A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

History: Young Swimmer Rescued at Morgan (1915)

The 23 Sep 1915 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 3 col 3) reported the rescue from Raritan Bay of a young girl named Catherine L Sweeney, of Elizabeth, who nearly drowned at Morgan. Two utility workers saw her out in the bay beyond her depth and swam out to save her.

Catherine is likely identical with Catherine Sweeney, born about 1907 in New Jersey, daughter of John and Mary A Sweeney, 420 Magnolia Avenue, Elizabeth. The family appeared in the 1910 and 1920 Federal Censuses.

Saturday, March 29, 2014

History: Matawan Creek Bridge (1915)

Profile and cross section of the proposed new Strauss Bascule Drawbridge over Matawan Creek.

On the occasion of the construction of a new bridge over Matawan Creek by the Monmouth County freeholders, the 22 Apr 1915 edition of The Matawan Journal discussed the history of transit over Matawan Creek between Matawan Point and Keyport and provided details about the then-current bridge project.


The location over Matawan Creek, at which point the new bridge to be constructed by the Board of Chosen Freeholders of Monmouth County is to be placed, has been used as a crossing point for a very long time. It is understood that the Indians which inhabited this section of our county, were the first to use it in order to reach their brethren at Chingarora Point from Matawan Point.

Long after the Indians had been driven out a raft was used to transport persons from one side to the other. Along about the year 1854, the late John K. Kuhns, Cliffwood, started a ferry by which he could transport wagons and persons across the stream. This mode of transfer was in effect for a number of years, as the owners of the vessels sailing in and out of Matawan on Middletown Point Creek were successful in fighting off the efforts of the people of Keyport in having a charter granted for a pay drawbridge.

Keyport-Cliffwood Direct

The boatmen were aided in their efforts to hold up the charter by the merchants of then Middletown Point, now Matawan, as all wagon traffic was compelled to make the long drive around Matawan to Keyport via what is known as the P. V. Heyer farm at the upper end of Matawan Creek, at which place was the only bridge at that time.

At first when the question of a bridge was agitated, the owners of the sailing vessels, aided by the merchants of Middletown Point, were powerful enough to defeat legislation which would permit the construction of the bridge for a number of years. About the year 1858 the late Joseph Rose, who had moved from New York to the farm known as the Rose farm and who frequently went to New York City by boat from Keyport, became interested in the proposition and created such a sentiment for the building of the bridge that the "bridge party" were successful in electing members to the Senate and House from this county, who had a law enacted empowering the company to build a bridge and charge toll. This was in 1857.

Charged Tolls Then

The bridge, as a toll bridge, was maintained for a number of years and up until the county purchased it from the company and made it a free or county bridge.

The first bridge built was constructed of wood, and lasted until the year 1888 when it was replaced by the present iron bridge at a cost of about $19,000. At the time the trolley road was extended to South Amboy, an enlargement was made by the county, whereby the trolley company was permitted to use the bridge in connection with the county. As the iron bridge, when built, was not meant to carry the traffic to which it was then subjected, it soon began to show the strain which it was compelled to carry, and it has been necessary to do considerable work on the bridge to keep it in condition for use. For the use of the bridge the trolley company pays one-half the operating expenses, repairs and the cost of any new structures which the Board of Freeholders felt it necessary to erect.

Trolley Shared It

Several months ago the Board decided to replace tho present bridge with a new and modern structure, and the designers of what is known as Bascule, or "Jack Knife" bridge were requested to submit plans, specifications, and approximate prices for a new bridge.

Among the proposals submitted was one from the Strauss Bascule Trunnion Bridge Company, of Chicago, Ill. After the Board of Freeholders and the representatives of the Jersey Central Traction Company had gone over the various plans of bridges submitted by the competitors, it was the unanimous conclusion of the Board and the trolley company that the Strauss Bascule Trunnion Bridge was superior to any other style or type submitted, and a contract was made with this company to furnish the plans and specifications for same.

The preliminary drawings were completed and the specifications outlined, when it became necessary for the County Engineer to go to Chicago to go over same in conjunction with the Chief Engineer of the Strauss Bridge Company. The work of checking up the plans and specifications was done last week by the County Engineer, and we have been able to obtain the following facts in connection therewith.

Shift Location

The new bridge will be located directly along the present structure on.the southwest side of same. It will have a thirty foot roadway with a street car track in the center and will be built for traffic and in the most substantial manner. The trunnion pin will be 10 1/4 inches in diameter. The bridge will consist of three stationary spans, each about seventy feet long, and in addition a double leaf bascule span of the Strauss type, which will give a clear unobstructed channel for navigation of fifty feet. This type of "Jack-knife" or "bascule" bridge is recognized throughout the country as the best form of movable bridge and it is remarkable for its speed of operation, because it affords the best possible conditions for shipping and because the bridge itself acts as the most efficient safety gates for the roadway traffic, the leaves of the bascule span, closing up the roadways entirely when the bridge is partly or fully open. There are a1ready twelve of these bridges built for neighboring counties within the State of New Jersey.

Bascule Or Jack-knife

The characteristic feature of this particular type of lift bridge is the counterweights which balance the two leaves in the same manner as the ordinary railroad crossing rate is balanced. These counterweights are of concrete, are suspended as a pendulum from a rear extension of the carrying girder but, of course, these counterweights will not be seen, since they are below the bridge floor and confined entirely between the girders of the adjacent approach spans.

Altogether the appearance of the lift span will be very much the same as of a small plate girder arch, and it will be noted from the appended cut that the appearance of the structure will be very pleasng. That the structure is no small affair will be understood from the fact that each of the above mentioned counterweights will have a weight of more than 100,000 pounds.

The bridge will be operated by electricity by an operator stationed in the operator's cabin on one side of the bridge and all the latest safety devices will be employed in the electrical and machinery equipment of the bridge.

The bridge is being designed by The Strauss Basou1e Bridge Company of Chicago, which are specialists in this class of work, and tenders will probably be asked within a month or so.

The Quantities as estimated by the engineer are as follows:

Structural Steel, Gullace and Anchorage
Bascule span           100,500
Fixed span               235,800 lb

Cast shoes                   1,000
Trunnion and pins        3,000
Trunnion bearings,
   sleeves, etc               4,000
Operating and lock
    machinery              12,000
Counterweight, 50 cu. yds.
    concrete               200,000
Reinforcing basis         800
Electrical equipment:
    2714 hp. operating motors
Plant flooring about   33,000 ft
Operator's house, machinery,
     enclosures, navigation
     signals, etc               5,000
Trolley poles, wires
     and pins                  14,300
Substructure Excavation   150 cu. yds
Cofferdams, as needed
     concrete                       100 cu. yds
Reinforcing steel               1,000 1bs
Piling from 65 to 90 ft.         112 pts
Fender piles                           45 pcs
Timber in fenders,
    about                             6,000 ft

The whole machinery will be operated from the operator house, which shows in the cut.

The hand or guard rail will be 2 1/2 inch galvanized iron with globe fittings, and will give the structure a neat appearance.

Cost To Be $40,000

Because of the slight change in the location of the bridge about 10 feet south of the present structure, it will be necessary to straighten the road on both sides of the bridge, and the procuring of the necessary land, and permissions are now under way. It will take all the summer to put in the sub-structure, and the draw will probably be placed next winter when the creek is frozen, and navigation closed as it will be impossible to swing the present draw when the new one is being erected. It is estimated that the total cost of the structure will be about $40,000. When the lift is up it is a positive barrier to any vehicle which might, with the old style bridge, force its way into the creek as did the automobile on the Passaic Bridge recently, in which accident four persons were drowned.


Bids to provide all labor, tools and materials for the construction of the bridge were to be submitted to the freeholders by 8 Sep 1915, according to a notice in the 2 Sep 1915 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 3 col 5).

The bids appeared in the 9 Sep 1915 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 1 col 5). A decision was postponed until 16 Sep 1915.

The 9 Sep 1915 article named the road where the bridge would be built as the Keyport-South Amboy road. It would be part of Route 4 when the latter was established by the Egan Bill in 1916, and in 1927 would become part of today's Route 35, established by Chapter 319 of New Jersey public law. (See Wikipedia's History of state highways in New Jersey before 1927 and 1927 New Jersey state highway renumbering.)

The bridge could have been part of a statewide plan to improve the roads system in New Jersey and certainly made a longer highway possible, whatever the intentions. Turnpikes between Middletown and Keyport, founded in the 1850s, would have stopped at Keyport because of the inadequate crossing at Matawan creek. The wooden bridge would have been inadequate, and the iron bridge, built in 1888 and replaced in 1916, was not built to sustain turnpike traffic.

The 16 Sep 1915 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 1 col 5) reported that the bridge over Matawan Creek failed on 12 Sep 1915 and was closed to both automobiles and trolley traffic. There was some debate whether the bridge would be closed until the new bridge could be built or if some temporary solution could be found. This article identified the bridge as a drawbridge between Cliffwood and Keyport.

Thursday, March 27, 2014

History: Rev James M Anderson, Pastor, First Presbyterian Church of Matawan (1874 - 1881)

Reverend James M Anderson (10 Sep 1827 - 23 Aug 1907) served as the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Matawan from 1874 to 1881. He was married and had three daughters and a son.

James Marshall Anderson was born 10 September 1827 to James and Janet (Marshall) Anderson, according to the Mary Elisabeth Anderson Brown genealogy available at Ancestry.com.

James M Anderson was born 10 September 1827 in Kilmarnock, Scotland, according to the Presbyterian Ministerial Directory of Ministers of the Presbyterian Church in the USA, published by the Ministerial Directory Company, Oxford, OH in 1898. Kilmarnock is famous as the original home of Johnnie Walker spirits and the place where Robert Burns penned his first poems.

James M Anderson married Elizabeth Robbins on 25 August 1864 in Cheshire, New Haven County, Connecticut, according to the Mary Elisabeth Anderson Brown genealogy. Elizabeth was born 21 February 1835 to Samuel R and Frances "Fanny" (Osborne) Robbins.

The 1870 Federal Census for Pennsylvania showed James Anderson, age 40, born in Scotland, Presbyterian clergyman, with property worth $3,000, living in the 28th Ward and 91st District of the city of Philadelphia with his wife Elizabeth, age 35, born in New York and daughters Jessie (5 OH), Elizabeth (3 OH) and Agnes (1 MA). The Mary Elisabeth Anderson Brown genealogy names the Anderson children as Jessie McMillian Anderson, Elizabeth Marshall Anderson, Agnes Stevenson Anderson, and Robbins Battell Anderson.

The 11 Apr 1874 edition of The Matawan Journal reported that Rev Anderson of Belvidere had accepted the call of the First Presbyterian Church of Matawan. Belvidere is a small town in Warren County, New Jersey.

The 23 May 1874 edition of The Matawan Journal carried details of a wedding officiated by Rev Anderson.

The 1 Aug 1874 edition of The Matawan Journal said Rev Anderson would be leaving on a four week vacation next week.

The 5 Sep 1874 edition of The Matawan Journal said Rev Anderson's brother-in-law, Rev Robbins, of the Oxford Street Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, preached two sermons the previous Sunday. Apparently Rev Robbins was filling in for his vacationing brother-in-law.

The 21 Nov 1874 edition of The Matawan Journal stated that Rev Anderson would be delivering the sermon at the Union Thanksgiving Service at the Methodist Episcopal Church in Matawan. It would be his first Thanksgiving service in Matawan, so the newspaper encouraged a large turnout at this annual ecumenical event. A summary of his Thanksgiving sermon appeared in the 28 Nov 1874 edition, and the full text appeared on the front page the following week.

The 25 Dec 1875 edition of The Matawan Journal reported that members and friends of the First Presbyterian Church of Matawan would be visiting Rev J. M. Anderson at the parsonage on Tuesday evening 29 Dec 1875.

The 17 Apr 1880 edition of The Matawan Journal reported that Rev Anderson was named by the Presbytery of Monmouth meeting in Allentown, NJ, as one of its delegates to the annual session of the Presbyterian church's General Assembly, which was to be held in May.

The 1880 Federal Census for New Jersey showed James M Anderson, age 52, born in Scotland to Scottish parents, minister, as head of household in Matawan. His wife was Elizabeth, age 45, born in New York to Connecticut parents. They had three daughters and a son, namely daughters Jessie (15 OH), Bessie (14 OH) and Agnes (11 MA), and son Robbins B Anderson (3 NJ).

The 12 Jun 1880 edition of The Matawan Journal noted the recent return of Rev Anderson from the annual session of the General Assembly of the PCUSA.

The 16 Oct 1880 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 2 col 1) reported that Rev Dr Seward of Red Bank had been filling the pulpit for Rev Anderson at Matawan for the past three months due to the latter's ill health and the church was anxiously awaiting his return.

The Minutes of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the USA for 1881 (New Series Vol VI, pg 897) showed James M Anderson was pastor at the Matawan church that year. The church had two elders and no deacons. It took in 5 members, baptized 2 infants, had 171 students attending Sunday School and 191 church members. The church spent $2,947 on the pastor's salary, Sunday School supplies, building and repairs, liquidation of debts and relief of poor members of the congregation. The members donated $14 to evangelize and educate freed men; $12 to support disabled pastors and aid the families of deceased clergy; $118 for home missions; and $165 for foreign missions. Members paid $214 for Bible societies, tracts, and general benevolences. And the members paid $13.44 for General Assembly administration.

The 26 Nov 1881 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 2 col 5) reported that Rev Anderson participated in the Union Thanksgiving services in Matawan.

The Minutes of the 103rd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in the USA for 1891 (New Series Vol XIV, pg 498) listed James M Anderson as pastor of the Bismarck Presbyterian Church in Bismarck, North Dakota in the Synod of North Dakota, Bismarck Presbytery.

The 1895 Minnesota Territorial and State Census showed James M Anderson, age 68, born in Scotland, clergyman (retired), living in Duluth at 831 Boulevard W, with Mrs James M Anderson, age 62, born in NY, daughters Jessie Anderson (30 OH), Elizabeth Marshall (28 OH), and Agnes Anderson (25 MA), and son Robins B Anderson (18 NJ). Also in the household was a domestic from Norway named Ida Hanson.

James M Anderson's wife Elizabeth died in Duluth on 13 April 1896, according to the Mary Elisabeth Anderson Brown genealogy.

The 1905 Minnesota Territorial and State Census showed Rev James M Anderson, age 77, born in Scotland to Scottish parents, minister, living in Duluth with Helen Anderson, age 83, born in Scotland to Scottish parents, and James's daughter Elizabeth M Anderson, age 38, born in Ohio to a Scottish father and NY mother. Helen is very likely James Anderson's sister, who was born 16 November 1821, according to the Mary Elisabeth Anderson Brown genealogy.

James M Anderson died in Duluth on 23 August 1907, according to the Mary Elisabeth Anderson Brown genealogy.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

History: The Iron Bridge, Matawan (1885-1887)

Little Street crossed the Mill Brook ravine using this iron bridge, which was built for the Monmouth County Freeholders by Dean & Westbrook in late 1887. It connected downtown Matawan with residents living to the east. (Photo: 1914)
Below are some news articles on the iron bridge built over the Mill Brook ravine in 1887.

The 13 Jun 1885 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 2 col 5) reported: "An iron bridge that was bought by the county but found too small for the place intended, is to be utilized by the careful forethought of Freeholder Dunlop, of this township, in being placed across the stream known as Mill Brook, east of Matawan on the continuation of Church street toward the water-power mill of Cartan & Co. The bridge will be placed on stone abutments and raised three or four feet higher than the present one, and the road graded up to it."

The 14 May 1887 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 2 col 4) reported: By resolution passed by the Board of Chosen Freeholders on Thursday morning, the entire Board will meet at the Matawan House, in Matawan, on Wednesday next, May 18 at 2 PM, to take into consideration the iron bridge over the ravine east of town."

The 30 Jul 1887 edition of The Matawan Journal contained an advertisement for J S Harris' grocery store, located at Little and Main Streets, which announced: "The new iron bridge will be built at the foot of Little Street in Matawan. . . ." Week after week through the summer and fall, this ad would speak of the bridge's construction in the future tense.

The 6 Aug 1887 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 2 col 4) reported: "Stone has been carted this week for the abutments for the new iron bridge over the marsh at Little street. E Sylvester has the contract for building them."

The 3 Dec 1887 edition of the Matawan Journal (pg 3 col 3) cited $5,000 as the amount of Monmouth County's first payment to Dean & Westbrook for the Matawan iron bridge, as per the county's semi-annual income and expense report as of 8 Nov 1887.

The 10 Dec 1887 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 2 col 4) reported: "The first skating of the season was on the 2d inst on the marsh near the new iron bridge. It did not last long." (Reference was made to 2 Dec 1887.)

The 17 Dec 1887 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 2 col 3) reported this item from the December 1887 meeting of the Board of Chosen Freeholders: "An invitation from Dean and Westbrook for the Board to meet at Matawan on the 10th of January next, to examine the new bridge, was accepted." The Harris grocery ad (pg 3 col 3) continued to say the bridge ". . . will be built . . ."

The 24 Dec 1887 edition of The Matawan Journal contained a revised advertisement for J S Harris' grocery store, which announced: "The new iron bridge has been built at the foot of Little Street in Matawan. . . ."

UPDATE: Bridgehunter.com added this bridge to its website about historic and notable bridges of the US on 6 June 2014.

Friday, March 21, 2014

History: Matawan Corporal Bears Witness to the Elbe (May 1945)

Corporal William Andrews, of Lower Main Street in Matawan, was serving with C Company, 405th Regiment, US 102nd Infantry Division when the US and Russian armies met at the Elbe River on 3 May 1945. The 20 September 1945 edition of The Matawan Journal published some of Corporal Andrews' memories of that day in Germany.

The paper recounted how Andrews witnessed Russian artillery level a nearby German town and surge towards the river. He saw thousands of German soldiers flee across the river to surrender to the Americans and avoid the approaching Russians. I especially appreciated his remark that the Germans watching the scene with him from the riverbank seemed to be relieved to be on the American side of the river, as if the Americans would protect them from the Russians. 

"At Arnesburg on the Elbe, Corporal Andrews was able from the high bank of the river to watch the Russians surge from the east and destroy a town by artillery. The sight was as if at a side show, the Americans watching along with the German inhabitants who seemed to be relieved to have the Americans on their side of the river. Thousands of German soldiers crossed the river to give up."

"A Brief History, 102nd Infantry Division - The Ozarks," compiled by Wilson R Reed, Brig Gen, US Army (retired), provides more details of that day.

"On 3 May the Russians at last appeared. To the Ozarks of 2nd Battalion 405th fell the honor of first greeting our Allies of the East. They met at Sandau a war-torn but joyful party of the 1185th Inf. Regiment, 156th Russian Division. Thousands of German soldiers, civilians and displaced persons (DPs) of every nationality fleeing the Russians, crowded the east bank of the Elbe, pleading for permission to cross. They crossed on debris, on hastily contrived rafts, on rubber tubes, in wash tubs, on planks. They crossed singly and in groups. Guilty fear of the Russians was palpable."

The general's suggestion that the Germans exhibited "guilty fear of the Russians" as they desperately fled to the Americans on the other side of the river is unconvincing. Frankly, the Russians haven't changed much in seventy years.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

History: Matawan Theatre (1931)

A November 1931 brochure from the new Matawan Theatre. Showings were The Texas Ranger and Lover Come Back.

The 30 October 1931 edition of The Matawan Journal had two advertisements promoting the opening on Monday 2 November 1931 of the Matawan Theatre under new management. The Matawan Bank encouraged its customers to patronize their local theatre (and their local bank). And the theatre promoted its showings but also bragged that everything is new. "You'll be surprised!"

According to its advertisement in the 4 December 1931 edition of The Matawan Journal, the Matawan Theatre was "one of Jersey's coziest little playhouses." It boasted a Western Electric sound system. Films were shown six days a week, with a matinee on Saturday. This ad promoted the following upcoming showings:

Friday and Saturday 4-5 December

"Touchdown," with Richard Arlen, Jack Oakie, Peggy Shannon, J Farrell McDonald
and "Danger Island," with Kenneth Harlan and cartoon and news

Monday and Tuesday 6-7 December

"An American Tragedy," with Phillips Holmes, Sylvia Sidney
and "Shove Off," with Karl Dane, George K Arthur and the latest news

Dane and Arthur comedy shorts included an RKO Radio series (August 1930 - March 1931) and 4 films, including Shove Off, produced by Paramount (August 1931). See Karl Dane: A Biography and Filmography, Appendix B: Shorts.

Wednesday and Thursday 8-9 December

"Rich Man's Folly," with George Bancroft, Robert Ames, Francis Dee
and comedy and cartoons

According to the November brochure pictured at the top, tickets for shows at 7:30 pm and 9 pm were 40 cents for adults and 25 cents for children. Matinees were at 2:30 pm and cost 25 cents for adults and 15 cents for children.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

This Patchwork No Longer Serves Its Communities

The New York Times said in a 16 Dec 2013 article that The Patch is on its way out. That's not news to readers in Matawan and Aberdeen, where the service started with considerable promise but soon became an advertisement-ridden website filled with public service announcements, human interest features, and little news of local interest or import.

Tonight's Top News starts with job opportunities at Sleepy's, the Aberdeen Registrar's Office's new expanded hours, a local high school's art show win, and the latest home sales. Oh, and Lifestyle offers to teach you how to make buttermilk-battered fried chicken. And don't forget the big lottery ad: $2 million is only a scratch away.

The local editor who started The Matawan-Aberdeen Patch left the online newspaper a while ago and her replacement had no local roots and served at least two sites. Matawan-Aberdeen is now managed by a regional editor whose umbrella covers half the county. Articles these days are derived from news releases from law enforcement, school districts and municipalities.

The Patch had the worthy goal of filling the gap in local news coverage that staff-starved newspapers like the Asbury Park Press and Newark Star-Ledger were unable to produce. But The Patch produced few if any hard-hitting articles that might challenge our local governments, likely fearing that if they bite the hands that feed them, they will lose access to local officials. And what little true journalism was on display in those early years is virtually gone.

All in all, the coverage provided by The Patch doesn't protect its communities through what is recognized as the power of the Fifth Estate. Its patchwork of websites has been a placeholder for whatever comes next. What came before -- in print or online - has let us down.

Monday, March 3, 2014

History: Matawan Fire Police (1920)

The 2 Dec 1920 edition of The Matawan Journal contained a small front page announcement by Washington Engine Company No 1 in Matawan. First, the company was seeking the return of firemen's uniforms so they could be "cleaned and pressed and properly laid away until occasion shall necessitate (their) future use." This was followed by the revelation that the company had established a team of fire police "whose duties shall be to look after the fire line and to prevent any obstruction to the system of the firemen." Named as fire police were: Al Nicholson, Fred Laible (illegible), William Bailey, Theodore Nicholson, and John Matsell (illegible). The notice, signed by Secretary George R Eastmond, closed with a request for the cooperation of the townspeople.

History: Snowstorm of March 1914 (5 Mar 1914)

A heavy snowstorm which hit the Matawan area on Sunday 2 March 1914 severely disrupted local transportation, mail deliveries, and telephone and telegraph services, according to the headline story in the 5 Mar 1914 edition of The Matawan Journal. "Public Traffic Impeded by Snow Storm." Fifteen inches of snow fell over a nearly 24 hour period, drifting in spots to depths of ten feet or more.  As for the trains, it was the "biggest tie up since 1888."

Tree branches and utility lines became heavy with the wet snow and fell dangerously onto neighborhood streets and blocked the progress of the local trolley and regional railroads.

Some of the local trolley drivers were unable to return home for two days. A trolley left the tracks near the Catholic church and a plow came off the tracks close to the Matawan Station. A group of about a hundred men returned the car and plow to the tracks on Tuesday, using the plow to clear the snow between Keyport and Matawan, including large drifts in Oak Shades and on "the gashouse hill". By the night time they had shoveled to Little Street, at which point service was restored between Keyport and Matawan and the train station.

A group of 14 teachers heading to Freehold ended up stranded at Matawan. They found accommodations at the Woodbine and Aberdeen hotels, which filled up quickly. They ate their meals at the latter at the New York and Long Branch Railroad's expense. A theatre troupe also found shelter in Matawan, albeit in the train station as they refused to pay to rent rooms.

About a hundred rail passengers heading south on Sunday became stranded just south of Eatontown, prompting locals to supply food and drink until their train could be dug out on Tuesday. Sunday afternoon Pennsylvania Railroad and Central Jersey Railroad trains out of New York reached their destinations Monday afternoon.

An adjoining article on the front page told of a stage and a sleigh, each carrying eight persons, which were heading from Matawan to Keyport on Sunday evening when one of the teams of horses became ensnared in electric wires near the old Suydam property and felled. One horse was returned to the stable while the other lay in the street all night until the electricity could be shut off. The operator took the nearly lifeless horse to a nearby stable but expected he would have to kill it.

UPDATE: I wondered about the gas house hill, so I did some digging. In the fall of 1887, when trolley service was being established between Keyport and Matawan, the gas house was situated near a bridge over a gully north of the Matawan train station and south of St Joseph's Catholic Church, according to "Keyport: From Plantation to Center of Commerce and Industry," by Jack Jeandron, pp 74-75. Today that location would be where Lower Main Street crosses the Garden State Parkway, according to the author. The trolley line ran only as far as the train station in those days but covered Maple Place, Broadway, Front Street, and First Street in Keyport.