I never met Jacob Etzel, my great-grandfather,
but I heard many family stories about him over the years. The one
that stood out was that he was the "Brewmaster" (very
important job) in Peter Schalk Brewery in Harrison. Harrison High
School now sits on the foundation of that brewery. As a matter of
fact, the original cellar is four stories below the street level
of the school. While I heard that ghosts have been seen by the students,
I not sure if Jacob was one of them. I was also told many times
in my youth about his endurance. How many times did my mother tell
me he walked to work during the Blizzard of "88".
As we all know Newark was famous for its breweries. Even our Webmaster's
family was an integral part of it. I believe his great-great-grandfather
Frielinghaus owned a brewery on Springfield Avenue. I remember seeing
it as a young boy in the 1940's. If my memory serves me right it
was a brick building complex that laid abandoned since the advent
Jacob spent most of his adult life residing and working in Harrison.
But he will remain more of a Newarker than most of us. He was interred
near South 10th Street in Woodland Cemetery. See the above picture
from 21 years ago.
With the passing of time many unknowns come to the surface. I
just found out this evening for the first time that Jacob Etzel
(my great-grandfather) actually worked for Peter Ballantine. Ballantine
bought the Schalk Brewery in 1879 to make his lager beer. This past
summer I also found out for the first time that Jacob Etzel lived
on Cleveland Avenue. What's so important about his house on Cleveland
Avenue? Remember his endurance during the Blizzard of"88"?
He trudged through the snow to get to the brewery. Guess what? His
house was only 1,000' from the brewery.