Manville News, December 26th, 1941

BANNER-12-26-14Ok folks. Here is a digital version of the old Manville News. This one is great for several reasons. First of all, I have been eager to get to this one since it contains a train wreck in the Manville train yard… which is also known as Port Monmouth Junction (for all you fellow train nerds). Growing up over on Angle Ave. in lost valley, right across from the tracks, I had always heard about this one… it spilled tar everywhere.

Another reason this issue is great is that it concludes the entire year of 1941… so I get to feel like I actually accomplished something. In reality I’m only about a third or so through the stack. Still, it somewhat feels like a milestone.

One more reason this is great, is that it features a little blurb about Chester Trojanowski. Father of Tommy from the Chester House bar. The bar was named after Chester ala it’s name “The Chester House”

Allegedly he was quite a roller skater, and was performing in town in the following week. You can view and download the Issue via the following link. manville-news-12-26-1941-ocr


The “Old 1623” Johns-Manville plant switch engine

jm train crew niceThe Old 1623 • Click Photo to Enlarge

This post is for all my fellow train lovers and railfans. This photo is from the collection of Neal Ranauro, and was reprinted in The Manville News for the Manville’s 50th anniversary celebration issue. As stated in the above caption this photo was taken back in 1938 by Ranauro and features the John’s Manville work train and crew. Affectionately known about town as “the old 1623” this work horse and it’s crew manned the 12 miles of track within the JM yard moving the 1200 or so different types of products to the appropriate lines to be moved out across the country. This is a great and iconic photo. Another great one from Neal Ranauro… that guy was the best.

Just for good measure here is one more shot of “The Old 1623” about to take flight. She truly is handsome.


Manville News, December 5th, 1941

banner-12-5-1941Hey everyone. Since I’m on fire with the posts lately I figured I would scan another issue of the old Manville News. I know a lot of you just want to see photos, but these newspaper issues are literally not available anywhere else and are a valuable resource. Also, it’s been a long, long time since I posted one. This one is from December 5th, 1941. You can download this issue by clicking the following link… Manville News 12-05-41 OCR

If you are new to this blog… a while back I aquired some 1941-1943 issues of this old local weekly paper and have already scanned and posted like 26 issues. You can get the older issues under the “Newspaper Archive” category on the right side of the blog or by clicking HERE. You can download each issue and they are scanned with text recognition so you can search the PDFs for names and the like. They have some great old advertising too! Anyway. There are more photos coming soon I promise!

Wilbur Smith and the Van Nest Mill

IMG_1292Click Photo to Enlarge

I have already posted a couple of articles on here about Van Nest’s Mill, and it’s tragic collapse into the MIllstone river. You can see the most comprehensive post HERE. But I just wanted to share this great photo from a 1982 newspaper article. Everyone seems to remember Wilbur Smith, but I don’t think I had ever seen a photo of him until I found this article. I just thought this was a pretty great shot.

Evans Field / Manville Yellow Jackets

Evans Field (1953) • Click to Enlarge

The fact that Manville had a tremendously talented semipro football team was totally unbeknownst to me until I started turning over the stones of Manville’s history. No one that I can remember in my years as a young boy growing up in Manville ever spoke of it. Not the teachers, the gym teachers, the history teachers, not even the many sports organizations I was involved with as a very young man. We even have a street named after the old sports field, where so many great memories and histories were achieved. Still the term Evans Field, literally meant nothing to me all my life. I find this to be slightly discouraging. I guess we can chalk it up to a young town not valuing it’s historical assets.

Evans Field was located right off Main Street between the Royce Brook and Fucillo Street, behind the current Steve’s Tire. As you can see on the 1953 map above from, the current Manville street “Evans Drive” runs basically straight through what used to be the old Evans Field… the old practice site of the Manville Yellow Jacktes from the 1920’s to sometime in the 50’s. Gary Carmon sent in this great team photo and the accompanying caption…

Started in 1928 when a group of JM workers began playing Raritan and Bound Brook teams. They also played up in the coal mining towns of PA, where many Manville residents originated. The home games were played at Evans Field, currently where Evans Dr is near Weston school. I believe they played up until sometime in the 40’s.

This picture shows the 1930 champs –

Left to right, front row sitting: Andy Batcho, Mickey Repka, Ralph Stanley, William Pilla, Jake Zimney

Middle row kneeling: Leo Piskowski, Steve Zydiak, Adam Sandusky, Jim Kelyman, Frank Sobchinsky, Andrew Shutack, George Hallad, Andy Lapotsky

Standing in the back: Joseph Shutack, Joe Rosky, Chester Myskowski, Charles Golcheski, Andrew Menzak, Pete Menzak, Leo Traney, Jerry Deto, Frank “Ham” Dudash, Henry Waida, Pete Semenick

Adam Sandusky is my grandfather Vincent’s brother, and owned Sandusky’s Bar in Finderne.  Adam’s son Mike played for the Pittsburgh Steelers 1957-65.”

IF you are unfamiliar with the Yellow Jackets you can see an earlier post with some action shots HERE. But Gary also, submitted this great article from the Manville News, which is a great abridged history of the team. This article will enlarge if you click on it.

But Evans Field was more than just a football field, it also doubled as a baseball field. Home plate was the current corner of Newark Ave and Fucillo St. Gary also, sent in some great photos of the Manville Grammar School baseball team from 1946, which I was pleased to find out included my great Uncle Tony Polnasek, and Gary’s father Art. Anyway let me get right to the photo followed by another caption from Gary.

This picture was featured in a Manville News article, dated Feb. 2, 1989:

“Art Carmon remembered the lineup”

Standing, from left to right, are Art Carmon, John Dinsmore, an unknown player, Lloyd Wade, Pete Weichkus, John Terraciano, Ed Wolenski, Tony Polnasek, John Brennan.

Kneeling, from left to right, are Bob Lupino, Charles Saitta, Bob Passarello, Steve Ziegler, Julius Smolinka, Vic Czupprewicz, Frank Vayda and Charles Hladun. “

Art is my father.  He played at the many baseball fields of Manville over the years, including:

–          Dukes Parkway Park

–          the current site of the Rustic Mall bowling alley

–          the current site of the MHS parking lot

And here are a few more MGS player photos… You can click on them to enlarge them. Gary Carmon has been a long time supporter and contributor to the blog. I just want to thank him, Art, and the rest of the Carmon family for all of their help.

Camplain Road 1937


Click Photo to Enlarge

This is a reprinted photo from the November 7th, 1985 issue of the Somerset Messenger Gazette. Here is the original cation…

“There was but one home and one business on Camplain Road, near South 20th Avenue in Manville, when this picture was taken in 1937. Abestos Inn in later years became Pal’s Inn. The house at the right has also withstood the test of time. Ernest Rosebrock of Bridgewater submitted this picture to the Gazette.”

This photo is just so awesome, and just goes to show that there some amazing photos of Manville that we just havent seen yet. If I find them, I’ll be sure to share.


Manville 50th Anniversary 1910 Map

Click Map to Enlarge • It Will Expand Twice

I got this old reprint of a 1910 map of Manville out of a 50th anniversary special newspaper insert that came with The Manville News, The Hillsborough Beacon, and The Franklin News Record on April 26, 1979. Thanks again to the Folks at the Somerset County Historical Society for letting me snap digital photos of this. The street you see with all the cars on it is Main Street. If you look WAY in the back between where the train tracks meet you can see the Federal Creosote Factory. All three train stations appear on the map. Also, for some reason on the left side of the map there is a giant rooster. I have no idea what the hell that means. Apparently this map was drawn crudely and not to scale, although it looks pretty awesome to me. It was used as a sort of handout to lure residents into town. Some of the farms on the map are “hypothetical farms” but there are a few houses I recognize from other old maps. I’m going to try and sort out the residences for a possible future post. Until then though… if you want to download a bigger PDF version of the map, where you can zoom in on more detail just click HERE. Enjoy.