda Clifton and newcomer Donna Gould. 

The Aberdeen Township Council has no incoming officers but presumably will also hold such an event. The 2010 Aberdeen meeting was announced on 29 December last year.

Friday, December 17, 2010

King's Speech Still Not Available in NJ, Despite Golden Globe Nominations

What's with the film distributors not deigning to show The King's Speech in Central New Jersey? The preview, after all, says COMING SOON. I'd have to go to Manhattan to see it, despite the fact that it earned 7 Golden Globe nominations this week. I would have expected it to be showing at the Red Bank Clearview theatre or some place in New Brunswick. It's beyond annoying. IMDB Release Dates suggests that the movie went from limited distribution to wider distribution on 10 December, so where is it?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Local Grocery Stores, Workers Face Uncertain Future

The Atlantic and Pacific Tea Company, which operates A&P, Pathmark, and other grocery stores, has filed for Chapter 11 protection from its creditors and borrowed a large sum of money to keep operating, according to the Dow Jones Daily Bankruptcy Review at NASDAQ. The Philadelphia Inquirer and Businessweek provide interesting insights into the story. For now, at least, the Cliffwood A&P and Hazlet Pathmark seem to be spared from closure, but both face an uncertain future as selected store closings and the sale of parts of the company seem inevitable.

Second Baptist Church of Matawan Celebrates 120 Years

The Second Baptist Church of Matawan recently celebrated its 120th anniversary with a well attended special service, followed by a banquet at Lakeside Manor in Union Beach. The Asbury Park Press provides details about the history of the church, which was founded on 12 November 1890 and has been meeting at its Orchard Street address since 1893. APP also gives a description of the recent festivities, which were attended by Congressman Frank Pallone and Mayor Paul Buccellato of Matawan.

Incredible Longbrook Robbery

Last Sunday morning, two masked men (one skinny, one fat) supposedly broke into a unit at Longbrook Apartments, accosted a sleeping woman at gunpoint, slapped her across the face, stole her purse, then successfully fled the scene, according to APP.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Manna House Receives Gannett Foundation Grant

Manna House has been awarded a grant from Gannett Foundation, the charitable arm of the Asbury Park Press's owner, Gannett Publishing Co, according to APP. "Manna House in Cliffwood Beach received $3,341 to help offset decreased funding for the shelter, which assists homeless women with children who are transitioning from welfare to work and into their own apartments."

History: Bicentennial Commission of the Matawans, 1976

In 1976, The Independent began the year with a call for volunteers of all sorts to support local efforts to celebrate the American Bicentennial.  Both borough and township were still named Matawan until November 1977, so the local organizers were called the Bicentennial Commission of the Matawans.

The joint commission planned to open local festivities celebrating America's 200th anniversary with a two-day Philip Freneau Fair in honor of the local Revolutionary War poet.. That event would feature a 26 June 1976 re-enactment of the British attempt to capture the revolutionary Major John Burrowes at his father's home on Main Street in Matawan. The incident, which took place in the summer of 1778, involved the untimely death of Major Burrowes' wife, Margaret (Forman) Burrowes, who was stabbed with a British saber in the doorway of her home as she bravely delayed the Tory raiding party, permitting her husband's escape across Matawan Creek.

The 31 March 1976 edition of The Independent carried a call for volunteers to man the re-enactment, as well as a lengthy article summarizing the history of Burrowes Mansion. The article included the recent history of Matawan's acquisition and renovation of this locally important site. Current Freeholder Lillian Burry features prominently in the article for her role in preserving the mansion.

The following Letter to the Editor from the 14 July 1976 edition thanks the many participants in the recent festivities but at the same time describes in considerable detail the events themselves. (Not to stray too far from the subject here, but why do I get the feeling there is an ugly story behind the last sentence of this letter?)

July 4th highlights

Matawan Township had a truly wonderful July 4th Bicentennial celebration and I want to take this opportunity to express our gratitude and appreciation to all who participated. Our Independence Day festivities included a parade along Lloyd Road, teenage rock concert, tribute to Our American heritage sing-a-long, and fireworks display at Cliff wood Beach.

We were very proud and pleased to see so many residents and their friends turn out to line the parade route and join in the songs and view the fireworks at Cliff wood Beach. A special vote of thanks goes to Mayor Edward Kaufman for his memorable reading of the Declaration of Independence and to Judge Philip Gumbs for his fine recital of the Gettsburg Address with the Battle Hymn of the republic for background music. We are particularly indebted to Bill Lawlor for leading and playing some great American songs from our musical heritage and to TRIK for their excellent renditions of popular rock.

The recreation program is also grateful to the 31 units who contributed to the success of our parade, including the Police and Fire departments, VFW honor guard, our grand marshalls Mr. and Mrs. Alex Mose, the township councilmen, Elks, Jaycees, Chamber of Commerce, Matawan Juniors, Senior Citizens, Bayshore Wheelers, Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, Pop Warner Huskies, playground bike riders, National Guard, and the Matawan and South Matawan first aid squads.

We are also pleased to give special thanks to the skirmish marchers from the Philip Freneau Fair and the two marching bands which we contracted to perform for our residents—the Continentals and the Ancients Fife and Drum Corps. Perhaps next year our own Matawan High School Marching Band, led by Dieter Zimmer, will show its loyalty to Matawan Township and honor us with the band's presence in our parade.

Gerald C. Fitzgerald
Recreation Advisory Board
Matawan Township

Saturday, December 11, 2010

County Library Takes A Lesson From B&N

RedBankGreen says the Monmouth County Library's eastern branch at Shrewsbury now features the Lion's Den Cafe, a second floor spot to enjoy a cup of coffee and a snack as you peruse your book or magazine.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Matawan Development Project Tabled Until February

According to The Independent, the Matawan Planning/Zoning Board has tabled a major development plan for 126 Main Street (C-Town demolition, construction of condos and office space) at the request of the developer's locally-based attorney. Note that the project will be brought before the board  "without renotice" in February 2011,so if you're interested you should mark your calendar. The reason for this delay was not mentioned in the paper.

UPDATE: There is movement towards downsizing the project, according to The Independent. A revised plan, with one less floor and fewer parking spaces will be presented 2 May. 

Search Is On For New Schools Superintendent in Matawan-Aberdeen District

The search is on for a new schools superintendent, according to The Independent. Matawan-Aberdeen Regional School District board of ed President Charles Kenny says a number of highly qualified candidates have already applied. At its recent meeting, the board solicited public input on what they are seeking in the new superintendent, but, as usual, attendance was sparse and public comments limited in scope. 

Perhaps if the special public forum had been better promoted a few more folks would have shown up? The BOE website has the 22 November agenda and the 8 November minutes posted, so how were people to find out about the extraordinary 29 November forum?  Maybe I simply missed the news?

It's great that board agendas and minutes are posted online and an RSS feed is available, but perhaps the BOE could also offer an email subscription service to distribute these items and extraordinary notices through email to residents and interested parties using a subscription feature at the MARSD website? The Township and Borough routinely send out their agendas and public notices by email at customer request. Not that the municipalities are drawing a huge crowd using this method, but I suspect more people are monitoring what's going on than it appears. MARSD should consider the service if they aren't already doing so.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

A Friendly Wager Feeds Some Poor in Two Towns

Matawan and Fair Haven had a friendly bet on the outcome of Saturday's high school championship game, proceeds going to reciprocal food banks, according to the Asbury Park Press. I was wondering how this bet was going to resolve, as one town's charity would receive a donation and the other would be left wanting. Well, according to More Monmouth Musings, the ever-so-gracious winners at Fair Haven borough council have worked through that dilemma and agreed to make a $200 donation to Matawan's St Mark's Food Kitchen as the Matawan borough council remits its $200 check to the Foodbank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties. Everyone wins! Especially the many folks out of work whose unemployment benefits are running out this holiday season. Keep your local food banks, pantries, and soup kitchens in mind as you plan your end of year giving.

By the way, I would like to point out that the rival school districts in this year's football championship game each happen to be regional in nature (Rumson-Fair Haven and Matawan-Aberdeen), yet none of the media coverage of this friendly bet between two mayors remarked on the lack of participation by the two governments where the schools are physically located. As a reminder, Aberdeen, which surrounds the Borough of Matawan, was once called Matavan and then Matawan Township. It's had its own government offices for over a hundred and fifty years. Rumson (as Fair Haven) was formed out of Shrewsbury Township about a hundred years ago and sits at the tip of the same peninsula with its neighbor.

I occasionally advocate for municipal consolidation because our taxes are so high running duplicate courts, police departments, etc, etc. At least we have consolidated some schools. Maybe it is too much to expect for the councils of government to legislate themselves out of business? Better that we have fewer teachers and two jails, I guess.

Independent Digitization Project Available Online

Scanned images of The Independent are now available at the Matawan Aberdeen Public Library website. Images can be browsed by year or searched via an online database search engine. The search engine REQUIRES that you choose a publication and date range, and of course you must add keywords to search.

The search engine, provided by the digitization company IDI, has a few issues that need to be resolved. For one thing, it contains only The Independent, not The Matawan Journal, so when you are asked to select a publication, only The Independent appears. A user must return to the MAPL website and start over to use The Journal by year or via a separate search tool. That's not very helpful. Also, the search tool sometimes errors out. In such cases, the date range drop down menu won't appear. This requires that a user go back to MAPL website and start over. The seach engine will not let you go back to select a publication and re-select The Independent. And it does not provide a link back to the MAPL website.

Following up on an October blog article, MAPL, Middletown, and Monmouth County public libraries have all made significant financial contributions to the cost of this digitization project and the project is fully paid for.

History: Pitching In for Rose Hill Cemetery, 1974

Dedicated to Civic Leader
Game to benefit historic cemetery 

MATAWAN BOROUGH A Softball game dedicated to Mrs. Genevieve Donnell, former borough councilman who died earlier this year, will be played 8 p.m. Friday at the Middlesex Road Little League Field.

Proceeds of the game will go to the Rose Hill Cemetery, one of Mrs. Donnell's favorite community projects.
Ellie Strother

The Recreation Commission will have Ellie Strother, president of the Ravine Drive School PTA, on the mound.

The mayor and Borough Council will field a team with representatives of the Conservation Commission, Historical Society, and First Aid Squad.

Also participating will be representatives of the girls' softball league, Pop Warner football, Little League, and the Republican and Democratic clubs.

According to Victor Fabrovic Recreation Commission chairman, the player who contributes the most in monetary penalties by striking out or hitting the ball over the fence will receive a trophy as most valuable player.

Source: The Independent, 3 July 1974, page 11

Note 1: Not a bad way to get the community together to support a local cause. Later editions of the paper contain mentions of benefits conducted on behalf of the cemetery friends. Multiple indices of the gravestones at Rose Hill Cemetery were produced in the wake of this wave of support for this historic cemetery in our midst.

Note 2: Users of the online database need to be able to manipulate the size of the viewing window in order to copy images from The Independent. For now, one must manipulate the size of the image by typing in approximate zoom percentages until the largest size can be made within the constraints of the viewing window. Users then use Ctl Print Screen to copy the screen, then paste it into Windows Paint to crop the image from the captured screen shot and create a jpg file. The final step is to manipulate the jpg file in a photo editor, to obtain the proper contrast, shadows, highlights, etc. I use Windows Live Photo Gallery, which came free with my computer. Apple users will have to develop their own routine.

History: Vandalism and Rose Hill Cemetery, 1975

Overturned headstones mark the acts of vandals at the Rosehiil Cemetery. Some of the stones weigh nearly a ton. Benjamin Bender (left) and Chester Surawski, caretakers at the cemetery, struggle to right one stone. The larger ones have to be placed with a crane.
Damage estimated at $50,000
Vandals hit cemetery again
by John Russell

MATAWAN BOROUGH  Vandals have attacked the historic Rosehiil Cemetery again and the damage can be seen on nearly every line of gravestones.

Damage has been estimated by some sources in the neighborhood at $50,000, and police have increased their patrols in the area.

Charles Schock, chairman of the Rosehiil board of trustees, indicated his frustration with the situation. "I don't know why some of the neighbors don't call the police," he said. At one time it was difficult to see into the cemetery because of overgrowth, but now the area has been cleared and there is a good view, according to Schock.

To repair the damage at Rosehiil properly is costly, according to the board chairman. The stones should be affixed with an apoxy glue for permanence, he said. Although he could not give an exact figure, he did say the cost could approach the $50,000 figure.

The brunt of the repair`costs would have to be born`by those who have relatives buried at Rosehiil, he said.

The most recent wave of vandalism began about a month ago, Schock said. More than half of the overturned stones were knocked down in the past month, he said. Some of the large stones weigh one ton or more, he said.

Another problem facing the cemetery, according to Schock, is the sale of vacant plots. There are approximately 60 plots available, he said, but when prospective buyers see the overturned headstones, they do not want to buy the plots.

This means a loss of revenue to the cemetery. He said the cemetery cannot afford to repair the headstones of abandoned graves until more funds are raised through the sale of plots.

Asked who he thought was responsible for the vandalism, Schock said, "It's somebody frustrated with society."

Source: The Independent, 15 October 1975, page 8

The letter to the editor below appeared on the next page of the same issue of The Independent:

Cemetery vandalism continues


My family marker in Rose Hill Cemetery has been pried from its based and toppled over. It weighs about two tons. Need it be said no small child or children could possibly do it.

It must stand to reason that the person or persons who did it are of knowledgeable age, who know what they are doing.

If and when the person or persons are caught and found guilty I intend to sue them for the cost of replacing the marker plus the mental anguish they have caused me and all others concerned, regardless of age.

It is about time that we, the family members of survivors of the dead buried in Rose Hill, band together through the Rose Hill Assn. and donate money towards a reward fund.

Perhaps this way someone will come forward and tell all and the guilty ones be made to pay.

Mrs. Francis L. Anson

Source: The Independent, 15 October 1975, page 9

History: Vandalism and Rose Hill Cemetery, 1974

Matawan Memories, by Genevieve Donnell

Vandalism threatens historic Rose Hill cemetery

If one could turn back the pages of time to 1905—give or take a few years—a walk out Ravine Drive would be a pleasant experience.

The narrow dirt road curved between fields of daisies and buttercups and was boarded on each side by tall, stately cedar trees. After crossing the small bridge over the winding creek, the road curved left around a hill. Here a small stream at the bottom of a cool green glen, trickled down to the creek. Creamy dogwood blossoms, honeysuckle and deep purple violets added to the beauty of this quiet spot.

Several fields were used for pasturing cows, so hit-or-miss rail fences were built to keep the cud-chewing bosses from straying.

A beautiful house called the Hankinson Farm overlooked the creek and bridge at about the spot where Washington Street ends. A path curved up the hill, bordered by honeysuckle and wild roses. Tall locust tree blossoms mingled their fragrance with the sweetness of the honeysuckle.

As I recall, there were only six or seven small houses on the stretch of road up to the cemetery. And the cemetery is my main topic today.

The land was owned by the Fountain family, and about 1853 they established it as a cemetery. Because many wild roses grew there, I assume they felt the name "Rose Hill" was appropriate. The area has very little flat space except the part that borders the small pond. The hill rises gradually to a flat area where one can see the Raritan Bay and Staten Island in the distance.

In the early 1900's, the pond was a picturesque spot adorned with waxy white water lillies, and occasionally a frog sitting on a green lily pad. In the early spring, one of our pet pastimes was catching a jar-full of pollywogs and keeping them until they graduated into full-grown frogs. The sloping sides of the hill were covered with blue wood violets and brilliant sand pinks, and large evergreen trees crowned the top. The roads, built for horse and buggy traffic, wound around the hill and were shaded by oak and horse chestnut trees.

The plots of ground where loved ones rest were always kept in perfect order, and if one could not forget the sadness which made this place necessary, the beauty of the shrubs, green grass, and flowers helped ease the heartache.

Most of the Fountain family have gradually taken up their abode here, so now the cemetery is in charge of a voluntary commission. The owners of the plots either pay the sexton or have paid for perpetual care, and we call this group Friends of Rose Hill Cemetery. The commission has five members and all plot owners are considered stockholders in this non-profit organization.

Unfortunately, the interest derived from perpetual care does not cover the expenditures. The roads must be maintained, retaining walls built to avoid erosion, and too many families have no survivors to take care of the brush and weed growth. The once beautiful spot needs much  attention. However, the worst problem we have today is vandalism. People who have no respect for memorial gardens have toppled monuments, tipped over and often broken markers, and strewn debris all over. Vandalism is no respecter of persons living or dead.

I appeal to the public to help us by reporting any misdemeanor or suspicion of vandalism to the police.

The commission has asked for contributions to carry on the clean-up and repair program as well as volunteers to assist manually. We hope the citizens of the area will come forward and give us a hand in restoring this historical spot to its former beauty.

For more than 100 years Rose Hill has been a hallowed spot to those whose loved ones lie there. Respect for their memory could be shown by creating beauty there instead of destroying it.

Source: The Independent, 30 January 1974, page 4

Note 1: Rose Hill Cemetery's name derives from a family named Rose, not the flower, according to Helen Henderson in her book, Matawan and Aberdeen: (Of Town and Field).

Note 2: This link is my first to the Matawan Aberdeen Public Library's new collection of uploaded articles from The Independent. The online search engine provided the wrong date (3 January 1974) in its search results. After I clicked on the link, the correct date and page appeared in the online database frame but the database didn't produce an image of the page. (The next article I tried also produced a blank page, although the dates matched.) I was able to bring up the newspaper image by clicking back to page 3 and returning to page 4 using the database's control arrows. Some sort of fix is needed.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

My Current Music Favorites, December 2010

Here are some music videos and a list of songs that I've been enjoying lately. If you've written off the music you hear on broadcast radio, get online and start exploring. There's some great stuff out there. I've purchased my own copies of all of these and play them regularly on my iPod, but as you can see they are available for free online as well.

  1. Right As Rain, by Adele
  2. Tenuousness, by Andrew Bird
  3. Heaven, by Brett Dennen
  4. Veins, by Charlotte Martin
  5. Songbird, by Eva Cassidy
  6. I Know You By Heart, by Eva Cassidy
  7. Over the Rainbow, by Eva Cassidy (studio recording)
  8. OK, by Holly Conlan
  9. Can't Help Falling In Love (Live at Daytrotter), by Ingrid Michaelson
  10. You and I, by Ingrid Michaelson
  11. Sort Of, by Ingrid Michaelson
  12. Turn to Stone, by Ingrid Michaelson
  13. Details in the Fabric, by Jason Mraz featuring James Morrison
  14. Kindly Unspoken, by Kate Voegele
  15. The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, by Leona Lewis
  16. I Adore You, by melpo mene
  17. Secret, by Missy Higgins (live video)
  18. (Sittin' On) The Dock of the Bay, by Sara Bareilles
  19. One Sweet Love, by Sara Bareilles
  20. Between the Lines, by Sara Bareilles
  21. Love On the Rocks, by Sara Bareilles
  22. City, by Sara Bareilles
  23. River, by Sarah McLachlan
  24. When She Loved Me, by Sarah McLachlan

Huskies Bulldogs Final

RFH won the game l3 to 7. Great season, Huskies!

Huskies Bulldogs 4th Quarter - Allison Runback for TD

Big runback by Allison makes it l3 to 7 with 2 min left!

Huskies Bulldogs 4th Quarter - Time Running Out on Matawan

With less than 3 min in the game, looking like a loss for the Huskies l3 zip.

Huskies Bulldogs 4th Quarter - Score Steady 7-0 With 10 Min Remaining

Still 7 zip Bulldogs with ten minutes left in the game.

Huskies Bulldogs Halftime - 7-0

RFH leads at half 7 - 0. Matawan grabbed an interception to stop an end of half threat. Bulldogs have a strong offense that the Huskies are struggling to control. Close game! Cold, so everyone is at the snack stand seeking something warm.

UPDATE: The concession stand ran out of hot cocoa and hot dog rolls. Long line in the cold and nothing to show for it.

Huskies Bulldogs 1st Quarter - No Score

No score after one quarter of play between Huskies and Bulldogs at the Central Jersey Group 2 state championship game at Kean University in Union.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Aberdeen Matawan Train Station Parking Turns the Corner

The Matawan and Aberdeen municipal governments have procrastinated so long on their plans to renovate the train station area that events have finally overtaken them. The Independent says that NJ Transit is choosing a company to standardize their parking offerings at many of their train stations, including the Aberdeen-Matawan Station. This could throw a serious wrench in -- well, in whatever sort of plans the municipalities couldn't ever seem to get off the ground for oh so many years. Oh, my. Someone recently commented here about the SeaWalk campaign promise finally being met, albeit a little late.  This campaign promise looks to be going down in flames.

Alas, I suppose the NJ Transit initiative means an end to an era of super cheap parking ($40/mo?!) for holders of undervalued and poorly controlled train station parking permits. I can get a parking permit at Edison if and when I'm willing to pay their fees and put up with their ornery management, but there has been no monthly municipal parking available at Aberdeen, my neighborhood station, for years. It's been frustrating, no unlike trying to get NFL season tickets when they are owned by corporations or remain in families for generations.

I frankly don't think a company could handle the parking policy any worse. And they certainly couldn't make that neglected, mercenary zone of lined pavement look any worse than it already does.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Opportunity Knocks Elsewhere for Susan Irons

Matawan Aberdeen Regional School District is losing another administrator to a larger school district with deep pockets. According to The Independent, the district's business administrator, Susan Irons, has resigned to fill an unexpected vacancy in the North Brunswick school system in the same role in a much larger district. The new position yields a 15% increase in salary for Ms Irons, who was granted tenure this summer by MARSD but no raise in salary. Matawan has a better student:teacher ratio and far fewer student dropouts, but North Brunswick is bigger and has more money.

Bottom line: Our district will not only be looking to find a new superintendent to replace Richard O'Malley but a new business administrator as well.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Cliffwood Beach Runner Places at Navesink 15K

Bronawyn O'Leary of Cliffwood Beach came in second place among women running in Sunday's Navesink Challenge 15K race, according to The Examiner.

Christie Campaign Against Public Unions Prompts Anger, Challenge

A Freehold teacher has written an open letter to the Governor of New Jersey, available at The News Transcript, urging him to discontinue the "constant negative bombardment" of teachers that comes from his office in Trenton.  She complains that "the negative light that is being cast on teachers is both demoralizing and upsetting to all of us. . . . How does that promote a good educational environment across the state when the governor’s office consistently tries to pit parents and children against their teachers?"

She is particularly angry at Christie's comments to a student group about the annual teachers convention, saying he risks upsetting the student-teacher bond by drawing them into his caustic campaign against public unions.

She invites the Governor to visit her classroom.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

George E Hamilton, Matawan Native, Dies in Virginia

George E Hamilton, a Matawan native, died on Wednesday in Fishersville, Virginia, according to an obituary in the central Shenandoah Valley's News Leader. The obituary says he was the son of George Dilled and Ada Marie (Ellison) Hamilton.

OneWorldTree shows a George G and Ada Marie (Ellison) Hamilton with several living children. (I suppose the G stands for Gilead, his grandfather Archibald's middle name and the obit is wrong.) The 1930 Federal Census shows George G age 17 living with his parents, Elton and Lydia Hamilton, and George's many siblings in Olean, New York. Elton was a car inspector at a car shop at the time.

It's unclear how George and Ada ended up in Matawan by the time of young George's birth on 14 September 1946. The deceased served in the US Army's military police during Vietnam. He worked for the now defunct computer printer manufacturer Genicom prior to his retirement.


I went to Hazlet yesterday to see Unstoppable, a movie based on a true story of a runaway train. The film tells a story based in Pennsylvania, while the actual incident (see CNN story A and CNN story B from May 2001) occurred in Ohio. The runaway train was designated AVR 777 in the movie but in real life was marked CSX 8888 and is now known among train buffs as Crazy Eights, according to PennLive and Wikipedia.

Matawan Huskies Crush SJV 42-7

Twenty-eight unanswered points by the Huskies in the second quarter of Saturday's game against Saint John Vianney ought to help the APP move Matawan to the top of its Top Ten rankings. Matawan's 42-7 victory, reported by The Star-Ledger, certainly puts the boys in a better mental state for next week's state championship game than Rumson-Fair Haven's Thanksgiving Day loss against RBC.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

History: Rose Hill Cemetery Sexton Threatens Thief, 1895

The 23 November 1895 edition of The Matawan Journal, page 3, contains this interesting story about Robert P Harris, sexton of Rose Hill Cemetery, whose single barrel breech-loader was stolen from his tool house. Harris suggested that he knew the thief and planned to release some delicate information about him if the gun was not returned promptly.
Better Take That Gun Back

This advertisement for the sexton's services at Rose Hill Cemetery was found on page 4 of the same edition.

African Americans in the Matawan Journal - 23 November 1895

The only mention of African Americans in the entire 23 November 1895 edition of The Matawan Journal is this small report on the front page:

In a recent Saturday night brawl at Red Bank one Cummings had his throat slightly cut from his left ear to his windpipe by an unknown colored man, who effected his escape.

MRHS Fall Drama - It's A Wonderful Life

The Matawan Regional High School's 2010 Fall Drama is It's A Wonderful Life, with showings at the Anne Hannah Auditorium on Thursday 9 December at 7 pm, Friday 10 December at 8 pm, Saturday 11 December at 8 pm, and a matinee on Sunday 12 December at 2 pm. Evening performances are $8.00, and the Sunday matinee is a bargain at $4.00.

Aberdeen Tree Lighting

Aberdeen Township has blocked off five hours on the evening of Thursday 2 December 2010 for a holiday festival starting at 7 pm. I can't find any information online as to what goes on at this event, much less where it is being held. I presume it is a Christmas tree and menorah lighting, maybe with some singing, snacks, etc. And presumably it will be held at town hall. But you know what happens when you presume?

Keyport had its tree lighting this evening, funded by the Keyport Council through its budgetary support of the Keyport Business Alliance. There was scant promotion of the Keyport event, just like in Aberdeen. I suppose the business community has had nothing to do with the tree lighting in Aberdeen. But, even if they were in charge of it, the Matawan-Aberdeen Chamber of Commerce hasn't promoted anything since Matawan Day way back in August, so the event likely wouldn't have been promoted in any case. Hopefully someone will provide more details and soon.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Red Bank Catholic Defeated Rumson-Fair Haven 40-14 on Thanksgiving

Rumson-Fair Haven High School, Matawan's rival for the 2010 state championship, was solidly defeated by Red Bank Catholic on Thanksgiving morning, according to APP. This is Rumson's eighth defeat in a row at the hands of RBC, who ran well against Rumson's defensive line. Check out Red Bank Green for a detailed article filled with photographs of the game.

As an aside, the APP newspaper article mentions that Rumson made a mistake three years ago, resting all of its starters against RBC in preparation for state championships against Carteret. RBC humiliated Rumson 61-0 as a result. With its 33-7 score late in the 4th quarter, Thursday's game may have chalked up less points but was only marginally less humbling for the Bulldogs.

On Saturday, I'm sure the coach will remind our Huskies to catch the ball in front of them before they turn to run for the goal. Maybe he'll point to the Bulldogs as an object lesson?

King's Speech Not Available for Mere Mortals

I was hoping to see the highly praised film King's Speech today, but it is only showing in Manhattan for now. That's utterly maddening. Red Bank is showing that guy stuck between a rock and a hard place for 127 hours. (For some middle school level humor, check out Merriam-Webster for the odd assortment of words they suggest as rhyming with crevasse. My favorites include badass, Black Mass, degas, haul ass, jump pass, and kelp bass. Future poets will want to take note.)

Colin Firth plays King George VI, a stutterer who is uncomfortably thrust into power when his brother, Edward VII, abdicates to marry a Catholic girl from Baltimore. World War II is upon England and the new radio medium puts the king in the audible spotlight, so a speech therapist played by Geoffrey Rush is recruited to help George overcome this obstacle. Check out NPR's Fresh Air to read and/or hear more about the film and its director, Tom Hooper, who was recently  interviewed by Dave Davies. Davies plays an incredible clip from the film where the therapist provokes the king to claim his rightful voice.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

When the Day Breaks - New CD by Matawan's Joe Whyte

The Aquarian Weekly reports that singer-songwriter Joe Whyte has released a new CD after nearly three years. His style is Americana/folk. Check out the detailed review. Whyte, currently living in New York City, was once a resident of Matawan.

SeeClickFix: Physician, Heal Thyself

I posted an issue at SeeClickFix, a website where people can express their concerns about local road hazards, pot holes, missing or errant signage, etc.My complaint is that the Garden State Parkway sign on Route 35 North at Keyport doesn't provide enough notice to be in the left lane to enter the Parkway at Exit 117, especially for drivers unfamiliar with that stretch of roadway.

Ironically, I suppose I should submit an issue to complain how SeeClickFix has Matawan and Aberdeen divided up. If you search for Aberdeen, NJ, they send you to their Matawan, NJ page, but their map of Matawan defines the Borough alone. They list Cliffwood, Cliffwood Beach, and Strathmore as distinct municipalities. I guess their product has a few bugs.

She's Gone and It's Our Loss

Jan Rubino's suspension from the Matawan-Aberdeen Board of Education on ethics charges is in the news again because her opportunity to challenge the 15 November verdict has passed. The judge's decision therefore goes into effect immediately. This leaves Ms Rubino's position empty through the end of her term in April 2011. She has said she will not seek re-election.

The initial complaint against Ms Rubino claimed she had sent some re-election campaign emails to district employees, an ethics violation. She supposedly admitted that her personal mailing list likely included a few friends who worked in the district, but she couldn't confirm one way or the other because she'd deleted the correspondence. Joey Warren got the ball rolling on eventual charges against Ms Rubino via a blog article he posted less than a month before the official ethics complaint was filed. Mr Warren claimed to be entering the "political fray" of the school board because of this and other "machinations" by Ms Rubino and her ilk. It was time to take sides.

It's unclear whether Mr Warren's entree into local school board politics was manifested in his lodging this complaint, but I suppose so. He surely envisioned Ms Rubino's censure for ethics violations would come and go, justice would prevail and they could blithely continue to joust over various and sundry minutia of school administration. Surprised by the recent verdict, Mr Warren complained of the "unjust punishment" meted out against Ms Rubino when the judge chose a six-month suspension instead of his carefully considered and less impacting censure. But it is what it is. As Mick Jagger famously said, " You don't always get what you want."

Now that Ms Rubino has been put through the wringer for two years and then hung out to dry, are we any better off? I'd say no. She has been one of the biggest advocates for our schools since my college-age daughter was in elementary school, always putting hard work and social skill together to make our schools a better place. I certainly feel we've lost more than we've gained in this vain effort at justice. Ms Rubino had plenty to contribute to our district in years to come, but now she's gone. I hope she finds an alternate way to serve the community. If not, it's our loss.

History: Diphtheria in Matawan, 1910

Horse blood once produced diphtheria antitoxin

This Thanksgiving, we can be grateful that diphtheria is a thing of the past in our community. One hundred years ago today, the front page of The Matawan Journal ran the obituary of 20-year old Alfred Clark of Matawan, who had died of pneumonia. The paper reported that Mr and Mrs George W Clark were "greatly afflicted" after a month of illness and death among their children due to a diphtheria outbreak. Their 3-year old Stanley had died at the end of October 1910, and 18-year old Delia (Cordelia) was currently sick. To top it off, the funeral couldn't be held at the Clark home due to a health quarantine.

The 1910 Federal Census for New Jersey taken 3 May 1910 showed George W (42) and Mary E (35) Clark living on Morristown Road in Matawan Borough, along with children George W Jr (19), Alfred J (18), Cordelia M (17), Annie C (12), Myron E (10), and Stanley H (4).  At the time of the census, George and Mary had been married 20 years. Only six of the mother's eight children were still living, not including the deaths that took place in October and November. George was occupied as a tile presser at a tile factory.

The first successful vaccine against diphtheria wasn't produced until 1913. Before that, antitoxins derived from horses were administered and breathing tubes inserted in patients to facilitate breathing as their air passages closed. In the 1920's, even after a vaccine was available, up to 200,000 annual US cases of diphtheria resulted in as many as 15,000 annual deaths, mostly children.

Fifty-two years ago, a 6-year old Cliffwood student contracted the disease, according to a front page article in The Red Bank Journal of 23 December 1958. Neither he nor any of his siblings had been inoculated and were therefore immediately quarantined by officials. Today, with routine inoculation of children and the prevalence of antibiotics, the incidence of death by diphtheria has become rare.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Matawan and Keyport Food Pantries Featured in Independent

There's a nice article in The Independent describing the work of our area's two most prominent food pantries. The need for donated food has increased markedly in our region since 2008, so give generously if you can. It's great to hear that local religious organizations continue to provide volunteers to collect and distribute food to this growing segment of our community.

Aberdeen NJ Life wishes its readers a happy Thanksgiving. Be sure to cherish family and friends, count your many blessings, and pray for peace.

Monday, November 22, 2010

APP Top Ten Keeps Matawan Football in #2 Slot

The Asbury Park Press claims the Huskies barely survived their battle with the Warriors on Saturday evening, resulting in their continued ranking of Lacey (#1) over Matawan (#2) in this week's APP Top Ten.

Matawan plays SJV on Saturday and will face Rumson - Fair Haven at the Central Jersey Group II state championships at Kean University on Saturday 4 December at 3 pm. See the full NJSIAA championship schedule at NJ.com.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Huskies Defeat Warriors

Final score Huskies 26 Warriors 14. The team came to the stands after the game and stood quietly as the band played the school song. Finals will be in early December.

Referees Hog the Ball

Third quarter clearly went to the refs, who called countless fouls. With 9 min left in the game, Huskies lead 20 to 14. Warriors are threatening.

Huskies Lead at Half in Semi Finals

Matawan 14 Manasquan 7 at the half.

Matawan Manasquan Game Ready to Begin

Huskies and Warriors are about to begin their semi final match at Matawan.

Friday, November 19, 2010

History: Professionals and Businessmen of Matawan, 1880

Here's the list of professional cards appearing down the left column of the cover of the November 20 1880 edition of The Matawan Journal. I've included in italics my research from the 1880 Federal Census. (The census appears to have incorrectly labeled these mostly Borough addresses as being in the Township.

Professional Cards

Law Office of William L Terhune,
Removed to former office of H S Little, Matawan, NJ
Foreclosure of mortgages, and other legal business promptly attended to.
The 1880 Federal Census shows Wm L Terhune, 62 yrs old, born in NJ to NJ parents, lawyer, living in Matawan Township as head of household with his wife Margaret, three children, and a servant Bridget Concommons. (District 113, dwelling 141,  family 144, image 13 of 56)

Law Office of Rens W Dayton
Matawan, NJ, Office opposite the Bank.
The 1880 Federal Census shows R W Dayton, 37 yrs old, born in NJ to NJ parents, lawyer, head of his household in Matawan Township, with wife Lizzie, brother James B, sister Martina Dayton, and a 19 year old English servant named Mary A Glancy. (District 113, dwelling 100, family 103, image 10 of 56)  

Jehu B Applegate, Attorney-at-Law,
Office two doors above Farry's hotel, Matawan, NJ
The 1880 Federal Census shows Jehu Applegate, 25 yrs old, born in NJ to NJ parents, lawyer, living in Matawan Township as a boarder in what appears to be the Farry Hotel. John H Farry, 50, born in NJ to NY parents, is the landlord, who lives there with his wife Delia, five children, and two boarders. (District 113, dwelling 156, family 159, image 15 of 56)  

E W Arrowsmith, Attorney-at-Law, Matawan, NJ
Solicitor and Master in Chancery, Freehold, NJ
Office over Hartshorne's Clothing Store
The 1880 Federal Census shows Eusebeus W Arrowsmith, 35 yrs old, born in NJ to NJ parents, lawyer, living on South Street in Freehold as head of household, along with wife Mary, five children, and a 16 yr old servant Mary E Trimble, born in Illinois to Irish parents. (District 106, dwelling 6, family 9, image 1 of 41) His unusual first name likely derives from Eusebius of Caesarea, who was a significant Christian historian at the time of the writing of the Nicene Creed.

Doct. J G Shackelton, Physician and Surgeon,
Office at his residence, Main Street, Matawan
Office hours: 7:30 - 8:30 am; 1:30 - 2:30 pm and 7:30 - 8:30 pm
The 1880 Federal Census shows J G Shackelton, 43 yrs old, born in NJ to a father born in NJ and mother born in PA, physician,  living in Matawan Township as head of household, along with wife Cordelia, two daughters, his mother-in-law Frances S Rose, a 22-yr old servant named Mary Ann Mears born in NJ to Irish parents, and a 23-yr old English hostler named William H Hopla, (District 113, dwelling 76, family 78, images 7-8 of 56) Note that a hostler is archaic in American English and means groom or stableman.

Doct A Jackson, Physician and Surgeon, Matawan
Office opposite the Presbyterian Church
The 1880 Federal Census shows Andrew J Jackson, 36 yrs old, born in NY to English parents, physician,  living in Matawan Township as head of household, along with wife Ella V, 21-yr old step-daugher Mary K Crane, and 15-yr old servant Annie Dowd, born in NJ to Irish parents. (District 113, dwelling 71, family 73, image 7 of 56)

C S W Baldwin, Dentist, Matawan, NJ
Successor to J P Geran
Nitrous oxide gas administered.
Artificial teeth made of gold, rubber, or celluloid plain.
Filling a specialty. Has practiced seven years.
Keyport on Thursday and Fridays.
The 1880 Federal Census shows Charles S W Baldwin, 30 yrs old, born in VT to VT parents, dentist,  living in Matawan Township as a boarder at the Glenwood Institute, along with wife Mary G. (District 113, dwelling 71, family 73, image 29 of 56) The principal of the institute, Charles Jacobus, 40, was listed as head of household, and was living with wife Lizzie and three children. The household included four teachers (Frank E Guild, 26; Mary P Pinney, 31; Minnie Bachelder, 27, and J Fred Smith); a cook (Mary Kemp, 43), a servant (Ella Haley, 15), seven students, and 3 boarders.

J P Geran, Dentist
Associated with Dr Shannon, 64 Greene Avenue, cor Vanderbilt Avenue, Brooklyn, NY
At Freehold, Fridays and Saturdays
The 1880 Federal Census shows Josiah P Geran, 48 yrs old, born in NJ to NJ parents, dentist,  living in Matawan Township as head of household, along with wife Phebe L and son Carroll. (District 113, dwelling 83, family 85, image 8 of 56)

A Geran, Dentist
Opposite Farmers Merchants Bank, Matawan, NJ
The 1880 Federal Census shows Ackerman Geran, 53 yrs old, born in NJ to NJ parents, dentist,  living in Matawan Township as a widowed head of household, along with a 10-yr old daughter Melissa and his sister-in-law Margaret A Hayes. (District 113, dwelling 115, family 118, image 11 of 56)

Frank H Slater, Washington Hall Pharmacy, Matawan
Drugs, Medicines, Chemicals, Toilet and Fancy Articles,
and all other goods usually found in a first class pharmacy.
Physicians' prescriptions compounded with especial care.
The 1880 Federal Census shows Frank H Slater, 25 yrs old, born in NY to a father born in NY and mother born in VT, druggist, living in Matawan Township with his widowed father Franklin Slater, 57 yrs old, minister as head of household. A couple of Frank's siblings and an in-law are living in the minister's home. (District 113, dwelling 90, family 92, image 9 of 56)

Business Cards

Gilbert McDermott, Matawan, NJ
Commissioner of Deeds and General Agent in Fire Insurance and Real Estate
Houses and lots for rent and sale. Sales of property on commission solicited.
The 1880 Federal Census shows Gilbert McDermott, 34 yrs old, born in NJ to NJ parents, life and fire insurance agent, living in Matawan Township as head of household with his wife Mary E. (District 113, dwelling 98,  family 101, image 9 of 56)

E H Dominick, Watchmaker & Jeweler
At Stencil's on Main Street, one door above Spring Street, Matawan.
Watches and Jewelry repaired and warranted. Orders for goods received,
at prices lower than they can be bought in New York.
N B - All work done on the premises. 35 years at the business.
The 1880 Federal Census shows widower Edward H Dominick, 69 yrs old, born in NY to NY parents, occupied in watch repair, living in Matawan Township as head of household with an infant son Ainsley (born Nov 1879) and a 45-yr old housekeeper named Alice Compton. (District 113, dwelling 244,  family 252, image 23 of 56)

John N Disbrow, Constable and Auctioneer, Matawan, NJ
Attends to the collection of all claims.
The 1880 Federal Census shows John M Disbrow, 62 yrs old, born in NJ to NJ parents, constable, living in Matawan Township as head of household with his wife Lydia, a widowed daughter Mary A Johnson and her son Edmund, and a son Root working for the railroad.. (District 113, dwelling 148,  family 151, image 14 of 56)

George W Bell, Master in Chancery, and Commissioner for the State of New York
Office at the drug store opposite Farry's Hotel, Matawan.
Special attention given to drawing deeds, mortgages, wills, leases, etc, etc.
The 1880 Federal Census shows George W Bell, 66 yrs old, born in England to English parents, druggist, living in Matawan Township as head of household with his wife Laura, a 31-yr old son Americus clerking in his store, and 24-yr old son Frank, lawyer.  (District 113, dwelling 98,  family 101, image 15 of 56)

Thos J Cloke, Attorney-at-Law, and Master in Chancery, South Amboy, Middlesex County, NJ
Office cor Broadway and David Street
The 1880 Federal Census shows Thomas J Cloke, 30 yrs old, born in NY to English parents, life and fire insurance agent, living in South Amboy as head of household with his wife Clara E and a daughter Nellie. (District 145, dwelling 7,  family 7, image 1 of 31)

Frank Bell, Attorney-at-Law
Office - McKinney's Building, Room no 1, Keyport, NJ
Attention give to the collection of claims.
See George W Bell, above

CB Sea Walk in the Home Stretch

The 3,300 foot Cliffwood Beach seawall, which runs from Lakeshore Drive to Beach Drive, has been topped with a scenic walkway and has or soon will be provided ADA-compliant rails and ramps, expanded parking, and new signage, according to The Independent. Two-thirds of the nearly $375,000 funding for this new Sea Walk comes from Monmouth County development grants and open space programs, while the rest is being paid for by the Township. I'll try to visit the site this weekend and update this article with some photos and personal observations.

Update: I walked the seawall from Lakeshore Drive to just past Treasure Lake. There's no new parking, ramps, or rails just yet, but the seawalk is impressive. I took some snapshots (see below). 
Lakeshore Drive end of the Cliffwood Beach seawalk looking towards Keyport.
Lakeshore Drive end of Cliffwood Beach Seawalk, looking westward.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

History - Shiloh's Vitalizer, November 1880

I saw this advertisement on page 2 of the Matawan Journal of 13 November 1880 and thought it worth recording here.

A Strange People

Do you know that there are strange people in our community, we say strange because they seem to prefer to suffer and pass their days miserably, made so by Dyspepsia, and Liver Complaint, Indigestion, Constipation, and General Debility, when SHILOH'S VITALIZER is guaranteed to cure them. Sold by Geo. W Bell, Druggist.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

History: Mount Pleasant House, 1880

The 13 November 1880 edition of The Matawan Journal, makes the following reference to a hotel in Mount Pleasant, part of Matawan Township:

A sign in front of the Mount Pleasant House announces a "chop house" in connection with the hotel. Oysters are supplied in every style, and meals can be procured at all hours. This will prove a special accommodation. (pg 2, col 4)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Cliffwood Beach - Missing Dog and Burglaries

A Cliffwood Beach (Old Bridge) family is seeking the safe return of their shepherd/lab mix, Huggle. The American Humane Society is offering a $1,000 reward for the return of the dog, which the organization suspects was stolen from the family's yard.

At the same time, Cliffwood Beach (Aberdeen) is experiencing a rash of burglaries. Aberdeen Police have alerted residents to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity. (Sign up for CODE RED to receive such alerts.)

Charlie Brown's Steakhouse in Matawan to Close

CB Holdings of Mountainview is closing 30 of its nearly 60 restaurants nationwide, including Charlie Brown's Steakhouse on Route 79 in Matawan. Two-thirds of the restaurants to be shuttered are in New Jersey. Today's announcement, details of which can be found at the Newark Star-Ledger, is bad news for the 1,400 employees affected by it.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Matawan Ordinance 34-70 to be Revamped

The Independent says Matawan is looking to revamp its Highway Improvement zoning ordinance to spur local development. ClerkBase provides information about it under Chapter XXXIV Development Reulgations. I've copied Matawan ordinance 34-70 below so you can have a look at what they are considering modifying. You'll have to go to the Matawan Aberdeen Public Library to look at the Master Plan to see the areas of the borough covered by HI zoning. The Independent doesn't attempt to label those areas and you won't find a zoning map online.


a. Permitted Principal Uses.

1. Retail business establishments limited to the following: hardware, paint, glass and wallpaper stores; department stores and variety stores; dry goods stores; food stores, dairy stores and retail stores; apparel and accessories stores; furniture, home furnishings and equipment stores; radio, television and music stores; restaurants and taverns, but not including drive-in refreshment stands where food, drink and confections are served outside of the buildings or where food is intended to be consumed in cars parking on the premises; drug stores; liquor stores; antique stores; book and stationery stores; sporting goods, bicycle and hobby stores; jewelry stores; cigar stores and news dealers; camera and art stores; luggage and leather goods stores; franchised new motor vehicle dealers which provide not less than two thousand (2,000) square feet of interior floor space devoted to display of new motor vehicles and appropriate space for service, parts and office facilities; and farm and garden supply stores, provided that no merchandise is displayed or stored outside of a fully enclosed building.

2. Personal service establishments limited to the following: banks and fiduciary establishments; credit agencies, security and commodity brokers; real estate and insurance offices; holding and investment company offices; laundry and dry cleaning pick up stores; photographic stores; barber and beauty shops, shoe repair shops; garment pressing, alterations and repair shops; miscellaneous repair shops other than automotive; motion picture theater other than outdoor; dance studios and schools; medical and health services, excluding veterinarian services; legal services; engineering and architectural services; accounting and bookkeeping offices; business offices; funeral homes; electrical supply stores; nonprofit clubs, lodges and fraternal, civil service or charitable organizations; and order centers or stores.

3. Public or quasi-public areas, such as municipal parks, playgrounds, buildings and uses deemed appropriate and necessary by the Borough Council, and churches, synagogues and other religious buildings and uses for worship but excluding schools and auditoriums.

b. Permitted Accessory Uses.

1. Other uses and structures customarily incident to a principal permitted use.

2. Public and private parking.

c. Conditional and Prohibited Uses.

1. Conditional Uses.

(a) Necessary public utilities and services as per Section 34-77.

(b) Hospitals as per Section 34-80.

(c) Eleemosynary, charitable and philanthropic institutions as per Section 34-81.

2. Prohibited Uses.

(a) Correctional or detention centers.

d. Off-Street Parking. In addition to the provisions of Section 34-43, the following provisions shall be adopted as the required Highway Improvement District parking regulations of the Borough.

1. Parking facilities may be located in any required yard space but shall not be less than ten (10) feet from any street line. Ingress and egress to the parking area shall be a minimum of fifteen (15) feet and a maximum of thirty (30) feet in width

and shall not cause a hazardous condition to exist. The area shall be illuminated during operating hours if they occur after sunset. The illumination shall be shielded from streets and adjoining residential properties, if any.

2. All parking spaces provided for business uses in this section may be located on a lot within four hundred (400) feet of the public entrances of the building they are intended to serve, but only if it is determined by the Unified Planning Board that it is impractical to provide the required parking spaces on the same lot with the building they are intended to serve.

3. Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to prevent collective provision of off-street parking facilities by two (2) or more buildings or uses located on adjacent lots, provided that the total of such off-street parking facilities shall not be less than the sum of the requirements for the various individual uses computed separately in accordance with the standards contained in Section 34-43.

4. All off-street parking areas shall be hard-surfaced with a bituminous concrete or concrete pavement and graded and drained as approved by the Borough Engineer.

5. Parking shall be subject to Unified Planning Board site plan review as stated elsewhere in this chapter.

e. Landscaping and Buffer.

1. Landscaping, consisting of attractive trees, shrubs, plants, natural or synthetic grass lawns and decorative stone or rock gardens within the Highway Improvement Districts, shall be shown on site plans and shall be maintained as required in this chapter.

2. Wherever a parking plan in the Highway Improvement District has a capacity of one hundred (100) or more cars, a landscaping plan shall be submitted with the site plan to the Unified Planning Board indicating a minimum of five (5%) percent of the total land area for parking maintained in decorative landscaping, such as planting islands or focal points.

3. Wherever a use permitted in the Highway Improvement District abuts a residential zone, a solid and continuous landscape screen shall be required as per Section 34-41. In addition, the following buffer requirements shall apply in the HI District:

(a) In the event that the width of the parcel at the building line exceeds one hundred (100) feet and adjoins a residential property, the buffer area shall be increased by ten (10%) percent of the footage exceeding the initial one hundred (100) feet at the building line to a maximum buffer of fifty (50) feet.

(b) In the event that the average depth of the parcel exceeds two hundred (200) feet and adjoins a residential property, the buffer area shall be increased by ten (10%) percent or the average depth exceeding the initial two hundred (200) feet to a maximum buffer area of fifty (50) feet.

(c) In addition to such buffer planting, the applicant or owner shall erect on the buffer area a fence six (6) feet in height for the purpose of protecting the residential property from litter, debris, light glare and other such nuisances that would disturb the enjoyment and peaceful possession of the residential property. Such fence shall not be less than seventy-five (75%) percent solid and shall be located only as shown on the site plan approved by the Unified Planning Board.

4. Guaranties.

(a) Whenever landscaping, seeding and/or buffer area planting is required under this subsection, or any section of this chapter or by an approval of the Unified Planning Board or Borough Council, as the case may be, the same shall be planted prior to the issuance of the Certificate of Occupancy for the use on the property; provided, however, that when the season or weather conditions do not permit such plantings to coincide with the completion of the buildings or structures, same shall be accomplished with a time to be specified in the issuance of such Certificate of Occupancy, based upon the season of the year when issued.

(b) No Certificate of Occupancy shall be issued for any use requiring landscaping, seeding and/or planted buffer area under this chapter, or as a condition of any approval under this chapter, unless the owner shall have filed with the Borough the performance guaranties herein required, sufficient in amount to cover the costs of such required plantings, including replacement thereof and maintenance thereof for a two-year period.

(c) Ten (10%) percent of the total estimated costs of all such plantings, as aforesaid, shall be deposited in cash or equivalent with the Borough Treasurer, conditioned upon the proper planting and seeding (where such has not already taken place) and maintenance for a period of two (2) years, and/or assurance that the same will survive two (2) growing seasons or be replaced if same should die within such time. Such deposit, or any portion thereof in an amount as certified by the Borough Engineer and approved by the Borough Council may be expended by the Borough if the owner shall fail within thirty (30) days after written notice to make such plantings, or replace dead or dying trees or shrubs, as the case may be, or to provide additional plantings which are deemed necessary to meet the requirements of such approval. The Borough shall be obligated to return only the unexpended portion of the deposit to the applicant upon the completion of all required plantings and survival through two (2) growing seasons, as aforesaid.

(d) The balance of the performance guaranty may be in the form of a performance bond, which shall be issued by a bonding or surety company approved by the Borough Council, a certified check or cash deposit or any other type of surety acceptable to the Borough Council and approved as to form by the Borough Attorney.

(e) The posting of a performance guaranty as set forth above shall not relieve the owner from the obligation to perform nor shall such guaranty preclude the Borough from revocation of the Certificate of Occupancy where the owner fails to perform.

5. In the event of a discrepancy between the buffer requirements of this section and Section 34-41, the more stringent regulation shall apply.

f. Fences.

1. Where fences are to be installed as part of an initial application involving a building or other structures, the same shall be shown on the site plan, and the nature of the proposed fence shall be described.

2. Barbed wire and electricity charged fences are specifically prohibited, however, barbed wire may be permitted to be installed above a height of six (6) feet on customary security type fences, if permission therefor is specifically granted by the appropriate authorities.

3. All fences must be erected within the property lines, and no fences shall be erected so as to encroach upon a public right-of-way.

4. Every fence shall be maintained in a safe, sound, upright condition.

5. Spite fences are specifically prohibited, as are fences made from used or discarded materials not usually associated with fences, such as but not limited to doors, old lumber and the like.

g. Signs. See Section 34-44.

h. Driveways. The following standards shall apply for driveways within the Highway Improvement District.

1. Driveways shall enter the road system as nearly as possible to ninety (90°) degrees.

2. The number of driveways provided for the site directly to any road shall be as follows:

(a) For a length of site frontage of less than three hundred (300) feet, there shall be no more than two (2) driveways.

(b) For a length of site frontage three hundred (300) feet or more, the number of driveways shall be specified by the Borough Unified Planning Board, upon receipt of advice of the Borough Engineer.

3. All entrance and exit driveways to the road shall be located to afford maximum safety to traffic on the road.

4. Where a site occupies a corner of two (2) intersecting roads, no driveway entrance or exit may be located within fifty (50) feet of the intersection of the curb lines when extended.

5. No part of any driveway may be located within five (5) feet of a side property line. However, upon application to the Unified Planning Board and upon approval of the design by the Borough Engineer, the Unified Planning Board may permit a driveway serving two (2) or more adjacent sites to be located on or within five (5) feet of a side property line between the adjacent site.

6. Where two (2) or more driveways connect a single site to any one (1) road, a minimum clear distance of twenty-five (25) feet measured along the right-of-way line shall separate the closest edges of any two (2) such driveways.

7. For a driveway having a two-way operation, the driveway will intersect the road at an angle as near ninety (90°) degrees as site conditions will permit, and in no case will be less than sixty (60°) degrees.

i. Buffer.

1. There shall be a twenty-foot buffer area along any side line or rear line which abuts the residential zone. If the area is substantially screened by natural trees and growth, the same shall be left in its natural state. If the area is not substantially screened in its natural state, it shall be planted with shrubs and trees so as to provide an adequate screen from the residential properties.

2. In the event the width of the parcel at the building line exceeds one hundred (100) feet and adjoins a residential property, the buffer area shall be increased by ten (10%) percent of the footage exceeding the initial one hundred (100) feet at the building line to a maximum buffer of fifty (50) feet.

3. In the event the average depth of the parcel exceeds two hundred (200) feet and adjoins a residential property, the buffer area shall be increased by ten (10%) percent or the average depth exceeding the initial two hundred (200) feet to a maximum buffer area of fifty (50) feet.

j. Lot Area and Yard Requirements. See Section 34-60.

k. Abandonment.

1. If a nonconforming use of land, premises, building or structure, or any part or portion thereof, has been terminated or discontinued for a period of two (2) years, such nonconforming use shall not thereafter be reestablished, and all future use shall be in conformity with the provisions of this chapter. Such termination or discontinuance of the active and continuous operation of such nonconforming use, or a part or portion thereof, for such period of two (2) years shall be presumed to be an abandonment of such nonconforming use, regardless of any reservation of an intent not to abandon same or of an intent to resume active operations.

2. If actual abandonment in fact is evidenced by the substantial removal of buildings, structures, machinery, equipment and other evidences of such nonconforming use of the land and premises, the abandonment shall be construed and considered to be completed within a period of less than two (2) years, and all rights to reestablish or continue such nonconforming use shall thereupon terminate.

(Ord. No. 98-21 § 304-70)