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New Jersey

Geolocalisation bp
Sea Girt Avenue & Camp Drive
08750 Sea Girt
NJ
USA

The National Guard Militia Museum presents the role of the NJ Militia & National Guard within the context of the larger history of the state, using original and reproduction uniforms, weapons, photographs, artifacts & art.   Periods covered begin with the Dutch, Swedish & British colonization of America, & continue through the Revolution, Civil War, World Wars I & II to the present day, paying particular attention to the diversity of the state's citizen soldiers and their experiences. 

Narrative adapted from the National Guard Militia Museum of NJ website.

Photo courtesy of:  National Guard Militia Museum of NJ

Artillery Armory, 151 Eggerts Crossing Road
08648 Lawrenceville
NJ
USA

The Artillery Annex to the Militia Museum of New Jersey is located at the Artillery Armory in Lawrenceville, NJ. Items on exhibit include weapons, uniforms & other equipment from various periods of service.

There are two rooms dedicated to military memorabilia from the Civil War and a "Model Room" with over 100 small-scale models of military equipment. In the Drill Hall is the work area for the Cannon Shop with several pieces of military equipment on display. Additionally, about 15 tanks, vehicles and cannon are on display outside. 

Narrative adapted from the NJ Army National Guard website. 

Photo courtesy of:  National Guard Militia Museum of NJ

 

08104 Camden
NJ
USA

The New York Shipbuilding Corporation was founded in 1899 by industrialist Henry G. Morse. Its name reflects its originally intended location in Staten Island, New York. Land proved to be cheaper in Camden, New Jersey, so Morse constructed the shipyard there on 160 acres on the east side of the Delaware River and retained its originally incorporated name.

From the outset it was decided to break away from the accepted traditions of shipbuilding and construct a yard which employed the most up-to-date machinery and advanced methods of structural steel construction. The keel was laid for its first ship on November 29, 1900.

By the time America entered World War I, NY Shipbuilding had grown to be the largest shipyard in the world. 

The company had significant government contracts during both World Wars and built ships for the United States Navy and the Emergency Fleet Corporation. World War I-era ships constructed at the yard included primarily tankers, colliers, and passenger/cargo vessels, many under Emergency Fleet Corporation contracts.

Narrative adapted from The New York Shipbuilding Corporation, 50 Years: New York Shipbuilding, Camden, New Jersey (1949).

Photos courtesy of:
Black & white photos - 50 Years: New York Shipbuilding, Camden, New Jersey
Vintage postcards - Rutgers University Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives

205 W. State Street
08608 Trenton
NJ
USA

The New Jersey State Museum preserves objects that document the lives of people who lived in New Jersey from the 17th century to the present, including an array of artifacts relating to the first World War. The World War I collection consists of more than 80 Liberty Loan, Red Cross, Food Administration, and recruitment posters that were designed and printed as propaganda to inspire American commitment to the cause of war. Additionally, the collection includes assorted personal items from the World War I era including uniforms, equipment, medals, war souvenirs, and even a bugle that sounded the Armistice on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 1918.

The State Museum also serves as the official caretaker of the State of New Jersey’s collection of 192 military flags dating from the 1860s through 1940. Although the majority of these flags are from the Civil War era, the State House Flag Collection also contains nearly 50 flags carried oversees by New Jersey soldiers who served with the 29th and 78th Divisions in World War I. The flags were returned to Trenton after the Armistice at the request of state officials and have been preserved by the State of New Jersey for the past 100 years. 

Photos courtesy of the New Jersey State House & State Capitol Joint Management Commission

Chestnut Street
07110 Nutley
NJ
USA

The Nutley Memorial Parkway was laid out and dedicated to honor the men and women of Nutley who served in World War I. On Armistice Day 1935, a memorial tablet to Dr. George B. Philhower was erected on the Parkway to honor the doctor who was its main advocate.

Narrative adapted from American Legion Centennial Celebration website.

08030 Gloucester City
NJ
USA
The Pennsylvania Shipbuilding Company (also known as Pusey and Jones Shipyard) was established during World War I to provide tankers and cargo ships for the United States Shipping Board for use in the war effort. Known briefly as Pennsylvania Shipbuilding Company, after a few months its name changed to Pusey and Jones, reflecting its ownership by the well-known Wilmington, DE shipbuilder.

Although only in operation a little more than a year, the yard built six tankers and 14 cargo ships. Many of the ships were named to reflect their military use: War Serpent, War Horse, and War Priest; or to commemorate prominent individuals in American history: Daniel Webster, John Adams, Ethan Allen, and Patrick Henry; or Revolutionary War battles: Chestnut Hill and Brandywine.

To house the hundreds of shipyard workers, the company constructed a nearby company town. Originally known as Noreg, it now comprises the major portion of the Borough of Brooklawn in Camden County.

The photographic and manuscript archives for Pusey and Jones are available in the collections of the Hagley Museum & Library, Wilmington, DE.

Narrative adapted from: “Pusey & Jones, Gloucester City, N.J.”, shipbuildinghistory.com, & “Pusey and Jones”, militaryheritage.org.

Photos courtesy of: The Hagley Library, Audiovisual Collections, Wilmington, DE
All images are c.1917 & include the launching of the oil tanker, Desdemona. 
  • American Legion post

PIcatinny Arsenal was founded in 1880 as the Picatinny Powder Depot. It is located in a valley between two sets of hills to shield the surrounding countryside from any accidental explosions. Gunpowder was manufactured until after World War I, at which time the facility also began producing heavy munitions and grew more involved in research & development activities. Testing and control laboratories were established during the WWI years, as well as the beginning of a small experimental plant for the design and development of artillery ammunition. 

With the declaration of war in April 1917, Picatinny Arsenal's workforce jumped from 450 to 1,300; then jumped again to 2,167 in 1918.  By July 1919, it was back down to 509. 

The arsenal continued to function as a research & development facility in the years between the two world wars. Major accomplishments of this period included better methods for storing smokeless powder, improved processing of cyclonite (more commonly called RDX), and the discovery of a new explosive, then known as haleite but later known as Ednatol.

Picatinny maintained as much as 49 miles of its own narrow and standard gauge Picatinny Arsenal Railroad to service its many transportation needs (fuel, raw materials, ammunition, etc.). 

Today, Picatinny Arsenal is the Joint Center of Excellence for Guns & Ammunition, providing products to all branches of the US military. More than 6,000 personnel lead in the research, development, acquisition and life-cycle management of advanced conventional weapon systems and ammunition.

Narrative adapted from Picatinny Arsenal official website. 

Photos courtesy of:
Marker & vintage gate - Picatinny Arsenal
Black & white photos - Historic American Engineering Record (HAER) and Picatinny Arsenal

  • Charles Henry Niehaus
  • Dedication Date: 1923
Lincoln Park
07102 Newark
NJ
USA

This sculpture, placed in Lincoln Park in downtown Newark, was designed by Charles Henry Niehaus, described as one of the foremost monumental sculptors of his generation. 

In 1920, Niehaus received  the commission for this Newark monument. At the base of a tall slender column is a bronze sculpture depicting four soldiers planting a flag. One figure holds the flag about to be unfurled, two figures hold the flagpole in place, and the fourth figure secures the pole at its base. The column is topped by an American eagle. The sculptures rest atop an octagonal base adorned with four reliefs representing Patriotism, Sacrifice, Law and Order, and Fraternity. The base of the sculpture is surrounded by a metal fence.

Niehaus also completed two statues in memory of assassinated President James Garfield.  His first nationally known commission was his 1900 sculpture of Dr. Samuel Hahneman, erected in Scott Circle in Washington, DC. 

Narrative adapted from Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS) inventory #76001630, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art, "Charles Henry Niehaus." 

Photos courtesy of:  Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS)

Nassau & Mercer Streets
08540 Princeton
NJ
USA

The Princeton All Wars Memorial, dedicated in 1925, was designed by architect Harvey Wiley Corbett and sculptor Gaetano Cecere. This memorial takes the form of a semi-circular marble bench, often referred to as an exedra, placed on a circular base.  At the center is a circular 68-inch diameter bronze medallion. The inscription reads: 

Hold dear our sons and daughters
who gave their lives
in the World War for Freedom
1914 — 1918
The Borough and Vicinity of Princeton

Originally created to commemorate those who served in World War I, it was later rededicated to all who have served the United States in a war.  Subsequent inscriptions have been added to commemorate those who served in World War II, the Korean and Vietnam Wars, and Desert Storm.  The original $10,000 cost of the memorial was raised with contributions from Princeton residents and clubs.  

Photos courtesy of: 
Image with flag - RC & Historical Marker Database
All other photos - NJ State Historic Preservation Office

  • Dedication Date: 1919
162 Saint Georges Ave
07067 Rahway
NJ
USA

In 1919, a proposal was made to Union County, New Jersey for a "Memorial Park", now known as the Rahway River Parkway.  It said its creation should serve as a memorial to those young soldiers who had lost their lives in the just-concluded World War I and also a salvation of the Rahway River for future generations. 

The county was urged to act swiftly stating:
"What better memorial could be imagined than to buy and reserve for this purpose one of nature's rarest gifts to Union County in the form of a "Union County Memorial Park?"  The Rahway River possesses a multitude of natural attractions, far beyond the reach of money, which can be made a perpetual monument to those who have remained in France and an endowment of nature to those have not. A dedication of this nature will preserve a priceless evidence of reverence and esteem, and the same time protect the virgin purity and beauty of one of the State's biggest assets and inspire great respect for its future protection."

Photo courtesy of: Friends of Rahway River Parkway 

  • Dedication Date: 1923
540 High Street
08016 Burlington
NJ
USA

Rock of the Marne - Burlington

100 Cities / 100 Memorials

100c 100m wwi centennial plaque The Rock of the Marne monument, designed by famed sculptor Roland Hinton Perry, located at the American Legion Post 79 on 540 High Street, is at the entryway to Burlington City. This statue continues to commemorate the loss lives and broken families of World War I as “the war to end all wars.” It portrays an American “Doughboy” ready to protect and defend. The statue was dedicated in memory of the dead from the 38th Infantry Regiment. The sculptor, Roland Hinton Perry, had a national reputation: Before his death in 1941, his work included two memorable statues at Gettysburg and the elaborate Court of Neptune fountain at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. The monument consists of a copper WWI soldier in uniform with his front foot anchored on a rock. The soldier holds an angled rifle with bayonet, and has a pack against his chest.  The monument, in front of the VFW Memorial Hall, is flanked by several other war memorials. Photos courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office.  Night photo - Nicholas J. Cuozzo . Vintage postcard - Rutgers University Libraries, Special Collections and University Archives

  • Parish & Schroeder
36 South Street
07960 Morristown
NJ
USA

The striking rose window in the façade of Morristown’s Church of the Redeemer is dedicated as a memorial to those who returned from World War I.  Built in 1917, the pudding stone, Gothic Revival church was designed by the NY architectural firm, Parish & Schroeder. 

The stained glass rose window features elaborate stone tracery radiating from a central stone quatrefoil containing the Greek letters, Alpha and Omega.  Radiating spokes form the stems of elaborate leaves, each of which has a central stained glass shield. Between the spokes are six stained glass figures, possibly representing Apostles.  The beautiful window is placed within a circular quarry-faced stone surround.  The window was designed & fabricated by the English firm of Heaton, Butler & Bayne. 

Photos courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office 

  • American Legion post
120 Roseville Avenue
07107 Newark
NJ
USA

Built in 1910, the Roseville Avenue Armory was home to the elite horsemen of Essex Troop, which joined the National Guard in 1893 as Cavalry Company A.  The troop trained & held mounted drills at the site. 

The Essex Troop was called to active duty in 1917 for service in World War I.  They served in France not as cavarly, but as military police & artillery. 

Today, the old Essex Troop lineage is carried on in the 102nd Armored Regiment. 

Narrative adapted from NJ State Dept. of Military & Veterans Affairs official website. 

Photos courtesy of:  Col. Leonard Luzky

  • Gaetano Federici
  • Dedication Date: 1920
Westside Park, Totawa Avenue
07502 Paterson
NJ
USA

Paterson's Second Ward War Memorial is an allegorical female figure of America.  She stands holding a staff in her right hand, classically draped in long robes.  On her head, she wears a laurel wreath.  A flag with the words "Don't Tread on Me" hangs on her left side.

The sculptor was Paterson's own, Gaetano Federici. 

The inscription reads:  "Erected by the People of the Second Ward and Friends in honor of those who served and died for our country in the World War 1917-1918 / Died in Service (list of 25 names) Nurses in Service (list of 10 names) Enlisted in Service (list of 38 names)."

A bronze plaque on back of base lists an additional 216 names. 

The sculpture was originally installed on a center island in Union Avenue, then was moved to the north side of the street, and was later relocated to West Side Park in 1949 due to traffic concerns and increasing vandalism. In West Side Park, the sculpture was installed in the center of a large circular reflecting pool, but the pool was later drained. Vandalism continued in West Side Park, and in 1979, the sculpture was knocked to the ground in an unsuccessful theft attempt. 

Narrative adapted from Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS) inventory #77002923.

Photos courtesy of: Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS)

  • American Legion post
First & Trumble Streets
07206 Elizabeth
NJ
USA

In 1873, the Singer Sewing Machine Manufacturing Co. purchased 32 acres of land in Elizabeth, NJ and established its first factory in the US. The company isn’t credited with inventing the sewing machine, but founder Isaac Singer made crucial improvements to machine designs, patenting 12 ideas in 1857 alone.  By the time the Elizabeth factory opened, Singer was selling more sewing machines than all of its competitors combined.

During WWI, the Singer Company converted from manufacturing sewing machines to making 75-mm cannons & the famous .45 automatic pistol. 

The factory operated in Elizabeth for 109 years.  In 1982, the last 560 workers at the 1,400,000 square foot factory were laid off, and the facility closed.  The building still stands & is home to an industrial park. 

Narrative adapted from "Made in Jersey: Singer sewing machines had the market sewn up;" Greg Hatala; The Star-Ledger, November 18, 2013. 

Photo courtesy of:  New Jersey State Archives

Routes 28 & 202/206 (Entrance to Somerville Shopping Center)
08869 Raritan
NJ
USA

The following is an account of the signing of the US WWI Peace Treaty published in the New York Times issue of May 27, 1984: 

"Although the other Allies accepted the Treaty of Versailles, a vicious, partisan battle over its adoption erupted in the United States.  ... Formal peace did not come for another two years: July 2, 1921. The place the war ended was in rural Somerset County. 

The US resolution contained some of the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles, but not membership in the League of Nations.

As the debate in Congress was ending, President Warren Harding left to spend a relaxing Fourth of July weekend at the picturesque country home of Senator Joseph S. Frelinghuysen in Somerville, NJ.

The President was accompanied by his wife and a group of cronies from the Senate and the House. The Presidential party arrived on Friday evening, July 1, after taking the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad from Washington to Bound Brook.

The following day, a White House courier arrived with the resolution that had just been adopted by Congress, and reporters described the ensuing events with the sort of colorful journalistic detail that characterized newspaper reporting in those days.

President Harding, who had been playing golf at the Somerset Hills Country Club, returned to the Frelinghuysen home in an automobile. He was wearing ''a Palm Beach suit, white shoes, white socks with black clocks, a white shirt buttoned by removable gold studs and a green and red bow tie.''

He met the White House courier on the front porch, where he read through the documents. The President then entered through the front door and sat at a table.

About 30 people crowded into the room, including reporters, photographers, Secret Service agents, Washington dignitaries, the Frelinghuysen children, the acting Governor of New Jersey, butlers, maids, chauffeurs and gardeners.

A reporter asked Senator Frelinghuysen what he called the room.

''Oh, I don't know,'' he said, ''library, living room, parlor - anything you please.''

A group of Somerset County officials, including Sherrif Bogart Conkling, had brought along a feathery quill pen for the President to use, but he instead took a ''new steel pen in an ordinary wooden holder'' from Senator Frelinghuysen.

In silence, except for the clicking of cameras, the President signed the resolution.

''That's all,'' he said, in what must be one of the most unmemorable lines ever uttered in a historic moment.

At that point, a large drop of ink fell from the pen to the page, obscuring part of Mr. Harding's signature. An aide applied a blotter, and the document was placed in a leather pouch to be returned to Washington.

After a few moments of conversation, the President and his party departed for some more golf, this time at the Raritan Valley Country Club.

Nobody is quite sure how it got there, but the desk on which President Harding signed the resolution is tucked away in a small room in the concrete and glass library on the Rutgers-Newark campus. There is no plaque or marker on it, and it is used principally as a conference table for librarians."

Today, a small plaque commemorates the location of the former Senator Joseph S. Frelinghuysen home in Somerville, NJ.  It is located at the entrance to the Somerville Circle Shopping Center. 

Photo courtesy of: Somerset County Historical Society; original credit:  Unionist-Gazette newspaper, 1921 

 

  • Dedication Date: 1922
2503 N. Lake Drive
08701 Lakewood
NJ
USA

This elaborate memorial rests on a slightly curved stone base with four Corinthian columns supporting an ornate, slightly curved roof.  Between the columns stands a stone pedestal with a bronze plaque on the front, topped by an eagle with its wings outspread. 

This memorial, commemorating those who served in World War I, was designed by J&R Lamb Company of New York, and erected by Ellsworth Matthews of Lakewood, NJ.  The local War Memorial Committee raised $8,000 through benefit dances and personal contributions over a two-year period. 

This monument replaced a temporary wooden one that was located at the intersection of Second Street & Clifton Avenue. 

Photo courtesy of:  Ocean County Cultural & Heritage Commission 
Vintage photo courtesy of:  Sheldon Wolpin Lakewood Historical Museum 

  • Dedication Date: 1920s
Bonnyview Park
07446 Ramsey
NJ
USA

The Soldiers and Sailors Monument in Ramsey, NJ is an elegant classical composition that sits in a grassy island in a park.  Flanked by two other honor roll memorials, the monuments are set in front of a backdrop of six flagpoles with flags, three on either side of the World War I monument.

The monument sits on a stone slab base constructed of three stepped slabs. Rising from either side of the top slab are baseless fluted Doric columns with a full entablature including triglyphs and guttae. The monument is crowned by a pedimented gable. A bronze honor roll plaque is set in a stone surround between the two columns.

Photos courtesy of:  Ramsey Historical Association
Vintage postcard courtesy of:  Ramsey Historical Association, Collection of Daniel Kennedy 

  • Dedication Date: 1930
Leonard Gordon Park, Kennedy Blvd & Manhattan Avenue
07307 Jersey City
NJ
USA

This Soldiers & Sailors Monument is a full-length figure of a World War I soldier, wearing a uniform and hat. His left arm is outstretched holding a rifle.  In his right hand he holds a grenade which he is positioned to toss. The painted bronze sculpture stands on a white concrete base. 

The monument was installed by the Hudson City Soldiers & Sailors Welfare League in 1930.

Narrative adapted from Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS)  inventory #NJ000481.

Photo courtesy of: Smithsonian Institution Research Information System (SIRIS)

   
Paterson Avenue & Union Plaza
07057 Wallington
NJ
USA

Wallington's monument was created by local citizens as an expression of gratitude, respect & remembrance to those who served in the "Great War." 

Wallington's VFW Pavlick-Koster Post #1640, named after two Wallington war heroes, was formed in 1932, with 40 World War I veterans. 

In addition, an honor roll, framing the names of all the men in service, is still displayed in the council chamber of the municipal building.

Narrative adapted from Wallington Borough, NJ official website. 

Photos courtesy of:  NJ State Historic Preservation Office