75 Maple Street
Summit, NJ 07901


(908) 273 0350


Climbing to a Higher Summit

plaidThe Summit Record of September 6, 1890 reported that a former Summit girl had visited a very different summit. Miss Fay Fuller became the first woman to climb to the top of Mount Tacoma [Mt. Rainier]. She accomplished the ascent in two days, carrying her own baggage, and spent the second night in the crater at the summit.

A dangerous collision took place on Springfield Avenue when an open carriage containing three ladies was struck and overturned by a carriage belonging to Mr. Charles Edey, a guest at the Park House hotel. Mr. Edey's carriage was kept at a local livery stable, and it was being delivered to him when the accident occurred. One of the ladies struck her head, and was carried to Mrs. Rapelyea's dry goods store, where Dr. Lawrence was summoned to attend her. She was unconscious for two hours, but by evening was well enough to recover at home.

A dark red cow went missing from the property of Patrick Egan on Baltus Roll Road, and was located several days later in the stable of William Freeman of Park Avenue. Freeman said he found the cow wandering in the street and brought it home.

A report from New York on the fall fashions indicated that plaid gowns were popular in silk, velvet, woollen, and popline fabrics, with a simpler cut than in past few years.

The Summit baseball team suffered its first major loss over Labor Day weekend, losing 2 games out of 3 to the Newark Ironsiders.

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Look! Up in the Sky!

nee dellThe Summit Herald of August 30, 1929 reported that Chatham resident James Shea caused a stir in a speech before the Summit Kiwanis Club. He claimed that the Summit police discriminated against out-of-towners when enforcing traffic laws, but were more lenient with Summit drivers. Chief of Police John Murphy denied the allegation, and cited statistics from the past month showing that 19 Summit drivers had been charged for speeding or reckless driving in the past month, as compared to 5 from Chatham, 2 from Madison, and 1 from Morristown.

Early morning risers in Summit were startled by what seemed to be an especially loud truck, but the noise came not from the road but the sky. The airship Graf Zeppelin, all five engines roaring, flew swiftly over the north part of the city at low altitude, heading towards Manhattan.

The newly-opened Kay Food Shop advertised meat specials: rib roast 38¢/lb., boneless pot roast 42¢/lb., and leg of spring lamb 39¢/lb. Also on special: Maxwell House Coffee 45¢/lb., Campbell's soups 3/25¢, and granulated sugar 53¢/10 lb.

Fans of the Lackawanna baseball league looked forward to a weekend of exciting games, including matches between the Summit Red Sox and the Chatham Howitzers, the Millburn Blues, and the Maplewood Mapes.

The local movie theaters offered Lon Chaney as a railroad engineer in "Thunder" and the famous wonder dog Rin Tin Tin in "Frozen River," a drama about gold hunters in the far north.

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Letters from the Front

chandlerThe Summit Herald of August 23, 1918 published excerpts of letters from Summit boys serving overseas. Sgt. Eugene Burner of the 107th Infantry said that the food was filling, but not as good as at home, and that they ate mostly stew, canned corned beef, bread, and hard tack (jokingly called "dog biscuits"). Since arriving in France, they occasionally bought wine. Lt. Roy Underwood described his Fourth of July in France. He and another American Lieutenant, a liaison officer to the French military, were honored by the inhabitants of a local village. The mayor and other town officials led a procession which included the schoolmaster and his 40 students, dressed in white and carrying flowers. Sgt. Mayer Raskin wrote from "Somewhere in France" that being overseas had taught him the meaning of the true war spirit. All of the day-to-day work work in France was done by women, children, and old men, as all the young men were in uniform. Cecil Garis of the Signal Corps had the honor of hearing a speech given by General Pershing (he could not repeat the details) and felt that they had "Fritz on the run". Cpl. Nicholas Kenny of the 9th Infantry was wounded three times at the front lines. He kept going after the first two injuries, but a leg wound stopped him, and he spent three hours in a shell crater until he was rescued by an American officer escorting German prisoners. The prisoners were ordered to carry Kenny, which they did very carefully.

In order to help the war food supply, the Board of Health decided to allow the keeping of pigs in Summit, provided that the owners obtained licenses, and kept the sties clean. The Food Conservation Committee shared a wheat-saving recipe for rye bread. The Lyric Theatre announced a three-day showing of the photoplay, "To Hell with the Kaiser".

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