A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

History: Garden State Parkway to Absorb Cliffwood Peach Orchard and Brickyard (1953)

The 18 June 1953 edition of The Matawan Journal (pp 1, 4) contained this article about local property owners and the acquisition of their lands for the construction of the Garden State Parkway by the New Jersey Highway Authority.

Commissioners In Kuhns Case Named 
Judge Lloyd Prepares Condemnation Court; Clay Lands Of Brick Company To Be Taken Superior Court 

Judge Frank T. Lloyd appointed condemnation commissioners last week to act in the proceedings instituted by the New Jersey Highway Authority against William Kuhns, a farmer residing on Cllffwood Ave., Cliffwood. Mr. Kuhns is owner of 24.0 acres of land wanted for the Garden State Parkway.

These lands are seat of an orchard containing 2000 peach trees nearing fruit-bearing maturity. It is reported the Parkway appraisers have offered Mr Kuhns a top price of $38,000 and he has rejected it as wholly insufficient to pay for the total valuation of the land and the investment and work that has gone into raising the orchard.  Mr. Kuhns feels no adequate recognition has been given the productive capacity of the orchard.

Commissioners named to act are Richard O. Venino, an attorney from Spring Lake, Louis Becker, Morganville florist, and John T. Lawley, Jr., Red Bank realtor. Ralph Heuser, Matawan, is attorney for Mr. Kuhns in the proceedings. No date has been set for a hearing.

Negotiate For Oschwald Parcel

Negotiations also are under way at this time for the acquisition by the New Jersey Highway Authority of 35 acres of the clay-land reserve of the Oschwald Brick Co., Cliffwood. Paul Oschwald, president of the company, has signed a right of entry permit for Parkway work to proceed on these lands.

The Oschwald firm is one of the oldest ones in this area. It was founded by Alex Gaston, for whom the street in Oak Shades is named, 85 years ago. It was a maker of tidewater brick in the years when row-on-row of red front brick apartment houses were lining up in New York from 1880 to 1910.

In 1910 the company became the Bushnell-Lipton Brick Co. It passed to Oschwald management after World War I and was brought to a high peak of efficiency just before World War II. Mr Oschwald reports that in 1939 the company produced 25,000,000 first quality brick. Building activities declined during World War II, but the pick-up in building in recent years stepped up the output to 22,000,000 brick, according to Mr. Oschwald. Removing part of its clay reserve is a serious matter, he acknowledges, and declares that if the 35 acres are released to the Parkway, he wants to obtain other claybearing land of as good quality and reasonable access so that the company's operations and high quality product will not be affected.


It seems the Kuhn family, originally from Pennsylvania, had farmed in Cliffwood for more than 70 years when they were evicted from their peach orchard in the name of modernity.
  • The 1930 Federal Census for New Jersey shows William R Kuhns, age 5, living in Cliffwood as the son of Arthur R and Florence G Kuhns. Arthur was a 31-year-old farmer born in NJ to NJ parents. Florence was 28 years old and born in NY to NY parents. Arthur and Florence had been married about 9 years. William had an 8-year-old sister, Florence E Kuhns.
  • The 1920 Federal Census for New Jersey shows Arthur Kuhns, age 21, living in Cliffwood as the son of John E and Laura Kuhns. John was a 58-year-old farmer born in NJ to PA parents. Laura was 49 years old and born in NY to NJ parents. Arthur's siblings were an older sister, Laura, 22, employed as a teacher; a younger brother Hilburt, 18; and a younger sister Clara, 14.
  • The 1880 Federal Census for New Jersey shows John E Kuhns, Jr, age 18, living in Matawan Township as the son of John E and Barbara Kuhns. John was a 61-year-old farmer born in PA to PA parents. Barbara was also 61 years old and born in PA to PA parents. Also in the household were John Jr's sister Louisa, age 25; a cousin  Mary L Brian, age 13; and a boarder.


Post a Comment