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Summit, NJ 07901


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The YMCA in Words and Music

investedThe Summit Herald of January 19, 1940 reported that contracts had been signed to build Manley Court Apartments at an estimated cost of $400,000-$500,000. The YMCA’s annual meeting began in a conventional way: an invocation by Rev. Florence Randolph, officers’ reports, and the election of new members of the Board of Directors. It concluded with “The YMCA in Words and Music” – a collection of musical sketches highlighting various aspects of the Y’s service to the community.
The Summit Symphony, formed 3 years earlier, advertised a free concert at the High School auditorium. The Summit Animal League was seeking dog lovers to foster stray dogs, as the pound was unheated, and the police were unable to care for dogs for any length of time. The Strand Theatre was packed with hopeful people for the prize drawing sponsored by 120 Summit businesses. First prize was a 1940 Chevrolet. In addition, 38 money prizes ranging from $5 to $100 were given out. The little girl who was called out of the audience to draw the winners from a cylinder containing over 80,000 tickets was given a large doll by the President of the Chamber of Commerce.

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Dashing Through the Snow

underwearThe Summit Record of January 12, 1923 reported that plans were ready for a new building for St. Teresa’s Church, with ground-breaking expected to take place in the spring. Five boys who were caught cutting down Christmas trees on private property appeared in court. The judge gave them a warning and a suspended sentence. Mrs. Stephen Keating slipped on a snowy road and broke her leg. A passing mail-carrier commandeered a sled from a boy who was coasting, and used it to transport the injured woman to her home. Another victim of the snow was 14-year-old William Dooley, who was coasting down the hill from St. Teresa’s to Morris Avenue, and crashed into an automobile. The driver, who was traveling at 15 MPH, did not notice the sled until he felt the impact. He transported the boy to Overlook Hospital.

The Radio section of the paper listed the broadcasting schedule of the three stations available in Summit, and gave expert tips for adjusting the radio’s aerial, crystal, and “whisker” for best reception. In the classifieds, a Nash 6 auto and was for sale and someone lost a left-hand glove (tan, with lambskin lining) near the Post Office. The Help Wanteds included “Girl to take baby out in go-cart, four hours each day” and “Good laundress with sunny yard for family wash; permanent work; white preferred”.

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

Death of Hamilton Wright Mabie

The Summit Herald of January 5, 1917 reported on the death of “Summit’s First Citizen”, Hamilton Wright Mabie. As a young man he trained as a lawyer, but was best known as an author, editor, and public speaker. The flags at City Hall and the public schools were flown at half-mast for several days. Funeral services were conducted by the Episcopalian bishop of the Diocese of Newark as well as the past and present rectors of Calvary Church.

keroseneA mass meeting was held at the Lyric Theatre to denounce German cruelties in occupied Belgium, and a resolution was signed and sent to President Wilson, requesting that the United States take a stand. The Belgian Consul in New York was sent a copy of the resolution, and expressed his thanks. Two long letters to the Editor objected to the resolution on the grounds that it would threaten the United States’ neutrality, and drag us into the European war.

The University Association presented a program on current conditions in Mexico. Speakers included several men from Summit who had served with the National Guard on the Mexican border. Meetings were held in Union County for the New Jersey State Woman Suffrage Association and the New Jersey Association Opposed to Woman Suffrage. A subscription concert was advertised at Beechwood Hall by Australian-born composer and pianist Percy Grainger. He would be performing works by Bach, Ravel, and Grieg, as well as his own arrangements of English and Irish folk tunes.

The Lyric Theatre advertised a repeat screening of “The Common Law”, a 1916 film, some of which was filmed in and around Summit.

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