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Newark's Cumming > Morton High Street brewery

(Above) The High Street "stone" brewery around 1900, soon to be razed.


"The brewery covers more than an acre of ground and with the present facilities this firm brews about 45,000 barrels of the best ale that is made in this country every twelve months."

-- The History of Essex and Hudson Counties, Wm. Shaw 1884

Advertisement for the sale of the Cummings Brewery from the Albany Evening Journal, Aug. 1831.

It is possible that Peter Ballantine might have seen this ad, since he was working in Albany NY breweries at the time. 

The brewery would be bought by Englishman Thomas Morton, a former Whitbread & Co. brewer, who had previously established breweries in New York City and New Jersey.  He would run it for several years and then lease it to Thain and Collins.

"High Street" Brewery Chronology (approx.)

1805-1831   "General" John Cumming

1831-1838   Thomas Morton

1838-1840   Thain & Collins

1840-1845   Patterson & Ballantine

1845-1850   Peter Ballantine

1850-1885   Morton & Brother(s)

1885-189_   Morton Brewing Co.
 (Wilkins, et al.)

The "140 bushels of malt" noted in the sale ad (left) would suggest a brewing capacity of 45-70 barrels at a time (depending on the strength of the ale).  In 1848, Ballantine's yearly production from this brewery was 11,000 bbl.

After Peter Ballantine built his malt house and new ale brewery between the Passaic River and Front Street (1847-48) the company moved out of the leased "High Street" brewery.

In 1850, the sons of Thomas Morton (who died in 1847),  Thomas, Jr., Robert and John, began running the brewery as the Morton & Brother(s) Brewing Company.

By the 1870's Morton &  Brother were among the largest brewers in Newark, with the following sales:

 1875 16,000
 1877 21,369
 1878 20,397
 1879 18,851
 1884 45,000

After the death of Thomas Morton, the surviving brother Robert and his brothers' widows leased the brewery to 3 partners.  Henry Wilkins, Frederick Fincken and Emil Gauze would run the firm as "Morton Brewing Co." from 1885 to the early 1890's.  The widow landlords would sue their tenants over a sewer problem in 1891.