This unattributed article was first published in “The Old Station Timetable” in Fall 1987.
Following his retirement from office in 1857, N.J. Governor Rodman Price and his family moved to Mahwah in 1862 and established a dairy farm, “Hazelwood on the Ramapo.” Price became so involved in farm machinery and the ensilage system of feeding cows that the American Agriculture and Dairy Association called him a leading agriculturist. In 1866, he owned 250 acres, which later increased to 400. Hazelwood was one of the earlier large estates in the Ramapo Valley, noted for its beautiful gardens and European art and furnishings. Price remodeled the house in 1881 and the “Bergen Democrat” wrote, “It is a magnificent place.”
The map at right, from the 1876 “Atlas of Bergen County,” shows Price’s home, west of the Ramapo Valley Road and Ramapo River. To the north is “Valley Farm,” (near the intersection of Ramapo Valley Road and present-day Darlington Ave,), owned by A.B. Darling, who came to Mahwah in 1872. Further north, the properties of Bockee and Petry eventually became part of Theodore Havemeyer’s “Mountain Side Farm.” Havemeyer came in 1878.
Price died in 1894, and his wife Matilda in 1897. Eventually, the property was annexed to the Kohler estate to the north. The house was rented out and fell into disrepair. In 1942, Hazelwood and part of the Kohler estate were acquired by Fred and Margaret Wehran. who named the property “Sun Valley Farm.” They removed the third floor of the house and substantially remodeled it. In 1964, the house was torn down and replaced by another.
The photo above is from a 1942 “Previews” real estate brochure (collection of Carol Greene), and is the only photograph of the original Price home known to exist. Badly damaged and written on, it was restored by Sieglinde Lehmann of Oakland.
This article, by Dick Greene, was first published in “The Old Station Timetable” in Fall 1987.
Blandina Bayard, Mahwah’s first recorded non-Indian settler, the Hoppers, and the Dutch and English farmers that followed, had a very local market for their harvested crops, livestock and dairy products. After satisfying their family’s need for sustenance, residual products were traded or bartered with other settlers or at local trading and general stores. Erskine’s “Belgrove Store”, near the original Lutheran church on Moffat Road, did a brisk business with local farmers.
Farm products were hard to transport over rutted, muddy roads, and markets were often over a day away. Settlements along the Hackensack and Passaic Rivers had the advantage of water transport, but the scenic Ramapo offered inadequate depth for anything larger than a canoe.
The coming of the NEW YORK AND ERIE RAILWAY to New Antrim (Suffern) and “Ramapo (Iron) Works” gave a new method of transport to New York City via the railroad’s boat dock and steamship line at Piermont on the Hudson River, south of Nyack. Local farmers began to expand their production for shipment of cash crops over the tracks of the new Iron Horse.
The young PATERSON AND HUDSON RIVER RAILROAD commissioned George Allen as its chief engineer and surveyor with. the task of charting and building a railroad line from the company’s terminus in bustling Paterson to the New York State line in the Mahwah section of the then Hohokus Township, just one mile short of a connection with the NY&E (ERIE) at Suffern’s Tavern in New Antrim. Service began in 1848, connecting Mahwah with Jersey City over the tracks of several railroads.
The New York State Charter of the NY&E prohibited its leaving the boundary of the Empire State. An exception was made along the Delaware River west of Port Jervis where terrain mandated use of the opposite bank, but no station-stops were allowed. The NY&E terminals were at Piermont- on the Hudson, and Dunkirk- on Lake Erie, where the line connected with steamboats which provided regularly scheduled shipping of freight and passengers.
These water connections allowed great flexibility of distribution up and down the Hudson River, over the Great Lakes and throughout the extensive barge canal system which the railroads were to doom to oblivion. Dependence upon water routes slowed travel to a point of placing the NY&E at a competitive disadvantage when parallel railroad lines were constructed by the PENNSYLVANIA RR and Vanderbilt’s amalgamation of small upstate lines into his NEW YORK AND HARLEM RIVER RR, to form the gigantic NEW YORK CENTRAL SYSTEM.
Passengers traveling east or west soon earned that connections by stage coach could be made between Mahwah and Suffern’s that could cut several hours off the longer boat ride on the Hudson.
Giving in to public pressure, the New York Legislature approved a mile-long line to connect “Suffern’s Tavern” to “Mahwah” — THE UNION RAILROAD COMPANY. By 1852, the NY&E had reduced traffic to Piermont to but one train each day, and the passenger steamboat was abandoned. Mahwah was now on the main line of a major railroad system connecting New York with Buffalo, then Chicago and the west.
September 10, 1852, saw the inception of the ERIE Lease of the PATERSON AND HUDSON RIVER RAILROAD (P&H) and its wholly owned subsidiary, the PATERSON AND RAMAPO RAILROAD (P&R). Things were not easy, as the ERIE had heretofore steadfastly clung to its broad gauge of 6′-0″ (the distance measured between the rail heads) while other roads, including the P&H (which had already converted from their original 4′-0″ gauge) and the P&R, utilized the accepted standard of 4′ 8-1/2″ — the width established by the Romans a millennium before as the gauge for all the carts used by their Legions, in order that they could follow in each others ruts.
A third rail was laid alongside the P&R tracks to accommodate the wider ERIE engines and rolling stock, while the acquired P&R and P&H cars and those of other railroads using “standard gauge” would use the original rails. The three rails remained from 1878 to 1881, when the conversion of the ERIE to “standard” was completed.
In 1854, the first “through train” from Jersey City to Buffalo steamed up P&H Chief Engineer George Allen’s track route without so much as a toot for Mahwah. Mahwah had no regularly scheduled “station stop” for passengers on the newly reorganized ERIE RAILWAY COMPANY timetables until 1874 — three years after the station was built, which obviously only handled traffic as a “flag stop” the train stopped when the stationmaster hung out a flag indicating a revenue pickup of either passengers or freight.
Local shipments of farm produce were handled at “Ramsey’s” and “Suffern’s” on the ERIE, with some Valley farmers finding it easier to go to Oakland and Fardale farmers to “Campgaw” on the NEW JERSEY MIDLAND RAILROAD. This line was incorporated in 1866 by the Wortendykes of Midland Park and promoted by Rodman Price of “Hazelwood on the Ramapo” (see accompanying article, this issue).
When an enterprising ERIE conductor from Goshen began bringing fresh milk to Jersey City in the baggage car to be sold across the River by a ferry boat captain, the milk industry all along the ERIE grew to tremendous proportions within a matter of years. The milk sold in New York had been “local” milk from tethered cows fed slops and washed fermented grain from breweries. The taste was reported as being “like drinking bad, white beer”. Fresh Jersey and Orange County (NY) milk tank cars were familiar sights on ERIE passenger trains into the mid-1950s.
The famous Sheffield Farms had their beginnings in Mahwah on Route 202 at what is now the Devonshire School. The Darling and Havermeyer farms delivered daily loads of milk to the depot in Mahwah, built in 1871 (now the Museum at 1871 Old Station Lane, across from Winter’s pond).
It wasn’t only outgoing shipments that improved life in Mahwah; but coal, lumber, kerosene, and goods from all over the country were brought right to, the front door of the Township at Winter’s Coalyard and Store, where the present Post Office now stands.
At the other end of the Valley, railroading was flouNew York and Orishing, also. New Jersey residents subscribed $100,000 to have the NJ MIDLAND pass through Hackensack which was accomplished in 1972. Within one year, interconnected trackage went as far as Ellenville, NY.
In 1880, the NJMRR combined with the NEW YORK & OSWEGO MIDLAND RR to provide owned-trackage to the north, into the rich blackdirt farmlands of Sussex (NJ) and Orange (NY) Counties. In 1881, the name was changed as a reelection of more grandiose plans, to the NEW YORK, SUSQUEHANNA AND WESTERN RR. The trains never went to New York, ending at Edgewater and Jersey City; nor did the trackage ever reach the waters of the Susquehanna River, much less anything western.
The Scranton area (Gravel Place) became the western extent of the NYS8.W tracks as coal from the mines of northeastern Pennsylvania quickly became the mainstay of the line’s revenue, but milk and fresh produce from New Jersey and Orange County dominated the fast trains that sped the goods to New York markets. The siding at Campgaw received produce in cars that were connected to passing milk trains and fast freights headed for interchange at Jersey City.
The NYS&W passed through many economic cycles over the years, being operated by the ERIE from 1898 onward, until spun off in the 1940s when coal and Jersey produce traffic waned. This began a downhill slide to near oblivion for the NYS&W, only to be revived in the past few years by its new owner, the DELAWARE & OTSWEGO RR, of Cooperstown, NY — those masters of operation of the short line. Container trains are now running the restored roadbed on a regular basis. “Peddler” freights deliver freight cars to a few industries along the line, but no longer are farm produce and dairy products loaded from the valley of the Ramapo.
It was the railroad that brought prosperity and improved standards of living to Mahwah’s farmers; and, eventually, it brought the commuter and the developer who bought up the farms, built homes and transformed the rural landscape of the 1880s into a suburb by 1950. ABEX, long Mahwah’s major industrial complex, was originally the “Ramapo Wheel and Iron Works”, building railway equipment parts. It later became “The American Brake Shoe Company”.
The single-track P&R line of George Allen (for whom Allendale is named) grew to the 4 track mainline of the “high and wide ERIE” by the turn of the century.
The ERIE, like most of the great iron roads of the east, fell into hard times at the hands of government regulation, taxation, union strife, and competition from highway trucking and airlines. The CONSOLIDATED RAIL SYSTEM — “ConRail” — has preserved most of the routes in New Jersey of the ERIE, the P&R and P&H, as its main line. Modern equipment, electronic signaling, long-welded rail, and renewed emphasis on speedy, efficient service has given the railroad industry new life. Renovation of trackage through Mahwah has been underway for three years. NEW JERSEY TRANSIT — RAIL OPERATIONS now operates the passenger service from Port Jervis through Suffern and Mahwah to Hoboken, and continues the tradition of the commuter that started over 100 years ago.
Those scenic farms in summer and the lonesome wail of the steam whistle on a still, cold night are now gone, but they will remain a wonderful memory and integral part of the history of Mahwah.
This article, by Carol and Dick Greene, was first published in “The Old Station Timetable” in Fall 1987
The American tradition of the “family farm” lives on in Mahwah because of one tenacious holdout — Alvina Pelz Frey. She is Mahwah’s last true “farmer.” A farmer, by popular definition, is one who produces most of what he (or she, in the case of Alvina) sells.
In the past five years, urban and industrial growth in Mahwah has raised the population from 10,000 to 14,000 and, in another five years, this figure may reach 20,000. The wonderful farms, barns, fences and cultivated fields of the rural past are almost all gone. Yet on 16 acres of land on Airmont Avenue in Masonicus, Alvina Frey raises vegetables and flowers, and takes them to market in New York City twice a week. Can this small, gentle woman, stylishly dressed, who smiles with enthusiasm while expounding on farming really be what she claims? “I used to sell at the wholesale market in Paterson or from a stand here on the farm,” she said, “but, now, the best place is the bestes online casino. (This is a public casino for small players set up by the Environmental Council of N.Y.C.). I get up at 4:00 A.M., load the truck and drive into the City twice a week. I finish selling by early evening. My annuals go fast, because I arrange them into beautiful bouquets…”
The newsworthiness of the ten-hour days Alvina puts in cultivating, dusting, irrigating, and harvesting crops, as well as her success and popularity at the Greenmarket, has not gone unnoticed. She has been written about in the New Yorker Magazine (7/3/78), Working Woman (2/79), and various trade publications and newspapers including the New York Times, the Daily News, and the Record. At the astounding price that an acre of land now brings, most Bergen County farmers have sold out and retired. According to the New Yorker article, there were only 48 farms left in Bergen County in 1978. Today, that number would be drastically less. What could possibly keep Alvina on the land, choosing her tractor over a golf cart, her hoe over a tennis racquet…?
Judy Pelz Coughlin is Alvina’s “great-cousin” and, like Alvina, a native of Mahwah who grew up on a farm. Judy, blonde-haired, green-eyed and perennially cheerful, didn’t become a farmer, but one look at the property on Miller Road where she lives with her husband, Don, confirms the love of the land that she shares with Alvina. From one corner to the other, Spring through Fall, the Coughlins’ yard is a profusion of beautiful flowers and healthy vegetables. Presiding over all from year to year, in the middle of a row of cabbages, is “Oscar,” a grinning, denim-clad, straw-stuffed fellow who may well be Mahwah’s last scarecrow. (In 1984, the Coughlins’ garden was featured in a Mahwah Historical Society Garden Tour).
The farm Alvina operates once belonged to her grandmother, Alwine Deitzman Pelz. Alwine and her husband, Franz, were immigrants from Saxony (Germany) who came to America about 1896. They had twelve children, some of whom were born in Germany and some here. (Alvina’ s father, Frank, was born two months after the family arrived in America). “Grandpa got a job as a loom-fixer at the silk mills of industrial Paterson,” explained Alvina, “but Grandma wasn’t happy in the city. She had grown up on a farm in Germany and that’s what she wanted for her family here, so they looked around and finally found fifty-five acres in Mahwah.” Their first house was small and close to the road. A fieldstone well, built for irrigating the crops, is all that remains of that homestead. Later, they built another house further back from the road. on the hill, which was enlarged a number of times as the family grew. (That house, #177 Airmont Avenue, was torn down in 1968). They also built a large fieldstone barn. It is deteriorating, the area around it is developing, and its future is uncertain; but, nonetheless, it is one of the most beautiful turn-of-the-century barns left in Bergen County.
“Grandma was only 4′ 8″ tall and weighed 98 pounds,” marveled Alvina, but there wasn’t anything she couldn’t do. She bought, sold and traded her own livestock, raised chickens, gathered eggs, made butter, and cultivated the fields. She raised all kinds of vegetables, and had an apple orchard and several acres of strawberries.” Labor, with a handful of strapping sons, was no problem. At least twice a week, the bounty of the farm was sold at the Island Market in Paterson. “Grandma drove in by herself with her horse and wagon,” Alvina said. “My grandfather was willing to help, but she didn’t trust him not to stop at the taverns along the way. I know it wasn’t liquor she was against because she made her own — it was spending the money. Grandma bought stale bread for fifty cents a barrel at the Paterson market, because she couldn’t possibly bake for so many children. After working all day, she knitted their clothes at night.”
Eventually, the children all married and left home, except for Frank (Alvina’s father). He took over·the farm. Alwine stuck by her horse and wagon, but good-naturedly gave her blessing when Frank insisted upon buying himself a truck. In 1929, when Frank was 34, he met Mildred Oeser, who was 39. Mildred, like Frank, was the child who stayed home, and was taking care of her mother. She had given up thoughts of marriage, but Frank persuaded her that the time left to both of them would be best spent married. “Either marry me or don’t — but make up your mind right now!” he said one night. Mildred decided on life with Frank, and they moved into the farmhouse with Franz and Alwine.
“Two women in the kitchen didn’t work out at all,” said Alvina, “especially since Mildred was as set in her ways as Grandma.” Mildred thought she and Frank should move to Paterson, but he loved the farm too much to leave it. As a compromise, they bought the adjacent Fisher farm over the Ramsey line, where they could have their own house. Alwine and Franz didn’t like the lonely feeling of a big house with empty rooms, though, and offered to sell Frank and Mildred the farm if they would come back. They did, and harmony was restored even in the kitchen. In 1931, Franz died; and Mildred and Frank’s first child, Alvina, was born. A son, Frank, was born in 1936, and arlother daughter, Elsie, in 1941.
“I helped Grandma out in the fields,” remembered Alvina. “She loved working on the land, growing things, and talking about the changing seasons. She was always cheerful. No matter what the weather, she wore the same thing all the time — long sleeved blouses, skirts and aprons that hung down to the ground, a kerchief on her head, and high men’s sneakers that were a size too big. Walking in from the fields, she looked like Charlie Chaplin. Her face hardly had any wrinkles. As long as I knew her — I was 22 when she died — she looked the same.”
“My father had a cider mill with a one-cylinder engine in those days,” continued Alvina. “Grandma told me that when it was running the other side of Cragmere could hear the racket, and people were constantly complaining. (I knocked the mill down 15 years ago, but kept the steps). Grandma didn’t think much of the cider, but she really got involved in homebrew gin during Prohibition. She didn’t just use corn, but added peaches, cherries, potatoes, raisins…and she taught my mother how to make delicious potato wine.”
With a grimmace, Alvina described her childhood fashions: “Grandma knitted clothes for me, Elsie, and Frank. German things …they were awful! There were high stockings with horrible garters to hold th’em up, and long, limp knitted dresses … When I started first grade, the Cragmere children made fun of me. We spoke German at home and I could barely speak English, so I couldn’t even fight back. I wanted so badly to eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches like the other kids, but my mother was scornful. “That’s no food!” she said, and made me great, big ham and bologna sandwiches on pumpernickle bread. The other kids traded with me, though, to have something different.”
“Except for her style of dress, which she never changed, Grandma accepted progress,” said Alvina. “When I became a teenager, she never criticized me for my rock music, bobby sox and large, circular skirts. She got along with everyone.”
“Grandma didn’t expect me to be a farmer,” explained Alvina, “but my father did. I was the oldest child, and I must have been selected in the crib to carry on the family tradition. By the time I was twelve, I had become my father’s “right-hand girl,” plowing the fields with the tractor, dusting the crops arid everything.” If Alvina had felt free to choose a career, she would have become a musician. All through childhood and adolescence, she studied piano and loved it. It was her father who introduced her to music. He played the violin beautifully, and had a teacher who came to the house from Paterson. But music didn’t pay, he insisted, and discouraged Alvina. “Farming was hard work, seven days a week, and I didn’t like it,” admitted Alvina. “Frank and Elsie left home. I stayed, and the farm became my life. I can’t remember exactly when I grew to love it, but eventually I did. Grandma didn’t stop working until six months before she died in 1954, at the age of 91.” As for Alvina’s music, it is still a part of her life. She is known for her ability to play the piano beautifully.
In 1953, Alvina married Anthony “Tony” Chodowowski. They worked on the farm together, raising peaches, strawberries, corn, cabbage, cauliflower, beans, tomatoes and peppers. Tony had been in the lumber and construction business, but he grew to love the farm — and everyone loved Tony. Local people began to call the place “Chad’s Farm.” Tony and Alvina spent thirteen wonderful years farming. Then in 1966, on the very day they opened their stand, Tony had a heart attack. Three years later, at the age of 46, he died. To this day, the sign saying “Chad’s Farm” stands on Airmont Avenue, next to the old fieldstone well; and the fieldstone barn was recorded in a 1985 Bergen County Historic Sites survey history as “Chad’s Barn.”
At the time the Chodorowski’s ran their farm, the other farmers in Masonicus were Walt Rozanski, John Sudal, John Werling and Ed Litchult. However, the farmers were rapidly dwindling in numbers. Authors Bischoff and Kahn’s, in From Pioneer Settlement to Suburb: A History of Mahwah, New Jersey 1700–1976 (page 333) explain why:
The census listed 222 farmers and farm workers in 1940 and only 33 in 1970. Although the market for food was growing, local farmers found it increasingly difficult to compete with the large farms and the corporate agribusiness of the South and West. Roadside stands were still popular, but the farmers no longer had the political power to resist increased regulations and taxes … Thus one farmer after another decided to take advantage of rising land values and sold their land, mostly to developers…It was a rare farmer like Frank Pelz who kept his farm operating until recently by selling small parcels of land each year to pay for taxes and operating expenses.
“It isn’t correct that my father had to sell land to stay in business,” said Alvina. “The one and only sale he made was in 1964, because of rising taxes.” Frank Pelz sold the Ramsey portion of the farm to the McKee Brothers. (Then McKee sold to the Ramsey Industrial Park Corporation, where Minolta and Oakanite are now located). The remaining land, 58 acres in Mahwah, he kept. Two years later, Frank Pelz died at the age of 70. After that, Alvina’s mother had the old house torn down and built a new one at #297 Airmont Avenue. (This was on the site of the old house, where Alvina and Tony built their stand in 1966).
In 1970, Alvina married Edward Frey, her present husband. His business was sewer connections and excavating — and he had no inclination to farm (but wait and see… ). So, Alvina continued alone. Labor, as always, was her biggest problem. She has no children of her own –no one to carry on the family tradition, and would they, anyway? “You couldn’t get adult farm workers in Bergen County,” explained Alvina, “except for migrants, and then you’d have to house them. I never got involved in that, like the Secors and some of the other farmers did.”
Instead, she hired young people, because she likes them – -and because she thinks its important to share her love of the land. At the most, she employed three young people at a time. “Once,” she said, “I had a 21-year old bearded hippie from a rich family. He was well-educated and had· even been on an archeological dig in Egypt. But he was mixed-up and suicidal. One day, I found him lying flat on his face in the parking lot. “What are you doing?” I shouted. “Meditating,” he mumbled back. I pulled him to his feet and made him go out in the field and pick eggplants. I never knew what was coming next with that guy. He was a vegetarian and ate a lot of nuts, but he kept them in the stand and I wound up with mice. Then he wouldn’t help me kill the mice because “they hadn’t done him any harm.” I finally had to let him go because he was such a worry, but we parted friends. He said working for me had been a great experience.” And no doubt it was. The young people who worked for Alvina will one day tell the tale of “Mahwah’s last farmer.” And they’ll remember the sweet smell of the earth, and the feeling of well-being they had cultivating its bounty. It’s an experience that simply cannot be duplicated at the produce department in the supermarket.
For the past five years, Alvina has been growing beans, tomatoes, corn, peas, peppers, strawberries, blackberries, and currants. Recently, she made a connection with a food broker in New York who persuaded her to grow french beans, which are quite profitable. As are cut flowers –zinnias, marigolds, dahlias, snapdragons, and so forth. There are about 30 “Greenmarkets” in the City, set up on street corners or in school lots. The biggest one is on 14th St. at Union Square, open Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays; and another popular one is at 67th St. by Sloan-Kettering Hospital. Some markets became unsafe, like the one at 175th St., near Broadway and Wadsworth Street. “My sister, Elsie, used to go into Brooklyn with me,” said Alvina,”but that has become the worst neighborhood of all.”
Launching into her favorite subject with the down-to-earth assurance of an old pro, Alvina explained the business of farming from her point of view: “Years ago, markets would take only large quantities, like a bushel, and you had to sell at wholesale prices. I stopped going to Paterson because the quantities they deal in are so large that I couldn’t produce things as cheaply as they sell them. Now, there are the Greenmarkets where you can sell either wholesale or to the public, and it doesn’t matter if you have only three squash or a pound of beans. Without the Greenmarkets, small farmers like me couldn’t survive. One year, I devoted an entire greenhouse to herbs and sold them out immediately, but the minute something becomes successful everyone starts doing it. I’m one of seven people who have lasted ten years at the Greenmarket.”
Last year,” continued Alvina, “I closed the stand because I couldn’t find anyone to manage it. Besides, I sell more in a day at the Greenmarket than I did in a week at the stand. I miss dealing with local people, but I’ve made a lot of friends in the City. Very often, customers invite me to lunch or dinner. They can’t imagine a woman farming, and they think I’m a character. Actually, as the article in Working Woman points out, a lot of women today are operating small farms –but those farms are mostly in the south and midwest.”
Alvina’s husband, Ed, gave up the excavating business recently for health reasons and started raising house plants. (What took him so long?) He recently built two greenhouses behind the stand, on the site of the old house. “He finally found something he likes to grow!” said Alvina cheerfully, “and his plants are beautiful. He and I make four trips a week into New York: I go alone on Wednesdays, we go together on Saturdays to two different markets, and he goes alone on Sundays. He sells his plants, and I sell the produce.”
In 1983, Alvina, her brother, Frank, and her sister, Elsie, sold 21 acres on the west side of Airmont Avenue (opposite the stand), which is scheduled to be developed under the project name, “Beaver Creek.” When Alvina’s mother died in 1985, the family sold 11 more acres on the west side of the road to pay the estate taxes. Three contemporary homes were built on that site. Alvina still owns 16 acres (where the stand is located), and is in the process of selling 9 acres to the south towards Ramsey. “I intend to keep’ farming,” she said, “because I don’t know what else I’d do — I couldn’t stand to sit home. In fact, I already look forward to Spring coming. It makes me happy. It’s like being reborn, and I love it…I always will.”
Judy’s grandfather, Max, was one of Franz and Alwine Pelz’s twelve children. He was born in Germany, prior to 1896 when the family emigrated ‘to’ America. In 1914, Max married Mae Shuart. a local girl, and moved into a house on the east side of Airmont Avenue. (This house, 1107 Airmont Avenue, dates back to 1861). Judy’s father, Stanley, was born in 1916, and was Max and Mae’s only child. In 1918, Max· and Mae bought the 3 acre Doremus Farm to the north; (The house. #168 dates back to the late 1700’s. It is opposite the Athletic Field at the intersection of Airmount Road). Stanley was 17 when he took over the family farm. He married Arilla Bobb (whose mother was a Wanamaker of Suffern, N. Y.), and bought 40 more acres. Stanley and Arilla lived in the house between 1168 and 1107. They had two children, Patricia and Judy. In 1949, Stanley and Arilla built a ranch house across the street (1104). In 1969, they moved to 1168, and named it “Blue Spruce Farm” because of the tall blue spruces surrounding the house. Judy said, “My father lived his whole life within a four-house radius!”
Judy vividly remembers the harvests, the rewards and rigors of her father’s life. “He had a wonderful disposition and loved the farm, in spite of the hard work,” Judy said. “He raised peaches and apples. He harvested the peaches from July through September, and took them to the “day market” in Paterson, which opened at 4:00 P.M. He harvested the apples in September, and packed them in the cold storage barn for sale during the winter and early spring. The barn was equipped with a conveyor belt and grates for sorting the fruit. Throughout the fall and winter, Dad sorted apples during the day and packed them in various size boxes. Then he slept a few hours, brought the fruit to the “night market” in Paterson which opened at 11:00 P.M., came home, slept a few more hours, and returned to work in the morning. It was a grueling schedule. By March, all the apples were sold. Then came pruning and dusting, and caring for the trees and grounds. Migrant help, which was all he could get, was a constant problem because the men kept leaving him for jobs in the city. In 1962, he dug up the orchards and began raising vegetables. He didn’t need as much land for that, and sold 38 acres to Mrs. Currans, a Mahwah resident.” (This land is now the Orchards development).
The hard work of framing took its toll on Stanley Pelz, and he began to complain of not feeling well. In 1968, Judy and her mother opened a stand, so Stanley wouldn’t have to go to market. Nonetheless, he kept up his routine of working by day and selling by night for another year. Then for the next four years he relied entirely upon sales at the stand, which Judy and Arilla operated. “I worked in the fields and got used to picking vegetables in the hot sun,” said Judy, ·we had corn, cabbage, eggplants, peppers…” At this time, there were three other stands on Airmont Avenue: Chodorowski’s, Litchult’s, and Werling’s “Peach Hill Farm.” Just over the border in Ramsey was Sudal’s on East Crescent Avenue, and Secor’s at the intersection of Route 17 and Lake Street. “There was plenty of business for everyone,” recalled Judy. “I loved the stand because we were dealing with people on a one-to-one basis. There was a lot of laughter and talking, about families, recipes, everything…It was as friendly a place as the old corner candy store — so different from the large-scale farm markets of today.”
In November, 1973, Stanley had a fatal heart attack, and Judy and Arilla closed their stand.
In 1974, Arilla Pelz sold 21 acres of her farm to Charles Secor, whose family still operates the gas station, produce store and nursery in Ramsey. The Secors use the land they bought from Arilla to grow strawberries, raspberries, cabbage, beans, cauliflower and peaches. They also raise crops on Route 202 in Mahwah and Upper Saddle River. Charles, the father, lives in Upper Saddle River and Daryl, the son, lives in Mahwah. Daryl Secor is the only other person in Mahwah besides Alvina engaged in farming, although relative to what he sells, it is on a more limited basis. (The Secors, like the Pelz family, established farms in the area in the 1800’s). “Alvina and I are fifteen years apart in age,” said Judy. “In fact, she used to babysit for me. We share so many of the same memories. I remember my Great-grandmother Alwine — so tiny, always working outside, and bent over with a little hoe in her hands. She was very kind and loving.”
If Alwine Deitzman Pelz were alive today, imagine how proud she would be of her granddaughter and great-granddaughter…
Judy Coughlin has three daughters, Christine, Connie and Bonnie, who live at home with her and her husband, Don. Alvina’s brother, Frank, has two children, Robert and Laurie, from his first marriage, and he and his wife, Sue, have a daughter, Stephanie. They live in Ramsey. Elise and her husband, Steve Wickenheisser, live in Sussex County.
This article, written by Dick Greene, was first published in “The Old Station Timetable” in March 1984.
When the trees are bare and the wind is right, the blare of diesel horns from the Conrail mainline through Mahwah can be heard all the way to Fardale and into the Ramapo Valley.
For over 100 years, until the mid-1950s, the sound people heard was the mournful wail of the steam whistle, immortalized in Country and Western song and story.
Sparsely settled since the 1700s, Mahwah had its first real growth “boom” with the arrival of the Paterson and Ramapo Railroad in 1848, after the line pushed north from Ridgewood to Suffern. Why Suffern? Simple – because there the P&R could connect with the Erie Railroad Company which was building a line linking the Atlantic Ocean with the Great Lakes. The Erie was the culmination of a grand design by W. C. Redford for a railroad system from the Atlantic to the Mississippi River. Chartered by the State of New York in 1832, the Erie was an INTRAstate railroad and was not permitted to cross over the State’s boundaries as did the INTERstate New York Central.
The 446-mile Erie line was completed May 14, 1851, and ran from Piermont (on the Hudson) to Dunkirk (on Lake Erie). It was the longest railroad in the United States. The main drawback to the Erie was its eastern terminus at Piermont, where passengers and freight were shuttled on steamboats for 26 miles on the Hudson River to and from New York City.
To capitalize on this “inconvenience”, the operators of the Paterson and Hudson Railroad sought permission from the N.J. Legislature to extend their Jersey City to Paterson line from Paterson to the New York State border at New Antrim. New Antrim had a large and impressive station built by the Erie, which they called “Suffern Station”, after John Suffern. The hamlet, as well, soon changed its name to Suffern.
On October 19, 1848, the Paterson and Ramapo subsidiary of the Paterson and Hudson opened its service to the State line on a single track railroad surveyed and designed by John Allen, after whom Allendale is named.
There were only a few stations on the line: Suffern (actually in Mahwah, at the State line), Ramsey’s Station, Allendale, Ho-Ho-Kus, Godwinville and Paterson. Later, the Bergen County Railroad would connect the Paterson and Ramapo tracks at Ridgewood Junction to Hoboken.
With no real standards in use, railroad designers used various gauges- the width between the railheads. The Erie was built with a 6′-0″ gauge and the P&R with 4′-10″. At the time of construction, this mattered not, as no physical connection existed due to the INTRAstate nature of both lines.
Passengers and freight were transported by carriage and wagon for a mile between the two stations in the two states.
This article, by
Charles Anderson, was first published in “The Old Station Timetable” in March 1984.
Although the North Jersey Rapid Transit Company had trolleys running from East Paterson to Ridgewood in 1910, it was not until June, 1911 that tracks were completed through Mahwah to Suffern. After leaving Ramsey, the route continued to parallel the Erie Railroad to present day Wanamaker Avenue, then it curved eastward to cross the Franklin Turnpike, turned north in a straight line across Miller Road to Christie Avenue in Suffern, N.Y., and then went on to Main Street.
At that time, most of the area was wooded with a few residences ‘in the Cragmere Park section. At the east end of the Henrietta Building on Miller Road, waiting passengers had a shelter of sorts, but the other crossings were “flag stops.” Most people used the line to get to Ridgewood for shopping or to Ramsey to attend the High School, although there were also regular commuters to towns along the route.
With the exception of parts of Ridgewood, it is possible to’ follow the right of way from its southern end in today’s Elmwood Park all the way north to the Mahwah line. From there on, time and real estate development have almost obliterated the route. Having taken over the original line, the Public Service sold some parts of the Mahwah area to the Rockland Electric Company, which resold two large sections. Present occupants of these sections are the Short Line Bus Company, the Ford Display, A & P, and the Rockland Electric Company.
The route south to Miller Road is impassable, but as the right of way passes across the road and in back of the Police Station, it is clearly defined (although local residents have preempted it for gardens and a swimming pool). At Franklin Turnpike it can be followed on the south side of the apartment buildings, and then it is lost entirely as it begins to parallel the railroad. The last trolley left Suffern on December 31, 1929. It is to be expected that 55 years of urban development would tend to wipe out all signs of the trolley right of way, but only in Mahwah and Ridgewood is this so frustratingly apparent. In towns further south, it has become a bike-path as in Ramsey, and a pleasant walking path as in Waldwick, Hohokus and Allendale.
We put up historical markers for old houses and vanished grist mills. It might be a reasonable move to mark a section of the old trolley route while there is still some of it left in Mahwah.
This article, by John Y. Dater, was first published in “The Old Station Timetable” in March 1983.
In 1848 the NJ Legislature created Hohokus Township which included Mahwah, Ramsey, Allendale, Waldwick and Hohokus. The town committee met in Ramsey in a wing of an old hotel on Main St. People came here to vote also. Hence the roads that came through these towns had a common interest.
Such a road was the Franklin Turnpike which ran through Ramsey to Hohokus. It was the main road to New York City by way of Glen Ave. from the turnpike on Paramus Road, through Hackensack and over the meadows on the Plank Road to Jersey City and thence by ferry to New York.
In Ramsey, the Turnpike stopped at Arch St. which connected with the Island Road. This road was the main road through Ramsey and Mahwah and thence through the Clove to Orange County, NY. Before the railroad, transportation was by this route. In 1797 Dobbins and Tuston were given a franchise to run from Goshen, NY to New York City, by the route as aforementioned.
The Paterson & Ramapo R.R. came through in 1848. At first it stopped at the state line in Mahwah and people took a horse and wagon to the Suffern station of the Erie R.R. In 1850 the Erie tied in and you could go to Jersey City by train. Stations were at Ramsey, Hohokus, Glen Rock, Paterson and Passaic.
In the old days most of the roads ran north and south. Ramsey became a railroad station because there was an east-west road there from Saddle River west to Wyckoff. All good farm country. In the season a trainload of strawberries went to the city from Ramsey.
A very important north-south road was the Ramapo Valley Road, now Rte. 202. Originally an Indian trail it has seen many route changes. On the 1781 French map it is east of the river. At one time there was a road along the mountains. I remember walking with a friend along this and he picked up two copper, 18th Century English pennies.
This section ran from Yaw-pough (now Oakland) north to Suffern just beyond the railroad to Washington Ave., also connected with Island Rd. and thus went up through Suffern, through the Clove and upstate NY. At Suffern, there was a road which wandered east to the Hudson River and which was very important in Revolutionary days.
The old roads were gravel covered and it was not until the late 19th Century that crushed stone became the surface. This was called “macadam” and the Turnpike was the first in this part of the state. There was natural crushed stone where the Valley Road ran along Campgaw Mt. Theodore Havemeyer bought a stone crusher when he improved the Valley Rd. from Darlington Ave. north to W. Ramapo Ave. in Mahwah. About this time, there was a stone crushing business northeast of Suffern. The old steel wagon tires helped keep the gravel roads in shape. The towns also had team-drawn road scrapers which kept the roads in shape especially after the thaw at the end of the winter.
In winter the roads were kept snow covered. “Oh what fun it is to ride in a one-horse open sleigh.” I remember doing this more than once. There used to be races on Main Street Ramsey. We had a one-horse sleigh, often called a “cutter,” and a larger one holding four and the driver. I have sleigh bells which the book says are 18th Century. Rich people even had silver-plated bells. We had a pair of chimes (three each) which fastened on the harness over the horse’s back. Snow weather also helped in bringing timber out of the mountains. The sleighs they used were made with two sets of runners. Wagons and sleighs were also made in Ramsey on Mechanic Street by my great-grandfather, John Y. Dater, who was born in Mahwah.
This article, by Charles Anderson, was first published in the “The Old Station Timetable” in March 1983.
For the most part churchyard cemeteries were the last resting places for the early farmers of the Ramapo Valley. Ordinarily they would attend the nearest church. The state line was no barrier to the people who lived at Suffern or in the Clove. The Ramapo Reformed churchyard holds many of the workers from Pierson’s Iron Works, and the miners and woodcutters who labored for the various local iron mines.
The choices were few. Those in the Masonicus area took their families to the Reformed Church in Saddle River. Those living in the Fardale section attended the Wyckoff Reformed Church or the Ponds Church in Oakland. Farmers in the upper Ramapo Valley went to the Reformed Church on Island Road in Mahwah. In each of these old cemeteries can be found grave markers inscribed with the names of oldtime landowners – at Wyckoff, Van Gelder, Ackerman and Terhune; at Saddle River, Doremus and Van Blarcom and De Baun; in Mahwah, the Wanamaker, Hennion and Hopper; and names from north of the line, Pierson, Suffern and Townsend.
Predating the Reformed churches was the Lutheran Church started by early incomers about 1724. It was a log, then wooden structure located on Island Road near Moffatt Road. It served the local families until 1785 when the Ramapo Reformed Church was formed. On Moffatt Road there is a very old cemetery. Since it is located in the old church area and there is a deed for a cemetery given to the Lutheran Church by a Maysinger, this is probably the old Lutheran Church burying ground and certainly many of the graves hold people who attended that church.
The earliest decipherable burial is 1770, only initials being given. Much earlier are the rough field stones with no inscriptions serving the purpose of marking before any gravestone worker appeared. There were over seventy burials and probably more. Many belong to the Wanamaker, Maysineer, Carlough, Bevans and Fox families. A notable stone marks the grave of John Suffern, infant son of John and Mary Suffern. Until Route 17 pushed through Mahwah, this was a pleasant rural countryside. The site of the cemetery on a sandy hill overlooked farms and pastures, a quiet, serene resting place.
The highway cut into the hillside almost to the graves at the edge. Moffatt Road was lined with new homes. Brush grew into trees, vandalism wreaked havoc among the stones, erosion wore down the steep gouged-out slope, threatening a final destruction of hundred year old graves. Today, this is a neglected place, reflecting the callous indifference of the town. A site that should be a monument to pioneer ancestors is a testimonial to historic insensibility.
The Ramapo mountain people did not come down into the valley for burials. We know about two small hidden cemeteries marked with field stones up in the hills. One was obliterated when the pipeline gouged through the mountains, the other is recognized as a burial place only by those who have hunted it out. The population was never very large and there may be more lonely forgotten unmarked graves scattered through the hills.
Throughout the valley some small plots of ground were set aside on the farms for a family cemetery where the graves were marked, kept in good condition and probably visited often. There are only a few under the bulldozer. A few were spared, known t6 town planners, with builders forbidden to disturb them. What is left of the family plot of the Youngs who farmed along Youngs Road lies between two houses in the Fawn Hill development. Anna and James and two of their children lie here with Pulis neighbors.
The new Apple Ridge townhouses on Airmount Ave. are being built around a small fenced family plot. Protected for years by its obscure location, it may be the last unprotected family cemetery in Mahwah.
Two local family cemeteries have survived in good condition because they have not been entirely neglected. The best known is the Hopper plot which is located on the grounds of the historic Hopper house on Valley Road. Because it is so near the road, it is an easy target for vandals, but for the same reason there is a measure of protection. Here are found graves marked with early names in the valley and the earliest known grave of a Bartholf. It may be that of the very first Bartholf to locate here.
Even more fortunate is the Bogert family cemetery on Chapel Road. Here an unknown number of Bogerts, Hoppers and Pulises are buried. The earliest date known is 1799, but there are a number of simple fieldstones which may predate that. The original plot is well cared for and this is a fair sample of what the Lutheran cemetery on Moffatt Road should look like. An additional area is the property of the Lutheran Redeemer Church of Ramsey.
There may be other small private burial sites hidden in brush covered field and not yet ploughed under. All of these early cemeteries provide us with a continuity with the past; a reminder of those early settlers who cleared the land, endured the rigors of pioneer life, lived through the raids and alarms of the Revolution, and left their names to many of the present inhabitants of Mahwah.
This article, by John Y. Dater, was first published in “The Old Station Timetable” in Fall 1982.
The Island Rd. through Ramsey and Mahwah (once known as the King’s Highway) was part of the road that came up from New Barbadoes (Hackensack) and was a link to the ferry to New Amsterdam until it became New York in 1664. It passed through Paramus, through Hoppertown (Hohokus) to Mt. Prospect (Ramsey) and then along the Franklin Turnpike which stopped just beyond Arch St., down Arch St., to Island Rd., (there was no Main St.), which then ran north towards the state line. It originally passed just west of the 1785 Ramapo Reformed Church and then down the hill to the old Valley Rd., or Route 202. It then joined Washington Ave. in Suffern (NY); from there up through the Clove to Tuxedo (NY) and Goshen (NY). In 1797 a franchise was given to Dobbins and Tustin of Goshen to run a stagecoach from there to New York City, which they did until the railroad came through in 1848.
As before stated Island Rd. started in Ramsey at Franklin Turnpike. It came down Arch St., which was the only east-west road. There was no Main St. in those days. At the first corner it became Island Rd.
The Island Rd. which we know may have been an Indian trail the way it wanders and curves. The name first appears in the records in 1713 when Pieter Wanamaker was baptized in New Amsterdam. He was one of the Palatinates of the Lutheran faith who came over from Germany. His house was east of the road just before Airmont Rd. The house was torn down in the 1960’s. Diagonally across the road lived Dederick Wanamaker who operated a gristmill and cider mill on the Stony Brook which flows into the Masonicus Brook. This area was always considered an island by the Wanamakers and Maysingers. On some of the old deeds it is called the “llan.” It was also part of John Barberies’ 600 acre tract; acquired in 1709 at the Romopok Tract deal and which ran from Myrtle Ave., Ramsey, to north of the Ramapo Church. It was also called the Road to New York and was so named by Berthier when he drew his 1781 map for the French army to Yorktown. Its route is also shown on the 1762 map of the Romopoke Tract.
The people in the Wanamaker area were very religious and met in their homes until 1724 when they built the log church just before the double bend. Maysinger gave the land for it and also the Lutheran Cemetery on Moffat Rd. This next church was built of sawed lumber about 1745 with the help of the Dutch Reform people who used the church on alternate Sundays. In 1785 the two groups cooperated in the Ramapo Church, and about 1800 the Lutherans moved to Airmont (NY). John Suffern helped in the formation of the Ramapo Church; and he and his wife are buried there along with many of the early settlers. Maysinger built a house near the end of the Airmont Rd. and another in 1740 further north. In 1786 the Christie house was built and with additions is now occupied by Karl Bierley.
Abraham Dater, the second in this area, acquired land on the bend, now Constantine. Dr., in 1797. The deed takes in land down to Dater’s mill lot, a gristmill which stood just west of N. Central Ave. and on Masonicus Brook which flows into Wanamaker’s long-ago pond. Adam Dater lived here and operated the mill until he died in 1823. when his son John Y. took over until he came to Ramsey about 1850 and in 1855 bought 22 acres in the center of the new town. Abraham Dater also had a house in Sloatsburg from where he operated the iron works. Here Adam was born in 1766, and in 1805 Abraham Adam, who fathered the Mahwah Dators. The latter, who married Mary Ward of Sloatsburg, took over the ironwork’s from his father.
This article, by Charles Anderson, was first published in “The Old Station Timetable” in Fall 1987.
Originally, as in all parts of Mahwah, the Fardale area was made up of subsistence farms. Animals and crops were raised to feed and clothe families, and supplemental activities carried out to secure cash to buy the things that could not be produced at home, like coffee, utensils and dishes. This type of farming predominated well into the 1800’s. Large tracts of land were held by the Bartholf, Bogert, Winter, Van Gelder, Ackerman and Young families.
With the extension of the railroads, improvement of roads and growth of nearby markets in Paterson, Newark and New York City, the amount of land devoted to cash crops increased. By the 1900’s, a commercial pattern of farming was fully established. Strawberries’ and other fruit in season were delivered to the freight depot at Ramsey, or were delivered by the wagon load to nearby local markets.
The Bartholfs, on the south side of Fardale Avenue, cut oak trees for dock pilings on the Hudson River, as well as chestnut, hickory, ash and walnut trees for other uses. The extensive swamp lands on the north side of the road were owned by Hyland, who picked enough high bush blueberries each year to pay his annual taxes.
Three commercial poultry products operations were carried on by Myers on Campgaw Road, Van Brookhoven on Fardale Avenue and Dobrat on Bartholf Lane.
Truck farms (devoted to the production of vegetables for market) were the most common. The Bogert farm extended along both sides of Chapel Road and partway along Pulis Avenue. The old Bogert homestead was located on the eastern corner of Chapel Road and Pulis Avenue, but it has since burned. A neighborhood schoolhouse was located further west on Pulis Avenue towards Campgaw Road. When Spurglon Bogert died (1930), he divided his land among his three sons, William, Ike and Jim. They mismanaged their farms and were bailed out by an uncle, Luther Bogert during the depression (1939). Part of the Bogert land (about 40 acres) was eventually sold to Peter Bartholf, who raised pigs, cows, chickens and vegetables. The Bartholf farm continued in operation until about 1965. The house and barn were torn down and the land is now occupied by the Chapel Greens condominium project.
The Myers family farmed on Campgaw Road, the Carloughs on land purchased from Ward (who acquired it at a sale of confiscated Tory land after the Revolutionary War–now the defunct “Campgaw Farms”) and the Young family on land north of Youngs Road. The DeBauns had orchards and raised poultry on a subdivided section of the Young farm in the latter half of the 1800’s; the farm, products and stock line of which were carried on into the mid-1960’s by Morris and Helen Plevan on their “Fardale Farm”. North of the Plevan farm. The MacDonald’s’ had an extensive chicken-raising operating in the 1940s, the last coops surviving until the development of Glenmere Park in 1965.
The north end of Chapel Road was known as St. Moritz Avenue because of the San Moritz farm that extended from the Fardale Community Chapel to Youngs Road.
An example of how these formerly large farms were broken up time after time can be found in a typical deed to property on Fardale Avenue, which lists parts of land formerly held by Bartholf, Bogert, Holdrum and Hopper.
The era of agriculture in the Fardale area effectively ended in the mid-1970s with the death of George Orthman who operated his farm on Campgaw Road and rented land on Chapel Road.
This article, by John Y. Dater, was first published in “The Old Station Timetable” in May 1982.
In 1892 John Y. Dater started the Ramsey Journal in what was then the principal town of HoHoKus Township. It was started in the two story frame house which he built on what was then the corner of Dater Avenue (now W. Main Street) and Maple Street. He used a hot air engine to operate his presses. This engine was very noisy and offended the neighbors. The building was afterwards moved down Maple Street.
In 1896 he started the old brick Journal Building at 2-10 Main Street. He already had two tenants: William Henry Pulis for grocery and hardware and John Garrison of Darlington for a butcher shop. The first was where Electrolux now is, and the second where the Deli is now. A deli and candy store opened between the two which was run by John Guatelli. The second floor was partly rented to the Ramsey Building & Loan. Other offices housed insurance and real estate and later borough clerk and the library. One of the two big rooms was rented by the Improved Order of Oddfellows and the Jr. Order of American Mechanics. Later a basketball and sports club occupied it. The big room next to the railroad had a stage in it which traveling shows rented and movies (silent) were shown. I remember my 1910 grammar school graduation there. A frequent tenant was Claude Rouclere of Ridgewood who put on magic shows.
John Y. Dater installed a coal-fired steam engine in his shop next to the track to run a newspaper cylinder press and smaller job presses. There were two type-setting aisles by the windows. Emerson McMillan, who bought the Crocker mansion, used to take the railroad to New York. While waiting for the train, and he saw me setting type, he would come over and chat with me. He made his money running several electric trolley lines across the state. I also folded papers and helped with job work.
This growth in the town was certainly influenced by the newspaper with its local news and advertising. Mahwah, Allendale and Waldwick all came here to shop. The post office was in the Pulis store and about 1904 the Vanderbeek Drug Company opened in the front of the Journal area. This was also the telephone switchboard until 1906 serving local phones, Havemeyer in Darlington and Mahwah. All of these facts had a hand in the local development. Of course there were two liquor saloons on Main Street, which were very popular on election days. The Township Committee met in a part of one on the corner of Church Street. Up where Spruce Street is now, William Slack built a store where he made furniture, sold hardware and ran funerals (he made the coffins).
In 1909 the First National Bank (now Citizens First) opened in the old Valentine house which stood where the bank is now. E.F. Carpenter, who managed the Crocker estate, was its first president. In 1908 Ramsey became a borough and there was a new phase of development. About this time an electric trolley was built from Suffern to Paterson with the Ramsey station on Main St. where the high tension electric line crosses. Ramsey was a complete town with lawyers, doctors and vet, also a dry goods store and clothing store. The first ice cream and soda fountain was in the drug store with ice cream coming on the railroad from Paterson where it was made. There was also a lunch room on Main Street, a shoemaker, plumber, hay grain and feed store. As mentioned movies were also shown upstairs in the Journal building.
The Journal did all forms of job printing, even books. The operation of the newspaper and the print shop were all in the age old tradition of printing. That in itself, is a long story going back to the Middle Ages. With handset metal type hand-fed presses and hand-powered paper cutters.
The railroad was growing in those days with its fine old steam locomotives, and at least 800 daily commuters and lots of freight. When the rich people in Darlington went off or came back from Newport, or the seashore, in the summer there would be a big load of 6 to 10 trunks to be shipped on the railroad.
John Y. Dater switched to a typesetting machine for use on the newspaper. It deposited a line of type, set in words, which another operator justified into a column for the paper. Later on he bought one of the first Lino-types which cast metal slugs to be assembled in a column on the paper.
Now it is all different. Newspapers are produced by offset printing in which a typewriter-like machine produces type in a column. If handset ads are used, they are reproduced on paper for insertion. When the sheet is pasted up, it is made ready for the press by a photo-electric process. I learned offset printing on board ship in the Navy and installed it in the Journal. Advertising was the reason the old Journal was sold and the Store-News started in its stead. The shopper generated a circulation 10 times greater and carried a greater and more varied advertising service.