January 28, 2022

Clara Barton Schoolhouse | Bordentown, New Jersey


The Clara Barton Schoolhouse 


Bordentown is a lovely town on the Delaware River which was critical during the Revolutionary War. 


The Clara Barton Schoolhouse in Bordentown, New Jersey was one of the first public schools in the state.


Clara Barton is most famous as a Civil War nurse and as the founder of the American Red Cross


But before all that, she taught school. 


The original schoolhouse was built in 1839. 


According to the Bordentown Historical Society


When Clara Barton began teaching in 1852, the building was described as “dilapidated” and repairs were undertaken at that time. On the first day she taught, she began with only 6 students. After a year, there were 600 students, and by 1853, a new eight room schoolhouse had been built in Bordentown to accommodate them. Thereafter, the original schoolhouse was unused for many years and by 1919, it was in a deteriorated state. It was purchased for $300 at a Sheriff’s Sale by a community minded couple, Mr. and Mrs. George Swift, so that it could be preserved. In September of 1920, they sold it to the President of the State Board of Education for $1 “in trust for and [o]n behalf of the Schoolchildren of the State of New Jersey and to be forever preserved as a memorial of Clara Barton, deceased.” 


photo of sign


Please read my post about historic The Little Red Schoolhouse in Florham Park. 


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January 24, 2022

Holsten's Brookdale Confectionary | Bloomfield, New Jersey

stools at counter

Holsten's Is A New Jersey Legend


Holsten’s ice cream parlor has been a legendary meeting spot in Bloomfield, New Jersey for over 75 years. 


They are famous for their homemade ice cream and candy. 


They also serve burgers and other classic American food. 


It still holds old-school charm in its d├ęcor. 


New Jerseyans have known about Holsten’s for many years. 


ice cream parlor
candy counter
stools at counter


Holsten's Becomes World Famous

But in 2007, Holsten’s suddenly became world famous. 


The producers of the HBO classic series, The Sopranos, decided to film the very last scene of the series at Holsten’s. 



  This is the very table where the scene was filmed: 



The Tony Soprano Table


When the star of The Sopranos, James Gandolfini, died several years ago, there was a special tribute to him.


The booth was "reserved" for "Tony Soprano" that night. No one sat at that table. 


Gandolfini was from New Jersey. 


James Gandolfini dead at 51: Holsten's Ice Cream Parlor reserves booth where 'Sopranos' filmed final scene  


It was even spoofed recently in a Trump-Russia opening skit on Saturday Night Live, since Trump and Michael Cohen have apparent mob connections: 




You can check out their website here: Holstens Brookdale Confectionery 


The restaurant is part of the Sopranos tours that are still going on many years after the show ended 


♪ Don't Stop Believin'♪


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January 21, 2022

Bellevue Avenue Branch of the Montclair Public Library | Upper Montclair, New Jersey


The Bellevue Avenue Branch Is A Carnegie Library


The Montclair Public Library - Bellevue Avenue Branch in Upper Montclair, New Jersey, USA is a Carnegie Library.


A Carnegie library is a library built with money donated by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie.


I took photos from the front, back, and the interior of the building.


Previously on the Montclair Public Library website:

The Bellevue Avenue Branch Library officially opened its doors on December 7, 1914, after fifteen years of using a rented room in the real estate office of John Mancini on Bellevue Avenue. This building, partially financed with a $40,000 grant from the Carnegie Corporation, endures with the same architectural design despite a major renovation nearly three decades ago. Designed by F.A. Nelson, the architect of the Upper Montclair Women’s Club, Post Office and other prominent buildings in town, the library is on the National Register of Historic Places. Many have called the branch building a gem—a treasure which celebrated its centennial in 2014.


Photos Of The Bellevue Avenue Branch


You can see in these photos how lovingly the Bellevue Avenue Branch Library was built and is being maintained:



There is a quote from Isaac Barrow above the door:


He that ever loveth a book will never want a faithful friend - a wholesome counsellor - a cheerful companion - an effectual comforter 



The back of the library:



The interior of the library: 


library interior
library interior


More Reading About Libraries


If you love libraries, I have written about the 125th Avenue of the New York Public Library and about the New York Library lions, Patience and Fortitude.


You can also read about Carnegie Libraries in New Jersey.


Thanks for visiting New Jersey Memories!

January 14, 2022

American Labor Museum and the Pietro and Maria Botto House | Haledon, New Jersey

Strike meeting at the Botto House 1913 by Mike Conner.

Home of the American Labor Museum


New Jersey was the home of many silk mills during the last century. 


It is now the home of the American Labor Museum.


Thousands of people were employed in those silk mills, under deplorable conditions. 


Long hours doing difficult and back-breaking work was the norm. Pietro and Maria Botto, immigrants from northern Italy, were two of those workers. 


So was their daughter.

Pietro and Maria Botto house in Haledon, New Jersey. Home of the American Labor Museum.

In 1913, the workers decided to go on strike. 


Over 25,000 of them walked out, shutting down the silk industry. 


They wanted an eight-hour day, among other demands. 

Pietro and Maria Botto House in Haledon, New Jersey


The workers were forbidden to strike in Paterson, so they moved over the town line to neighboring Haledon. 


Pietro and Maria had a modest house in Haledon, but the front balcony was perfect for giving speeches. At the time, there was much free space and lawns for large crowds to gather in front of the house. 


Soon labor leaders from around the country descended upon this home. Upton Sinclair, the author of The Jungle, a famous and muckraking novel of conditions in factories and mills, was one of the speakers. 


The Industrial Workers of the World (I.W.W.), better known as the “Wobblies”, also were there. They were considered the “outside agitators” of the strike. 


This is a wonderful and succinct video of the strikes: 



The Botto house is now an official National Historic Landmark and the American Labor Museum is located there.


Pietro and Maria Botto
The Dining Room


More About the American Labor Movement

 To see how the other half lived, you can check out my photos from 2014:  Lambert Castle Parts 1 and 2  

To read more about the silk strikes of 1913: Paterson Silk Strikes of 1913

If you are interested in reading books about labor, please read my reviews of Nickel and Dimed: On Not Getting By in America by Barbara Ehrenreich, and Punching In: The Unauthorized Adventures of a Front-Line Employee by Alex Frankel.  


Thanks for visiting New Jersey Memories!

January 07, 2022

Grovers Mill, The War of the Worlds Broadcast, and a unique Coffee House | West Windsor, New Jersey

Grovers Mill

Mischief Night


It was on October 30th, 1938 – Halloween Eve, also known as Mischief Night.


Part of the regularly scheduled Mercury Theater of the Air, the radio program aired a modernized play version of the H.G. Wells’ classic science-fiction novel, The War of the Worlds


It was delivered as if it was a regular broadcast interrupted by news bulletins. It was interspersed with occasional comments about it being an adaptation of a literary work.


Was It Real?


Listeners were advised that a large object had fallen on a farm in Grovers Mill, New Jersey, not far from Princeton. 


Startled listeners heard that 7,000 soldiers had been killed fighting alien invaders.


There were reports of people shooting at the water towers in the park.


Panic grew – at least in the East Coast. How much hysteria was caused nationwide is still a subject for debate. Newspapers wrote of widespread hysteria. 


It even made from the top of the front page of The New York Times!


Today it is considered highly unlikely that thousands of people around the country were really that frightened. 


Snopes considers it doubtful. But there were some people who were genuinely frightened.


It Happened In New Jersey?

The invasion was supposedly occurring in Grovers Mill, New Jersey, then a very rural part of West Windsor, New Jersey. 

This area near and around Princeton is an affluent and well educated area, and has grown exponentially since then. It is sometimes called Princeton Junction.


Grover's Mill barn


Martian Landing Site Monument

It is located in lovely Van Nest Park. 


You can read about it in Roadside America and Atlas Obscura.


Grover's Mill
Van Nest Park, West Windsor, New Jersey. The marker of the landing site of the 1938 alien invasion.
Van Nest Park, West Windsor, New Jersey. A closer look at the marker for the 1938 alien invasion.

Grover's Mill Coffee Shop


There's also a fun coffee place nearby: Grover's Mill Coffee House.


Yes, they use the apostrophe in the name. Most references to the area do NOT use the apostrophe. I have no idea why.


The Coffee House was profiled in a NJ.com article in 2015.


It is a very inclusive place, including an "All Species Bathroom" which you can see in the last photo.

Coffee House
Coffee House painting
alien sign
bathroom for aliens


It Is Part Of American Popular Culture


There have been several interesting documentaries about this event, including this one narrated by James Cameron:



You can also check out:


The Battle at Grover's Mill

Painting the Barn

War of the Worlds: When Martians Invaded New Jersey! 

Mars Attacks!  75 years ago, 'War of the Worlds' broadcast put nation in a panic

Historical Society of West Windsor


Check out these blog hops:

Friendship Friday on Create With Joy

Our World Tuesday:
Wordless Wednesday:

 Unlimited Link Party at Grammy's Grid:

Through My Lens

Thanks for visiting New Jersey Memories!

January 01, 2022

Henry Doremus House | Montville, New Jersey

historic house

The Henry Doremus House in Montville, New Jersey is a historical house made of Dutch Stone. 


George Washington and Alexander Hamilton stayed there from June 25-27, 1780. 


This was in the aftermath of the Battle of Springfield.



 historical house

historical house
historical house
historical house


Thanks for visiting New Jersey Memories!