Winter Sledding & Elizabeth Trolleys

pastby Diane Norek Harrison

ELIZABETH-This came in a letter from Marilyn Thorne: “Dear Ms. Harrison, I’ve been enjoying reading ‘Remembering The Past’ in the Clark Patriot for some time now. Here’s a fond memory of mine of winter days when I grew up in the Elmora section of Elizabeth.

“Near our street was Wyoming Avenue-a long hilly street about four blocks in length. Whenever we had a significant snow fall (which seems to have been much more often than now) the police would barricade the side entrances to Wyoming Avenue, creating a virtual paradise of sledding fun! We’d head up there as soon as school closed and sled down that hilly street until we all were too cold to go on! What fun it was and what a great memory!”

Thank you Mrs. Thorpe for sharing your great memory in my column!


A piece of Clark Fire Department’s apparatus at a fire scene in Perth Amboy in July 1980. Photo by Diane Norek Harrison

A piece of Clark Fire Department’s apparatus at a fire scene in Perth Amboy in July 1980. Photo by Diane Norek Harrison

More memories from Mr. Frolich:

“Here are some of the things I remember about life in the good old days, when you could travel all over Elizabeth in trolley cars, and if you waited long enough at the corner, the one you wanted finally showed up. It was years before I found out that they ran on some sort of schedule. The cars ran on rails set in the middle of the streets, and the then-fewer automobiles had to stop if the trolley did, to let passengers on and off. When the car stopped, the doors opened, and a little step unfolded below the doorway, making it easier to get on board.

“There was another trolley car that started its run at the Elizabeth/Union city line on Morris Avenue and went up to Summit. This was a big brown car that started in the street, but after only a very short distance, the rails turned off the street and went through the woods that bordered the edge of the Green Lane Farm. It did not return to Morris Avenue until what is now the parkway crossing. The rails were removed long ago, but the path through the woods can still be seen where it crossed North Avenue, near Rizzuto Park, and Kean University, once the Green Lane Farm.

“There used to be a spot on the Elizabeth River after it passes under Morris Avenue that was known as ‘Dravises’ Pool’ where there was boathouse and a diving board for swimmers. A dam just up-river from Westfield Avenue held back just enough water for diving and swimming, but as the years went by, the water became too contaminated for such activity. Finally, a couple of sticks of dynamite shattered the dam, and that was that.”

I will have more memories from Mr. Frolich in an upcoming column. Do you have similar memories of Rahway, Clark or Linden? I’m hoping to hear more from readers!

If you have your own memories or past material for Clark, Elizabeth, Linden or Rahway you can email me c/o 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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