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Summit, NJ 07901


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And Down Comes Baby

dresses frumkinThe Summit Herald of July 19, 1929 reported that the year-and-a-half-old daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Wallace Lee fell from an upper-story porch through a gap in a the railing. She amazed everyone by surviving a story-and-a-half fall onto a concrete walk, and returned home after just a few days stay at Overlook Hospital.

The scheduled Common Council meeting had to be postponed, as four of the seven members were away on vacation or business trips, and there was no quorum. The Union County Mosquito Commission was concerned to discover unusual numbers of Mansonia Perturbans mosquitoes in the Summit/New Providence area. That particular species, rare in New Jersey, was known to give severe bites.

Recently arrived guests at the Hotel Suburban included travelers from Chicago, Boston, Brooklyn, Freehold, Newark, Philadelphia, and Short Hills. Miss Elsa, supervisor of dancing for the Union County Park Commission was giving lessons in folk dancing on the twelve playgrounds in the county park system. The Summit Kiwanis Club was planning a minstrel show in October to raise money for the underprivileged fund.

Charles Dawes, newly-appointed Ambassador to the United Kingdom, announced that he would not be serving liquor in the London embassy, even though alcohol was legal there.

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Dancing in the Street

klocksin2The Summit Herald of July 12, 1932 reported that the Board of Health passed an ordinance requiring owners of vacant lots to remove any ragweed growing on their property. The Board also discussed concerns about a health camp which was recently established on a 4-acre plot of land at 417 Morris Avenue. The camp, for undernourished Hebrew children from Newark, did not have a permit.

The city's Fourth of July celebrations, postponed due to rain, were held on the following Saturday. They concluded in the evening with a block dance in front of the YMCA. It was attended by 2,000 people. A local band, the 12-piece Aeolian Orchestra, began with military and patriotic tunes, then switched to contemporary popular music. Corn meal was scattered on the street to make a smooth surface for dancing.

At one point, attendees were startled to hear the sound of nearby gunshots. Police Officer Russell Leslie stopped a car whose driver appeared to be drunk. When ordered to step out of the car, the man sped away. Officer Leslie fired two shots, then pursued in a borrowed car. He was forced to abandon the chase, but as the driver left behind his licence, he was later arrested at his apartment in Vauxhall.

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The Greatest Celebration

little americansThe Summit Herald of July 5, 1918 reported that Summit had the greatest Independence Day celebration in the city's history. The parade, lead by a police escort, included: the Sons of the American Revolution, a band, Italian societies (in white felt hats), the Boy Scouts, representatives of the local schools (carrying flags), the Millburn band, the Red Cross, the Summit Municipal Band, the Stirling and Summit chapters of the State Militia Reserves, and the Fire Department (with all their trucks polished and gleaming).  There were also some humorous touches, such as the boy dressed as the Kaiser who who was marched along by an American infantryman poking a rifle into his back. The honored guests reviewing the parade were the Mayor, members of Common Council, and veterans of the War of the Rebellion. The afternoon was devoted to athletic activities: competitions in long jump, shot put, and tug of war, followed by a baseball game of single men vs. married men, and drills performed by the Militia Reserve. In the evening, the Municipal Band gave a concert to several thousand listeners from the bandstand on Springfield Avenue.

At the Common Council meeting, a letter was received from M.W. Van Cise, asking permission to shoot rabbits on his property who had been destroying produce in his market garden. The question was referred to the police department, since it involved game laws.

The Food Conservation Committee published a recipe for rye muffins, made mostly of rye flour with a little wheat flour.

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