Newark Museum and Old School House in Park

by Robert Weiss


One of my earliest and fondest memories of Newark as a child and even as an adult working in Newark was the park in the rear of the Newark Museum which contained a one room schoolhouse which originally stood at the corner of Lyons and Elizabeth Avenues. It was totally complete including the benches, desks and potbelly stove. I do not know the age of the schoolhouse but believe it was from the 18th century or earlier 19th century. I often think about it and wonder if it is still there intact as it was.

The park itself was an oasis to have a quiet lunch or meditate within the center of the city totally insulated from surrounding traffic and city life. There was also a fire house or fire fighting museum adjacent with much early fire fighting regalia such as fireman's hats of impressive leather and uniforms, brass equipment, etc. It was very impressive.

The museum itself contained wonderful collections of Asian arts including many artifacts of Tibet, gilt gods goddesses and decorations which interested me then and inspired my later interest in Asian antiquities. I recall that many were collected from early 20th century. Also of great importance was the fantastic collection of Fulper pottery produced in Flemington, New Jersey which the museum had the foresight to collect in the early 20th century before most of the world had even heard of Fulper.

The museum for me stood as a center of art and culture in the center of commerce and industry which afforded a learning opportunity to any interested. The surrounding areas of Washington Streets, New Street and others had small art galleries, antique shops and generally complemented the museum atmosphere. I miss it all.

Robert Weiss, Boynton Beach, Florida


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