MANVILLE GARDENS LAND PLOT ORIGINAL PLAN (1917) • CLICK TO ENLARGE
I have such a soft spot for maps. When historical Manville ones show up I really get siked. A good friend of mine named Jessica Bodo recently bought a house in town. Being a fellow Manville history buff, she started to obsessively explore the history of her property. Her searches have turned up many VERY interesting pieces of info. She discovered that when she got back far enough in time, most of the property in Manville’s “Weston” section was actually owned by one family… The Veghte family. She also found the above map, drafted in 1917 and filed in 1919, it maps out the newly established plots of land to be developed. These two pieces of information coupled with the Hillsborough 1860 farm map was a real slam dunk in terms of concrete information. After viewing the 1860 farm map, combined with this Manville Gardens map we could see that the property line of the Veghtes exactly matched the shape of this newly envisioned Manville Gardens section
I did slightly rotate the Manville Gradens map, but you can see right down to Abraham Veghte’s house (the red arrow)… it’s a perfect match geographically., with Royce Brook backing the property. This was quite an entertaining realization, and proof that Manville Gardens (or Weston) IS Abraham Veghtes farm (and another smaller piece of property in the bottom left , to which I could not read the name of the original owner). As far as my friend Jess has discovered Abraham Veghte died in 1886, and his Wife Anne (formerly a Vannnest) in 1897. The land was handed down to the Veghte’s children… it’s a bit of a mystery on why they decided to sell it.
If you look at the Manville Gardens map (at the top) between the streets then known as Jackson and Schwartz Terrace, between First Street and Raritan, you will see what appears to be the farm plot, which was eventually chopped in half when they extended Harrison Street all the way through to Raritan Ave. Just for kicks I decided to superimpose a modern street map over the old map.
MODERN STREET MAP SUPERIMPOSED OVER THE OLD MAP • CLICK TO ENLARGE
Even though not TOO much has changed in terms of the layout of the streets, I did notice a lot of the street names have since been changed to commemorate some of the great folks that helped perpetuate Manville’s existence as a town. For instance Jasinski Ave, named for our great first police chief was formerly called Beekman Ave. Persinko Ave, named after the family of another man on the police force Lt. Andrew Persinko was formerly named Fourth Ave. Sidorski Ave was formerly known as Schwartz Terrace. Ruth place however, was just always called Ruth place. Weird. Another interesting thing about this map, is that it has a road crossing over the railroad tracks that’s called “Road from Roycefield to Millstone Road.” I’ve mentioned before on this blog that I believe that an old road called Weston Road ran further east of JFK Blvd., which clearly did not exist during that time of this map. You can see a little kink in Kennedy on the modern map where they eventually rerouted the old road. There are 3 streets on the old map called Fifth Ave, Sixth Ave. and Forest that apparently never came to fruition. Nowadays the area where Forest Ave should be is literally just… forrest. It looks like the Reading Railroad owned the area which now houses the end of Dominic St. and Richard Ave. This property was formerly owned by another farmer named Joseph Christopher.
Along her historical searches my friend Jess also noted that at some point on The Veghte farm a young man accidentally shot his sister to death with a shotgun… anyone out there have any insight on this?
This was a pretty heavy post so thanks for hanging on… as always if anyone has additional information please let me know or leave some comments!.