West Orange New Jersey
Historical Photographs and History
Click to Return to Main Page
This page has many interesting West Orange vintage Postcard photos, please allow time to load
This circa 1903 Postcard shows the "Annual Automobile Race and Contest", an interesting commentary on just how quickly
the Automobile became popular in West Orange. The large building in the center still stands and houses the
West Orange Pharmacy. Main Street is at right, Eagle Rock Av at left, and Harrison Av straight ahead.
A Short History of Eagle Rock Reservation
1894 -- The
trolley line to the foot of Eagle Rock Avenue had been placed in
operation. This line was an extension of the Washington Street end of the
Orange Crosstown and ran via Washington Street on its own right-of-way
along what are now Watchung Avenue, Chestnut Street and Cherry Street to
Harrison Avenue and via that street to its intersection with Eagle Rock
Avenue. The idea behind the construction of the Eagle Rock line was to
provide cheap transportation to Eagle Rock, which had become an attraction
for Sunday picnickers because of its high elevation and magnificent view
of the growing metropolitan area. The promoters of the Eagle Rock line
realized the impracticality of running a trolley to the top of the ridge
because of the steep grade. Instead, they counted upon their patrons'
climbing the last hundred feet up a zigzag path constructed along the side
of the cliff.
Circa 1906 - Eagle Rock Reservation Lookout
Circa 1905 - Just below Eagle Rock Reservation. This photo shows the tracks of the Eagle Rock Trolley on
Mountain Rd as clearly seen on the US Topo map revised in 1897. The start of the "100 Steps" are seen at right.
Circa 1904 - The Eyrie, the former home of Llewellyn Haskell,
it sat in the middle of Eagle Rock Reservation until 1924
Circa 1904 - This "Ice Cream Pavillion" delighted many picnic goers
at Eagle Rock Reservation one hundred years ago
Circa 1920 - The 'Casino', an open masonry structure on the summit of Eagle Rock. The term
"casino" refers to an Italian style county dwelling or summer house. The building was built
in 1909 and renovated in 1986 and turned into the Highlawn Pavilion Restaurant
Photo circa 1904 - Eagle Rock Trolley, a short line that ran from the intersection of Main St & Eagle Rock Av
up to Undercliff Av at the bottom of the Reservation. Photo shows the vicinity of Nutwold Av.
The lookout at Eagle Rock Reservation in the 1930s. This area overlooking the New York City skyline is
now the site of the newly dedicated Memorial to the 3,000 people murdered by Terrorists on September 11.
Crystal Lake was a private Picnic Ground and Day Excursion destination at the turn of the century, A favorite with picnicker's,
it held a small amusement park, with a merry-go-round, Hotel, dance hall and restaurant, all built around Crystal Lake, just
a short walk from Eagle Rock. Rowboats crossed the lake in the summer and skaters glided across the ice in winter.
The five acre Crystal Lake attracted boaters, swimmers & fishermen.
A short walk took you from Eagle Rock Reservation to the cool waters of Crystal Lake
Mitchell's, the Crystal Lake Hotel, in its' prime, circa 1900.
The area was re-developed around the year 2000 with a Townhouse & Office complex.
|Thomas Alva Edison poses in his West Orange Laboratories circa 1925, underneath, of course, a light bulb, which he invented. The most famous resident of West Orange, Thomas Edison lived here in 'Glenmont', his home in the private enclave of Llewellyn Park from 1886 until his death in 1931.|
Llewellyn Park circa 1916 (hand colored b&w photo)
Hutton Park circa 1908 (hand colored b&w photograph)
John Crosby Brown well, off Northfield Rd, photo circa 1905
Circa 1908 - Orange Mountain Trolley Switchback
(this is not the Eagle Rock Trolley, but is a different line that went up in the vicinity of Northfield Rd)
|This page is a community service of First Baptist Church of Bloomfield, NJ. Our Church was founded in 1851 by residents of Essex County who desired to meet together for worship and the study of God's Word. Over the years many West Orange residents have been members of our church. During all the time spanned by these photos, First Baptist has had an involvement in the community life of the area, and a spiritual impact in the lives of it's people. Now, over 150 years later, that spiritual impact is as vital as ever. We're a multi-ethnic Church, we love visitors and we invite you to worship with us!|
Click to Return
to Main Page
This West Orange History page is from www.FirstBaptistBloomfield.org
a community service of First Baptist Church (in downtown Bloomfield Center)
1 Washington St, Bloomfield, NJ 07003