A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Springtime Walking Tour Program - 8 June 1975

On Saturday afternoon I went through one of the many boxes of local and regional history materials at the Matawan Public Library. The boxes, which contain post cards, booklets, news articles, and other goodies, can be found right across from the Reference Desk. You can take them to a desk and have a good look through them, but you can't check these reference materials out and take them home.

There are a number of brochures with Burrowes Mansion on the cover. One of them turned out to be a program guide to a springtime walking tour of Main Street conducted in June 1975. The pamphlet offered an historical background and the then-current ownership of property after property along Main Street from Memorial Park (at the corner of Broad and Main Streets in downtown Matawan) to Mount Pleasant Cemetery (at the juncture of Broad and Main Streets and Route 516). It would be great to see a remake of that piece, but I fear that Main Street isn't what it was 35 years ago and that can dampen enthusiasm for exploring the past.

A brochure by Rensselaer L. Cartan titled Notes on the Early History of Matawan, N.J. and Vicinity, mentions that the first railroad tracks passed through Matawan in 1875. According to Cartan, President Grant owned a summer home in Long Branch, so a line was run from South Amboy to Long Branch to facilitate his travels. The Grant Monument Association says Long Branch was Grant's Camp David from 1869-1877. He spent every summer at the shore, played poker with his buddies on Friday nights, spent quality time with the family and conducted affairs of state, according to the site. Cartan, who served as President of the Matawan Rotary Club from 1956-57, is cited in Helen Henderson's Matawan and Aberdeen.


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