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Tennis Court House

Tennis Court House

In 1900, a house stood where the tennis/pickleball courts now are on West Oak Street in Basking Ridge, NJ.  This vintage photo looks east along West Oak and up the hill toward what is now Brownlee Place.   On the 1873 Beers map of Somerset County, the house was shown as the property of Dr. Whitnall

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Liberty Corner School 1912

Liberty Corner School 1912

Class photo from Liberty Corner (NJ) School.   The flag appears to have 46 stars, which would date the photo to around 1912, the last year that flag was in use.   Hazel Bird (b. 1900) is fourth from the left in the back row (with large bow-tie).  At that time, most graduates from Liberty Corner who

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Charles P. Bird & His Carriage

Charles P. Bird & His Carriage

Today’s photo shows Charles Pitman Bird (1856-1933) and his father John Watson Bird (1825-1902) checking out a new carriage around 1901 near Minebrook Road in Liberty Corner, NJ . The carriage was purchased from the Ballantine & Van Fleet Carriage Mfg. Co. of Somerville for $40 (see receipt). Ballantine & Van Fleet operated at 200-210

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Building Lane

Building Lane

Lord Stirling Road in Basking Ridge was once called Building Lane after the ruins of Lord Stirling’s mansion which were known locally as “The Buildings.” The name continued into the 20th century although visible ruins of the mansion were long gone. The change coincided with the introduction of streetlights along the road in 1931. The

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Trapping Foxes in Basking Ridge

Trapping Foxes in Basking Ridge

When my brother Stuart ‘Budge’ Booth (1939- 2002) was a kid in the early 1950s, he used to go across Maple Avenue and set traps over towards the Great Swamp.  We lived on South Finley Avenue.  In the morning before school he would check his traps, and if there was a fox caught, he would

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Bill Hine

Bill Hine

Bill Hine (1924-1997) was affectionately known as the “village guardian” of Basking Ridge.  His full name was Willard Foster Hine, Jr., and he was born in Westfield.  Bill suffered an oxygen deficiency at birth, which left him unable to work at a regular job.  After his family moved to Spencer Road in Basking Ridge in

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Old Liberty Corner School

Old Liberty Corner School

This early wood schoolhouse, originally called the Jefferson school, stood on the west side of Lyons Road, north of the triangle in Liberty Corner, NJ.  It was built around 1853 to replace an earlier school, which had burned down.   The building is clearly marked on a map from the 1873 Beers Atlas of Somerset County

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Lyons Train Station

Lyons Train Station

Lyons became a stop on the New Jersey West Line railroad (now NJ Transit) when the line was extended to Bernardsville in 1872.  In 1906, the station was a flag stop, meaning trains stopped only on a signal.  In 1910, in the case of William J. Kearns et al.  vs. The Lackawanna, the NJ Board

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Maple Avenue School Pennant

Maple Avenue School Pennant

This red and white pennant from Maple Avenue School in Basking Ridge dates probably to 1948-1969.      Maple Avenue School, also known as Basking Ridge School, was built in 1903 to replace the Brick Academy and Franklin Corners School.   In 1939, it was closed after the new Oak Street School was built.  Bernards Township planned

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The History of Meeker Road

The History of Meeker Road

Meeker Road is generally straight, running from Route 202 in Bernardsville to Whitenack Road in Bernards Township, but the story of the street’s name took some twists and turns.  The Simpson family lived on the road in the 1850s and at some point it was called Saunders Road, apparently after another family. In 1872, Stephen

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