Century-Old Book Offers Glimpse Of City’s Past

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An engraving of First Presbyterian Church (circa 1840), originally from Hestfield’s History of Elizabeth, is included in “The City of Elizabeth, New Jersey, Illustrated.”

An engraving of First Presbyterian Church (circa 1840), originally from Hestfield’s History of Elizabeth, is included in “The City of Elizabeth, New Jersey, Illustrated.”

ELIZABETH – In 1889, the City of Elizabeth featured “collections of beautiful residences surrounded by spacious grounds, shaded by maples, elms and other richly foliaged trees…. Well-clipped lawns, graveled walks beds of richly blooming flowers and foliage plants, gardens that form not only a pleasant sight in themselves… but supply the tables with fresh, crisp vegetables, such as cannot be found in any market in the world.”

At least according to “The City of Elizabeth, New Jersey, Illustrated,” a book published by the Elizabeth Daily Journal. The Internet Archive has scanned a copy of the more than 120-year-old book from the Cornell University Library’s collection and made it available online in a variety of formats, including ones that can be read by Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-book readers.

The book includes sections on Elizabeth’s early history, as well as discussions of “current” businesses, schools, and other institutions. As you might expect from the book’s title, there are many drawings and photos to illustrate the city’s past.

There are even pages of advertising, including one for John Keron & Son’s Boarding and Livery Stables, located at 279, 281 & 283 Morris Avenue, telephone call 63A. It was open all night and offered coaches to let. Other ads, such as those placed by painters, masons or real estate and insurance agents, would not seem so out of place in a current publication – except for the phone numbers, which were only three digits if they are present at all.

 

 


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