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Millburn: 1857 - 1957
1907 Semi-Centennial

By the Millburn Centennial Committee

Originally appeared in 1957
This Web version, copyright 2004

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  • Firemen's Sons on Parade

  • Washington School

  • Smith's Hotel

  • Town Hall

  • Fire Department Truck and Band
  • On April 13, 1907, Millburn celebrated its semi-centennial. A parade was held in the morning complete with floats, marching organizations and visiting firemen. Guests of honor were Daniel S. Deen, member of the Township Committee of Springfield in 1857, John D. Meeker, second Town Clerk, Horace Park, first Collector, and Harvey E. Smith, oldest living native citizen (92 years old), and one of the first constables. The celebrities were dined at St. Stephen's Church; exercises were held in the Washington School, and the firemen took part in competitive tests of skill.

    The Newark Evening News account of the celebration gives some interesting statistics. The population was 3,600; real estate valuation, $2,122,925.00; tax rate, $2.19; bonded debt, $200,000. New railroad stations had just been completed for the Millburn and Short Hills stops, and the new concrete freight station was a source of pride.

    Advertisements in the souvenir program were placed by two hotels, two butcher shops, two stationers, a florist, two wine and liquor merchants, pharmacy, manufacturer of stable supplies, a harness dealer, plumber, electrician, tailor, watchmaker, dressmaker, baker, sporting goods dealer, and general store.

    One of the latter, better known as "Mrs. Schultz's candy and tobacco shop" would become the "last penny candy store" in Millburn. For more than 40 years it stood on Millburn Avenue dispensing to the future older citizens of 1957, marshmallow Foxy Grandpas, all day suckers, licorice shoelaces and buttons, scoops of chickencorn, gelatinous green pickles and black babies, etc., etc. It was torn down in 1935 to provide more playground space for the Washington School.

    A few of those other businesses of 1907 were doomed to an early extinction or conversion, as America's Motor Age was even then approaching its adolescence. Soon there would be little need for blacksmith shops, harness makers, or stable supply centers. The resplendent coaches from the beautiful Short Hills estates, with their pairs of perfectly matched bays, blacks, or sorrels, and well-groomed attendants, on pleasure jaunt or shopping expedition, were a frequent and stirring sight about the Township streets. These equipages reflected the wealth and style of living of their owners. Life was lived smoothly and graciously in those ample homes, staffed by many servants, indoors and out, and richly furnished often with accoutrements brought back from travels abroad.


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