A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

History: Midway Green (Matawan)

Midway Green is a section of Matawan Borough. The evidence suggests that it includes the homes and businesses along Main Street between Washington Street and Route 34. I'd be curious to hear more about it from local residents. I pulled an assortment of Matawan Journal articles mentioning this part of the borough and summarized them below.

Martin Weber, Matawan grocer. (1891)
The 23 May 1885 edition and the  15 Aug 1891 edition of The Matawan Journal included the same advertisement for Martin Weber's grocery store at Midway Green, Matawan. Weber's obituary appeared in the 4 Apr 1896 edition of the paper. Weber came from Hahnebach-Hesse, Germany at age 18 and followed the tailor's trade until 1885, when he began his grocery store business. His sons George, Fritz and William assisted him with the grocery. Martin died aged 65 years and was buried at Rose Hill Cemetery.

Mrs G Dorre ran an ad in the 25 Jan 1890 edition of The Matawan Journal offering to rent part of her house in Midway Green to a married couple or a single woman at reasonable terms.

Boyce's grocery store is located at Midway Green in Matawan at the old stand formerly occupied by J R Woolley, according to an ad appearing in the 8 Mar 1890 edition of The Matawan Journal..

William D Bailey was selling hardware and farm implements at Midway Green, according to the 16 Dec 1897 edition of The Matawan Journal..

Marcus Duncan moved from Englishtown to R W Herbert's house at Midway Green, according to the 7 Apr 1898 edition of The Matawan Journal. Herbert was selling this house in the 24 Mar 1898 edition of the paper. The ad said the house was formerly owned by John S. Woolley.

The 10 Apr 1902 edition of The Matawan Journal said that James A Heyer had closed his blacksmith shop at Midway Green and moved his business to Crawford's Corner.

The 11 Jun 1908 edition of The Matawan Journal included an announcement that W K H Shafto was moving from Cliffwood to a home in Midway Green. It also noted that S P Tompkins of Midway Green had fine berries, both large and tasty. Wesley K H Shafto, age 30, and Silas P Tompkins, age 79, lived on Main Street and were enumerated on the same page of the 1910 Federal Census.

W D Bailey was having a concrete walk added to his property on Main Street in Midway Green, according to the 29 Sep 1910 edition of The Matawan Journal. The 1910 Federal Census showed William D Bailey, age 67, born in New York, lived on Main Street. He was enumerated on the same page with George Longstreet, Fritz Weber, Thomas Floh, Louis Tice, and Charles Tunis.

The 2 Feb 1911 edition of The Matawan Journal announced that  "George Longstreet has moved into Fritz Weber's house at Midway Green, recently vacated by Mr. Floh." It also said that Charles E "Bud" Smith was building a garage on his house in Midway Green so he could park his automobile there.

A wedding shower for Beatrice Hulsart, daughter of Clifford W and Alma Hulsart, was held at her home in Midway Green, according to a front page article in the 23 Oct 1913 edition of The Matawan Journal. She and her parents lived at 285 Main Street, Matawan, according to the 1920, 1930 and 1940 Federal Censuses. Beatrice divorced soon after her marriage and took her maiden name.

According to the obituary of Obadiah Thomas Geran, which appeared in the 26 Feb 1914 edition of The Matawan Journal, Geran moved from his native Robertsville to Matawan about 1870 and studied tinsmithing with Gordon D White. When Geran went into business for himself, he purchased and occupied the former Caleb T Bailey building at Midway Green. 

The 27 May 1915 edition of The Matawan Journal detailed a vehicular accident that occurred in front of the home of George Eastmond, of Midway Green. His young daughter, Alice, crossed Main Street in front of her home (276 Main Street, according to the 1920, 1930 and 1940 censuses) and was hit by a motorcycle. The cyclist had turned off Middlesex Street (now Route 34) and was proceeding downtown on Main Street. The girl (named Myrtle, according to the census) crossed behind a trolley and the motorcyclist had insufficient time to stop. It turned out that the girl was not seriously hurt, according to the paper.

A Ladies Night event at the Odd Fellows Hall began with a performance by the Midway Green Band, according to the 27 Feb 1919 edition of The Matawan Journal. The band was "100% Weber" - Fritz, Paul, and Chet Weber, accompanied by Hazel Weber on the piano.

The 24 Mar 1921 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 4) carried a story about Jacob Podelefsky, formerly of Keyport, who had moved to Matawan a few weeks earlier and opened a grocery and confectionery store in the Midway Green section of the borough. Podelefsky, 22 years old, was being held on charges of child abuse and had nearly been lynched by Midway Green residents, who gathered in his store.


  1. I discovered your site quite by accident and it has proven to be quite a boon to my family research. I never knew that the Matawan Journal was on-line and that has been a precious discovery. I found a note on page 5 of the 8 Dec 1894 issue of the MJ that read, ""Will Lambert has opened a tobacco department in his mother's store at Midway Green." I am wondering if this might be the same store mentioned in the above article. Thank you for your help.

    Peter Hayward

    1. The 1900 Federal Census for New Jersey listed the widow Lucy Lambert, age 61 (Nov 1838 NY), head of household on Main Street in Matawan, along with her son William F Lambert, 27 (Mar 1873 NY) and his wife Carrie Lambert, age 24 (NJ). William was listed as a peddler (vegetables), by occupation.

      Presumably Lucy was the store owner back in 1894 when her young son opened the tobacco department. And presumably he took over her business when she retired.

      I'm glad the blog and Matawan Journal online have been helpful in your research. Note that Midway Green was a section of town, not a particular store. If one of the stores in my article seemed linked, let me know and I'll do some more digging. If you learn more, feel free to post additional details here.

  2. William and Carry Lambert were living at 785 Highland Avenue in Newark in the 1920 Federal Census. They had three children: Edwin (19), Catherine (17) and Van (13). William was a private chauffeur. Edwin was a plumber's helper.

  3. Pat,

    Thank you for taking the time to respond to my query. Your information was helpful.

    I am in need of advice. I am looking for information and/or pictures on Matawan relatives. Is there a historical society in Matawan or Monmouth County that might be able to help me? I have scoured the pages of The Red Bank Register & The Matawan Journal.

    Specifically I am looking for any information or photos I can find on Carrie Hayward Conover (1868-1964), her father Frank Hayward (1839-1878; unfortunately 1878 is missing from The Matawan Journal collection), Henrietta Stryker Gordon (1827-1915) and her son David Henry Gordon (1849-1920). All lived for a significant number of years in Matawan. David Henry Gordon was a good friend of Benjamin Brown and appears regularly in the social notes. He also maintained a home in Philadelphia,

    I have one very specific question to ask you that I am sure you will know the answer to. By any miracle is the Carrie Hayward Conover house pictured on page 30 in Helen Henderson's book "Around Matawan and Aberdeen" still standing?

    Thank you for maintaining this very interesting blog.

    Peter Hayward

    1. I'll have to check out that book at the library. I don't happen to have that one at home.

      The Matawan Historical Society is based at Burroughs Mansion, an historic home on Main Street. They have limited hours. You can leave a phone message or try contacting the reference librarian at the Matawan Aberdeen Public Library for assistance.

      I found the following items of possible interest in the Matawan Journal:

      The 16 Jun 1877 edition of The Matawan Journal announced the death of F W Hayward's youngest child to scarlet fever and diphtheria. pg 2 col 2

      The 25 Jun 1926 edition of The Matawan Journal had a front page announcement of the wedding of Frank Hayward Conover and Geraldine Brown. Rev E I Stearns, former pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Matawan, officiated.

      The 26 Oct 1950 edition has the Carol Brown Conover - Walter Laurence Maguire wedding.

  4. Pat,

    Thank you for the information on the Matawan Historical Society. Thank you also for the leads on articles in the Matawan Journal. The one on the Frank Hayward Conover-Geraldine Brown marriage was particularly helpful.

    Peter Hayward

  5. I saw the photo of the 109 Main Street home of Carrie Conover in the book you mentioned. I'll take a look in town to see if the place is still there. I expect it will be.

    BTW, I came across a reference to Carrie Conover in teh 14 Jan 1960 edition of The Matawan Journal, pg 5 col 1. She was the last living charter member of the Glenwood Mission Band of the First Presbyterian Church of Matawan, which was celebrating its 75th anniversary.

  6. There is a house next door to 107 Main Street that looks like the one in the book. It didn't have a building number on it, but I suspect it is the house.

    My wife and I walked over and checked out the house just before dropping into La Riviera, a bar-restaurant a couple of doors down the street. We had a few drinks in your honor.

  7. Pat-I just discovered your comments today or I would have responded sooner. I got in touch with The Matawan Library and it was suggested to me that I call Julius Kish during the hours that the museum is open. The director of the library was very helpful.

    I was very interested to hear that the old house is still standing. I need to come down and see it and visit the Matawan Historical Society. Is there a bed & breakfast in town where I could stay? I would prefer to do that than lodge next to the Garden State Parkway.

    The reference you found to Carrie was one I had not come across. It was helpful as I did not know that she had spent her last years with her son, Frank Conover, in Stamford. Frank, by the way, was married to Geraldine Brown of Matawan. Frank and Carrie are both mentioned in the book "This Old Monmouth of Ours". I am hoping that the Matawan Historical Society might have a picture of them. I have no photos of my numerous Monmouth County, New Jersey ancestors.

    Thanks again for your help.

    Peter Hayward

    PS-Carrie Hayward Conover is my first cousin 2x removed.

  8. Glad to hear you got connected. There's a graveyard tour being hosted by the historical society in October, so if you plan to come that soon you should find out more about that.I expect to write a blog article promoting it soon.

    Matawan should have a bed n breakfast, but as far as I know it doesn't. The closest B&B I could find is Cedars and Beeches in Long Branch. Most of NJ's B&Bs are in Cape May, which I recommend as a nice getaway if you've never been there. Victorian Week should be coming up in October. Lots of things are operating then. Christmas is also big there.

    As for lodging, you could stay close and get adequate accommodations or you could stay farther away and find something more exclusive. Nearby best bets are the Best Western Hazlet Inn and the Holiday Inn, both in nearby Hazlet. Twenty minutes away in Red Bank you could try the Oyster Point Hotel or the Molly Pitcher Inn, either of which would provide a beautiful view and a comfortable stay. Check to see if the distance and prices are suitable to you. Red Bank is a great town to visit. See if the Count Basie Theater has some great acts. Local bar scene, too.

  9. I am leaving for Matawan tomorrow for a couple of nights to do research at the Matawan Library & to visit the Tennent and Old Brick Reformed Church Cemeteries where I have relatives buried. I am staying at the Best Western Hotel in Hazlet & wondered if you might be able to recommend some good but not too pricey restaurants in the area.


  10. I have links to restaurants along the right side of my blog. Depending on your taste, check out the following: Siam Smiles (Thai), Amravathi (Indian), Aby's (Mexican), Nemo's (Sushi+), Basil T's (American), Big Ed's (Ribs), J & P (Chinese), McDonough's (Bar and Grill), and Red Oak (Diner). You can go to Keyport Fishery carry out and eat it on the bulkhead if the weather's nice. We also have a lot of chain restaurants: Carrabba's and Bertucci's (Italian), Chili's and Houlihan's (American). I especially like Nemo's and Siam Smiles. Basil T's and Aby's might be more pricey than you want,so check the menus online. Pricey is a personal thing. Maybe others have some recommendations, too?

  11. Thanks a lot for your help.


  12. Peter - I found another reference to Mrs Carrie Conover. It is in the 16 Feb 1923 edition of The Matawan Journal, pg 5 col 1. Her son and daughter in law, Mr and Mrs Harold Conover, of Brooklyn, visited her over Lincoln's birthday.