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Summit, NJ 07901


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Deck the Tree with Mazda Lights

louvisThe Summit Herald of December 21, 1923 reported that the Police Department was investigating weekend break-ins and theft of money at the Public Library, the Junior High, and Roosevelt School. The Streets Department announced they would be widening Springfield Avenue and Kent Place Boulevard, as well as installing new street signs and traffic lights around the city.

In the personal news column: Health Officer Henry Dengler returned from a duck-hunting trip in the South. Six-year-old Thomas Malloy was operated on for appendicitis at Overlook Hospital. Miss Dorothy Beck went to spend the holidays in Florida with her father; Miss Elsie Harper departed for her home in Canada, to enjoy six weeks of winter sports.

In the classifieds: Wanted, a woman to cook for a few hours or all day on Christmas. Lost, a blue-beaded purse. For sale, live chickens and geese, a gray enameled crib with a hair mattress, an aquarium with fancy goldfish. The “Heraldings for Housewives” column offered several Christmas recipes: chestnut pudding, plain plum pudding, and Christmas cakes with currants and almonds. The Lyric Theatre (“New Jersey’s Safest Playhouse!”) was showing Mary Pickford in “Daddy Long Legs”.

“Sally Summit Goes A-Shopping” suggested a wide variety of last-minute gifts that could be purchased in town. Christmas tree light sets, with eight Mazda lamps in attractive colors, $1.65 per set. Skates, Flexible Flyers, and Lionel electric trains at Wahl’s sporting goods. Leather gloves in fashionable shades for $1.00. Boxes of cigars or cigarettes for the man “who enjoys the company of Lady Nicotine”. A selection of electrical appliances at the Central Jersey Power and Light store. Sally also gave some fashion tips for clothing and accessories. Silk and velvet corsages were popular for evening gowns. Velvet and felt hats were being replaced by taffeta and silk, and a metal cloche turban with a little veil over the eyes looked very fetching on a pretty “flapper”.

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


good morningThe Summit Herald of December 14, 1907 reported that a fire broke out in a shoe repair shop on Summit Avenue, on Sunday morning. The shop owner had left for the day, but eight families living on the upper floors were trapped inside. The firemen were able to put out the fire before it spread to other parts of the building. Despite heavy smoke and a fire-escape so rusted that some of the rungs broke as firemen carried children out, all the inhabitants were safely evacuated. Mrs. Hannah Hanrahan had been in bed with pneumonia, and left the building dressed only in a light robe. She suffered a relapse, and was taken to Overlook Hospital.

The Free Bed Fund raised nearly $1000 to help maintain a free bed at Overlook Hospital. The bed was occupied by needy patients every day of the year.

First Baptist Church announced a Christmas pageant with songs and carols, “Christmas at Rosemary Castle”, given by the children of the congregation, and featuring Santa Claus, a host of princes and princesses, fairies, tin soldiers, and flower girls.

The front page contained an obituary for Fatema, a macaw parrot residing on Pine Grove Avenue. Fatema had a larger vocabulary than most birds of her kind, and seemed to know what she was saying. She could clearly—and firmly—express a desire for food and drink. Favorite treats were greeted with “I like it!” and disappointments with “Oh dear!” When taken outside in the garden, she would exclaim, “Oh, look at the beautiful sun!”

In the U.S. Senate, Jeff Davis, the junior Senator from Arkansas, took the floor for a two-hour speech. He railed against the big trusts, including Standard Oil, and those in the administration who protected them. He also questioned why President Roosevelt received $113,000 for living expenses, since the President had only five children. Senator Davis declared, “I have the President 'skinned a city block' in th’ matter of family. I have eight children and it don't take $113,000 for my living expenses.”

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

Sled-Dogs and Walruses and Polar Bears, Oh My!

diamondsThe Summit Herald of December 7, 1928 reported that Arctic explorer Captain Donald B. MacMillan spoke to a packed house—twice—at the high school auditorium. He spoke of his travels by ship and dog-sled, and of the animals and peoples of the “Great White North”. The event, illustrated by slide and motion pictures, raised over $400 for the Brayton PTA.

The Beacon Fire chapter of the D.A.R. celebrated its sixth anniversary with a reception at the home of Mrs. Thomas L. Smith, on Prospect Street. Over 100 guests attended, including most of the D.A.R. officers from around the state. A musical recital was followed by refreshments of ice cream, cake, and coffee. The Summit Public Library hosted an exhibition in its Art Room of works by local artists, both amateur and professional. The most notable entries were by Junius Allen.

An editorial copied from the Elizabeth Daily Journal observed that the introduction of stop signs was decreasing the number of automobile accidents, but that drivers needed to be taught to obey them.

The Strand Theater was showing Lon Chaney in “While the City Sleeps” and Stan Laurel in “Hats Off”. Ticket-holders for the December 12 show would be entered in a free drawing to win a $200 Majestic Radio.

For sale in the classifieds: a saxophone (B-flat, silver with pearl keys), Irish wolfhound puppies, Christmas cards (21 for $1), a dollhouse with furniture, a mahogany writing desk, and ‘no hunting’ signs.

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