THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY IN HUDSON COUNTY

                    





              SITES ALONG THE LINCOLN HIGHWAY IN HUDSON COUNTY


This is the start of the Lincoln Highway at Pershing Road in Weehawken New Jersey. In 1913, the West Shore Railroad operated a ferry from 42nd Street to this place once known as Clifton Road, now Pershing Road. This route for the Highway remained until 1927 when the Holland Tunnel opened. The New Jersey LegIslature modified the route of the Lincoln Highway from the Holland Tunnel through Jersey City Streets, Broadway, Hoboken Avenue, Tonnele Avenue, Van Winkle Avenue, until eventually reaching newly designated Routes 1 & 9. Routes 1& 9 eventually joined the original route of the Highway at Communipauw Ave., once called the Essex Hudson Plank Road at the South West corner of County Park #1(now Lincoln Park) to continue West. The highway continues on a bridge over the Hackensack River. The bridge was once called the Lincoln Highway Bridge but was renamed the Carson-Nguyen Bridge after two Jersey City Police Officer who died there in an accident. This bridge is North from the original Lincoln Highway bridge which also held trolley traffic to Newark. And this bridge replaced a ferry in operation from Colonial times. This ferry was adjacent to a lock for the Morris Canal from 1836 when the Canal entered Jersey City. Remnants of the lock and some trolley tracks can be seen from the closed access road under the current bridge.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 Pershing Road and JFK Blvd. East, Charrito’s Restaurant.  The site has been a place for food and drinks since it was built in 1895. The Highway crosses Blvd. East going West on 49th Street toward Kennedy Blvd., but if you made a right turn at this intersection and go a few blocks, you will arrive at the Alexander Hamilton – Aaron Burr duel site.

 

 

 

The Lincoln Highway (Kennedy Blvd.) at 48th Street where the Highway turns to the South. The Grove Street Church Cemetery in the background has been operational since 1847. The congregation does Missionary work in Mexico.

 

 

Just to the North of the Grove Street Church Cemetery (above), on Kennedy Blvd. but not on the Lincoln Highway, are  the Flower Hill, Hoboken, and Macpelah Cemeteries one behind the other. Flower Hill is the final resting place of two recipients of the Medal of Honor, Frank J. Bart from World War I and Decatur Dorsey of the 39th US Colored Troops in the Civil War. The Flower Hill cemetery is the site of the mass grave of the victims of the Hoboken pier fire of 1900. Many were crew members who had no family here to bury them or who could help in identification of the charred bodies. Most were trapped aboard the North German Lloyd ocean liners Main, Saale, and Bremen, whose coal boilers were cold and thus could not power up the steam engines to move the ships away from the burning docks. The small portholes made escape impossible for the trapped people on the steamships. The size of portholes was made larger by regulation afterwards just as the required number of lifeboats based on passenger total was mandatory after the Titanic disaster.


 

The Lincoln High Way ( Kennedy Blvd.) at 43rd to approx. 39th Street, Garden State Crematory, from 1907, is situated in front of Weehawken Cemetery. The Weehawken cemetery is the final resting site of another Medal of Honor recipient, Albert Wadas, originally Albert Vadas, who received his Medal while a member of the US Navy during the Spanish American War. The Crematory also contains a chapel for Hindu ceremonies before cremation.Geographically, Hudson County has the highest concentration of recipients of the Medal of Honor, 18.  

 

 

 

Bergen Crest Mausoleum on this site since 1917 just after the Lincoln Highway. One wonders at the concentration of sites connected with the funeral business along this section of the Lincoln Highway.

 

 


Here is the Spiegel Restaurant and Tavern located at 34th Street and Kennedy Blvd.owned by Michael Spiegel from 1918 to the mid 1920s. Notice the address in the widow as "The Lincoln Highway".

 

 

  

32nd Street, on the East, Kennedy Center, currently an indoor mall, formerly a Sears Roebuck facility, site of War Bond drives during WWII. These Bond Drives featured speeches by local political leaders and veterans on leave for that purpose accompanied occasionally by a flat bed trailer bearing the wreckage of an enemy plane. People attending the Bond drive were allowed to cut pieces of the aluminum fuselage.

 

 

 

 

 Schuetzen Park since 1874, the location of German Athletic and target shooting Clubs. It is currently a catering hall and restaurant.  The Fritz Reuter Altenheim is an assisted living facility originally supported by Scheutzen Park. Naturally, the name means “Shooting” and  there is a small caliber rifle range behind the Senator Lounge. Each August, usually on the third weekend, there is a festival featuring German food, beverages, music, and entertainment. The entertainment includes going to the rifle range to test your marksmanship and, yes, you can keep your perforated target paper to show your friends.

  

 

 

 

 9th Street & Paterson Plank Road cross the Lincoln Highway. Patterson Plank Road was a Native American/Colonial era road from the Hudson River to Patterson NJ. The name indicates that the surface of the road was covered by wooden planks in certain areas as it crossed the swampy area near the Hackensack River between the communities. Later it was paved and in the late 19th and early 20th century, it carried trolley and bus traffic until the bridge over the Hackensack River was destroyed in 1930. The bridge was never replaced, State Route 3 providing a better way across the river.

 

 

  

On the Highway (Kennedy Blvd.) between Manhattan Ave. and Hutton Street, is Leonard Gordon Park named after the Jersey City physician and library pioneer. Marble cement buffalo and bear sculptures are by Solon Borglum brother of Gutzon Borglum of Mount Rushmore fame.  There is also a World War I Memorial statue of a “Doughboy” dedicated to the citizen warriors from the Hudson City area, and a granite memorial from the Raymond Sipnick Post #177 of the Jewish War Veterans.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

The Lincoln Highway (Kennedy Blvd.) at State Route 139. Local streets through Jersey City became part of the Lincoln Highway when the ferry from 42nd Street to Weehawken was discontinued and replaced by the Holland Tunnel in lower Manhattan. The original section of the Highway from Weehawken to this point was replaced by these local streets by the State legislature leaving the Holland Tunnel to get to the new Routes 1&9. These local streets were replaced in turn by Route 139. There is the elevated portion of Route 139, the lower portion is beneath it and adjacent to an abandoned Erie railroad line called the Bergen Arches. Both the elevated and the lower section of Route 139 meet Routes 1&9 about one half mile to the West. Thus the entire section of the Highway, both North and South of this intersection, were no longer called part of the Lincoln Highway.  However, Hudson County has marked the original route through the County and that is what we are documenting here.

 

The Lincoln Highway (Kennedy Blvd.). and Van Winkle Ave.on the West, St John the Baptist Church, interior mostly mosaic, There are only two churches in the Country with more mosaics, the National Cathedral in Washington DC and the cathedral in St. Louis. Built in 1892, this Church was here before both the Hudson (now Kennedy) Blvd was constructed (1894) and the Lincoln Highway (1913) were named. The street on the East side of the Church, Brook Place, was part of Van Winkle Ave. two-way here but one-way to the East, was part of the Highway after the Holland Tunnel opened and the State designated the new route.

 



The Lincoln Highway (Kennedy Blvd.) and Newark Ave., on the West is an enclave called Little India because of its predominant ethnic population and restaurants. Newark Ave. is another Native American/Colonial Road from the Hudson River to Newark. This was the road used by the Marquis de Lafayette in 1824 to travel to Newark on his Farewell Tour. One block to the East at an intersection known as “Five Corners”; the citizens of the area, then called Bergen, stopped Lafayette’s entourage then en route to Newark to present him with a gold tipped cane for his service to the Country in the Revolution.The cane supposedly was made from the wood of an apple tree under which he and General George Washington dined while discussing tactics and strategy for the Revolution. The Marquise was wounded in the leg at the battle of Brandywine Creek in Pennsylvania, a losing effort for the American Army..  

 

The Stanley Theater, on the Highway between Van Reipen and Pavonia,Aves. is now Kingdom Hall of the Jehova's Witnesses. Opened in 1928, its 4300 seating capacity was just below that of the Radio City Music Hall. It has a chandelier from the old Waldorf Astoria Hotel in NYC. While seated in the theater it appeared you were on the Rialto Bridge in Venice while clouds drifted by above while stars twinkled.






Statue of Jackie Robinson who broke the color line in Major League baseball.He played for the Montreal Royals, the AAA farm team of the Brooklyn (now LA) Dodgers and on April 15, 1947 appeared at Ebetts Field. The sculpture is by Susan Wagner whose work appears in Cooperstown NY and Newark NJ for baseball, the Vatican for Pope John Paul II, and others in her native Pittsburgh. Notice the first baseman's glove; his career was mostly at second base.  


 

The Lincoln Highway (Kennedy Blvd) passes the Loew’s Landmark theater, 1929. Built at what was then the impressive sum of $2 million dollars, the Loew’s was accurately called as “the most lavish temple of entertainment in New Jersey”. It was also one of the state’s biggest theaters, with just under 3,100 seats. And the Loew’s was also one of the best equipped theaters of its day. It was fitted with an arbor and metal cable counter-weight rigging system in its 80 foot high rigging loft, the same kind of system still in use in Broadway’s older houses. The stage lighting equipment was state of the art for 1929, having ten pre-sets. The Theater’s stage was large for its day, measuring an average 35 feet deep by 82 feet wide, with a proscenium opening of an amazingly wide 50 feet. The orchestra pit included a main elevator plus a second one dedicated exclusively to the Wonder Morton Theater organ. Overall, the pit was large enough for 40 musicians. The Loew’s backstage area included ten dressing rooms and a large rehearsal space. And of course, there was the projection booth, originally equipped with VitaPhone sound-on-disk projectors -- the first commercially successful “talking picture” equipment.


 

 

Apartment buildings, The Summit and the Sevilla at two corners of the original Lincoln Highway at Sip Avenue are examples of early 20th century luxury housing. Decorative, themed exteriors, large living room styled lobbies, multi-level apartments, dedicated telephone switchboards for residents were some amenities.

     

 

 St. Peters University straddles the Lincoln Highway, it was established in 1872 in Jersey City but here on this site  since 1942. It is the Jesuit University of New Jersey 

 

 

 2600 JFK Blvd., Most prestigious address in Jersey City in the 1920-1950 era, the triplex residence  of Mayor Frank Hague, long time Mayor of Jersey City (32 years) and influential State and National Democrat politician.

 


 Fairmount Residence, the entire block on the Lincoln Highway from Fairmount to Duncan Aves., it opened in 1912 as a Residence Hotel, Once owned and operated by Religious and Civil Rights leader Father Divine, it was another example of luxury apartment living.





St. Dominic Academy, founded in 1878 as an all girls school, moved into the building built for the Carteret Club in 1916. The Club’s paneled bar is now the Chapel.

 

Boyd-McGuinness Park – named after soldiers from the neighborhood killed during WWII, it was recently expanded to include facilities for children in addition to passive activity for seniors in the adjacent building.

 The plaque on the monument inside the fence lists the names of the three servicemen from the neighborhood who lost their lives during World War II -- Robert and Walter Boyd and Joseph McGuiness.

Robert and Walter Boyd were brothers from a family of five sons. During the war two of their other brothers also served overseas - Gregory and Tom. All five of the brothers attended St. Aloysius Grammar and High School. Walter, the youngest, enlisted in the service as soon as he turned 18, a few months before he was supposed to graduate from high school.

Toward the end of the war, Rose and Joe Boyd received word that their son Robert had been shot down and was missing in action. His body was never found. A few months later they got the word that their youngest son, Walter, who was also serving overseas, had died in an accident.

After the war was over, an American Legion Post was established to honor the Boyd brothers and their neighborhood buddy, Joe McGuiness. Somehow they got the administration of Jersey City to set aside the parcel of land on the corner of Duncan Avenue and Kennedy Boulevard for the memorial park to honor the fallen heroes from the neighborhood. This past October, on a cold, windy, rainy Saturday, over 50 members of the Boyd family came from all over the Eastern Seaboard to rededicate the park.

One of the surviving brothers, Gregory Boyd, the twin brother of Robert, was at the rededication. At 87 he was frail and not in the best of health. Two and a half months later, in January 2010, Gregory passed away. The last of the five brothers, the oldest in the family, Joe Boyd, was unable to fly from his home in California for the family gathering in October. He died earlier this month at the age of 93.

They are all gone now, but thanks to the determination of the veterans from the Boyd-McGuiness Post and the cooperation of Jersey City officials, the monument in the park will remain to remind future generations of three Jersey City heroes.

BARBARA BOYD GRIFFIN
HEAD OF SCHOOL
ST. DOMINIC ACADEMY JERSEY CITY






Turning Westward into Lincoln Park, the monument “Mystic Lincoln” by James Earle Frazier of the Buffalo nickel fame. Indicates the spot where the Lincoln Highway turns West. Dedicated in 1930 with Civil War veterans in attendance. The statue is visible just to the left of the tree on the right and the Lincoln Highway sign.

 


Civil War Soldier originally scheduled for display at Journal Square, it was a gift of James Connolly who served in the 5th NJ. Notice this statue is of a Sergeant carrying his weapon striding forward to a combat situation. Most statues of soldiers are of Generals and occasionally other officers, but seldom enlisted men unless it is a group.




The Farrier Monument from 1931, from the bequest of Police Chief Fredrick Farrier and one of five brothers who saw service in various units in the Civil War. His brother Henry Farrier who was Chief of the Department for 20 years, lost his life in an explosion and fire in 1891.


 

Fountain by Pierre Cherron 1911, at 53 feet, it is the tallest concrete fountain in the world. The iron reenforceing rod in it have corroded and allowed sections of the monument to crumble. The original sections will be duplicated and will be erected using plastic coated reenforcing rods. It has been laser mapped and an exact duplicate will be made. A new water basin using filtered water will be added.


Celtic Cross monument commemorating the many Irish immigrants who came here during the Famine years of the 1840 time frame Erected by the Friendly Sons of St. Patrick of Hudson County in 1910, their request to place it in Liberty State Park across from Ellis Island was turned down. 



Here is the exit from Lincoln Park on to Communipauw Ave. at Route 440. Communipauw Ave. was once an Indian Trail. Then it was called the Essex-Hudson Road with a private ferry where the road crossed the Hackensack River. Then it became the Lincoln Highway. Now it is Truck Routes 1&9. The same location at the river was the site of a lock of the Morris Canal.



Here is the last visible address on the Lincoln Highway in Kearny in Hudson County. The Company manufactures plastic film for wrapping. They often receive mail and packages meant for Lincoln Street but do not want to make any changes to their address. 


This is the last street sign in Hudson County reading "Lincoln Hwy". It is on the North Side of the bridge over the Passaic River where it intersects with Jacobus Ave. The Bridge was built in 1935 and traffic was re-routed over it.Turn offs and approaches for it were constructed leaving the short street of truck washers and repair facilities off to the side on the Highway. The Highway then continued to cross the Passaic River on the previous bridge to meet Raymond Blvd. in Newark.  

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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