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

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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.

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CNJ RR Station Manville-Finderne, NJ in 1963

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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.

More Weston-Manville Station photos

1798061_10201893999775116_1109602827_nI have already covered the Manville-Weston station A LOT in the blog, so I’m not going to go into any factual info here. If you want to check out the original post and lots more photos you can go HERE. If you want to see the old schedule for the station you can go HERE. What this particular post is, is just two random photos that a reader sent me.

Unfortunately I do not have dates for these, but I know the top one would be early 1900’s based on similar ones I’ve seen. The bottom one would be after the place burned so maybe late 70’s or so? These are pretty small, but great… so i figured I’d share. These were both sent to me By Michael Kull… Thanks so much Mike!

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1960 Weston-Manville Station Train Schedule

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Weston-Manville Train Station • Click to enlarge

I always talk about the many Manville Train Stations. Awhile back I did a post about specifically about the Weston-Manville stop, which was the main passenger line serving Manville between Trenton and NYC. I recently lucked into an actual 1960 train schedule from the station. I am a bit of a railfan, so I hope this doesn’t bore the pants off of everyone else that comes to this site. Let’s face it though, if you are from Manville trains are a way of life. It’s the very thing that made the town so accesable to so many people in the beginning. Also, I had this gorgeous photo of a Reading Railroad passenger train passing through Manville…

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Mainly I guess it felt like finding this schedule was a personal victory, and another crucial entry into my personal Manville ephemera archive. When you went over to the Manville station the first thing you had to do was go see this guy… Michael Persinko.

100_3302He could definitely hook you up with one of these…

cover chartIf it was 1960 and you were headed from Manville to NYC your schedule would’ve looked like this… (It will expand if you click it)

chartAnd if you were interested in the reverse schedule, or just owning a digital copy of this I actually scanned the whole thing.

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ScanEven though I do enjoy the many freights still pulling through town, I think it’s still a disaster that there is no passenger lines servicing Manville. In a town full of tracks, it seems like a no brainer. Hopefully one day. But for now, here is a photo of some lonely train tracks to hold you over…

1st download 4209Have a good day y’all.

The South 5th Ave Shutack Family Archive

I was pretty excited on Thursday when I received an email from Richard Onderko. Not just because I was being contacted by one of Manville’s current Councilman candidates. It was rather the content of the email which was something to the tune of “Hey Mike. Meet me over on South 5th I found some great stuff”… and I mean who am I to stand up a possible future Manville Council Seat holder, so I went.

I arrived to meet Richard and a guy named Kevin Shutack, who explained to me the far reaches of his family participation in the towns history. The Manville Police, The Building Commitee, and most thankfully owner of the Manville Print Shop that was right next to the Krausers. I remembered the print shop as a kid… we used to peer into the windows there to find out what went on inside of it. But not to get off track… it seems the print shop handled most of Manville printing needs going at least as far back as the early 40s including the printing of The Manville News. Kevin gave me all sorts of printed goodies that were produced by the shop including A LOT of issues of the paper from 1941-1943. Just as soon as I work out the best way to archive these I will be posting digital copies of the issues just as fast as I can get them up. They are in a super fragile state, with much discoloration and edge damage, but they are brilliant and contain tons of great stories and history including some key Manville events like the building of the row homes, robberies and the Manville train derailment in the 40s in Lost Valley. That’s not even the tip of the iceberg… there are tons of wedding and birth announcements. Deaths, car accidents, reports from the war involving Manville residents, honor role lists, sports scores. I can’t wait to get these up.

This marks the most fruitful batch of town history I have found since Neal Ranauro’s photo archive. I feel like so many mysteries have just been solved. On behalf of the town of myself and Manville’s lost history we definitely own a huge debt to the Shutack family, Kevin, and Richard Onderko for making the connection happen. None of the afore mentioned ever had to waste their personal time to help me communicate this stuff to everyone, but they did. That’s awesome. I also got to spend some quality time with Rich and Kevin who were both very knowledgeable and very willing to share some information with me. Overall I couldn’t think of a better way to spend Saturday morning than striking another victory for my perpetual quest for Manville’s past.

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THE RAILROADS

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It’s hard to talk about the town of Manville without talking about the railroads. Awhile back I posted a photo of a Lehigh Valley steam engine passing through the Main street railroad intersection. This photo was an important one, when talking about the esthetic history of the town as well as the industrial one. Geographically Manville is sort of nestled in between two lines of the Philadelphia & Reading Railroads as you can see in the map above…

If you look at the map and find the area where the red and green lines connect just southwest of bound brook you will be looking at Port Reading Junction… right next to the current Manville Yard. If you can imagine a line going south from Finderne that would pretty much be Main Street. The “green” line that heads southwest was a shortline called the Deleware & Bound Brook, which served the Weston-Manville stop. The Deleware & Bound Brook Passenger line provided easy access to West Trenton Junction and Bound Brook where you could get a connection to New York City or Philadelphia. The “red” line going west is the Lehigh Valley Line, which passes through the center of town… and served Johns Manville and the Main Street Train station. The other green line to the north is the line that served the Manville Finderne Station and also provided easy access to New York… this passenger line still runs, but service was shut down to the stop in 2006. At some point in the 70’s all three abandoned stations were still standing… here are some photos. These are all by Bob Pinnisi… again I hope he doesnt mind, but these are great photos.

manville-stationMANVILLE-FINDERNE STATION

weston-stationWESTON-MANVILLE STATION

tommy-stationMAIN STREET L.V. DEPOT (WAS ON THE LEFT OF THAT ABANDONED STREET BETWEEN THE CHESTER HOUSE AND THE TRACKS)

It’s hard for me to understand why there isn’t a single passenger line serving Manville at the moment given all the tracks around town. Someone told me that they were talking about starting service up again, but I just haven’t seen anything serious happening. Growing up in Manville the trains become ingrained in you… it’s the way of life. I lived across the street from the tracks most of my life, watching freight trains go by every day… I used to dream about where they were going… later in life I got on one and found out. When I moved out of my old house I had a hard time sleeping without the proverbial late night rumbling. When it comes down to it Manville’s relationship with the railroads was crucial, amazing, and occasionally a burden… overall I believe that Manville could not have flourished as a town or a player in the industrial revoloution without them. Here is one last photo by Neal Ranauro…

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A LEHIGH VALLEY STEAM ENGINE PULLING THROUGH THE MAIN STREET INTERSECTION (PRE-UNDERPASS)