High Street District Walking Tour, June 13th

Hello, join Newarkhistory.com for a walking tour of the old High Street, Lincoln Park, and lower Broad.  Our tour will begin at Arts High School and take in a collection of architecture representing over 150 years of Newark history.   Come learn what’s so “Divine” about the Hotel Riviera, take in the wonders of “beer baronial” architecture with the Krueger and Feigenspan mansions, consider ethnic migration at St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church, several former synagogues and Presbyterian churches, consider class migration in the former Silk Stocking district of Lincoln Park, and finally marvel at what civic pride can do at the Essex County Courthouse.
Special Opportunity! We are going to be seeing the inside of Hopewell Baptist Church/B’nai Jeshurun.

The tour begins at 2:00 at Arts High School (550 Martin Luther King Blvd).  Please check http://www.newarkhistory.com on the day of the tour if there is a forecast of inclement weather.   The cost of the tour is $10 for adults, $5 for anyone 13-18, and free for anyone younger.

More information is available at my website: http://newarkhistory.com/highstreettour.html

There is no need to RSVP.

Ironbound Walking Tour, March 21st

Join Newarkhistory.com on Sunday, March 21st at 2:00 for a walking tour of one of Newark’s most interesting and diverse neighborhoods, the Ironbound.  The tour will visit sites in the Ironbound reflective of the neighborhood’s role as a receiver for first generation immigrants and as an industrial center.  To illustrate ethnic succession the tour will visit churches that have been owned by three totally different denominations and churches that are near-copies of churches in “Old Countries” in Europe.  The tour will visit precious green space that is loved as only parks in a dense, lawn-less neighborhood can be.  Finally, the tour will pass remnants of Newark’s great industrial past and learn about the roles that Newark’s industrial tycoons once played in Newark’s life.   
The tour will begin at the intersection of Ferry and McWhorter Streets at 2:00. 

Price $10 for adults, $5 anyone 10-18, free for children.

For more information, please visit:

Weequahic Tour, Sunday, November 1st

Hello, I am going to be leading a tour of Weequahic on Sunday, November 1st at 2:00. The tour will cover all aspects of Weequahic’s history, from Indian and colonial days to the agrarian century, to the suburb’s train-associated growth, the Jewish generation, and finally the neighborhood and park of today.
The cost is $10 general, $5 for members of the Weequahic Park Association or a Newark historical society.

We will be meeting at the intersection of Lyons and Elizabeth Avenues. Please see http://www.newarkhistory.com for more information. Check the website on the day of the tour in the event of inclement weather.

North Ward Walking Tour Tomorrow

Hi, in case anyone is interested, I’m leading a walking tour tomorrow on Broadway and Mt. Prospect Aves in the North Ward.
We will be meeting at 230 Broadway at 2:30 PM. We’ll be seeing lots of things you never noticed before and learning lots about where many famous Newark episodes took place. Please come for an informative afternoon.

Cost: $10 for first time tour attendees.

North Ward Walking Tour, June 14th

Hi, I’m leading another Newark walking tour on 2:30 Sunday, June 14th. We’re going to be touring the North Ward, seeing a diverse collection of churches, mansions, cemeteries, and grand apartment buildings.
We will be meeting in front of the old New Jersey Historical Society building at 230 Broadway. From there, we will see the old Mutual Benefit Building, Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, the old Rutgers School of Pharmacy and various Puerto Rican Sites. At Elwood we’ll climb uphill to see the prospect of Mt. Prospect. We will take a look at some of Newark’s finest apartment buildings and surviving mansions. Two highlights will be the Mt. Prospect Manor apartments and the Clark Mansion, now the North Ward Center’s headquarters. Finally, we’ll descend the hill again to Broadway, where we will visit Ahavas Shalom, the oldest functioning synagogue in Newark and the Clinton AME Zion Church, the oldest black congregation in Newark, and a gem of Victorian Gothic architecture. Along the way, we will learn about the different ethnic groups that have lived in the North Ward, such as the Italians who dominated the neighborhood mid-century, as well as the area’s industrial history.

More information is available on my website.

Ironbound Walking Tour, March 15th

Hello, I’m going to be leading yet another Newarkology walking tour this March. Join Newarkology on March 15th as we tour the fascinating ethnic and industrial history of the old “Down Neck.”
There is no better way to learn about the many cultures that have called the Ironbound home, from Dutch, to German, to Italian, Jewish, Polish, African-American and, of course, Portuguese than by slowly walking the neighborhood, spotting the many artifacts of ethnic groups long past. Additionally, we will see a few of the Ironbound’s most interesting remaining industrial sites, including a chocolate factory, a varnish plant, and a brewery or two.

The tour will begin at 2:00 and will last two and a half hours (so we’ll be ending just in time for dinner). If there is inclement weather please check the main page of my website, http://www.newarkhistory.com on the day of the tour to check for a notice of cancellation. If the weather is bad I will reschedule the tour for some point in April or May.

The meeting place is the intersection of Ferry and McWhorter Streets, by the Dutch Reformed Church.

More information is available at:

Book Review: Newark: A History of Race, Rights, and Riots in America

Newark: A History of Race, Rights, and RiotsKevin Mumford
NYU Press, 2007

In 1961 an integrated group of Newark CORE supporters gathered in Military Park to send off a continent of Freedom Riders who were sacrificing their time, money, and physical safety for civil rights. The destination was . . . . Chattanooga . . . Tennessee.

The Newark Freedom Riders were doing something brave and important, yet one has to wonder why the Newarkers were embarking on a 1,600 mile odyssey against racism when there was racism, no less intense or damaging, right in their very city. Robert Curvin, leader of Essex County CORE, wondered the exact same thing. Over the next few years Curvin would attempt, despite criticism from CORE’s national leadership, to focus the energy and money of Newark’s civil rights supporters on Newark.

Read the full review after the jump.

Continue reading “Book Review: Newark: A History of Race, Rights, and Riots in America”

Weequahic Tour this Sunday

Hi, I just wanted to post a reminder that I’ll be leading a walking tour of Weequahic this coming Sunday at 12:15. Weequahic is one of Newark’s most attractive neighborhoods with a hidden historical richness that I hope I can bring out for you all. Though the tour will have a great deal of Newark history in it, certain theme’s in Weequahic’s history resonate with the rest of the nation.
More information is available at my website, http://www.newarkhistory.com.

Weequahic Tour, December 14th

If you’re interested in seeing one of Newark’s best looking and most historic neighborhoods, I invite you to come on my December 14th walking tour of Weequahic. We’re going to be starting at Divident Hill and moving on to sites representative of Weequahic’s farm days, the creation of the park, the development of the neighborhood, the Jewish heyday, and African-American present.
Weequahic may appear suburban, but if you know where to look, Weequahic has just as many layers of history as the Ironbound, the North Ward, and every other part of Newark.

The tour is free if you have already been on one of my tours before, $10 if it’s your first time adults, $5 for first timers under 18.

We will be meeting at 12:15 at Divident Hill (the intersection of Lyons and Elizabeth Avenues).

More information is available at my website.

Firefighters’ Ceremony at Mt. Pleasant Cemetery

Hello, yesterday I happened to be exploring Mt. Pleasant Cemetery in preparation for my next walking tour there. Mt. Pleasant Cemetery, even compared to other cemeteries, is a still and forgotten place and yesterday morning was miserable in terms of weather, so I wasn’t expecting to see a soul.

You can imagine my surprise when I came upon this ceremony performed by the Newark Fire Department.

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Mt. Pleasant Cemetery has a firefighter’s graveyard. Like everything else in Mt. Pleasant, it seems forlorn and forgotten. There haven’t been many burials there in the last few decades. I was very heartened to discover in the form of this bag pipe and drum ceremony that the Newark Fire Department remembers its history.