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A Glimpse of the Old Days of Teaneck
by Robert N. Morrill
-- Dedicated to the memory of Paul Volcker, Teaneck's first city manager.
For a great long time now I have been promising to write of my recollections of Teaneck's early days. I think that I had better get to it before an advanced state of senility either clouds my memory or embellishes it to the extent that it is no longer trustworthy.
Betty and I now live in a quaint New Hampshire town. Its history dates to Indian wars and raids, Tories and patriots. Our farmhouse was built in 1805. With a major restoration in 1930, again in 1966, and with our efforts since 1975 it stands as an emblem of days gone by. Stone walls through most of our 200 acres indicate that the land was once completely farmed. Now there are but seven open acres, all around our home and barn. The rest has returned to woodland and forest. Generally this is what happened to our lovely State of New Hampshire. In 1850 it is said that 95% of the land was farm land. Today 95% of the land is in forests.
Our Town of Tuftonboro Corner had some 1,324 residents in 1850. Today its population has just about reached 1,000. The Civil War taught many of its soldiers that there was a much easier life elsewhere than the hard-scrabbling farm life and the fight with the myriad of stone and rock in the New Hampshire hills. The youth left in droves seeking a better life with fewer problems. Now people are returning seeking a better life with fewer problems in the ease and beauty of a wonderful state. The population will grow and grow as the people tire of the complexities of urban living.
The history of this town has been well documented. Many people of varied professions and talents have written the saga of Tuftonboro. Now we know much of its past; its people, churches, schools, roads, idiosyncrasies, just a great wealth of data from bygone days.
How little is really known of Teaneck's past.
This should not be surprising. Teaneck has none of the historical past and antiquity that continually enthuses any community emerging from early settlements. Teaneck is a new community with few memories and little nostalgia. In the late 1890's what was to become Teaneck was mainly the wooded castled home of William Warren Phelps, a former ambassador to England. This land extended from Hackensack (then called New Barbados) and the river to the Overpeck Creek and Englewood. Teaneck Road was the one main road. History has George Washington marching his troops north on it while escaping from Fort Lee. The pursuing British were marching south through Englewood's Tenafly Road to intercept. The Continental Army crossed the Hackensack River in New Milford on a bridge near the Steuben House, and the Revolution was spared.
I will now apologize for all the rambling that will occur from time to time. It is a necessary part of the strain of "remembering".
The Phelps home was a castle on the northwest corner of Teaneck Road and Cedar Lane. I can only remember its ruins, the stark brick walls and chimneys overgrown with vines. I think it may have burned many years before I saw it. Part of our town hall and police headquarters rest over its foundations. Many artifacts were found in digging the foundations of these two buildings.
Teaneck Road was the main thoroughfare. There were only a few other lanes or paths in the entire area. River Road was the main link north and south. There wasn't a single building between it east to Teaneck Road and from Cedar Lane north to West Englewood Avenue except for the Garrison farm just off Cedar Lane, and another farm house just off West Englewood Avenue.
On the north and south borders of Teaneck Newbridge Road and Fort Lee Road were the main east-west roads. Cedar Lane and West Englewood Avenue were the paths between River Road and Teaneck Road. Forest Avenue and Englewood Avenue were the only outlets between Teaneck Road and Englewood.
What was to become Teaneck was farm land in the Bogota and West Englewood sections and the heavily wooded Phelps Estate through the entire center.
Historians will have to tell of the beginnings of the town of Teaneck. Even the name is in question. It could be a contraction of the Dutch name of Ten Eycke, or it could be in the "T" and the neck formed by the Hackensack River near the Bogota line. I believe it became a township in the late 1890's. When we moved to Teaneck in 1914 or 1915 we became "early settlers". When we left in 1975 we had become one of the "old" residents.
Reflections of the town as it was may very well be interesting when Teaneck becomes a town with antiquity and people delve into its past. I will draw pictures as my memory dictates.
Early Teaneck consisted of five very small and rather widely separated individual communities in its seven-and-a-half square miles. Probably the Bogota section was the first actual settlement. It's a fact that these residents were at one time so discouraged at the hope for Teaneck's future that they petitioned to become a part of Bogota.
Then there was Glenwood Park, completely isolated in the meadows. The Forest Avenue and Englewood Avenue areas each had a few homes. The West Englewood section was probably the largest of the early communities. The residents were fiercely provincial and balked at any effort to change the name of the station or post office from West Englewood to Teaneck. As we lived on Rutland Avenue in West Englewood, this is the source of my sharpest memories.
In 1915 West Englewood had but three roads running west from the railroad tracks. West Englewood Avenue built on the north side only and then up to Sussex Road continued to River Road. Ogden Avenue extended above Sussex Road to Essex Road. Rutland Avenue ran to Sussex Road and Maitland Avenue was just started.
The south side of West Englewood Avenue was farm land from the top of the hill near where Sussex Road was to extend down to a swamp near the tracks and where Windsor Road was to be. A red farm house was opposite Rugby Road, but at that time it was in disrepair. The farm land ran south to a great grove of pine trees near the path of Route 4, and known as Phelps Woods. This was a favorite picnic grounds. Rumor had it that certain male stalwarts of the local society spent sunny Sundays shooting craps in the beautiful glades while their wives and children dutifully went to church.
This farm field was memorable on certain magnificent winter days when a foot or more of snow formed a hard crust. Sleigh riding (we never called it sledding) was absolutely perfect from the top of the hill through paths in the swamp to the tracks. In these days practically the entire town turned out. In the middle of the hill there was a depression between two trees with a drop of some two feet on the far side. It was quite a feat to shoot through this narrow gap over the drop and remain right side up.
Sleigh riding on Rutland and Ogden Avenues was magnificent. After the snows the roads were cleaned by a horse-pulled plow, the driver walking by the side holding the reins. The result was a perfect base, perfect for "sledding", but a real problem for the slim traffic of those days. On many cold moonlight nights the two streets were filled with adults as well as kids, sliding down the long hills and climbing back up for yet another ride. Some sleds would hold six or eight people. It was a Grandma Moses scene. I wonder if they still make Flexible Flyer sleds?
Rekows farm was located on the top and on the north side of West Englewood Avenue and extended west to River Road. The farm house was just about where Whittier School now stands. There was good rabbit hunting in the corn fields and hedge rows in the winter.
I presume that some deal must have been made with the Rekows as the town took over the property for the present Whittier School and the Rekow farm moved to the river side of River Road in the area of the present Brett Park. Mom and Pop Russo, relatives of the Rekows, and son Pat, a famous local bowler, operated a successful farm stand for many years. They lived in a great, stark, gray house behind the stand. I never knew of the origins of the house, but I presume it had a prominent part of Hackensack River history.
Another farm was on the top of Churchill Road in the general area of Highgate Terrace. This grew great pumpkins and we weren't beyond appropriating a few on important occasions such as Halloween. More than once we were chased by the irate farmer, but we all had nimble feet.
Rugby Road was only a path from Maitland Avenue to Newbridge Road. It ran north through heavy woods and streams until about Churchill Road where an active farm extended to Newbridge Road. A hedgerow fence bordered this path and every spring violets grew there in profusion. The farmhouse was on Newbridge Road at the end of this path.
There was a small park at the bottom of Rutland and Ogden Avenues. Part of it is still there. In those days it flooded every time it rained, a fine base for sailing small boats and wading. Two paths fanned out from the bottom of Ogden Avenue, one to the right and West Englewood Avenue at the railroad tracks, and the other to the left and the railroad station. At the division there was a bandstand where concerts of questionable talent were occasionally held. It was the center of band music and political speeches every Fourth of July.
One of my earliest memories was in being wakened at daybreak one November morning by a newsboy hawking his papers with the cry "The War Is Over!" Everyone got dressed, jubilantly greeted friends on the streets, finally got pots and pans and pounding loudly on them marched to the band stand. I don't think anything momentous took place except a community sigh of relief that the pangs of the First World War were about to end.
The town had been involved in some small way in World War 1. Camp Merritt occupied a great part of present day Dumont. It was the marshalling and sending area of the east. Daily trains would pass through Teaneck, soldiers in full uniform waving out of each window. One hot summer day Camp Merritt burned. The fire was so intense it was days before it was extinguished. The smoke hung heavy over our town. There were constant reverberations of explosions as they dynamited buildings trying to contain the fire.
The West Englewood station was on the east side of the tracks opposite side Rutland Avenue. The green Victorian building contained a first floor office and waiting room, and at the rear was the post office. Around half of the front and the side was a baggage platform. Upstairs were the living quarters of Clifford Hanks, the station master and postmaster. His wife, Verna, took over the dual jobs when he died. Station Street (now Palisade Avenue) ran from West Englewood Avenue to the station. A bank rose some ten feet at the rear. It had been cut away for the railroad bed.
The station was the center of activity. Most people used the commuting railroad and thus it was crowded morning and night. There was a great water tower just north of it. Before the rail bed was leveled there was quite a hill from Ridgefield Park. Engines blew their steam by the time they reached this station and they had to have the water replenished.
One afternoon I noticed a crowd around the station. I walked in and on the floor which had been covered with papers were the remains of a local resident whom I believe to be Rocco Datre. Walking the tracks he had been struck by a train. I had bad dreams for months.
Being struck by a train was not an unusual experience--if you were a car. Outside Cedar Lane, West Englewood Avenue provided the only crossing of the tracks. The crossing gates were lowered and raised by hand and the gatekeeper lived in a small shack by the crossing. Sometimes he could be sleepy or forgetful and well mashed cars could be the result. I can't recall any deaths or injuries at the crossings, but I know there was a substantial toll of cars.
Originally there were four sets of tracks used by the West Shore Branch of the New York Central and the New York, Ontario, and Western. The former was strictly a commuter line from Dumont to Weehawken (although occasionally it ran to Haverstraw). Little was known of the latterline as it always sped through Teaneck at full speed as though hurrying to get through it.
The West Shore railroad trip to New York and back was the social experience of the day. At the Weehawken docks ferry boats took the travelers either to 42nd Street or to Cortland Street. There were trolleys at the 42nd Street dock going across Manhattan either on 42nd Street or 34th Street. At Cortland Street there were no facilities and walking was necessary.
To a large extent the trip was a pleasurable one. The only sour note was a terribly smoky tunnel the trains passed through the Palisades just before Weehawken. It generally took the rest of the trip to recover full breathing.
There was a novel approach to getting the mail bag into the trains without their stopping. The bags were hung between two arms at the side of the tracks. As the train approached a hook appeared from the mail car, and with good luck, captured the bag, all of this without slowing a mite. I don't know just when this practice ended. Probably after too much time was spent by mail crews picking up a mess of mail caused by misses or near misses of the hook.
The paper stand at the station was run by Bill Haupt. His brother Ernie was a prominent local plumber.
Joe Weiss started his great financial success at the West Englewood Avenue crossing. He and his brother, Henry, lived with their one taxi fleet in the little building on the southeast corner of West Englewood and Palisades Avenues. I believe it still stands. The commuter's walk from the station was usually long and for some, for obvious reasons, impossible. Joe and Henry delivered many straight and narrow as well as wandering souls to the comfort of their homes for many years.
After the Hudson was crossed by tunnels and the bridge, and the great surge of travel by private cars and buses came about, commuting by train fell more and more into disuse. Soon two sets of tracks were lifted and the station was abandoned. To get the property off the tax rolls the railroad petitioned the town to be permitted to demolish the station. The Town Council with its usual wisdom permitted this with the proviso that the railroad build a small building on the west side of the tracks in the West Englewood Park. This was done and the town inherited a building used for many years for community purposes.
A trolley ran from Paterson, through Hackensack, over Fort Lee Road, through the Overpeck Creek meadows on a trestle, up the Leonia Hills to Fort Lee and the 125th Street ferry dock. This passed Palisades Amusement Park which even then was a very active place. The only crossings of the Hudson were the ferrys at Weehawken, Fort Lee, the Dyckman Street Ferry at the bottom of Palisade Avenue in Englewood, and the Yonkers Ferry at Alpine. As the number of automobiles increased the Sunday drive became a prominent part of Americana. Often crossing the Hudson was in the itinerary and just as often was a several hour wait for a ferry in a line extending for miles.
The Ackerman farm, last occupied by Richard Ackerman, was on the northwest corner of Teaneck Road and what is now State Street. It was just about on the site of the Telephone Company building. The property extended west to the railroad tracks and south to a lovely colonial brick home (a supermarket now stands there) owned by the Loziers. They raised Guinea hens, and the constant cackle of these noisiest of birds was a reminder that this was farm country.
Part of this land was included in the Nelson Maitland Ayers development of State Street, Ayers Court, Queen Anne Road Extension, and Lozier Place. The development of this whole area was the ambitious, pre-depression dream of this man who left a great impact on Teaneck life. There were complete plans for developing every bit of this entire tract. The whole area was to be self contained with apartments, stores, theaters, shops, and every convenience. An automobile sales garage was to be on Palisade Avenue under the bridge. The present 34 State Street apartment was one of four with a glass covered restaurant in the center. It would be interesting to see the complete plans.
It was with considerable political manuevering that Mr. Ayers had the West Englewood Avenue crossing closed in favor of the State Street Bridge. The bridge was an absolute necessity to the development. Needless to say, the avenue merchants protested vigorously, but to no avail. The road was closed at the crossing and the bridge was built. It is said that as a part of the agreement Mr. Ayers paid for the cost of the ramps.
Mr. Ayers' first Teaneck home was with his father, Dr. Melancton Ayers, in a great, brown, frame building on the northeast corner of West Englewood Avenue and Teaneck Road. This had an old fashioned porch around two sides. It was still standing when they built the apartment in front of it, but it soon burned and was demolished. He moved to Odgen Avenue, Maitland Avenue, Warwick Avenue, and finally to a small house on Rutland Avenue after the depression had taken its toll. He left his heritage in Ayers Court, Maitland Avenue, and Nelson court.
After the State Street Bridge was built and State Street, Ayers Court, and the extension of Queen Anne Road were laid only two of the planned buildings were erected. The circular building at the corner of Palisade Avenue was completed and the 34 State Street apartment was partially built. In fact it was many years before it was completed. The rest of the great plans died in the financial drain of the Great Depression. Mr. Ayers was forty years and one depression ahead of his time.
Caesar DeFlora owned a farm on Teaneck Road near Englewood Avenue. There were other small farms scattered east to the Englewood line. This was the Italian section of town. Joe Miele, the long time garbage man who gained considerable wealth, and who was know for his good nature lived there.
There was an old colonial home on the east side of Teaneck Road opposite the Ackerman farm. This was saved from destruction by George Cady, the Teaneck building superintendent. George had been a prominent Rhode Island architect forced into his Teaneck position by the depression. He restored this beautiful home and he and Mrs. Cady lived there for many years.
Teaneck was well served by George Cady. He originated the colonial decor of the town in his design of the Town Hall and Library additions, the Police and Fire headquarters, the Cedar Lane Fire Station, as well as various school buildings.
Several hundred yards east of Teaneck Road opposite what is now State Street were a series of buildings called "Neldens Sanitarium". It could hardly be seen from Teaneck Road because of deep woods. This was probably just as well as rumor had it that it housed "nuts and crazy people". It had been vacant for many years when it burned to the ground one New Year's Eve in the mid 1930's. It was a spectacular fire and kept many from traditional parties.
There was a large, square, stone building on the southwest corner of Teaneck Road and Bogert Street. I believe it is now an apartment. It is one of the many said to have housed George Washington on his flight through Teaneck.
From this house south to about Church Street and west to Beaumont Avenue was a cow pasture called "Bordens Field". The cows were shepherded by a little old man with a staff whom we thought a bit touched. In passing on our way to school we too often stung the cows with rubber bands strung between the thumb and forefinger. We could always run faster than the little old man.
Bordens Field became quite famous as the home field of the famous Teaneck "Red Devil" football team. I can't remember many of the names of the players who played for the love of the game or just the keg of beer (even though it was prohibition) but the team was a terror in the east. I can recall a few. End Red "Rusty" Melvin always wore one of those old fashioned nose guards and still wound up with a continual bloody nose. Joe Culver, Scoutmaster of Troop 93 of the Boy Scouts, was the quarterback. Charlie Tepper, John "Buzz" Flannery, and Fred Fader played on a line anchored by a flock of Kilmurrays led by Tom who weighed in at a comfortable 250 plus. They played many great teams in those early informal days.
As time wore on, Teaneck fielded a second team, the "Mercurys", led by the incomparable Johnnie Stevenson. I believe he was Teaneck's greatest athlete. Sometime later the teams joined forces and as the Teaneck "Mercury Red Devils" played in a very fast semipro league in Bergen County. The team was finally permitted the use of the high school field and the Sunday games became an important part of Teaneck life.
The original town hall, a gray, stone two story building stood on the southwest corner of Teaneck Road and Church Street, just about where the school no. 2 playground is now located. This held all of the town offices, including the jail and the library. When our school next door became overcrowded or a classroom was to be renovated we were herded into this town hall. I wonder how today's parents would react to those days of two mile walks to school, through swamps and over railroad tracks, very modest facilities, and even corporal punishment. I also wonder if the education of those days was not quite sufficient to lead children into a productive life. I have my ideas of the failures of coddling children and parents, I expressed them many times when I was on the Board of Education. Teaneck is fortunate in no longer being exposed to my type of nonsense.
When the new town hall was built the old one was auctioned. It was bought by fireman Fred Fader who moved it to one of the streets on the east side of Teaneck Road where it still stands.
The present town house was the original school no. 2. Every day from kindergarten to eighth grade graduation we walked from West Englewood, across the tracks, dallied in the great swamp that occupied the entire northern end of Votee Park (we had rafts), up Bogert Street which was the end of Queen Anne Road (from there to Cedar Lane was a path), past Bordens Field where we annoyed the cows, and thence to school. Lucy Marsh was the stern principal. Two equally stern and unforgiving teachers were a Mrs. West, who fades from memory, and the wonderful Kitty Keener, the longtime principal of the Hawthorne School. Kitty was the most feared teacher of them all. She would tolerate no nonsense before rapping your rear or knuckles. She became principal of that school because she could and did demand the discipline that tough section of town needed. Kitty was a great teacher and the town loved her.
Two other town favorites started their teaching careers at old school no. 2. Alice Hoek ended her teaching career as principal of the Whittier School. The quiet and refined Edith Tepper was an administrator of the high school.
School No. 2 became the center of a great controversy. Evidence was presented that had this great building in a woeful state of disrepair and in imminent danger of falling down. The frightened people bought this idea which was fostered by the Board of Education and Ralph Hacker was appointed architect to build the new and present school. It was built and then came the question of just what to do with the old school. One group wanted it torn down and another said that this was pure nonsense. The School Board, needing to defend its contention that the building was faulty, wanted the evidence removed. The opposing group wanted the Town Council to take over and restore the building. The Council, showing great wisdom, wanted no part of that hot potato. But, as so often happened in Teaneck, calm and solomon-like judgement prevailed. The School Board turned over the building to the town for $1. The town spent a minimum amount in restoring it and it then took its place as a very important public building. The School Board used it for school classes, carpentry shop and Board of Education offices in one section, and the town used the other section for the youth center, town offices, and storage. I would be remiss if I did not mention that this was accomplished only through the continual efforts of Bob Henderson, Tommy Costa, and Bob Morrill. They harassed every important person until they finally secured the blessings of then Mayor Jim Brett and Manager Paul Volcker, as well as Bill Hazelton, then School Board president.
I can't pass the old town hall without reflecting on the Police Force. I believe that Joe Bublitz and Jessie Witham were the first full time cops. They were joined by Neal Harte, who later became chief. Other old timers were Eddie Kneissler, Sam Dunn, Billy Fox, and Red Uber.
I don't know how much crime bothered these denizens of the law who first walked, then had bicycles, and finally motorcycles. In the depression days there were many hobos and they had a camp along the railroad tracks near the Bergenfield line. Many of them went from house to house offering to do any work for a meal or handout. Probably these did cause a degree of trouble for the local constabulary, but I cannot recall any public fear of them--a far cry from today.
Teddy Morgan was an early officer. As a Lieutenant he was active in investigations that went beyond the confines of Teaneck, and he had quite a police reputation. The Police Department always had class, under later chiefs Bob Fitzpatrick, Joe Kilmurray of the famous Kilmurray clan, and Bryan Burke, the present chief.
In the early years Teaneck was one of the first communities to establish a special youth department. Ellie Norton and Bill Muhlhahn headed this work with wisdom and understanding.
Jacob Shilling had a large frame home at the intersection of Teaneck Road and what is now Route 4. This later became Bernhardts Inn run by Paul Vondran, his wife, and beautiful daughter Elsie. This is now the Carriage Club.
Mr. Shilling was one of the founders of the West Englewood National Bank, to become Garden State National Bank, and currently the National Community Bank. With Ritchie Brooks, John Heywang and others they enlisted a young Frank Weber to lead the venture. Fred Bayles, Pete Christiansen and the lovely Ann Schaaf joined Frank to make the bank the great success it now is.
The bank's first location was in the stone building just south of the circular building on Ayers Court and Palisade Avenue, then called Station Street. Station Street then ran only from the railroad station to West Englewood Avenue. Behind the station there was a ten foot high hill, the Ackerman farm land, running to the bank building. This was leveled in the Ayers development mentioned before.
The Selvages gave their name to Selvage Avenue. Their home is now the Catholic Restory. Mrs. Selvage gave the property to the Catholic Church. The original church building was on the site of the present St. Anastasia School. It was presided over by a pixie Irish priest named Father O'Neill, with the map of Ireland on his face and a brogue to match. He was known to accept a touch of the grape should it be offered. He was well loved and served for many years until succeeded by Father Quigley. His housekeeper was Mamie Fitzpatrick, the Ayers maid before their financial decline.
The old church was turned into a school when the new church was built. A major fire destroyed the building one hot summer day in the late '40's. Barney Bookstaver, the health officer of Teaneck, whom history would show to be one of its finest servants, collapsed and died of a heart attack at the scene of the fire. The old church with its memories of bingo and tombolas was gone.
On the east side of Teaneck Road about where Route 4 now intersects, was a prohibition night club called the "Clover Club". I can't recall much about it except its name. It flaunted prohibition and I presume it had little interference from the local police.
On the west side of Teaneck Road in an apple orchard near the present high school were two fine frame houses owned by the Hawkeys, Samples, and Bedfords. I believe that they were related. Behind these homes and west to the railroad tracks were fields, trees, and a large apple orchard about where the high school athletic field now stands. There were no homes in this whole area.
Mrs. Hawkey moved to Boothbay Harbor, Maine, where she and daughter Beth for many years ran a gift shop called "The Purple Cow". Frank Sample also moved to Maine where he bought a bankrupt ship yard that serviced only wooden ships. When the war came the boat yard flourished. Frank became prosperous and a most prominent Maine citizen.
In the late 1920's Phelps Manor Country Club was built in the area between what is now Route 4 and East Cedar Lane, and from Teaneck Road east to the Overpeck Creek meadows. This private golf club had 18 holes and a magnificent club house which was several hundred yards east of Teaneck Road. It was a beautiful layout but with one main problem: the lower holes encroached on the swamp land of the meadows and they were continually wet and infested by voracious mosquitoes.
Before the club became fully stabilized, the depression took its toll. People just couldn't afford the luxury of private country club membership. So it became a public course. The club house managed by Fred Gebhardt was used for community dances and social events. A modest lunch was served to local service clubs.
The property was sold bit by bit and homes built by George Beckman and Louis Hess took more and more of the golf club property. The club house was finally torn down to make room for the final homes in this gracious area.
On the corner opposite the present town hall, and on the site of Volks Funeral Home was a notorious, prohibition flaunting, well known restaurant and night club called "The Blue Bird Inn". It prospered well, serving people far and wide with no police interference. One cold winter night it caught fire and burned to the ground, aided, it was said, by firemen spending more time rescuing bottles of liquor than in fighting the fire. Fire and progress destroyed many of Teaneck's landmarks.
Several blocks south was a lovely old Dutch colonial home. This and the great home on the opposite side of Teaneck Road restored by Dr. Peter Bogard, are still standing.
Further south a large home was converted into "The Old Plantation Inn" by Charlie Burger. This went through a series of enlargements until it became the restaurant of today--Inwood Manor.
I am sure that there were other old homes on Teaneck Road south to Fort Lee Road, but my travels were restricted by youth and a lack of transportation. Any errors or omissions in my memory will have to be corrected by those more familiar with the area.
Glenwood Park was an isolated section on the fringes of Overpeck Creek. Only two roads led to it, Fycke Lane from Teaneck Road and Glenwood Avenue from Fort Lee Road. Most of the local police, firemen, and DPW workers lived there. For some reason it was called by the inglorious name of "Frog Hollow". Politically it was a very important section as it always voted as a block. The kids were tough and despised the kids living in West Englewood, "Mortgage Heights" they called it.
There were several reasons for the social snubbing of Glenwood Park. For years the town dump bordered two sides. This was an open dump with all of the obvious problems until the great Paul Volcker, the Township Manager, forced it to become the first sanitary landfill in the county. Every day what was dumped had to be filled and covered with dirt. The Scavangers Association of Teaneck, which had a contract of doubtful legality with the township was forced to provide the manpower and equipment to properly cover each day's waste.
The success of the project is evident. The covered land was given to the county by the town fathers and now supports the county Golf Course and Park enjoyed by many as Overpeck Park.
The second Glenwood Park problem was in the location of the disposal plant just beyond Lindberg Boulevard. There were two other disposal plants in those days of local disposal of sewage; off River Road on the site of the present DPW grounds, and south of Cedar Lane off Pomander Walk. The latter two dumped the sewage into the well polluted Hackensack River. Hopefully it had been processed. The disposal processes and odors were most unattractive.
When Bergen County organized the present central disposal system, Teaneck was the first town to contract for its services. The rather humiliating process of sewage disposal was removed from Teaneck to the cheers of the neighboring residents and the rebirth of the affected areas.
The Glenwood Park disposal plant became a greenhouse for the Garden Club of Teaneck. For years its flowers graced many nooks and crannies in the town. Quite a change!
Glenwood Park had one of the four volunteer fire companies of the town. Engine no. 4 was located in its building on Glenwood Avenue. The others were located on Teaneck Road just south of the present fire headquarters, on Kenwood Place where the building is now the Masonic Lodge, and on Morningside Terrace, still used as engine no. 3. West Englewood was served only by one hose cart. The hose was wound around a drum suspended between two large wheels, with a yoke in front so it could be pulled. This was on the west side of West Englewood Avenue just off the railroad tracks and alongside a suspended great iron rim said to come from a locomotive. A sledge hammer was hung nearby and when the rim was struck by someone strong enough to lift it the neighborhood was alerted and responding in a hurry pulled the hose cart to the scene of the fire.
All of the fire companies were well organized, efficient volunteer groups. Each had its own officers with one central chief, Kenlock Ridley, whose three sons spent their lives working for the town, Vincent and Warren in the DPW and Arthur in the Fire Department, was the long-time chief.
In the early '30's Teaneck determined to modernize its fire service. In spite of strong local opposition it went outside the town and hired a Fire Chief to build a paid department. It chose a remarkable leader, Frank Murray, from New Haven. Frank developed a department second to none, the envy of the county. Many of the old volunteers became paid firemen and many became officers. Bill Lindsay became Chief after Frank Murray. Harry "Turk" Davis became Captain and Deputy Chief in spite of a capacity for falling off roofs and through floors. Mo Darby, Johnnie Norton, Gil Graham, Harry Smith, Fred Fader--I wish my memory didn't fail me now. I would like to remember all of those wonderful guys who made up the fire service of Teaneck. I rode with them as a volunteer during the war years so I knew them well.
To return to Glenwood Park, its fire station under Frank Murray was not manned and used only in emergencies. It was eventually sold by its volunteer company and was used by Ronald Furniture as a furniture warehouse. It burned down one summer morning as the firemen were hampered by a lack of water pressure caused by the dead end water mains in the area. Teaneck was then served by two water companies: the Great Hackensack Water Company, and the Bogota Water Company which served the lower end of town. Whichever company was involved in the low pressure the situation was soon cleared by a general improvement in the water mains.
Ronald's Furniture Company's show room and offices in a large building opposite the town hall burned down at a later date.
The Kenwood Place fire station was replaced by the one now on Cedar Lane near Larch Avenue. A new company no. 4 was built off of West Englewood Avenue to serve the area.
Cedar Lane was a mere path between the Anderson Street bridge near River Road and Teaneck Road. It crossed the railroad tracks in a precipitous grade that was eventually corrected by the bridge. About the only building was the Garrison farmhouse standing on the north side of Cedar Lane and what became Garrison Avenue. East of the railroad tracks there was nothing except a horse farm standing on the bluffs south of Cedar Lane.
There was little growth until John Lorenzen and two gentlemen by the name of Machler and Weissinger built some stores on Cedar Lane near Garrison Avenue. In later years Cedar Lane was enhanced by German merchants. Lou Feibel came from Staten Island and opened a bakery that was known far and wide. This is now Gratzel's Bakery. Lou built the bowling alleys bearing his name. Dick Kuhlenkamp had a delicatessen and liquor store on the corner of Front Street. Emil Feld went from a small garage off River Road to the famous Casa Mana Restaurant with dancing to Larry Festa. Gus Rotherbach and his delightful wife had a small restaurant on Front Street. Bob Rupprecht's Cedar Lane Auto Body became the present Fort Lee Road Auto Body. And finally, Lou Finke had the Phelps Manor Bowling Alleys, home of the famous Fabers Bowling Team. Cedar Lane was quite a German enterprise.
There were several old farms south of Cedar Lane on the Hackensack River. Amman Park was the site of one. The farm house was the home of fireman Harry Smith for many years.
There were several estates on the river in the area of Pomander Walk. On the opposite side of Cedar Lane and on River Road was the great frame home of former county prosecutor, Archie Hart. In later years it became Sigrid's Restaurant. It was finally torn down and replaced by the Fairleigh Dickinson dorms that now stand.
Some distance north was a great mansion now occupied by the college as an office. I think that this was a part of the Phelps Estate. Across River Road there was a large pond below a falls. In the winter it was an active ice skating park. Because of the flow of water over the dam there was always an open area clear of ice below the dam. Every ice skating day at least one poor soul skidded into the open water to be faced with a long, freezing walk home.
There were two other ice skating ponds in West Englewood. A stream emptied into a reasonably sized area in the heavily wooded section of Briarcliff Road between Rugby and Sussex Roads. A pond we called Tokoloka for some reason or other was in the lower part of Warwick Avenue east of River Road.
But, to return to River Road, a former principal of Teaneck High School, Charles Little, started Bergen Junior College on the property of the Phelps home mentioned before. It was never too successful. Many of the live-in students were from foreign countries. In the effort to give the institution greater publicity a high powered football team was organized, coached by a former football giant star Bob Trocolar. They had no home field as the Teaneck School Board refused them the use of the high school properties, so they played away, from coast to coast. For years they never lost a game, and finally ran out of teams to play.
Bergen Junior College was finally sold and it became the Teaneck campus of Fairleigh Dickinson University. I believe that Walter Head was its first provost. He was a famous educator who had been the president of Rotary International. At a later date Garry Galanti, a high school vice principal and Charlie Steel, a retiring high school principal, became university officials. Under Peter Samartino it became the dynamic institution it is today.
Roosevelt Military Academy stood on a bluff overlooking the Hackensack River just about where Route 4 now crosses. This was typical of the military schools of the day. I envied the West Point uniforms worn by the cadets as they must have envied my freedom. Every evening at retreat they shot a cannon and the sound reverberated over the town. The school must have closed when I was very young as I cannot recall any later features about it.
Just north of this was the beautiful Dutch colonial home of William Davis. He was a public service official who was continually active in community life. He was the director of Civilian Defense during World War II.
Opposite West Englewood Avenue as it meets River Road was the estate of John M. Andreas, a lovely home and a series of barns. One still stands and is used by the township. Mr. Andreas gave the property to the town, now known as Andreas Park, with the proviso that he was to live in it tax free. Eventually this caused an uproar led by Edyth Whipple and the embarrassed Mr. Andreas left for California. I cannot see anything wrong in the agreement, but politics in Teaneck could make an issue of anything, even gifts.
There were two old homes on the River Road north of the Andreas home. One is still occupied by Leland F. Ferry. His parents were one of the original West Englewood residents and Lee was brought up in his parents' home on the southwest corner of Ogden Avenue and Sussex Road. His mother, Clara Ferry, was continually active in community affairs. I first went to Sunday School in the basement of her home, as the old Christ Church, on the corner of Rutland Avenue and Rugby Road had not yet been built. Lee became an attorney, Justice of the Peace, and township attorney. In the early days of the Teaneck Taxpayers league control of Teaneck's politics. He was a Democrat. His Republican counterpart, Lloyd Schroeder, lived on the same Ogden Avenue. He was the first elected state official from Teaneck and served for several terms as Assemblyman.
One of the oldest cemeteries in the area is just north of the Ferry home. A few of the graves date back to the Revolution.
North of this was the stark old Rekow farm home mentioned before. Just beyond this was the site of the West Englewood Gun Club. This most active group met every Sunday in fall and winter and shot clay pigeons over the Hackensack River. There was a small clubhouse and six stations with dugouts some 50 feet in front from which the pigeons were dispatched at the "pull" call of the shooter. On Sundays I either set the traps or pulled the release. Payment was a few shots at the end of the day. This property was generally in the area of the present DPW compound.
When the township organized the DPW compound a fine pistol range was included in the plans. I believe it is still functioning. In the late '30's and early '40's the New York Daily Mirror, then an active competitor of the Daily News, held a famous annual international pistol meet at the range. Contestants and spectators came from all over the country and even from foreign lands.
We swam in the Hackensack River here in a spot we irreverently called "Bare Ass Beach". While the river was clean in those days, and it seems to have had much more water, there were constant family admonitions not to swim there. But we did and I can't recall any catastrophic results.
At the north end of the Teaneck line four or five small cottages sat on a bluff over the river. I believe that they were summer cottages, probably taken by boating enthusiasts. There was a great deal of boating activity on the river. Boat clubs were in New Milford, and a large one stood in Bogota at the bend of the river.
Roemer Avenue was the most northerly of Teaneck's roads. There was but one home and Bill Roemer had a real long walk to school no. 2 on Teaneck Road and Forest Avenue.
Christ Church was built on the corner of Rutland Avenue and Rugby Road. The original building was very small and served as a mission church for the Episcopal Diocese. At first there were traveling ministers. The first permanent minister was Carl Stridsberg, followed by a Mr. Allen and then by the most popular Bill Russell.
Under Bill's ministry a large community hall and a home for the minister were added to the north side of the old church and running to Maitland Avenue. This was a gift from Nelson Ayers. John Keene, who became a high church official in Madison, Wisconsin, followed and under him the large modern Christ Church on the corner of Essex Road and Warwick Avenue was completed. The old church property was sold to a Jewish congregation.
The old church played a great undenominational part in West Englewood community life. It housed Boy Scout Troop 55 which was so active at one time it had 14 Eagle Scouts. "Hap" Alpaugh was the scoutmaster and he ran the weekly meetings like a drill sergeant. The troop was one of the first to go to the new Boy Scout Camp Nobebosco, and in the first year or so was actually involved in helping to build it.
Another fine troop, No. 93, was located in the Presbyterian Church on Church Street and was headed by Joe Culver of the Teaneck Red Devil fame.
Before the church additions were built the lot extending to Maitland was well used. We played every type of game from ball to marbles in this small space. When the community hall was built it had a basketball court. We used it only after minister Bill Russell exacted his pound of flesh and saw that we finished many chores around the church.
We were very active kids growing up, and many of the activities centered around the Boy Scouts. In the relatively small West Englewood there were many boys, the Willises, Cathies, Burgers, Cliff Ott, Nellie Ayers, Arthur Heck, Frank O'Brien, Art Freitag, Harold Bollerman, Tom Swicker, Herb Ivens, Bill Convery, Tom Scheff, Ed Norman, Bill Elliott, and many whom I have forgotten. 50 mile bicycle trips up the Hudson were common. In winter or summer there were constant hiking and camping trips to the Palisades and these always included climbing up and down the cliffs. The same activity today would find us in jail.
It's a shame that kids outgrew the Boy Scout movement. Well meaning people caused its demise by overorganizing every feature of kids' growth. The Cub Scout movement was the first cause. After several years of this baby-sitting when the kids reached the Boy Scout age of 12 they were just tired of the whole thing.
The West Englewood Tennis Club stood at the top of Maitland Avenue and Essex Road. There were two and then four courts, continually used, and a wooden stand that could hold at least 50 people. Competition between towns was fierce.
Baseball was informal, but every bit as intense as the present day organized programs. Our original field was on the top of the hill at Warwick Avenue, about the only level site available. We set fire to the field every spring and hid while the local fire department extinguished it. The field was then cleared for the year. It was nothing for us to bicycle or walk to New Milford for a game on a Saturday morning, and then do the same and play in Leonia that afternoon.
Later softball became the thing. A field off Trinity Court and Briarcliff Road served for years. There were great rivalries at games usually played for a keg of beer. By far the best of the early teams was "Sha Tee", named for the little tavern in the circular building on Ayers Court. The tavern was owned by Mom and Pop Brarman with sons John and Buck, and Johnnie Stevenson's brother as bartenders. This was really a local social hall. They had darts and shuffleboard and roast beef sandwiches every Thursday.
Speaking of the Brarmans, Uncle Buck was the first ice man, delivering first by horse and wagon and later by a truck with a step in the rear making it easier to grab the ice with the tongs. Young Buck was his assistant. We often hitched a ride on the rear step to the consternation of the Bucks who thought we were endangered by the hundred pound ice blocks sliding around in the truck.
The first West Englewood saloon after prohibition was repealed was just south of the corner of West Englewood Avenue and Queen Anne Road and called "Bill (Muller) and Jim (McKenna)" It soon became so popular that it outgrew these small quarters and moved to the corner of State Street and Queen Anne Road. This is now Courtly Cleaners.
So be it for the tippling fraternity. To return to old Teaneck.
We used to trap muskrats in the stream that ran along the railroad tracks from Bergenfield to the swamp that is now Votee Park. They were plentiful. We would follow our trap lines each morning at daybreak before school. We removed the skins, nailed them to boards, salted them and set them in the sun to dry. Each Saturday a man would appear and buy the skins, probably for a pittance.
Our trapping didn't last too long. Eventually, no matter how early we got to our lines someone was always there before and had taken the trapped muskrats. It didn't take too much discouragement to keep us in our warm beds in place of the cold of early morning muskrat lands.
The Wacha family of Glenwood Park have always trapped in the Overpeck Creek with a great measure of success.
There were few shops in West Englewood. Benny Manno and Jim Dibella had a barber shop in a small building on Station Street, now Palisade Avenue. Jim left the barber shop and started West Shore Fuel Company, still operated by his grandson. He also became a builder and developed areas of beautiful homes in the Knickerbocker Country Club section of Englewood and Tenafly.
The drug store on the northeast corner of West Englewood Avenue and Station Street was owned by Sam Cutler. This was an all purpose store with ice cream counter and racks for candy, trinkets, and many items besides drugs. The ever congenial owner developed a central drug supply system in the county and became prominent and wealthy.
Halfway to Queen Anne Road there was a butcher shop and market owned by Abe Ettin. Next to this was a hardware store that became Goodman's Hardware. This was bought by Morris Steinberg and Martin Auerbach, moved across the street (the post office had been in this building) then to the west side of Queen Anne Road in a new building built by Jim Dibella, and finally to its present home across the street.
On the south side of the street Joe Zitelli had his shoe repair shop. Henry Frey a paint store, and the Kloeber family the market that is still there.
That was the West Englewood shopping area.
Bill Haupt, the newspaper man, had several stands, one on the railroad platform that ran from West Englewood Avenue to Rutland Avenue.
Medical treatment was spotty at best. Dr. Phillips, the venerable and beloved Englewood doctor, took care of most of the early needs. He had a constant flow of young assistants and several came to West Englewood when they left him. Edwin Clarke who lived in the brick home on the northwest corner of Warwick Avenue and Sussex Road was the first. He was followed by Herb Reinhold and Bill Van Riper. The perennially young Herb Reinhold ended his dedicated medical life as director of the new emergency wing of the Englewood Hospital. At this date he and Dorothy Schwanewede Reinhold are enjoying retirement at Green Pond and in Florida.
Another early doctor was Dr. Helff whose office was on Teaneck Road opposite West Englewood Avenue. Many years ago he left Teaneck for a new life in Keene, New Hampshire.
Earle Bassett was among the first of the local dentists. His is a remarkable heritage. His father lived in Civil War times and his grandfather in Revolutionary War times. Three generations span the entire history of our country.
Teaneck's first school was on Morningside Terrace. An early, if not the first principal, was John Dolan. This school burned to the ground in the early '20's and was replaced by the present school. This was followed by school No. 2 on Forest Avenue and Teaneck Road, and progressively by six other elementary schools. Teaneck's school building situation is rare indeed. I know of no other town of 40,000 people in seven and a half square miles with eight elementary schools, two junior high schools, and a senior high school. It reflects the town's commitment to education.
The high school was built just before and during the great depression, at about the same time Route 4 bisected the town. Before that students went to either Hackensack or Englewood high schools, with a sprinkling to Leonia and Bogota. We were bussed to Englewood by Joe Speciale and his one bus. There was no mischief on these rides. Joe would rage at any impropriety and throw you off the bus at the slightest provocation. Even if you weren't involved in the sin, if you were close to the scene of the crime, out you went. If you missed the bus, were kept after school, or involved in athletics or other school activities, you walked home.
This one bus fleet has grown through the abilities of local attorney Tony Manno and son-in-law John Monte into Hiway Transport Service.
Teaneck's first high school graduating class was in 1932. Tommy Costa, whose great public service included school board vice president, town mayor, state assemblyman, and county freeholder, and his wife Alvira were among the leaders in that class.
The athletic field was built with the assistance of PWA funds. This Public Works Administration was one of F.D.R.'s programs to get people back to productive work, a theme that could well be used today to replace the degrading and debilitating dole that denies any human dignity. The stadium was named "David W. Hooks Stadium" He was a member of the board of education and a physical education instructor in the New York school system.
In 1930 I pitched for Englewood High School in an informal baseball game with Teaneck. This was Teaneck's first athletic endeavor.
Lester Neulan was the first supervising principal. I don't know just when he started his illustrious career. He was a charter member of the Teaneck Rotary Club founded in April 1929. He and Howard Cherry, a local dentist now living in Florida, are the only living charter members. First president John Deeney, a local attorney, died several years ago.
John Ranges was the clerk of the board even before the high school was built. He anchored the board through chaotic conditions for many years until his retirement. Son Edwin was a local post office official, and possibly still could be.
I believe the first high school principal was Charles Little who founded Bergen Junior College. Floyd Hoek was assistant principal, later principals were Charlie Steel and Helen Hill, the most beloved of Teaneck educators.
A few of the board of education trustees who come to mind are Chris Scheff, the perennial president, future mayor Jim Brett, David Hooks, and the first of many ladies, a Mrs. Greenlaw. All who have served in this thankless task should be remembered, but my dimmed memory can recall no others.
Politics didn't leave much of an impression on this athletic minded youth, but I vaguely remember some people and things. Some names creep up: John Kelly, Jim Curry, Augie Fleck, Jim Convery. Some of these may be figments of my imagination.
There was great public indignation over the building of Churchill Road. It was completely in the woods, without a single adjoining house and went from nowhere to nowhere. To compound the political sin it was built of concrete paving and resultant rumors of pay offs were rampant. As fate would have it, Churchill Road became a Township treasure as maintenance was at an absolute minimum. Rugby Road was extended to meet it and beautiful homes soon bordered the road.
Whether or not this was the cause of the political reform movement, I do not know. The Teaneck Taxpayers league was formed in the early 1930's. Their appeal to honest government succeeded and they won an overwhelming victory in the election. They proceeded to change the form of government from the old ward system to the present mayor-council form with the five councilmen elected at large and in turn electing their own mayor. The only change has been the more recent change to a seven man council. A major change was to have the municipal election date after the school board elections and before the general elections. The town could then focus all its attention on town issues. This has been a most important factor in Teaneck's political progress.
Milton Votee was the first mayor under this new form of government. He served for more years as councilman and mayor than any other person. Central park was renamed Votee Park in memory of this devoted and capable public servant. As an aside, the band shell in Central Park was a gift of the Teaneck Rotary Club as one of its many projects.
Karl Van Wagner was an early councilman. I am sure that he was never sponsored by the Taxpayers League as he was a constant thorn in the side of Votee and the majority of the council. His feisty manner provided the opposition that helped create real progress in town affairs.
After Jim Brett's many years on the Board of Education he became a councilman and under the Taxpayers League banner a mayor. The new park on River Road north of the DPW property bears his name.
Henry Deissler was probably the first township clerk. He later was elected councilman and became a mayor. As clerk he was followed by the loveable Clara Christiansen whom the town should never forget. Through thick and thin, strife and peace, confusion and calm, Clara's ability and cheerful manner had much to do with the sound and good growth of Teaneck. She was the tether keeping council and the town manager in proper line.
Opposition to the Taxpayers League was continual, but aside from Karl Van Wagner there were no inroads into its autonomy until August Hannibal was elected to the council. He later became mayor when the opposition elected a majority of the council. After many years of progressive leadership the importance of the Teaneck Taxpayers League diminished sharply. It was never again a force in Teaneck politics.
Edyth Whipple, wife of a premier Fox Movietone news cameraman, and mother of Ralph, who is a famous physician on Long Island, was in a constant war with the council. She didn't miss very many meetings and when she appeared council knew that it was in for trouble. She always expressed her opinions, and just about all of them were in contradiction to council's. She was an early activist and able warrior. She too helped Teaneck grow.
The first Taxpayers League council changed the mechanics of government to the present council manager form. The appointed town manager would be the actual head of all elements of the town government, answerable only to the council and his own conscience. He was the one to implement and carry out the plans and programs of the council. Teaneck was one of the first New Jersey towns to adopt this new and novel form of government. Needless to say it has worked magnificently.
In the early days opposition to the Taxpayers League focused on opposition to the introduction of the city manager form of government. Under it politics could not function and power was lost. However when Paul Volker was appointed as first city manager he was so magnificent the opponents found other things to object to. Paul embodied brilliant thinking with a calm capacity to meld most forces into a unified movement towards great things. He continually decried the thought that he was anything but an instrument of council in working its will. But I am sure that all who knew him and the Teaneck of his time realize that he led more than he followed.
Paul Volker was the architect of many Teaneck firsts: the sanitary land fill, the veterans housing on State Street and the first barrack type buildings on Ayers Court to be followed by the permanent veterans housing on the same premises, the securing of available funds and excess materials such as the DPW Quonset huts from the government, zoning boards, planning boards, a new concept in town government, the colonial look of town buildings such as the library, municipal building additions, police and fire headquarters, and not the least, he kept Route 4 free of buildings or signs. Paul was ever the quiet voice of honesty in all the great progress of Teaneck.
Paul's son, Paul, Jr., now chairman of the Federal Reserve Board, is cut from the same mold. After graduation from college (he was on the Teaneck High School basketball team) he was in the first group of Paul Harris Rotary Fellows chosen to further their education in foreign lands. He spent his graduate years at the London School of Economics as a representative of the Teaneck Rotary Club. While his theories are subject to a current spate of political wrath, I am sure that he doesn't understand the word "politics" as a reason for action any more than his father ever did.
Paul Volker and his best friend mayor Jim Brett were avid fishermen. For many years at ice out in early May a group would fish Kezar Lake in Maine. In those days salmon fishing was exceptional. The group usually consisted of Paul and Jim, Tom Costa, Roy Schubert, Paul Volcker, Jr., and my son Bob. We were guests of my father-in-law, Lewis D. Hill who had been president of Hunter College, and who had a cottage on an island in Kezar Lake.
At one time during the war gasoline was rationed. We pooled our allotments and drove one car to Maine. Paul was too sensitive to public opinion to go by car, so he and Paul, Jr. traveled by train. After three trains and a hitched 10-mile ride from the station in Fryeburg they arrived at North Lovell at about 11P.M. I had been sitting on the closed store steps for about two hours in the cold and snow of that late April. I rowed them back to camp, and I was more exhausted than they. While I respected Paul's devotion to what was right and proper I thought of some choice language when I flopped into bed.
The conversations at dinner times around the wood kitchen stove were humorous, intelligent, and most opinionated. Paul, the arch conservative, argued vehemently with Paul, Jr. on the pros and cons of liberal monetary philosophy. It appears that now Paul, Jr. is more conservative than even his father.
During the Second World War the War Department made a film of the workings of a model American community. This was to be a guide to help liberated towns grasp the essence of democracy in action. Teaneck was that "Model American Community". It is moot to say that Paul Volcker had much to do with it.
If he were alive today he would object to every good thing I have said about him. He always maintained that he was paid to do a job, and that good things should be expected. He would object to praise even if the results were spectacular, as they often were. He objected to naming the Town Hall area "Paul Volcker Green".
Jim Welsh and the present Werner Schmid followed as township managers.
Teaneck in the old days had its pride. When I hear of school problems, threats of strikes by public employees, youthful crimes and adult unconcern, I wonder just how much pride is left. Teaneck grew strong with pride and will grow weak with a lack of it.
I have skimmed the very top of the early history of Teaneck. I make no pretense of the total accuracy of the pictures I have drawn. Memories play many pranks, especially when edged by too many years. There are still some oldsters living in Teaneck who could correct the many errors and fill in the loose ends. The Ridleys, Martial Kilmurray, the Wachas, Bill Convery, Joe Fitzpatrick could help. I wish they would try. History is important. Lost it can never be recovered.
Copyright 1982 by Robert N. Morrill
Teaneck Public Library
840 Teaneck Road, Teaneck, NJ 07666
Tel.: (201) 837-4171, Fax: (201) 837-0410