Remembering The Past: Potpourri From Around Middlesex County

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Remembering the Past by Diane Norek Harrisonby Diane Norek Harrison

A while back I asked readers if they knew of any building around the area that still had an old time business name or other past information on them. I heard of a few from readers. Here are some of my own finds:

Madura’s Pharmacy on Broadway in South Amboy has 1929 etched on top of the building with a cement wreath around it.

I recently came across “1925 Stein Building” etched in a still beautiful brick building on Raritan Avenue in Highland Park.

If anyone has more on this subject to share on any building in Middlesex or Union counties please let me know for my column.

In the 1940 United States Census, I was surprised to see the Great Beds Lighthouse Station listed under South Amboy. The information on the form reads as follows: Thomas Walker, age 41, from Rhode Island and Lily R. as his wife, age 43, from Massachusetts. The last name could be Wahler, as it is hard to read on the form.

Also, the 1940 Census for Sayreville listed “Crab Island.” I asked around and was told it was a little spit of land across from the Jersey Central Power & Light building in the South River.

I was told that where Jack’s Hardware is now on Raritan Avenue in Highland Park was once an A&P in the older days when a Mr. Haggerty ran the store. Montgomery Apartments, which were on Montgomery Street off of North Second Avenue, were once run by Frank Reff.

Have your own little tidbits or some potpourri of different towns in Middlesex or Union counties? I’d love to hear them to be included in my column!

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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