NJ Classics Notecards
At the upper end of the Morristown Green, Speedwell Avenue leads out of town to the Five Corners at Morris Plains. Not long after this picture was taken, an electric trolley was placed in service. As horses and wagons were still common, there were no traffic signs or signals at Morristown's busiest intersection. The light in the center of the street is, in fact, just a streetlamp. On the left is the Carson building, the town's first modern retail complex. Carson's Dry Goods and several other shopkeepers attended to customers at the ground level; on the upper floors were offices for lawyers and organizations such as "The Order of the Red Men." The building was owned by the McAlpin brothers and was torn down after WWII to make way for a more modern store built by Bamberger's (now Century 21). On the opposite corner is the old Town Hall, with the main fire station just beyond it. Partly hidden behind the bushes is the Fountain donated by D. Willis James in 1907 which offered refreshments for horses on one side, and dogs on the other. It still stands near here, although it has been damaged by skateboarders.
|2||Morristown's Business Center|
Traffic laws were not as finely developed in 1910 as they are today. Cars are parked facing in both directions, and keeping to the right was also apparently optional. The stationery store of Mr. G. M. Lamberts, publisher of this extraordinary series of hand-colored postcards, is on the far left, on the ground floor of the building with the peaked roof. The next is Day's restaurant, long famous for desserts, and where Mr. Hershey began his career in the chocolate business. To its right was the First National Bank of Morristown, still standing as part of Epstein's department store until February 2007, when it was demolished. The Babbitt Building in the distance was mostly lawyers' offices; the First Morris Bank now occupies this highly visible site.
|3||North Side of Square|
Only a handful of the buildings shown here still stand. The United States Hotel, at the right, made way for a large art-deco office building. Next up the street, (under the first awning) was a tiny tobacconist's shop. Next door stood the Stern family's hardware and sporting goods store. The post office was next door. The long brick building was a warren of tradesmen, retailers, and "slop-shops." All have been replaced by not-very-interesting brick and steel commercial structures. In the distance is the Babbitt Building, noted above, and to its right is the Parker building (still standing). Of special interest to its right is the Hoffman Building, which was the original site of the Arnold Tavern, Washington's Headquarters for the winter of 1777. In 1885, the old tavern was dragged by a team of twelve oxen down Mount Kemble Avenue where it served as a hospital until it burned to the ground in 1918.
|4||Williams Residence on Miller Road|
Still known as "The Moorings," this handsome home was built by Jacob Miller and originally stood on Macculloch Avenue. When the family farm was parcelled out, the house was moved to its present site and substantially modified. Its owner in 1910 was John Camp Williams, a prominent Civil War veteran and antiquarian book collector. His daughter, Lois Williams was a well-known painter, and her works are still to be found around Morristown. Two large works are in the lobby of the Morristown Memorial Hospital, and another, depicting Morristown's first schoolhouse, is at the Morristown High School. A portrait of Jean Elizabeth Lee, signed and dated 1946, was completed in the studio behind the house. In the 1960s, the property was owned by Bradbury K. Thurlow, a prominent investment advisor. During that period, noted artist Margery Ryerson painted portraits for the local gentry, mostly of their children.
This side of South Street is virtually unchanged since the day this picture was taken. Even the ironwork attached to the Iron Bank is still present.
J. O. H. Pitney Residence
I'm not sure, but I think he married one Ballantine daughter and Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen's grandfather married the other. By the way, Superman's great-grandfather was Mahlon Pitney (Christopher Reeve's mother's mother was Mahlon's daughter).