Metuchen Edison History Features
In Old Metuchen
David Trumbull Marshall
Published by The Case Publishing Co., Flushing NY 1930
(Second Edition)- (c) 1930
Some time around 1880 Mr. Yingling's house on Rector Place, Metuchen, took fire and burned to the ground.
This was on a beautiful Sunday, about noon.
I was blowing the organ in the Presbyterian church, blowing for the exit at the end of the service.
When I heard the church bell ringing the long roll which meant fire, I beat it out the back door while the beating was good, for I was often held up to blow for choir practice.
I got over to Yingling's house in short order.
The first thing I saw was Mr. Yingling lying on his back on the ground while some one was pouring water down his throat from a coal scuttle.
Putting out the fire inside of him I suppose.
Mr. Yingling was a very theatrical individual and I am doubtful to this day how much of his choking and agony was real and how much grandstand acting.
I pitched in as was customary and saved as much of the household furniture as possible.
I remember carrying a tray of china from the basement kitchen and dropping most of it on the way out.
I remember thinking at the time, "no matter, it will burn if left, so what's the difference."
A bucket line was formed from Rowland's or Kempson's pump, about 200 feet across the street.
The line used buckets and pitchers and other crockery vessels of a more intimate nature, the names of which I will refrain from mentioning.
They might as well have poured gasoline on the fire for all the good their water did.
At the time of this fire the youngest Yingling boy was a child in dresses.
He ran over to the Episcopal church about two blocks away where his mother was attending service.
The timid child went into the church and up to his mother and in his frightened, stuttering voice told her that their house was on fire.
The whole congregation, without waiting for the taking of the collection, poured out of the church and over to the fire.
Mr. Yingling afterward built another house on the foundation of the old one.
Boyhood Days in Old Metuchen Title page
Metuchen Edison History Features index page
Metuchen Edison Historical Society page
Old Metuchen Photos page
James Halpin CPA page
Lasted updated 6/8/99 by Jim Halpin.