I hope you enjoy learning some of Maple Shade's history.
Martin Luther King Jr. memorial plaque at East Main St. and Route 73 jug handles, Maple Shade,
where the Moorestown Pub once stood. (Mary's Cafe in the 1950s)
I need to talk to Bill Gerkens. I lost your email addy and need to get in touch so please email me.
It's almost like I see it coming. What's the most historical thing to take out next?
They are razing Mennels/ Red Carpet/ Charlie Browns but this block of old houses and even more specifically this house was the original village of Maple Shade!
Here is an early mention in an advertisement from the New Jersey Mirror newspaper-
John and Laura Mennel-
Laura Mennel was the daughter of Christian and Louisa Frech. Below is a summary of her marriage announcement to John Mennel from the New Jersey Mirror, March 2, page 2, column 8-
In Camden, March 2, 1896, by Rev. Clarence A. Adams, John Mennel, of Merchantville, and Laura Frech, of Burlington County were married.
John and Laura Mennel lived in the hamlet of Sorrel Horse, across the street from the Sorrel Horse Hotel. Sorrel Horse was located where Haddonfield Road and Route 130 meet.
John and Laura Mennel and family moved to the village of Maple Shade about 1904 and first lived in the northern half of the large double house on South Poplar Avenue. In 1905 due to her efforts and the community’s, Maple Shade again had a post office which was at the Mennel’s store.
In 1909 William Frech bought back from the Larzelere family the old (circa. 1850) blacksmith house, his father and mother once lived in, for his sister Laura Mennel. The Mennels then moved their store to there, “Mennel’s Dry Goods store and Maple Shade Post Office.” Within a few years a right side addition was put on it.
The Maple Shade Post Office would be at their store until 1926 when it was moved to 16 South Forklanding Road. John and Laura Mennel had a son Harry B. (Sr.), and a daughter Louisa. Harry later changed the store to a bar called Mennel’s Inn. Later it was bought and made the Red Carpet Lounge, and today it is a Charlie Brown’s Restaurant.
Not much else was on Main Street then and it was the Maple Shade Post Office
There really should have been a historical marker sign out front of this and William Brown's house on Cutler Ave. where the Maple Shade Progress started. (Mill rd. school razed)
Lenhardt's hardware Store Photos-
Lenhardts was sold to Mike Ferrace who had Mike's Hardware, which was later run by Mike's son Dave.
The Edward Cutler Real Estate Field Office was on N. Forklanding near Main from about 1906-7 til about 1916 when the Childs' store (later the chain bought by Acme) was built there. Then it was on Main Street. It was also used by Police Chief Clarence Ward, who started in 1914, as the police station. In November of 1917 it became fully the Maple Shade Police Station until 1927 when the old Municipal Building was built. (See the Progress of Maple Shade book if you have one.)
Real Estate field office on North Forklanding Rd. behind Congregational Church Sunday School.
(They were using the old Methodist Church bldg. on Main St. and N. Forklanding Rd.)
Police Chief Ward-
E. Brubaker and Sons uniforms (overalls)
When did they move the uniforms factory from Philadelphia to Maple Shade? 1917.
Horace Roberts on "One Acre Farms"-
Horace Roberts had many subdivisions for Barlow & Co. as "One Acre Farms" in Maple Shade and Lenola.
Maple Shade in 1907 Vicinity of Camden Atlas-
School Math in 1804-
From Enoch Roberts' cyphering book (spelled today- ciphering)
There is a circular pond, whos area is 5028 4/7 square feet, in the middle of which stood a pole 100 feet high; now the pole having been broken, it was observed that the top just struck the brink of the pond; what is the height of the pole?
Two men depart from the same place at the same time, one travels 30, and the other 35 miles a day; how far are they distant from each other after 7 days, supposing they both travel the same road, and how far apart if they travel in contrary directions
ansr 35 miles were going the same direction
If the earth be 360 degrees in circumfurance and each degree 690 miles, how long would a man be in traveling round it, who advances 20 miles a day; reckoning 365 1/4 (I also wrote 364 1/4) days in a year
Ansr 3 years 155 1/2 days
Pennsauken in first surveys-
The name "Roberts" is highlighted simply because I searched under that to locate the surveys in the PDF.
On Swedish maps of "New Sweden" from the mid 1600s
the old name for the Pennsauken Creek is spelled Sinsessingh."
Two halfs of the Roberts 267 acres-
Speaking of "Roberts" and lands,this note is from a Chalkley Matlack memo book of notes. The southern half of the Roberts' land was given to Enoch. I think it was his son Samuel who had the saw mill but I am not sure without investigating the matter more. That saw mill was running in 1810 I know because Burlington County Historical has a record book from it. A later house for a Samuel Roberts (not same one) was erected on the Mill Road School land in 1861. A Samuel Roberts born in the house is highlighted in a Burlington Camden Counties Biography book.
The north half of the Roberts' land would lastly be "Lippincotts." A Roberts daughter married a Lippincott. They were the ones who started the brickyards and erected the "Roberts' Monument." What wasn't sold to the Moffet brickyard or owned by Joseph Walton was sold to John Mason who sold all but the house on the peak of South Pine Ave. on a few lots, to Thomas Barlow, president of the Maple Heights Land Co.
Here is some more notes from Chalkley Matlack's note books From FamilySearch.org (Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints site)
Happy Memorial Day
I went to the parade and ceremony and hotdog lunch today. I was surprised at the number of Maple Shaders who died this past year at war! Sad. Here is some info about Antrim and Mentz-
Headline from midwest newspaper, October 31, 1924.
Harry Antrim, WW 1 Hero from Maple Shade N.J. d-1918. Harry Antrim enlisted in the United States Navy at the beginning of the war, and was assigned to the U.S.S. Buena Ventura, a supply boat, which was torpedoed on SEPT. 16, 1918. ANTRIM was rescued in a lifeboat, but heroically went back to his ship, which was sinking and attempted to save some of his comrades. ANTRIM went down with the U.S.S. BUENA VENTURA.
NORRIS M. MENTZ was a private in headquarters company, Three Hundred and fifteenth Infantry and was wounded in action in France and later returned to the ranks in OCTOBER 1918. He was again wounded in action NOVEMBER 5, and died shortly after from his wounds. his body was returned to the UNITED STATES and interred in ARLINGTON NAVAL CEMETERY with full naval honors.
Bill Gerkens Jr. emailed me and after he saw the Maple Shade in the 30s and 40s video he said, "I really enjoyed the video. In the first minutes of the film, in the newspaper, are my father Bill Sr. the young boy and his oldest brother Frank with glasses." He didn't know who the other man was smoking the pipe and talking on the phone was.
Frank Sr. And Minnie had the house on Wallace Ave. My father William and brothers Frank, Paul and sisters Elizabeth and Elsie all grew up there.
Frank Jr. on Mecray Lane, Elsie on Woodlawn Ave. (Maple Shade gardens), Elizabeth in Marmora, William on Terrace Ave., and Paul in Somers Point who passed away two years ago at 103 yrs.
Oh, the house on Wallace Ave. was not torn down. It was moved to Mildred Ave.
Here are the brothers, top down Frank, Paul and Bill.
In the newspaper, Frank left and Bill right.
New page about the corner where the Custard Stand is. The house next door was never the toll gate house. The Custard Stand lot is where a toll house was.
Note- More info added on March 1. BTW- This is the page which starting me getting into getting more toll gates information.Custard Stand lot
On February 22, I went to the Burlington County Clerk's Office in Mt. Holly and got the title chain for it. Now added.
In the 1800s NJ School Reports only one holiday is mentioned- Arbor Day. You did not have off but went to school and sang songs and heard talks and then planted a tree somewhere on the school grounds. I think they knew back then something we do not realize as much now. How important trees are!
The following is from the (Philadelphia) Evening Public Ledger., April 10, 1918, Postscript Edition, Page 11-
WETS MAKING FIGHT AT MAPLE SHADE, N.J.
Local Optionists Discover Quiet Efforts to Defeat Dry Voters Next Week
Moorestown, N.J., April 10,
With the election less than a week off, when the residents of Chester township will vote on local option, the dry advocates have awakened to the fact that the saloon element that was supposed to have abandoned the fight has been hard at work in Maple Shade. Residents of that town are being lined up in hope that the local option advocates in Moorestown, feeling secure in their strength, would be caught napping and be outvoted by the residents of Maple Shade.
The anti- saloon men and women of Moorestown who have been idle are now making big effort to arouse the town to the dangers of the situation. It is generally believed that the local optionists will win. If Moorestown was a borough it would be found that nine tenths of the voters are against the saloon, but the town is a part of Chester township. The election will be on next Tuesday.
Here is the link to the newspaper (hard to read because of light print)-
The outcome of that election is in the book "The Progress of Maple Shade."
Years ago when Joe Laufer, the official Burlington County historian, was alive, he had meet ups with the Historical Societies and local historians and history lovers. He was very much involved in the restoration of Smithville Mansion as that's natural as he lived in Smithville. He got started in history after moving to New Jersey and he noticed the area had many Quaker Meeting Houses so he photographed them. A emphasis of his was "NJ historic tourism."
Have you ever gone on vacation to a family member's home out of this area and had time you wanted to get the most out of and so you said, "What is there to see around here?" You then went to some local historical place and you LEARNED THINGS and enjoyed the visit. Perhaps the surprising thing is many locals who lived there for years perhaps never bothered to go to the place you visited.
To see 1700s houses there is the Burlington County Historical Society, the Griffith Morgan and Burrough Dover houses in Pennsauken, Moorestown Historical Society, Camden County Historical Society, and others.
We have variety- the Air Victory Museum in Lumberton, Kirby's Mill in Medford, Burlington County Farm Fair, Burlington County Prison built in 1811 in Mt. Holly, and don't forget Maple Shade Historical Society's Chesterford Schoolhouse. I know I am leaving a lot out. I would think that about every town has somewhere to visit.-Dennis Weaver
NJ Schools in the 1800s-
I took screen captures of interesting items from the New Jersey School Reports-
Progress of Maple Shade books Note-
If you are interested in buying a copy or want to know more about the book then scroll to this webpage's bottom. In the making of the book of the scans of the 1916 and 1917 Maple Shade Progress newspapers I have one regret in that in the indroduction I did not state that the scans (or images) in the 8.5 by 11 inch book are actual size. That is exactly how big the original newspapers were! The first ones measured like 7.5 by 10 or something which let it work out well with the needed book margins. The size you see in the book is the size the papers were.
Edwin F. D'Ancona-
Photo from the Maple Shade Progress newspaper, Nov. 4, 1937
He and Catherine Sixberry won Township committee positions.
Unless you're fairly old, well let's just say it- real old, you probably never heard of him before. In the history of Maple Shade he was a very important powerful etc.... person. I haven't researched him but have run across enough things to at least mention them. (and research him in the future!)
Arthur Cutler said that Barlow & Company was started by Thomas Barlow Sr. and his sons Thomas and Frederick and adopted son Edwin D'Ancona who was a salesman. A earlier census for the Barlow family listed him as living with them at Main Street and Holly Ave. and as having been "taken in." Arthur Cutler also said that Edwin D'Ancona and his wife opened The Sweet Shoppe at about 113 E. Main Street. It was a favorite spot of children and adults alike.
A 1916 or 1917 Progress has Edwin leaving the Childs' Store in Maple Shade to work for the new Acme in Moorestown and states something like "He ought to know sales." I saw later Progress articles where he was the Mayor of Maple Shade and some where he worked for Barlow & Company. He seemed to be in and out of working at Barlow & Co. Anyhow he would probably best be remembered for being involved in politics.
Chester Twp. Old School Numbers-
From the "1900 Hauck's Excelsior Directory"-
Now if we were to go up to the year 1920, Maple Shade's one room school, named "Maple Shade School No. 1" was replaced in 1909 with the Poplar Avenue school as "Maple Shade School No. 1." There was also a "Maple Shade School No. 2" on Chestnut Avenue. (Steinhauer School)
I don't know everything involved but I looked in the book "Moorestown and her Neighbors" by George DeCou and it states that in 1917 the Chester Brick Schoolhouse was sold to Joseph Matlack where it stayed on the farm and was later used in the summers to house berry pickers.
You see after Moorestown separated they were stuck with schools like "Schools No 5, 6, 7" etc... and we had Schools 1 and 2, so we just continued on with 3 on Mill Road, and 4 on N. Forklanding Rd.
The Chesterford School was at the opposite end of the spectrum before the "Township School Act" of 1894 changed the district numbers from county to townships. It was then "School No. 27."
It was Camden
When Charles F. Shuster filed the "Shuster Tract" subdivision plan of the once Benjamin J. Stiles farm in 1887 he advertised-
Advantages of living at "Maple Shade"
Well before the Cutler Agency took over this in about 1906 you could practically count the houses built there on one hand!
The train wasn't enough to suburbanize Maple Shade. Or bring industry as some have eluded. A brickyard was already going since the mid 1800s.
If we jump way ahead of ourselves, you might say the Benjamin Franklin Bridge (previously the Delaware River Bridge) which opened in 1926 (You can always remember because it was the Sesquicentennial.) was the most powerful factor. Maybe in the Post WW2 housing boom but not earlier.
You see since the 1700s when Cooper's Ferry crossed farmers over the Delaware River to Market Street in Philadelphia something else was in the future. It was getting there when the Moorestown and Camden Turnpike Company bought the 1794 stage road to market but by post WW1 and into the twenties it was a fully emerged force-
Here is a segment from a 1920 Maple Shade census showing presumably as employers- the New York Shipyard, Victor Talking Machine, and the Campbell Soup Company.
It's made from Chalkley and Asa Matlack Stackhouse writings on the Stiles family
All the quotes are from the "Matlack Family PDF" in this folder-
I copy pasted the text, but then like a third to half comes out gobbily gook and you have to fix it, but it still saved a lot of time from just hand copying it all. I organized it with Stiles names. As of February 5-7, if you print out things I would wait because I am still correcting uncapitalized words, etc...
Maple Shade in the 30s & 40s movie
This collection of old movies of Maple Shade, NJ aired on the Maple Shade Cable TV network. This has been copied from a VHS tape and is not the best quality, but I am not sure how good it got. The beginning and end photos of the Roxy have been added.
Do yourself a favor and open the video up in Youtube- Maple Shade, NJ in the 30s and the 40s That way in the Description you can see the contents and time stamp links.
Real Good Historical Books on PDF-
This is like the best of the best. Download the whole folder! (Go up a directory to Public, then click on the folder and choose to download it.)
The one called MatlackFamily has writings from Chalkley Matlack and also covers some of the Roberts family and Stiles families, etc...
From a January 25, 1963 Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper
Maple Shade newspaper clip scans-
I joined Newspapers.com one week free trial and over about 30 plus hours got these images.
If you have a fast internet connection download the "NewspaperClips" folder. Save the whole thing if you want a "Maple Shade historical library of readings!"
Or open the "NewspaperClips" folder and read ones . Scroll down slowly cause OneDrive loads image thumbnails. (250 MBs!)
Dennis Weaver's Clippings
Ad from an April 1912 Philadelphia Inquirer newspaper
Thomas J.S. Barlow, the president of the Maple Heights Land Company, formed Barlow and Company in 1912. Soon after, Camden attorney John F. Harned bought the Levi Lippincott farm then owned by Henry T. and Emma E. Bleam. It became the Plan for "The Orchards" containing One Acre Farm lots for Barlow and Company. Old timers today remember pear trees at the right side of South Lippincott Ave. near Main Street. They might have been part of the original 3,000 fruit trees.
More great clips-
Boy in contest near Lester Collins' orchard on Forklanding Rd. (1930)
1925 Trolley Wreck- It smashed into the Sealect Seafood- Alden Cafe (before the fire and rebuild) building.
Here is a link to the full article- 1925 Trolley Wreck at den's OneDrive NewspaperClips folder Also have a picture.png and a PDF version in the folder as well.
Maple Shade's first Police station
From the Philadelphia Inquirer March 24, 1912, page 42
Paul Altobelli's Maple Shade Postcards
Paul is a family friend. Here is the link-
From the Maple Shade Progress July 5, 1973.
Only lists 24 although says 25
From the Maple Shade Progress March 1, 1973
From the Maple Shade Progress December 27, 1973
Nice Tribute, but William F. Brown founded the Progress in 1916.
From Lumber Trade Magazine 74 (Google Books snippet view only)
John S. Collins & Son Lumber Co. on N. Forklanding Rd., Maple Shade in 1959
Photo by John P. Stroup
Good "book" online to save and search through-PDF book Burlington NJ Post Towns by Jack Edge
Do yourself a favor and click FILE, SAVE PAGE AS at your left top corner of your web browser thereby saving the PDF file which will take a minute or two to load as it is 14 MB!
When it is a saved PDF the magnifying glass or SEARCH will let you find instances of things say for example "Maple Shade" quickly.
Great read as it tells of the times back when post offices started there was not even a concept of a telephone. This is how important they were! Also it says Stiles Corner (or Corners) for Maple Shade's earlier name.
Buying "Progress of Maple Shade" Books-
If you live in Maple Shade and did not get out to the sale and want to buy it direct-
Or buy off Amazon.com-
Progress book at Amazon.com
Amazon.com Description for the book-
919 East Main St., Maple Shade
John Muffet & Son Brick and Tileyard house
Originally a double house, built about 1863. Read the Brickyards page for more info.
This house is highly historical and should be preserved and revered in that manner!
21 Bars? (Well liquor licenses)
There was always that elusive number 21. You would see a few Maple Shade Progress headlines saying 21 licenses this year, and when you read down the list there was always only 20. Well here is a real candidate for number 21 (never opened) Again one would have to double check this out-
Burlington County Twps. Population for 1950, 1940, and 1930
Compare Maple Shade esp. to 1930 and see how early we turned mostly suburban! Be sure to think of the land area sizes of each of the Twps. as well!
den's email addy is firstname.lastname@example.org