Gallery Talk: Mahwah’s Herstory

Gallery Talk: Mahwah’s Herstory: The Changing Roles of Women in Mahwah’s History

Presented by Cathy Moran-Hajo

 On Sunday, March 12 at 1:15 p.m., Cathy Moran-Hajo, archive director of the Mahwah Museum will present a gallery talk about the changing roles of women in Mahwah’s History. The talk will take place in the upstairs gallery of the Mahwah Museum.  Seating is limited; advance reservations are recommended.  To reserve, email gallerytalks@mahwahmuseum.org or call 201-512-0099.  Gallery Talks are free with Museum admission.

This gallery talk will be an extension of one of the Mahwah Museums current exhibits, Mahwah’s Herstory: The Changing Roles of Women in Mahwah’s History. The talk will examine the roles of women in Mahwah’s history. Cathy will highlight women’s activities, including pioneering and farming, changing roles in the workforce, and women’s accomplishments in the arts, in charitable organizations, and in social reforms.

The Mahwah Museum is located at 201 Franklin Turnpike, Mahwah.  Museum hours are weekends and Wednesdays from 1-4 pm.  Current exhibits at the Mahwah Museum include: Medicine in Mahwah and Mahwah’s Herstory: The Changing Roles of Women in Mahwah’s History.  Permanent exhibits are: Les Paul in Mahwah and The Donald Cooper Model Railroad, which is open weekends 1-4 pm.   Admission to the Museum is $5 for non-members, members and children are free.  Visit mahwahmuseum.org or call 201-512-0099 for information on events, membership and volunteering.

 The Mahwah Museum receives operating support from NJ Historical Commission, Department of State.

 

Lecture: Cragmere in the Ramapos

 Lecture: Cragmere in the Ramapos

2012-09-001-007a-cragmere-lake

On Thursday, April 13, 2016  at 7:30 p.m. Tom Dunn, will present a lecture detailing the History of the Cragmere section of Mahwah. Part of the Mahwah Museum Lecture Series, the lecture will take place at the Ramapo Reformed Church, 100 Island Rd., Mahwah.  Admission is $3, free for museum members.  Contact programs@mahwahmuseum.org for reservations or call 201-512-0099.  Refreshments will be served afterwards.

Tom Dunn has been chronicling the history of the Cragmere section of Mahwah since 1974. Wonderful houses, interesting people and community spirit are all parts of the story of Cragmere. It all began in 1909, when  George Dunlop began a unique, suburban community on a hillside near the railroad station in Mahwah. This lecture has been popular in the past, but there is always something new to learn.

This lecture is hosted by Mahwah Museum, located at 201 Franklin Turnpike.  The Museum is currently featuring the new exhibits Mahwahs Herstory: The changing roles of women in Mahwah’s history, and Medicine in Mahwah. Permanent exhibits are Les Paul in Mahwah and The Donald Cooper Model Railroad, which is open weekends 1-4 pm.   The Museum is open weekends and Wednesdays from 1-4 pm.; admission $5 for non-members, members and children are free.

Gallery Talk- Joyce Kilmer: The War Years

Gallery Talk

Joyce Kilmer: The War Years

On Sunday April 9, 2017  at 1:15 p.m. Tetsu and Linda Amagasu, Trustees of the Mahwah Museum, will present a gallery talk about the local author Joyce Kilmer’s time spent fighting in World War I with the “Fighting 69th”. This Talk will take place in the upstairs gallery of the Mahwah Museum. Seating is limited; advanced reservations are recommended. To reserve, email gallerytalks@mahwahmuseum.org or call 201.512.0099. Gallery talks are free with museum admission.

Although he was not obligated for service in WWI Joyce Kilmer nonetheless enlisted. Though eligible for commission as an office and often recommended for such posts, he refused any rank above sergeant. Tetsu and Linda will cover these questions as well as his regiment and dedication, his duties and life on the war front, his last mission and death in France on July 30, 1918 as well as some poems he wrote during the war such as “Rouge Bouquet.”

“There is on earth no worthier grave To hold the bodies of the brave Than this place of pain and pride Where they nobly fought and nobly died.”- Joyce Kilmer. Rouge Bouquet.

The Mahwah Museum is located at 201 Franklin Turnpike, Mahwah NJ 07430. Museum hours are weekends and Wednesdays from 1-4 pm. Current exhibits at the Mahwah Museum include” Medicine in Mahwah and Mahwah’s Herstory: The Changing Roles of Women in Mahwah’s History. Permanent exhibits are: Les Paul in Mahwah and The Donald Cooper Model Railroad, which is open weekends only from 1-4 pm. Admission to the Museum, is $5 for non-members, members and children are free. Visit www.mahwahmuseum.org or call 201.512.0099 for information on events, membership and volunteering.

Exhibits at the Mahwah Museum

Exhibits at
The
Mahwah Museum

One new exhibit examines the roles of women in Mahwah’s history, starting with its first settler, Blandina Bayard, and continuing through to 1960. It highlights women’s activities, including pioneering and farming, changing roles in the workforce, and women’s accomplishments in the arts, in charitable organizations, and in social reforms.

Our second new exhibit highlights the history of medicine in Mahwah. Iit examines the growth and development of the medical field with highlights on Mahwah’s practitioners, their methods and instruments throughout various periods.

World War I Centennial Bazaar

SAVE THE DATE
Saturday, May 20, 2017
World War I Centennial Bazaar


Sponsored by the NW Bergen History Coalition

On The Grounds of The Hermitage, 11am to 5 pm
Plan to join us as we step back to a momentous time in our history – the entrance of America into World War I- at our Centennial Bazaar on the beautiful grounds of The Hermitage in Ho-Ho-Kus. It will be an event you don’t want to miss!

Highlights of the Day Include:

PERFORMANCES BY:

Woodrow Wilson from the American History Theater-Joyce Kilmer Society of Mahwah-Waldwick Band-Centennial Flag folding ceremony by Saving Hallowed Ground- Ramapo College Canta Nova Chorale-Suffragist Harriet Stanton Blatch- World War I Color Guard stopping by on their way to Camp Merritt

ACTIVITIES FOR YOUNG AND OLD:

Games- Clowns-a Fortune Teller-WWI Era Food- Vintage Cars-Vintage Music-WWI Uniform Displays-Afternoon Tea on the Porch of The Hermitage-Clothing from the Early 20th Century-Local Musical Groups

BOOTHS & DEMONSTRATIONS:

National Guard Military Museum of NJ-War Gardens, Hermitage Gardeners-Lace Making-World War I Knitting-Suffrage Movement-Ridgewood League of Women Voters-Rutherford World War I Centennial Committee

IN THE HERMITAGE’S JACQUA HALL:

Displays by Coalition members of World War I artifacts from their collections as well as by organizations that were part of the WWI effort, such as the American Red Cross, the Boy Scouts and the Girl Scouts, the VFW and more.

Corporate Sponsors & Volunteers for the Day are Welcome:

We are soliciting Corporate Sponsors. Your names will be in a brochure to be handed out and on signage that day. Volunteers are also needed. To become a sponsor or a volunteer, please contact Sheila Brogan at 201-652-7354.

Sponsoring NE Bergen Coalition Museums:

The Hermitage, Ho-Ho-Kus; The Mahwah Museum, Mahwah; The John Fell House, Allendale; The Schoolhouse Museum, Ridgewood; Waldwick Signal Tower, Waldwick; Hopper-Goetschius House Museum, Upper Saddle River; The Museum at the Station, Glen Rock; The Zabriskie House, Wyckoff; Van Allen House, Oakland; Waldwick Museum of Local History, Waldwick; The Old Stone House, Ramsey.

Any Youngs, Hagermans, Bodines out there?

Any Youngs, Hagermans, Bodines out there?
The Mahwah Museum archives are processing a large collection of photographs from the Martha Young Kuklinski Collection which document the lives of J. Frank Young (1905-1960) and Henrietta Morriss Young (1909-1984) and their families, ranging 1910-1940s. There are also some older historical family photographs. Henrietta Morriss’ mother was Bessie Hagerman and she lived with Andrew Hagerman. The photos from this branch of the family are fairly well labeled. The photographs of the Youngs, who came from Tallman, often have no labels at all. J. Frank Young’s mother was Anne Jane Bodine and his father was John Franklin Young. His siblings were Alta, Freda, and John Young. If you can help up put names to faces, it would make this collection much more useful to researchers.
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Inventors: Edward Gorcyca

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(www.jeffpolston.com)

Edward Gorcyca, of West Mahwah, was another one of those inventors from American Brakeshoe.  He was born in 1923 and served in the Navy from 1943-1945.  He died in 1996 in San Diego, California.

I don’t know too much about Ed’s life or background.  He was the second son of Myron (or Marion) and Anna Gorcyca who came to the U.S. from Poland in 1906.  In 1940 Myron was a coremaker at American Brakeshoe and, according to an oral history taken in 1975 with his daughter, Jenny (who married Larry Nyland, one of our Mayors) the family also had a subsistence farm on Church Street.  His brothers Ben and John were proteges of John Warhol and John was influential in persuading John to attend the University of Maryland.  Ben was the long time chairman of the Board of Adjustment and John ran for the office of tax collector.

One of Gorcyca's patents.

One of Gorcyca’s patents.

Between 1954 and 1965, Ed’s name appeared on five patents that were assigned to American Brakeshoe.  They all related to improvement of journal boxes, which contained oiled packing materials to lubricate the bearings of railroad wheels.  The picture shows a railroad employee inspecting the journal box on a wheel to make sure the packing was properly in place, because if it failed, the wheel bearings would burn out causing a “hotbox.”  Until 1961, the primary inventor was a man named Llewellyn Hoyer, with Ed as a co-inventor.  But the last two were in Ed’s name alone: for a clip to make keep the packing in place and a new dust guard that was easier to remove without disconnecting the entire journal box.

Inventors: The Havemeyers

Theodore Havermeyer (Suzanne Meyer Stein Collection, Mahwah Museum)

Theodore Havemeyer (Suzanne Meyer Stein Collection, Mahwah Museum)

Three generations of Havemeyers were inventors.  As you know, Theodore A. Havemeyer came to Mahwah in 1879 and established Mountain Side Farm, much of which is Ramapo College.  He died in 1897.  Although Theodore had nine children only his sons, Henry O. Havemeyer and Frederick C. Havemeyer, continued a presence in Mahwah.  Henry O. Havemeyer died in 1965 but his son, Henry O. Havemeyer, Jr. continued to live here until his death in 1992.  The house in which Henry Jr. lived became the home of the President of Ramapo College.  Theodore, Henry O., and Henry O., Jr. were all inventors.

 

Theodore Havermeyer's Sugar Mold Carriage patent

Theodore Havemeyer’s Sugar Mold Carriage patent

Theodore A. Havemeyer, born in 1839, had only a grammar school education but joined the family sugar business as a partner in 1861.  He was the technological expert in the family and an early age had spent a year in Europe studying the sugar refining process.  In 1862 he and a man named Schnitzpan patented a new and improved carriage for sugar molds.  He was a partner in Havemeyers & Elder, which was an integral part of the Sugar Trust.    In his later years in Mahwah he was a patron of many agricultural and scientific societies that were advancing the technology of agriculture.  He was on the forefront of ensilage– to generate feed for his cows—the breeding of cows to improve milk production, and the breeding of fantail pigeons for show.

 

Henry O. Havermeyer (On loan from the Mahwah Library)

Henry O. Havemeyer (On loan from the Mahwah Library)

Theodore Havemeyer’s son, Henry O. Havemeyer, dropped out of Yale in 1897 after the death of his father and became an apprentice at the family sugar business.  He returned to Yale and graduated as a proud member of the Class of 1900.   The Ramsey Journal reported in 1906 that he had gotten a speeding ticket in his newfangled automobile. So it is appropriate that he was the inventor of a license plate holder that could be flipped over so that it had the plate of one state on one side and the plate of another state on the reverse.  Henry O. Havemeyer was not merely a playboy, however.  He was the president of the Eastern District Terminal in Brooklyn which had been spun off from the family’s sugar business. He became an officer and later the long time president of the Eastern District Terminal.  The Eastern District Terminal was the gateway for all railroads coming from the west and seeking to be in Brooklyn or Long Island.  It was also the only way in which refined and packaged sugar could get from the Domino refinery in Brooklyn to the west.   They had to come through these yards and be moved by small locomotives like these.  It would be up to Henry O. Havemeyer, Jr. – who also worked for the company – to make some important advances.

Havermeyer House (Courtesy Dater Family Archives)

Havemeyer House (Courtesy Dater Family Archives)

There were no tunnels under the Hudson River so railroad cars were barged or lightered over from the yards of Jersey City, Bayonne or Hoboken, to the Eastern District Terminal and then transferred to the industries or railroads in Brooklyn.   To get one or more railroad cars across the river, there was a floating bridge connected to the tracks on the shore.  The barge connected to the water side of the bridge.  There were tracks on the barge to accept the car being transported.  You can imagine how difficult it must have been to transfer a fully loaded railroad car from tracks on the bridge to the tracks on the  rolling barge.  There were constant mishaps and derailments.  The invention of Henry O. Havemeyer, Jr., filed in 1925 when he was 22 years old, improves on the way that the rails on the bridge and barge could be aligned to make derailments rare.  Henry O. Havemeyer, Jr. lived in the house we today call the Havemeyer House and had a number of other inventions to improve railroad transportation.

Inventors: Fitzwilliam Sargent (1859-1939)

Fitzwilliam Sargent

Fitzwilliam Sargent

Fitzwilliam Sargent was called the “father of brake-shoe engineering” and he obtained multiple patents for improvement of railroad brake shoes. He was born in 1859 in Philadelphia and attended Lehigh University where he graduated in 1879 with a Civil Engineering degree. He came to Mahwah (then Hohokus Township) in 1902 as the chief engineer of the American Brake Shoe and Foundry Company.

After joining American Brake Shoe, he built a large home on 5 acres off Olney Road. The house had all the latest improvements of the day, including electric lights and steam heat.

In 1935 the Board of Directors of American Brakeshoe built an up-to-date testing facility to keep up with the progress of the railroad industry.  The building was named the F.W. Sargent Laboratory Building and from the opening of the building to the date of his death at the age of 80 he went to work as often as possible.  The picture below shows his first invention, which he had done before he came to Brakeshoe, of a machine for testing brakeshoes.  During his career, he had many patents relating to the improvement of brakeshoes.  His last patent was issued to him in 1934 at age 75.    The invention created a system of reinforcing a brake shoe so that, if the body of the shoe broke, it could continue in service and not need to be replaced as quickly.


Photos from Fitzwilliam Sargent Greene, `A Tribute to the Life of Fitzwilliam Sargent” (Mahwah Museum Library, 2013.17.072)

Inventors: Howard S. Avery

Howard S. Avery at American Brakeshoe

Howard S. Avery at American Brakeshoe

Between 1949 and 1982 he was granted at least 10 patents for metallurgy, welding rods and railroad track improvements that were assigned to American Brakeshoe. One of his primary focuses early on was in creating an alloy for a heat resistant manganese steel and then in figuring out how to make it machinable so that it could be used in Brakeshoe Products. His experiments on welding rods led to improvements in the ultimate weld. He was a recycler because one of his inventions was to take industrial scrap, containing sintered tungsten carbide and then converting it into tungsten oxide which, in turn would allow the recovery of tungsten metal.

Mr. Avery was a very active member of the Mahwah Community. He was the president of the Board of Education when the high school was designed and the papers he has given to the Museum reflect his disciplined, thorough and rapier sharp mind. He was a long time Scout leader and he has given us rare Scouting magazines, Troop 50 records, a detail for a few years of the proceeds of the Boy Scout Paper Drive that ultimately led to the recycling center. He was the head of civil defense which was an outgrowth of his interest in amateur radio which he developed at Virginia Tech. His Virginia Tech experience in the rifle club carried over to Mahwah where he tutored people like John Edwards in riflery.

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Diagram of Welding ____

In 1979 when the renovation of the high school was up for referendum, it was snowing hard. One of his neighbors called me and said that Mr. and Mrs. Avery wanted to vote, but were reluctant to go out. So I drove them to the polls. They were 2 of the 69 votes that provided the margin of victory.

Mrs. Avery died in 1985 at age 80 and Howard died in 1996 at age 90. He has given the Museum 25 boxes of materials about his life and interests in Mahwah. He also gave a large collection of his technical papers to Virginia Tech. That collection, incidentally, contains some folders with personal papers, particularly about scouting.


Images from the American Brakeshoe Collection, Mahwah Museum.

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