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Summit, NJ 07901


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Dancing in the Street

klocksin2The Summit Herald of July 12, 1932 reported that the Board of Health passed an ordinance requiring owners of vacant lots to remove any ragweed growing on their property. The Board also discussed concerns about a health camp which was recently established on a 4-acre plot of land at 417 Morris Avenue. The camp, for undernourished Hebrew children from Newark, did not have a permit.

The city's Fourth of July celebrations, postponed due to rain, were held on the following Saturday. They concluded in the evening with a block dance in front of the YMCA. It was attended by 2,000 people. A local band, the 12-piece Aeolian Orchestra, began with military and patriotic tunes, then switched to contemporary popular music. Corn meal was scattered on the street to make a smooth surface for dancing.

At one point, attendees were startled to hear the sound of nearby gunshots. Police Officer Russell Leslie stopped a car whose driver appeared to be drunk. When ordered to step out of the car, the man sped away. Officer Leslie fired two shots, then pursued in a borrowed car. He was forced to abandon the chase, but as the driver left behind his licence, he was later arrested at his apartment in Vauxhall.

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The Greatest Celebration

little americansThe Summit Herald of July 5, 1918 reported that Summit had the greatest Independence Day celebration in the city's history. The parade, lead by a police escort, included: the Sons of the American Revolution, a band, Italian societies (in white felt hats), the Boy Scouts, representatives of the local schools (carrying flags), the Millburn band, the Red Cross, the Summit Municipal Band, the Stirling and Summit chapters of the State Militia Reserves, and the Fire Department (with all their trucks polished and gleaming).  There were also some humorous touches, such as the boy dressed as the Kaiser who who was marched along by an American infantryman poking a rifle into his back. The honored guests reviewing the parade were the Mayor, members of Common Council, and veterans of the War of the Rebellion. The afternoon was devoted to athletic activities: competitions in long jump, shot put, and tug of war, followed by a baseball game of single men vs. married men, and drills performed by the Militia Reserve. In the evening, the Municipal Band gave a concert to several thousand listeners from the bandstand on Springfield Avenue.

At the Common Council meeting, a letter was received from M.W. Van Cise, asking permission to shoot rabbits on his property who had been destroying produce in his market garden. The question was referred to the police department, since it involved game laws.

The Food Conservation Committee published a recipe for rye muffins, made mostly of rye flour with a little wheat flour.

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Carriage Vs. Automobile

musicboxThe Summit Record of June 28, 1902 reported that a fire destroyed two barns in the business district. The first belonged the Mrs. Riemann, and was located behind her Springfield Avenue grocery store. The fire then spread to the adjacent barn belonging to Dr. McIntosh. The fire department was able to put out the fire, but two horses belonging to Mrs. Riemann could not be rescued, and a large amount of flour and other inventory stored in the barn was lost. It was believed that the fire was caused by a spark from a passing locomotive, as the barn was only 20 feet from the railroad tracks.

City Clerk Daniel Day was seriously injured when the horse he was driving was startled by an automobile. The horse lunged to one side, overturning the runabout carriage, and throwing Mr. Day to the ground. He suffered a broken collarbone and other injuries.

Workers at the Summit Silk Mill went on strike, in sympathy with the silk workers in Paterson, who had been striking for several weeks. All 750 Summit workers walked out, including weavers, warpers, twisters, and loom fixers. Union representatives made it clear that this was a sympathy strike, and that they had no complaints with conditions or wages at the Summit Silk Mill. The mill shut down, and no attempt was made to run it with non-union workers.

A recipe for Scalloped Bananas: cut six bananas into half-inch slices. Line a pudding dish with small pieces of bread, then a layer of banana. Sprinkle with two tablespoons of sugar and one of lemon juice. Repeat these layers, ending with bread. Top with a tablespoon of melted butter, sprinkle with sugar, and bake in a quick oven [N.B.: 375-400 F] for 30 minutes.

The Library has a searchable database of local historical newspapers. Search or browse at: