Remembering The Past: The Past Around Union County

By Diane Norek Harrison

This is an accumulation of some of my research from around Union County.

CLARK-On Sept. 16 and 17, 1989, Clark celebrated their 125th Anniversary. On Sept. 16 a Farmers Hall Dance was held in the Brewer School Auditorium with refreshments and door prizes. Entertainment was by The Farmer Boys.
A gala parade was held on Sept. 17 at 1 p.m. from Broadway to Westfield Avenue. It was full of bands and floats. An old fashion country fair was at Arthur L. Johnson High School. There were games, amusements, food, hot air balloons, antique cars, a 1864 re-enactment and fireworks.


The committee for these events were: Jane Bora, John Cahill, Joan Chapin, Lt. Denis Connell, Kathleen Cunningham, Marlene Deara, Jean Decker, Jeffrey DePazza, Janice DiGiorgiio, Jerry Fewkes, Laurie Flood, Barbara Gallagher, Ray Grimes, Bernard Hayden, George Hoer, John Kristof, Lillian Krov, Robert Lapidus, Thomas Lechner, Mike Mikus, Angelo Parente, Rose Reilly, George Robinson, Helen Rokosny, Joseph Rybak, William Sangiuliano, Marietta Schott, Brian Toal, Bobbie Tornroth, Hans Weilandt, James Whalen, Dorothy Wilkinson, Mayor Bernard Yarusavage, Christine Yelenovsky and Sandy Yelenovsky.

ELIZABETH-Some long ago businesses: B & G Garage, Carteret Arm Club, E/Port Service Station,  The Franklin Beauty School at 121 Broad St. and the Senior School at 1206 E. Grand Street were established in 1926. The Gavel Restaurant, Herb’s Grocery Store, Johnston Brothers, Inc. at 259 Broad Street, Lombard Bros, Inc., Metal Litho, Skyline Lounge; North Ave. with S. Edward Hauser as the owner, Solomon’s Sport Shop “The Store for Sports” at 1171 Elizabeth Avenue, Schutz’s, Vernon’s Bookbinding, and Wilson Jones Co. In 1915, Wiggins Soda and Lunch Service was in the Elizabeth Pharmacy on Broad Street; The Meccano Co., Inc. in the 1920s.

I do not have the year on this, but check out the prices. A bankruptcy sale was held at 73 Broad Street, across from the National State Bank. Everything was sold at half price. Men’s suits were $2.95, boy’s suits, $1.25 and boy’s pants were 25 cents.

Remember the St. Rocco’s Italian Festivals in the old days? In 1800, women first voted in Elizabethtown. On March 19,1857, Union County was established with its seat in Elizabeth. In 1928, The Port Authority opened the Goethals Bridge at Elizabeth.

LINDEN-Once had: Caruso Liquor Store, Chantilly Salon, House of Records, Jennie Klein, Inc.; manufacturers of school uniforms at 712 commerce Rd., Schoenberg Candy and Tobacco Co, Transco Energy Corp. and Lawrence Engineering & Research Corp.

Playing at the New Plaza Theatre on Sept. 19, 1970 was “Getting Straight” and “Me Natalie.”

RAHWAY-Some old businesses: In 1882 were: Ayres and Lufebery, steam saw-mill, and lumber yard, D.B. Dunhan’s carriage manufactory, Gordon Printing Press Works, Hetfield and Jackson manufacturers of light carriages, sulkies, etc. began on Seminary St. in 1865, Houseman & McManus firm was established in 172 on Seminary St., Merchant’s and Drover’s Tavern, Rahway National Bank was chartered in 1828 and was the successor to the Farmers and Mechanics Bank and Rahway Wheel, Spoke and Spring Works.

From other years: Astor Tool and Dye Co., Evan Cappone Fashion Designers, Hubbard’s Cupboard, Nick Marciano Builders, Quinn and Boden Bookbinding Co., Quinton Co. and Rahway Pottery Works.

ROSELLE-Here are some old businesses- Dragon Restaurant on Raritan Rd., Lumber Reserve Supply Co. in West First Ave., New Locust Inn on Westfield Avenue, Smokador Products and Van Court Inn.

If you would like to see my column continue, I need some new contributors to show there is an interest. After Sept. 4, my column will only be printed with readers’ memories or past material since my own material is shrinking. Start sending you memories or past material for any of the towns listed below.

It is never too early to send your Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas or winter memories for end of the year columns. All memories or past material must be from around the towns, schools, houses of worship, organizations, etc.

If you have your own memories or past material for Clark, Elizabeth, Linden, Rahway or Roselle 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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