North Newark

by John Igoe


My maternal grandparents, Thomas and Margaret Furey, lived in North Newark from about 1935 to 1970. They had seven children, all of home went to school at Our Lady of Good Counsel. In later years they lived on Highland Avenue, just two doors from the bus-loop (#27 Mt. Prospect), and a few hundred feet from Forest Hill Station and the Tiffany factory.

Up until about 1955, there was still Steam Passenger Service at Forest Hill, and my grandparents would take the train from there to Orange to visit us. I have vivid memories of holidays spent in that house, when children and grandchildren all gathered, and the whole house seemed to empty when the first cry went up "TRAIN!"

I also remember Essex Catholic High School, when it was situated in the old Mutual Benefit Insurance building at 300 Broadway. I commuted from Orange, as did many of my classmates. We would take the #51 Park Avenue bus to the City Subway, transfer to the subway for one stop (Bloomfield Avenue), and then walk across the park and down Second Avenue to the school.

In the 1950's and 60's, most stores were only open from 9-5, and of course closed on Sundays. Eventually the custom grew that the stores in one town would all stay open ONE night each week. In Orange, this was Monday, in East Orange perhaps, Tuesday, etc. However NONE of them bothered to be open on Wednesday night, because THAT was the night that "Downtown" (Newark) was open.

My grandfather retired from Bamberger's, and my parents met there as workers in the 1940's.


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