A blog about living in Aberdeen, New Jersey.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Whence Kiss n Ride at Matawan Station?

Long time commuters might think fondly on the days before Costera occupied most of the curb space. Once upon a time people used to pick up family and friends there. Today there were four cabs in front of the old white station building, so the closest Kiss n Ride spots were well past the building. There were two more cabs for good measure in NJ Transit employee spaces. It was like a taxi convention.

At least the Aberdeen side has a designated taxi lane. Maybe Costera lost some of its parking at home base so they're hanging out by the railroad now?

By the way: Who is responsible to paint the crosswalks and install those nice little State Law: Stop for Pedestrians markers? Those lots are a 3-ring circus, so someone should be making improvements before someone is injured or killed.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

History: Colonial Matawan House (1937 - 1938)

Between July 1937 and February 1938, there were references in local newspapers to a rooming house in Matawan called the Colonial Matawan House. For less than a year, the activities of guests at this location made the society pages of The Matawan Journal and the Red Bank Register.

The 15 Jul 1937 edition of The Red Bank Register reported that Mrs John H Miller and daughter Joan of Watertown, Mass had been guests for the past week of the Colonial Matawan House.

The 22 Jul 1937 edition of The Red Bank Register reported that Mr. and Mrs. John Patino of New York were spending their vacation at the Colonial Matawan House.

The 27 Jan 1938 edition of The Matawan Journal reported that Miss Lillian Hutchinson, supervising boro nurse, would soon be moving from the Colonial Matawan House to an apartment in the Spafford W Schanck house on Jackson Street.

The 3 Feb 1938 edition of The Matawan Journal described the birthday party George Thomsen threw for himself and 16 of his friends at the Colonial Matawan House. There was dancing and "late in the evening refreshments were served." 

The 10 Feb 1938 edition of The Matawan Journal reported that Miss Lillian Henderson was given a housewarming party by friends who lived and dined at the Colonial Matawan House.

The 17 Feb 1938 edition of The Matawan Journal indicated that Mrs John H Miller of Boston and her daughter Joan would be visiting Mrs Miller's mother, Mrs John P Lloyd, who lived at the Colonial Matawan House. Joan would also visit Mrs John Tourine, the former Miss Ann Erickson.

The 24 Feb 1938 edition of The Matawan Journal reported that Mrs John H Miller of Boston, while vacation for the week at the Colonial Matawan House, was the dinner guest of Mr and Mrs Phillip L Neidlinger at the home of Mrs James E Voorhees. She was subsequently the guest of Lt Col and Mrs George Lane VanDeusen at Fort Monmouth.

Monday, July 28, 2014

History: Green Tree Inn, Freneau (1934)

The 31 Aug 1934 edition of The Matawan Journal announced the opening on 1 Sep 1934 of the Green Tree Inn at the corner of upper Main Street and Mill Road in Freneau, in the location once occupied by the Monmouth Inn and Green Pump Inn. (Thomas Welstead's leasing of the Monmouth Inn to be operated as the Green Tree Inn was mentioned briefly in The Matawan Journal of 24 Aug 1934.)

Thomas Welstead Takes Over Monmouth Inn

Thomas Welstead, commander of Matawan Post 176 of the American Legion, has taken over the Monmouth Inn on upper Main Street in the Borough of Matawan and it will be known as the Green Tree Inn.

Mr Welstead has completely redecorated the interior and has arranged all plans for a gala opening tomorrow night. A special steak dinner will be served; the widely-known Penn's Pennsylvanians have been engaged to furnish the dance music and entertainment. There will be no cover or minimum charge and the management is prepared to take care of a large crowd. (pg 1 col 3)

Another Retail Liquor License Granted Here by Boro Council

Another alcoholic beverage license was granted Tuesday night at the regular meeting of the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Matawan in Borough Hall. Thomas G Welstead, proprietor of the Arrowhead Garage, Main Street near Valley Drive, by unanimous action was voted a license to sell for consumption on the premises at the Green Tree Inn, formerly known as Farry's Monmouth Inn and the Green Pump Inn, corner Main Street and Mill Road in the Freneau section. . . .  (pg 1 col 6)


I did some research on the ownership of the property at the corner of Mill Road and Route 79 and was able to trace its names back almost 135 years. There are some loose ends, which I hope to sort out over time. For now, here is a reverse chronological listing of the names I've found and some evidence from The Matawan Journal.

Brass Rail Bar and Grill  (2009 - )

The Brass Rail is located at 89 Main Street, variation 89 Freneau Avenue, variation 89 Route 79, in Freneau or Matawan, NJ.

Comeback Inn featuring the Dugout Bar (2007)

The 6 Jun 2007 edition of The Independent has a story about the bar's reopening.

Poet's Inn (1961 - ?)

The grand opening of the Poet's Inn took place on 28 Dec 1961.

Charlie's Matawan Inn (1948 - 1961)

Charlie Messina held the grand opening of Charlie's Matawan Inn under new management on 2 Jul 1948, according to the above ad in the 1 Jul 1948 edition of The Matawan Journal.

 The 5 May 1949 edition of The Matawan Journal included the above ad for Charlie's Matawan Inn.

Charles Messina applied for a liquor license for Charlie's Matawan Inn, according to a public notice in the 22 Jun 1950 edition of The Matawan Journal.

Charles Messina applied for renewal of his liquor license for Charlie's Matawan Inn, according to a public notice in the 16 Jun 1960 edition of The Matawan Journal.

Closed? (1939 - 1948)

Matawan Inn (c 1936 - 1939)

The 19 Jan 1939 edition of The Matawan Journal announced that the Matawan Inn had suspended operations and was now closed. The liquor license had been issued to Christopher Daly but the establishment had been operated by his brother, a former Staten Island resident.

Green Tree Inn (c 1934 - 1936)

The Green Tree Inn was mentioned in The Matawan Journal from 1934 to 1936.

A connection between Green Tree and Mrs Rosa Bergen, a prominent socialite and member of Democratic Women in the borough and the county, appeared in 1935. She died in 1958.

 The 30 Aug 1935 edition of The Matawan Journal included the above ad for Rosa Bergen's Food Shop at the Green Tree Inn.

The 8 Nov 1935 edition of The Matawan Journal included an ad for Rosa Bergen's Food Shop at the Green Tree Inn encouraging patrons to secure their Thanksgiving reservations.

The 14 Feb 1936 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 6 col 2) mentioned an event held at the Green Tree Inn.

The 30 Jul 1936 edition of The Matawan Journal reported that Thomas Welstead was refused a liquor license for a new location for several reasons - petitions received from local residents, lack of precedent for having a licensed tavern in that vicinity, and the danger to the driving public of having a tavern located on Route 34 at Route 4/Route 9.

Monmouth Inn (1926 - c 1932)

I found mentions of the Monmouth Inn in The Matawan Journal from 1926 to 1932.

The 3 Dec 1926 edition of The Matawan Journal reported that John Farry, formerly of Matawan but currently of New York, had purchased the Green Pump Inn. Farry would winter in Florida and take possession of the restaurant on 1 March 1927. 

The proprietor of the Monmouth Inn was identified as John H Farry in the 17 Jun 1927 edition.

Green Pump Inn (c 1923 - 1926)

The earliest mention I could find of the Green Pump Inn was in the 23 Nov 1923 edition of The Matawan Journal.

The 6 Nov 1925 edition contained the above advertisement for the Dickson Green Pump Inn, a tea and chop shop. A society page piece reported that the Green Pump Inn's owner, James Dickson, was enjoying a visit from his father, Frederick W Dickson, of Brooklyn.

The 18 Jun 1926 edition of The Matawan Journal contained the obituary of Mrs Helen Potts-Hall. The obituary reported that she had purchased the Mount Pleasant Hotel (presumably the Freneau Hotel?). She renovated it as a tea house and opened it under the name Green Pump Inn. She found the work too arduous for her liking, so about 1925 she sold it on contract (presumably to James Dickson), but that contract has since been forfeited. She lived much of her life with her brother, Frank G Potts.

The above ad appeared in the 23 Jul 1926 edition of The Matawan Journal.

Freneau Hotel (1921)

"Around Matawan and Aberdeen" mentioned that the location of the Poet's Inn served as a hotel under various names: Matawan Inn, Freneau Hotel, Mount Pleasant Hotel and Applegate's Hotel among them.

The 13 Jan 1921 edition of The Matawan Journal mentions the Freneau Hotel several times.

Applegate's Hotel (c 1907 - c 1920)

"Around Matawan and Aberdeen" mentioned that the location of the Poet's Inn served as a hotel under various names: Matawan Inn, Freneau Hotel, Mount Pleasant Hotel and Applegate's Hotel among them.

The 22 Nov 1917 edition of The Matawan Journal announced that taxes would be collected at J E Applegate's Hotel in Freneau on 17 December.

The 1920 Federal Census showed Jacob E Applegate, 49 NJ, to be the owner and keeper of a hotel enumerated on Freehold Turnpike in Matawan Township. Jacob was living in the household of his widowed mother-in-law, Lou Hartenstein, 60 NJ. Also in the household was Jacob's wife, Lou Hartenstein's daughter,  Elizabeth (Hartenstein) Applegate, 37 NJ; and Jacob and Elizabeth's children John Applegate, 11 NJ, and Elizabeth Applegate, 7 NJ. Also in the household was Sarah Applegate, 34 NJ, but I couldn't read the relationship.

The 1910 Federal Census showed Elmer Applegate, 39 NJ, to be running a hotel on Freehold Road in Matawan. Also in the household were his wife of 4 years, Elizabeth Applegate, 25 NJ; their son John Applegate, 2 NJ, and widowed boarders Loie Hartenstein, 48 NJ, and Mary Applegait, 88 NJ. (Elmer is obviously Jacob E Applegate's middle name.)

The 1900 Federal Census showed Jacob Applegate, 30 NJ, to be running a hotel in Matawan Township. He was enumerated with his wife of 8 years, Nona Applegate, 25 NJ. She had borne one child that did not survive. Two boarders were enumerated in the household, one being a bartender.

Mount Pleasant Hotel (c 1880 - c 1907)

"Around Matawan and Aberdeen" mentioned that the location of the Poet's Inn served as a hotel under various names: Matawan Inn, Freneau Hotel, Mount Pleasant Hotel and Applegate's Hotel among them.

The 31 Jan 1880 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 1 col 2) carried the above ad offering the Mt Pleasant Hotel for sale or lease.

An 1892 edition of The Matawan Journal reported that an ox roast and jollification had taken place at the Mt Pleasant Hotel on Tuesday afternoon and was well attended. Food was free; drink was not. I found this article memorialized in the 9 Dec 1932 edition of The Matawan Journal, reporting what had been in the paper 40 years earlier.

The 1900 Federal Census showed Loie Hartenstein, 42 NJ, living in Montclair, NJ with husband Edward Hartenstein, 42 CT, operator of a hotel. In their household was niece Sarah Applegate, 12 NJ.

The 30 Jan 1902 edition of The Matawan Journal reported that pigeon shooting contests were in vogue at the Mount Pleasant Hotel.

"Shooting at Pigeons - Interest in pigeon shooting is being revived in this vicinity and several matches have recently been shot at the Mt. Pleasant Hotel. Last Thursday Dr. Bogardus outshot H L Bennett, both of Keyport, the score being l 9-14. A team match between Werner and Johnson and Abe Morris and Richard Gill was won by the former, 6-5. . . . "

The 16 May 1907 edition of The Matawan Journal announced that Mrs Loie Hartenstein had been granted a renewal of her license for the Mt Pleasant Hotel. Note: Loie Hartenstein's relationship to the hotel in Freneau in 1907 was as the owner's mother-in-law. She obviously had some management responsibilities, perhaps because of her previous experience in hostelry from Montclair. Her daughter Elizabeth married Jacob Applegate about 1906. Jacob likely was widowed when he remarried.

The 12 Dec 1907 edition of The Matawan Journal announced that the Matawan Township tax collector would be meeting tax payers at Harvey Stillwaggon's Hotel in Cliffwood on 10 December; the Mt Pleasant Hotel in Freneau on 11 December; the Aberdeen Hotel in Matawan on 12 December; P Sullivan's Hotel in Oak Shades on 13 December; and Township Hall on 20 December.

Applegate's Hotel (1874)

The 20 Jun 1874 edition of The Matawan Journal mentioned Applegate's Hotel but didn't provide a location. This may not have been in Freneau.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Marvin the Accidental Entrepreneur

A Matawan businessman's successful transition a few years ago from fired employee to thriving entrepreneur is the basis for this American Bankers Association Banking Journal (ABABJ) community banking story. Good for Marvin.

Watch for Church Street Detour 28-29 July 2014

Monmouth County will be repaving Church Street between Broad and Atlantic (past Aberdeen Town Hall) 7 am to 5 pm on Monday and Tuesday 28 - 29 July 2014, according to The Atlantic Highlands Herald, which routinely publishes county press releases for some reason.

You can best avoid this local hotspot by taking Main to Route 34 to Lloyd Road or Lower Main to Clark St to Lloyd Road. Also keep in mind that Little Street crosses Lake Matawan to join Broad and Atlantic.

UPDATE: The county would be conducting this work for Thursday 31 July and Friday 1 August 2014, according to a township alert on Wednesday. 

Big Fluke Helps Matawan Boat Take Prize

Boat owner Ray Hermes of Matawan took first place in the 24th Annual Raritan Bay Charity Fluke Tournament, according to NJ.com. Jim Risi of Bridgewater's fluke was so large (10.35 lbs) that it is known in fishing circles as a doormat. Risi's monster of the depths plus three other large fluke helped bring in the first place prize in record time.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

History: Henry W Fagan (1849 - 1913), Matawan Grocer

As part of my mini-marathon of Fagan research, I looked into George H Fagan's son Henry, who was a grocer in Matawan for at least a few years in the late 1870s.

The 9 Feb 1878 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 3) contained the above advertisement for Murphy and Fagan grocery store, operated by William H Murphy and Henry W Fagan. They also called themselves The Great Matawan Butter Depot, apparently for the benefit of former customers of that company. The same ad appeared in the 3 Nov 1877 edition.

George H Fagan's son, Henry W Fagan (10 NY), was living with his father in Matawan in the 1860 Federal Census. He lived with his father and brothers James and George in Manhattan in the 1870 census. They were all listed as shades manufacturers in 1870. James did well in gold mining in Colorado in the mid- to late 1870s.

Henry's grocery store business partner was likely identical with William H Murphy (15 NJ), printer's apprentice, who was living in the Matawan household of Daniel M Bell, printer, in the 1870 census. This was likely a duplicate enumeration, as a teenaged boy with the same name and approximate age appeared in the 1870 census with his parents in nearby Raritan, showing the occupation "learning a trade." William H Murphy (14 NJ) was in the household of John W Murphy (57 NJ), who was in the trucking business. Ten years earlier, William Murphy (4 NJ) appeared in the 1860 Federal Census as one of the numerous children of John W Murphy (48 NJ), merchant, and his wife Elizabeth L Murphy (41 NJ).

The 25 May 1878 edition of The Matawan Journal contained an advertisement (right) for Henry W Fagan's Matawan grocery. His grocery was advertised in the Journal through the end of 1878.

Henry W Fagan was a member of the Matawan Hook and Ladder Company, according to the 14 Dec 1878 edition of The Matawan Journal. The article detailed how Henry, Joel A Walling, Henry Fisher, Nathaniel Dean (?) and James VanSchoick formed a committee to travel to Hoboken to exchange pleasantries with the Hoboken Hook and Ladder Company there, with whom they had a social relationship. Henry delivered a speech and there was dancing, music and  food.

The 4 Jan 1879 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 2 col 4) contained this announcement: "Mr W Kramer Harris, son of A H Harris, Esq, has purchased the grocery business of H W Fagan, at the stand next to Scheck's meat market. He presented his compliance to the public on the 1st of January by means of a circular, in which he extended a happy new year's greeting."

I've been unable to locate Henry Fagan in the 1880 Federal Census, nor have I found him in the 1881 Canada Census. I have found no records showing him crossing the US border into or out of Canada.

Henry married about 1883 to a woman born in Canada. They had a son named Arthur in November 1883 in New Jersey, based on the 1900 Federal Census. At some point between 1879 and 1885, Henry and wife relocated to New Haven, CT. Between 1885 and 1900 they moved to Chicago, IL.

The 1 Aug 1885 edition of The Matawan Journal announced "Mr and Mrs Henry W Fagan and child, now of New Haven, Conn, have been spending the past week as guests of Mr Fagan's parents in Matawan."

H W Fagan, born Dec 1849 (50 NY East Indies NJ) was a solicitor enumerated in Chicago, Cook County, IL in the 1900 Federal Census. His wife, indexed as Mirrian was born in Mar 1860 in Canada to a father born in France and a mother born in Canada. They had been married 17 years. Their son Arthur Fagan was born in Nov 1883 in New Jersey.

I found a birth record for an unnamed infant 12 Nov 1883 in Hudson County, NJ to Harry W Fagan, age 30, and unnamed female, age 26, both parents born in the US. Harry and Hank are both possible nicknames. The ages don't match for Henry and Mirian, and Mirian was born in Canada, not the US, but this is a promising lead.  I was unable to locate matching parents in the 1880 census.

Henry W Fagan (58 IL Ireland Ireland) was an insurance agent living at 742 East 46th Street in Chicago, Cook County, IL in the 1910 Federal Census. He lived with his wife Mirian (52 Canada Canada Ireland) and a divorced salesman from Ohio who boarded with them.

Henry died 22 Aug 1913 in Chicago, Cook Co, IL, according to Ancestry's Cook County Death Index.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

History: Monmouth Consolidated Gold Mining Company, Gilpin County, Colorado (1876)

Image of Quartz Hill and Nevadaville, Colorado in the Denver Public Library Digital Collections. The Monmouth and Fagan-Kansas mines appear towards the right side of the image.

The 29 Apr 1876 edition of The Matawan Journal has this interesting piece to add to my recent post about the old Fagan homestead.

"The Monmouth Democrat this week has an editorial notice of the Monmouth Gold Mine, in Colorado, owned by a stock company. Mr James Fagan, to whom reference is made in the article, is a son of George H (not James) Fagan of our town. One-half the stock is owned by citizens of Matawan and vicinity, and the other half by Mr James Fagan, by whom the mine is operated. But this is only one of Mr Fagan's enterprises. He has several other shafts, more valuable even than the Monmouth alone, and has also formed a partnership with a gentleman named Metcalf, and under the firm of Metcalf & Fagan these gentlemen have established a Bureau of Mines and Mining in the new building corner of Broadway and Fulton St, NY."


The Monmouth-Kansas Mine was located in Nevada Gulch, Nevadaville, Gilpin County, Colorado in 1880. The area had been so rich in gold since 1859 that the county was known in Colorado as "Old Reliable." The Monmouth Company hit a dry spell in 1878-79 and the Kansas Consolidated Mining Company purchased their Monmouth and Fagan properties in the spring of 1880 , according to Colorado, Its Gold and Silver Mines: Farms and Stock Ranges and Health and Pleasure Resorts (1880), by Frank Fosset.

See a map of the Fagan and Monmouth-Kansas Mine, in Colorado (1875-1885), at the Portal to Texas History.

The Burroughs (Quartz Hill), Camp Grove (Quartz Hill), Fagan-Gunnell (Gunnell Hill), Monmouth-Kansas (Quartz Hill) and Monmouth-Kansas Mill (Nevada Gulch) mines were all operated by the Monmouth Consolidated Gold Mining Company, New York, according to the Colorado Directory of Mines (1879).

The Monmouth operations are mentioned in The Engineering and Mining Journal, no 25, 23 Mar 1878.

There are numerous references to Fagan and Medcalfe (sic) and their gold mines in Colorado: A Historical, Descriptive and Statistical Work on the Rocky Mountain Gold and Silver Mining Region (1878), by Frank Fosset.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Aberdeen Redevelopment Developments - July 2014

The 15 Jul 2014 agenda for the Aberdeen Township Council included quite a bit of movement on the "redevelopment" front. There was to be an open hearing on one ordinance, introduction of a second ordinance, and consent votes on four resolutions all related to four projects in the township. The minutes won't be published for a while, but presumably these things passed.
  • Ordinance 8-2014, presented in an open hearing, would approve the redevelopment plan for the Freneau Redevelopment Area. This was being done to meet the requirements of New Jersey Local Redevelopment and Housing Law.
  • Ordinance 9-2014, presented for first hearing, would amend the Revised General Ordinances on Administration (Chapter) and Land Development Code (Chapter 25). The edits and additions, which appear in the linked document, are related to zoning matters, not development, and mostly ease township codes that force residents to come before the zoning board. Many of the changes eliminate rules regarding the height of structures. One change allows residents to rebuild a nonconforming structure that was destroyed, perhaps a response to Superstorm Sandy reconstruction?
  • Resolution 2014-76 would designate Yellowbrook Property Co LLC as "redeveloper" of the Route 34 Redevelopment Area.
  • Resolution 2014-77 would designate Aberdeen/Wilson Associates LLC as "redeveloper" of the Freneau Redevelopment Area. 
  • Resolution 2014-78 would approve the related redevelopment agreement with Aberdeen/Wilson.
  • An Executive Session Resolution allowed the Council to discuss redevelopment of the train station and South River Metals properties without the public in attendance.
Route 34 Redevelopment Area

This project affects the vicinity of the Lloyd Road and Van Brackle Road intersections with State Highway 34 in Aberdeen.

At NJ Tax Records, Newberry Holdings LLC and R Passarella are listed as the taxpayers for the lots involved in this redevelopment:
  • Block 114 Lot 6 - 1337 Highway 34
  • Block 114 Lot 7.01 QFARM - 1355 Highway 34
  • Block 114 Lot 13 - 1341-1343 Highway 34
  • Block 114 Lot 13 QFARM  - South Van Brackle RDF

Yellowbrook Property Co LLC is located at 71 Montrose Road, Colts Neck, NJ 07722, according to Manta. It was incorporated in New Jersey in 2005 and categorized as an operator of nonresidential buildings. It has a staff of 1 to 4 persons and brings in annual revenue between half a million and a million dollars.

Freneau Redevelopment Area
 According to Resolution 2014-77, the Freneau Redevelopment Area was established in a series of resolutions beginning in August 1999, but a lawsuit tied things up until a settlement was reached in December 2013. Aberdeen/Wilson Associates LLC currently plans to erect 250 market rate non-age restricted residential dwelling units on 56 acres of the redevelopment area as shown on the Township Tax Maps as Block 149, Lot 1 and Block 151 Lots 1 through 4.

NJ Tax Records website shows those lots as follows:
  • Block 149 Lot 1 - North Wilson Avenue
  • Block 151 Lot 1 - New Brunswick Avenue
  • Block 151 Lot 2 - South New Brunswick Avenue
  • Block 151 Lot 3 - 48 New Brunswick Avenue
  • Block 151 Lot 4 - 42 New Brunswick Avenue
Water has always been an issue in Freneau, so the redevelopment plan includes this interesting stipulation (edited slightly for space): The Township shall design, and the Redeveloper shall construct, a Water Tower and Sanitary Sewer Pump Station, which shall be funded and constructed by Redeveloper and service the Project Site as well as other parcels.

Aberdeen/Wilson Associates LLC (0600057889) registered as a limited liability corporation located in Highland Park, NJ in October 1998.

Aberdeen/Wilson Associates LLC was linked to the Horizons at Aberdeen Forge planned adult community redevelopment, long expected to be built in Freneau. Valued at $17 million as of a 2011 summary, it was to sit on 102 acres  in the Wilson Avenue area (Block 122 Lots 8-9, Block 127 Lots 1-12). This legal communication from May 2011 indicated that NY/NJ Baywatcher was the lead NGO coordinating the transfer of land to the township for preservation.

Aberdeen Ordinances and Resolutions

While searching for the text of a resolution, I stumbled upon a useful page of links to resolutions and ordinances at the Aberdeen Township webpage. I went back to see if I could find it in the website's table of contents, but maybe I missed it. If it isn't a formal feature, I'd love to see it added to the directory with agendas and minutes, etc. If it is a summer project, it seems quite helpful for the public. I would separate out the proclamations, though.

History: Old Fagan Homestead Destroyed by Fire (1932)

The 12 Feb 1932 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 1 col 2) carried this story about a house fire in Freneau.

Without Water Firemen Could Not Cope with the Blaze

The house known as the old Fagan Homestead, an old landmark in the Freneau section of Matawan Township, was destroyed by fire Wednesday morning. The several fire companies of the township and borough were called out at about 4:30 for the blaze, but could do little to fight the fire with chemicals and without water could but watch the complete destruction of the building.

The house of two and a half story frame construction was built about 50 years ago by George Fagan for his grandson, George Fay. The building was owned and occupied by Frank Tiernan. Mrs. George Deitz was a former owner. It is thought the fire originated from the furnace. The estimated loss is about $15,000.

The Fagan Household

The newspaper said George Fagan built the "old Fagan homestead" for his grandson, George Fay, but I suspect he built it for himself and his family when he was flush with cash in the 1870s or earlier. His grandson was too young circa 1882 to have a house built for him. The 1880, 1895 and 1900 censuses all showed the Fagans and Fays living together, so there was likely only one "old Fagan homestead."

The house likely passed from George Fagan to his daughter Stephanie between 1895 and 1900 and then to grandson George Fay. The grandson evidently sold it to George and Anna Dietz before he moved to Vermont. Since Anna F Dietz and Frank Tiernan lived on Wilson Avenue in the 1930 census, that was presumably where the Fagan house was located.

The records below provide a rough outline of the likely inhabitants of the Fagan homestead in the last half of the 19th century and the early 20th century. The Fagan and Fay ownerships are blended in the documentation. They are followed by the Dietz and Tiernan occupancies.

In the 1850 Federal Census, George Fagan (30 East Indies) was a painter living in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, NY. Also in the household were his wife, Lydia (28 NJ), daughter Eliza (9 NY) and sons James (8 NY), George (5 NY), Elias (4 NY) and a newborn son (1/12 NY). (Eliza appeared in 1860 as Fanny and in 1870 and later censuses as Stephanie and Stephanie E.)

In the 1860 Federal Census, George H Fagan (44 East Indies) was an artist living in Matawan. Also in the household were his wife, Lydia A Fagan (43 NJ), daughters Fanny (19 NY) and Lydia A (4 NJ), and sons James (18 NY) , George (15 NY), Elias (13 NY), and Henry (10 NY).

In the 1870 Federal Census, James C Fagan (28 NY) was a shades manufacturer living in Manhattan (14th District, 19th Ward, New York County, NY) with wife Isabella and son William. Also in the household were his father, George H Fagan (56 East Indies) and brothers George H (25 NY) and Henry (19 NY), all also noted as shades manufacturers. James had real property worth $30,000 and personal property worth $5,500. The father had real property worth $10,000 and personal property worth $3,000.

The 9 Jul 1870 edition of The Matawan Journal carried the above ad (pg 3) and this interesting piece (pg 2) about George H Fagan:
"We call attention to the advertisement of G H Fagan and Son, in another column. The senior member of this firm has perhaps seen more of the vicissitudes of human life than any other man in this vicinity. In his youth he enjoyed the luxuries that British wealth can give, and the benefits of British and French Universities. He came
to this country and has enjoyed affluence since his residence here, but a number of years since he lost everything and was compelled to seek a home wherever he could get it at a moderate rent. This brought him, with his family, to Matawan about twelve yeas ago. Since his residence here, he has been treated friendly by some, but unfriendly by others. Now, fortune seems to be smiling upon him again, and we wish him abundent success."

There was a separate listing in the 1870 census for a George H Fagan (53 England) who was a manufacturer living in Matawan with a wife Lydia (47 NJ) and a daughter Lydia (15 NJ). He had personal property worth $6,420 and real property worth $10,000. This could be a distinct person or a second enumeration.

Luther C Fay (27 VT), grocer, was enumerated in Matawan with wife Stephany E (28 NY) and daughter Jennie M (1 NJ) in the 1870 Federal Census.

The 3 Oct 1874 edition of The Matawan Journal referred to George H Fagan, of Mount Pleasant, who had "a field of the largest corn we have seen this season. . . ."

The 2 Oct 1875 edition of The Matawan Journal reported that Edward Schuberth & Co, New York, published a new piece titled "Gleaming Threads of Silver Hue Shade Through Your Curls of Gold," words and music by George H Fagan, of Matawan.  (Image above from the Library of Congress)

The 29 Apr 1876 edition of The Matawan Journal spoke of James C Fagan, son of George H Fagan. James was successful in the gold mining industry in Colorado.

The 5 Oct 1878 edition of The Matawan Journal brought news of the unexpected death of George's son, Elias P Fagan, who was working James Fagan's mines in Bald Mountain, Colorado.

"One of the saddest records of death that we have been called to chronicle is that of Mr Elias P Fagan, at Bald Mountain, Colorado, on Saturday morning, Sept 21st. In April last he was married in Matawan to Miss Libbie Roberts, and with his bride started to for new house in Colorado. He was prospering, and letters from himself and his wife were full of bright anticipations. But suddenly he was taken ill, and the telegram received on the 21st ult. announced his death after only three days of sickness. He was the son of Geo. H Fagan, Esq, of Matawan, and was the first child Mr and Mrs Fagan ever lost. He was employed at the time of his death in connection with his brother's gold mines on Bald Mountain. The blow comes with great severity to the family here, and to the desolate widow in that far-off country."

The 26 Jul 1879 edition of The Matawan Journal had an amazing snakes story that happened to mention George H Fagan's property as adjoining Charles Layton's property, which was on the road leading to Henry Henninger's mill. The mill clue suggests Mill Road, but the Willson name also suggests Wilson Avenue.

All three men appear on the same page of the 1880 Federal Census.  Here are Layton's and Henninger's details:
  • Charles Layton (62 NJ), farmer and wife Abby (59 MD England MA)
  • Henry Henninger (34 Germany), miller, wife Odelia (30 Germany) son Henry (6 NY) and daughters Emma (4 NJ) and Odelia (1 NJ).
"... Mr. Charles Layton lives on the road toward Heninger's mill (formerly Willson's), his property adjoining that of Mr. Geo. H. Fagan on the west. On Thursday afternoon he was turning over some peat on the meadow at the back part of the property, when he opened up a nest of snakes, among them a black
snake about five feet long, with a body as large as an ordinary wrist, and two yellow snakes of some species, one of which also was five feet long and of equal size of body. Besides these there were a number of young snakes that came 'snaking' out of the throats of the maternal serpents, much to the consternation of the young man who was standing near. Mr. Layton, with true courage, took the spade that he held in his hand aud killed every one of them, big and little. As true as George Washington cut the cherry tree, so true is this
snake story."

In the 1880 Federal Census, George H Fagan (66 East Indies Ireland France) was a retired merchant living in Matawan. Also in the household were his wife, Lydia A Fagan (64 NJ NJ NJ), son George (27 NY East Indies NJ), daughter Lydia (24 NJ East Indies NJ), and widowed daughter Stephanie Fay (38 NY East Indies NJ) with George's granddaughter Jennie Fay (11 NJ VT NY) and grandson George Fay (9 NJ VT NY).

George H Fagan was listed as a 1881 tax delinquent by Matawan Township, according to the 18 Feb 1882 edition of The Matawan Journal. At $21.88, his tax debt was the fourth highest in the township.

George H Fagan, his son George H Fagan, Jr, and George C Fay and his sister Jeannie Fay were enumerated together in Matawan in the 1895 New Jersey State Census.

In the 1900 Federal Census, George Fagan was a boarder in his widowed daughter's home in Matawan Township. Much of the following information from this enumeration is incorrect. Stephanie Faye was born in Feb 1841 (59 years old) in New York to parents from NJ and NY. Her son George Faye was born in May 1873 (27 years old) in NJ to parents from NY. George Fagan was born in Nov 1850 (49 years old) in NY to parents from England and NJ. George Faye was a salesman and George Fagan was a farmer. George Fagan would have been between 74 and 86 years old, according to earlier censuses, a full 24 to 36 years older than this enumerator recorded.

George Calvin Fay was born 4 Aug 1870 in Matawan Township to Luther C and Stephanie Fay, according to the NJ Births and Christenings Index at Ancestry. He was living with wife Emma in Matawan in Matawan in the 1910 Federal Census, after which he was enumerated in Sharon, Vermont in 1920, 1930 and 1940. George Fay he died 17 Nov 1951 in Hartford, Vermont, according to Vermont Death Records at Ancestry. The death record provided his dob as 14 Aug 1870.


George A Dietz, 52 years old and born in Pennsylvania, was a wholesale druggist who lived on Mill Road in Freneau in the 1920 Federal Census. Also in the household were wife Anna F (50 NY NY NY) and five children ages 10 to 17, all born in NY.

In the 1930 Federal Census, the widow Anna F Dietz and family were enumerated on Wilson Avenue in Freneau just above Frank Tiernan, 41 years old and born in NJ, and his wife Katherine (36 Irish Free State).

UPDATE: There is a George Hickson Fagan (18 Aug 1810 - 23 Nov 1876) who is listed in The Peerage. He served in the Bengal Engineers. He's not a match to our George but you wonder how many George H Fagans there could have been in the East Indies.

George H Fagan was a First Lieutenant in the 28th Regiment Native Infantry, Bengal, India as of June 1818, and was a member of the Asiatic Society, according to the East India Register and Directory, by W H Allen (London, 1819), pp 94, 122.

George H Fagan was a First Lieutenant in the Bengal Corps of Engineers from 30 May 1839 until 12 Jun 1844, according to the East India Register and Army List, by F Clark of East India House, London (London: 1845), pg 76

George H Fagan was a Brevet Captain in the engineers assigned at the Bombay establishment of Britain's East India military service. He arrived overland in England in December 1844, according to the Asiatic Journal and Monthly Miscellany, Nov 1844 - Apr 1845, pg 204. He, his wife and child were to be enroute from Southampton to Alexandria. pg 334.

George H Fagan was a Captain in the Corps of Engineers at the Headquarters at Meerut. His season of appointment was 1829. He received his rank in corps as of 5 Dec 1848, and rank in army as of 12 Jun 1844, according to East India Register and Army List (London, 1855), pg 85.

UPDATE: There was a James P Fagan (49 Great Britain), gentleman, who arrived at the Port of New York from London aboard the Ship Quebec on 3 May 1837 with wife Stephania (42), son George (23) and daughters Stephania (20) and Mary (19).

This could be James Patrick Fagan (17 Mar 1788 Cork, Ireland -16 Apr 1863 St Servan, Brittany, France) who had wife Stephanie LeMere (about 1785 France - 16 Jan 1873 St Servan, Brittany, France). James earned the Army of India medal and served in the East Indies. The family tree I found online at Ancestry showed this family with several children but no George. Perhaps the family traveled to the US but all but George returned to Europe? I've written to the owner of the family tree involved and am awaiting a response.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

History: Restaurant Operators in Keyport in 1910 Census

In my quest for further information about Ye Cottage Inn's early days, I searched the 1910 Federal Census for restaurant operators enumerated in Keyport and found three: Henry Denison, Yancey Anderson and Thomas B Rowser.

1) Henry Denison operated a successful restaurant on First Street, according to the History of Monmouth County, New Jersey (1664 - 1920), Vol 3, pg 346. Since his restaurant was not on Front Street, I've ruled him out as an early operator of Ye Cottage Inn.

2) Yancey Anderson operated a restauran, perhaps in Matawan, until 1892, when he relocated to West Front Street at Main Street in Keyport. According to the History of Monmouth County, pg 646, Anderson sold his restaurant in 1913 to Burtis A Aumack, who operated it and a hotel until 1918, when Aumack sold them both to become involved in the successful West Furniture Co business. (See my Burtinia Place article elsewhere in this blog for further details about Burtis Aumack.) Anderson's restaurant would have been closer to where Keyport Pizza is situated today, so I'm ruling it out, too.

3) I found little about Thomas B Rowser's restaurant, but since it wasn't operating in 1892 and wasn't on First Street, it seems to be the only viable candidate to be the earliest iteration of Ye Cottage Inn -- that is if the restaurant began operations in 1906 as it said on its signs. Thoughts?

Here is what I've collected on Anderson and Rowser:

Yancey Anderson

The 2 Jul 1892 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 2 col 5) included this advertisement announcing that Yancey Anderson's restaurant would be relocating to Front Street opposite Main Street in Keyport. (The same ad appeared in many of the 1892 editions.)


Yancey Anderson

- HAS -

Removed his Restaurant

to the floor under E H Conover's gents' fur-
nishing store and K Van Brakle's ladies'
and gents' shoe store, where you will

Find Him Catering to the Public.


Yancey Anderson

is the Only Caterer that caters for Weddings, Par-
ties and Private Dinners. He is the only one that
makes it a specialty.
He will continue keeping his fine flavors of


and also everything else in his line of business, first
class and strictly pure.

                                            Thanking You for past patronage
                                                  Remain Yours Very Respectfully

                                                     YANCEY ANDERSON

                                        Front Street, opposite Main, Keyport, NJ

The 5 Sep 1900 edition of The Red Bank Register (pg 4 col 5) contained an advertisement for Keyport's Restaurant, operated by Yancey Anderson. "When you are in Keyport, go to Yancey Anderson's restaurant for your needs. Caterer for weddings and parties."

The 17 Feb 1938 edition of The Red Bank Register (pg 7 col 5) carried this summary of a news item from 25 years earlier (1913) in its Items of Yesteryears from Register Files series. "Yancey Anderson, who had been in the restaurant business at Keyport for 30 years and who also had a restaurant at Sea Bright, sold his business at Keyport to Burtis A Aumack, one of his former employees."

Census research showed Yancey as a 27 year old waiter in Cooperstown, Otsego Co, NY in 1880.

Yancey was a 46 year old restaurant keeper in Raritan, Monmouth Co, NJ in the 1900 census. He was born in Oct 1853 in South Carolina ; his parents were both born in South Carolina as well. His 44 year old wife Sarah J Anderson, was born in May 1856 in New Jersey; her father was born in NJ and her mother in New York. Sarah was employed at her husband's restaurant. They had daughters Stella (born Jul 1873 in NJ) and Leslie (born Oct 1874 NJ) living at home.

The 1910 census showed Yancey living in Key Port as the proprietor of a restaurant. He was 59 years old and born in SC, as were his parents. His wife Sarah J was 58 years old, born in NJ to parents born in NJ and NY. She had given birth to two children, both of whom were still alive. Their single daughter Stella, age 36, remained at home. They lived on Broad Street in Keyport.

Yancey is buried at Holmdel Cemetery. His stone reads that he was born in 1852 and died in 1920.

The 1880 census reported Yancey as black; the 1900 census reported Yancey, his wife and children as black; in 1910 he and his wife and child were listed as mulatto. The graduation from Keyport High School in the 1890s of Yancey's two colored daughters was mentioned in the 15 Jun 1911 edition of The Matawan Journal.

Thomas B Rowser

The graduation of Thomas B Rowser's colored son Kenny from Keyport HS was also highlighted in this article. Thomas was a Keyport restaurant owner at the time as well.

Thomas (52 VA VA VA) and his wife Maggie (51 VA VA VA) lived on Fulton Street in Keyport in the 1910 Federal Census. Thomas' occupation was listed simply as "restaurant".  They had a son Charles K (17 NJ). Their daughter Leodicia Dandridge (29 VA) lived in the household with her husband John M Dandridge (31 VA) and their three children. John was a laborer on a tender. A third child of Thomas and Maggie had died.

Thomas (Mar 1856 VA) was a cooper living on Waverly Street in Raritan with his wife Maggie and two children in the 1900 census.  Brothers William and John Dandridge of Virginia, who both worked at a brickyard, were boarders in the household.

Thomas was a worker in a cotton mill in Falmouth, Stafford Co, VA in the 1870 census.

Thomas was buried at the African-American Midway Green cemetery off Lloyd Road in Aberdeen. His stone says he was born in Mar 1854 and died in Nov 1915.

John Matthew Dandridge died at his Fulton Street home on 23 Feb 1950, age 70, predeceased by his wife, Leo Dicia (Rowser) Dandridge (sic). His obituary appeared in The Matawan Journal's 2 Mar 1950 edition.

Friday, July 18, 2014

History: Ye Cottage Inn, Keyport (1906 - 2012)

Ye Cottage Inn was a restaurant located at the mouth of Luppatatong Creek, aka Oyster Creek, at 149 West Front Street in Keyport. The restaurant was destroyed in Superstorm Sandy in late October 2012 and the building razed.

In later years, the restaurant boasted that it was established in 1906, and a local history dated the restaurant's origin at about 1915, but the earliest reference I could find in local newspapers was 1926. To be sure, the issues of The Matawan Journal for the second half of 1906 are not available and I haven't viewed issues of The Keyport Weekly from the time period, but why there are no references to Ye Cottage Inn in the twenty years between 1906 and 1926 is a big question.

Some locals have told me the last iteration of Ye Cottage Inn was actually a composite of several restaurants that used to be in separate, neighboring buildings. One of the buildings was said to have been the former Burlew's Restaurant.

William E Burlew (July 1904 - August 1989) was proprietor of Ye Cottage Inn in the mid-1920s, between a short stint running the Keyport Fishery (1918 - 192X) and nearly 40 years (1928 - 1966) operating Burlew's Restaurant, according to his obituary in the 23 Aug 1989 edition of The Middletown Independent. The photo (right) is of the Original Burlew's on West Front Street in Keyport.
The 24 Nov 1926 edition of The Red Bank Register announced that Emanual Einzinger, of the Keyport Dry Goods Company, treated his staff out to dinner at Ye Cottage Inn.

The 21 Dec 1928 edition of The Matawan Journal contained an advertisement (image, left) in which Burlew's Restaurant invited people to celebrate New Year's Eve at their establishment - music, dancing, fun for all, and a turkey dinner, all for $3.50.

The 19 Aug 1932 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 1 col 2) reported that Jacob Rippen, proprietor of the Original Burlew's Restaurant on Front Street in Keyport, was appealing charges that he had punctured the tire of a patron of Ye Cottage Inn because the patron's car was parked on his lawn. A fine of $25 was in the offing.

The 19 Jun 1936 edition of The Matawan Journal said Jacob Rippen had applied to Matawan Township for a liquor license as Original Burlew's Inc.

By 1940, Arthur C Schultze and his wife, Virginia (Griffin) Schultze, co-owned Ye Cottage Inn.

Virginia D Griffin, age 6 NJ, lived at 109 Broadway in Keyport in the 1920 Federal Census and was enumerated in the household of her father, William L Griffin, 47 New York, a steam fitter at a chemical plant. Also in the household were her mother, Allie, 44 NY; her widowed grandmother, Isabella W Chipman, age 80 NY; and Virginia's older sister, Mabel D Griffin, age 17 NJ.

Virginia was born 29 August 1913 in Keyport, the daughter of Mr and Mrs William L Griffin of Broadway in Keyport. Virginia died on 27 June 1944 at Allenwood Hospital in Allentown after a six-month illness. (Source: Virginia's obituary in the 29 Jun 1944 edition of The Matawan Journal, pg 2 col 1)

The 1940 Federal Census showed Arthur C Schultze, age 35 Germany, living on Front Street in Keyport with his wife Virginia, age 26 New Jersey, and their daughter Virginia, age 4 NJ. Arthur and his wife were both listed as proprietors of a restaurant. Daughter Virginia attended Penn Hall Preparatory School in Chambersburg, PA, and the University of Miami in Miami, FL. She married Rex Crawford, according to the 10 Mar 1955 edition of The Matawan Journal.

According to the 18 Oct 1945 edition of The Matawan Journal, a former busboy and two of his associates, ages 14, 17 and 18, all of Keyport, allegedly attempted to hold up Ye Cottage Inn on 23 July 1945. Arthur's sister, Mrs Ella Kurica, of 727 Charles Street, Perth Amboy, was shot twice -- once in the neck and once in the back -- after she recognized one of the young men in a rear passageway of the restaurant. Arthur, proprietor of the restaurant, was shot in the head when he came to her aid. A cashier was severely beaten.

While all survived the ordeal, Ella was in the hospital for months recuperating and suffered paralysis in one leg due to her spinal injury. Doctors assessed she would remain crippled the rest of her life. The shooter was brought up on additional charges when he reached age of majority and was due to leave Rahway Reformatory, according to the 20 Feb 1947 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 4 col 5).

Arthur's sister Ella Kurica, 34 Germany, lived in Perth Amboy in the 1940 Federal Census along with her husband, George Kurica, 36 NJ, a machinist in ship repair, and their children Charles, 15 Germany, and Julia, 11/12 NJ. Ella lived in Keyport in 1935 while George lived in Perth Amboy.

Ye Cottage Inn ran a Christmas advertisement in the 22 Dec 1949 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 4 second section, or pg 10 of 12). Arthur C Schultze was listed as proprietor.

Ye Cottage Inn, under proprietor Arthur Schultze, was open to the public only two days after the devastation of Hurricane Donna, according to the 22 Sep 1960 edition of The Matawan Journal.

Tom Lucas was the proprietor of Ye Cottage Inn, according to the 16 Sep 1965 edition of The Matawan Journal (pg 9 first section, col 6).

The 20 Sep 1997 edition of The South Amboy-Sayreville Times (pg 3) featured Ye Cottage Inn as the Business of the Month.The article said the owners for the past eight years (c 1989) have been George Hilas, Mihal Hilas and George Vouloumanos. The manager was Denise Wolf.


I will continue to research Ye Cottage Inn's origins and will update this article as appropriate, but there is enough information at this point to warrant publishing my results to date. I welcome comments or emails with additional information, corrections, leads, references and/or photographs that could clarify the YCI story.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Sherburne M Graham Diary (1889)

Sherburne M Graham, the son of Methodist circuit rider Rev Charles Curtiss Graham, spent the summer in Keyport in 1889. I suspect that his step-mother was from the area and he was working a summer job.

Sheburne's diary is for sale at an antiquarian bookseller in Ontario, Canada for over $2,000.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Cliffwood Beach Park

It might be a good idea to put up some barriers to keep people from driving anywhere they want inside the Cliffwood Beach park. I saw three vehicles drive from the Whale Creek entrance, across no man's land and off the curb to the parking lot. And you can see from the photograph above that some people are having fun making ruts in the grass after it rains. A little investment in guard rails might do the trick.

The edge of Whale Creek has become a Skidoo launch and playground. There are always pick up trucks and jet ski enthusiasts at creekside. People have a right to have fun, no doubt, but they shouldn't be oblivious to nature around them. Loud partying, blasting radios, revving jet ski engines and shooting spray in the creek are making a nearby nesting pair of osprey very nervous. The level of activity seems more appropriate for the bay.

After last week's annual extralegal fireworks extravaganza at the beach, I'm surprised the osprey have stuck around.

Up The Creek Under Construction, Keyport

They've made considerable progress this weekend on the new Up the Creek in Keyport.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Cliffwood Avenue Gaining A Lane

Looks like Cliffwood Avenue is gaining a lane at the Route 35 traffic light. They've cut into the grassy margin by A&P across from Bagelicious.

Cheesequake Park's Abandoned Trail

Kavanaugh Trail has become Cheesequake State Park's forgotten trail. It is all overgrown and birches have fallen to block access.
I had been hoping for some improvement to the trail's tendency to swamp out after rain, but I never thought the state would forget about its newest trail. Don't forget Cliffwood Beach's special vista on New Jersey's wetlands.

Union Beach Borough Strategic Recovery Planning Report

Union Beach Borough approved and published its Strategic Recovery Planning Report on 17 April 2014. It is a very detailed summary of what happened to Union Beach in Superstorm Sandy, what has been done so far and what still needs to be done to get the place back on its feet. We all need to support our neighbors in Union Beach as best we can.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Aberdeen-Matawan CERT Settles in at Haley Fire House

The Aberdeen-Matawan Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) held its 9 July 2014 meeting at its new home, the M E Haley Fire House, 4 Cross Road in Matawan. Herb Caravella is doing a great job as the team's coordinator. The group has over 40 members now and has been assisting the local police at call outs and scheduled events like parades. They work with the fire department, too, such as the recent municipal fireworks in Matawan and Aberdeen.

CERT members are expected to participate in events, attend meetings and receive training. Training is a priority -- Wednesday night the team learned the proper use of walkie-talkies to communicate. Upcoming events for the team include the National Night Out, Aberdeen Day, the Keyport 5k Run, and Matawan Day.

For more information, check the Aberdeen-Matawan CERT Facebook page. You can reach Herb about membership at 732-583-4200 ext 799 or herb.caravella@aberdeennj.org.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Up The Creek Tavern Being Rebuilt in Keyport

The Up the Creek Tavern, a favorite among boaters at Keyport Marina, was severely damaged in Superstorm Sandy and had to be demolished. Good news is that the tavern is being rebuilt. If you drive by along Amboy Avenue from Cliffwood Beach or cross the bridge on West Front Street from Keyport, you will see a set of tall, cinderblock posts sticking up like soldiers in a vacant lot next to the marina. The building will sit high above the tide. (Let's hope the parking lot gets a bit of a lift as well.)

The 28 May 1970 edition of The Matawan Journal contained a photograph of the grand opening of Up The Creek Tavern on Friday 22 May 1970.

UP THE CREEK OPENS - Matawan Creek, that is. The grand opening of the new inn took place Friday at 5 pm at the West Front St, Keyport establishment. Shown at the ribbon cutting ceremonies are, from left, Pete Peterson, Mayor Robert Strang, Walt Steager, and Jim Dickerson. The three co-owners, and the mayor, were on hand to greet some of the hundreds of the well wishers during the grand opening. 

The 30 Jul 1970 edition of The Matawan Journal carried the above advertisement for Up The Creek Tavern and Marina on West Front Street at the bridge in Keyport. The ad listed Jim Dickerson, Pete Peterson, Walt Steager and Harry Ross (Manager).

The 20 Dec 2011 edition of The Matawan-Aberdeen Patch included an obituary for James M Groome, owner and barkeep at Up The Creek restaurant in Keyport.

The Keyport Marine Basin has a news page that says "an all new Up The Creek Tavern is in the works. It will be higher and dryer." The marina has kept the tavern's Without a Paddle Grill and Catering menu on their site.

Wind Storm - 8 July 2014

Strong winds brought down a tree across Aberdeen Road just west of Matawan Avenue. Lights went out in the Strathmore Lanes section of that shopping center. The lights are out in the A&P shopping center lot. Small branches are everywhere. The traffic light at Atlantic and Route 34 was blinking yellow and red.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

History: Cliffwood Beach Club Adds 200 Bungalows at Treasure Lake (1926)

The 19 Mar 1926 edition of The Matawan Journal included this front page article about the addition of 200 small bungalows near Treasure Lake for Cliffwood Beach Club owners to use. The developer -- Morrisey & Walker -- borrowed this trendy vacation idea from the West Coast. These small "bungalets," which were built only 100 feet from the bay, were all destroyed in Hurricane Donna in 1960.



One Hundred Fifty One-Room Bungalets and Fifty Two-Room Structures Completed This Week.

Work will be completed this week on a unique bungalow's colony being constructed for thc Cliffwood Beach Club near Treasure Lake, Cllffwood Beach. The development consists of  150 one-room bungalets and 50 two-room structures adapted from the "divided hotel” plan in successful operation on the Catalina Islands and other Pacific Coast resorts.

Charles W. Morrisey, president of Morrisey & Walkcr, Inc., developers of Cliffwood Beach, and an organizer of the Cliffwood Beach Club, in announcing the approaching completion of the building operations, declared that the demand for large houses has shown a steady diminution during the last few years along the shore.

The Cliffwood Beach Club, he continued, has endeavored to keep abreast of the vacation trend by the erection of "bungalets," as they are known on the coast, which will be managed on the lines of a hotel from a central administration building.

Occupancy of the bungalets will be limited to members of the club, which will have a maximum roster of 200 families, who will be required to furnish adequate business and social references. Registrations for the single rooms wlll be limited to four and for the two-room structures to six persons.

The houses are of frame 10x20 feet, and are located 100 feet from the shore. Particular attention has been paid to sanitary provisions and there will be daily garbage collections.Water and electricity for lighting and cooking will be provided. Each bungalet is sufficiently distant from its neighbor to insure a maximum of privacy.

Members of the Club, in addition to occupylng rooms in the "divided hotel," will also have access to playgrounds, tennis courts, boating facilities on Treasure Lake, a private beach and band concerts.

If the Innovation proves as successful in the East as it has on the Pacific Coast, Mr. Morrisey said it is probable it will be extended to other parts of the north Jersey shore.

Morrisey & Walker, Inc, the developers of this bungalow colony, is the largest seashore realty organization in New Jersey. The firm has successful developments at Cliffwood Beach, Shark River Hills, Asbury Park, West End, Belmar, Keansburg and Laurence Harbor. This firm has offices at 951 Broad Street, Newark, N. J„ three offices in Asbury Park, one on Cookman Avenue and two on the boardwalk, the famous Pirate ship at Cliffwood Beach known all over thc country, and at Keansburg and Laurence Harbor.

2014 Fourth of July Fireworks - Matawan

The Borough of Matawan's Fourth of July fireworks display will be held tonight, 5 July 2014. The fireworks are best seen from the vicinity of the First Presbyterian Church on Route 34 or from points along Ravine Drive across the lake. Some streets will be temporarily closed to traffic. 

Old Bridge Waterfront Park 2014

I've shied away from the waterfront park off Route 35 at Laurence Harbor ever since Superstorm Sandy destroyed the boardwalk.
So I was pleasantly surprised to see the wooden walkways completely restored and beachgoers, anglers and boaters out in force. Sunbathers were covering the beach between the police station and the Cheesequake Creek channel. The drawbridge went up, a NJT train went through, and skidoos and motorboats were zipping around. Happy Fourth of July!