Starting The New Year With Some Old Memories

pastBy Diane Norek Harrison

This is from my own research of the four towns in which I write the past. Feel free to add anything you see in this column or better yet send your own memories or past material from the towns.

CLARK—Clark was once home to Drummond’s Pharmacy, Clark Drugs, Dell’s Pharmacy, Garden of Paper, Steak and Ale and Stonewall Savings and Loan. Electro Fone Corporation was located at 29 Broadway, with Donald C. Mascola as president in 1972.

ELIZABETH—Allen’s Bakery, A&P, Bartone’s Bakery, Brothers Hotdogs, Brown’s Bakery on Elizabeth Avenue, Burry’s Factory, Cakemasters, Circus Shoe Shop, Dan’s Camera, Food Fair, Frank’s Deli, Grammp’s Hardware, Robert Halls, Jerry’s Hotdogs, Saifern Furniture, Watt’s Pet Store on Elizabeth Avenue, Wetson’s, Whiteways on Elizabeth Avenue and Zimmerman’s Bakery on Division Street are some businesses that operated in Elizabeth. Remember when Elizabeth’s phone exchanges were ELizabeth-2, 3, 4, 5?

LINDEN—Some old Linden businesses included Card Smart on Wood Avenue, Esso Research Labs, Gino’s on Route 1, Jennie Klein, Inc (manufacturers of school uniform wear) on 712 Commerce Avenue, Rex Genes on Blancke Street and Wood Henry Exxon. “Getting Straight” and “Me Natalie” played at the new Plaza Theatre on Sept. 19, 1970. Remember when Linden’s phone exchange was WAbash-5?

RAHWAY—Brennan’s Bar, Jan Fashions, National Pneumatic Defense Factory, Oxman’s Gift Shop, Robinson’s Hardware, Superior Auto Body, Village Motel and Swim Club on U.S. Route 1 and 9 and Vic’s Barber Shop all operated in Rahway.

The Gordon Opera House was built by George P. Gordon and was destroyed by a fire in March of 1887.

With the holidays behind us, why not jot down your own warm memories? It’s never to early to send your memories for this year’s holiday columns! Don’t forget I am looking for St. Patrick’s Day, Easter, Memorial Day or 4th of July memories and local information. I need all spring holiday material as soon as possible. Summer will soon be here. Don’t we wish? What do you remember with summertime fun? Send it all!

If you have your own memories or information about the past in Clark, Elizabeth, Linden, Rahway or Roselle, you can email me at or send copies of your material to me c/o CMD Media, 1139 East Jersey Street, Suite 503, Elizabeth NJ, 07201.


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