75 Maple Street
Summit, NJ 07901


(908) 273 0350


Stop the "Bill Board Menace"!

easter foodThe Summit Herald of April 18, 1924 reported that the Summit Garden Club sponsored a lecture on the "bill board menace". The speaker, Mrs. W.L. Lawton, was chairman of the National Committee for Restriction of Outdoor Advertising. Her group's aim was to keep billboards in appropriate places, and ban them from residential areas and scenic highways.

Preparations were underway for the Republican presidential primary. Voters were asked to choose delegates supporting either incumbent President Calvin Coolidge or challenger Senator Hiram Johnson.

A meeting was held at the YWCA to celebrate the formation of a new Boy Scout troop for patriotic young colored boys. Various dignitaries spoke, including Mayor Topping and Scoutmaster Edward Griffin. Brass band instruments had been acquired for the troop, and the boys played several selections for the enthusiastic crowd of over 200 people.

The Lyric Theatre was showing "Soft-Boiled", a western comedy with cowboy Tom Mix and his wonder horse, Tony.

The "Heraldings for Housewives" column provided a recipe for cupcakes with orange frosting.

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

A Croix de Guerre for Summit Aviator

victory loanThe Summit Herald of April 11, 1919 reported that an official citation had arrived, detailing why Lt. Henry Birdsall Marsh was awarded the Croix de Guerre with Palm. Lt. Marsh was one of the first Americans to go overseas after the U.S. declared war. He became a driver transporting ammunition to French forces, but then had an opportunity to be trained at a French aviation school. He flew a Spad fighter plane. The citation was for exceptional bravery on October 29, 1918, when he helped rescue two French planes from four German Fokkers.

The lieutenant's father, Mr. Clinton S. Marsh, former Superintendent of Schools in Summit was also serving overseas. As a civilian member of the YMCA Educational Commission, he assisted with the organization of schools for troops, starting with the Headquarters of the First Army Corps and the 36th Infantry Division. Teachers were selected from qualified officers and enlisted men. Subjects ranged from basic education (651 illiterate soldiers learned to read) to vocational skills (typewriting, electrical engineering, barbering, horseshoeing) to classes on literature, modern history, and foreign languages.

The Business Men's Association hung two "Welcome Home" banners on Beechwood Road and Springfield Avenue to greet Summit men returning from military service.

The Board of Health discussed several matters of concern. Most of the drinking fountains in the public schools were deemed unsanitary and likely to spread germs. An inspection of tenement houses in Summit revealed poor lighting and inadequate ventilation. The health officer recommended that the township consider a municipal trash collection system to replace the private service currently in use.

The gardening tips column discussed ways to prepare soil for planting, such as  fertilizing with fireplace ashes, and with manure from a neighbor who keeps chickens.

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



Hold Your Horses!

hoodsThe Summit Record of April 4, 1896 reported that members of Calvary Episcopal would have a very special Easter service, as it would be the first time that they would worship in their new building, considered to be the handsomest church in Summit. Music for the service would be performed on the new church organ, even though the instrument was not completely finished.

The Editor warned against "McKinleyism" and predicted that if Senator William McKinley was elected President in November that it would be bad for American workingmen. On a more local note, he complained that the coachmen driving their employers to and from the train depot seemed to delight in travelling at an excessive speed along Union Avenue, endangering pedestrians.

Four amateur baseball teams announced that they would be forming a local league: the Casino Club of Summit, the Chatham and Madison Clubs, and the Newark Field Club.

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