The St. Barnabas Hospital Was on Montgomery Street

by Nat Bodian

Records list the old Newark St. Barnabas Hospital as being at 681-685 High Street. This High Street address was most likely used when the hospital was built because High Street in those years was considered one of the classiest streets in the City of Newark.

However, the entire St. Barnabas Hospital building was on Montgomery Street, faced Montgomery Street, and had its main entrance in the center of the No. 1-25 Montgomery Street block that the hospital building occupied.

I have clear memories of that hospital building that ran from High Street to Quitman Street. I grew up just across Quitman at No. 29 Montgomery Street.

There were no stores near the hospital on High Street, so the only nearby store for the hospital staff or visitors was located in the Number 29 Montgomery Street building where I lived.

Our family occupied the flat over the candy store, and upstairs from us there was a third floor.

Heat in cold weather came from a Thatcher coal stove in the kitchen.

For a time in the late 1920s, my mother operated the candy store. But with also trying to raise four children, she soon gave it up and sold the business for $300 to the Schleifer family.

The store was then operated by the father, Morris Schleifer, who had previously been an unemployed luggage maker. I recall he was a very pleasant man.

The Schleifer family lived on the third floor of the same building after they bought the candy store. They had three sons. The middle son, Louis, was my classmate at Monmouth Street School and we graduated together in January 1935.

A little under six years later, Louis would be the first Newark soldier killed on December 7, 1941, at Pearl Harbor.


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