Whether you are new to Summit or a long-time resident, knowing the history of your community and its landmarks ties you more closely to your home town. You can start your journey into Summit's history right on the library website. Did you know that Summit was originally called Dutchman's Gap and its hills served as a lookout during the Revolutionary War? Colonial soldiers stationed at Hobart Gap watched the New York harbor and built a fire in a log pyramid to signal George Washington in Morristown. These facts and more are available in Buildings of Summit Past & Present, a booklet written by the Summit Historical Society in 2008 and available both on our website and in the library.
More interesting historical tidbits are presented regularly at the Common Council meeting and are archived on the library's website. You can find out about the history of Overlook Hospital, about silk mills and the rose-growing industries that used to exist in Summit and many more topics on the Summit Historical Minute link. If you want to do more in-depth research into these and other topics, you can search Summit's old newspapers the Herald, the Record, the Observer, the Dispatch and the Herald-Dispatch in the library's historical newspaper database. You can even use it to look up the story on your own great athletic moments at Summit High School.
Not looking for anything in particular? Every week Throwback Thursday presents snippets from the Summit historical newspapers on our Facebook page and on our website.
If you come into the library, you will also find some wonderful books on Summit's interesting history including Summit, New Jersey: from Poverty Hill to Hill City by Edmund Raftis, Summit: Wish You Were Here by Patricia Meola or Summit Historic Homes by Cynthia B. Martin. And for some real fun, come in to take a look at the Sanborn Atlases of Summit to see who lived in your house or owned your property in 1900, 1922 or 1930.
After learning all you can about your home town, try answering our Summit and New Jersey trivia questions and see how much you know.
Susan Permahos, Director
Summit Free Public Library