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Metuchen - Edison Trivia

This page will be devoted to historical trivia about Metuchen and Edison. Contributions are welcome, and will be posted here periodically. The accuracy of the facts submitted will be policed by the users of this page; again, all comments are welcome. Submissions should be accompanied by reference source(s), if applicable.

Did you know...

David Bryan Rashbaum, known only as David Bryan, is a member of the band Bon Jovi and is a graduate of John P. Stevens HS and a member of Temple Emanu-El in Edison. from David J. Bailey

Ever wonder how Beacon Hill got its name? Beacon Hill is so named because the Dept. of Transportation, (or FAA) placed an aircraft beacon light at the crest of the hill (where the present-day Beacon Hill Drive curves to begin its descent) high on a tower as a navigation aid. Beacon Hill is the highest geographic point between New York and New Brunswick and the reason why the light was located there. - from Chris Crane

Did you know if you start at the center of town, you can't leave Metuchen without going over or under railroad tracks. - from Debbie (Morton) Heal

Mary Edison, the first wife of Thomas Edison, died on August 9, 1884, and her funeral was held on August 12, at noon, in the Presbyterian Church in Metuchen. [from Edison - Inventing the Century, by Neil Baldwin]

The highways through Edison had a number of name changes. The Lincoln Highway is now Route 27, but was once US#1 prior to completion of NJ 25, which is now US#1. [from the Historical Society 1997 calendar]

What do Menlo Park, NJ and Brunswick, Maine have in common? Two of Thomas Edison's key assistants at Menlo Park, Francis Upton and Charles Clarke, were college classmates at Bowdoin College in Brunswick. Both Edison's Menlo Park lab and Bowdoin College are a short walk from US#1 (but they are more than 350 miles apart on that highway).

Joyce Kilmer, world famed poet, married Metuchen resident Eileen [see below] Murray, step daughter of Henry Mills Alden (editor of Harper's), and was a frequent visitor to the "Brainy Borough" [Metuchen Recorder, 11/16/39]

* * We received the following correction from Miriam A. Kilmer (granddaughter of Joyce and Aline Kilmer):

Joyce Kilmer's wife's name was Aline Murray Kilmer, not Eileen.

Our thanks to Miriam... Visit Miriam A. Kilmer at this site

Nicholas Knox (Knox's Tavern, formerly known as the Beech Tree Inn) and George Montagna (Durham Cafe, corner of Durham and Central) each applied for a retail consumption liquor license at the same Boro Council meeting on July 17, 1939. Since only one license was available, it was awarded to Knox. [Daily Home News, 7/18/39] Will Montagna ever get a license?

Take a walk from the corner of Main Street and Amboy Avenue, down Amboy to Lake Avenue, left on Lake to High Street, left on High Street to Main Street, and finally left on Main Street back to the corner of Main and Amboy. How many houses and businesses are located within the area you just outlined? Count the houses up and down Graham Avenue, on Spring Street, and so on... In 1881, there were nine (9) structures. That's when David G Thomas divided the property into 100 building lots, plus a handful of lots he didn't own. (Even Tommy's Pond, I mean Thomas' Pond, was a place to build...) Click here to view the map (in 3 sections).

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Last updated 4/22/2001 by Jim Halpin

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