A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Delays At Newark Penn Station

Signals out at Penn Sta Newark with no end in sight. Huge crowd.

UPDATE 10:07 PM: Commutes were delayed one to two hours or more tonight. I've not been herded and corralled like I was tonight since Disney World. Today's odyssey at Newark only added an hour to my trip home.  I fear others weren't so fortunate. I just got a note (9:49 pm) saying NJ Transit trains are finally back to almost normal. NJT has offered no updates in three hours, leaving me to wonder what it's been like at Newark all evening.

All in all, communications with NJ Transit passengers at Newark Station reached an all time low today. The public address system was so difficult to hear that NJT sent several women through the station shouting that bus service was available to Elizabeth and Rahway. The messages I could hear were of little if any use. Do the math: massive crowds of commuters cooling their heels with nowhere to go PLUS no commuter information EQUALS a recipe for disaster.

NJT has been promising improved communications as a priority after two surveys indicated great customer dissatisfaction, but the situation is truly worse than ever. Please, no more surveys if you're not going to even try to fix things.

Matawan High School Graduate Engaged on Treasure Coast

A Matawan Regional High School graduate from the Class of 2002, now living in Port St Lucie, Florida, is engaged to wed, according to TC Palm.

Taps For A Long-Lost Hero

The Morning Call has a photo (click link) of Matawan's Bruce Walker as he played taps at the burial of a long-lost Vietnam War pilot on Saturday. With the recent identification of his remains, USAF Major Bruce Lawrence was finally able to be laid to rest next to his parents at Raubsville Cemetery in Williams Township. Mr. Walker is a member of Bugles Across America.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Union Prospect Cemetery, Aberdeen

Union Prospect Cemetery, aka Booker Cemetery, is an African-American cemetery on 1.3 acres situated on either side of an unpaved road that runs between Lloyd Road and Reids Hill Road in the Strathmore section of Aberdeen. It is located about halfway between the Aberdeen Shop Rite and the old Strathmore Swim Club.

Find-a-Grave has this cemetery listed. They have names, dates of death, even photographs of graves. A local professional genealogist named George Joynson has a web page with a listing of graves as of 1996. I walked the graveyard today and found that new graves have been added in the past year and flowers adorn numerous graves.

Find-a-Grave, Ancestry.com and Mr Joynson all refer to this place as Union Prospect Cemetery. Google Maps and Histopolis label it as Mt Union Cemetery, but that seems to be in error, perhaps the result of confusion with a cemetery in Aberdeen, Mississippi.

I drove to the cemetery by taking Route 34 to Van Brackle Road to Reids Hill Road. There's not much room to park, so I left my car on the unpaved road. Pulling out onto Lloyd Road was a harrowing experience, even on an early Sunday morning, due to blind spots in both directions, so I'd recommend entering and exiting on Reids Hill Road if at all possible.

Union-Prospect Cemetery is on a tree-shaded property consisting of three zones: a hilltop (with the oldest graves), a gentle slope leading to Lloyd Road or the unpaved road that bisects the cemetery (with some graves), and a clearing beyond the unpaved road (with most of the newest graves).

From the hilltop, there is a relatively sharp drop to a treed lot on the north and a gentler slope to the south and west. The exposed roots and gravestones across the street to the east suggest that Reids Hill Road was cut through this cemetery, which was situated on a once-larger hill, presumably Reid's Hill.

The graves on the hilltop and slope rest in white, sandy soil. That ground is gradually eroding. Most recently, Hurricane Irene seems to have caused a wash down the slopes into the unpaved road and out towards Lloyd Road.

Most of the graves have professional granite markers, but some are marked with hand-engraved stones, while others bear small metal signs provided by the funeral home in lieu of a more expensive stone.

Looking west towards Lloyd Road from the hilltop.

Looking northeast towards Reids Hill Road from the hilltop.

Looking northwest towards Lloyd Road from the hilltop. The sharp drop and neighboring wooded lot can be seen.

Looking southwest from the slope towards Lloyd Road. The unpaved road and the graves in the clearing can be seen.

Looking west towards Lloyd Road from the hilltop. The graves in the clearing below can be seen in the distance.

Only a few stones are toppled in this graveyard. It could be a maintenance issue as opposed to vandalism.

A hand-engraved stone for Lester Cranshaw has a reversed letter N and the year is squeezed onto a second line.

The sandy slope shows signs of erosion to the unpaved road below.

The hilltop consists of sandy soil.

Another view of Lloyd Road from the hilltop.

The unpaved road leading to Lloyd Road shows sand washed from the slope to the right

These graves are cut into the sandy slope.

This view is up the slope towards the northeast corner of the cemetery by Reids Hill Road.

A view of the unpaved road as it leads to Reids Hill Road. These newer gravestones are in the clearing.

Another view of the unpaved road leading to Reids Hill Road.

The recent stones include one for a Keyport High School graduate. He was a local football hero who died at age 19.

History: Airport Plaza Shopping Center, Hazlet

The 11 October 1956 edition of The Matawan Journal provides a list of the first companies to sign leases at Airport Plaza on Route 36 in Hazlet.
Christmas 1958 Sun Ray Drugs sale ad in The Matawan Journal.

Raritan Township Board of Health Monday approved the sanitary distribution system for Airport Plaza Shopping Center to be located at the southwest corner of Route 36 and Middle Rd.

Stephen Atkins, Fair Lawn, informed the board that the Shopping Center was fully rented. He said Philip J. Levin, Plainfield, its builder, had already signed leases with W. T. Grant 5 and 10 chain, the Grand Union chain, the Sun Ray Drug Co. chain, the Thom McAn shoe chain, the Jay Ann Shops Inc., women wear chain, and the Taft Store Inc.. the fast service cleaner chain. He said the Center would have a 600 foot front and 1000 car parking.

Christmas 1959 People's National Bank of Keyport ad in The Matawan Journal
Christmas 1959 W T Grants ad in The Matawan Journal

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Joint Session to Discuss Senior Complex in Aberdeen

Community Investment Strategies (CIS) will propose the development of affordable senior rental housing at a brownfield site on Church Street at a joint session of the Aberdeen Council and Aberdeen Planning Board just down the road at Town Hall on Tuesday 27 September 2011 at 7 pm, according to a Township press release and APP. Christiana Foglio, the company's CEO, will be making the presentation, which she characterizes as an informal conversation or workshop. No formal action will be taken by local officials.

Discussion can be expected to include demolition of the existing structures and remediation and development of the 14-acre property that once belonged to South River Metals, given the many DEP regulations that must be met. And Federal and state requirements for affordable housing grants and loans will doubtless prompt discussion of strategies for financing the project and determining who may live in which kind of unit. Hopefully there will also be discussion of how these new residents will get around town for their shopping, medical, and recreational needs given that Church Street is not exactly a hub of public transit.

CIS is a major player in affordable housing development in New Jersey. They have received lots of awards and are affiliated with all the major associations. Founded in 1994, the company controls over $350 million in properties, including over 2,000 apartments, town homes, and mid-rise and high rise complexes. In July 2011, CIS proposed a $14 million affordable housing development for senior citizens in Bloomfield, according to North Jersey. A June 2011 press release announces the successful completion of a $21 million seniors development in Elizabeth called Water's Edge Crescent. The Federal government, Burlington County and a local municipality are financing the $15 million conversion of a school into affordable housing in Florence, according to an August 2011 article by Philly Burbs.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

September Plants at Cliffwood Beach Seawall and Environs

Here are some pictures of the plants on and near the Cliffwood Beach seawall at this time of year. Perhaps someone can help with identifications of those I couldn't name?

The green and purple berries are on a mature pokeweed plant.

The yellow stalks are golden rod.


This unidentified plant has a thick, bamboo-like stalk and long, narrow green leaves. It grows off a central stem and spreads out horizontally. The plant is adorned with fuzzy light brown tails. 


Kiss n Ride Congestion

The kiss n ride situation in the Aberdeen-Matawan parking lot has gotten bad ever since a new taxi company started making a virtual taxi stand out of the curb in front of the white station building. They take up all of the spaces where my spouse meets me during the evening rush, a real inconvenience. They stand around and talk and don't move their cars up. The line of cars behind them can get very long, making a long walk for commuters looking for their ride home.

Drivers with the other cab companies serving the station have absolutely nothing good to say about the new company. I initially thought these comments were sour grapes over a new competitor and that could still be the case, but I've heard the same complaints from different drivers from different companies over a period of months, so I'm more inclined to believe them. These drivers tell me that the new company's drivers lack proper documentation and have had more than their fair share of accidents, including driving into a phone pole near the Singin gas station. They also say that the drivers don't speak English well so they can have difficulty sorting out interactions with their customers, including destinations, directions, and payment. Perhaps some of my readers can comment one way or the other?

The other cab company drivers hypothesize that the new company is not getting close scrutiny because they are planning to relocate to Keyport soon. That won't remedy the kiss n ride situation, though. I hope our local municipalities will look into it.

Update (22 Sep 2011): The line at the kiss n ride was really long tonight. Costera had four taxis parked with such big gaps between each vehicle that they filled the entire curb between the stop sign and the end of the white building. The drivers were parked and standing outside of their vehicles talking. Behind them, at the end of the line, were the common folk waiting in the dark for family and friends to emerge from the train and find their rides.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Raccoon Mayhem In My Attic! My Current Favorite TV Commercial

I'm sorry, but I just can't enough of this Allstate commercial. Priceless!

Jacqui At Starbucks

I really enjoyed reading The Cast of Our Local Starbucks, by Jacqui Donnelly, an article that appeared on Matawan-Aberdeen Patch the other day. Kudos, Jacqui! Funny stuff. I am glad you survived the knitting club. And too bad about the guy across the table. Maybe you should redirect your attentions to Doc? Leave secret agent man alone unless you have an appropriate parole. You might try, "The sky over Acapulco is velvety in autumn." If his reply is, "But the moon over Miami is luxurious in early spring," there just may be kismet in that coffee-tinged air.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

History: Camp Alfred Vail

Code Class at Camp Vail (Photo: US Army)

The 13 Nov 1919 edition of The Matawan Journal, page 4, contains the following article about the establishment of a permanent signal corps training post that had its origins during the First World War. Camp Vail would eventually become Fort Monmouth, a US Army signals intelligence center for many years. Fort Monmouth finally closed this past week, with most of its operations relocated to Aberdeen, Maryland.

 $110,000 For Camp Vail.

The House Military Affairs Committee, recommending in a report to Congress Saturday an appropriation of $4,500,000 for the purchase of land for army posts and the completion of army buildings thereon, included an item of $110,000 for the purchase of Camp Alfred Vail, Little Silver. Camp Vail, during the war, was a signal corps training and concentration camp. It is still being used and the War Department plans it as a permanent signal corps training post. Congressman Scully introduced a bill for the purchase of the property as a permanent post.

The History section of Wikipedia's article about Fort Monmouth says that the Army used a defunct racetrack on the site during the First World War for officer training, referring to it briefly as Camp Little Silver. In September 1917, the site began to be called Camp Alfred Vail, the first indication that signals-related work was going on there.

Alfred Lewis Vail

Alfred Vail (Wikimedia)

Alfred Lewis Vail (1807-1859), of Morristown, NJ, played a significant role in the development and commercialization of the telegraph. He worked with Samuel F B Morse, who seems to have wrested much of the glory and financial benefit from the arrangement.
A lasting legacy to Vail is a 265 unit housing development in Shrewsbury Township -- a development once used as military housing in Fort Monmouth -- which  still carries the name Alfred Vail Mutual Association. The Asbury Park Press carried an interesting 15 Sep 2007 story about small town Shrewsbury that mentions the development.

A front page article in the 8 Aug 1924 edition of The Matawan Journal announced that General Black Jack Pershing planned his first visit to Camp Vail the next morning. The General would review the troops on the polo grounds, attend a luncheon in his honor, and possibly attend a polo match at the Rumson Country Club that afternoon. The luncheon would be hosted by Lieutenant Colonel J E Hemphill, commanding officer at Camp Vail.

The 14 Aug 1925 edition of The Matawan Journal announced the renaming of Camp Vail as Fort Monmouth and the appointment of a replacement for then Colonel Hemphill.

Camp Vail Renamed

Camp Alfred Vail has been renamed Fort Monmouth and made a permanent military camp, according to information received at the camp Tuesday by Colonel J. Edward Hemphill, commandant. Colonel Hemphill is to be succeeded on August 31 by Colonel James B. Allison, of Washington.

The camp was established by the government as a station for recruits before the World War. The site was what was known as the new Monmouth Park track, opened in 1890 and closed three years later. It is expected that permanent officers' quarters will soon be built there.

The 29 Nov 1945 edition of The Matawan Journal announces that Major General George Lane Van Deusen was to receive the Legion of Merit for his work at Fort Monmouth during the Second World War. He had had a long and distinguished career in signals intelligence. He joined the Signal Corps in 1917 and commanded the 105th Field Signal Battalion, which saw action in Belgium and France under the 30th Division during the First World War. It's possible that his battalion was involved in the first use of Cherokee code talkers at the Second Battle of the Somme. He served at Camp Vail/Fort Monmouth from 1921 to 1929 and again for several years in the late 1930s. He became commandant at Fort Monmouth's signals training center in 1940.

The above article notes that General Van Deusen married Effie Baker of Keyport and Matawan. The 1930 Federal Census for New Jersey shows Effie E Baker, age 25, living in Keyport with her parents, John C and Maybel D Baker. Effie was a school teacher and her father was an insurance agent. The Bakers were born in Canada but had US roots. Social Security records show that Effie B Vandeusen was born 8 May 1904 and died on 22 Jan 1993 in Monmouth Beach.

On the occasion of the appointment of General Kirke Lawton as the 16th commander of the signal corps center at Fort Monmouth, the Matawan Journal provided a detailed history of the establishment and growth of this US Army training facility on page 4 of the second section of its 20 Dec 1951 edition.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

History: 19th-20th Century Electrification In The Matawan Journal

Here's a bit of the history of the introduction of electricity in our area and around the world, as reported in The Matawan Journal:

The 4 Sep 1886 edition says that ships with running lights were now able to pass through the Suez Canal in 16 hours instead of 48 because the passage could include the night time hours.  (page 3)

The 8 Oct 1887 edition says that Red Bank may soon have streets and stores lit with electricity. Asbury Park's electric street railway cars were operational and running well. (page 3)

The 23 Jul 1892 edition includes an article called Electricity for Matawan. The Journal's editor had become acquainted with the use of electricity in Pennsylvania to run trains more efficiently than by locomotive, plus the same dynamos were being used effectively to provide lighting. The newspaper suggested a discussion of the potentials locally. "We see no reason why Matawan, Freneau and Keyport should not be united by an electric road, as well as enjoy the benefits of a complete system of electric lighting."

The 14 Apr 1898 edition contains a public notice of a county ordinance allowing the Monmouth Traction Company to construct and operate an electric train system in Freehold (town and township), Marlboro (township), and Matawan (borough and township). Section 5 of the ordinance requires the use of electricity as the sole motive power for the propulsion of the trains. This section also provides for the proper construction of utility poles and indicates that a map exists showing the exact spots for each pole.

The 12 Oct 1899 edition has a front page article boasting the first operation of street lights on Main Street in Matawan on 10 Oct 1899. The arc lights were brilliant, greatly outshining the kerosene lamps still in place nearby, but the lights were spaced inefficiently because some owners objected to their placement in front of their properties. The newspaper urged a resolution so the lights could be placed properly and avoid additional installation costs to move some poles later.

The 19 Sep 1901 edition indicated that Matawan Borough was paying a bill of $184.75 to the Electric Light Company. The borough was also entertaining a telephone francise for the Inter-State Telephone Company.

The 1 Sep 1910 edition and 8 Apr 1915 edition have the above advertisement by Alexander H Sands and Son, Electrical Contractors, encouraging the public to install electricity at home. Light your home by Electricity, the safest illuminant known. The most approved and up-to-date appliances used in all our work. Iron, Wash and Cook by Electricity. Burglar Alarms, Annunciators, Bell, Electrical Fixtures Installed and Repaired. Orders received at J A Lewis' Stationery Store in Matawan, NJ. The company's office and shop was located at 93 Main Street, Keyport.

The 23 Mar 1916 edition says the Atlantic Coast Electric Light Company was invoking another change downward in electric lighting and power rates in the Long Branch area to coincide with its offer to install wiring and fixtures in homes and offices at wholesale prices. The company's clear intent, The Journal commented, is "to place electricity both for household and commercial purposes within easy reach of all."

The 2 May 1918 edition offers a cleaning remedy for gas lamp-stained ceilings in a piece titled "Remove Smoke Stains." The suggestion will be beneficial to housewives who have not the convenience of electricity or the modern gas fixtures. Frequently the ceiling above an old-fashioned gas jet becomes discolored from smoke and heat. The discoloration may be removed if a layer of starch and water is applied with a piece of flannel. After the mixture has dried it should be brushed slightly with a brush. No stain or mark will remain.

Feel The Power

If you have some thoughts about how promptly and efficiently the local electric distribution companies like JCP&L responded (or didn't) to the damage to their power lines and equipment in the aftermath to Hurricane Irene, you may wish to express your anger and frustration at a public hearing scheduled for 26 September 2011 at the Monmouth County Public Library Headquarters in Manalapan. The Board of Public Utilities beckons. Check the details in a public notice at the Township of Aberdeen's website.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Civil War Re-Enactment at Freehold 17-18 September 2011

The 2nd Rhode Island Volunteer Infantry Co D and the 6th New York Independence Battery will be encamped  this weekend (17-18 Sept 2011) at 70 Court Street, opposite the Monmouth County Courthouse lawn, according to Atlanticville.

From 10 am to 4 pm each day, visitors will be able to see typical activities of Union troops, including cooking, textiles and furniture manufacture, military drill and weapons fire as might have occurred during the Civil War. Even Mary Todd Lincoln will be on hand to interpret life as First Lady to Abraham Lincoln.

Atlanticville says the weekend's activities are meant to launch the Monmouth County Historical Association's new exhibit "Marching Away: Monmouth County in the Civil War," but I see no evidence online that such an exhibit exists. I no doubt missed it or they haven't yet updated their site. I'd check further if you plan to attend. The museum has a book called "Marching Away" that deals with Monmouth County men going off to World War II, but that's all I could find.

Monmouth County Recommends Filing for Federal Disaster Aid

Monmouth County advises that Federal disaster aid is available for residences and businesses affected by Hurricane Irene, according to a press release. The county recommends that anyone with damage, even those with insured claims that are being covered, should apply for Federal relief. They provide some details and contact information.

History: A Salute to Our Teachers, Matawan

In the good old days, we saluted our teachers for their service and offered them our support where we could. We recognized that the future of our children was largely in their hands. This Matawan Bank advertisement appeared 50 years ago this week in the 7 Sep 1961 edition of The Matawan Journal.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Some Old Spice Silliness

This Old Spice commercial is among the zanier flicks I've seen in a while. Check out their other ads here.

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Do Public Notices in Newspapers Serve the Public Anymore?

I stumbled upon a public notice in Saturday's Asbury Park Press that the Aberdeen Township Council and the Township Planning Board plan a joint meeting on 27 Sep 2011 at 7 pm in the Aberdeen Township Courtroom to discuss senior housing development on the former South River Metals property. You might recall that the property was labeled a toxic site for many years and was only recently remediated, so development of the property could be controversial.

I know that publishing this public notice met the requirements of the Open Public Meetings Act, but who on Earth reads the Public Notices pages besides lawyers? Readership of newspapers is way down, so the chances of citizens stumbling upon these mandatory but costly notices are slight. Besides, the listings aren't even posted alphabetically by municipality, so finding the listing even if you know it's there can be daunting.

The notice is surely posted on some wall in town hall as it is supposed to be, but most residents probably visit town hall only once or twice a year. It would be better posted at the library or grocery store. Or Starbucks. I'd see them at Starbucks. I'm there quite often. Oops, wrong municipality. But I'm sure they'd help out, as usual.

Now I don't doubt that citizens who signed up for notification emails from the Township will eventually receive a notice of this meeting. But the online posting isn't required to meet the Sunshine Law deadlines. It's only a courtesy. Why is the event published in print form yet there is no entry online on the township calendar nor is there a proposed agenda posted online? It gives the appearance that legalities are met but effective public notice is delayed. This distorts the intent of the law.

Perhaps the Sunshine Law should be amended to require online notification of public meetings at the same time or prior to the publication of Public Notices in newspapers or at town hall, in recognition of the importance of the Internet in people's daily lives today? Considering the steep cost of public notices and the difficult budgetary times we face, maybe some thought should be given to allowing the posting of notices at the municipality's website in a timely manner as sufficient?

Aberdeen Green Team

Aberdeen Township is one of 350 New Jersey municipalities that have registered their intention to go green, according to Sustainable Jersey.  On 23 June 2009, the Township Council determined to establish a 7-member Green Team Advisory Committee, per Township Council Workshop minutes. Resolution 2009-74, which established the mission, goals, and objectives for the Green Team Advisory Commitee, was adopted that same day, per Regular Meeting minutes.

I've not discovered an online list of committee members, but the Aberdeen Green Team website promises to add details soon. The 2009 Annual Report of the Aberdeen Township Environmental & Shade Tree Advisory Board commented favorably on its member Grace Musumeci's active role with the Green Team initiative. Hers is the only name I've found associated with the committee so far. She is listed at Sustainable Jersey as the Green Team's co-chair.

The Township Council hired an attorney to deal specifically with redevelopment and energy law with its passage of Resolution 2011-38, according to 1 Feb 2011 Township Council minutes. Then in May 2011, the Township put out a request for proposals to install solar power systems at 3 pumping stations and at the Public Works Complex on Lenox Road as part of this greening process, according to the 19 May 2011 Independent. And yesterday, at Aberdeen Day, the Green Team was handling out flyers encouraging citizens to participate in their pre-season meeting on Monday 12 Sep 2011 at 7:30 pm in the Town Hall Conference Room. They also plan a pep rally in October to discuss the concrete steps Aberdeen must take to become certified in sustainability.

If you want to see Aberdeen's current status towards certification, go to Sustainable Jersey's map of participating communities and click on the dot representing Aberdeen. If you'd like to communicate with the team, write to aberdeengreenteam@gmail.com.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Post 9/11 And Our Children

My daughter is nearly finished with college. Looking back, I realize she has shaped her worldview through some pretty traumatic times. The same is true with most of our children who've grown up post-9/11.

The kids in my daughter's classroom at what was then called the Matawan Avenue Middle School knew something was up on September 11th, 2001. One by one, their classmates were being called into the hall and sent home with their parents. We can only wonder what was going on in their minds as they imagined what might be happening in the world outside. Their teachers realized that some students had parents who commuted to the city each day and could very well be in peril. The kids would have to learn what was going on from a parent or loved one.

Once our children were confronted with the ugly facts of terrorism, what was once routine life became almost surreal. People were attaching flags to their car windows to show their patriotism. CNN was on all the time. My daughter's Indian and Muslim friends were scared to go to school. Kids had to let their parents retrieve the mail. Stranger Danger took on new meaning. And my daughter's Aberdeen-Matawan soccer league match had to be canceled because so many members of the Middletown team were attending a parent's funeral.

The media focus on children of victims of 9/11 is important, but just remember that all of our children are 9/11 survivors in so many ways.

Speaker Weighs In On Women of Washington

CNN picked up the audio on the chatter between Joe Biden and John Boehner last night on the podium at the Joint Session of Congress. At one point Biden pointed out his wife waving in the audience, to which Boehner replied,"Cutest one in the row. . . by far." I thought the CNN commentators made some good points but missed one perspective, that of the other ladies in that row at the Capitol. I can't imagine that the women of Washington aren't wondering who the other women were on that row, the ones that were much less cute, according to the Speaker of the House. I mean, isn't that the most important thing resolved last night? ;-)

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Strathmore Loop for Pedalers

It's amazing what is out there on the Internet these days. Someone has posted his own recommended 6.5 mi bike route through the A and I sections of Strathmore at a site called Ride With GPS. The loop through Aberdeen will take you an hour to complete if you ride at -- you guessed it -- 6.5 miles per hour.

Runners Support Manna House at Holmdel Park

The Jersey Shore Running Club hosted a women's 5K race at Holmdel Park on Saturday to benefit Manna House of Cliffwood, among other women's charities, according to Holmdel Patch. 500 runners took on the hills of the park to support the theme of women taking steps to help women.

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

History: Don Quixote Inn, Matawan

The Don Quixote Inn, a restaurant on Route 34 South in Matawan, was established in February 1964. Its distinctive windmill edifice was a local landmark for about forty years. Civic meetings, parties, and other affairs were routinely hosted at the inn, according to local newspapers.

A photograph of the opening ceremony (above) appears on the cover of the 20 February 1964 edition of The Matawan Journal. The caption reads: Mayor Edward F Hyres, Matawan Borough, cut the ribbon to open officially the Don Quixote Inn on Route 34, while Christopher Heuser, left, and Patrick --, two of the owners, watch. Other businessmen in the operation of the new restaurant are Michael Dominick, Mrs Grace Reeves, Ralph S Heuser, Sr, C Randolph Heuser, and Ralph N Heuser, Jr.

An advertisement for Easter dinner can be found on pg 14 of the 26 March 1964 edition of the same paper.

Easter dinner at the Don Quixote Inn in Matawan, 1964.
The inn appeared as a venue for public meetings through at least 2000-01. It was used to host a science fair in January 2004, but it is unclear whether the restaurant was still open then as all publicity for building use disappeared from local media circa 2001. It was certainly closed by 2006, when the Matawan Fire Company practiced fighting fires there, per the 11 Oct 2006 edition of The Independent. Six months later the building had been torn down and public hearings were discussing the pros and cons of erecting a daycare center in the vacant lot, according to the 13 June 2007 edition of the same paper.