Tuesday, December 16, 2008

A Day in the Life of Franklin Lakes

Photo Contest Winners

We are so excited to announce the winners of A Day in the Life of Franklin Lakes photo contest! It was a tough decision as we received over 70 submissions!! Don't forget to look out for the photo book of all the submissions to be published in April for Nation Library Week. Details to follow in the New Year

Joan Rottkamp 
1st place
adult division


1st place 
kid's division

Ann Roberts 
1st place
digitally modified

Linda Huber
honorable mention

Priscilla Thoma 
honorable mention

Monday, December 15, 2008

A new postcard to our collection at the library and just in time for this unseasonal weather. Circa 1967, this postcard depicts the Indian Trail Club and offers the viewer a different angle of the club!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Zachariah Masker - VFW blog posting

As special thanks to Doug Neralich and the Franklin Lakes VFW Post for this blog. All info courtesy of the Franklin Lakes VFW Post .

Zachariah Masker
Citizen Soldier American Hero

“’Zach’ Masker, as he was known to the people of Franklin and Crystal Lake, was one of the sons of ‘Dick Masker,’ a family of early American pioneering stock. Born in Campgaw, he worked as a caretaker under Mr. Moore, supervisor of the MacKenzie estate at Franklin Lakes. Zack was known as an industrious, hard-working and conscientious man.” He was living with his sister Catherine Israel at Crystal Lake when the war began, and he enlisted in Paterson a short time later. (Source – Wyckoff News, May 25, 1939)

Zack was a Private First Class in Company D, 114th Regiment, 57th Brigade, 29th Division. According to a letter from his sister Catherine, Zachariah had been on the front lines for several months. “In the Battle of Bois D’ Ormont East of Verdun, on October 12, 1918, he went over the top with his company at 7:00 A.M. Shortly after he was mortally wounded, and he died telling his buddies to send word to his brothers and sisters and friends.

Zack, as he was known by all his buddies, was well-liked and always did his full share of all duties as a soldier, friend and buddy. 24 of his company died that day and 76 were wounded.”

According to accounts, “Zach” was a machine gunner and, after going over the top, had gotten his gun into action when he was struck in the shoulder with a one-pound shell. He lived only long enough to send his best wishes back to the ones he loved. (Source – Wyckoff News, May 25, 1939)

This is the flag that covered Zachariah Masker’s casket during the trip back to the United States.

A Memorial dedicated to Zachariah was built in Crystal Lake. The stone structure in the picture to the left housed a spring. If you look at the picture carefully, you can see a domed indentation in the bottom center the Memorial.

In the very center of that domed indentation, the lion’s head pictured to the left would have been mounted. Much in the tradition of an eternal flame, people could go the Memorial for water, and the water would have come out of the mouth of the Lion’s head.

The bronze oval pictured to the left would have been mounted on the top of Zachariah’s Memorial. Note that it has the date of Zachariah’s death and the notation “World War.”

Unfortunately, Zachariah’s Memorial was destroyed several years ago when the land where it was located was developed. Thanks to Jack Goudsward of the Franklin Lakes Historical Society, who superimposed images of the lion’s head and plaque on a picture of the Memorial, we know what visitors would have seen when they went to pay homage to Zachariah and to get water from the spring.

Zachariah was thirty years old when he died. He is buried in a Wyckoff, NJ cemetery.

Monday, September 29, 2008

The Blue Bird Inn

The Blue Bird Inn, located at 861 Franklin Avenue, used to offer the finest in country dining, served in a gracious manner by "colonial ladies".

This recent addition to the local history collection has me stumped. Can you offer more information on this fine dining establishment?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Camine and Louie are here!

I know that this is is not about FRLK history but it is about the library. We are so excited to welcome Carmine and Louie Dewey to the Children's Room at the Franklin Lakes Public Library. Rebecca Kaufman of the Suburban news wrote a great piece on these two dynamic brothers. Guinea Pigs by birth, readers by choice, Carmine and Louie chose our library because of the vast book and media collection.

Carmine is an avid soccer fan and passionate cook while Louie really enjoys reading sports biographies and mysteries! Come on down to the library and welcome our new residents. Please check out their blog at : http://carmineandlouie.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A New Addition

We are excited to add to our genealogy collection the following: (on CD-Rom)

  • The papers and proceedings of the Bergen County Historical Society , 1902-1922
  • Three Measures of Meal by Willis Bruce Dowd
  • Tenafly, New Jersey 1894-1944 “Through 50 Years”
  • The New Jersey Volunteers (loyalists) by William Stryker

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Old Vermeulen Memorial Funeral Home

We just added this great old post card of the Vermeulen Memorial Funeral Home to our collection. Although it is not dated, the home was completed in 1964 and received local and national attention (according to the back of the postcard) and the name was changed to Vander Plaat in 1970 so the card could be late 60's.

According to the Vander Plaat Vermeulen website, "the Vermeulen Memorial Home, established in 1964 by the Vermeulen Family was constructed as a funeral home and the
residence of William Vermeulen Jr. Purchased by the Vander
Plaat family in 1970 the name was changed to reflect the merger
of two of New Jerseys most respected family owned funeral
homes. "
[Picture of the Vander Plaat Funeral Home today.]

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The end of summer...2008

The end of Summer is here, although you'd never know it by the weather today! Our recent addition to the postcard collection reminds me that Summer is truly a state of mind.

In this undated postcard of the Indian Trail Club on "mile long Franklin Lake in Urban Farms", we can see the old barn in the background. Do you think it looks the same?

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Franklin Lakes Fire Department cira 1920

Last year I came across old an old photo of the FRLK fire department but I could only identify two of the seven men in the photo. Luckily, Tim has been busy organizing the history of the FRLK Fire Department (which you should check out) and has, with the help of an old friend, identified the gentlemen in the photo!

While I am working feverishly at the library organizing FRLK and library history, my counterpart at the Franklin Lakes Fire Department, Tim, is doing the same thing. Yeah for the keepers ( and savers) of local history!

Front row L to R: Sam Bowers, Sr. William V. Pulis, William Ainlay.

Back row L to R: J.S. Kinney, Herb Hopper, Kenneth Chilton & Edward May

Monday, August 25, 2008

New and old renovations

Because we are in the middle of a "quasi" renovation at the library, I thought it would be fun to look back at the last renovation at the library in 2004. The Suburban news did a very nice piece on the newly expanded library - much more than just four walls!

Monday, August 18, 2008

New CD Rom Available for Bergen County History

Libraries are a great place to start your genealogical , Bergen County, and the New Jersey history projects. I am happy to announce that we have available for use in the library the following books on one giant CD Rom. The CD is indexed and fully searchable. Come by the reference desk to check it out. (ask for me, Samantha!)

  • History of Bergen County, New Jersey, 1630-1923 (1923)
  • History of Bergen County, New Jersey (1900)
  • Bergen County, New Jersey Marriage Records. Copied From the Entries as Originally Made at the Court House by the Ministers and Justices of the Peace of the County (1929)
  • Minutes of the Justices and Freeholders of Bergen County, New Jersey, 1715-1795. From the Original in the County Clerk's Office (1924)
  • Genealogical History of Hudson and Bergen Counties, New Jersey (1900)
  • Englewood: Its Annals and Reminiscences (1899)
  • Things Old and New from Rutherford (1898)
  • The Bergen County Democrat's History of Hackensack, N.J. Its Olden Story, Present Annals, Prospective Growth All Told by the Historian's Pen and the Artist's Pencil. (1898)
  • Ramapo Reformed Church, Ramapo Lutheran Church (1944)
  • Yearbook of the Holland Society of New York

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Famous Windmill

I hope you all had the opportunity to read Rebecca Kaufman's article on Franklin lakes in the Suburban News (07.23.08). In the article , Ms. Kaufman gives us a fantastic tour you can do with family and friends and learn about the great history of Franklin Lakes!

One of my favorite sites is the windmill on Long Bow Drive which used to power Mr. McKensie's farm - almost all of the land that is now Urban Farms!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Oh, to have taxes like these...

We were lucky enough to get a gift of tax bills from Franklin Township circa 1907-1910. Look carefully at the bill and you will see that taxes could be paid directly to the tax collector at his home in Campgaw! I guess we no longer offer that service!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Hoppers Pond Cemetery

We are currently getting the library ready for the major HVAC project next week so I figured it would be a good time to clean up my desk and start this history blog. We hope that we can use this blog as a way for Franklin Lakes historians to share information and stories. Please feel free to post comments and suggestions as well as updated history!

In my infinite quest to organize my desk I came across the listing for the burial plots at Hoppers Pond (located on private property). I am not sure how I acquired this listing nor do I know when the list was generated but I know there are many people who look for this information regularly.

In addition to our blog, we hope that you will come visit our website and visit us at the library. We look forward to your comments.