Remembering The Past: Elizabeth Memories

by Diane Norek Harrison

ELIZABETH-The following is from James D. Brewster II after finding my May 5, 2009 column online: “This is in response to a story written a couple of years. In the article the Halsey House was mentioned. It was in fact the house Admiral William F. Halsey was born in. However it was the Brewster house.

“My great-grandfather, James D. Brewster, moved the family from Kingston, Massachusetts to that house at 134 West Jersey St. in Elizabeth in the mid-1800s. He had 13 children, one of whom was Ann Masters Brewster, the admiral’s mother and my great aunt. As an adult she moved away. When she was pregnant with the admiral she headed back home where he was born in 1882. Then she left. In 1907, my father William M. Brewster was born there. He later inherited the house.

“All interior woodwork was black walnut. It was quite large, having over 20 rooms. In the late 1930s, my parents sold the house to the people who started Polly’s Elizabeth Inn.”

If you have your own memories of the past in Middlesex or Union counties, 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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