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Robert Morrill

(Interview taped 8/17/1970)

Came to Teaneck as a child in 1914 from Oak Park, Ill. Lived on Maitland Ave. There was a corn field where Sussex Rd. is now. Used to coast down to where railroad tracks are now. Rekow's farm as where Whittier School is now--down to River Rd. There was another farm at Highgate Terr. A dirt path divided the corn field.  There was a melon farm around New Bridge Rd. It was a great area for kids. Laurelton Pkwy was a pine woods. Men played poker there on Sunday.

West Englewood Hills was developed by Nelson Ayers.  His father had a big house at W. Englewood Ave. and Tyron--where 17 W.E. Apt. is.  The house burned down. His father was Dr. Nelson lived on Ogden Ave next to Edythe Whippl.. He planned a great development --complete shopping area at Plaza. Where Natl. Com. Bank is planned a great building with Auto service below ground, show room above. 34 State St. was to be one of  4 apt. is.  Builder approaches to State St. Bridge, wanted the crossing there rather than at West Englewood Ave. Got it. Town paid for paving. During Depression Ayers lost his money. Much of his property taken over by Sydney Soone. Borden fields.

As a boy he walked to School 2 through. The old municipal bldg was next to the school. Graduated Englewood High on 1929. Teaneck High played its first game at Englewood High after THS was opened. Remembers David Hooks working on the Athletic Field. Grad. Gettysburg in 1934

When he was a boy Votee Park was a bog. There was a pond where the band shell is now. Used to pole rafts on it.

Social life--Blue Bird Inn, popular during prohibition. Then there was the Clover Club east of Teaneck Rd. Later there was Siegri restaurant at River Rd. & Cedar Lane--old Harte homestead. Rotary met there. Paul Volcker used a fire gong to call for order.

Ayers bought land from Ackerman Estate. Wanted to get rid of grade crossing and open up whole area of W.E. built ramps and approaches. Had to fill in where the bank is now.

Houses sold for $5-6,000. Christ church was started in Clara Ferry's living room on Ogden Ave. Carl Stritzberg was the first minister. Ayers built the original Christ church at Rugby and Rutland--Now Beth Sholom.

People he remembers--Hawkeys, Beaumonts, Bedfords (Pembroke Bedford), Stevensons.

Morrill served on Bd. of ed from 1947 (unexpired term) to 1951.

 

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