Thursday, February 17, 2011

Those Places Thursday - New Providence, NJ

The blogging prompt "Those Places Thursday" challenges us to write about those places that we have lived, or places where our ancestors have spent time. The first "place" that I am writing about is New Providence, NJ.

My grandfather, William Arthur Cubbage, Sr. (Art) took these pictures in the spring of 1953. He had been living in an apartment in South Orange for a couple of years after taking a job in New York City. His wife, Agnes, and sons, Corky and Jeff, were still living in Pittsburgh with Agnes' mother while they saved money to buy a house. Art would take the train out to Pittsburgh once a month or so to visit them.

Art and Agnes eventually saved enough to have a house built in New Providence and Art would visit the lot to take pictures of the progress. These are some pictures that Art took of New Providence:

This is the New Providence Presbyterian Church, which looks much different today! My parents were married in this church and my great-grandmother Mem (Elizabeth Linneman Speck Merz) is buried in the church cemetery with her second husband (Charles Merz). I can remember sitting in front of this church on the curb in the late 1970's and early 1980's and watching the Memorial Day Parade.

These pictures are of drug store across the street from the church and the Acme, diagonally across from the church. I love the old cars in these pictures! They really help set the time period.

This is the back of one of the pictures. Art made a drawing of the intersection, the buildings he had taken a picture of, and where he was standing. I love how it shows directions to home, the train station, and the local "beer joint". That sounds just like my grandfather!

This last one is of the train station in Murray Hill, which is where Art got the train to New York for the next 30 years until he retired. Again, I love the car! I am guessing that Art sent these pictures to Agnes and the boys in Pittsburgh to show them their new town. They moved into their new home in the fall of 1953 and planted Cubbage family roots that have been in New Jersey ever since.


  1. Mary Alice WittnebertMay 25, 2012 at 9:30 PM

    oh my gosh... I don't know you, nor you me, but I grew up in New Providence, and you really brought the childhood memories back for me -- thank you SO MUCH! I live there again now, in my late parents' house, which is for sale, but it's lovely to see it the way it used to be.

    Best regards,
    Mary Alice Wittnebert

    1. Thanks Mary Alice! I remember visiting my grandparents in New Providence and love the stories of my father's childhood in such a great town!

  2. laura;
    It's three years later, so i don't know if you'll ever see this post, but I've got to say, seeing these pictures it's like nostalgia on family arrived in New Providence in 1956, and my mom used to shop at the Acme there,(which later relocated off Springfield Ave towards Summit). I attended the Presbyterian Church, and have the Bible given to me by Reverend Richard Bryan when I became a member...and the Center Stationers was later managed by a man named Liebowitz, who used to have a shop not too far from where your grandfather took the photos. i'm stil trying to figure out where the beer joint on Springfield was; two miles would put it just about at the Berkeley Heights town limits

    The photo of the Murray Hill station is priceless...I first lived in the apartments behind the station, and delighted in watching the trains come and go; I used to put pennies on the tracks just to see them flattened, There was little there at the time, compared to today, a mom and pop grocery store north of the station, a post office right on the corner of South Street and Southgate

    I graduated from NPHS in 1967, left in 1972, and returned in 2002 for the 35th reunion...your photos wa t mmake mme visit again real soon. Like someone famous once said, thanks for the memories...

  3. You are correct Irish Brigade ... that is my mother! Is your sister Holly? I showed my mother your comments and thinks that would be her (she remembers babysitting for your family). Both of my parents also attended the Presbyterian church and were married there in 1965. What a small world!