Tuesday, May 31, 2011

1959 8th Grade Promotion Exercises

A Spring, 1959 photo of two students in the 1959 8th grade class: Seth McQuillan and Judy Delph (photo courtesy of Seth McQuillan)
Stockton School appears to have been only Kindergarten to 6th grade from its opening in 1905 until 1958, but after Stockton School West was built next to The Oval in 1958, 7th and 8th grades were added for the 1958/59 school year (the 8th graders had been at Columbian School for their 7th grade year). In 1959/60 the 8th grade was back at Columbian and Stockton became K to 7th. So the 8th grade graduation/promotion exercise was the first (and maybe only) of its kind at Stockton.
 

W. (William) George Hayward had been principal 1952 to 1955. Paul (Paul Alfred) Shelly was principal from 1955-60. Rev. Clark Van Auken was the minister for Park Avenue Methodist Church at the corner of Park Ave. and Grove St. (promotion exercises documents courtesy of Seth McQuillan, a member of the 1959 class)

Above:1959 graduation photo (right and left sides of original) above courtesy of Mary Keogh, a member of the class
Below: the two halves stitched back together using software ("stitching" courtesy of George Morgan)
1st row: Janice Korten, Mary Ann Griesinger, Maxine Gilchrist, Melinda Rudzinski, Lorraine Tate, Patricia LaBrew, Sheila Alston, ? , Betty Dunston, Sandra Grief,  Roberta Smith, Carole Sullivan, Judith Delph, Mary Keogh, Patricia Burke, Jean Anderson, Emma Bindi, Anna Janulis, Sandra Thomas, Claudine Cummings, Joyce Hines, Carol Nixon, Francine Watson;
2nd row: ?, Stephen Ferguson, Edward Johnson, Lawrence Davis, Donald Critchett, Peter Cino, Richard Reaves, James Pendorf, Frank Pendorf, George Alger, Seth McQuillan, Salvatore Meola, Michael Ehert, Steve Lowry, Gabriel Petrocelli, William Hoffman, Oreste Avallone (Orey), David Delph, William Abele; 
3rd row: Anthony Badalamenti, Kenneth Ruth, Alex Nastasi, Robert ?, Douglas Herig, Robert Gibson, Steve Polychrony, William Gerulsky, James Stark, ? , Thomas Parciak, Paul Pearsall, Luke Byrne, James Dowling

Photo identifications will be added or corrected as new information is received

As many as 15 students of the 73 names that appear on the promotion list are not in the above photo. A retyping of the 1959 list appears below.

1951 Stockton Annex

 A 1946 report showed that the Stockton student population had remained steady at between 390 and 450 for 20 years,* but officials knew the baby boom was coming and plans were made for adding on to the school. One plan even suggested closing Greenwood Avenue from Grove Place to 19th Street to tie the school directly to The Oval playground (and possibly include a branch of the public library). In January 1951, the annex opened and housed kindergarten, 1st and 2nd grade classrooms along with a library and an auditorium. The old auditorium had been on the 3rd floor of the 1905 building and was converted into a gymnasium. (the boys' and girls' gym(s) had been in the basement)

*Reports between 1905 and 1922 show Stockton having as many as 650 students enrolled at times.
 
The hexagonal shape of the classrooms was considered revolutionary at the time. Acting like a bay window, the shape of the room and the glass blocks above the windows brought in much more natural light and the room shape also allowed flexibility in the arrangement of desks, tables and other classroom furniture. The architect for the project was Emil A Schmidlin,* an East Orange resident;   Dr. Henry E Kentopp, superintendent of schools, coordinated the planning process. 

Above photo From Progressive Architecture February 1953

Mr. Emil Schmidlin (1907-1988), who supervised an architecture firm in East Orange, N.J., for more than 50 years, designed many of the first garden apartments and split-level homes in New Jersey, as well as schools and public and commercial buildings throughout the United States. The Swiss-born architect also designed several futuristic model homes, including a 1949 Pacesetter house in Orange, N.J., with a climate-control system and underground wiring to melt snow, and the Formica house for the 1964 New York World's Fair. (from his NY Times obituary)

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Beginnings of The Oval Playground

In 1907 East Orange decided to purchase the land for the playground known as The Oval. At that time, the property (the land was part of the Aaron Peck estate) was already an athletic field called the "Orange Oval" and had been used by the Orange Athletic Club (the Club was referred to as "now defunct" in the City's 1907 playground planning documents) and others since about 1887 for football, baseball, bicycle races, and other sports. Formally named the "East Orange Playground," during its lifetime it's also been referred to as The Oval, The Orange Oval, The East Orange Oval, and The Grove Street Oval. The planners moved quickly, and the playground was dedicated on September 7, 1908.











Photo 1: Grandstand (seating capacity, 1800); Photo 2: Dedication Day (Sept 7, 1908) as seen from the Grove St Lackawanna Station; Photo 3: Dedication Day ball game between the State Senate and General Assembly, view from the Grandstand looking toward Greenwood Ave; Photo 4:  Dedication Day view of The Grandstand; Photo 5: Tennis courts as seen from the Grove Place entrance looking toward Grove Street. (photos are from 1908 and 1909 Annual Reports of the East Orange Board of Playgrounds Commissioners which are available at books.google .com)


Above: the Grove Place entrance

Above photo: From the magazine Suburban Life, July 1912; view is looking toward the Grove Place entrance with grandstand just out of photo to the left




Above in the background: there was a carpentry business adjacent to The Oval behind the houses along Greenwood Avenue




               Above: looking SE toward Eaton Place; Grove Street Lackawanna Station is in background

               Below: SW corner of playground; building in background on left is probably Congregational                                               Church at Main Street and Grove Street.


                             Above and below: more photos (looking NW) of the SW corner of playground

               
        Below: the eastern side (behind the buildings along Greenwood Avenue) of the playground, the girls'                                                                    gymnasium area




Above: looking east toward the Greenwood Avenue/Eaton Place intersection




Above: 1910 Labor Day celebration

Friday, May 27, 2011

Neighborhood Kids and Stockton Students, 1950's

Circa 1953: Left to right: Gerald Kamowski, Yvonne Klika, Jeff Smith, Jimmy Klika, small boy (name unknown; well, not remembered); the Klikas were our next door neighbors and moved to Belleville and then to Bloomfield in the 1950's

Above: John Tenney, circa 1958;
John lived on 15th or 16th St
between William St and Eaton Place
                                                           Below: Martha Vanderhoof



Left, circa 1951, Jeff Smith and Mark Lewis, backyard of 141 William Street. In the early 1950's, the Lewis family, Stan, Phyllis, and children Mark and Margie, moved to Caldwell and then to Mendham (Ironia Road).

The Draney family, Kenneth, Margaret, and son Bobby, then moved into that home. Robert Draney was a 1961 graduate of East Orange High.



Left, circa 1951, Jeff Smith and Cocker Spaniel named Blackie, back steps of 145 William St.


Some other neighborhood kids and Stockton students remembered from the 1950's but without blog photos: Nancy Ferrer (moved to Chatham and then Tommy and Carl Aiken's family moved into that William St house), Stevie Trask, Janice Harris, Yvonne Patterson, John Walker, Tommy Cosgrove (moved to Nutley about 1959), Don Orne, Johnny Rich and Maureen Rich (brother and sister who moved away in late 1950's, possibly to FL), Roger Young and Robin Young, twin brothers who lived on Vernon Terrace, Frank Wallenstein, Johnny Petrocelli, Warren Davis, John Lapoint, Chuckie Titus, Oscar McBride, Martha Vanderhoof (moved to Livingston about 1959). The 1965 EOHS yearbook is available on the East Orange Public Library site with senior photos of above students Janice Harris, Yvonne Patterson, Warren Davis, and Carl Aiken plus senior photos of students whose childhood photos appear in other posts on this blog including Sandra Ruffin, Pat Quinn, Robert Cunliffe, Tommy Aiken, and Alison Bedkowski.