Print


CHAPTER XIV.
THE SHORT HILLS AND WYOMING DEVELOPMENTS


Stewart Hartshorn was born in Nashville, Tennessee, on August 28, 1840, the son of New England parents, moved to New York while still in his teens where his father and older brother died forcing him to earn the family living. Mr. Hartshorn seems to have successfully combined in one person a practical inventor, an astute business man and an artist. By the time he was 24 years of age he had patented a window shade roller based on a gravity pawl principle, which is still the basic roller used today. He organized the Stewart Hartshorn Company for its manufacture and eventually had factories in operation in New Jersey, New York, Michigan, and South Carolina.

Most men, with a very successful business, based on an unique patent, would have been content to sit back therafter and reap the benefits of their genius, but the artist in Mr. Hartshorn, coupled with a mind which constantly sought new fields in which to experiment, would not have been satisfied with a comfortable chair behind a desk. He had studied lithography in his youth, so that the artist's fundamental principles of composition and line were familiar to him. He wrote poetry, took delight in fine literature, and had a passionate love of nature.

Moreover, he had often dreamed of some ideal town where many of these aspects of life could be combined and enjoyed; where natural beauty would not be destroyed by real estate developments, and where people of congenial tastes could dwell together. Mr. Hartshorn once in his later life said, in describing his attitude toward his chosen village, that his sole purpose was to create a harmonious community for people who appreciated nature, for he had found then to be people of taste and initiative.

His first attempt at living outside of New York City brought him to Hoboken, but he soon perceived that Hoboken, even with its magnificent view of the harbor and river, would not suit his purposes, and moreover a threat of tuberculosis caused him to seek country property.

His quest led him to Springfield here he purchased from Cyrus Parkhurst, a 70-year old mansion fronting on Morris Avenue, and about 52 acres of land which enclosed a beautiful little stream, a strong vein of traprock for a quarry, and woods and fields. In 1936 Mr. Hartshorn gave this strip of brook with 19 acres of land to the Union County Park Commission.

Mr. Hartshorn's first idea was to build his contemplated village on the slope of Baltusrol Mountain, but the idea was abandoned when he was unable to purchase there at fair prices. Moreover, on his trips to New York he realized that the land was too far from the railroad for daily commutation, and when an acquaintance, William Seaver, from nearby Millburn Township, offered to sell him some land, Mr. Hartshorn made his first purchase of 13 acres. He later increased his homesite acreage to 56.

In 1874 with his wife, the former Joanna Randall, and their infant daughter, Cora, born the previous March 21st, he moved from Springfield to his new home between Hobart avenue and the present Crescent. There his two other children, Stewart Henry, and Joanna, (Mrs. Harold Hack) were born.

Hobart avenue, Parsonage Hill road, and Chatham road were the only public roads running through the area which was to be developed as "Short Hills Village." Mr. Hartshorn was delighted with his new surroundings and on his daily walks through the rolling countryside knew that he had found just what he had been seeking. The Farleys, Renwicks, Seavers, Traphagens, and Smith owned most of the land. One hundred years before that the Smith family had owned practically all of it. An obituary of Lewis C. Smith, in the Short Hills Item of January 24, 1891, stated that Smith's grandfather, William Smith, "once owned and occupied what is now almost the entire Short Hills Village."

The Smith house stood near where the first Hartshorn home was erected, and the Smith spring later furnished water to Short Hills. This is the same Smith family referred to previously in the chapter on the mills of Millburn, Bill Smith's Paper Mill having stood approximately where the High School Stadium is now located.

Mr. Hartshorn named his development "Short Hills," because he felt that the name represented the topography of the district, and because he felt that the name had tradition behind it, the designation, the "short" or "little" hills having been used by the Indians in their native tongue, and by the early settlers to describe the locality. A suggestion to call it "Hartshornville" was emphatically turned down by him.

That the name "Short Hills" did not suit everyone, however, is evident in reading an article by the editor of the News Item of November, 1888, in which he asks, "What's in a Name?", and says,

"Our own sense of the appropriate has, on more than a single instance been offended by criticisms anent the term 'Short Hills' as applied to a Village. This will probably be a surprise to those who associate that name with the noble traditions which indissolubly connect it with the glorious days of '76, and which yet make it significant of the great natural outpost, which, at that time, turned back the tide of war from the northern part of our State ... Someone, as if the pure Saxon was less expressive, less elegant, has proposed the name 'Monte Breve,' ... other names have had their advocates, but all have been open to objections, so that thus far, nothing has been proposed that has approached in fitness the present name of our village."

We are indebted to Miss Cora Hartshorn for much of our information about the early days of the Short Hills section of Millburn Township.

Miss Hartshorn writes, in her "Little History of the Short Hills Section," that there were two lovely brooks and a spring on the homestead property, and at first water was carried to their house twice a day, but was later pumped up to the house by a windmill erected by her father near the Short Hills Station. Their house contained the newest luxury of American life, a bathroom, with zinc tub set in black walnut. Candles and kerosene lamps lighted all their rooms. In the nearby woods were trees of every variety; wild-flowers and wild berries of all sorts abounded, and small wild animals roamed freely. In her "Arboretum, Wild-flower and bird sanctuary," Miss Cora has preserved for the Township a 16.45-acre tract of this virgin country.

However, the woods were not as extensive as might be supposed, now, although many find stands of trees existed. Tree-cutting for firewood and for farming purposes had removed much of the original forests. A photograph of Hobart and Highland avenues, taken in 1878, and published in the Centennial History Book shows that section actually to have fewer trees than it does today.

However, a few trees have survived for centuries, including the fine white oak on Great Oak Drive, also pictured in the Centennial Book. The chestnut tree blight of 50 years ago also decimated large parts of woodland.

Mr Hartshorn began acquiring land and ultimately purchased, including his homestead land of 56 acres, 1552 acres. Some of his acreage included the old glebe lands of Parsonage Hill, given to Parson Symmes in 1746, the right of glebe having been extinguished in 1867 by a special Act of the Legislature, and the property purchased by William Seaver.

After his own home, the first house erected by him was at the corner of Hobart and Highland avenue, and it is still standing.

Good water supply, sewage, and drainage being essentials to a proper community, Mr. Hartshorn soon became expert in selecting homesites with these things in mind. He layed out roads around the low hills with his artist's awareness of rhythmic beauty, and he paved them with crushed traprock from his quarry. Highland avenue is the only road with a steep grade, but it was laid out over an old, existing country lane running to the Seaver home at the top of the hill. He built his houses always with the considerations of suitability to location, good taste, and liveableness. His first houses, strange as it seems now, were occupied by renters, although many who came to rent remained as owners. Some of the houses rented for about $750.00 a year, and cost $3,500.00.

He selected his tenants or purchasers carefully with the idea of bringing people here who appreciated the beauty of the terrain and who seemed to have congenial tastes. People liked the idea of having a knoll to themselves, and many of his first houses were built on separate knolls.

He was insistent that no two houses be exactly alike, and usually different architects were employed to insure originality. Those houses remaining today attest to the diversity of styles chosen by Mr. Hartshorn or the owners. Most of the houses had names, such as "Sunset Cottage," "The Lodge," "Sunnyside," "Redstone," "Greystone Cottage," "Seven Gables," "The Hammock," and "The Anchorage."

The first houses had cesspools, but in 1888 when 52 houses were completed, the new sewage system was also completed. After a personal study of both the systems devised by George Waring in Memphis in 1878, and the Imhoff System in Berlin, Germany, in 1887, the Waring System was adopted here by Mr. Hartshorn. Very few towns in the whole United States had sewage systems at that time, and the Short Hills sewer was the envy of Millburn Village, too.

Someone signing himself "Taxpayer," wrote to the News Item in April, 1888, indignantly protesting the suggestion to build a new Town Hall. His letter concluded,

"As a matter of fact, Millburn village will need a Sewer before it will need a Town Hall. A Sewer would be a benefit to real estate, as it would result in improving the sanitary conditions of the village. But a Town Hall with a town debt of $10,000, will have an opposite effect."

It wasn't until 1902, however, that Millburn connected its system with Mr. Hartshorn's system.

Within five years after he located here, Mr. Hartshorn had persuaded the railroad to stop two trains a day at Short Hills, and provided the railroad with a station, at a cost to him of $2,520.00. He maintained it himself for a number of years and even paid the Station Master, Louis C. Goodrich, who also became the Post Master when a Post Office was opened in the depot in 1880. The original Short Hills Station was torn dawn in 1907 and the present station was erected.

In 1879 when 17 houses were finished, 12 more under construction, Mr. Hartshorn built a "Music Hall," for a social center for his new community. This building, of course, is now known to us as "The Racquets Club." It was designed by the young New York architect, Stanford White, based on an ancient building in Brittany. As the Music Hall, later the "Casino," the building was the setting for many social events, parties, musicals, dramatics, and even private schools and church congregations were organized and met there.

Very few of the original dwellers in Short Hills have left descendants here, as many of the first comers came to Short Hills for the summers only or moved away years ago. However, the names of their estates have supplied street names for the section. "Montview" was the J.A. Pitcher property; Gilbert Brown owned "Twin Oaks," and "Woodfield" was the name of the estate of John Taylor. The Short Hills News Item of July, 1889, published the names of the early permanent inhabitants of the Short Hills development as: "1879 DeRonge, Haswell, Russell, Horton, Root, Pitcher; 1880, Colt and Henry, 1881, Bliss and Dean."

The Short Hills houses were large and many-roomed. Photographs show them to have been furnished in cluttered elegance of the period, with massive furniture, many bibelots and furbelows, the walls covered with paintings, engravings, and family photographs. Today, the thought of the mark involved in the care of such homes is awesome, but large staffs of servants were available, both indoors and out, and it was not unusual for one home to have twenty or more in help. In fact, one lifelong resident of Millburn has told the writer that at least one estate employed forty people. This figure, of course, would include garden and stable help.

The spacious stables and carriage houses contained fine horses, and various types of vehicles which were driven singly, tandem, or four-in-hand.

An on-the-spot description of the spacious homes of that day is contained in a book which a French author, Paul Blouet, wrote after his return to France from a trip to the United States, including a stay in Short Hills. His book, "Jonathan and his Continent, or Rambles Through American Society," was published in 1895. Mr. Blouet, who used the pen name "Michael O'Rell," was a guest of the Bliss family on Knollwood Road. He was feted and entertained and made much of, and his departure was noted with regret in the local paper. While he does not mention Short Hills by name, in his book, his description is intended to cover, generally, fine homes in the vicinity of New York City.

"American houses are furnished very luxuriously and for the most part in excellent taste. Here you see the influence of woman in the smallest details. Decorations are dark, substantial, and artistic. Liberal use of portieres adds greatly to the richness of the effect. On all sides there is pleasure for the eye whether it rests on furnishings, walls, or ceilings. The floors are covered with rich carpets and ceilings are invariably decorated. Reception rooms are on the ground floor. A suite (or such rooms) is based on 3 or 4 rooms divided by portieres. One contains dark furniture and hangings, oil paintings, excellent art treasures, majestic tropical plants ... another in oriental style; another has books and antiquities of all kinds. Another is in the style of the boudoir, all bestrewn with knicknacks, bric-a-brac, water colors, excellent statues, etc., in artistic disorder; parquet floors, well waxed; flowers in every room. When the suite is lighted up, portieres back, the American woman, elegant, witty, adds sparkling life."

Another celebrity who made Short Hills his home for many summers was the redoubtable mayor of New York City, A. Oakey Hall, known as "The Elegant Oakey." His biography, "The Elegant Oakey" by Croswell Bowen, was published last year, and may be obtained at the Millburn Public Library. His home called "Valley View" was off Parsonage Hill road, near Hartshorn drive. A road in that vicinity is now known as "Oakey Road."

Spring must have seen a tremendous amount of activity in and out of Short Hills as people from New York City moved in for the summer, and winter residents moved out to Nantucket, Fisher's Island, Camden, Maine, Cape Cod, Biddleford Pool, and the south shore of Long Island. Some families went to Europe.

Several photographs of one of the Short Hills homes, "Red Stone" owned by William Ingersoll Russell, appear in the Centennial History of Millburn. Mr. Russell, himself, has given us a description of some of the social life lived in Short Hills. In his book, "The Romance and Tragedy of a Widely Known Business man of New York," (published 1905), also in the Millburn Public Library, he writes of his home life here in the days of his prosperity:

"The frequent pleasant little dinner parties of four to six couples had gone through a course of evolution and became functions where two or three times the number sat at the board and struggled through so many courses that one became wearied of sitting still.

"The New Year's reception every New Year's day for many years a reception was held at the Casino. The residents, loaning from their homes rugs, draperies, paintings, statuary, and fine furniture, transformed that large auditorium into an immense drawing room. The green-houses contributed palms and blooming plants in profusion. In the enormous fireplace burned great logs. At one end of the room a long table from which was served, as wanted, all that could be desired by the inner man. The stage, set as a garden scene and rattan furniture, where the men lounged as they had their smoke. Music by a fine orchestra, interspersed with occasional songs by our local talent. The reception was from six until nine, then the rugs were gathered up, the furniture moved from the center of the floor and dancing was enjoyed until midnight."

One of the great social affairs of the 1890's was the party which Mr. Russell gave in his carriage-house. He describes it, also, in his book:

"The invitations engraved in usual notesheet form, had on the upper half of the page a fine engraving of the front of the stable, and beneath in old English 'Come and dance in the barn.' We received our guests in the hall and drawing-room, fragrant with blooming plants. From the rear piazza a carpeted and canvas covered platform extended across the lawn to the carriage-house. The floor there had been covered with canvas for the dancers. Brilliantly illuminated in addition to the permanent decorations, a life-size jockey in bronze bas-relief and numerous coaching pictures, was the mark of the florist. the large orchestra was upstairs surrounding the open carriage trap, which was concealed from below by masses of smilax. The harness room was made attractive with rugs and easy chairs for the cardplayers.

"In the stable each of the six stalls had been converted into a cozy nook where soft light from shaded lamps fell on rugs and draperies ... On each stall post was a massive floral horseshoe. The order of dancing, besides the usual gold-embossed monogram, bore an engraving of a tandem cart with high-stepping horses and driver snapping his long whip. Attached to each was a sterling silver pencil, representing the foreleg of a horse in action, the shoe being of gold. Supper was served in the dining-room from a table decorated in keeping with the event, the centerpiece being a model in sugar of the tandem design on the order of dancing."

A few of the mementoes of this famous "barn dance" including the invitation and dance card, were displayed in the Exhibition Cabinet of the Millburn Bank during the Centennial celebration.

After Red Stone passed out of Mr. Russell's hands, it became "The Red Stone Inn", in 1934 it was burned to the ground in a memorable fire, which is still recalled by many older Millburn citizens.

Much of the beauty of Short Hills today is a tribute to Mr. Hartshorn's foresight. He left undeveloped, strips of land along the railroad right of way, between Hobart avenue and the railroad, and between the railroad and Chatham road, so that people coming into town would not be disturbed by the usual ugliness greeting travellers into a community. "Years later," his daughter, Miss Cora, writes, "When asked why he put those strips there, he said that he had passed by long rows of privies backing on the railroad on his trips to New York and he wanted to make certain that he would not have a raw of them in his village." The little plaza park by the Short Hills Station, laid out by Mr. Hartshorn, was given to the Township by the Hartshorn Estate in 1944 with the stipulation that it be kept open as Mr. Hartshorn had wished.

Mr. Hartshorn is still remembered by many living here today. His great height, his erect walk, his flowing white locks, made him a picturesque sight in his later years around the town, whether walking or driving his horse and carriage. He died on January 12, 1937 in his 97th year, vigorous and active to the end of his days. He had lived to see many of his ideals spread throughout the Township, and all of Millburn change from a manufacturing center to a suburb of homes. He has left behind him many monuments to his generosity and foresightedness, and they will be described later in chronological order in our history. The history of one of the greatest of them, Christ Church, will appear in the history of Millburn Churches to be published later in this series.

THE WYOMING SECTION

The Wyoming section, unlike Short Hills, owes its origin, not to one man, but to a company, the Wyoming Land and Development Co., which foreseeing the advantages of building a town at the junction of two railroads, bought initially, about one hundred acres from the Reeve and Hand families, pioneer settlers. The two railroads were the Morris and Essex, and the shortlived New Jersey West Line Railroad. The latter road, as has been mentioned before, bought considerable right of way through Millburn, built trestles, roadbeds and embankments, but went into bankruptcy before the line could be put into operation.

The New Jersey West Line Railroad came across the Lackawanna tracks and Glen avenue from what would now be the South Mountain road, and then ran into the present Reservations and eventually crossed the Morris Turnpike to Summit. The Wyoming settlement was planned for the heights northeast of the crossing of the two railroads.

In April, 1872, the work of surveying was commenced and in June the first lot was sold. James A. Williamson; Luther Badger, and a Mr. Fickett were officers of the Land Company, and O.H. Pierson was the New York Agent, Mr. Pierson's paper, "The Wyoming Herald" was almost entirely devoted to the sale of land of the Company. In an issue of May 23, 1874, he announced that 23 houses had been built, all occupied, but two, some rented, others sold, and that $10,000, had been spent in making streets, avenues, and a railroad depot, and that five trains each way stopped there daily. It was not long after this announcement that the land company went into bankruptcy and much of its land reverted to its original owners.

In his "Pen and Pencil Sketches along the Delaware, Lackawanna, and Western," J. K. Hoyt writing in 1874, provides a picture of Wyoming's appearance before its present growth. The population is given as 50. Mr. Hoyt says,

"The railroad makes a sweeping curve around the terminal base of first mountain and here the land rolls off toward Springfield and Newark. It is a spot of singular beauty and remarkable advantages for improving, and why it has not been improved sooner it would be hard to tell.

"Wyoming is as nice an incipient city as could be found in New Jersey famous for its wholesale business in new towns. It possesses both plain and the mountain ... and from almost every point .. we can look over the plain and see where other cities are located even as far as Elizabeth and Rahway. If we desire still broader fields of vision we can climb the mountain to Mr. Hand's tower which stands like a sentinel over the town below, and there we have before us a prospect which once seen will never be forgotten. It puts us in mind of the view from Stirling Castle in Scotland.

"The streets of Wyoming are from 60 to 75 feet wide, laid out at right angles, and as the drainage is perfect and the place is well sheltered, there can be no doubt of its salubrity. What it needs are trees which it will have soon, a church and a school, vines and gardens, and then Wyoming will be one of the most picturesque towns to be found anywhere. For the present, church services are held in the station, and the school there through the week..."

A map of 1880 shows streets laid out to be Wyoming avenue, Cypress, Myrtle Cedar, Grand (now Linden), Chestnut, Laurel, and Prospect (now Sagamore road), and only ten buildings are indicated, although Mr. Pierson in his "Wyoming Herald" had stated that 23 houses had been built in 1874. By the 1890 map, Pine street had been added, and the names Emerson, Williamson, Mc Cullum, Denman, Field, Woolsey, Mattison, Cox, Bodwell, Lord, Deering, Badger, Keeney, Gardner, Reeves, Howell, Mor, Hand, Vaughn, Smith, Ludlum, Melvane, Warman, and Davis are shown as house-owners. The names Pirrson and Marshall may be added to this list, as those names appear in the "Millburn Budget" of 1886.

The "Wyoming Herald" was not a newspaper in the true sense of the word, although it used a newspaper format. It was entirely devoted to Mr. 0. H. Pierson's land operations in Wyoming and Chatham. Wyoming had another short-lived publication near the close of the century, which was called the "Wyoming Weakly" and sold for one cent. The spelling of the name is not a typographical error, as its editor states.

"In reply to numerous inquiries this paper is not a weekly, nor is it a too-weakly, it is about a four-weekly."

The "Weakly" was 6 x 9 inches in size, and contained only a few paragraphs of reading material. Its news, mostly limited to citizens' comings and goings, is of interest particularly in giving us the names of some of the residents of the section at that time. Wilever, Kellogg, Williamson, Howard and Schuyler Cady, Ethel Madison (probably Mattison), are listed in the social column. A Book Club was in existence for the paper reports the purchase of "The Christian" by Hall Caine, "The City of Refuge" by Besant, and "The Green Brook" by Jokal, for use by the Book Club.

Wyoming grew slowly. The collapse of the Wyoming Land Co. boom and the consequent trouble; which followed, put an end to the speculation and developments there, although there was after 1874 some steady movement of people into the section. An adequate water supply seems to have been a problem for we read in the "Millburn Budget" of October 27, 1886, that water was being sold in Wyoming for forty-cents a barrel. A few years later a solution was reached, and in the News Item of 1891, the statement appears.

"Wyoming is experiencing a mild boom. A water main has been laid through Wyoming Avenue ... Nearly all of the house owners have engaged to take the water. There is no speculation but the village is making a strong, healthy growth."

Because of the comparatively small size of the lots laid out for the section, Wyoming never attracted the wealthy New Yorkers who went to Short Hills, but the people who did build there, while not extremely wealthy, can best be described by a word much in favor in that bygone Victorian age, "genteel". They were gentle, wellbred people, solid citizens, who enjoyed a compact, close-knit social life centering around their literary societies, musicales, and amateur dramatic entertainments. In fact, they were probably as much the epitome of the Victorian era as any group to be found anywhere.

An Athletic Association was started in 1886, a Baseball Club was organized at about the same time, and a sport referred to as "glass ball shooting" was enjoyed. Advertisements of property for sale a Wyoming speak particularly of the healthgiving properties of the air, and emphasis is laid on its advantages in all cases of throat trouble.

One might be entitled to presume that an influx of ill people would have invaded the locality as a result of such advertising, but the vital statistics continue to remain constant, so we must conclude that the people to whom the advertising was addressed either recovered their health immediately on entering Wyoming, or were not sufficiently impressed by the advertisements to leave their city homes, for the mountain air of northeastern Millburn.

A meeting of the Wyoming Literary and Social Society was reported in the Millburn Budget (1886) as follows:

"The meeting of the Wyoming Literary and Social Society at Mrs. Bodwell's on Tuesday was one of the most enjoyable yet held. Mrs. Melvain had written to the author Frank Stockton to the effect that he was to be dissected by the learned society and had received from him a letter and sketch of his life which she read. Selections were read by Mrs. Emerson and Mr. Young. Miss Laura Smith gave a piano recital and Mrs. Young played both the violin and piano. Songs were beautifully rendered by Miss Minnie Smith and Mr. Field. The next meeting will be held at the home of Mrs. Marshall. The subject is Oliver Wendall Holmes."

The lives of Wyoming people evidently did not lend themselves to spectacular headlines for news is meagre. one of the events of 1886 which made the headlines was a strike carpenters employed by H.D. Gould & Son, Builders. None of the carpenters reported for work the morning after the strike was called, but a few days later the strike was settled in favor of the men's demand for a 9-hour day, Monday to Friday, and an 8-hour day on Saturday with 10 hours pay on Saturdays. Before the strike they had worked ten hours a day six days a week.

Mr. Reeves' house was struck by lightning and the church bell was rung to call out all residents to assist him. Wyoming held its own Fourth of July celebration with fireworks each year. Some Wyoming residents attended St. Stephen's Church in Millburn center, but most belonged to the Wyoming Presbyterian Church organized in 1874 in the Railroad Station, with the Rev. Brown Emerson who had come to New Jersey from New England also acted as ticket agent on week-days. Trains did not run on Sunday. The Congregation moved into its own buildings in 1883, and the present church building was completed in 1932.

When the Rev. Thomas Haywood took over the pastorate in 1886, after a ten-year interim in which there was no resident pastor, he was described as "an earnest worker in the cause of temperance and religion." In fact, his work in the Temperance Movement seems to have been particularly pleasing to his parishioners as it is stressed in referring to him.

There are still on the active rolls of the church, descendants of many of the families instrumental in forming the church. one of the oldest communicants, Mrs. Frederick Stoneall, joined on March 1, 1888. She is the granddaughter of the first minister, Rev. Brown Emerson.

Like the White Oak Ridge Section, the Wyoming Section, although legally a part of Millburn Township, lived most of its 19th century life separately. Part of this isolation was, no doubt, due to transportation. It was a long walk to Millburn center, and although it was common to travel by train from Wyoming to Millburn, many depended on horse and carriage. Shopping for food and other needs seems to have been done in Millburn as advertisements mention that "all necessities of daily living may be purchased a short distance away in Millburn Village." The fruit and vegetable peddler drove his wagon through the streets supplying fresh produce. Eventually, McCollum's store commenced delivering to homes, and other stores followed the custom afterward.

Many children, when they reached the higher grades, went to school in Maplewood or South Orange, as the schools there were considered superior scholastically to Millburn schools. Some of the young girls attended the Baquet Institute in Short Hills, and some boys also went to the boys' private school in Short Hills. Many of the little ones attended the private kindergarten at Miss Bodwell's house on Chestnut street.

A few school classes were held in the railroad station according to Mr. Hoyt and other writers, but no definite information has been found about them.

The first public school was opened in May 1895, at 119 Cypress street, now the home of 'Cellist Maurice Eisenberg, and about 1910 a new building was completed on the present school site.

By 1894, 38 trains, 19 each way, were stopping at Wyoming daily, with commuters to the cities forming the bulk of the passengers.

The Wyoming section has always received a unique loyalty from its residents. Many older citizens or their descendants have remained there to the present day, as a matter of choice, and feel a particular pride in being residents of the land on the mountain slope. It is akin to the feeling for a section of town evoked by the older "Ridge" people on White Oak Ridge, even though roots in the latter place go down much deeper by reason of the many years of settlement behind them.

One family in the Wyoming section may, perhaps, hold the record for continuous living in the original homestead. Young Phillips Marshall, son of Mr. and Mrs. Herbert Marshall, Jr., is the fifth generation to live in the Marshall home on Chestnut street. The house was built by his great-great grandfather, James A. Williamson, and is one of the six square-towered houses built by the Land Company. A picture of it appears in the Centennial History. The house was occupied by Mr. Williamson's son, then by his granddaughter, Mrs. Herbert Marshall, Sr. and now by the Junior Marshall family. It would be interesting to know what other house in Millburn Township has achieved such a record.

Although Wyoming was only loosely joined to Millburn Township until the 20th century, and still receives its mail through Maplewood, and its telephone service through the South Orange exchange, it has always firmly supported Millburn's community enterprises, and many of its citizens have served long terms on the governing boards and commissions of the Township. The first civic association-the Wyoming Civic Association-was formed there in 1907 and formed a model for other associations founded in other sections in later years. The Wyoming Field Club, now the Wyoming Club, founded in 1922, is, next to the Short Hills Club, the oldest of its type in the Township. Its history will be gone into more fully in a later chapter on Clubs and Organizations of the Township.