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166 I - 196 I 

R£E PUBLIC L!fcR>,nv 
Of WOODS:?;;.;Gl 

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Digitized by the Internet Archive 

in 2010 with funding from 

Lyrasis Members and Sloan Foundation 

Yesterday and Today 

In Recognition of the New Jersey Tercentenary 

A compilation of articles relating the development and growth of the educa- 
tional and religious institutions, as well as those civic, cultural and economic 
agencies which make the community of Fords what it is today. 

Contributed by 

Thirty-seven young children of the Woodbridge Township elementary school 
Fords #7, with a brief history of the area from 

1664 to 1964 


Dorothy F. D. Ludewig 
Principal of the School 

^UQQl I f2QQ^ 

Although the Tercentenary Edition of "Fords, Yesterday and 
Today" is the story of three hundred years experiences of people 
with a purpose who made progress in Fords from 1664 to 1964, 
the above picture of New Jersey, reproducing the map made by 
A. Vanderdonck in 1656 when the territory was still known 
as New Netherlands and the chief settlement called "Nieuw 
Amsterdam", occupied by the early Dutch, is very interesUng to 
study. This map shows exactly where in the state the various Indian 
tribes lived. Today there is little left that could identify these Indians 
in any way except those places that have kept the old Indian names. 
The closest to Fords is "Rariton" which is the name derived from 
the old "Wawitan" tribe after it passed through various stages of 
the hardy speech of the Dutch. 



Where is Fords? Cover Design 4 

Letters ^ 

Acknowledgments ^ 1 

Dedication 12 

Introduction 14 

A Brief History of Fords from 1664-1964 by Dorothy F. D. Ludewig 15 

The New Jersey Turnpike — Gary Turk 29 

The Garden State Parkway — Mark Mika 30 

Seeing Yesterday's Fords, Today — Eric Turk 32 

History of Schools and Churches: 39 

Fords School #7 — Philip Mingin 40 

Private Schools — Janice Dueker 53 

Our Lady of Peace Church and Our Lady of 

Peace School — Andrea Egan 54 

Fords Presbyterian Church — Vanessa Bober 56 

Our Redeemer Lutheran Church — Sharon Harkay 57 

St. John's Episcopal Church — Douglas Peterson 58 

Wesley Methodist Church — Jill Bizaro 59 

Ramot Chapter — B'nai Brith, Fords — Leslie Franzblau 60 

Grace Lutheran Church — Barry Shott 61 

St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church — Susan Chilinski 62 

Fords #14, #25 and Jr. High — Karen Wantuch 63 

History of Fords Municipal, Civic and Cultural Agencies: 

The Fords Fire Department — Gary Nahai 64 

Fords Police Department — Andrea Egan 67 

St. John's First Aid Squad — Ronald Smoyak 69 

First Bank and Trust Co. — Michele Petrovay 71 

Fords Post Office — Beverly Lukacs 73 

Fords Government — Judy Rader 74 

Board of Education Members from Fords — Mary Irish 75 

History of: 

The Woman's Club of Fords and 

Fords Public Library — Danny Harkay 76 

A Brief History of the P.T.A. in Fords— Marcie Bonalsky 83 

Catholic Charities — George Chingery 85 

The Fords Lion's Club — Carol Marczak 86 

Fords Post #163 — The American Legion — Robin Gaddis 89 

Fords Memorial Post #6090 V.F.W. — Patty Urr 91 

Fords Streets and Roadways — Carolyn Terefenko 93 

Business and Professional Growth of Fords — James Pirigyi 95 

Fords Industries— Elaine Both 98 

Circulation of Fords News — Colette Kozak 100 

Parks, Playgrounds and Recreation — Debbie Pajak 101 

Boy Scouts of America — Stewart Jago 102 

Girl Scouts of America — Susan Bizaro 102 

Fords Little League Baseball — Matthew Jago 103 

Land Marks, Then and Now — Kevin Lane 104 

Local Union #270 — Charles Williams 105 

Epilogue — Mrs. Dorothy F. D. Ludewig 107 

The cover design is the result of the joint efforts of Gary Turk (left) and Mark Mika (right), 
fourth grade students who contributed the articles on the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden 
State Parkway. 


In 1963 when the children of Fords School #7 wrote and inquired of many 
authorities for some information about Fords, the best and most up to date 
answer was that contained in the "Columbia — Lippincott Gazetter of the World" 
edited by L. E. Seltzer and published in 1961 by Columbia University Press, 
reported by Encyclopedia Britannica Library Research Service as follows: 
"Fords, industrial village in Woodbridge Township, Middlesex County, N. E. 
New Jersey near Raritan River, three miles N. W. of Perth Amboy; noted for 
chemicals, plastics, bricks, metal products and clothing." 

Since "Fords, Yesterday and Today" has come off the press anyone asking 
"Where is Fords?" will have no trouble giving a ready answer. Fords is the 
only place in the State of New Jersey where the two miracle highways. The 
New Jersey Turnpike and The Garden State Parkway come together. 

Besides being able to locate the town definitely and accurately, in language 
which is meaningful to anyone who drives or rides in a motor car, it adds to 
the description offered in the "Columbia — Lippincott Gazetter of the World" 
by telling the story of the beginnings, development and growth of that criteria 
which makes Fords the booming, bursting, broadening community that it is. 

Sxjvxe of New Jersey 

Office oi-- the Governor 

Tr e nxon 

Richard J. Hughes 

Dear Miss Ludewig: 

Nothinf; gives me quite so much pleasure 
as the daily reminders that the Tercentenary 
is being used in many wise ways by intelligent 
school people such as yourself. Compilation 
of a community history by students and their 
teachers, parents and friends is the most val- 
uable kind of learning experience, and I con- 
gratulate you and all who have contributed to 
"Ford, Yesterday and Today" for your wisdom 
in leading your young people along such an im- 
portant path. 

I am enclosing the message you requested 
for the Tercentenary edition of the book. 

As for placing the book in the education- 
al display of the New Jersey Tercentenary Pa- 
vilion at the New York World's Pair, I am re- 
ferring this to Mr. David S. Davies, Executive 
Director of the Commission, and he will be in 
touch with you shortly with respect to this 

Again, my congratulations to you and all 
your students. 


Miss Dorothy D. Ludewig, Principal 
Woodbridge Township Public Schools 
King George Road 
Fords, New Jersey 

March 23, 19614. 



1664 • 1964 


Sx-A-iE OF New Jersey 

OrncE OF THE Governor 


Richard J. Hughes 


Dear Students : 

I am told by your good principal, Miss Doro- 
thy D. Ludewig, that this history of Fords is the 
first ever written about your community, and that 
you, your parents, your relatives, your friends 
and your teachers have worked long and hard to cre- 
ate this record of your community. 

I congratulate you on your enterprise. You 
have participated in that process whereby each of 
us may learn something of where he stands in the 
flow of h\iman history and how each of us may best 
contribute to the continued growth of man. In 
writing this history you have taken an important 
step in insuring that your role will be a vital 
one, and that your community, your county, your 
state, your nation, and your world will be a better 
place because you have passed by. 

I congratulate you on the completion of "Ford's, 
Yesterday and Today". This book is a significant 
contribution to New Jersey's Tercentenary celebra- 
tion and will continue to pay dividends long after 
the Tercentenary year ends. 

/GOVERNOR / -, / 

Grade Students of 
Fords School #7 
Kinp; George Road 
Pords, New Jersey 

March 23, I96I4. 

1664 • 1964 


Middlesex County Record Building 
telephone ch60400 
new brunswick. n. j. 

Robert R- Blunt 

March 1?, 1964 

Mrs. Dorothy F. D. Ludewig 
School No. 7 
Fords, New Jersey 

Dear Mrs. Ludewig: 

I want to commend the pupils of School No. 7 at 
Fords for their diligent search into the past for a 
knowledge of their community. The Tercentenary Edition 
of "Fords, Yesterday and Today" should engender pride 
in the rich background of that area of venerable 
Woodbridge Township. 

Although the book itself is a fine piece of work, 
it is only the end result of a rich learning experience 
which really is more significant than anything else. 
The experience will never be forgotten by the young 
researchers, I am sure. 

Congratulations to your pupils and their teachers. 

Sincerely yours, 

RRB/enb Robert R. Blunt 

County Superintendent 


l^oMaJJ 1664—1964/ FoiThrce Coitnries People Purpose Progress 


Richard J. Hughes 

^prii 17, I96I4. 

Miss -^orothy P.D. Ludewig 


School #7 

Fords, New Jersey 

Dear Miss •'-'udewig: 

When all of the Tercentenary songs have 
been sung, and all of the Tercentenary stamps stuck, 
and the Tercentenary flags turned into dust rags, 
local histories written by children will pay divi- 
dends to our commonwealth as nothing else we do in 
this Tercentenary year, I congratulate you and 
the students of Fords School #7 for writing and 
publishing "Fords Yesterday and Today". Old timers 
and newcomers will read your book and be better 
citizens because of it. This is the essence of what 
is being attempted with the Tercentenary, 

I am certain your students can appreciate 
- and will appreciate even more after they have 
visited it - that the New Jersey Tercentenary Pavilion 
at the World's Fair is a planned exhibit with no un- 
used nooks and crannies in which we might include 
Just one more exhibit. However, if it is possible, 
we certainly want to display a copy of "Fords Yes- 
terday and Today" at the Pavilion a s a perfect exam- 
ple of what is being accomplished by young people 
and their teachers during the Tercentenary year. 

Executive Director 

Paul L. Troist. Chairman, Clilton: i Charles E. Farringion, Assemblyman and Vice-Chairman, Primelon; A Kenneih Chorley. Hopewell Town- 
ihtp: A Mrs. A. R. Green. Elunboro Tounihip: A Frederick H. Groel. Shorl Hills: A Henry S. Haine.!. Senaior. Burlington; i Marion West 
Higgins. Assemblywoman. Hillidale: A Dr. Clifford L. Lord. RiJseuood: A John T. Soja. Elizabefh; A Richard R. Stout, Senator. AllenhursI: A 
William A. Wachenteld. Orange: a David S. Davies, Executive Director; a Roger H, McDonough, Secretary, 




mice of tl|£ ^ayor 


March 23, 1964 


The Woodbridge Council and I want to con- 
gratulate and commend you for your efforts in 
the publishing of Fords - Yesterday and Today . 

We realize the tremendous amount of re- 
search that has gone into this project and 
through your diligent efforts, the history of 
Fords is now available. 

It is through activities such as this 
that you--the future leaders of tomorrow--have 
been able to learn about our community and how 
government functions. This is necessary and 
vital if you are to be equipped to be good citi- 
zens in a steadily and increasingly complex 
society with which you will be faced. 

You have made an excellent start and we 
are all confident that you will go on to make 
your parents and your community proud of you. 



President of Council 


irst Bank ^g) 



Perth Amboy, New Jersey 

March 18, 19^'^ 

Dear Mrs* Ludewlg: 

On behalf of Mr. Roosevelt, 1 am happy 
to enclose herewith our check with the hope that 
we may be of some help to you in your magnificent 
under taking . 

First Bank and Trust Company is keenly 
aware of the effective and inspired work of those 
who are involved in preparing the history of Fords 
for publication. It is refreshing, indeed, to be 
witness to the dedication of the youth of your com. 
munity for their assistance in a project of this 
nature . 

Ve have some notion of the effort and 
energy required by all concerned, and it is our 
opinion that you are performing a most significant 
patriotic responsibility. 

With every best wish for the continued 
success of this endeavor, I am 



Dolores M. Regal 
Assistant Cashier 




It was not easy to gather the huge volume of material which was sorted, 
sifted and studied to provide the stories which have gone into the contents of 
"Fords, Yesterday and Today." Therefore much gratitude is due many interested 
and cooperative citizens who were so gracious as to visit our school, talk at our 
assemblies and grant private individual interviews with participating children in 
their homes. 

To mention a few of these citizens whose contributions stand out especially 
one calls the names of Mr. Ernest Moffett, Ex-police chief John Egan, Mr. Joseph 
Dambach, Mrs. E. J. Fouroat, Miss Georgiana Cronce, Mr. Howard Sharp, 
Mrs. B. Sunshine, Mr. H. A. Slover, Mrs. Allyn Petersen, Mrs. Williard Dunham, 
Mrs. Ella Klein, Mrs. Helen Andersen, Mrs. Ruth Kahree, Mr. Joseph Nemyo, 
Mr. Howard Smith, Mrs. Anna Rosenbloom, Mr. and Mrs. Ray Solowinski, 
Mrs. Edna Harkay, Mr. Stephen Mazar, Mr. Howard Fullerton, all the pastors 
of the various churches and countless others too numerous to mention. 

Many thanks also are given to the photographers, Mr. Michael Muha and 
Mr. Ralph Mika who visited libraries, private homes and scouted all over the 
community taking pictures as well as spending much time, cleaning and sharp- 
ening old photographs which were used. 

Certainly not to be forgotten are the cooperative efforts of the workers in the 
eager parent group whose civic pride in their community and deep joy in the 
accomplishments of Fords School #7 have resulted in raising the funds, in a 
very few weeks, which have made it possible to publish the Tercentenary Edition 
of "Fords, Yesterday and Today." 

"By their fruits ye shall know them." 



/ . lit . , 

/r>rc/s Silinnl Sludim^ N^>^^ PrcfXUino 
//is/,„> Of /lirir ^*<'ii Ol \\ or)cll)ric/m- 

«r 'Sl^ l!»^:. IIM 

l/Vi/v/.^ Pupi^^ IJi'h'r !nt<i lli^lfirv 

, ./ / I. nil*' II"*''" , iii>,i."y 


From left to right, front row seated: Mark Mika, Debbie Pajak, Karen Wantuck, Philip Mingin, 
Marcie Bonalsky, Colette Kozak, Gary Turk. Second row: Mary Irish, Janice Dueker, Barry Shott, 
Susan Chilinski, Jill Bizaro, Vanessa Bober, Douglas Petersen, Leslie Franzblau, Sharon Harkay. Third row: 
Kevin Lane, Stewart Jago, Andrea Egan, Judy Rader, Michele Petrovay, Beverly Lukacs, Elaine Both, Carolyn 
Terefenko, Matthew Jago, Ronald Smoyak. Back row: Mrs. Ludewig, James Pirigyi, Robin Gaddis, 
Carol Marczak, Patty LIrr, Susan Bizaro, Danny Harkay and Chrales Williams. 

Fords School #7 Junior Historians with their principal, Mrs. Dorothy F.D. Ludewig. These elementary school 
children contributed the articles which have resulted in the publication of the first history of their community. 
The Tercentenary Edition of "Fords, Yesterday and Today". 

Absent when the picture was taken were Gary Nahai, George Chingery, Charles WilHams and Eric Turk. 


A Tribute 
To the people of Fords, 


whose roots are buried 

deep in the history 

of the past, 


whose daily lives 

are devoted to growth and progress 

in the present 

and those 

whose dreams are entwined 

toward positive goals 

for the future, 

this book 

is affectionately 


-J ^r> 



Governor Richard J. Hughes proclaimed the Tercentenary Year (New Jersey's 
Three hundredth birthday) in a proclamation made at the State House 
in Trenton New Year's Eve. 

At that time Governor Hughes said "Our Tercentenary will be a time of joy 
and a time of thought, a time of action and a time to contemplate, a time of 
parades and home comings, of new books and junior historians, of special 
events and family fun, of youngsters being exposed to the wonders of being 
a part of a community, and of old people remembering." 

The Tercentenary year finds activity in Fords School #7 geared to the pro- 
gram outlined by the Governor. Some of our children have become junior his- 
torians and with the help of their parents, grandparents, friends, teachers, their 
school principal and senior citizens of their community, have created this book, 
the first history of Fords to be written and published. In doing so they have 
become a vital part of their community and have challenged older residents 
to sharpen their memories. 

Without the cooperation of these older citizens, who have searched their attics 
and found stories and pictures of the past, it would have been impossible to have 
compiled the volume of information which has been gathered to make "Fords 
Yesterday and Today". Children have had interviews with important people who 
have lived in the community for many years, some of them all their lives. As 
these folks recalled their experiences the children took notes. These notes have 
been the nucleus around which many of the stories have been written. 

All of the boys and girls participating in this project have done so voluntarily. 
It must be understood that there is a limit to that which the child in the elemen- 
tary school is able to achieve. Since young children have made these contribu- 
tions, it is obvious that some of them did not write their reports by themselves. 
Therefore much gratitude and praise is due those civic minded citizens who 
gave them assistance. The children are to be commended for their zest and 
ambition, their pride in their community, and their perseverance to see the job 

There is no guarantee that every statement made is absolutely true. However, 
great pains were taken in proof reading the children's articles to make sure they 
were as accurate as they were able to find information to make them be. If there 
are discrepancies of any kind it is hoped that they are of such a trivial nature 
that they will not detract from the sincerity or the purpose of the book. 



Where we walk to school each day 
Indian children used to play — 
All about our native land, 
Where the shops and houses stand 
And the trees were very tall, 
And there were no streets at all, 
Not a church and not a steeple — 
Only woods and Indian people. 
Only wigwams on the ground. 
And at night bears prowling 'round 
What a different place today 
Where we live and work and play!' 

As the elementary school child in Fords School #7 is introduced to the history 
of his environment this is the picture he sees in his imagination of his community 
long, long ago. Naturally the questions arise, "How did it happen? What be- 
came of the Indians who lived here and who were the first white people to settle 
in Fords?" 

This is a long, long story, and in order to find the answers it was necessary 
to do a great deal of research. 

We are not sure who was the first European to discover the New Jersey coast. 
Some sources of history believe it could have been an Englishman named John 
Cabot. Nevertheless, we do know that another Englishman, a fearless sea captain 
named Henry Hudson sailed his ship the "Half Moon" into Raritan Bay and 
New York Bay and claimed all the land that he and his men explored for the 
Dutch in the year 1609. The Dutch named the land New Netherlands and that 
included that part of New Jersey which is now Fords. 

At that time the land was inhabited by the Indians and known as 
the Scheyichbi. The tribes living in New Jersey were identified as members of the 
Algonquin family known as the Lenni Lenape. Authorities tell us that the Indians 
of North Central Jersey were called Munsees, a Sanhican branch of the Unami 
Lenapes. Today there are none of these Indians but they are remembered chiefly 
by the Indian place names throughout our State. That which was closest to 
Fords was "Wawitan" which in Indian language meant "Forked River". Through 
constant repetition in the hardy speech of the early Dutch settlers the name be- 
came known as "Raritan". It is near this Forked River that Fords had its 
beginnings. It was said in the Dutch records that both sides of the Raritan River 
were adorned with spacious meadows and that along the river it was possible 
to erect several towns and villages. "However, upon this river no town settles, 
only one at the mouth of it. This one mentioned at the mouth of the Raritan 
River was probably Woodbridge."^ 

' From Days and Days by Annette Wynne, 1919, .J. 


Mppincott & Co. 

'^East Jersey under the proprietory Government by William A. Whitehead, p. 
Dennis, 1875, Newark. 

17, Martin R. 



In 1664 the English conquered the Dutch and King Charles gave 
New Netherlands to his brother, the Duke of York. He in turn gave that part 
of the country lying between the Delaware River and the Atlantic Ocean to his 
friends Lord John Berkeley and Sir George Carteret. Carteret named the territory 
New Jersey because he had been governor of an island in the English Channel 
by the name of "Jersey". These governors divided New Jersey into two parts. 
Berkeley's share was the western half of the state along the Delaware River. 
Carteret received the eastern portion. 

In June, 1669, Daniel Pierce and his associates received a charter for a certain 
parcel of this land which is shown on an early map as extending from Piscataway 
and the Raritan River north to what was then known as Elizabeth Township. 
We know the section which we now call Fords was located in that parcel of land 
which is shown on the map bounded on the south by Bonhamtown, on the north 
by Woodbridge and on the east by a settlement which was at that time called 

It is stated that in 1677 Governor Carteret made a successful attempt to buy 
from the Indians all the unbought lands lying between Woodbridge and 
Piscataway. Smith, in his History of New Jersey, says "The Indians never asked 
a high price for anything they had to sell. To see how cheaply they sold this 
valuable tract of country we have only to examine the agreement between the 
Indian land owners and Governor Carteret. The natives who owned the land 
were three Indians named Conackamack, Capatamin and Thingorawis." The 
following is the exchange they received for this vast area of territory: 

"One hundred fathoms of white wampum, six match coats, four blankets, 
three guns, six shirts, twenty bars of lead, twenty double hands of powder, one 
anker of rum, twelve axes, two half vats of beer, and six kettles! That is all! 
And yet the natives thought it was enough and were thoroughly delighted with 
the bargain."^ The Indian signatures authorizing the purchase of this land 
appeared on the document signed September 14, 1677 as follows: "Conackamack 
makes a nervous looking cross; Capatamin makes a mark like the figure 3, 
which however, is nearly turned over on its back; Thingorawis, for some reason 
urged his brother Conackamack to sign the deed in his behalf which he did with 
a bold X. Four Indian witnesses signed the paper also. Sachem of the Nevesinks 
made a mark like the English capital C, Eramky's signature was a 
sign resembling an F Clef, Queramack's sign looked like an English G and 
Nameth's signature was like a large A. Below these Indian signatures were 
three English names signed John Bloomfield, Claude Valott and Hopewell Hull. 
Beneath these is the official sign manual of James Bollen, Secretary of 
the Province."^ 

Indians in this territory were not numerous. Smith says in his History of 
New Jersey that the tribes in some sections were ten to twenty miles apart. 
However, many passed through the early Fords area during the fishing season, 
on their way to Ambo which was a point at the mouth of the Raritan River. 
There they caught perch, eels, oysters, clams and other fish. 

It is difficult to say exactly what became of the Indians who were living 
here. An early map shows the Minisink Trail which ran from Milford, Pennsyl- 
vania, to the Jersey coast as running directly through that part of Woodbridge 
Township which is Fords today. This was a regular trading and hunting route 
which the American Indians used. As the white settlers moved into the area to 
build their homesteads it is believed that the Indians retreated further north into 
the hills. 

^History of Woodbridge and Vicinity, J. W. Dally — New Brunswick, 1873. 



.ji i'»»' Vf. 

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"-"^■■A ' ' 

Early map of that portion of the State of New Jersey in the year 1682 which includes that 
part of Woodbridge Township which is today known as Fords. Many of the place names shown 
on this map are still in use today. Roads in those days were not the highways we are accustomed 
to today. Those on the map were listed as "Upper Road South to Delaware River," "Lower 
Road to Delaware River," "Minasink Path" and"Lawries Road." Privately-owned plantations of 
those early days in many cases subsequently became villages and towns. The circle shows that 
part of Woodbridge Township which is known today as Fords. 



The Indian trails of the early days were gradually widened as the first settlers 
used them to travel upon. Later, wagons and stage coaches came into use and 
these trails began to appear as roads. There were two heavily traveled turnpikes 
that went through Fords. One was called Woodbridge Turnpike, which today 
is known as Main Street and the other was called the Amboy Turnpike, which at 
Fords Corner formed two roads. One was King George Road which branched 
left and continued into Woodbridge; the other became New Brunswick Avenue 
which today, runs into Perth Amboy. 

During the 1800's those people who traveled walked, road horseback, or used 
a horse and buggy. There was a stage coach which would take people long 
distances, and a journey across New Jersey from New York to Trenton would 
take almost two days over the dirty, dusty roads. The late Mr. Andersen who 
lived in the Cutter House on Main Street for many years spoke of a stage coach 
which made a stop in this vicinity en route from Newark to Trenton. 


During the next hundred and fifty years, the Fords section of Woodbridge 
Township grew. Houses were built and farms were developed. Small businesses 
grew up. Rich deposits of clay fostered new industries. Families grew and the 
names of Bloomfield, Bloodgood, FuUerton, Harned, Cutter, Dunham, Voorhees, 
Moffett, Johnson, Coddington, Liddle, Kent, Ford, Crow, Hope, Pierce, Compton, 
Kinsey, Hollander, Thompson and others too numerous to mention, can be 
identified with the growth and expansion of the community. 

There seems to be some uncertainty as to which of these families was the first 
to arrive in Fords. Although much has been written about early Woodbridge 
Township families it is difficult to determine accurately which ones, and the 
exact date, people settled in the Fords section. However, it is alleged that the 
Cutters were residents in the late 1600's. Rebecca D. Cutter, a descendant of 
this early Cutter family, married John Van Pelt Voorhees, whose daughter Ann 
was the mother of Ernest Moffett, a long time resident of Fords who lives in 
Woodbridge today. 


Fords in the early days was called "Sling Taile"^ after a little stream which 
ran through the heart of the vicinity. No one seems to know exactly why this 
stream was so called. However, there are several legends. Some say it was so 
named because of the cows with slinging tails that grazed in the mead- 
ows through which the brook tumbled. Others, that it may have received its name 
because the boys in those days would sling skunks or muskrats they trapped 
from one shore to another by their tails. Nevertheless, Sling Taile is the name 
by which the town of Fords was originally known. Any one passing through the 
community today would see no sign of this running stream as it is piped under- 

The water which used to form the Sling Taile Brook runs under the Fords 
Streets beginning in a vicinity north of King George Road, in an area that at 
one time was the George Liddle farm, flowing in a south west direction under 
New Brunswick Avenue, beyond Lope's Restaurant, under the Lehigh Railroad, 
through the clay banks into Raritan River. 

Another section of what is now an area of Woodbridge Township between 
Fords and the town of Woodbridge was called "Mutton Hollow". That was an 
area beyond Fords Park toward the turnpike which was later known as the clay 
bank region where Ryan's Brick factory stood. Also, Fords was occasionally 
referred to as "The Dreary Sandhills". This was because the part of the town 
where many of the people lived was the area along King George Road known 
today as the Sand Hills Section. Probably the reason it was called "dreary" 
was because the people who lived in that part of the town labored hard in the 
clay pits and found little time for cheer. 



In the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, the town became known 
as Ford's Corner. This was because the land which is now intersected by New 
Brunswick Avenue and King George's Road was at that time owned by families 
by the name of Ford. These Fords were well known and since their homes were 
located on the corners of the roadways, people coming to visit them used to say 
they were going to Ford's Corner. The community was called by that name for 
a good many years. As the members of the Fords families died and their houses 
disappeared, the town became known as "Fords". 


"Next to Ford's Inn was Bengamin Crows' house. His wife was Grace Ford, 
known and loved by everyone as 'Aunt Grace'. "^ Later this house became 
known as the Liddle house. Crow's Mill Road was named for the Crowe family. 
In the early days it was an important connection leading from King George's 
Post Road to the Raritan River in Keasbey. Keasbey at that time was a thriving 
brick making section of Woodbridge Township. Along Crows Mill Road and in 
the immediate vicinity, many prominent Fords citizens lived. Today, their 
memory is marked by the names of some of the streets in the area. 


During the Revolutionary War, much of the campaign centered in and around 
Fords. Fords Corner was a famous junction for roads going from Piscataway 
and Bonhamtown to Woodbridge and Perth Amboy. The Inn of Samuel Ford 
was on one of these corners. Ebenezer Ford lived in another house on a corner 
on the opposite side of the street. It is said that he was a member of the commis- 
sion which appraised the losses of the citizens of Woodbridge Township during 
the Revolutionary War. "According to tradition, at the Intersection of Amboy 
Turnpike and Woodbridge Turnpike was the rendevous for the 'Jersey Blues' 
in Woodbridge. Here the patriots met to discuss the progress of the Revolu- 
tionary War and to propose a means for harassing the enemy. These meetings 
were of course secret and partly composed of young men not yet serving in the 
army."^ There does not seem to be any explanation why these young patriots 
were called "Jersey Blues". However, one assumes it was because of the blue 
uniforms they wore and the fact that they lived in the territory of New Jersey. 

Timothy Bloomfield was an early Fords patriot during the War for 
Independence. His house was located on the Amboy Turnpike. For refusing to 
acknowledge his allegiance to King George the third he suffered the wrath of the 
English Tories and was put in prison. His sons Smith and Timothy Jr. were in 
the Continental Army and the women folk of the family were without protection 
in the old homestead, on the farm, while the men were away. Dally relates in 
his "History of Woodbridge and Vicinity" a story which says that one day when 
the British Red Coats ravished the Bloomfield premises they confiscated the 
family Bible, as well as a precious brindle cow, and carried them off to Staten 
Island to the British Commander. Girls were brave in those days and Eunice 
Bloomfield. daughter of Timothy, accompanied by a girl friend followed the 
enemy. They walked to the shore of the Raritan River where they found an old 
skow. The girls jumped into it and paddled across the Kill Van Kull to the 
other side. Upon their arrival they sought the commander, pleaded their story, 
won his compassion, and returned to Fords with the Bible and the cow, as well 
as a British escort. "American troops were constantly passing through the town 
during the latter part of 1776."® 


^Froni Disappearing Landmarks of Woodbridge Township — Amy Breckinridge, 1946. 

7 IBID. 




The above picture was taken more than a decade before the trolley car appeared in Fords. 
New Brunswick Avenue was a dusty, dirt road at that time. The building in the background was 
the old Fullerton house which in by gone days stood where the P'ords Movie theatre is today. 
Typical of the mode of transportation is the horse and wagon shown. Fannie Olesen is holding 
the reins. Standing in the wagon are Will Cochinberry and Sandy Halligan. The two young men 
leaning against the brick pile are John Olesen and James Egan. Standing on top of the brick 
pile are Ballantine Hamilton and Robert Fullerton (wearing the jacket; he is the present Robert 
Fullerton's father). William Fullerton holds the two horses by their bridles. The ladies and children 
standing along the fence are other members of the Fullerton family and their friends. All of the 
people in this picture are now deceased. 

Courtesy of Robert Fullerton 


Very early in 1900 travel improved for the people in Fords. The only rail- 
road serving the community at that time was the Lehigh Valley and there were 
no railroad stations as such. However, there were two small buildings where 
people could seek shelter while waiting for a train. One was off King George's 
Road and the other was in the vicinity of Crow's Mill Road. Most people wishing 
to travel directly to New York City or Philadelphia chose to board a train in 
Perth Amboy or Metuchen. However, when the trolley came to Fords, people 
were able to visit the surrounding communities by trolley. 

The line which was built in Perth Amboy by a railroad company known as 
the Raritan Traction Co., extended the service which began in Perth Amboy on 
April 17, 1900, into Fords a few years later. This trolley line ran from Perth 
Amboy through Keasbey over Crows Mill Road and turned off Crows Mill 
Road onto New Brunswick Avenue through Fords, into Metuchen, on to New 
Brunswick. If one wanted to go to Woodbridge from Fords he could board the 
trolley in Fords, ride in the opposite direction through Keasbey and 
Perth Amboy, then through Mauer along Boynton Beach into Sewaren and 
continue to Woodbridge. 

It is not difficult to understand why Fords children going to High School 
often walked to Woodbridge in those days. Imagine how long it must have taken 
to go on the trolley! Miss Cronce told us that teachers living in Woodbridge 
going to their jobs in Fords had to leave their homes at 6:45 in the morning 
in order to get to school at twenty minutes to nine. Trolley travel from Wood- 
bridge to Fords was complicated because the passengers would have to get off 
one trolley at the corner of Smith and State Streets in Perth Amboy and wait 
for another trolley traveling through Keasbey into Fords. When the teachers 
reached their destination they got off the trolley on New Brunswick Avenue and 
walked -the remaining blocks to the school. Nevertheless the trolley was a con- 
venience. Although people could save time by walking to and from Woodbridge, 
the trolley offered more comfort in bad weather. Also, the trolley was a means of 
transportation for those college students who studied their lessons and com- 
pleted assignments while riding to and from Fords to Rutgers University in 
New Brunswick. 


Trolley car leaving Perth Amboy for Fords early 1900's. Open air trolleys were popular 
in the summer months and closed trolleys for more comfort during the cold months. 

The trolley tracks did not run in the middle of New Brunswick Avenue as 
one might imagine. Instead they were laid on the extreme northern end of the 
street and in some instances very close to the houses. There used to be a little 
yellow house in front of the blacksmith shop which was located in the vicinity 
of the present Gross Building at the corner of New Brunswick Avenue and King 
George Road. Senior citizens in Fords today tell stories of how they were able 
to alight from the trolley car right at the threshold of the little yellow house. 

In 1930 the trolley line was dis- 
continued. New highways began to 
appear. Traveling became much 
faster by automobile and bus. To- 
day the Board of Education spends 
hundreds of thousands of dollars to 
transport Fords school children to 
High School in Woodbridge over 
well paved roads in a fraction of 
the time it took them to go by 
trolley fifty years ago. 

New Brunswick 
East, Fords, N.J. 

Avenue, looking 





There has seemed to be a question in the minds of some people concerning 
the boundaries of Edison and Fords, since so much of the early history of Fords 
and Fords Corner, as it was yesterday, lies in Edison today. This can 
be explained by inserting an explanation of how Raritan Township came to be, 
which today is known as Edison. 

The Township of Edison, formerly the Township of Raritan, was incorporated 
shortly after the Civil War. The Boundary lines were established from a portion 
of Woodbridge Township and a portion of Piscataway Township. This was 
done by an act of the legislature April, 1870. The easterly boundary line started 
at the Raritan River and went northerly across meadow lands owned by the 
Kistrup family to what was then King George Road. It followed the center line 
of King George Road in a northeasterly and northerly direction to the inter- 
section of King George Road, to the Brunswick-Amboy Turnpike which is now 
Amboy Avenue in Edison and New Brunswick Avenue in Fords. From then it 
went in a north-westerly direction bisecting various properties and farms to 
Menlo Park and then in a northerly direction to the Union County line. The 
Ford Farm was on the southwesterly corner of Amboy Avenue and King George 
Road. The Liddle farm was on the northwesterly corner of King George Road 
and Amboy Avenue and was bisected by the division line of 1870. 

One wishing to identify this bisecting line today might begin at that place 
occupied by the Calso Gas Station on the corner of New Brunswick Avenue 
(or Amboy Avenue, as it is called in Edison), and Ford Avenue. The Gas Station 
lies in Edison Township but as one walks along Ford Avenue toward Main 
Street, the line dividing Edison Township and Woodbridge Township runs right 
through the center of the old Andersen house which is now the Flynn Funeral 
Parlor. From there the rest of that street is in Fords. 

On the opposite side of New Brunswick Avenue the dividing line is King 
George Road. Going along the street in the direction of the Raritan River the 
property on the left side of the road is in Fords. The property on the right side 
of the road, which includes the Sand Hills School and the old Sandhill section 
from which has come some of the roots of early Fords history, lies in Edison 
Township since the incorporative act of the 1870 legislature. However, many 
people living in Edison have a Fords address and their mail is delivered from 
the Fords post office. 


At this point New Brunswick Ave. 
in Fords becomes Amboy Ave. in 
Edison. This is one of the busy places 
where Woodbridge Township joins 
Edison Township. 

The tree on "Our Lady of Peace" 
lawn is in Edison. The Gross building 
on the left is in Fords. 

A long range view of Fords corners 
taken from the steps of Our Lady of 
Peace Church. 


Tree Yields To Progress 

'. <f 't 

Courtesy ol Mrs. Allvn I'ettTsen 

This ancient, stately elm, a landmark in Fords for more than a century, 
finally yielded to progress and the woodsman's axe. On the first day 
of November, 1954, the beautiful tree was cut down to make room for the First 
National Bank which is known today as the First Bank and Trust Co. of Fords. 
The tree which used to stand at the corner of New Brunswick Avenue and King 
George's Road graced the old Liddle estate shown in the background, which was 
the social center of Fords for many years. 

Mrs. Allyn Petersen, of Redfield Village, Metuchen, N.J. was a Liddle before 
her marriage. The house in the picture was her home for many, many years. 
Her parents purchased the property in 1850 from the Crowes. Mrs. Crowe was 
a daughter of one of the Ford families, and the property was conveyed to her 
and her husband by her parents in 1804. 


Typical of the family gatherings held on warm summer afternoons under 
the shade of the hovering elm were scenes like these when the Liddle family 
and the Hope family would get together for a clam bake. 


The dark building on the left is the 
old Liddle blacksmith shop which used 
to attract the children coming home from 
i school on King George's Road. The 
gray-haired man in the center is Mr. 
George Liddle who owned the property 
known as the "Liddle Farm". Famous 
landmarks of Fords Corner today stand 
on property which was carved out of the 
Liddle estate. Among those most notice- 
able are "Our Lady of Peace Church", 
"Our Lady of Peace School", and "First 
Bank and Trust Company". 

Courtesy of Mrs. Allyn Petersen 

This picture taken under the great 
Elm tree shows the old Ford homestead 
beyond the fence on the other side of 
the street. Today this is a commercial 
block on which stands the Fords Bakery 
and other stores. This part of Fords, 
as well as "Our Lady of Peace Church" 
property became part of "Raritan Town- 
ship", now known as "Edison" by the 
legislative act of 1870. 

Courtesy of Mrs. Allyn Petersen 




Fords is the type of community it is because of the various kinds of people 
who came here to make their homes. Following the Civil War many Irish men 
came to live. Names like O'Brien, Ryan, Shannon, Kelly, O'Riley, P^innegan, 
Lahe, and Egan appeared on the township register. Many of these people settled 
in the Sand Hills section of Fords and from the roots of these early Irish families 
there grew a passionate desire to establish a place of worship and so were sown 
the seeds which grew into what are today two of the outstanding land marks 
of the town, "Our Lady of Peace Church" and "Our Lady of Peace School". 


In the latter part of the 19th century an influx of foreign immigrants from 
Poland, Hungary, and Czechoslovakia arrived. Because there were rich deposits 
of clay in the area, industries that made brick, pottery, and ceramics created 
a ready labor market for these Polish, Slavish, and Hungarian newcomers. 
These people worked hard and saved money. They wanted a better life for their 
children than they had in Europe and today their descendants make up a large 
portion of the population of Fords. Therefore, the names of Nagy, 
Mazur, Kovacs, Pajak, Mizerny, Szabo, Kozak, Molnar, Novak, Sepchik, Sutch, 
Poroski, Kish, Capik, Racz, Smoyak, Izso, Lukacs, Marczak, and many, many 
others of Ukranian lineage can be found among the families in Fords. 


For decades before and after the turn of the century an influx of another 
foreign element settled in Fords. The social and economic difficulties in Denmark 
which resulted in strikes and political unrest among the people brought many 
Danish settlers to New Jersey shores. Many of them settled in and around Perth 
Amboy and groups of them migrated to Fords. 

These people were clever craftsmen. Among them were carpenters, wood 
working experts and cabinet makers. Others were thrifty farmers who found the 
fertile fields and broad open meadows desirable locations for their dairy farms. 
The women possessed versatile culinary skills and were delicate lace makers. 

About the same time, people who were seeking independence from the conflicts 
arising in Norway and Sweden came to America. New Jersey was fortunate to 
receive a quota of these folks, some of whom settled in Fords. Like the Danes, 
these men and women were hardy and ambitious. Some of them became versatile 
students of Ceramic Art and many of them found remunerative employment in 
the kilns and other industries which manufactured products made out of clay. 
Names^ such as Christiansen, Petersen, Hansen, Jensen, Erickson, Anderson, 
Johnson, Olsen, Clausen, Ostergaard, Overgaard, Sorensen, Koyen and Lund 
are common in Fords today. Many of them are descendants of these Scandi- 
navian immigrants of yesterday. Since the Lutheran Church is the official church 
of most Scandinavian countries these new settlers brought enduring religious 
convictions with them which strengthened the Lutheran movement in the Fords 



About the same time the Irish were settling in the Sandhill section of Fords 
a group of German immigrants found homes in and around Keasbey. These 
hardy folks took jobs in the brick making establishments and found employ- 
ment for their dexterous skills in the ceramic and porcelain industries. In later 
years many of their descendants moved out farther into Fords. About that time 
other families of German extraction moved into the community. Some of them 
came from Perth Amboy and some from greater distances. Many found homes 
on the side streets between New Brunswick Avenue and the Lehigh Valley Rail- 
road. Others moved into new homes in areas near King George Road. Among 
the residents of Fords today are those with German names such as Schneider, 
Boeslack, Meyer, Blanchard, Shurig, Fritsche, Laubach and others. 


It is believed the first Jewish folks to move to Fords were the Grosses who 
settled in the Sand Hill Section in 1890 and opened a general store. Other early 
Jewish families were the Brauns, the Goldsteins and the Rosenblums. Among 
Fords residents today is a group of prosperous and ambitious Jewish people 
who make a vital contribution to the economy and culture of the community 
as well as offer a broader scope to its professional services. 

Courtesy of Mrs. Rosenblum 

Goldsteins General Store on New Brunswick Avenue, 1915. Standing in the doorway 
are Mrs. Goldstein and two daughters, the present Mrs. Hack and Mrs. Rosenblum. 
The horse and buggy was typical of transportation of the era. 



During the early part of the twentieth century the profile of Fords began to 
change. The Cutter farm, the Dunham Farm, and the Parker property on the 
north side of King George's Road were sold. The new owners cut the land up 
into house lots and the purchasers built new homes. As new homes were built, 
new streets came into being, many of them named after the previous owners or 
the developers. City water lines were installed in 1911, gas and sewers in 1917. 
What was left of the Voorhees farm after the first tract was sold to build School 
#7 was divided into two parts. A man by the name of Kreilsheimer bought that 
half west of Crows Mill Road. Little by little this tract was cut into building 
lots. A Danish carpenter from Perth Amboy named Koyen bought the eastern 
half. He sold lots to people who built houses on both sides of what is now 
Liberty Street. Several years later the remaining Warner's Woods parcel grew 
into Koyen Street, Moffett Street, Warner and all the other streets in that area. 
In another part of Fords between the lower end of King George's Road and 
Main Street, the George Liddle farm was sold. This property too, was cut up 
in house lots and so were born First Street, Second Street, and the other num- 
bered streets, and those streets in the School Fourteen area. A movie house 
appeared on New Brunswick Avenue in 1920. 


And now the profile of Fords has changed. Little remains of the old, en- 
dearing landmarks. New housing developments and modern business enter- 
prises have given the town a different mien. New schools, new churches, new 
shopping centers are changing the patterns of the people's lives. 

In 1900 there were approximately 800 people living in Fords. The next ten 
years added only 100 new residents. In 1920 there were approximately 1500 
Fords folks. By 1930 the population had grown to 2900. The following ten 
years registered little or no gain. In 1950 there were 4000 inhabitants in Fords 
and 1964 saw that number tripled. 


New highways and faster thoroughfares have been one of the underlying 
factors in Fords' spectacular growth. The Garden State Parkway, with an exit 
and entrance on Route #440 in Fords, and the New Jersey Turnpike, which 
plowed through a Fords wilderness, have opened new avenues of travel which 
have enabled Fords residents to drive their automobiles to places of business 
outside of Fords in a very few minutes. These new highways have caused what 
were inaccessible, hidden areas to turn into bursting, busy building sites and 
entirely new housing developments almost "over night". These housing develop- 
ments have brought new people and more children who have demanded new 
schools, wider, more extensive shopping centers, and greater recreational and 
educational facilities. 


Today, Woodbridge Township, of which Fords is an important part, is the 
fourth largest school district in the State of New Jersey. Two beautiful 
new schools have opened in Fords in an area that was more or less a wilderness 
ten years ago. One is elementary School #25 in the new housing development 
called Lafayette Estates, and the other, Fords Junior High. 


Illustrations show Housing Developments in the background. The foreground shows acres of 
rough terrain being made ready for more building. Construction has begun for new garden apart- 
ments. The above pictures were taken on route #1 showing a massive movement for future growth 
in Fords. 



Before the New Jersey Turnpike opened, the chief highways between New York 
and Philadelphia were Highways Route #1 and #130. Traffic along these roads was heavy 
and congested. 

In 1952 the New Jersey 
Turnpike opened. Its busy 
lanes move through Fords, 
giving the Community ready 
access to all surrounding 
major cities. Hundreds of 
new industries, providing 
thousands of jobs have 
grown up in the vicinity of 
the 131 miles it travels. No 
roadway in America has 
triggered greater business 
and industrial growth. 
Towns and cities along its 
path have felt a boom in population 
because of its presence. This is 
especially true in Fords. The accessi- 
bility to the New Jersey Turnpike has 
resulted in a marked housing develop- 
ment. Three years after the miracle high- 
way opened Sommer Brothers Con- 
struction Co. Inc. turned Varady's 
Grove, the wooded tracts and open 
fields in the area into a busy metropolis 
with the construction of 500 homes. 
Seventy five per cent of the people who 
bought them came from out of town. 











Contributed by 

Gary Turk 

Grade 4 


Garden State Parkway in Fords, showing exit 
?'129 and ramp leading to tlie New Jersey Turnpike 
in the lower left corner. The darkened area in the 
center of the picture is the new Woodbridge Town- 
ship elementary School #25 located in the adjacent 
Lafayette Estates housing development in Fords. 


'^a 'jmi-'2aKc:- 


Fords lies within the area enclosed by a circle on the above Garden State Parkway maps. 

Perhaps the most vital contribution to the spectacular growth of Fords is the fact that it 
is at Fords that the two miracle highways in the state of New Jersey come together. At no 
other place in the state of New Jersey does this phenomena take place. 

Fords is the section of Woodbridge Township where the Garden State Parkway crosses 
the New Jersey Turnpike. In Fords the Garden State Parkway has an exit and an entrance 
intersecting King George's Road which at that point is known as New Jersey Highway Route 
#440. In Fords also is the exit #129 which intersects the New Jersey Turnpike going south 

It is in Fords that Exit #10 on the New Jersey Turnpike intersects the Garden State Park- 
way going north only. At exit #11 in Woodbridge Township, halfway between the towns of 
Fords and Woodbridge, intersecting New Jersey Highway, Route #9 a motor may leave or 
approach the New Jersey Turnpike to drive north toward New York City or south toward 



Exit » 128 in Fords where the Garden State 
Parkway intersects Route #440. 





Administration building of The New Jersey Higiiway Authority, Garden State Parkway, located in t'ords N.J. 
Notice the new housing development in the background which is typical of other housing developments which 
have grown up in the Fords area following the coming of the New Jersey Turnpike and the Garden 
State Parkway. 


New Jersey's longest toll road, the 173 mile Garden State Parkway starts in the north 
at the N. J., N. Y. border. It runs north and south through 10 counties and ends at Cape 
May City. The Parkway is the main route from the north to all Jersey seashore resorts. It 
is also an important link to other superhighways, mainly the N. Y. Thruway and the N. J. 
Turnpike. The Parkway has 91 interchanges which include 124 entrance ramps and 122 
exit ramps. Our town of Fords has both an exit and entrance to the Parkway going north 
and south. This provides quick and convenient access to all points for the daily commuter. 

The Garden State Parkway helped to bring many new homeowners to this area. As a result 
of this building boom the population of Fords increased. 

Contributed by Mark Mika, Grade 4 



Perhaps the most outstanding and really authentic remaining landmark of the early 
life in Fords is the old Cutter homestead on Main Street which is now the home of Mr. and 
Mrs. Raymond Solowinski and their son John. 

Through Mr. Ernest Moffett, one of the remaining descendents of the early Cutter family, 
we were able to establish the facts which have opened the doors so we can peek into the 
history of those early days in which Fiords had its beginning. Marriage certificates, birth 
certificates, deeds transferring property and ancient wills were examined in order to write 
the following story of Mr. Moffett's maternal grandmother who was Rebecca Dunn Cutter 
born October 31, 1821 in the old Cutter homestead on Main Street in Fords, the daughter 
of Francis Campyon Cutter who was a descendent of Dr. Melancthon Freeman, who was 
commissioned "Surgeon of State Troops, Col. Forman's battalion, Heard's brigade June 
21, 1776". 

The Cutter family came from England about 1640 and settled in Cambridge, Massa- 
chusetts. The family consisted of a widow, a daughter and two sons. Richard, one of these 
sons, also had a son Richard born November 13, 1682. According to Daily's "History of 
Woodbridge and Vicinity" Richard was no doubt, the progenitor of the Cutter family, which 
settled in this area of Woodbridge Township. He married Mary Pike August 20, 
1706. Richard and Mary Cutter had a son Joseph, who married Ann Campyon; Joseph and 
Ann had a son Campyon Cutter, who married Frances Moore; Campyon and Frances had 
a son named Francis Campyon Cutter, born March 8, 1797. Francis Campyon 
Cutter married Ann Hanes Freeman and their daughter was Rebecca Dunn Cutter (mentioned 
earlier in this story), born October 31, 1821 in the old Cutter homestead on Main Street, 
Fords. Rebecca Dunn Cutter married John Van Pelt Voorhees, son of Daniel Voorhees who 
owned the huge farm in Fords stretching along King George Road out of which a section 
was sold to build Fords School #7. (It is believed that the Voorhees folks were descendents of 
the early Dutch families who settled in another area when the land was known as 
New Netherlands. ) 

John and Rebecca Voorhees had a daughter Ann Freeman Voorhees who was born May 
17, 1851. She married Mr. Moffett and bore two sons, one being Ernest C. Moffett who was 
born and grew up in Fords and who now lives on Barron Avenue in Woodbridge. 

There was another house on the Cutter farm in the early 1700's. It is not clearly under- 
stood whether the present house is an enlargement and extension of the original house or 
whether it was built to replace the original house. In any case, the Cutters who lived on this 
plantation, as it was then called, are believed to have kept slaves. The New Jersey Almanac 
tells us that "The Act for gradual Abolition of Slavery" was passed February 18, 1804. 
Importation of slaves in New Jersey had been stopped in 1786. In 1846 the Legislature 
abolished slavery in the State of New Jersey but full freedom was not granted to the slaves. 
They remained in their jobs as apprentices. Daily's "History of Woodbridge and Vicinity" 
states that there were approximately 230 slaves in Woodbridge Township in 1800. It is 
believed that two of them owned by the Cutters were given their freedom in 1802. 

Mrs. Dorothy F. D. Ludewig, principal of Fords School #7 arranged for a group of 
children attending her school, including myself, to interview Mr. Ernest Moffett in the old 
Cutter homestead with Mr. and Mrs. Ray Solowinski and son John as our hosts and hostess. 
John is a boy about my age who goes to school at Rutgers Prep. Present that same evening 
were Mr. Thomas Peake Jr. and his three sons of 185 Second Avenue, Fords. Mrs. Peake, 
who was not present, is the daughter of Ernest C. Moffett's brother, John William Moffett. 
The three boys are Mr. Moffett's grand nephews. 

During the evening we all enjoyed some interesting stories told by Mr. Moffett. As the 
genial gentleman told stories, Mr. Ray Solowinski, who is a professional photographer, took 
pictures. Mrs. Solowinski and Mrs. Ludewig added interesting touches relative to Art and 
the history of period furniture. Mrs. Solowinski told us how she and her husband had gone 


about modernizing the house thus far and of their plans for the future. She said that when 
they purchased the house it was completely furnished, but since they have lived there they 
have added other pieces appropriate to the setting. 

The following pictures and their stories grew out of our experiences that evening. I shall 
call them "A Romance with the Past." 

Contributed by 
Eric Turk 

All photographs. Courtesy of Mr. Ray Solowinski 

The Cutter house in 1890. Notice the 
farm wagons in the yard and the old 
wind mill towering above the roof of the 
building. When houses had no plumbing 
or town water as they have today people 
had to depend on wells and ponds for 
their water supply. The wind mill served 
as a means of forcing water to the sur- 
face and into a building for many years 
before pumps were designed for that 
purpose. This often imposed hardships 
upon people when there were tranquil 
torrid days and the winds did not blow. 

Years ago, that area of Fords lying between King George Road and Main Street was a 
wide stretch of farmland including several farms. 

Where one man's property ended another's began. The above picture shows the old Cutter 
homestead and farm buildings surrounded by open fields which reach way out yonder. 

Today these open fields no longer exist. Instead there are many streets both sides of which 
have been cut into house lots on which homes have been built. 


Fords School #7 students and Mrs. Ray 
SoloWinski interview Mr. Ernest Moffett, great 
grandson of Rebecca Dunn Cutter who was bom 
in the Cutter homestead on Main Street in F"ords, 
October 31, 1821. The homestead has been re- 
stored and is now the home of Mr. and Mrs. 
Ray Solowinski and son John. 

Please note the early Victorian settee and chairs 
in which the guests are sitting; also the marble 
top, hand carved Victorian coffee table which is 
done in a beautiful scroll. On the wall hangs a 
copy of Raphael's "Madonna of the Chair" 
printed by one of his students. The early Victorian 
Florentine frame is exactly like the original which 
hangs in the Lourve in Paris. The lamps are 
original "Gone with the Wind kerosene models 
with the hand painted shades and bases which 
have been wired for electricity. 

From left to right — 
Karen Wantuch, Mrs. 
Mr. Ernest Moffett. 

Judy Rader, Philip Mingin, 
Solowinski, Eric Turk and 

Eric became enthused about the History of Fords when he was a si.xth grader in School r7 in the spring of 
1963. Although he is now a seventh grader in Fords Jr. High, his interest in the project continued until it was 
finished one year later. 

A beautiful mahogany, hand carved grandfather clock stands 
on the landing half way up the simple colonial stairway. It is 
a Tiffany piece containing two sets of chimes. One set tolls 
ship time, eight bells, the other Westminster chimes. The pendu- 
lums are balanced with liquid mercury. Gold numerals adorn 
the face of the clock. The scrolls and flaming finials are typical 
designs of early American period furniture. 

This view shows one end of the spacious dining 
room where a rare old fireplace is buih. It con- 
tains shelves inside the chimney, which in by gone 
days were used for baking purposes. This partic- 
ular fireplace still retains an original dutch oven. 
On either side of the chimney, not shown in the 
picture, are two lovely old china closets, built 
close to the wall. The glass panes in the doors 
are quaint, typical of the glass used in early 
colonial cabinets. 


Lisa, the Solowonski's pet cat slumbers on the hearth of a 
modernized barbecue in the kitchen of the ancient Fords home- 
stead. In restoring the old house care was taken to preserve its 
charm and at the same time adapt the original chimney and 
one of the old fireplaces into a versatile spit and barbecue 
suitable to meet the needs of today's casual entertaining. 

A quaint, picturesque fireplace in the old CuUlt hunicbleud 
has been modernized somewhat by the Solowinskis. The picture 
above shows delft tiles, each a different design of early American 
houses, including some old Pennsylvania half houses which 
have been inlaid to cover the old cracked and broken bricks 
in the face of the chimney. The wall covering is a copy of old 
musuem paper frequently used in the drawing rooms of early 
colonial homes and the clock on the mantel piece is an antique 
steeple clock. The candle sticks are old brass. Notice the exposed 
beams in the ceiling. They have been restored and finished to 
enhance their original beauty. They run the entire length of 
the huge living room. The rugged side beams are pinned to a 
huge center timber by wooden dowls, which were fitted 
in gauged holes by whomever built the house before spikes were 
used for that purpose. We are not certain exactly what kind of 
timber was used to make the beams but Mr. Moffett said he 
thinks they could be poplar. He told the story of having in- 
herited an old adz from his grandfather which was used to cut 
the timber in the beautiful tulip trees which grew profusely on 
the property. These trees were a kind of poplar whose wood 
was soft when it was green but became very hard as it aged. 
The early Cutters owned some saw mills where steam engines 
on wheels supplied the power to cut huge logs. The tulip trees 
grew very tall and it was possible to get some fine lengthy 
beams for building purposes from the trunks of the trees. The 
bark on these trees was velvet smooth, and it is just such a 
bark which still remains on parts of the beams in the ceiling 
of the Solowinskis' living room. 

The above picture, taken early in the century, 
shows Mr. and Mrs. Anders Andersen who lived 
on the Cutter farm for many years sitting on a 
bench in the garden in front of the homestead. 
Notice the old Ford car in the background with 
its huge metal head lamps, spoke wheels and 
canvas covered top. 


Karen and Judy are charmed with the dainty canopy and 
ornate scrolls of the ancient, heirloom bed in one of the bed- 
rooms of the old house. This piece of furniture is typical of 
many of the rare pieces which were brought from England 
when colonists first came to America. The girls asked why the 
bed seemed so short. An explanation stated that years ago 
Americans did not grow as tall as they do today and also 
that since old fashioned American homes, and early English 
homes for which such bedsteads were made did not have central 
heating systems, people often slept with their knees curled up 
under their chins to keep warm at night. Therefore, they did 
not need the longer beds which are used today. 

Philip is fascinated by the wide, pine boards in the house 
which have been restored and polished to show their original 
loveliness. He sits on one of two old twin spool beds, especially 
designed for children. Between the beds is a rare, yellow pine 
commode, beautiful in its simplicity, with a replica of the spool 
design used in the beds as its only decoration. These commodes 
were used long ago in bedrooms as storage places for those 
utensils that today's modern bathroom fixtures have replaced. 

Another beautiful piece of bedroom furniture is an original, 
old highboy containing dove tailed drawers. It is made of 
solid cherry with a bonnet top and flame finials. The shell 
grooves and scroll rosettes are hand carved. The lovely old 
feet are ball and claw design. The piece is indeed an elegant 
picture against the floral wall pattern which is a copy of the 
hand blocked print in the Henry Ford Museum. 




ABOVE — The Cutter House in the winter of Yesterday's Fords. The same house in the summer of today. 
Many of the trees remain and new ones have been planted. Notice the various changes in the building. The old 
porch that almost surrounded the house has been removed. A gracious colonial portico shelters the front entrance. 
An additional wing has been built at the left. The grounds have been terraced and landscaped and a quaint 
picket fence lends atmosphere to the setting. 

Not too many decades ago there were 
many Fords residents who were farmers. 
They raised their own fruits and 
vegetables, Icept live stock, chickens and 
other breeds of fowl. The above picture 
shows the poulty yards and farm 
buildings in the rear of the old Cutter 
homestead when Mr. and Mrs. Anders 
Andersen lived on the premises. Many 
residents in the area remember buying 
eggs from the Andersens. 


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History of Schools 



Fords #7 children examine deeds in the office of the Board of Education which show transfer of early Fords 
property owned by John Van Pelt Voorhees to the Board of Education to build the first public school in Fords 
on March 15, 1858. From left to right: Karen Wantuch, Beverly Lukacs, Mrs. Ludewig, Carolyn Terefenko and 
Philip Mingin. 


Number Seven is the oldest public school in Fords. It had its beginning in a small, one 
story, two room, wooden building which was known as the Fairfield Union School. It was 
approximately thirty one feet wide and fifty seven feet long and was located on the same 
site along King George Road on which the present brick structure stands today. 

The land on which the original Fairfield Union School was built was a tract deeded to 
the Board of Education by Daniel Voorhees August 10, 1858. The location was described as 
being situated on the "southerly side of the old stage road from Woodbridge to Bonhamtown, 
in the Township of Woodbridge, in the County of Middlesex and the State of New Jersey. 
Beginning at the southerly side of said road, at a stake distant nine chains, ninety four 
links, westwardly along said road from the easterly edge of a large rock lying at the fork 
or intersection of the said state road, with the Westerly line of the road leading southerly to 
Crows Mills Rd., at the northeasterly corner of Daniel Voorhees house lot — and from the 
said stake running along the Stage road, south ( 1 ) fifty nine degrees, forty five minutes 
West two chains, seventeen links, thence (2) south twenty degrees. 

The remaining few lines completing the description of the tract is not legible on the face 
of the deed which was made by Daniel Voorhess transferring the property for the Fairfield 
Union School to Samuel Dally, Lewis Ford, and Robert Coddington, who were the trustees 

of the Common School, in and for, said township called "Fairfield Union" for and in 

consideration of the sum of fifty dollars lawful money of the United States. 




^ - / 





Original two-room wooden build- 
ing known as Fairfield Union 

Fords School #7 — corner of 
King George Rd. and Hoy Ave., 
Fords, N.J. as it looks today. 

Much has been learned about the little wooden schoolhouse. It had the distinction of being 
crowned with a belfry enclosing a bell, which tolled loudly and clearly calling the children 
to school. Mrs. Fouratt, the former Miss Taussig, tells us that when she was teaching there 
she taught the fifth, sixth, seventh and eighth grades in one room. Besides being teacher she 
was also principal of the school. The salary she received was $400 a year. There was a 
Mr. David Sprague who was principal earlier, but Miss Taussig held that position in the 
Fairfield Union School and also in Fords School #7, until Mr. Sharp became principal in 
1912. Miss Taussig had to relinquish her position because she wanted to get married. In 
those days a teacher had to give up her job if she was teaching in a public school when she 
married. At that time the late Stella Wright was the teacher in the part of the old wooden 
school that housed the children in the first, second, third and fourth grades. 

It is quite interesting to learn about all the chores that had to be done in that school be- 
fore school would be called in session. Ex-police chief John Egan of Fords says he remembers 
how the children used to carry wood and coal to feed the big iron stove which furnished 
the heat to keep the children warm. 


Sitting on the fence: Nellie 
Liddle, John Egan and Clara 

Class of children attending two 
room wooden building which was 
first public school in Fords. Back 
row left to right: Roy Dunham, 
Theodore Eggerston, Raymond 
Mundy, Ralph Liddle, Edna 
Dunham, John Egan, Georgiana 
Cronce, EUe Oleson, Anna Bisler. 
Middle row: unknown, George 
Suart, Jens Jensen, Alice Fischer, 
Jessie Herman, Ethel Dunham, 
Dora Wilson, Carrie Dixon, Jennie 
Suart, Tina Jensen, Mrs. E. 
P'auratt, (nee Miss Taussig, teach- 
er). Kneeling: John Dixon, William 
O'Riley, Harry Mundy, Monroe 
Herman, Willard Dunham, Russell 
Dunham, Cyrus Dunham, Hans 
Hansen, unknown, unknown, Mae 
Dunham, Augusta Eggerston. 

Also, water to drink had to be hauled in buckets from an outdoor spring. The sanitary 
facilities were built in outdoor wooden buildings, one for girls and one for boys. He jokingly 
called them "telephone booths". Mr. Egan found among his possession two pictures which 
show the children who were in his class. Mrs. Fouratt also found a picture of a graduating 
class in the year 1906 which consisted of only three boys. They were Ralph Liddle, Raymond 
Ryder and Roy Mundy. 

Today's children attend school in single graded classrooms and have no part in the mainte- 
nance of the buildings. Mr. Egan's pictures have helped us visualize the actual situation in 
the early Fairfield Union School. 

The wooden school building was moved to another site and was later consumed by fire. 
In the meantime a new four room brick building was erected and still stands on the corner of 
King George Road and Hoy Avenue. Before the corner stone for this building was laid it 
was necessary to extend the land grant. The deed in the possession of the Woodbridge Town- 
ship Board of Education states "On the 11th day of August, 1909, between Elizabeth V. 
Cory and Ann Moffett, in the township of Woodbridge, the County of Middlesex and the 
state of New Jersey of the first part, and the Board of Education of the Township of Wood- 
bridge, the County of Middlesex and the State of New Jersey — a corporation of the second 

part, in consideration of the sum of five hundred dollars all that tract or parcel of 

land described as follows: Beginning at the stake at the southerly side of King 

George Road being part of the premises of which John V. P. Voorhees, dec'd the 

first part being his only children and heirs at law. (Periods signify that much has been left 
out in the original description of the deed. However, if one wishes to examine it in its com- 
plete form it can be found in the private records of the Woodbridge Township Board of 
Education. ) This deed was received and recorded in the Clerk's office, Middlesex County, 
Page #245 in the book of deeds #438 dated August 20th, 1909. 


Graduating class of Fords #7, 
June, 1906. Raymond Ryder, 
Ralph Liddle and Roy Mundy, 
Mrs. E. S. Fouratt, then Miss 
Taussig (principal). 


John Dixon; Oscar Sundquist; Clifford M. Dunham; Albert Kistrup; Martin Smith; Cyrus Dunham (deceased); 
Eugene Gelling (deceased); Raymond Wilson; NeUs Lauritzen (police chief); Peter Peterson, mascot, 
front; teacher, Mr. Follensby, in rear. 


Philip Mingin greets Mrs. E. T. Fouratt, the former Mae Taussig who was teacher and principal in the original 
wooden building known as Fairfield Union School, later Fords School #7. Seated are Miss Georgiana Cronce 
and Ex-police chief John Egan who were pupils of Miss Taussig's in that school. 

Mr. Ernest C. Moffett tells his experiences as a child growing up in Fords to a group of children ni School ?7. 

Ernest Moffett who lives in Woodbridge is the son of Ann Moffett who signed the transfer, 
and the grandson of John V. P. Voorhees, who owned the farm on which our school is built. 
Mr. Moffett came to school one day and told the children about his experiences as a child 
long ago when he attended the early schools in Fords. Another day Mrs. Fouratt 
accompanied by two of her former pupils in the original two room wooden school, ex-police 
chief John Egan and Georgiana Cronce, attended our school assembly and told the children 
of #7 many, many stories about school days in Fords at that time. 


Philip Mingin, a pupil in the 6th grade, interviews Mr. Howard Sharp, who was principal of Fords School 
#7 for forty four years from 1912 to 1956 and Mrs. Dorothy F. D. Ludewig, principal of the school at the 
present time to learn the story of the school's growth and development. 

Much has happened during the years since the brick building known as Fords School 
#7 was built in 1909. Mr. Howard Sharp who was principal of this school for forty-four 
years, from 1912 until 1956, told us that in the beginning the school had only four rooms, 
two rooms downstairs and two rooms upstairs. The upstairs rooms were separated 
by movable glass walls which could be opened to make one large room for 
assembly gatherings. TWo of the teachers who taught in this school at that time were Stella 
Wright and Clara Lippincott. Mr. Sharp taught the seventh and eighth grades as well as 
being principal. 

It wasn't very long before the four room brick building called Fords #7 became too small 
to take care of the rising school population and in 1920 an additional eight rooms were 
annexed at the rear of the original structure, containing four rooms downstairs and four 
rooms upstairs. When this construction was finished it was no longer necessary to have two 
or more grades in one classroom. Mr. Sharp says there was ample play space outdoors 
for the children, too. There were no houses on Clum Avenue or Livingston Avenue and there 
were wide open fields for baseball and all kinds of games. He can remember when Fords 
#7 had the unbeatable baseball team. However, this spacious arrangement did not last very 
long. During the first World War many new families moved into Fords and again the school 
became very crowded. There was a time when there were more than a thousand children 
enrolled in the school and this situation lasted until School #14 was built to accommodate 
the overflow. When Number Fourteen opened Mr. Sharp became principal of that school as 
well as Number Seven. 

Before Miss Cronce went to teach in School #14, she was a member of the faculty of Fords 
#7. One of the stories she told us about education in the 1920's related how Dr. John H. 
Love, who was then Superintendent of Schools in Woodbridge Township, used to travel from 


one school to another on a bicycle. He would \'isit the teachers and the children in the class- 
room and sometimes would teach a lesson. 

Mrs. Ludewig says she will never forget Mr. Love. She will always remember his warm, 
friendly manner. She was teaching in Sewaren, another school in Woodbridge Township, 
in the late 1920's. That was before she was married and her name was Miss Deitz. When 
Mr. Love came into her classroom he would usually pick up the chalk, go to the black- 
board, and very dramatically illustrate whatever the topic of discussion happened to be when 
he arrived. She said she and the children used to look forward to his visits because Mr. 
Love liked to act and it was especially entertaining if the children happened to be dramatizing 
a scene from a reading or a history lesson, because Mr. Love would take part in the activity 
just like he was an actor on the stage. 

There certainly were fewer schools in Middlesex County during those days because it wasn't 
unusual for the County Superintendent to occasionally visit the teachers and the children in 
the classrooms, also. Mrs. Ludewig said that once she had a group of fourth grade boys 
who were taller than she was. One day when she was trying to teach them a folk dance 
called "The Norwegian Mountain Climb"" Mr. Willis came into the classroom and asked 
the group, "Where is the teacher?"" At the time Mrs. Ludewig was one of the big boy"s part- 
ners. Later there was another Middlesex County Superintendent named Mr. Millard Lowry. 
He was very tall and when he came to visit the first grade children they looked like pygmies 
along side of him. 

Boys and girls coming to Fords School #7 tell stories that their mothers and fathers told 
them about the days when they were pupils in our school. They talk about teachers they 
used to have, a Miss Mae Walsh who became Mrs. Harding, about Miss Helen Lorch and 
Mr. Frank Sieh. They recall Miss Doris Leonard who became Mrs. Kelly and so many 
children's parents remember Mrs. Predmore because she not only taught in school #7, she 
lived nearby on Hornsby Street and people got to know her well. 

Not very much is known about some school custodians but Mr. Lafe Rodner, and his 
father before him, will long be remembered as faithful janitors in Fords School *7. 

When new classrooms were built in 1920, the gymnasium and auditorium were added as 
well and classrooms for the Manual Arts and Domestic Science Programs. The curriculum 
set up in Number seven at that time served the seventh and eighth grade pupils from Num- 
ber Fourteen, Keasbey, and Hopelawn as well as those children in School Number Seven. 

Late in the fall of 19-59 the new Fords Jr. High School was nearing completion and since 
then Fords #7 had become an elementary school only, serving children in grad>.s from 
Kindergarten through the sixth. 

Today, Fords School #7 is again crowded. Every inch of space is being used for class- 
rooms including the old manual arts room where the kindergarten classes are held and the 
domestic science room, which houses one of the first grades. The kitchen is the school's all 
purpose room. Mrs. Ludewig said that this used to be where the wood and tools for the 
manual training classes were stored. Today it serves as the teachers" room and once a week 
as a class room for the children receiving speech therapy. It is also the place where the 
nurse tests children's hearing and examines children's eyes. Here also. Dr. Cooperman ex- 
amines the children. This room contains a gas stove, a sink with running hot and cold water, 
a refrigerator and a large hot water heater. It has tables, chairs, and couches. In this room 
the kindergarten children bake their cookies and older children try out recipes in Science 
class. At least once a month, sometimes more frequently, the members of the Executive board 
of the P. T.A. have their meetings there. Every day the teachers eat lunch there. 


This past summer School #7 underwent a new face lifting program in the basement. The 
old coal furnaces were torn out and a new oil burning apparatus was installed to equip the 
building with automatic heat. This is a great improvement as School #7 is used in the eve- 
ning by Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts as well as other organizations who appreciate the con- 
venience of a uniform heating system. The Brownies and Girl Scouts use the building after 

Fords School #7 has come a long way since the days of the original two room wooden 
building. Sanitary facilities and heating equipment have provided comforts children did not 
dream of in 1858. The free play of the old time "recess" period has grown into an organized 
program of physical fitness development. The much loved "gym" period today was unheard 
of in the curriculum of yesterday. 

As physical education has changed so has science instruction. The early Fords children 
learned about pollywogs and frogs by playing in the ponds and the water of "Sling Taile 
Brook". Today our children are given a progressive series of science lessons relative to living 
and non living things and they perform experiments in line with the child's development on 
all grade levels. 

The music program as it is known in public schools today is another example of growth 
in knowledge. The songs of long ago, sung around the piano, developed into special choruses 
and graded assembly groups. Children receive lessons in music and art during the school 
day. The boy of yesterday who liked to play a fiddle or toot on a horn has an opportunity 
to get instruction on his favorite instrument during a music period without having to pay 
for his lessons. Then when he learns to read music at sight, he is priveleged to become part 
of the school orchestra. The old geography and history lessons have undergone change, 
also. Today the "Social Studies" programs are enriched with colorful film strips, motion 
pictures and other types of visual aids. The picnic that the children of the Fairfield Union 
School enjoyed under the trees or "down by the brook" has turned into an all day excursion 
in which today's boys and girls visit zoos, museums, airports, the United Nations and in this 
Tercentenary year, the New York World's Fair. 

Mrs. Ludewig says that in the late 1920's when a teacher wanted to take the children to the 
Bronx Zoo, school days were not allowed for that purpose. They had to go on Saturday. 
Then they would take a train at the railroad station, ride on a ferry boat across the Hudson 
River from Jersey City to New York, walk from Liberty Street to the subway station and ride 
on the subway under the city streets to the Bronx Zoo. The trip would begin about 7:30 in 
the morning and the group would get home about 7:30 in the evening. Today, these kinds 
of excursions are taken by bus. The children board a comfortable motor coach in front of 
their school, are transported to their exact destination and back, and the entire experience 
takes place on a school day. 

Today, school children take for granted improvements that boys and girls of yesterday 
would have considered rare luxuries or impossibilities. We have television programs and 
radios which enable us to watch or listen to history as it happens in America, such as the 
launching of a space rocket or the details of the assassination of President Kennedy. Years 
ago children had only the newspapers to tell them these things. We have beautiful reference 
guides that move about in book shelves on wheels. We have maps and globes and library 
books. Our text books are interesting and well illustrated and we do not have to buy them. 
However, Fords #7 school is crowded. We need more space. Many of us have suggestions 
for enlarging and improving our school. We asked our principal, Mrs. Dorothy 
F. D. Ludewig if she knew of any plans for expansion. She said she had many ideas but 
only time could tell what the plans might hold for the future. 

Contributed by 

Philip Mingin 

Grade 6 


Picture shows children visiting 
the Perth Amboy Evening News 
office to examine an old newspaper 
which has been preserved in micro- 
film. In this way they learned the 
story of the demolition of the 
ancient elm tree that used to stand 
on the comer of King George 
Road and New Brunswick Avenue 
in Fords. 

From left to right — Carolyn 
Terefenko, Philip Mingin, Karen 
Wantuch and Andrea Egan. 
Andrea holds a piece of the bark 
which her grandfather, ex-police 
chief John Egan, picked up the 
day the tree was felled. She is 
keeping it as a souvenir. 

During the months the ciiiidren of Fords #7 were seeking information for their book "Fords, Yesterday and 
Today" they did much research. This picture shows Miss Nielson telling stories of early New Jersey history in 
the children's room of the Perth Amboy library. 


Kindergartens were unknown in 
the wooden school of yesterday. 
Today's children's first school 
experiences are tied closely with 
the home. Playing house is a 
regular activity. 

Education today includes' enrichment programs of a cultural value. Children enjoy puppet plays, 
motion pictures and magic shows in their own school auditorium. Picture above shows kindergarten children, 
examining puppets which played "Alice in Wonderland". 

First graders learn about chil- 
dren in other lands through their 
folk dances. 


Fourth grade children study the 
effects of electric currents. 

Boys and girls enjoy a modern science curriculum teaching the fundamentals of living and non living things. 
Fifth grade pupils prepare exhibits for the annual Science Fair. 

Sixth grade children fashion 
prehistoric animals to illustrate an 
era in the history of man. 


Today's children learn the mean- 
ing of responsibility and service 
to others. The school patrols and 
service corps are pictured above. 

Field trips are planned to enrich the curriculum in Social Studies, Science and English. Comfortable, air con- 
ditioned motor coaches are used to transport children to various places of interest. 

Traffic was no problem when 
children attended school in 1900. 
Today trained guards guide chil- 
dren across the streets. Mrs. Ella 
Klein safely leads Fords *7 
youngsters across the busy King 
George Road intersection at Hoy 


The Little Theatre Workshop is 
an extra Curricula activity which 
was organized in the winter of 
1962-63 to provide enrichment 
experiences for those children 
whose capabilities and interests 
warrant an opportunity to explore 
their talents for interpretative 
speech and dramatic art. 

The picture to the right shows 
two students as they appeared in 
the benefit performance of "Peter 
and Wendy"" for the publication 
of "Fords, Yesterday and Today"". 
They are Philip Mingin as "Peter"" 
and Carolyn Terefenko as 



Fords School #7 Schqol orchestra is composed of children from Grades three through six. A wide range of 
instruments are played. Instruction is part of the regular curriculum. 

The special chorus is composed of fifth and sixth graders whose voices are trained to sing music suitable for 
concert performances. 


Students of "The Miss Ruth School of Dance" who played the role of the Indians in "Peter and Wendy" for 
the benefit of the publication of "Fords, Yesterday and Today". 

From left to right, front row, Nancy Maloney, Marissa Mika, Donna Mosolgo, Judy Fugate; back row, Ellen 
Harkay, Illona Kessel, Christy Quadt, Nancy Dueker. 


Fords is fortunate to have four schools in the community that offer private instruction in 
dance and music. 

The Miss Ruth School of Dance is located at 465 New Brunswicli Avenue. Mrs. 
Ruth Hauser is the director. She lives outside of Fords but conducts classes in ballet, tap and 
toe dancing for children who come from a wide area in the vicinity. Her students have gained 
a reputation of accomplishment in poise and control of physical movement as well as grace 
and charm in interpretation. 

Many local organizations have been favored by performances of Miss Ruth's students of 
the dance. 

Another dance studio known as the King George Academy of Dance and Charm is located 
at 867 King George Road. The directors, Mrs. Leah Brody and Mrs. Candy Pattis are resi- 
dents of Fords. Students attending this school receive training in ballroom dancing as well 
as ballet, acrobatics and tap dancing. The studio also features a charm school and a pro- 
gram of slim-nasties and trapeze instruction. 

In 1954 Sammy Ray's Music Shop came to town. It is located at 467 New Brunswick 
Avenue. Mr. Sam La Quadra is the director but he is known professionally as "Sammy Ray". 
Instruction in guitar, accordian, trumpet, banjo and electric bass is offered. 

Another music school known as the "American Music Studio" is located at 536 New Bruns- 
wich Avenue. In 1953 Mr. Arthur Braza from Metuchen began giving lessons to private 
students. In this studio pupils may study piano, guitar and accordian. Students come from a 
wide area and many of them are adults. 

Contributed by 

Janice Dueker 

Grade 5 


Fords Corner was partially 
located in Woodbridge Township 
and partially in Raritan Township. 
That part was Raritan Township 
is today known as "Edison Town- 
ship. The Lady of Peace Church 
of Fords is located in Edison Twp. 


Near the end of the Civil War men looking for work in the claybanks and brickyards, 
began to move their families into the Sand Hill section of the Fords area. Those rich in 
faith and courage traveled great distances in those days to attend Sunday Mass. Some re- 
cords say these men and women "walked or rode by wagon" to St. James' Church in Wood- 
bridge, St. Mary's Church in Perth Amboy and St. Peter's Church in New Brunswick. It is 
believed the first Mass celebrated in the Sand Hill Section was in a hall and said by a priest 
sent from St. Francis's Church in Metuchen. It is known that the William O. Reilly homestead, 
now demolished, located opposite the Sand Hills School, was used for the Celebration of 
Mass. It was later authorized to buy land on October 15, 1919. This land was to become the 
site for what is now Our Lady of Peace Church. Our Lady of Peace parish became a mission 
of St. Mary's in Perth Amboy and on October 26, 1919 the first Sunday Mass was celebrated 
in the Fairfield School, now Public School #7. Monsignor Cantwell was the celebrant and the 
altar boys were Joseph Dambach and Leo Kennedy. Mass continued to be said at the Fair- 
field School for some time and then a building owned by the Knights of Columbus, located 
at the Raritan Arsenal was moved to what is now the parking lot of the Annex. This building 
was known as "The Hut". The Hut was the center of all parish activities for many years. 
Also, Mass was celebrated there. John Egan, Sr. served as custodian and the Chalice and 
Ciborium were kept in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Gelling. 

Miss Elizabeth Egan was the first organist, and to this day is still the organist. She also 
helped organize the choir at "The Hut". The Hut was acquired through Rev. 
Charles Prendergast as the curate in charge of the Mission Church. On July 12, 1927 land 
which was to become the site for the combination school and church was purchased from 
Michael Shannon for $24,000. The building was to be erected for the sum of $99,978.00. 

During Father Larkin's pastorate the first school was opened and staffed by the Sisters 
of Notre Dame, a semi-cloistered order. The Sisters used the small rooms on the second floor 


Our Lady of Peace School is 
also located in that part of Fords 
Corner which lies in Kdison. 

of the school for their chapel, refectory and kitchen. One classroom served as a dorinitory. 
Father Larkin was succeeded by Rev. Joseph F. Ketter. It was he who purchased the church 
organ, and purchased the convent on Wolff Avenue. 

On September 8, 1940 Mother M. Athenaseus and four Sisters of the Sisters of St. Joseph 
came to Our Lady of Peace to teach school. For two years these Sisters lived in two vacant 
classrooms. In 1943 Rev. William Sheridan became the Pastor. He improved the church 
buildings and grounds and added four rooms to the rectory. He tackled a $100,000 debt and 
with the parishioners' help the debt was down to $55,000. After Father Sheridan's death. 
Rev. John E. Grimes took over the parish. That was May of 1947. The remaining debt was 
paid off and Rev. Grimes started an expansion program. 

The Annex was built in 1941. It had six classrooms and an auditorium. The auditorium 
as well as the church were used to celebrate the Mass. In 1951 property on the south and 
west side of the annex at Saffran andWalsh Avenues was added to the parish. Bishop George 
W. Ahr suggested building a new church, ground for which was broken on October 12, 1953. 
The church was completed, and Soleinn Dedication took place on Sunday, August 14, 1955. 
After Father Grimes was transferred the Rev. Joseph Brzonowski became Pastor. 
Sister Theresa Catherine is the principal of the school. 

A new convent was built on Saffran and Walsh Avenues in 1962. The convent has 23 
rooms, and houses 13 Sisters. Today the parish has 14 lay teachers to aid the Sisters in 
teaching the 1,340 students enrolled. 

There are 3,000 families registered in the church. 

Contributed by 

Andrea Egan 

Grade 5 



Hoy Avenue, Fords, N.J. 

The Slovak people of Fords, N.J. were connected with the Perth Amboy church. At first 
the plan was to build one church in Perth Amboy, but the people of Fords had a desire to 
have a church built in Fords. After many conferences with the representatives of the Elizabeth 
Presbytery, it was decided to build two churches; one in Perth Amboy, and one in Fords. 
This arrangement was made with the understanding that only one minister would serve 
both churches. 

In 1925 lots were purchased on Hoy Avenue and the laying of the corner stone took place 
on October 4, 1925. The first service in the new church was held and conducted by Rev. 
Joseph Simko and Rev. Joseph I. Ewing on Christmas Day of 1925. 

The first officers of the church were; George Sharick St., John Bodnarik, John Valocik, 
Michael Janik and Michael Sharick. 

Rev. Andrew Slabey with Mr. Sandor Kovacs as assistant minister, served the church 
until Rev. Michael Magyar came to Perth Amboy and took charge of both fields. 

Services were held in Slovak and English, half an hour each with two sermons. 

The Rev. Michael Magyar passed away in March, 1961, after serving the congregation for 
thirty three years. Rev. Peter Sharick served as supply pastor until Dr. Frank Kovach came 
to serve the congregation. The name of the church was then changed from Slovak 
Presbyterian church to The Fords Presbyterian Church, with the services in English only. 

Rev. Dr. Kovach a former dean of Bloomfield Seminary conducts services every Sunday 
at nine o'clock in the morning. He also brought about the reorganization of the Sunday 
School that has classes at ten o'closk every Sunday morning. 

Contributed by 

Vanessa Bober 

Grade 4 



The Lutheran Church in Fords had its beginning in the Uving room of the home of Mr. 
and Mrs. Nels Skov at 42 Ford Avenue, when a Sunday School Class began meeting there 
in 1908. The Reverend V. B. Skov, the brother of Mr. Nels Skov, was pastor of Our Savior's 
Lutheran Church, Perth Amboy, and was concerned about the welfare of members and chil- 
dren living in Fords. In the Fall of 1909, a small chapel was erected at the corner of First 
and Fourth Streets on a lot 50'x50', which was donated by Mr. Nels Skov. The work of the 
Sunday School and occasional services continued under the pastorate of Pastor Skov. 

In 1919, the Reverend Arthur L. Kreyling, associate pastor of Our Savior's, Perth Amboy, 
divided his time between the Perth Amboy church and the mission in Fords. The chapel soon 
became too small, and under the guidance of a building committee composed of Nels Skov, 
Christian Ostergaard and Henry Andersen, the chapel was enlarged. In 1920 another addi- 
tion was built for the growing Sunday School and a kitchen for the Ladies' Aid Society. 

On May 31, 1921, the name of the congregation was voted to be "Our Redeemer's Evan- 
gelical Lutheran Church of the Unaltered Augsburg Confession". The first officers under the 
new constitution adopted in August of that year were: President, M. Williamsen; Vice President, 
C. Jorgensen; Secretary, T. Martensen; Treasurer, N. Skov; Elders, J. Frick, J. L. Andersen 
and P. Dall; Trustees, N. Skov, C. Jorgensen and P. Dall; Deacons, A. Nonnenberg, O. Skov, 
L. Schelling and P. Hansen. 

Plans were drawn for a parsonage, and on March 12, 1922, the contract to build was 
given to Mr. Hans Dinesen. On July 5th, the parsonage was consecrated, and the next day the 
Reverend Arthur L. Kreyling and his family moved into it. 

Twice in the following years more land was purchased and added to the church property. 
Then, once again, it became necessary to expand. The ground breaking service for a new 
and larger church was held October 8, 1939, and the old chapel was donated and moved 
to a new location on Corrielle Street, to be used by the Women's Club of Fords for a Town 
Library and Club House. The parsonage was also moved over to First Street to make 
room for the new church. During the building process, services and Sunday School were 
held in the auditorium of School No. 14. It was on May 12, 1940, that the dedication of 
the new church at the corner of Ford Avenue and Fourth Streets was held. 

The years passed. Pastor Kreyling retired, and a newly ordained, young minister, the 
Reverend Eldon R. Stohs, became the new pastor. Many new families moving into the area 
increased the congregation and swelled the enrollment of the Sunday School so that once 
more additional facilities became necessary. Thus, on January 17, 1960, the congregation 
gathered for the dedication of the Lutheran Education Center and the enlarged church. The 
Education Center houses a Christian Day School now, and in 1965 will have classes from 
Kindergarten through the Sixth Grades. 

Contributed by 

Sharon Harkay 

Grade 4 



Fords, New Jersey 

This is in reality not a churcii but a chapel or mission. 

This chapel was founded in 1920. Not having a church or any other property the con- 
gregation heard mass in the auditorium of No. 7 school in Fords for many years. 

When the mission was first established it was under the jurisdiction of St. Luke's Church 
in Metuchen. For many years its spiritual leader was Rev. Arnold Fenton, a student priest, 
who was the son of Father John Fenton, pastor of St. Luke's. 

On September 1, 1923 the congregation purchased two lots on Hamilton Avenue, Fords. 
These lots are designated as No. 37 and No. 38 on Map of Fairfield Terrace which is filed 
in the Middlesex County Clerk's Office as map number 1160, file number 660. The aforesaid 
two lots are 25' front by 118.35' in depth. 

Because St. John's at this time had no official rank, title to the property was taken in the 
names of R. Bowden Shepherd, John F. Fenton, W. D. Hoy, J. Howard FuUerton and Henry 
Looser, Trustees who in turn conveyed the property on April 20, 1929 to The Trustees of 
the Cathedral Foundation of the Diocese of New Jersey where title still remains. 

On June 15, 1929 two adjoining lots were purchased. These two lots have approximately 
the same dimensions as the other two and are known as Lots 39 and 40 on 
the aforementioned map. 

In 1929 a church was constructed upon the most southerly part of the property. This was 
done because the church was to be a temporary one, which was to be supplanted sometime 
in the future with a premanent structure. The original church was tiny and had no basement. 

On All Saints Day, which was November 1, 1942, Wallace John Gardner, Bishop of New 
Jersey by his Sentence of Consecration, placed the chapel under the jurisdiction of St. Peter's 
Church in Perth Amboy and named the mission St. John's Chapel of St. Peter's Church. For 
some years Oiereafter the Very Rev. George H. Boyd of St. Peter's was the spiritual leader 
of St. John's. 

After World War II St. John's ceased to be under the jurisdiction of St. Peter's and assumed 
the status of an independent mission with its own priest. 


In 1940 Father Boyd gifted St. John's with a used ambulance. This was the beginning of 
the local ambulance squad. When this squad was first incorporated, it was known as St. 
John's Episcopal First Aid Squad. Later, when other religious groups became interested in 
the work of the squad, the word Episcopal was dropped from the name. This organization 
has, since 1940 served this community with high efficiency and skill. 

The present objectives of St. John's are to achieve church status and erect a new church 
which can better fill the needs of the community. 

St. John's sponsors Boy Scout Troop No. 51. Its active organizations are the "Parent 
Teachers Association", "Men's Club", "Episcopal Young Churchmen" and the "Altar Guild". 

St. John's is now led by the very able and beloved Reverend Leslie W. Hewett. 

Contributed by 

Douglas Peterson 

Grade 4 


Wesley Methodist Church on Woodbridge Avenue had it's origin in Perth Amboy on July 
11, 1872 with a class of nineteen people with Jacob Thompson as their leader. It was in- 
corporated as a church according to the state law of New Jersey on October 26, 1874. This 
date has been followed as the true legal status of the church. 

On July 2, 1876 the first church building at 320 State Street, Perth Amboy, was completed. 
The next site for the church was on the corner of Jefferson St. and Madison Ave., again in 
Perth Amboy. This building was dedicated on December 17, 1899. The church was then 
known as the People's Methodist Church. 

A fire in this building in 1957 caused partial damage and prompted the congregation to 
relocate and build anew on Woodbridge Avenue. This church was consecrated on April 3, 
1960. But again, the church was plagued by fire, on September 27, 1963 an arsonist's fire 
caused extensive damage to the beautiful new building, and at this writing, February, 1964 
the church is now being restored. 

Mr. Anton P. Hyldahl will be 91 years old May 2nd, 1964. He is the oldest living member 
of the Wesley Methodist Church. 

Contributed by 

Jill Bizaro 

Grade 4 




The Fords Chapter of B'nai Brith is called Ramot Chapter. It was organized in 1959. 
B"nai Brith are Hebrew words meaning "The Children of the Covenant". This organization 
has as its membership only women of the Hebrew faith and was founded to unite Jewry. One 
of its first functions was the care of the widow and the orphan, when they were founded in 
1843 in New York City. It is now an International organization. In 1901 the first chapter 
was formed in Los Angeles, and Chapter #2 was formed in Newark, New Jersey, and is 
still a very active group. 

B'nai Brith has an organization within an organization known as A.D.L. the world over. 
These letters stand for Anti Defamation League. This branch is dedicated to investigate un- 
desireable characters and follows through until just sentence has been meted out, even going 
so far as deportation. A.D.L. supplies information to those who ask for it, and is assured of 
its authenticity. 

The Fords Chapter is comprised, as are all chapters, of only women. They support the 
only Arthritic hospital in the country, the Leo Levi Hospital in Hot Springs, Arkansas. 
They also support a home for distrubed children in Israel. 

This Chapter has had a program called "Dolls for Democracy"" and had shown it through- 
out the area, teaching non segregation, that all men are created equal. They have distributed 
date books to schools explaining fully all religious, legal, and National holidays, including 
audio visuals and booklets. 

Fords does not have a synagogue, and the Hebrew families are affilliated with 
the synagogues in Perth Amboy, whence their parents came and had established their roots. 

Ramot Chapter holds their meetings in the Neve Sholom Synagogue in Metuchen because 
it is closer to them. This chapter had been a regular visitor to the residents at Menlo Park 
Home for Disabled Veterans, giving parties for these men. It also contributes funds to B'nai 
Brith Vocational Services in Newark which offers a testing program which helps guide chil- 
dren toward choosing worthwhile careers and means of making a livelihood. 

The youth group sponsored by them is known as the B B Girls. These girls are being 
taught the fundamentals of B'nai Brith, that they may take up the reins of their elders m time 
to come. 

Contributed by 
Leslie Franzblau 


Grace Lutheran Parish House, now Plumbers 
Union HaU, Fords, N. J. 


Since 1958 The Grace Lutheran Church has been serving the needs of the people of Fords 
in their new building on New Brunswick Avenue in Perth Amboy. But since the activities and 
services which were conducted in the Parish House on King George Road served the spiritual 
needs of its members during a critical time of the town's growth, its story is included here. 

Further Congregational outreach resulted as a branch Sunday School which was formed in 
Fords where a large portion of the membership had moved. Originally meeting in the Fords 
Fire House (November 11, 1923) property was purchased on King George Road 
for $4,000.00 and a Parish House built for approximately $6,000.00 (February 1924). The 
building was completed and ready for use by September of the same year. Although Sunday 
School was supervised by the Church and Pastor Schlotter held occasional Sunday evening 
services there, the original plan was eventually to establish a separate congregation which 
would repay the Perth Amboy Congregation for the money which had been expended. 

(January 1919) — With a special effort in its 20th Anniversary year, the old mortgage was 
paid off; the Congregation was more than ready to assume a new one $9,600.00 to finance 
the Fords Parish House. 

During the forties regular repair and renewal of the church properties was arranged, and 
in November 1949, the mortgage, contracted to build the Fords Parish House, was paid off. 

The membership was sharply divided at this time in its sentiments concerning the future 
development of the church. Loyalties had built up during the 30 years of work in Fords; 
had it not been for the crushing blow of the Depression, the original intention to form a 
separate congregation in Fords might well have been realized. As it was, many who had 
been active in the work at the Fords Parish House believed the Congregation's future should 
be at that location; the Perth Amboy portion of the membership, of course, favored develop- 
ment at the old site. 

Additional property was purchased at the Fords location (June 1953); a $10,000.00 "do- 
it-yourself" enlarging of the Fords Parish House and renovation of the Church was approved 
(January 1954) the building was completed in Fords, dedicated and regular Sunday worship 
services held by March 1955. 

Recognizing that there was insufficient membership at either location to maintain separate 
work effectively, the Council sought for a means to maintain the organizational unity of the 
Congregation. After numerous meetings, a special meeting of the membership (June 12, 1956) 
voted to sell both existing facilities and to relocate to an intermediate location. The "Convery 
Property" on New Brunswick Avenue was purchased (August 1956) for $50,000.00; property 
was purchased from the City of Perth Amboy for the parsonage on Neville Street (July 
1957); final approval was given to the sale of existing facilities, the plans for the new church 
and parsonage, and the awarding of the building contract for $224,600.00 (November 1957). 
The property in Fords was sold for approximately $25,000.00. 

Events continued to move in rapid succession. Ground-breaking Services (December 1957) 
were foUowed by the last services in the old Church and Parish House (June 1958). 

Contributed by 

Barry Shott 

Grade 4 



The St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church was first organized by thirteen families. They 
were given a charter and incorporated as a church on April 15, 1898 under the name of 
St. Octa Nikolaja Greek Catholic Congregation. Representing these families were Mr. Andrew 
Dudics, Mr. George Archy, Mr. George Dudics, Mr. Micheal Dudik, Mr. Joseph Ondrik, Mr. 
George Hegyes, Mr. John Choma, Mr. John Yakubik, Mr. Imre Demscak, Mr. 
Andrew Smoliga, Mr. Joe Ondrik, Mr. George Gulya, Mr. Paul Suha, Mr. Micheal Chinchar. 

In 1918 they started to make plans to purchase land on Second St. Fords, where the church 
stands today. This land was purchased from William Gross and Nettie Gross his wife, on 
April 17, 1918. 

Ground was broken to build a small church in 1921 and the corner stone was laid on 
May 30, 1922. It contained only ten pews. 

As the congregation grew the church had to be extended and made larger but they had to 
purchase more land on Fourth St. This they did from Antonette T. Seiboth through Massopust 
Bros. Company, on June 1, 1927. Then in 1935 the church rectory was built. Both church 
and rectory were built by Mr. John Salaki of Fords. 

The first Mass was celebrated by Father Lipeczky in 1922. 

The first Church Trustees were Mr. Geogre Hegyes, Mr. Imre Demscak, Mr. Micheal 
Chinchar and Mr. John Archy. 

One of the first babies baptized in 1921 was Yolan Dudik, the first marriage was Julia 
Rimar of Jersey City to George Gulya Jr. of Fords on Oct. 1, 1922. 

The first church pastor was Father Papp followed by Father Dolinay, Father Lukas, Father 
Julius Woytovich, Father David Bachovsky and the present pastor Father John Onesko. 

Mr. John Petach of Perth Amboy became the first cantor and choir director in 1922 and 
after 42 years is still choir director. He organized the first choir in 1924 with 40 members. 
The first church organization was the Altar Rosary Society. 

In later years the church changed it's name to St. Nicholas Greek Catholic Church and still 
later to it's present name St. Nicholas Byzantine Catholic Church. 

Organizations of the parish to date are St. Nicholas Ladies Guild, Holy Name Society, 
the Children of Mary, St. Nicholas Men and Women Bowling League, Young Boys Basket- 
ball League and Girl Cheerleaders. Also the St. Nicholas Pirohi Women who conduct their 
food sales each Friday making and selling to the public their home made Slavonic dishes. 

Catechism is taught to the children of the parish by the nuns who belong to the Order of 
the White Sisters of Africa from New Brunswick, N.J. 

To date there are more than 158 families or 658 persons who belong to St. Nicholas 
Byzantine Catholic Church. 

Contributed by 

Susan Chilinski 

Grade 3 



Melvin H. Clum once owned the property on which School #14, the second oldest public 
school in Fords is located. It was ready for occupancy in September, 1924, when it opened 
with a full house. Mr. Howard Sharp was the first principal and there were twelve teachers. 

At that time there were very few houses in the neighborhood. The surrounding area was 
mostly open fields. There was a store called Butler's Grocery on the corner of Ford Avenue 
and Main Street and a big dairy farm on west Main Street owned by a Mr. Ericksen. Directly 
in back of School #14 there was an airplane shop which later grew into a factory which 
made cement stones and ornate scrolls used to decorate buildings. 

Gradually, the farm land around School #14 was sold and cut up into building lots. New 
families moved into the area and School #14 became a popular place for entertainment. 
Fords Fire Company held minstrel and variety shows there and well known basket ball 
teams played their games there. Fourteen is an elementary school accommodating children 
in grades kindergarten through sixth. Mr. Howard Sharp was the first principal. He served 
from the time the school opened in 1924 until 1955 when Mrs. Lillian Aaroe be- 
came principal. Mrs. Aaroe will retire in June, 1964. 

Today there are two new public schools in Fords. Both of them are built in what was a 
wildernefes not too many years ago. Fords Jr. High is a beautiful building, long, low and 
rambling, located beyond the New Jersey Turnpike between Main Street and Route #1, south 
of Ford Avenue. It opened in January, 1960 to accommodate the seventh, eighth and ninth 
grade children from the elementary schools Fords #7, Fords #14, Lafayette Estates #25, 
Hopelawn, Menlo Park Terrace, and Keasbey. Most children are transported to Fords Jr. 
High by bus. Mr. Conniff is the principal. There are approximately 1200 children in this 

School #25 is located in a new housing development in Fords known as Lafayette Estates. 
It lies between Ford Avenue and the Garden State Parkway west of Route #1. Like the Fords 
Junior High it is a one story structure arranged more on the campus style layout. It houses 
elementary school children in grades from the kindergarten through the sixth. Mr. Robert 
Zanzalari is the principal. There are approximately six hundred children in this school. 

Contributed by 

Karen Wantuck 

Grade 6 


Peterson, now 83, was there in 
Mel Clum's general store the night 
Fire Company Number One was 
organized in 1911. Today, he is 
grand marshal of the Golden 
Anniversary parade. He is the 
only survivor of the original 
intrepid company. 


In Melvin Clum's general store on September 19, 1911, a group of eager Fords townsmen 
organized the first Fords Fire Co. They began with a force of twenty two men and a hand- 
drawn chemical wagon. During the next year they bought a horse-drawn hose cart from the 
city of Perth Amboy for ten dollars. 

About the same time the group were able to locate a site to house their apparatus on 
Corrielle Street and the following April contracted for a building to house the volunteers and 
their equipment. Following a regular business meeting on August 26, 1912, members played 
host to townfoLks marking the opening of their new headquarters. 

Today we are proud of the fire company which has fifty volunteers and four full-time 
drivers. They have two powerful pumper trucks completely equipped with two-way radio, 
walkie-talkies and loud speaker systems as well as the usual ladders, hose, chemicals and 
nets. In 1912 fire hydrants were put on street corners by the order of the Middlesex Water 

pulling a chemical truck for almost 
a year, the men of the company 
welcomed their first horse-drawn 
vehicle. It was a hose cart, bought 
from the City of Perth Amboy for 
ten dollars. Seen in the above 
photo are (Left to right): Phil 

F'ischer, Andy Lucas, John Egan, 
Joseph Rowan, Jim Hamilton, 
Marcus Braun, Clary Dunham, 
Mel Clum, EUis Mundy, Charles 
Shuck, Charles Anderson, Ole 
Jensen, Mike Yanosky, Martin 
Williamson, Jim Rogan, Charles 
Alexander, Jim Halbert, "Stuffy" 

Reilly, George Westergard, Frank 
Stausberg, Lauritz W. Smith, 
Wagondriver George Liddle, 
"Pop" Moore (also on the wagon), 
Peter Hanson, Mads Madsen and 
Albert Larson, (Standing in the 


I'LJL — Forty years are spanned 
by the photo of Fords Fire Com- 
pany's horse-drawn hose cart of 
1912, which appears on Page 3 
and the above photo of the com- 
pany's modern equipment. The 
International 750-gaIlon pumper 
(Left) was acquired by the com- 
pany in 1948, while the General 
Motors Corporation 500-gallon 
pumper was purchased five years 

The Fords Fire Company has had 44 chiefs. There are 50 or maybe more now volunteers, 
plus 4 full-time paid drivers. The group spends 15 hours per week, per man for this volunteer 
work, in 1961 they celebrated their 50th Golden Anniversary. 

Though its beginning was humble the group, through its enthusiasm and loyalty to purpose, 
can now look back over the years upon a record of outstanding achievements. It is a record 
that the community can be proud of. 

Contributed by 

Gary Nahai 

Grade 6 

collapse of a railroad trestle, which 
was under repair, caused one of 
the greatest railroad catastrophies 
in the United States. The train, 
loaded with homeward bound com- 
mutors early in 1950, hurtled from 
the collapsing trestle. Close to 100 
persons lost their lives before 
emergency units, including ambu- 
lances and fire trucks, reached the 
disaster scene. Members of Fords 
Fire Company No. 1 and St. 
John's First Aid Squad worked 
tirelessly for many hours extrica- 
ting the dead and injured from the 
piles of twisted steel. 




ed Triangle 

ary Parade 

Daper office. One man was assigned to guard it 

the Lincolns decided to give the triangle (the original, 
the Keyport Engine Co. to be used as that borough's 

ashingtons. however, didn't like the idea and planned 
laval maneuver. 

leciired the triangle and left Keyport with the bor- 
stable hot on their heels. It was hidden, for the ne.xt 

under a dock and in private homes, 
erth Amboy Exempt Firemen's Association gained 

of the trophy and took it to Poughkeepsje, N.Y, 
as "stolen" and "recovered " on numerous occasions. 
!. the Eagles got into the act by "borrowing" the 
id hiding it beneath a closet floor for the next five 

ner had the McClellans (confused?) displayed it at 
n 1918, than the Garfields stole it and stashed the 
,ay for 16 years. 

ilaced it before the public in 1934 only to have it 
,' the Exempts. By this time almost everyone, with 
on of the U.S. Navy, had gotten into the act. 

be left out, the Navy complied with a demand by 
;n of a search of the USS Sturdevant. a vessel moored 
mboy for the city's 250th anniversary celebration. 
?men found the triangle and placed it in a Patterson 
iing. It hasn't been heard of again until yesterday, 
sby made the announcement of the plans for the 

and daggers may be the uniform of the day for 
en at the parade Saturday. Undoubtedly, the triangle 
s its escort a strong-armed honor guard or two. 
is be enough, however, to keep the prized trophy 
icate) in Fords? 

isplay Fam 

boy news] 
no less) to 
first fire a 

The W 
a second i 

They s 
ough's eon 
live years, 

The P- 
where it u 

In 1913 
triangle ar 

No soo 
a parade i 
triangle aw 

They p 
"stolen" b; 
the excepti 

Not to 
local firemi 
in Perth Ai 

The fir< 
Street built 
when Horn 
Saturday a 

some firem 
will have a 

Will th 
(or its dupl 

a mysterious shroud was to hang 

it went. 

Iiich four members were associated 
e Co., voted to consider donating 
Fire Co. of Tottenville in 1887. 

triangle disappeared and turned up 
mger of Perth Amboyans. 
Amboy lawyer, offered his services 
in an effort to regain the trophy 

decided that they would regain pos- 
jsures. During an 1888 visit to the 
oticed" the triangle unguarded near 

jf the area's greatest naval missions 
IS in a rented oyster skiff braved the 
?arted away their elusive treasure, 
ted when the triangle was placed in 
on the New Jersey side which took 
.d on New Brunswick Avenue near 

Tied into Perth Amboy the following 

phy. Armed with a court order for 

•ame to the city confident. 

, though, as Amboyans, warned of 

ied the triangle on the property of 


lere, the local firemen removed the 

ice along the waterfront. 

place, the firemen took it lo Patrick 
jplicate was cast, 
dden under the floor in a Perth Am- 

For the next 75 years 
er the triangle wherever 

The city council, of wl 
th the Washington Hos. 
'. triangle to the Eureka 1 

Shortly thereafter, the 
Tottenville much to the ; 

Thomas Cooke, a South 

the Lincoln Hose Co. 
ough legal means. 

The Lincolns, however, 
;sion by not-so-lega! me: 
and, they "accidentally n 
■ Eureka firehouse. 

A few nights later, one i 
s launched. Seven Lincoir 
-choked Arthur Kill and < 

The mission was comple 
vaiting horsedrawn sleigh 
to Langan's Lumber Yai 
ferson Street. 

Tottenville firemen stori 
/ in quest of "their " tro 

triangle's return, they c 

They left empty-handed 

islanders approach, bur 
nes Tooker on State Stre 

Fearing its discovery tli 
ingle to a new hiding pla 

Still unsure of the hiding 
ite's Foundry where a di 

The original was then hii 


o ^ "z: 

.S 5:5 i3-S^ 

s.^ «^.^ -si !■? So S 


= 5 

an old locomotive 
ire alarm from 1883 

een as elusive as a 

tenville and Keyport 
re-stolen more times 

to steal it Saturday." 
we'll defend it with 

ren't even sure if it 
fact seems to make 
len even a duplicate 

buried in the sand, 
DSS the bay in the 
'S. naval vessel, 
nelly, superintendent 
Perth Amboy City 

in the rear of the 
le place of the bell 
lal for a Perth Am- 

iplaced the triangle 



S s 11 


y's f 

las b 

, Tot 
and ; 

en a 


1 a U 

1 the 


ig th 


■11 re 

rds Fi 

Evening News Staff 

; — The famed Triangle will 
at the 50th anniversary par 

)0-pound trophy, fashioned _ 
5 first used as Perth Ambb 

/car history .shows that it li 
late November. 
!e of honor to Perth Amboy 
le Triangle has been stolen 
berries from a neighborhood 
;pect Perth Amboy firemen tc 
f S. William Hornsby said. 


ilained that the Fords firem 
triangle or a good duplicate, 
ence, however, for to area 
an no triangle at all. 
history, the triangle has b 
private homes, transported 
he night and even sought or 
angle was a gift from ./ames 
igh Valley Railroad Co., tc 

Ily, it hung between two f 
d Protection takii 
pson Methodist Church as a 

;. a modern fire alarm be 
then stored in the Lincoln 



a ■- 

^, is _ CC .S CC - ^ o O 


;r th 



? tri, 

1 in 
1 an 

:d I] 


^ ^ 

P ^'' 

to 188- 


then ri 


all our 


is the 
little d 
is betti 


of the 

in the 
boy fir 




<♦ .JV. 

Ex-police Chief John Egan and 
Motorcycle officer Meyer Larson. 


Fords policemen are members of the Woodbridge Township Police Force which has its 
headquarters in the town hall in Woodbridge. Their history is the history of the force as it 
applies to the growth and development of the department in Woodbridge Township and the 
early history as well as the history of more recent events can be found in Ruth Wolk's "His- 
tory of Woodbridge" which was published by the Woodbridge Publishing Co. in 1957. 

This article deals largely with stories of policemen from Fords who served on the 
Woodbridge Township Police Force. In the old days these officers were confronted with many 
people who came to this country without any knowledge of the laws of their new land. Most 
of them came to work in the clay pits and the brick factories and strikes and labor troubles 
gave the policemen a hard time. It was difficult for an officer patrolling the Fords Section 
in the early days to handle offenders. There was no transportation that would enable the 
policeman who found it necessary to make an arrest to get violators of the law 
to Woodbridge to be jailed. Since there were no police cars or paddy wagons, an officer 
had to transport an offender on the trolley on a long, round-about journey through Fords, 
Keasbey, Perth Amboy and Sewaren before he reached his destination. By the time the officer 
arrived with his culprit he had experienced a pretty rough time. 

Before the traffic lights were in- 
stalled police guided traffic from a 
little booth on New Brunswick 
Avenue and King George Road. 
If a motorist didn't stop the police 
officer went after him on a motor- 

House in the rear is the old 
Liddle homestead which was 
demolished to make room for the 
First Bank and Trust Company. 


The John Liddle House that 
used to stand where Our Lady of 
Peace Church is now located. The 
house was moved when the church 
was built. The lady in the picture 
is Mrs. John Liddle. 

Some of the officers from Fords who suffered these hardships were as follows: Robert Egan, 
one of the oldest, now deceased. Other old members were John Cholar and Marty Lybeck. 

As the township grew Woodbridge added more men from Fords to the police force. Among 
these were George Balint, Jack Egan, William Gloff and Fred Larsen. He was the first round 
sergeant. Other officers were Frank Szallar, John Ondeyko, Arndt Peterson, Andrew Ludwig 
and Charles Waggenhoffer, George Misak, Eugene Martin, Robert Oleson, Jack Manton, 
Rudolph Gloff and James Irvin. Robert Egan is a motor cycle cop and Frank Patyi is a 
detective. Other Fords policemen are John and Stephen Yuhasz, Joseph Dalton and patrohnan 
James Egan who is the son of the oldest Fords policeman, ex-police chief John Egan. John 
Faczak was a policeman but he resigned to become a school teacher. 

Unlike the trim blue uniforms worn by policemen today, those of earlier times had clumsy 
suits. They wore helmet hats which were hard and strong and served as a shield in case 
they were struck upon the head. They did not have the modern equipment of today's officer 
and were unable to detect crimes as scientifically as policemen of modern times. He was lucky 
if he was given a badge, a club, a revolver, a pair of twisters, a notebook and a book from 
which to issue a summons. When he was sent to patrol a beat the only instructions he was 
given was "Use Your Head." 

Fords can be proud of the selection of men who have served the Woodbridge Township 
Police Force. A fair share of them have advanced to superior officers during their careers. 
John Egan was made chief of police in 1954 and remained in that position until he retired 
in 1962. 

Some of the developments which have helped the policemen from Fords as well as all 
those from other parts of the Township are those that have been contributed by the New 
Jersey State Legislature. In October, 1920, the State passed the "Police Pension Law". The 
referendum was placed on the ballot and approved by the voters at that time. In 1921 the 
police officers were given an allowance of one hundred dollars for uniforms. On August 30, 
1935, the police radio system was put into operation. Fords officers were among the first 
to use radio communicafion. 

In 1962 changes took place in the Woodbridge Township Police department which affect 
the officers serving the area from Fords. Since the township is growing so rapidly and the 
need for pofice protection is becoming more critical it is likely that there wiU be an increase 
in the dedicated officers chosen from Fords. 

Contributed by 

Andrea Egan 

Grade 5 



Residents of our area don't often realize it, but their health and life may some day depend 
upon the alertness and skill of their first aid squad. A squad such as this is St. John's First 
Aid Squad. Thirty-five dedicated men who want to help their friends and neighbors, make 
up the squad. They are all volunteers and are on call twenty-four hours a day. These men 
all have to go to work in different employment, but there are always enough available men 
to make calls. 

This squad had a humble beginning in 1943 when Reverend George Boyd, pastor of St. 
Peter's Church, donated a 1937 ambulance to St. John's Episcopal Church of Fords. 

The Chapel was not large enough to organize a First Aid Squad, so they asked the men 
of Fords for volunteers. Fourteen men answered the call and this was the beginning. The 
men had their first meeting in the Chapel and many more after that. The equipment was a 
donation of the men themselves. The first "rig" wasn't much to look at but it served the 
purpose. The fourteen original members had to "pass the hat" among themselves to pay 
for the gasoline. When they received their charter, they named the squad after St. John's 
Episcopal Church. 

Since then, St. John's has answered just about every type of call, from routine transporta- 
tion requests to devastating emergencies. One of the worst disasters came in 1951 when more- 
than twenty members answered an emergency call along Fulton Street in Woodbridge. There, 
seventy persons lost their lives and over five hundred were injured in New Jersey's worst 
train disaster. The men were on the job all night. 

Squad headquarters in early years were the chapel auditorium and the Fire House. Today 
the group is firmly established. There are two ambulances. They are equipped with modern 
first aid gear and a police radio, to stand ready for action. The men also have an intercom 
system between headquarters and their homes. The "rig" as the ambulance is commonly 
called, has full equipment on it at all times, ready to go. 



The original members and their 1937 ambulance, named from left to right: A. Hirner, W. Hanson, 
Mr. Bonalsky, G. Archy, Mr. Bonalsky, L. Thompson, J. Palachak (deceased), Mr. Kalman (deceased), D. 
Krauss, B. Chamberlain, N. Elko, J. Yuhas, H. Fullerton, P. Peterson; also A. Balint, not present. 

St. John's is proud that it has no mortgage on the new headquarters. The building was 
completed in 1951 with squad members doing more than 70 per cent of the work 
on weekends. 

In 1943 the Squad answered 97 calls. The average now is about 900 calls. They cover 
about 11,000 miles on its two ambulances. This is a big increase from the time 4,000 miles 
indicated a busy year. 

The Fords Lions Club aids the squad by purchasing the gasoline for the ambulances and 
some of the smaller gear. The Squad, however, depends mainly on its annual fund drive 
for operating revenue. 

St. John's has an eye for the future. They now have a junior cadet squad for boys between 
the ages of 16 and 20 who want to become volunteer first aiders. 

The St. John's Squad may not be fully appreciated but it is always ready to help in any 
emergency. These men, although most of them have full time jobs, have it arranged so that 
there is always available a crew of volunteers to make calls. 

Contributed by 

Ronald Smoyak 

Grade 6 


R»" ' 

The "Liddle House" and the 
"Fords National Bank" of yester- 
day in the rear of the beautiful elm 
tree which for more than a 
hundred years graced the corner 
of King George Road and New 
Brunswick Avenue. 


For many years Melvin Clum operated a grocery store on King George Road adjoining 
the Liddle Estate. The Fords Post Office was housed in this building also. This location was 
part of the original Fords Corner. When the need for a financial institution in Fords became 
acute, Mr. Clum sold his property to be used for the site of the Fords National Bank. Then 
he moved next door. 

Upon the completion of the building The Fairfield Union Building and Loan Association 
shared the premises with the bank. Abel Hansen was first president of the bank and the 
Board of Directors were made up of Max Wurtzel, John Egan, Laurtz Smith, 
Walter P. Dunham, Theodore Degenring, Leo Goldbert, Adolph Greenbaum, Albert Leon, 
Charles Safran, and Frank Van Syckle. The first depositor was Peter Lehman, and the 
second Soren Petersen each of whom deposited five dollars. 

Today "The First Bank and , 
Trust Company, Fords Branch" !^ 
occupies that corner of King 
George Road and New Brunswick 


Fords Building and Loan Assn. 
building which was jointly occu- 
pied by the Fords Bank and the 
Fairfield Union Building and 
Loan Assn. Notice how close to the 
side walk the trolley tracks were 




^^^^^K«:«1^ ^^H 


- ' ^^^ 


M ■ ...... SW 


' ' 

',■ •'-..•r^*. 

In 1955 the Fords bank purchased the Liddle property. An addition to the bank building 
increased its size considerably and a spacious parking lot was built extending out to Ford 
Avenue. In the rear of the bank building two drive up windows were installed. 

On its opening day, August 15, 1919, the bank had 2500 depositors. It now has 15,000 
depositors and over fifty-seven million dollars in deposits. 

On August 11, 1961, the Fords National Bank was acquired by the First Bank and Trust 
Company of Perth Amboy. Its name was then changed from The Fords National Bank to 
The First Bank and Trust Company, Fords Office. The Fords office is now legally the main 
office of the First Bank and Trust Company. The bank offers service to all people of Middle- 
sex County. Since the merger, the combined facilities have made it the largest commercial 
bank in Middlesex County. 

The bank offers the following services: regular checking, special checking, personal loans, 
commercial loans, home improvement loans, home mortgage loans, Christmas Clubs, Vaca- 
tion Clubs, Travelers Checks, Money orders. Bank By Mail, Savings accounts, 24 hour De- 
pository, Safe deposit boxes. Trust services, Foreign department, and Curb Teller, Drive- 
Up Windows. 

Contributed by 

Michele Petrovay 

Grade 6 



Before 1900, people living in Fords had no post office of their own. Mail was brought from 
Perth Amboy by horse and wagon and dropped off at a given spot where the people picked 
it up. 

In the early 1900's the first Fords Post office was located in Melvin Clum's general store. 
Mr. Clum was the post master. In years following the post office had many locations, usually 
in the home or the business site of the person who was the post master. For instance, it was 
in Garben's drug store when Mr. Garben was post master. Then in later years it was given 
a location that could accommodate the facilities of the U.S. mail as the post masters changed. 
Ralph Liddle was post master in Tom Egan's grocery store, the present site of 
Joseph Dambach's store. He was also post master in the building next to the bank where 
Harry Fienberg's second hand store is today on King George Road. The post office had 
several locations on New Brunswick Avenue. During the Warren G. Harding administration, 
James Howard FuUerton was postmaster. Then the post office was located in the theatre 
building. Other locations were 450 New Brunswick Avenue; 558 New Brunswick Avenue; 
and 568 New Brunswick Avenue. Names like Applegate, Seyler, Quinn, Maloney, Helesky 
are all associated with the office of being postmaster. 

Until 1933 people had to go to the post office to get their mail. Then regular mail delivery 
was made only on streets that were paved. In recent years mail is being delivered on unpaved 

In 1937 the Fords Post Office moved from third to second class and in 1944 from second 
class to first class. The present building was built in 1957. It is leased to the Post Office by 
the Redwood Construction Co. It serves all the people living in Fords and those residents 
of Edison Township out as far as Route #1. During the first part of the 20th century the mail 
was brought into Fords from Perth Amboy by trolley cars. Today it is delivered by U.S. 
mail trucks to the Post Office and foot carriers deliver it to people's homes. 

Contributed by 

Beverly Lukacs 

Grade 6 


Judy Rader, Fords #7 sixth grader interviews Woodbridge Township Councilman from Fords. From left to 
right: Mr. Robert Smith, Judy Rader and Mr. Joseph Nemyo. 


As a section of Woodbridge Township, Fords is governed as such. Not long after Wood- 
bridge received its charter in 1669 a township form of government was organized. Committee- 
men representing different sections of the township assumed their responsibilities. As early as 
1667 there were records of roads and their development, and other phases of the Township's 
needs were assigned to various committeemen. Thus have grown those departments which 
have taken care of all the township's needs including those of the Fords Section. Today, 
there are the departments of Administration and Finance, Law, Police, Planning and Re- 
development, Public Works, Health and Welfare, Parks and Recreation. 

There is not space in this book to tell of all the things that the Committeemen from Fords 
have done for the people in the area, or to name all the committeemen who have represented 
the people in Fords in the Township government. However, it is a well known historical fact 
that in the 1920's when William Hoy represented Fords, sewers, roads, gutters, curbs and 
many other modernizations were approved wholesale, and this was the era when a decided 
improvement took place in the streets and roads in and about Fords where Mr. Hoy lived. 
Hoy Avenue, a busy street connecting New Brunswick Avenue and King George Road was 
named after Mr. Hoy. 

Fords has grown tremendously over the past few years. What were once wooded areas 
are now congested housing developments. It has been prophesied that Woodbridge Township 
is on its way toward becoming the largest city in the State of New Jersey. This rapid growth 
could cause a change in the type of government the people will have. Some changes have 
already taken place. The township is divided into five wards each of which were represented 
by two committeemen. Since January 1, 1964, there has been a new form of government 
known as the Mayor-Council, Plan F under the Faulkner Act, which is a code of procedure 
relative to government as the Roberts Rules of Order is to parliamentary procedure in club 
groups. Under this reorganization there is the Mayor and four councUmen at large. In addi- 
tion, there is another councilman representing each of the five wards in the Township. Fords 
is represented by Mr. Joseph Nemyo and Mr. Robert Smith. 

Fords continues to grow. In the immediate future the Housing authority is planning to build 
the Senior Citizens' Housing Project on New Brunswick Avenue next to the movies. This 
means new residents and more votes in Fords. 

The people in Fords are proud of their heritage. They are proud of their progress also. 
All residents old and new will support the government and work for the development and 
cooperative support of all worthwhile growth and expansion. 

Contributed by 

Judy Rader 

Grade 6 



Mary Irish, 5th grade. Fords #7 
student interviews Mrs. Helen 
Anderson, secretary to the Board 
of Kducation and Mrs. Ruth 
Kahree. Both ladies are past mem- 
bers of the Board of Kducation. 
Mrs. Kahree was elected from the 
lords area. Mrs. Helen Anderson 
will retire from her services to the 
Board of Kducation in June, 1964. 


There have always been nine members of the Board of Education in Woodbridge. Three 
members are elected each year by all the residents of Woodbridge Township, not just by 
area or district. Each of these elected members serves three years. They may then run for 
re-election if they wish to. 

A generation ago, there were so few people voting in the school elections that it was often 
necessary for the poll clerks to go out on the street and bring in enough people to vote 
to make the ballot official. 

The community of Fords has contributed its share of citizens interested in serving the 
needs of the public schools of Woodbridge Township. Among those who were elected from 
Fords to serve on the Board of Education are the names of the following: 

Melvin H. Clum, from 1907 to June, 1933 (President 1922 to 1933) 

Mrs. Sadie Gardner, from October, 1921 to February, 1925 

William Dunham, from February, 1925 to February, 1946 

Adolph Quadt, from February, 1947 to February, 1953 

John J. Csabai, from November, 1954 to February, 1961 

Mrs. Ruth Kahree, from February, 1956 to September, 1962 

Clifford J. Handerhan, from February, 1959 to date (Pres. 1962—1964) 

Robert W. Smith, from February, 1962 to February, 1963 

Ernest Moffett who was born and reared in Fords, served on the Board of Education for 
several years during the depression. However, he was living in Woodbridge at the time. 

There have been only four women serving the Township of Woodbridge as board members. 
Mrs. Helen Anderson and Mrs. Marguerite Fitz Randolph were residents of Woodbridge. 
Fords is proud of the fact that the remaining two, Mrs. Sadie Gardner, and 
Mrs. Ruth Kahree, were chosen from among the citizens of their section of the township. 

Melvin Clum had the longest term of office. He served for twenty six years and was presi- 
dent of the Board of Education for eleven years before he died in 1933. 

Without a doubt, the most outstanding job accomplished by the Board of Education during 
the last ten years is the construction and dedication of the numerous new schools scattered 
throughout the township. Fords was fortunate to get two of these, the Fords Jr. High and 
Lafayette Estates #25. 

Contributed by 

Mary Irish 

Grade 5 



On the second Wednesday in October, 1920, ten women met at the home of Mrs. Annie 
Liddle, for the purpose of organizing a Fords Branch of the Woodbridge Woman's Club. 
The object of the club was to be, and still is, "to provide an organization through which 
women from all walks of life, putting aside personal prejudice, may work toward community 

Among the original ten women were Mrs. Henry Esche, Mrs. E. T. Greene, Mrs. W. J. 
Ernst, who are deceased, Mrs. Royal Predmore BrUl, who was a teacher in No. 7 school 
for a number of years, and Mrs. Albert Gardner and Mrs. Frank Dunham, who are still 
active members of the club. They have all been made honorary board members, as well. 
Also present at that first meeting, were Mrs. T. W. Liddle, the club's first president, and 
Mrs. George Liddle (Armie), her successor. These women were assisted in their organizing 
by Mrs. E. H. Boynton, President of the Woodbridge Club. 

The meetings were held at Mrs. Annie Liddle's home. She was a lovely person, beloved 
by all who were privileged to know her. In 1932, the President of the Catalin Corporation 
gave the club a new gavel and the old one was presented to Mrs. Liddle in appreciation of 
nine years' service as President. Annie Liddle died in 1938 and not only the club but the 
whole town of Fords mourned her loss as an outstanding citizen and humanitarian. 

The Woman's Club of Fords decided to become independent of the Woodbridge Mother 
Club and in October, 1924, the Woman's Club of Fords became Federated. The club was 
legally incorporated in 1925. 

The main project was to help the needy. This was done for 15 years, until public relief 
was instituted. Some of those projects included distribution of food and clothing, rent and 
doctor bills were paid; families were assisted in many ways that were never publicized; a 
milk fund was begun and milk was furnished to people who could not afford to buy it. The 
club women also made and served hot coffee and sandwiches to our firemen during large 
fires. In 1920 a community Christmas tree was erected at School #7 and gifts totaUng $89.00 
were distributed to the children. This Christmas tree observance was continued until 1939. 
After each party, the tree was taken and placed in Mrs. Liddle's yard (where the present 
bank now stands) for all to see during the Christmas season. When the monument at Corielle 
Street and King George Road was erected, a tree was planted by the club women in memory 
of Mrs. Liddle. 

When School #14 was to purchase a piano, the Woman's Club of Fords donated $25.00 
toward the cost. The money needed for these worthwhile community welfare works 
was realized from dances, card parties, bazaars, luncheons, food sales, and the like. 

Throughout the years, the club women also contributed to Federation Projects. When the 
Music BuUding was to be built at Douglas College, it became a Federation project. Each club 
offered each member a brick-for-a-dollar and after this was done an additional $25.00 was 
given, earned through the sale of old gold. The Meta Thorne Scholarship at Douglas is still 
a Federation Project and the Fords Club in 1964 held a children's musicale with proceeds 
going to this music Scholarship Fund. 

During the depression years, Mrs. Bernhardt Jensen was President. It was Mrs. Jensen who, 
as Welfare Chairman, led the club to aid the townspeople in those trying times. Mrs. Jensen 
was the third president and held office for six years. During these "Depression Years", club 
dues were cut to 25(f or the amount of the Federation per capita dues, for all members who 
could not afford to stay in the club paying full dues. These were lean years and although 
numerous money-making activitives were held, the proceeds hardly met expenses. In spite 
of hardships suffered, club affairs were conducted in a dignified and traditional manner. 
Mrs. Jensen did much for the Woman's Club of Fords and for the community. Mrs. Jensen 
was named "Woman of the Year" and the club honored her by placing her name on the 


Federated "Honor Roll". The club also voted Mrs. Jensen Honorary President, a position 
she holds today. 

During this same period, Mrs. Albert Gardner became the first music chairman. 
Mrs. Gardner, in 1929, composed the club song and is the author of the club prayer. In 
1926, she organized a choral group which functioned for twelve happy years. The chorus 
performed at all special occasions; they gave a benefit concert dressed in "Mammy" costumes; 
they entertained at P.T.A.'s, the Home for the Aged, the Presbyterian Church Bible Class, 
the New Brunswick High School, and they presented the original "kitchen-band" recitals. 
The group met in Mrs. Gardner's home and serious work was accomplished, ending in a 
social evening. Mrs. Gardner was also the Club's Parliamentarian. She is a charter and 
honorary board member. The club also voted her Honorary Parliamentarian and also placed 
her name on the Federation "Honor Roll". 

After twenty years, the club again has a choral group under the direction of Mrs. Nicholas 
Elko and Mrs. James Harkay. This chorus sings at special club events and at 
every Christmas season the group tours the Perth Amboy Hospital, singing Christmas carols 
through the halls. The chorus always brings Santa Claus along with his sack full of gifts 
for all the men and women patients in the ward. This traditional performance is very grati- 
fying to all who participate. 

Along with the club's many activities, its major interest has continuously been a community 
library. The idea was first conceived in February of 1923. In May of that year, the club 
received the furst donation of 42 books. That was the small beginning. All sorts of money 
raising schemes were devised. In September, 1923, a store at the foot of Ford Avenue was 
selected as the site for our first library. In January, 1924, with 400 books and $25.00 worth 
of supplies, the Club proudly opened the first library for the use of Fords residents! That 
was a great achievement for the Woman's Club of Fords. When the library opened, and for 
many years after, it was serviced by volunteers from the club. Two members, Mrs. Gardner 
and Mrs. Greene were taught cataloging by a member of the State Library Commission. 
Various places in Fords housed the library for the next sixteen years before they acquired 
their very own building. 

This first step towards this goal was the purchase of the property on Corielle 
Street (opposite the fire house) in 1925 for $1700, from Mrs. John Egan, Sr. with $500 as 
the down payment. From that time on they redoubled their efforts to build up the Library 
Fund. In 1937, during the presidential term of Mrs. Howard Madison, plans and specifica- 
tions were drawn for a proposed building to cost $7,000. 

The Woman's Club sought the advice of the Fords Lions Club, who had a warm feeling 
and interest for the group. The Lions Club advised against undertaking at this time such a 
large project. Their opinion was valued and although it was a great disappointment, it was 
good advice. 

It may be noted here that the Lion's Club has always been most generous in its support 
of the library. They once donated $711 during Mrs. Adolph Quadt's term as president; in 
1944 and 1945 proceeds of $578.50 from shows held in the Fords Theatre were given to 
the Woman's Club. The Lions Club installed a new floor during the term of Mrs. Howard 
Jensen. The present "Book Depository" in front of the Library was also a gift of the Lion's 

The idea of a building was dropped for the time being. The Woman's Club continued their 
efforts toward this end, however, when unexpectedly in 1939, the vision of their own building 
became a reality! Our Redeemer Lutheran Church offered the Woman's Club its chapel. The 
congregation intended to build a new and larger church and Mr. H. Jensen suggested offering 
the old building for the Woman's Club purposes. The club held a special meeting 
and accepted the church's most generous offer. The building was moved from Fourth Street 
in two sections, at the cost of $397, which was taken from the accumulated reserve of $1700. 
Since $1400 was not half enough to complete the rest of the work, the club went to work 


soliciting and receiving buUding materials, furniture, accessories, cash donations, etc. It was 
then that the true spirit of our community cooperation was displayed. Individuals, business 
establishments, schools, churches, and organizations all contributed. Mr. Samuel Katz of 
Fords Pharmacy, did more than his share and has continued to be outstanding in his per- 
sonal interest and support throughout the years. 

When the building was finally erected, the cost to the club was $3,052.10, with a deficit of 
$182.62. The club borrowed $475 from the Fords Bank to pay the balance and also to 
purchase linoleum, chairs and insurance. Mrs. Willard Dunham was then president and 
urged the members to keep on working and during the summer months, the loan was paid. 
On January 24, 1940 the dedication and first meeting was held, with the Reverend Arthur 
Kreyling as guest speaker. 

When Our Redeemer Lutheran Church was completed, the club was invited to their dedica- 
tion and the Woman's Club presented two Bibles properly inscribed, to show their apprecia- 
tion for the church's gift to them. 

The present Fords Public Library thus made its debut as a joint project; of the people — 
for the people. It was the culmination of sixteen years determination. 

Our first librarians were Miss Mary Hansen, Mrs. WiUiam Jensen, Mrs. Soren Hansen, 
Mrs. Rose Dell and presently serving, Mrs. Helen Falkenstein. 

After giving 40 years of Free Library Service to Fords residents, Woodbridge Township 
may, in 1964, assume control and management of the Fords Public Library, due to the 
recent voter approved, centralized, municipal library system. The Woman's Club will then 
be ready to undertake another worthwhile project to benefit the community. 

This would be a suitable place to end the review but in all fairness, one must recognize 
and acknowledge ensuing accomplishments of the club and its leaders. The maintenance of 
the library has been its major function for 40 years but the club has made many other 
contributions to the community and Federation through its 44 years of existence. 

During World War II, their efforts were concentrated on home front activities. The club 
made and filled "buddy-bags" and donated them to the crew of the Battleship U. S. New 
Jersey; donations were made toward recreation at Fort Dix; club members also sold war 
bonds and stamps and the club purchased a $500 war bond; club members served at the 
U. S. O. Center on a rotation basis in Perth Amboy. 


During Mrs. Howard Madison's term, the American Home Department was organized and 
has for over 20 years been a most active committee. During World War II, they sewed needed 
articles for the hospital and all through these years this department has made cancer dress- 
ings for the Red Cross, Mt. Carmel Nursing Service, hospitals and private patients. Some 
fifteen years ago a custom of judging house decorations and window paintings during the 
Christmas Season was established continuing until today. This Department has contributed 
untold amounts financially with luncheons, dinners, apron sales, bake-offs, etc. 

The Junior Woman's Club was first organized in 1930. During the following 30 years, 
the Sub-Juniors and Little Women were also organized. All of these groups did outstanding 
work on their own and also took an active interest in the library. Each group contributed 
to the Woman's Club goals with donations of money and gifts. (One a set of dinner-ware 
was given the adult club by the Juniors). Many of the young women joined the senior club 
when their groups disbanded or when they became of age. Mrs. Nicholas Elko, a former 
Junior member, became president of the Woman's Club of Fords. There were periods in the 
Woman's Club History when members ranged from age eleven to ?? (over 50). 

During the three terms, a total of six years, of Mrs. Arthur Overgaard, siding was put 
on the outside of the library building at the cost of $435. The kitchen and entire rear of 
the building was painted. 

Mrs. Overgaard later brought honor to the club by being elected to the State Board as 
Third District Vice President. The Federation is divided into districts containing about 32 
clubs and each district has its vice president. The club also honored Mrs. Overgaard by 
placing her name on the Federation "Honor Roll". 

During the term of Mrs. Howard Jensen, a special savings account was established, the 
purpose of which was to provide an emergency fund for future unforseen expenditures. A 
library committee was organized for the purpose of looking after all problems concerning 
the maintenance of the building. Mrs. Frank Dunham was chairman for many years. Mrs. 
Dunham, a Charter Member, was voted Honorary Board member and also had her name 
placed on the Federation "Honor Roll". 

During Mrs. Nicholas Elko's term, the club entered the "Community Achievement Contest". 
Mrs. George Molnar, who later became president, was chairman and an extensive program 
of improving the library and its facilities was undertaken. Under the supervision of the State 
Library Service Bureau, the 11,000 library books were checked and 2800 books were weeded 
out. These were donated to new founded libraries and hospitals. A catalog system 
was prepared by volunteers who donated over 500 hours of labor. As in the past, local 
individuals and organizations cooperated with contributions totaling over $900 and 600 
new books. The cash was expended for the purchase of badly needed furniture such as a 
filing cabinet, magazine stand, book shelves, librarian's desk, etc. The project extended over 
a period of one year and although the club did not win a prize, a special award was given 
them and the results of all the hard work was most gratifying. 

During Mrs. John Egans term, the club displayed again interest in public welfare. A drive 
for the benefit of Hungarian Refugees was conducted and netted hundreds of assorted items 
of clothing, household goods and furniture. It was also during Mrs. Egan's term that two 
of our members were appointed Sixth District Committee Chairman, Mrs. Oswald Nebel of 
Education and Mrs. George Molnar of Youth Conservation. Both of these women became 
presidents. It was also at this time that a most active Art Department was organized. Mrs. 
Chester Baginski was the most capable chairman and art instructor and is the club's current 
president. The Art Department, through the years, has conducted free art exhibits with the 
cooperation of the Fords Bank yard facilities. It is an annual event, open to all aspiring 
artists, amatuer and professional, with a special section for children's works. There are 
never any fees or admission charges and punch and cookies are served during viewing 
hours. There are professional judges to award ribbons in every group and category. The 
Department members have received recognition of their art work at District, State and County 
levels. They too, have made many contributions to the club. A Silver Tea Service 


1 COLLECT FOR CLUB WOMEN, by Mary Stewart 1 

Keep us, God, from pettiness; 

Teach us to put into action our 

let us be large in thought, in word, in deed. 

better impulses, straightforward and unafraid. 

Let us be done with fault finding, 

Grant that we may realize it is the little 

and leave off self-seeking. 

things that create differences; that in 

the big things of life we are at one. 

May we put away all pretense and 

meet each other face to face without 

And may we strive to touch and to know 

self-pity, and without prejudice. 

the great common human heart of us all. 

and 0, Lord God; let us forget 

May we never be hasty in judgment 

not to be kind. 

and always generous. 

Let us take time for all things, 

C J 

make us grow calm, serene and gentle. 


was acquired by saving Betty Crocker coupons and adding a small amount of money. Other 
items were donated in this manner. 

The Membership Department sponsors a spring and fall silver tea for prospective members. 
As the town grows, they wish to acquaint interested women in their activities and encourage 
them to join the club. 

Great strides in achievement have been in the Woman's Club of Fords during its 44 years. 
New projects were launched, as the need arise and high standards were developed and main- 
tained through concerted and cooperative efforts of all interested leaders and members. 

Each has left her mark in the life of the club and each has built a part of the whole. The 
work of all has been essential and none could have been spared. Looking backward gives 
joy and satisfaction. Looking ahead presents a challenge and boundless opportunity for 

The Woman's Club of Fords looks eagerly to the tasks which the future wiU bring, confi- 
dent of their ability to active success. 

Past Presidents in Order 

^Mrs. T. W. Liddle 

^Mrs. George (Annie) Liddle 

Mrs. Bernhardt Jensen 

Mrs. Howard Madison 

Mrs. Williard Dunham 
"Mrs. Adolph Quadt 

Mrs. Arthur A. Overgaard 

Mrs. W. Howard Jensen 

Mrs. Nicholas Elko 

Mrs. John Egan 

Mrs. Oswald Nebel 

Mrs. George Molnar 

Mrs. Chester Baginski (current) 

' Deceased 

Contributed by 

Daniel Harkay 

Grade 3 



•MM, 111 

< hil; 

I' M H ,1 I \\ o \|<inl: 

I mi 


./mi r 

I ,-ihfi' " 



Mrs. Jennie Predmore Brill first 
president of Fords #7 P.T.A. when 
it organized in 1917 and again 
president in 1947 after sixteen 
years of inactivity. Mrs. Predmore 
was a teacher in Fords fl for 
many years. 


The first Parent-Teachers Association in Fords was organized on March 10, 1917 in School 
fl with Mrs. Jennie Predmore, now Mrs. Jennie Predmore Brill, as president. The associa- 
tion continued in School #7 until School #14 was built in 1924. Mrs. Sue Warren was presi- 
dent of #7 P.T.A. when it moved to School #14 in 1924 and she became the first president 
of the P.T.A. in School #14. From 1924 until 1931 the two schools held their meetings 
cooperatively. One month the meeting would be in School #7. The next month the meeting 
would be in School #14. In 1931 the attendance by the members from School #7 dwindled 
to the point where all the meetings were held in School #14 and the interest and 
enthusiasm which nurtured the expansion of the association in School #14 came largely 
from the people in that area of the town. 

There was no P.T.A. in School #7 during the years between 1931 and 1947. Then it was 
re-organized with Mrs. Jennie Predmore Brill, again its president. Since that time there has 
been a P.T.A. in Number Seven School. 

The P.T.A. has done many things to help the schools. During First World War years, 
the members worked cooperatively with the members of the Woman's Club in Fords, knitting 
sweaters, socks, and other things for the American soldiers serving over seas in the first 
World War. In May, 1921, Mrs. Albert Gardner was elected president and the association 
had a strong leaning toward developing an appreciation of art in the Schools. It was during 
her administration that the P.T.A. donated two hundred dollars for the purchase of the pic- 
tures which are still hanging in the auditorium of School #7. Through the years the P.T.A. 
has been very helpful toward providing necessary equipment for the schools and sponsoring 
worthy projects which are conducive toward developing a wholesome program of growth 
and enrichment for the children. 

Fords #14 P.T.A. is the oldest organization of Parents and Teachers in Fords. 
It has experienced 40 consecutive years of ACTIVE SERVICE to the children of that area. 

Today there are P.T.A. organizations in all the public schools of Fords. In May, 1960, 
a new group was organized in Fords Junior High with Mrs. Mary Balasz as first president. 
Later that same year Lafayette Estates #25 P.T.A. held its first meetings with 
Mrs. Pat Lamatino as first president. Mrs. Lamatino now serves as president of 
the "President's Council" an organization which includes the presidents of all the P.T.A. 
groups in Woodbridge Township. 

The objects of the P.T.A. are: 

To promote the welfare of children and youth in home, school, church, and community. 

To raise the standards of home life. 

To secure adequate laws for the care and protection of children and youth. 

To bring into closer relation the home and the school, that parents and teachers may 
cooperate intelligently in the training of the child. 

To develop between educators and the general public such united efforts as will secure 
for every child the highest advantages in physical, mental, social, and spiritual education. 

Contributed by Marcie Bonalsky 
Grade 5 



New Jersey State Congress of 
Parents and Teachers. Mrs. Albert 
Gardner, President (front row 


As "Fords, Yesterday and Today" emerges from the press those whose feelings are warm 
and appreciative toward the worthy goals the P.T.A. can achieve, mourn deeply the passing 
of one of Fords' most noble citizens. Mrs. Albert Gardner died May 12, 1964. Her lofty 
ideals and courageous efforts did much to promote the true objects of the P.T.A. She will 
long be remembered for her devoted services to educational, civic and cultural agencies in 
Fords as well as in the county, state and nation. 

Mrs. Gardner was elected president of Fords #7 P.T.A. in May, 1921. However, 
she identified herself with the P.T.A. in School #14 after the school was opened in 1924. Her 
contribution to the leadership and intelligent guidance of that association has borne fruit all 
through the years. 

In 1922 Mrs. Gardner became chairman of the Middlesex County Council of Parents and 
Teachers. At the same time she also became a member of the New Jersey State Board of 
Managers. Following this she was elected state chairman of citizenship and illiteracy, state 
chairman of legislation, state vice president, state corresponding secretary, again state vice 
president and in 1938 she was elected president of the New Jersey State Congress of Parent 
Teacher Associations. 

Following Mrs. Gardner's term as state president, she served the P.T.A. well on a national 
scale. She was national chairman of the committee on Congress publications, national vice 
president and national chairman of the committee on procedure and by laws. She also served 
as member of the Board of Directors of the National Parent Teacher, the official magazine 
of the P.T.A., and as treasurer of the Magazine Company. 

Mrs. Gardner was very much interested, as well as very active in other organizations whose 
interests and objectives are similar to those of the P.T.A. movement. Her success as a devoted 
leader in the P.T.A. can be attributed to the fact that her inspiration was fired with a positive 
feeling of confidence, tempered by an overwhelming humility. She guided her following with 
vision and determination and was completely consecrated to her office. Mrs. Gardner's experi- 
ences with the P.T.A. saw countless opportunities for service and many challenging 
experiences. It is stated in The Golden Rung which is a Golden Jubilee History of fifty years 
of Progress of the New Jersey Congress of Parents and Teachers from 1900 — 1950 that 
among the factors for the success of Mrs. Gardner's many endeavors was the "high calibre 
and service" of her friends and co-workers, those who gave of their time and ability far 
beyond the call of duty, in order that her office might fulfill its obligations. She credited the 
cooperative assistance of her executive boards and her board of managers on the state level 
for much of her achievement during her administrafion. Mrs. Gardner could forget the daily 
demands of the job and remember only the delightful contacts and happy priveleges 
of working with those who supported her. 

Mrs. Gardner cooperated closely with the State Department of Education and the New Jersey 
Education Association, then called the New Jersey State Teachers' Association. She would 
attend all of the conventions of the State Teachers' Association and give a greeting at the 
banquet of each one. Her articles "What New Jersey Expects of the Schools" and "What 
Kind of School Teacher Does America Need?" were enthusiastically received and 
were published in "The Hundredth Anniversary of Teacher Training Institutions of 
the United States". 





■-en'' — 

■ .._— ,-*<*;^ 


On January 11, 1957, the Catholic Welfare Bureau, Diocese of Trenton, purchased the 
property at 846 Main Street, Fords, New Jersey, for the purpose of establishing a Branch 
Office which would serve Middlesex, Somerset and Monmouth Counties. The function of the 
Agency is to provide all child and family welfare services. It is serviced by highly organized, 
highly trained professional casework team offering a variety of services to famihes and 
children, married couples, unmarried mothers, the deUnquent, the emotionally disturbed and 
the aged. Its aim is to help others to stand on their own two feet. 

In 1962, due to the enormous increase in requests for service in the Middlesex and Somerset 
Counties, it was necessary to open a Branch Office in Red Bank, New Jersey, to service the 
Monmouth County Area. 

Submitted by 
George Chingery 

Ford's Office 

Fords, N. J. 



The need of u civic club was first manifested by a group of men who met at Buchner's 
Delicatessen on New Brunswick Avenue, Fords, N.J. A number of meetings were held and 
plans were made for the formation of a Lions Club. Its purpose was to serve the blind, 
to recognize community needs, to work for the betterment of the community and to aid its 

The New Brunswick Lions Club was the sponsoring club and the charter night was held 
at the Pines, Metuchen, on June 26, 1926. Its first president was Mr. George N. Wood and 
Vice President, Mr. T. W. Liddle. The original charter is on display at Lopez Restaurant, 
New Brunswick Avenue., Fords, N.J. where the club at present holds its regular meetings. 

The club's early activities were more or less social, bowling, baseball etc. Only a few activ- 
ities were held to raise funds, an occasional card party, dance or clam bake. Its first project 
was the building of the Wesley Liddle Memorial Registration Building at Camp Caw Waw, 
Boy Scouts of America Camp. The necessary money needed for the building was raised by 
conducting dances at Thompson's Hall. The first men to volunteer for the project were Chris 
Lehman, Ed Miljes, William Thomsen, Anton Lund, Daniel Sandorff, Louis Kirsch St., 
Ben Jensen, Allyn Petersen and Joseph Greiner. 

During the depression years the International Association of Lions Clubs was going to 
recall the charter because the organization was unable to pay its annual assessment. The 
membership was so few in number, Allyn Petersen and Joseph Dambach served as president 
two years respectively. Many meeting nights the attendance was as low as nine and the men 
met regularly in order to hold the charter. 

At the beginning of 1943, a decided change began to take place in the Lions Club. It be- 
came larger in membership, it began to increase its activities and began seeking greater 
projects to fulfill its community's needs. It began to rapidly progress and work in one steady, 
constant direction. All members were dedicated men who worked like "Trojans" to serve their 
purpose and the club was recognized as the Fords Lions "Community Betterment Club." 

Successful scrap paper collections became a major part of the club's fund raising projects 
in 1945 with Mr. Joseph Dambach as chairman. Mr. Dambach has held the position of 
chairman of these drives for 18 years, with 500,000 lbs. of paper being collected per year. 
By 1947, these paper collections made it possible to accomplish the following: 

1. Donation for swimming pool, Jamesburg Home for Boys $178.00 

2. Modern Resuscitator, Respirator and Inhalator for 

St. John's First Aid 785.00 

3. March of Dimes Donation, 1947 222.75 

4. American Red Cross, 1947 100.00 

5. Disabled War Veteran 100.00 

6. Donation of Two Large Size Oxygen Tanks for 

St. John's First Aid 80.00 

7. Payment for loss of wages to two local men who donated blood 

for veteran 16.00 

8. A pledge for payment of gasoline for St. John's First Aid 

9. Donated a Braille Writing machine to blind man 

The people of Fords lauded the Lions Club for these civic achievements and their unselfish 
efforts for the good of the community. The members of the Lions Club and its leaders re- 
sponded by saying, "Lionism is an intangible thing which brings fellows together week 
after week without obligation, commitments — just a willingness to work together in unselfish 
effort for the good of the community. At a regional meeting, in April, 1947, honor keys 
were awarded to Joseph Dambach, Stephen Frost and Willard Dunham in appreciation for 
their efforts. 


Carol Martzak and darN Nahai, 5th ^rade students of Fords School "1, receive U.S. Savings Bonds from 
past [^resident l)r C harles Schwehla and Mr. .loseph Fritsche, president of the Lions Club. The Club sponsored 
the essay contest which in\ ited the school children of Fords to write a History of Fords. Carol won first prize 
and Gary won second prize. It was this challenge of the iniative of the children which resulted in the creation of 
"Fords Yesterday and Today". 

A Gray-Y Youth Group was organized in April, 1947, its purpose was to combat juvenile 
delinquency and aid citizens of tomorrow. Its activities took place at the YMCA, Perth Amboy 
and bus trips were also sponsored to Rutgers football games. 

The Lions Club suffered the loss of a truly loyal club member on May 6, 1947. Rev. James 
A. Sheridan, Pastor of Our Lady of Peace Church, died at services. George E. Kovak, Presi- 
dent requested all business and shops closed on May 9th as a memorial tribute. The mem- 
bers of the Lions Club visit Hawley, Pa. every year and hold services at tlie church and 
cemetery for Rev. Sheridan. In memorium, the club donated a bulletin board which stands 
in front of Our Lady of Peace Church. 

The Fords Lions Club was instrumental in re-activating the Woodbridge Lions Club and 
sponsored this unit on June 4, 1947. Another bulletin board was donated to Our Saviour 
Lutheran Church in 1947. 

An Iron Lung was purchased in October, 1947, by the combined Lions Clubs of Middlesex 
County, spearheaded by the Fords Lions Club. It was purchased for Mrs. Ileen Thomsen, 
Fords, a victim of infantile paralysis at the cost of $2,100, for both auxiliary respirator and 
iron lung. Mr. George Kovak, Past President and members of the Fords Lions Club met at 
the hospital to present lung to Mrs. Thomsen and extend sincere hope for her 
complete recovery. 

In the following months the club sponsored an essay contest on Fire Prevention 
with schools 7, 14, Our Lady of Peace and the Keasbey and Hopelawn schools participating. 
Also, at this time as part of its youth program the club cleaned out the Fords Park Pond and 
made it ideal for ice skating for the children. 

At this time the club was greatly honored to have two of its members become 
District Governor of the Lions Club. Mr. George Kovak, 1951-1952 and Mr. Adolph Quadt, 

From proceeds of paper scrap drives, on June 13, 1953, the club presented a check for 
$3,000 to the St. John's First Aid Squad. Previous to this a modern inhalator and resuscita- 
tion equipment was also presented to the Squad and two wheel chairs. 




Also, 1953 was the year the Woodbridge Township Council of Civic Clubs held a banquet 
for Fords Lions Club Member, Joseph Dambach, a leader of the club through its entire 
existence. He was named "Man of the Year" for his outstanding community service in all 
civic and welfare campaigns. 

Through the years the club continued to strive and move forward and in 1960, $1,300 was 
donated to St. John's First Aid Aquad toward purchase of a new ambulance. Recently the 
club met its pledge to the Perth Amboy General Hospital with their contribution of $1,000. 
And at present the club purchases all gasoline and oil used by St. John's First Aid Squad 
since the year 1947. Also, to date seventeen wheel chairs have been donated to St. John's 
First Aid Squad, and four braille machines and one braille typewriter have been donated 
to the blind. 

Its contributions for 1963-1964 will be to Cerebral Palsy, Fords Fire Department, Kiddie 
Keep Well Camp, Middlesex County Tuberculosis League, Mount Carmel Guild, St. John's 
First Aid, Woodbridge Independent Leader Christmas Fund, Heart Association, Perth Amboy 
General Hospital, United Fund and Sight Conservation and aid to the Blind. The money 
being raised by scrap paper drives, fruit cake drives and pancake sales. 

Since its inception, the club has expended approximately $75,000 to $100,000 to charity. 

These are but a few of the many deeds and accomplishments of the Fords Lions Club. 

When the people of Fords commend this worthy organization, its members and leaders 
respond by saying, 

"Lionism is a way of life, a way other than anything that you may have in your 
home, or business life. It is a way of doing things for the benefit of your fellow- 
man, community and club that gives an inner satisfaction." 

Lionism will go on, ever faithful to its Code of Ethics: 

"To aid my fellowmen by giving my sympathy to those in distress, my aid to the 
weak, and my substance to the needy." 

Contributed by 

Carol Marczak 

Grade 6 

Members of American Legion Auxiliary Post #163 of Fords planting 

7 school grounds. 


In June, 1934, The Harry Hansen Post 163 of The American Legion was formed in Fords, 
New Jersey. The name was later changed to "Fords Post 163" showing location. 

This is an organization of men and women who had served their country from April 6, 
1917 to November 11, 1918 during World War #1 and from December 7, 1941 to September 
2, 1945 during World War #2. These facts, plus an honorable discharge from the service, 
is all that is required for eligibility for membership. 

The Auxiliary to the Legion was formulated the following year. This part of the Legion is 
open for membership to wives, daughters and mothers of eligible Legionnaires. 

These people started the local Post for the purpose of carrying out the mandates of the State 
and National American Legion organization, "For God and Country". 

The Post cares for the Veteran in times of need. He can receive hospital care under condi- 
tions, free of charge. The Service Officer is always available to him to answer his call, the 
call of the Veteran. For the widow and orphan, the Post procures monetary aid. 

Not only will the Legion care for the children of the Veteran, but the children 
of the community whose parents are non Veterans. However, this leads to the explanation of 
the Legion Poppy. 

After World War #1, the Poppy was selected as the Legion flower because of the poppies 
which were growing wild on the battlefields, and also because of the color of blood, where 
so much had been spilled on European grounds where they had fought, as well as appearing 
on the cemeteries where our Honored Dead rest. 

Today the paper poppy is made by Veterans who are hospitalized. These men are paid 
for their labors, and this serves a dual purpose; it brings them a monetary return and also 
acts as therapy. Then for seven days before and including Memorial Day, May 30th, Legion- 
naires and Auxiliary members will offer them to the public for a contribution. These monies 
received from the sale go ONLY for the care of the Veteran, his children and his widow. 

For the care of the non-veteran child the Post and its Auxiliary will earn monies in various 
ways, sales, card parties, etc. 


What does the local Legion Post and Auxiliary offer the Community? It sponsors Oratorical 
contests, open to all young men and women in the High Schools. They are judged on a 
County level, then District and so on to National, where the final award is $4,000, plus 
various medals. 

Another Community service is the Boys State and Girls State program. The last week of 
June of each year, a young man and a young lady is chosen by their school for outstanding 
merits as an aU around American. The young man spends a full week at Rutgers College 
at the expense of the Post. There, he is taught the fundamentals of our Government. He also 
learns to hve with other men away from home. They listen to outstanding Political speakers 
of both parties. They form a mythical country with a city, state and county; they run an 
actual election with Middlesex County Elections Board at the machines. The Legion feels this 
will acquaint these men who will be our future leaders, to enable them to have a 
better knowledge of our government and will go to the polls in years to come, aware of their 
responsibilities. A Band is formed during this week by the participants of Boys State which is 
second to none. 

The Auxiliary sponsors a young lady from the Fords area. The women live at Douglass 
College for six days, and it is surprising how much knowledge they glean in such a short 

Americanism — another outstanding activity in the Legion. The National organization 
presents a subject and the Fords Auxiliary offers it to our Junior High School and 
the Parochial School for the students to compete for, with an award to the winner. The same 
procedure is used in a Safety Program. 

We have offered a Poppy Poster contest to the schools where the students paint posters to 
swell the sale of Poppies. This gives the student more information of the story of the Poppy. 

The N.J. Home for Disabled Veterans in Menlo Park is an outstanding activity of the local 
Post and Auxiliary. Parties are given to the men there, and our Auxiliary has adopted two 
Veterans there and present them with gifts and cards to them on various special occasions 
through the year. Parties are also given to the residents at Lyons Hospital through the year. 

Contributions from the Legion Post and its Auxiliary are made to every Com- 
munity project, the First Aid, March of Dimes and whenever called upon for service, to 
assist the community. 

During World War #1 many members of both units were giving of their time to Defense, 
air-raid wardens, price checkers and again when and wherever there was a need for help. 

In order to have a full picture of the American Legion, its organization, its reason for 
formation, let me present the Preamble to its Constitution: 

For God and Country; we associate ourselves together for the following purposes: 

To uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States 

To maintain law and order 

To Foster and perpetuate 100% Americanism 

To preserve the memories and incidents of our associations during the Great Wars 

To inculcate a sense of individual obligation to the community. State and Nation 

To combat the autocracy of both the classes and the masses 

To make right the master of might 

To promote peace and good will on earth 

To safeguard and transmit to posterity the principals of Justice, freedom and democracy 

To consecrate and sanctify our association by our devotion to mutual helpfulness. 

Contributed by 

Robin Gaddis 

Grade 6 


This monument of Fords V. F.W. was unveiled May 25, 
George Road and Egan Avenue, Fords. 

1950. It stands in the Memorial Triangle at King 


"Honor our Dead by Helping The Living." This is the motto of an organization started 
in 1898 by American Spanish War Veterans. The Fords Memorial Post #6090 at 411 New 
Brunswick Avenue, Fords, is one of the many small representatives of a nation-wide organiza- 
tion dedicated to this goal. Any man who has fought in a foreign military campaign of The 
United States may join the V.F.W. 

Our post had it's start in the back room of a local tavern called Sondergaards in the fall 
of 1946. Under the direction and leadership of Edward Miljies of 5th Street, Fords, twenty- 
six men banned together to develop a comradeship among the veterans of Fords. Their 
goal was to assist the needy veterans, the widows, and the orphaned children. These men were 
inducted by the Perth Amboy Veterans of Foreign Wars at Fords School #7. 

Their first project was to have a meeting place of their own. From the back room of the 
tavern, they moved their meetings into The American Legion Hall. It was from there, that 
they bought the property at 411 New Brunswick Avenue from VVoodbridge Township for 
the price of $1.00. The material, inoney, and workmanship involved in this endeavor was 
donated by the people of Fords, and the building was dedicated on May 28, 1948. 


Joseph Egan, Edward MUjies, Commander and originator of the Fords Memorial Post #6090, Veterans of 
Foreign War, and Harold Slover, 2nd Commander. 

Their first civic project was a campaign to erect a monument to the local men who had 
lost their lives in World War II. The project was backed by all the organizations and people 
of Fords. The unveiling of the monument took place on May 25, 1950. 

The Fords V.F.W. has grown from 26 men to an organization of 80 members with an 
Auxiliary of 32 women. 

It is the headquarters for many local organizations. The V.F.W. Post #6090 MiUtary Band, 
The 82nd Airborne Assoc, of N.J., The Joseph Nemyo Association, The Metuchen Chapter 
of The Gold Star Mothers, The Cootiette Club #630, The Babe Ruth Little League, The Girl 
Scout Neighborhood #3, The V.F.W. Post #6090 Boys & Girls Drill Team, and The Potter 
Union of Richmond Radiator meet there. 

It is interesting to note that the music used by The Fords V.F.W. Military Band is from 
the original manuscripts of John Philip Sousa. These were donated to them by 
ardent admirers. 

The Post sponsers a yearly "Light a Bike" program for the safety of children on bikes, 
Christmas parties, contest, and scout troops. 

The Auxiliary presently sponsers a Boys and Girls Drill Team for children from the ages 
of 7 through 12. 

Contributed by 

Patty Urr 

Grade 6 


Ford Avenue, Fords, N.J., used to be a cow path. 

One of the oldest streets in Fords is King George Road which used to be called The King 
George Post Road or the King's Highway after King George III who was ruling England 
when the original thirteen colonies became an independent nation. 

New Brunswick Avenue is an old highway also. Years ago it was known as the Amboy 
Turnpike. It ran from New Brunswick to places which on an old map were known as Perth 
and Amboy Point. Many of the other streets in Fords are named after the town's early resi- 
dents. For instance, Ford Avenue used to be a cow path which ran through the John Liddle 
property. This property was part of the original Ford tract. As horses and wagons traveled 
over it the path became known as a road. In order to help it become Ford Avenue the street 
was widened by some of the property sliced from the Lady of Peace Church and School 

Crows Mill Road got its name from the Crow families who lived in the area. It followed a 
winding path from King George Road, through farms and fields in Fords and Keasbey to 
Smith Street. There used to be a mill along the way owned by one of the Crow families which 
identified the vicinity as Crow's Mill Road. 

Clum Avenue is named after Melvin Clum.afine civic resident of Fords. Mr. Clum operated 
a grocery store and was postmaster of the post office in the same store. He became a mem- 
ber of the Woodbridge Township Board of Education in 1907 and was president of that 
organization for eleven years before he died in 1933. 

Main Street got its name because it was the Main Street between Bonhamtown and Wood- 
bridge. It runs directly into Woodbridge and is called Main Street in that community also. 

Mary Avenue was named after Mary Anuski. Mary Anuski's family were large property 

Koyen Street was named after William Koyen, who was an early developer of land. Mr. 
Koyen improved land around the section of Liberty Street. William Koyen was associated 
with an insurance company and real estate firm. 

Moffett Street was named after an old resident and his family, the Moffetts. Ernest Moffett 
was on the Board of Education. His home was at the corner of King George Road and 
Crows Mill Road, where now stands a Sunoco Gas Station. 

Such streets as Maple, Pine, Poplar, Elm, and Beech were named after the trees in the area. 

Woodland Avenue received its name because of the dense woods that surrounded the section. 

Hornsby Avenue was named after Captain Sam Hornsby, who was a captain of the boats 
in Perth Amboy. 


The above picture shows a map 
of P'ords as it is in the year 1964, 
isolated from the surrounding 
communities. The circle shows the 
location of Fords School #7. Many 
of the streets are named after 
F'ords residents of yesterday. 

West Pond Road is now Route 440. West Pond and Florida Grove Roads were known as 
the "Kinsey Corner". 

Linden Avenue and Pitman Avenue were ordinary names. 

Hall Avenue runs from Grant Avenue to Ford Avenue. 

Fairfield Avenue was named after the Fairfield Union School, which was the first wooden 
structure of School #7. 

Summit Avenue ran over a hill, which was called a "summit". 

Cutter Avenue was named after the Wilfiam Cutter family. William Cutter lived on 
Main Street and owned a huge parcel of property around that section. 

John Egan owned a large portion of property around the City of Fords, from which Egan 
Street was carved. 

Lawrence Street was a short block which extended from Crows Mill Road to Liberty Street. 
The new development extends down to the Garden State Parkway. 

Such streets as Maxwell, Hansen, Jensen, Gordon, Paul, and Lillian were just ordinary 
names of people that resided in Fords. 

William Street was named after William Leahy, who was an operator of a coal business. 
William Street runs parallel to the Lehigh Valley Railroad. 

Hamilton Avenue was named after Alexander Hamilton. Mr. Hamilton lived on the corner 
of Crows Mill Road and New Brunswick Avenue. The original Hamilton Homestead still 
stands today and faces Crows Mill Road in the rear of now what is the Hamilton House. 

Liberty Street was called Freedom Street after World War I but was later changed 
to "Liberty", which means "Freedom". 

Livingston Avenue was named after one of the early developers by that name. 

Ling Street was narried after a man by the name of Samuel Ling, who lived to be one of 
the oldest men in the town of Fords. He liked to shoot clay pigeons with the Fords Gun Club. 
The Fords Gun Club is among the oldest organizations in Fords. 

Old legal maps of Fords which would show the location of the streets in Fords can be 
found in the Woodbridge Township Engineering Department. 

Contributed by 

Carolyn Terefenko 

Grade 6 




Wheelman's Rest Egan's Saloon 
on south side of New Brunswick 
Avenue opposite Corielle Street, 


In the early 1900's Fords was a rural area in many ways as far as business and profes- 
sional services were concerned. A dairy farmer named Steve Senior drove his cows from 
Center Street in Perth Amboy over New Brunswick Avenue to a grazing meadow which is 
now part of the Garden State Parkway. At night he drove the herd back to Perth Amboy, 
milked the cows and sold the milk in large tin cans to local grocery stores. 

In the early part of the twentieth century Joseph Dambach, a well known Fords resident 
today, used to drive a horse and wagon out of Perth Amboy and deliver groceries in Fords. 
At that time most people baked their own bread, while those who did not were served by a 
Metuchen baker who also made deliveries in Fords with a horse and wagon. A similar type 
of service was rendered by out of town butchers. 

In the early days the housewife did her own laundry and cleaning and mothers 
and daughters shampooed their own hair in the privacy of their kitchens or the warm sun- 
shine of a summer afternoon. Most homemakers sewed for their families and the man in the 
house had his own vegetable garden. Frozen foods were unheard of at that time and families 
provided themselves with winter rations by canning, smoking or drying foods at home. It 
was common practice for a farmer to kill his hogs in the fall of the year and make his own 
bacon and sausage. Many Sunday dinners were provided by father's wielding a hatchet over 
a chicken or two on Saturday night. 

In 1964 much of this kind of living is not known. Fords is being served by up-to-date 
shopping centers where all kinds of foods such as meats, groceries, vegetables, baked goods 
and dairy products can be purchased under one roof. The community has modern 
delicatessen stores, bakeries, as well as a "Quik Cook" Snack Service Bar. There 
are laundramats, tailoring shops, dry cleaning establishments and beauty parlors which are 
doing a thriving business by assuming the chores which were once done at home. 

Years ago, in order to obtain household articles and various types of clothing such as 
shoes and warm wraps, Fords residents had to go out of town to make their purchases. 
Usually on a Saturdtiy night the family would pile into the "carry-all", a kind of horse 
drawn carriage, and travel to Perth Amboy for many of its supplies. Today, of course, 
the automobile has changed all of this. Nevertheless the need to go out of town to shop 
has ceased to exist. 

Gradually drug stores, hardware stores, grocery stores and dry goods stores appeared in 
Fords. Little by little parts of New Brunswick Avenue became dotted with business establish- 
ments. One of the earliest was (ioldstein's General Store. Later, Garben's Drug Store, Sloan's 
Drug Store, Balint's and Rosenblum's hardware stores, made their appearances. Soon came 
Ferbel's on New Brunswick Avenue and Yakubik's on King George Road with dry goods. 
Melvin Clum's store, beyond Fords corner, not only kept groceries for customers, it housed 
the Post Office and served as a kind of country store community center. 


Interior of Goldstein's General Store on New Brunswick Avenue 1915 — Mrs. Goldstein and daughter Ann who 
is the present Mrs. Rosenbloom. Notice the variety of Products for sale on the counter. Groceries, chicken feed, 
umbrellas etc., an old fashioned coffee grinder are among the many purchases that could be made. 




Early Hardware Store in Fords ^ 

1928. 540 New Brunswick Avenue. 

The Grosses operated a delivery service from their General Store on King George Road 
in the Sand Hill Section of Fords. From this store all kinds of merchandise such as barrels 
of flour, chicken feed, hardware and groceries, were carried by horse and wagon 
to customers in outlying districts as well as in Fords. 

Later Mr. and Mrs. Lukacs opened their grocery store on Hanson Avenue and served their 
customers by deliverying goods in a horse drawn wagon. Earlier Mr. and Mrs. Goldstein did 
much the same kind of business on New Brunswick Avenue, except that they probably carried 
more merchandise in a general category. Egan's Tavern on New Brunswick Avenue at the 
foot of Corielle Street served many thirsty customers. Mr. Carl Reitenbach who was known 
as "Carl the Taylor" and the Chinese Laundry operated early business establishments in 
this area also. 

In the early days there were no doctors or dentists in Fords. Sick people sought 
professional services out of town or were treated by a family physician, a general practi- 
tioner who came from Perth Amboy. Those suffering with tooth aches usually treated them 
with home remedies. Dr. Guazza and Dr. Hanson were the first physicians in Fords. Dr. 
Hanson still resides on Amboy Avenue. Today there are several doctors and dentists in 
Fords and no one need go out of town for treatment. 

Many other kinds of businesses are contributing to the growth and prosperity of the com- 
munity. Real Estate and Insurance firms, various motor car establishments, barber shops, 
restaurants, taverns, a gift shop and florist offer their services. Today Fords has its own 
bank, public notaries and its own lawyers. One of the latter is a native son and a descendant 
of the old Fullerton family. Practically every service which had to be obtained outside the 
community is within the town's limits. 

Grief stricken families of yesteryear would be comforted in their bereavement today. Since 
1949 Flynn and Son have served the town's residents in their funeral parlors which are 
located in the former residence of Mr. and Mrs. Ben Jensen on P'ord Avenue and in 1950 
Mitruska's Funeral Parlors have opened to serve the needs of the townspeople on the same 
site, that in by gone days, was the home of the Howard Fullerton family on New Brunswick 

'What a different place today — Where we live, and work and play." 

Contributed by 

James Pirigyi 

Grade 6 


Courtesy of Ella Klein 


Anton Andersen. Marius Hansen, Abel Hansen, Martin Williamsen, Andrew Madsen, Mads Madsen, Mrs. Abel 
Hajisen, Peter Jensen, Hans Svarrer, Andrew Sindet, Sr., Soren Hansen, Sven Petersen, Charles Lovdahl, Peter 
Miller, Charles Tepper, John Emil Jensen, Escol Churnalin, Chris Hildahl, Clem Jensen, Carston Jessen, John 
Pfeifier, Huey Church, George Lund, George Price and Mike Kubick. 


During the early days, natural resources of the Fords district gave rise to those industries 
which enabled the people of the area to make a living. Rich deposits of clay in various 
clay pits resulted in factories making brick and other clay products. Among these early 
industries were the Valentine and Ostrander Brick Companies and Fords Porcelain Works. 

Working in a clay pit was hard labor. Wages were not always adequate to meet the needs 
of growing families. Yet the Irish, German and Hungarian immigrants in Fords at that time 
seemed to thrive and grow. 

Ex-police Chief John Egan told us something of what Fords was like in those days. He 
was born in the Sand Hills section of Fords. His parents were Irish and he grew up among 
the people who worked in the clay pits and those who worked in the factories which made 
the brick. He sang a song for us which he says was commonly heard among the people who 
came to the Sand Hills looking for a job. The song mentions that area of our town through 
which King George Road runs on the south side of New Brunswick Avenue. It also mentions 
the area in the vicinity of Crow's Mill Road which runs into Keasbey and today is only the 
ghost of a once thriving clay village. 

The song Mr. Egan sings has words like these: 

"I came to Sand Hills to get me a job, 

I met Billy Barr and he sent me to Bob 

Saying "If Bob doesn't give it, I'm sure Howe will 

Give you a job digging clay in the dreary Sand hills. 

There is Francis Ostrander, who owns a clay mine 
Pfeiffer and Edgar and Bob Valentine. 
If you don't get a job there, go down to Crow's Mill 
For it's all the same clay on the dreary Sand Hills." 


The "Bob" and "Howe" referred to were the Valentine men who owned the clay pits. There 
are other verses in the song which mention the fact that those who worked in the clay pits 
received "twelve shillings a day". 

The Fords Porcelain Works was also on King George Road close to the Lehigh Valley 
railroad. It was owned by Mr. and Mrs. Abel Hansen and used to make bath tubs, sinks 
and toilet bowls out of clay. These products had to be crated before they could be loaded on 
freight trains for delivery and many Fords school boys found ready employment making 
crates and boxes out of wood. There was another clay pit out beyond what is now Fords 
Park known as Ryan's. In this area too, clay products were made. 

A man by the name of Wiseman owned a cement factory in the vicinity of where School 
#14 is today. Several Fords men worked there making those cornices and borders which were 
used to decorate cement and brick buildings at that time. Then there were privately owned 
enterprises such as dairy farms, and a blacksmith shop which forged horse shoes, mended 
farm machinery and repaired tools and wagons. This blacksmith shop was owned 
by Mr. John Liddle and his son Charles and for many years was a well known landmark 
in the vicinity in the rear of the Gross building on King George Road. The Fords Coal and 
Lumber Company was established in 1925 on the old Valentine Brick factory site on King 
George Road beyond New Brunswick Avenue. This company still does a thriving business. 

Today the industrial face of Fords has changed. In the Sand Hills section of the town, are 
located many of the prominent industries along King George Road. The products made there 
now lean toward chemicals with Heyden Newport Chemical Co., Hatco Chemical Co. leading 
the field. Also on King George Road is Pradex Plastics Co. Heyden Newport Chemical Co. 
make all kinds of intermediate, organicchemicals which are used in the plastic drug and paint 
industries. Hatco Chemical Co. specializes in plasticizers, one of the largest producers in the 
country. Rasmussen and Son is also located on King George Road. It is a general rigging 

The Catalin Corporation is located on Meadow Road. It was established in 1929 
and manufactures synthetic resins used in varnishes and several medicines. Another well 
known industry in Fords which is located on Gross Avenue is the Plymouth Bus Co. which 
was established in 1928. This is the company that furnishes the comfortable motor coaches 
which carry the school children far and wide on all kinds of field trips. The Snow White 
Laundry, located on Douglas Street, was established in 1930. It offers many kinds of laundry 

Molded Fashions began business in a building on Grace Street in 1933. It is a small in- 
dustry which makes and sells winter and summer clothes such as coats, jackets, dresses and 
toppers. John Both and Son is a custom woodworking shop on Jersey Avenue. It started in 
1962 and makes many things out of wood, kitchen cabinets, book cases, desks, hutches, 
store fixtures, bars, vanities and so forth. 

Because of Fords' favorable location close to the New Jersey Turnpike and the Raritan 
River, transportation and shipping facilities are such that markets for all kinds of manu- 
factured products are close by in the metropolitan area of large cities, such as New York, 
Newark and Philadelphia. With an ever increasing housing development creeping into the 
town, and the necessity for the inhabitants to find employment, there is a great possibility 
that the industrial potential of Fords will grow and expand in the future. 

Contributed by 

Elaine Both 

Grade 6 


The typists of the "Pencil Pushers 
Press" Fords School No. 7 news- 
paper 1962—1963. Left to right: 
.Mary Mason, Donna Sarisky 
Pamela Koch, Joyce Zambo, and 
Alice Matey. 


Submitted by Colette Kozak 

Many years ago, there were no telephones, radios, newspapers, etc. The only means of 
communication was by messenger and posting notices at the community hall. Today, we 
have so many inventions that bring the daily news to us within minutes. 

Is there any school today? Whafs the weather forecast? Is the P.T.A. meeting Thursday? — 
Where and how can we find the answers to these questions? — We can listen for the fire 
whisdes, tune in the local radio stations and read our local newspapers. Isn't it wonderful 
to be able to get all our answers right within our own home? 

We in Fords have the New Brunswick Radio Station WCTC in New Brunswick to report 
the local news for our town. We are fortunate to be able to pick up our phone to report 
on P.T.A. meetings, election notices, school closings, etc. and get the necessary results without 
having to leave our home. 

We have two local newspapers that serve our community. A weekly. The Independent 
Leader of Woodbridge, and a daily. The Perth Amboy Evening News of Perth Amboy. 

Local news stories can be phoned in and pictures sent to the papers to be published so that 
the people of Fords can be informed of the happenings. 

The first newspaper in the State of New Jersey was published in Woodbridge in 1775. In 
1877, The Independent Hour was the weekly newspaper in Woodbridge. Some of the fore- 
runners of The Independent Leader of Woodbridge were: Weekly Register, Woodbridge News, 
Woodbridge Leader Journal and The Woodbridge Independent. In 1939, a merger between 
The Woodbridge Leader-Journal and The Woodbridge Independent under the title of The 
Independent Leader was continued. The Independent Leader then published two other news- 
papers, The Edison-Township-Fords Beacon and the Carteret Press. 

Today, The Independent Leader of Woodbridge, is a weekly newspaper serving Fords and 
the rest of the Township. 

The first local daily newspaper that served Fords started back in 1903. News was sent 
from Fords by trolleys and buses to The Perth Amboy Evening News office for publica- 
tion. In 1907, one of the first newspaper boys in Fords was Frederick A. Olsen. The local 


Fords newsdealer was Ferbel's on New Brunswick Avenue. As the town grew, so did the news 
delivery. A branch office of The Perth Amboy Evening News was opened in 1933. By 1940, 
the local Fords daily news circulation was 1,250 A. B.C. Today, twenty three years later. 
Fords local daily newspaper circulation is 3,047 A. B.C. 

L. Scott Olsen, a former pupil of Fords School #7, and son of Frederick A. Olsen, is the 
circulation manager of The Perth Amboy Evening News. George Molnar, another Fords 
resident, has been The Evening News photographer for a good many years. Many of our 
classmates today are newsboys for the local newspapers. 

Actually, the only newspapers really published in the town of Fords is our own The Pencil 
Pushers Press, a school newspaper edited by boys and girls of Fords School #7, and the 
Falconian edited by the children in Fords Jr. High. 

Contributed by 

Colette Kozak 

Grade 3 


At the turn of the century, youngsters in Fords had no supervised recreation. No public 
parks or playgrounds in the Fords area are recorded, however the youth of Fords had no 
problem finding a place to play. Open fields and cow grazing pastures were common. In these 
fields you could always find a group of youngsters playing baseball or football. They didn't 
have nine players on one team or a regulation baseball or bat, but a cloth wound tightly 
around a stone and a branch or broom served the purpose perfectly. 

About 1915 several privately organized teams played baseball in Fords. The Marions 
A.C. (Jack Egan's team) played their games, with almost official equipment on a field which 
they maintained on New Brunswick Avenue in the area of Herbert's Garage. The Fords 
Field Club (Steve Antonio) played their games on a field on Liberty Street which has been 
absorbed by the building of the Crestview Terrace housing project. The Possum A.C. had 
their field complete with back-stop at the site of School #14. Keasbey had the only fenced 
in ball-park with bleachers. One had to pay to see a game there. A Perth Amboy team known 
as the Pacer's A.C. used it as their home field. Woodland Avenue is the sight of one of the 
largest playgrounds in Fords. It has a wading pool, swings, slides, sand box, merry-go- 
round, monkey bars, and all the latest playground equipment. This has all been accomplished 
in the last ten years. The latest playground is in Lafayette Estates known as Quigely Field. 
It was dedicated in 1963. 

Fishing and ice skating were excellent in Fords in early 1900. Many brooks, creeks, and 
ponds were famous for fishing. Sling taile creek, which was most famous in Fords, ran 
almost perpendicular to King George Post Road. Kinsey Creek also popular, ran from a 
pond in the vicinity of New Brunswick Avenue between Raymond Street and Paul Street to 
the Raritan River. 

North of Main Street and Mary Avenue was a large track of open land known as Cutters. 
This area had two big ponds with an ice house between them. Here, people from surrounding 
areas, came to ice skate in the winter and buy their ice which was stored from the ponds 
in the ice house for summer sales. This area was very famous for swimming, fishing, ice 
skating, and ice hockey. Now it is the sight of the New Jersey Turnpike and Parkway Ex- 
change. Fords Park, which is the only park in Fords, was authorized in 1929. However it 
was in 1932 and 1933 that the W.P.A. undertook the building of this park. 

Contributed by 

Deborah Rose Pajok 

Grade 3 



Babe Ruth Baseball League was organized in 1959 and is also a privately organized 
League consisting of six teams. Boys ranging in age from thirteen to fifteen qualify for this 
league, which has a field also in Fords Park leased from the Township for ten years. 

Fords also prides itself in its Pop Warner Football Team. The Fords Youth Assn. applied 
for its charter in 1959. Again individuals, volunteered money and services to organize the 
first Pop Warner Football Team in the area. Today this organization supervises football 
for boys ages 9 through 13 years of age, and basketball for boys and girls 9 to 15 years. 


The first known Girl Scout troop in Fords was active in approximately 1937 and was 
led by Dorothy Kreyling who was the daughter of the pastor of Our Redeemer's Lutheran 
Church, which sponsored the troop. 

Woodbridge Township Girl Scout Council was not formed until about 1946 and therefore 
there are no records available before that time. 

Girl Scouting in Fords was quite inactive until the mid 1950's, when troops began to form. 
Now, in 1964 there are ten Brownie troops, fourteen Junior troops and nine Cadet troops 
with about five hundred girls participating. 

Contributed by 

Susan Bizaro 

Grade 6 


Boy Scouts of America was first thought of in the year 1919. In the year of 1922, on 
December 5th, a new constitution was adopted. In 1924 the National Council decided to 
bring under first class council operation as a Scouting District to the following parts of 
Middlesex County: Perth Amboy, Woodbridge Township, Fords, and Carteret. The name of 
the council was changed in the year 1924 to The Perth Amboy District Council which is the 
headquarters for all boy scouts in this area. Four divisions were comprised in October, 1925. 

Troop 52 started in 1925— 1928 and was sponsored by the Lutheran Church until 1932. 
In 1939 the Parent Scouters" Association assumed responsibility. Walter Neary was then scout 
master and Art Fedderson chairman. 

Troop 53 started in April, 1943, and was sponsored by Our Lady of Peace 
Church. Charles Celecki was scout master and John Pressler, chairman. 

Troop 51 started in 1948 and was sponsored by the Fords Lions Club. Michael Volosin 
was scout master and Clifford Dunham Chairman. 

Today there are several troops of Boy Scouts as well as many Cub Packs. 1931 saw the 
beginning of Cub Scouts. The first had 81 cubs. In 1948 they then had 1,554 cub scouts, 
with 244 leaders. In years which have passed, all of these have grown in numbers. 

Scouting has contributed to the community in making boys learn to grow into responsible 
manhood and teaches all boys to be of service to others. Their motto is, "Be Prepared.'" 

Contributed by 

Stewart J ago 

Grade 3 




An all star team in the major national division. Four boys picked from each team to play against a major 
American Division Team. 

First row kneeling; George Slicner, William Yetman, Donald Saranczak, Anthony Russamano, Bruce Malega, 
Keith VVentura, Kenneth Timko, Albert Kinal. 

Second row standing: Kenneth Knglish, David Rodecker, Kenneth laanorone, Jack Krukus, Gary SchuUer, 
Terry Fox, Daniel Liberti, Alex Lukacs. 


That which is known as Little League Baseball had its origin in 1951 when Father Grimes 
and several men from the Our Lady of Peace Holy Name Society established the first base- 
ball teams in Fords for boys between the age of eight and twelve years. The first president 
was Mr. Ernest Dubay. 

In the beginning there were eight teams. So many young boys in the community were 
interested in joining the league that the number of teams expanded rapidly. In order to 
obtain a legal charter which would enable the teams to become identified with "Little League"" 
as it is known throughout the nation it was necessary to become associated with Little League 
of Williamsport, Penna. This posed some difficulties so today little league baseball teams in 
Fords have no affiliation with any National organization. They are controlled by an inde- 
pendent association known as the Fords-Clara Barton Boys Baseball League. It is registered 
in the county seat of Middlesex County and in the State House at Trenton, New Jersey. The 
meetings are held the second and fourth Wednesdays of the month in the cafeteria of Our 
Lady of Peace School in Fords. 

Today there are over five hundred boys involved in the activity, making thirty teams, 
divided into groups of Midgets, Minors, and Majors. These boys are guided by more than 
four hundred active fathers. A non profit organization, it is sustained by public contribution. 
Funds are collected by tag days, raffles, donations, sponsors and advertisers. They also 
receive help from the "Ladies Auxiliary of Fords Little League Baseball"". 

There are several playing fields in the area. Some of them are Dennis Memorial Field, 
Woodland Avenue Held, Bobal Field, Clara Barton Field, Roosevelt Park Field *1. These 
fields are maintained by Woodbridge and Edison Townships with some assistance by the 
fathers of the boys. 

Contributed by 
Matthew J ago 



On Vine Street, in Fords, about fifty years ago, the Fords Art Stone Company was located. 
The business was owned by two gentlemen named Ernest and Wiseman. It is believed that 
some of the material produced by the company was used in large and important buildings 
in New York. Another company, Mungar Aircraft, was doing business on Vine Street about 
the same time. 

Just around the corner of Vine Street, on Ford Avenue and Wildwood Avenue, horses were 
brought to the Slaughter House that did business there at the same time. The animals pro- 
vided hide and leather goods for the town. 

In the Sand Hill section of Fords, on the east side of King George's Road, Abel Hansen's 
Fords Porcelain Works manufactured bathroom fixtures and accessories. They supplied hotels 
and other establishments in the area. The land now used by the Heyden Chemical 
and Catalin Corporation was once owned by Ostrander, where they manufactured firebrick. 
During the time of the First World War the same buildings were put to a new use, the making 
of gun powder. This helped to supply the fighting forces in England and France. 
Many foreigners who settled in Fords years ago went to the brick company for work. They 
lived in a large wooden building of about thirty rooms, which was known as Castle Dunder 
in the Dreary Sand Hills. 

Years ago in the same Sand Hill area there was a spot known as the Devil's Dancing 
Ground. It covered an area about fifty feet by a hundred feet, and it was covered with grass 
that stayed green all year round. Because of this, the people were very superstitious and 
would not walk on this ground. 

A popular swimming place at the time was called the Blue Mines. It got its name from 
the blue clay that surrounded the water. The water was always looking blue, and while 
it was a dangerous place to swim the people swam there anyway. The swimming hole 
was located off Meadow Lane near Heyden Chemical. Burma Road is the unofficial nick- 
name for Meadow Lane and a lot of people still recognize that name today. 

Route 9 and 35 and the Garden State Parkway cross over the land that was Steve Senior's 
farm. The farmer made all his milk deUveries by hand, carrying the cans for delivery. The 
section was known as Allendal Terrace. It was later changed to Hopelawn, being named 
after a prominent family by the name of Hope. 

The Cutter Homestead on Main Street in Fords is an old landmark. It is now owned by 
the Solowinski family. 

Down on Murdock Street in Fords, an old Ice-House supplied the town with its ice. The 
ice was cut in blocks from the surrounding lakes and stored in the house for summer use. 
Salt hay and saw dust helped keep the ice from meUing during the summer weather. The 
business was owned by the Liddle family and it stood on the spot that is known today as 
Quigley field. 

The Hamilton family believes that their little house at 360 New Brunswick Avenue is one 
of the oldest homes in Fords. This sturdy little house, still standing today, is over a hundred 
years old. 

Alexander Hamilton, the father of Mr. James Hamilton and Mrs. Claire Mehok, was raised 
in the little house. Many years ago the little house stood in the front of their property. Two 
huge maple trees shaded the front of the home, and a white picket fence surrounded the 
house and the trees. When Alexander Hamilton was twenty-one years old the small house 
was moved to the back to make room for a new and larger house for the family. The big 
house is about seventy-five years old. 

The century old house had four rooms, later the kitchen was taken off Boards for the 
house were cut from large trees and were hand hewn, very different from the lumber we use 
today. Wooden pegs, which were used in place of nails in those days, can still be seen in the 
beams in the attic. 


The large red brick fireplace is still in the house and nothing about it has been changed. 
The fireplace covered one whole wall in the parlor. 

Even though the first owners were painters they never painted the house; they white-washed 
it. Every year on Decoration Day everything was white washed. The rocks around the trees 
were also given a fresh coat of paint. 

Many years ago there was an apple orchard where the Acme now stands. The 
family planned putting up a hotel but they never got around to doing it. There is a large 
Dutch elm at the corner of the property. When the little house was built the Dutch ehn was 
planted. The tree is over a hundred years old and is still thriving and healthy today. 

Contributed by 

Kevin Lane 

Grade 6 


What used to be the Grace Lutheran Church Parish House on King George Road is now 
the home of Local Union #270. This is the only labor union local in Fords. 

It was started in 1901 in Perth Amboy. Then in 1958 it moved to Fords. The purpose 
of this local is to train young men to become competent craftsmen and to supply building 
contractors with skilled mechanics in the plumbing and pipefitting business; also to improve 
living standards and conditions of the working men. 

This is an organization of apprentices, plumbers, pipe fitters, and pipe welders. 

The president of this club is Aloysius C. Beatty. The vice president is Leroy Buchan. The 
recording secretary is Willard Neary. The financial secretary is John V. Mansfield. 

Submitted by 
Charles WilUams 


Nels John Lauritzen, Chief of Woodbridge 
Township Police is the second of Ford's sons 
to rise to this position. He has steadily prog- 
ressed through thirty-four years of service to 
the department by earning his promotions 
through Civil Service, from patrolman to head 
man, being the only chief who has experienced 
service in each of the given ranks along the 
way. Chief Lauritzen lives at 41 Egan Avenue, 
Fords. He expects to retire from his police 
duties in .September, 1964. 

Detective Daniel C. Panconi, secretary to 
Chief of Police Nels Lauritzen is also a Fords 
man living at 68 Maxwell Avenue, Fords. 


who served the community of Fords wisely 
and well, as a fire commissioner, and for twelve 
years as a Township Committee Member. Mr. 
Warren was appointed to the Board of P'ree- 
holders and was elected to office for four terms. 
He departed from this earth May 28th, 1964, 
the day "Fords Yesterday and Today" went 
to press. May his soul rest in peace. 



It was not our purpose to write a history of the venerable and fruitful 
area of Woodbridge Township, alluring and challenging as the prospect 
might have been. However, we did try to identify the community of 
Fords, one of the vital segments of Woodbridge Township, with 
a heritage that is more or less its own, so that the boys and 
girls growing up and going to school in the town, might push their 
roots deep into the nutrients of the past and thus nourish the paths 
they follow into the future, so that their fledgling growth might 
be accompanied by a feeling of belonging and a desire to participate 
in those educational, recreational, civic, cultural, social and spiritual 
activities, which by nature of their significance, can color and enrich 
their experiences today, simultaneously enabling them to pattern their 
maturing personalities toward becoming those kinds of citizens that 
this changing world commands them to be tomorrow. 

Dorothy F. D. Ludewig 



printed and published by the 


Lawrence F. Campion, Publisher 

18-20 Green Street, Woodbridge, New Jersey 

in cooperation with 

Mrs. Dorothy F. D. Ludewig 

Principal — School #7, Fords 

Woodbridge Township, New Jersey 

Copyright 1964 




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