I received an inquiry on a house in Summit, and my follow up led to a fascinating trip down memory lane by Ken ( Cedric) Carpenter, who has given me permission to share a little bit of history with you so that you can imagine what it was like to live in Summit and Short Hills back in the day.
“My interest in 101 Hobart Ave in Summit was based on which house it was. I was raised in 97 Hobart Ave. My father was Dr Carpenter one of the founders of the Summit Medical Group in 1928. Because I owned two Real Estate businesses in Union County in the 1980’s and early 1990’s my siblings asked me to see if I could find out information on 101 Hobart Ave. While we lived in 97 the house located at 101 wqas owned by two families the Shultz’s who lived there until the mid 1940’s and the Macy’s who were living there at the time my parents built an new home and Moved to Short Hills. My mothers family built the second house in Short Hills at the turn of the century and sold it to the Whaleys shortly after the Stock Market Crash in 1928.
I will always remember Summit as a wonderful small town growing up. A town where everyone knew everyone back in those days. We had a wonderful old wooden Victorian Hotel in town called the Beechwood Hotel where women still in long dresses were served afternoon tea by black butlers in white jackets and black pants It was torn down and Kemper Insurance built an office building on the property I attended Lincoln Grammer School across the street. The Hunt Brothers Circus came to town every summer and set up their tents across from the YMCA We always had parades with bands and drum majorettes partading down springfield Ave on the 4th of July we had 2 movie theatres the Lyric and the Strand. My mother used to purchase her cloths at Miss Nellies store Steam engins still carried commuters to Hoboken Those were wonderful times to grow up in Summit I was so lucky to have lived at that time Oh one more thing 97 and 101 Hobart Ave was built by a man (I do not know his name) the two houses were built for his two spinster daughters the homes were very similer. He lived across the street in a large white mansion which later became Miss Hoods Nursery School. Ofcourse that house has also been torn down . Before moving to 97 Hobart Ave my parents owned a home for several years on Waldron Ave.
My sister who now lives in Maine has all the family photographs all I have is memories. the original Summit Medical Group was at 129 Summit Ave then they built a new building across the street my dad became ill and never practiced in that building.
I know I am rambling but years ago I could ride my fancy Raleigh bike to the movies at the Strand (double feature) admission 25cents. I could lay my bike down on the grass outside of the theatre…watch the movies…and my bike was still there when the movies got out….that would not happen today LOL..also there were no Super markets we had Charlie’s Fsh Store and Jim’s butcher store that also sold some canned goods and produce. Otherwise we had farmers that would come to the houses selling fresh produce- my mother used Eddie Kanickle. We also had Trost’s Bakery and Zuzi’s Soda Fontian and Ice cream store.
On Hobart Ave there were three backyards that joined together – ours the Macy’s and the Harold Graves on Whittridge Rd. (He was the president of the Summit Trust ) We all played as kids growing up. The Graves had one son Teddy, the Macy’s two daughters Maryann and Mimi, and my family the Carpenter Twins Bill and Dud. I was called Kim and my sister is Betsy I have another brother Dick but he grew up in Short Hills.”
Photo of Beechwood Hotel courtesy of : http://www.amazon.com/Summit-Images-America-Patricia-Meola/dp/0738563307/ref=ntt_at_ep_dpt_1 Also a great resource if you’d like to know more about the history of Summit NJ!