A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Monday, November 11, 2013

History: Main Street, Matawan (c 1905)

 What can we see in this post card image of Main Street, Matawan, New Jersey published as A6545 by the American News Company?

The turn in the road in the distance suggests that we are looking north from near Ravine Drive. Here's a roughly equivalent view in today's Matawan.

The chimney on the right in both images might lock the perspective of the old image.

The three story building on the right in the far distance is likely the Matawan House, which was located at the bend in the road at that point. It was torn down in 1930. See "Around Matawan and Aberdeen," page 102, to see an image of the Matawan House. The two-story A-frame building to the north of the Matawan House is large and distinctive but I cannot immediately identify it. Can you?

The Methodist Church steeple might be visible within the tree immediately to the right of the carriage on the right side of the street.

The presence of one or more horse-drawn carriages suggests this image is dated before 1908, when vehicles started to share local roads in earnest and cause some issues with horse-drawn vehicles.

Utility poles were installed in 1899, when Main Street received electric street lights, so the image could be after that date. Then again, no wires are visible, so the poles could be for kerosene lamps setting the date for the image prior to 1900. Thoughts?

I'd welcome any building identifications or thoughts on the date of the image.


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