Happy Valentines Day And More From "Enterprising South Amboy"

pastBy Diane Norek Harrison

SOUTH AMBOY-In 1942, at O’Connor’s Confectionary, which was located at 142 North Broadway had a card shop assortment for Valentine’s Day.

In the 1960s, while attending St. Mary’s Grammar School, a member of each class had to make and bring in a big cardboard box decorated mostly with aluminum foil and red heart cut outs on it. It had to have the mail slot cut into it. As the students came into class they would put their Valentine Day cards for class members in the slot. Later in the day the teacher would then hand out the cards.

 Here is more from Enterprising South Amboy written by Horace Laroe and dated 1901. This material was given to me by South Amboy residents Bruce and Anne (Dowdell) Richmond:

Parisen & Jackson-Millinery-The ladies of South Amboy and vicinity are to be felicitated upon having so well-stocked and fully-equipped a millinery establishment in their midst as that conducted the firm of Parisen & Jackson. This establishment occupies a position of high standing among representative business industries of the borough. They always carry a nice stock, replete with all the fashionable and seasonable bonnets, hats, etc., and at all times keep on hand all the prevailing modes as soon as introduced in the metropolitan fashion centers.

 Everything pertaining to the business such as feathers, flowers, silks, velvets, ribbons, etc., can always be obtained here, and hats and bonnets are trimmed to order on short notice in any style of fashion that may be desired. The store is very popular among the ladies of South Amboy and vicinity as is indicated by the number of people that visit the store each day during business hours. During the time that this firm has been in business here they have gained many patrons who speak in the highest terms of their skill and ability to turn out hats that are neat and attractive and up-to-date in every respect. Their establishment is the recognized resort for all that is new and beautiful in fashionable millinery. The store is prominently located on Broadway in the business center of the town and is the popular resort for the ladies of the town as well as the surrounding country.

 This establishment holds a position of good standing among the mercantile industries of the Borough of South Amboy and justly deserves the popularity it enjoys. This is the only store in South Amboy that is wholly given to the millinery trade, and is a representative of the modern, up-to-date class.


 Anyone has similar information for any town? I would love to print it in one of my columns. It amazes me what people save from the past. Do you have something to share and amaze me? If any one has memories or past material from any holiday, it is always welcome for the appropriate time of the year.


I would like to acknowledge the passing of former South Amboy resident Adam Kierst on Feb. 8. His son contacted me knowing his father has been in contact with me. I have known Adam since I was a little kid, living a block from him growing up.  In over 11 years of researching South Amboy’s past, Adam has provided me with his wealth of knowledge, past material and many pictures he has taken over the years. 

When I first started writing past Woodbridge for the Atom Tabloid it was new territory for me.  Adam e-mailed and sent snail mail to help me get started. His help will always be remembered by me.  

Adam was a former member of the South Amboy First Aid and Safety Squad, Inc. He once told me “I was in the Squad with your father Frank and brother Jamie. Frank and I answered a lot of calls together. Frank was one of the best and most knowledgeable member, I often wish I was an expert like him. I admire Frank very much for his long service to South Amboy as a dedicated police officer and volunteer Squad member.”

Adam has left SAFA with many memories with his expertise photography from events. He was also a contributor to the South Amboy Citizen newspaper, which the Atom Tabloid & Citizen-Gazette, has taken over.

 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 dianenorekharrison@juno.com   or send copies of your material to me c/o CMD Media, 1139 East Jersey St., Suite 503 , Elizabeth NJ, 07201.

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