Remembering the Past: Christmas Memories Of Sayreville & South Amboy

By Diane Norek Harrison

Merry Christmas! Here is my final installment of Christmas memories for 2009.

SAYREVILLE-In December of 1959, Charles Burkshot, president of the Sayreville Firemen’s Relief Association, announced that the monument at the corner of Main Street and MacArthur Avenue would be decorated for the holidays and a wreath will be placed at the monument in memory of the deceased firemen.


Remember when Christmas trees were sold at Mr. Dee’s hotdog cart location on Ernston Road and Johnsons Lane? How about ice skating at Dusk’s Nest? Remember sleigh riding down the high school hill and down the hills of the old clay pits?

SOUTH AMBOY-In December of 1944, Mollie’s Cocktail Lounge, which was at 276 Main Street, announced that it would be closed all day on Monday in the future. However, the lounge was open all day on Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.

This was in an e-mail from Bob Renna: “Diane, Your memories of the glass showcases at the corner of the corridors and the annual Christmas pageants at the now-closed St. Mary’s Grammar School in your Dec. 12, 2008 column brought back fond memories for me.

“These memories are from 1958 at St. Mary’s. I remember telling my father one Sunday evening that I had volunteered him some weeks before to construct a bench for the play and that it was due in the morning. It was supposed to be a three-seater, but he was only able to manage a small stool by dawn. Sr. Mary Clotilda, R.S.M. was not pleased.”

A life-long South Amboy resident remembers when the First Presbyterian Church on Broadway had Christmas music playing from the bells at noon and 6 p.m. when Rev. Newton was pastor of the church. I was told Christmas music is no longer played from this church’s bells.

If you have your own memories or information about the past from 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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