Manville Roller Rink // Crystal Roller Palace // Rhythms // Hullabaloo

photo 2Manville Roller Rink • Click photo to enarge

So this is a great old Manville building that still exists at the outskirts of town. It’s now known as Rhythms of the Night and had previously had a stint as a dance club called The Yellow Rose. In the late 60’s it also spend some time as “The Hullabaloo” Here is a current era photo of Rhythms.


The Hullabaloo was also a dance club. Since we don’t have a photo of the place here is an incredible video of garage band “Witches Bru” playing there back in the day.

The truth is that I personally haven’t been inside this building since it was the local roller rink called the Crystal Roller Palace. In my era, The Crystal Roller Palace was a magical place straight out of an early 80’s cult teen coming of age action movie ala “Over the Edge”, where I was fortunate enough to be able cross the makeshift stone bridge across the local creek behind the place and rock the Joust arcade machine whilst listening to the latest Ozzy Osbourne track. Unfortunately I could not find a photo of the outside of the place, but there is a Facebook group dedicated to it. For illustrative purposes I stole this photo from it. I’m sure they won’t mind.


As this photo so perfectly illustrates, it was one of those great cultural watershed places in American small town living… and a great place to show off the latest long sleeve rock and roll T shirts. I suppose it had been for years prior. There was also of course, rollerskating, which somehow seemed to come second to the arcade for me… but I could do it. Well.

Before it was the Crystal Roller Palace, and before the Hullabualoo, it was still a roller skating rink, which I believe was just called “The Manville Roller Rink” and frankly I don’t know when it was constructed or when it opened. I do know from some old newspapers that it did exist at least as far back as 1941. Here is another really early photo of the place.

photo 1You can see it pretty much stayed the same except for an addition that was put on at some point. It’s a tragedy that those cool windows didn’t survive its metamorphosis over the years. Thanks to Carol Ascolese for these great old black and whites. These are definitely new to the site.


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

Silver Jubilee • Manville’s 25th Anniversary


Good morning everyone! Hope everyone is enjoying this spring day. So I have just started to dig into some more of Neal Ranauro’s Manville archives and came across this little gem. This is a photo album which celebrates Manville’s 1954 Silver Jubilee. A couple of these photos have appeared here before, but I thought it would would be nice to keep them all collected in one spot. I love this event so much. The town was all done up with buntings, and it seemed like literally everyone came out to celebrate Manville’s 25th birthday as an independent borough. I think combined with the post war boom time and the general prosperity of the town, this may have been one of the high points of morale in town.

This album was so great and contained a ton of panoramic shots, a few oversized ones… and populated primarily with shots from a “Miss Silver Jubilee” beauty pageant. And who can blame Neal for that… the girls are so cute and the shots are so fun. I unfortunately do not know the names, so like always please comment if you know them.

This is going to be a loooong post so hold on tight! All photos will enlarge if you click them! Just a quick note… I stopped telling the photos up in new windows for 2 reasons.

1. i noticed that it makes navigation on the phones and tablets hard to deal with and

2. I started posting really photo heavy posts and I feel like its getting difficult to deal with all the windows. So from now on you just have to clack the back button to get back to the main posts.

I’m sorry I dont mean to change things up in the middle of the blog, but I want to make it user friendly. OK let’s go!





























Wow, that was a lot… but wait. Here is my favorite part! Miss Silver Jubilee contest!!!













Wow, how fun did those photos look! I wish I could’ve been there. Maybe we could make the 100 year anniversary even more amazing. Many thanks to Neal Ranauro for documenting pretty much everything awesome that ever happened in this town. Here’s is one more parting photo of Neal and some other photographers…


CNJ RR Station Manville-Finderne, NJ in 1963


Hello everyone. I just found this 1963 Kodachrome slide of the Manville-Finderne station on the web and thought it was a pretty great one, so I figured I’d share. I don’t have much to say about this… I’m fairly sure everyone remembers this station going out of town between Manville and Finderne. Just thought it was a cool photo.

203 Main Street

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203 Main Street around 1940 • Click Photo to Enlarge

Hey guys. So I figured a lighter post was in order. I have a handful a these great photos which feature The building on the corner of Main & Camplain roads. Some of them have appeared on this blog before, but I wanted to reintroduce them in this new historical context.

I don’t know if it’s the official name, but I’ve always known it as “The Blumberg Building” officially located at 203 Main St. The above photo (c. 1940) is the earliest one I have, and I guess at some point an addition was put on as shown in the photos below.

These next two photos were taken by Neal Ranauro and take place at some point in the mid 1950s. The top photo is dressed with buntings for the Silver Jubille, Manville’s 25th anniversary celebration… which would date it in 1954. The bottom one still has no traffic light, so it would be slightly earlier. If you look real close you can see the building has been freshly altered. The photos will expand if you click them!

DSC04006 DSC04005They put up those cool marble looking facades across the whole front of the building & you can see the fresh brick that was the addition. I’d love to know the date of construction if anyone can verify. I’m a little jealous of Manville’s vibrant Main Street culture when it was a boomtown… looks like no one wanted to go home. The building is still there, a shell of it’s former beauty. Here is a modern photo…

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Classic Trucks • Steve’s Tire 1958

STS001Steve’s Tire 1958 • Click Photo to Enlarge


So I poached this photo off of a great message board from a site called Jalopy Journal. The gentleman that posted this photo is the owner of that 1933 Ford pickup. He recalls the photo being taken in 1958. For a while I used to hang around this garage in the early 90’s having known the owners at the time. The photos of the garages look pretty much exactly the way I remember them. Anyway Manville folks will be familiar with Steve’s tire, being formerly located on Main Street up near Kennedy Blvd. The building is still a garage and the service garages are still there. Now it looks like this.

Screen Shot 2014-01-17 at 11.26.35 AMOn a side note, Jalopy Journal has a pretty great archive going of old photos from users. I notices some great quality ones especially involving classic cars. trucks and classic accidents. If you want you can check that out HERE.

1930’s Manville Flood

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Main Street looking south towards JFK • Click to Enlarge

While flooding seems to have become a much worse and more frequent problem in Manville, to some degree it did already exist. Since these come from Anne Sullivan’s photo collection which is loosely dated “1939-1940” This can basically been from one of two storms. And if I had to take a wild guess I’d say it was from the so called 1940 New England Hurricane. Which at least as of a few years ago was the wettest storm in New Jersey history, dropping a record 24 inches of rain on Ewan, NJ. Of course, there was also the Great New England Hurricane of 1938, which was terrible as well, but it doesn’t seem to fit the timeline of the photos. This is a pretty great shot though and you can see the Weston Train Station way up at the top of the photo. The following photos will expand if you click on them.

This next photo is basically the same exact location. I don’t know what this bus is, but I guess it was some sort of public transportation.

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This is another great photo… Basically the same view. Anyone know this guy?

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Here is a few looking the other way up Main Street. You can see the onion from the top of the old Church on the left…

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A couple more young men… These guys look like trouble. Anybody know them?

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And one last photo. I can’t figure out the location on this one, but maybe Dukes Parkway?

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