Remembering the Past: More Memories Of South Amboy

By Diane Norek Harrison

SOUTH AMBOY- Here are former South Amboy resident Adam Kierst’s memories of his way home from St. Mary’s School on Augusta Street to Ward Avenue in the 1920s. I had his walking to St. Mary’s School in a column, dated July 25.

“Walking home from school was also an experience because all the boys carried marbles and would stop along the way to try their skills at the games. Also, they would spin cards, heads and tails. There were larger cards like a postcard that were popular with pictures of famous people on them like: Mae West, Tom Mix, Amos and Andy in their taxi and W.C. Fields.

“Walking home I would sometimes walk the path through the goat pasture (Leffert and South Feltus streets) in the direction of the hospital and stop at Fanny Dayton’s spring for a drink and to catch a bullfrog. The spring was located along a thick area of woods. The path ran diagonal from Catherine Street to a point near the hospital.” My own note: former hospital, that is.

“Then I would pick a few cherries from the hospital tree and Mrs. Cantlon would holler out the window ‘they aren’t ripe, you’ll get a bellyache, go home.’”

Adam also recalled when there were “hobo camps” down at the waterworks (which is considered part of Sayreville, but has always been used by South Amboy.) He remembers in the 1930s, when his father and his friends would talk about the stew they made. Each member of the “camp” would contribute some ingredients that they acquired as they traveled along the railroad, like a potato, a carrot, an onion, a few string beans and whatever else they found to make Mulligan stew. The hobos were men who were out of work, looking for work and traveled by rail. In those days some of the South Amboy hobos slept in the box cars.

Have memories or past material of how things used to be in any of the towns listed below? I would love to have them in a column! Remember your name does not have to be used with the past information sent, but please note that on the correspondence.

If you have your own memories or past information for Carteret, Edison, Metuchen, Perth Amboy, Sayreville, South Amboy or Woodbridge you can email me at send copies of your material to me at CMD Media, P.O. Box, 1061 Rahway, N.J. 07065.

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