Donation of Trees to Park That Became a Newark Historic Site

by Nat Bodian


In 1927, Caroline Bamberger Fuld, sister of the Newark department store founder, donated 2,000 Japanese cherry blossom trees to the Essex County Park Commission.

The Park Commission, engaged the services of the famed landscape architecture firm Olmstead Brothers to design the site and the trees were planted in Branch Brook Park.

Over the three quarters of a century since the site was designed by the designer of Central Park in New Your, the cherry blossom trees have proliferated and the site now has more than 2,700 trees -- a greater number than in the Washington D. C. Tidal Basin, which has 2,696 trees.

The cherry blossom site has been listed on both the State and National Register of Historic Places and is the locale each April for a Cherry Blossom Festival.

The 27th such annual event was held from April 11 to April 27 in 2003. It attracted visitors from all over the United States and included Japanese cultural activities, bus tours, a concert, a bike tour, and a 10 K run.

Caroline Bamberger Fuld, who originally contributed the cherry blossom trees, was the wife of Felix Fuld, a partner with Louis Bamberger from the start of the business in 1912 until his death in January 1929.

Mrs. Fuld had strong Newark roots. Her husband had been a business partner of her brother in the department store and she had been an active member of Congregation B'nai Jeshurun at 783 High Street, and was a past president of the National Council of Jewish Women.


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