Remembering The Past: Elizabeth History

Remembering the Past by Diane Norek Harrisonby Diane Norek Harrison

ELIZABETH-The following is from Ray Homiski: “My wife and I have recently been looking up some Elizabeth NJ history for several reasons. One is that we found an old map on line that clearly shows a cemetery where we currently live that dates back to the 19th century when there was nothing here but farms and a few homes.

“The cemetery is called Mt. Olivet. I have found a map in Rutgers historic database that shows a cemetery called Mt. Olivet in the Elizabeth/Union NJ area. It is not the Mt. Olivet cemetery in Newark. This Mt. Olivet was in an area where I currently live off Magie Avenue in Elizabeth. In fact it looks like my home would be right where the cemetery is on the map. You can see it on the attached map in the upper left hand corner.

“Many of the street names on that map are different today and some are the same. Magie seems to be one of the oldest roads so it is consistent with many maps of the area. Today it is Magie Avenue but used to be called Magie Road named after a prominent person of this area. Just to the right of the cemetery there is a street called Conant, that is still there today but when it crosses Magie it turns into Shelley Avenue, my street. You will also see some familiar Elizabeth streets on this map like Morris Avenue, North Avenue and even Westfield Avenue (road). I also have an older second map with this same cemetery that is online also. There are no streets but the Magie Road is there.

“Now I have been unable to dig up any more information so far and I have been to City Hall, the court house and library. It seems that records that far back fall under Essex County as Union County was the last and newest county in NJ, there are no records before 1857. I have yet to trek to Essex County to search even further but hope to soon. This area was called Elizabethtown and included many other towns we now know that surround Elizabeth, I thought this might interest you.”

Here is the link to that map on the Rutgers site:

If you have your own memories or past material for any town in Middlesex or Union counties, please 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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