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Montclair New Jersey History & Photos


East of Grove St, photo circa 1902, note 'Milkwagon' and  overhead wires for Electric Trolley



Looking westward, West of Grove St, photo circa 1903, note late Victorian clothing, horses, trolley


Looking south down South Fullerton Ave from corner of Bloomfield Ave, circa 1895-1905.  Buildings at left are all still standing 100 years later.


Corner of South Fullerton Ave, looking east, circa 1905

An interesting excerpt from a history of Essex County written in 1884 by Rev. Charles E. Knox:

THE NEWARK AND BLOOMFIELD RAILROAD was organized as a company, composed entirely of Bloomfield and West Bloomfield incorporators, in 1852. The West Bloomfield incorporators were Zenas S. Crane, Grant J. Wheeler and William S. Morris; those from Bloomfield were Joseph S. Davis (who became the president), Ira Dodd (who became afterwards the superintendent), David Oakes, Robert L. Cook, David Congar and Warren S. Baldwin. It was not, however, till June, 1856, that the trains run to Montclair. One car more than supplied the demand of public travel, and there was a deficit of three hundred and, thirty dollars at the end of the first seven months. When first opened the same person sold tickets at the West Bloomfield Station and acted as brakeman on the road.

The first board of directors was composed of Grant J. Wheeler, William H. Harris, Jared E. Harrison, of West Bloomfield; and Joseph A. Davis, Ira Dodd, Wright F. Conger and Jason Crane, of Bloomfield. Their negotiations with the New Jersey Railroad Company did not prove satisfactory to them, and the final arrangement was with the Morris and Essex Company. Continuous trains from New York were run from about the year 1866. When the Delaware, Lackawanna and Western Railroad leased the Morris and Essex, the auxiliary branch was included in the property transferred. The road has now seventeen trains a day between Montclair and New York. The fastest time is forty-two minutes. The road has one station in Montclair and three in Bloomfield.

THE NEW YORK, MONTCLAIR AND GREENWOOD LAKE RAILWAY has had a very important influence in the development of the northern portion of Montclair. There had been dissatisfaction with the time and the accommodations of the Bloomfield road. The charter, which was obtained in 1867, projected a road from Jersey City to the State line, at Greenwood Lake. Robert M. Henning, Julius H. Pratt and Henry C. Spalding were especially active in procuring the road. The two centres of population at Montclair and at Bloomfield had both grown strong, and the township was now ripe for a division into two parts. The enterprise of building a railway was the occasion, not the cause, of the division of the town. The proposition to bond the town was naturally resisted by those whose interests and associations were with the Bloomfield road. The new township, taking the popular name Montclair,— a more pleasing rendering of the Indian guttural "Watchung,"— was erected the next year, 1868. The bonds were issued; the new township accepted them to the extent of two hundred thousand dollars and Bloomfield was exempted in the act which authorized them.

The road was completed in 1872, at first to Montclair and the extension afterwards to Greenwood Lake. The road has now four stations in Montclair, viz.,— Montclair, Watchung, Upper Montclair and Montclair Heights,— and two in Bloomfield, viz.,— Bloomfield and Chestnut Hill. There are eight trains each way between Montclair and New York.

The building of this road had an immediate effect on the older railroad. The cars, the road-bed, the stations, the management and the time have much improved.

The influence of both these roads on the recent growth of Montclair has been very marked. A new and a strong population has come. The mountain slopes from south to north are the sites of tasteful residences, and the valleys and swells of land are everywhere occupied with the attractive houses of men whose daily life is in the cities. The Montclair road has recently come into the possession of the Lake Erie and Great Western Railway.


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