A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

History: Township Ired at Boro Move for New Annexation (1935)

The 6 Dec 1935 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 1 col 8, pg 2 col 2) ) reported on the previous evening's Matawan Township Committee meeting, where "sparks flew" over a petition being circulated in the township.

Committeeman Paul Dolan had heard from neighbors that the borough wanted to absorb the Atlantic Avenue section of the township and its strong ratables, so they started a petition signing effort to make it happen. Dolan was outraged, saying the loss of the Hanson-Van Winkle-Munning plant, Muehlhausen barrel factory, Mosaic Tile company, and Anderson coal, lumber and basket factories would destroy the township's tax base. "They will be taking in the garden spot of the township," Dolan said.

Edward Farry, Jr, the township attorney, thought it was "just a political move. The majority of the people in that section are Democrats and they need more Democratic votes to assure an election."

Chairman John Marz, Jr felt borough officials were clearly behind the effort. He described a two-step process in these annexations. First the borough waits for the township to make road improvements, then they annex that part of town. If it is tax relief the borough wanted, they should try being more thrifty in how they run their government, not "steal large tracts of township land."

Dolan encouraged the committee to fight this third annexation, pointing out that the previous two had cost the township $250,000 in assessed value and this one would leave the municipality with $700,000 in valuation to run the township. "I understand that they do not wish Cliffwood Beach and Oak Shades," Dolan added.

Marz couldn't imagine what the Atlantic Avenue section might want that the Committee wasn't providing. "If there was any discontent in that section, there would be some reason for it, but we give them everything they ask."

James A Powers, the town clerk, pointed out that residents could save $6.00/year on their water bills by moving to the borough. But Dolan said they would lose twice that in additional sewer costs.

The Committee unanimously passed Dolan's resolution protesting the annexation effort and declaring that the borough should annex the entire township and not some small part if it again attempts this course of action. (The complete text of the resolution was included in the newspaper.)

Marz concluded this matter by saying,"The way I look at it all is that the boro [should] attend to its own affairs and we will attend to ours. Such moves as these are the same as a dictator's. If they want something, they just reach out and grab it."

Sunday, December 1, 2013

What Next For The Cliffwood Beach Waterfront?

Mayor Fred Tagliarini had a close call in the recent election and wondered aloud on election night whether he needed to do a few things he promised but didn't delivered on, one of those being the Cliffwood Beach Waterfront revitalization. He pointed out that there's no point to fixing up the place if it is going to continue to flood, something I agree with.

Councilman Greg Cannon announced a development project to deal with the flooding of the beach onto Lakeshore Drive by improving drainage and engineering the dunes to withstand storms, things that the township might be able to get state or federal funding for but seem wishful thinking, engineering wise.

The roadway and park are literally immersed in a flood zone and nothing short of a seawall is going to keep out the Raritan Bay. And not for the long term, even with a concrete structure. The tide has been cutting a path towards Greenwood Avenue and regularly floods the woods behind the homes there. After Sandy and Irene, people were kayaking on Lakeshore Drive. No mound of sand, no matter how well engineered, is going to keep out the bay.

It might be time to start pondering a different approach to the beachfront. Perhaps a new bridge to connect Greenwood Avenue with Ocean Avenue? A bridge could provide secure vehicle transportation between Monmouth and Middlesex counties. It could also support a walkway/bike path connecting the Laurence Harbor seawall with the Cliffwood Beach seawall, eventually linking them to the Hudson Trail at Keyport. At the same time, we could develop a saltwater marsh at Cliffwood Beach instead of building basketball courts. A green approach could attract game bird hunters, fishermen, bird watchers and envirotourists. And generous funding at the state and federal levels.

History: Wartime Elixir Ad Targets Women's Sense of Duty (1918)

The 7 Nov 1918 edition of The Matawan Journal included this spirited wartime advertisement of the Lydia E Pinkham Hygiene Company, of Lynn, Massachusetts.  It encouraged "sick women to do your duty during these trying times" and take their vegetable compound to alleviate "female troubles and displacement."

Two woman advocated for this product by saying they'd found instant relief. One from Pennsylvania testified, "I am keeping house since last April and doing all my housework, where before I was unable to do any work." Another woman said she wanted other women in her situation to know that Pinkham's had ended her cramps and "dragging down pain," irregularity, "female weakness and displacement."

Displacement is likely a reference to painful symptoms experienced by many women due to internal organ movement caused by dramatic growth of the fetus in the second trimester of pregnancy. See Common Second Trimester Pains, at Baby and Bump.

History: Washington Fire Company (Matawan) Purchases Latest Fire Fighting Equipment (1905)

 The 22 Jun 1905 edition of The Matawan Journal described Matawan's Washington Fire Company's new piece of fire equipment as a "special ladder cart" with a wide range of capabilities.

This cart, made by the Wirt and Knox Manufacturing Company, 22 North Fourth Street, Philadephia, PA, "consists of a chain winding attachment, with winch handles for reeling on the house, clutch to hold reel in position when not in use; brake on wheels, rope wheel and rope; fireman's axe and crowbar in spring holders; double nozzle holders on tongue, friction roller; two polished copper fire extinguishers; large tool box with compartment for six extinguisher charges; four polished brass lanterns; three sections of ladder, nine feet each, forming an extension ladder 24 feet high; hub caps and other trimmings polished brass. The cart is handsomely finished in vermillion and black, and is mounted on heavy 'Archibald' wood wheels with roller bearings."

The back story to this purchase was a recent action by the Matawan Borough council to reduce the number of firemen employed by the company. Since there were fewer employees to contribute towards the company's private savings and loan account, the company could no longer afford to maintain the shares and had to close the account. The fire company decided to invest part of these private savings back into the community by purchasing this "combination cart", which was considered "a very complete apparatus" for its time, to be "used for the benefit of property owners here."

The newspaper article's photo and text match the description of this special combination ladder cart found in the 1909 issue of Municipal Journal and Engineer, Volume XXVII, No 16, pg 622 (image below), which can be found at Google Books. I couldn't locate a photograph of a restored version of this piece of fire fighting equipment using Google Images. If you have one or know of one, I'm interested in adding it here.