Remembering The Past: Highland Park Winter Memories

by Diane Norek Harrison

HIGHLAND PARK-Memories of the 1930s and 1940s from a former resident: “I remember sleigh riding down the hill at Foxes Farm, which was across the Raritan River, near the bridge from Edison to New Brunswick.”

Another former resident has memories from the 1960s: “Everybody and I mean everybody in Highland Park went sleigh riding and ice skating in Donaldson Park. At the bottom of South 2nd and South 3rd avenues as you are going into the park, there is a big hill between those two streets. It wasn’t super big, but when you are under 12 years old, it seemed big. That’s where everyone went sledding, except Santa. He went wherever he wanted.

“Going left in the park, by the river, there was and still is a boat ramp. Near the ramp is a pond about 50 square yards. The water is no more than 3 feet deep. This is where everyone ice skated.

“There are 2 ponds in Johnson Park off of River Road. Sometimes people went there, but the ponds were not nearly as big as the one in Donaldson Park, nor as fun. Unfortunately, many years ago Highland Park passed an ordinance prohibiting sledding at Donaldson Park.”

My thanks to all who contributed to my column in 2011 and hope to hear much more from readers in 2012. Happy New Year!

If you have your own memories of the past in Middlesex or Union counties, email me at or send copies of your past material to me c/o CMD Media, 1139 East Jersey St., Suite 503, Elizabeth NJ, 07201

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