History Buff

In 1939 the New Jersey Federal Writers' Project published a comprehensive guide to the entire state of New Jersey. The book is a treasure trove of historic highlights from that year and is a must-read for history buffs. In the 1939 book, big cities and towns like Newark, Hackensack and New Brunswick get long detailed chapters including maps and other features. Garwood (being a little guy) first appears on page 547 in a detailed tour of Central-Rail-Road-of-New-Jersey-towns heading west out of Elizabeth on State Road 28. The post reads:

GARWOOD- 1939, (90 alt., 3,344 population) manufactures rubber goods, aluminum products, oils, water heaters, asbestos packing, iron pipe novelties, electric motors, and pencil vending machines.  UNAMI PARK, equipped with picnic fireplaces, is as the southern end of the town. It is name for the Unami clan of Indians.

A short and sweet look at the Industrial Center of Union County in 1939.

In 1979 a new revised version was released entitled: New Jersey, A Guide to Its Present and Past. In it, Garwood is listed in the index on the wrong page. It says Garwood appears on page 541, alas it is on 531 (in case you ever try and find this obscure guide). The post in the 1979 version goes more in depth than its 1939 counterpart. It reads:

GARWOOD- 1979, (Borough) 5,260 population 1970; 5,426 population 1960 a decline of 3.1%. Garwood, just a few blocks in length (0,70 square miles in its entirety), is an industrial town with many factories located in old style buildings along the railroad tracks. Metal goods, machine tools, plastics, iron products, are among its manufactures. NJ 28 now North Avenue passes on the left the Garfield (I assume they mean Garwood) Railroad Station. In the block behind this on Center Street are the Borough Hall, Police and Fire Headquarters. A block farther back at Center Street and Myrtle Avenue is the Educational Building of ST. PAUL'S CHURCH. This is housed in the first school house building in the area., built in the early part of the century. On North Avenue are three other buildings constructed in the early 1900's; still in use. A gypsum office is in the AEOLIAN BUILDING, an important industrial structure; the OAKLAND HOUSE, 358 North Avenue is a restaurant and hotel. MOONEY'S HOTEL, now a factory, 315 North Avenue., was a rooming house used by single men working in nearby factories. At the southern end of town is UNAMI PARK, 36 acres bordering on Garwood, Cranford and Westfield. It is named for the Unami Clan of Indians. A neighborhood park used mainly by residents, it provides playing fields and picnic areas. 

No comments:

Post a Comment