Remembering the Past: Fords Memories

 pastby Diane Norek Harrison

WOODBRIDGE-Here are a few memories from Jim Kacmarsky, in response to my Feb. 6 column on the Perth Amboy and Woodbridge clay pits.  

“I grew up in Fords section of Woodbridge, and the clay pits were part of my life. They were at the end of my street (Carlton Street) in Fords. There were many ponds, where I used to catch sunfish and frogs. The main pond was called ‘Catfish Pond’, although I never caught any catfish in it. There were also lots of ponds with green water, that we called ‘acid ponds.’ No life in them – probably toxic waste. There was a ‘No Trespassing’ sign outside with ‘Mc House Clay Company’ on it, and also a US Government Reservation – ‘Keep Out’ sign outside the woods. Last time I visited, there is now a highway through the whole place.

“The clay pits that were in Woodbridge is now a mall.

“I was born in Perth Amboy in 1955. My mother was from Fords. My parents were married in 1953 at Our Lady of Peace Church in Fords. I attended Our Lady of Peace School until the sixth grade. The main memory of O. L. P. was one of my classmates, Rob Hedges, who ended up playing Juan Epstein on Welcome Back Kotter.”

Thank you Jim!

Here are a few past businesses of Fords from 1953 from material given to me for my column: Major Plumbing and Heating, Middlesex Trucking, Peter’s Iron and Steel Co., Phoenix Builders, Albert Quadt Real Estate and Insurance and Seaboard Refrigeration. Amboy Avenue- Price’s Gulf, Shorty’s Bar & Grill Stern’s Sunoco. New Brunswick Avenue- Metzger Bros. Dry Goods, Meyer’s Café, M. S. McGrath; garage equipment, N.J. Music Center, Puhan Pharmacy, Royal Bake Shop, Sam’s Bar & Grill, Westlake’s Service Station and Woodbridge Monument Works. King Georges Road – Helen Maciolek Beauty Shop, S. Martiak Confectioner, Straub Confectionery and Windsor-Fifth Avenue, Inc. On Lincoln was Simon’s Quality Meat.

Have your own memories for any section of Woodbridge? What do you remember?

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 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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