Maplewood Centennial

Here's a letter posted to the News-Record. Interested in hearing your comments.

11/7/22

To The Editor:

November 7, 2022 was likely a date of little historical significance to anyone living in Maplewood. Yet that was the date that represented the centennial anniversary of the incorporation of the Township of Maplewood. In a community that has long celebrated its history, I’m surprised and puzzled that the Township Committee, our Town Historian and our two community historical organizations all appear to have let this 100 year anniversary slip by unnoticed. As a 37-year resident and author of a recently published book on Maplewood, and strong supporter of the town’s efforts to preserve, honor and educate the community on the rich and robust history of Maplewood, I’m disappointed that there has been no official proclamation, no related events, and no acknowledgment of this important occasion.


As I understand it, 2022 is the centennial of changing the name of "South Orange Township" to "Maplewood", not of the incorporation of the municipality.

South Orange Township was incorporated in the 1800s.  At some point, the Village of South Orange split from it, leaving the remaining Township, which later adopted the present name.


Village Green published an article on July 3, 2021.

The headline was "A Quiet 4th of July for 2021, but Stay Tuned for Maplewood's 100th Birthday in 2022."

That's the last place I can find the centennial mentioned anywhere.

https://villagegreennj.com/towns/maplewood/a-quiet-july-4th-for-2021-but-stay-tuned-for-maplewoods-100th-birthday-in-2022/



nohero said:

As I understand it, 2022 is the centennial of changing the name of "South Orange Township" to "Maplewood", not of the incorporation of the municipality.

South Orange Township was incorporated in the 1800s.  At some point, the Village of South Orange split from it, leaving the remaining Township, which later adopted the present name.

The changes in 1922 were significant in terms of form and members of government, not just a superficial name change. The current contour of Maplewood actually dates back to 1869 when there was an official separation of SO Twp (later MPL) and SO Village. However informally that division took place in 1861. If you're interested in this you might want to pick up a copy of Maplewood Compendium, recently published and available at Word Bookstore, Maplewood. 


I'm surprised someone who knew that this date was upon us didn't reach out in advance to anyone, including the N-R, MOL, TC, etc, to give them a heads-up or enquire as to how he/she/they might be able to help order fireworks, make cotton candy, roll in a helium canister for balloons, inflate them for children, bake and sell/distribute cupcakes, hire a few clowns (one on stilts), make a ribbon, cut ribbon with mayor with giant scissors in front of Town Hall, organize marching bands and a parade, give a rousing speech (or write it and have mayor read it), compose and read a poem (perhaps "Ode to Maplewood on its Centennial"), release a flight of doves against an azure sky, petition the local post office to issue a First Day Cover for local philatelists, sponsor a bouncy house, sponsor an ikebana tutorial for adults, arrange food trucks and dramatic performances in Memorial Park, and, last but not least, get McGuire Air Force Base to do a flyover with some F-22 Raptors (but not during dramatic performances).  Alas, but no.  The secret could only be revealed to the News-Recked.


Mayor Dafis said there’ll be some kind of celebration in the fall of this year for the centennial, but nothing happened.


dave said:

I'm surprised someone who knew that this date was upon us didn't reach in advance to anyone, including the N-R, MOL, TC, etc, to give them a heads-up or enquire as to how he/she/they might be able to help order fireworks, make cotton candy, roll in a helium canister for balloons, inflate them for children, bake and sell/distribute cupcakes, hire a few clowns (one on stilts), make a ribbon, cut ribbon with mayor with giant scissors in front of Town Hall, organize marching bands and a parade, give a rousing speech (or write it and have mayor read it), compose and read a poem (perhaps "Ode to Maplewood on its Centennial"), release a flight of doves against an azure sky, petition the local post office to issue a First Day Cover for local philatelists, sponsor a bouncy house, sponsor an ikebana tutorial for adults, arrange food trucks and dramatic performances in Memorial Park, and, last but not least, get McGuire Air Force Base to do a flyover with some F-22 Raptors (but not during dramatic performances).  Alas, but no.  The secret could only be revealed to the News-Recked.

None of that happened. It was a failure 

I for one, if they had a Kettle Corn guy, I would'a gone to it


smile smile

dave said:

I'm surprised someone who knew that this date was upon us didn't reach in advance to anyone, including the N-R, MOL, TC, etc, to give them a heads-up or enquire as to how he/she/they might be able to help order fireworks, make cotton candy, roll in a helium canister for balloons, inflate them for children, bake and sell/distribute cupcakes, hire a few clowns (one on stilts), make a ribbon, cut ribbon with mayor with giant scissors in front of Town Hall, organize marching bands and a parade, give a rousing speech (or write it and have mayor read it), compose and read a poem (perhaps "Ode to Maplewood on its Centennial"), release a flight of doves against an azure sky, petition the local post office to issue a First Day Cover for local philatelists, sponsor a bouncy house, sponsor an ikebana tutorial for adults, arrange food trucks and dramatic performances in Memorial Park, and, last but not least, get McGuire Air Force Base to do a flyover with some F-22 Raptors (but not during dramatic performances).  Alas, but no.  The secret could only be revealed to the News-Recked.

I literally laughed so hard. 


dave said:

... make a ribbon, cut ribbon with mayor with giant scissors in front of Town Hall, organize marching bands and a parade, give a rousing speech (or write it and have mayor read it), compose and read a poem (perhaps "Ode to Maplewood on its Centennial"*

* And plug their book. 


dave said:

The secret could only be revealed to the News-Recked.

I’m willing to give Citizens’ Budget Advisory Committee Guy the benefit of the doubt about the scope of his advocacy.


dave said:

I'm surprised someone who knew that this date was upon us didn't reach in advance to anyone, including the N-R, MOL, TC, etc, to give them a heads-up or enquire as to how he/she/they might be able to help order fireworks, make cotton candy, roll in a helium canister for balloons, inflate them for children, bake and sell/distribute cupcakes, hire a few clowns (one on stilts), make a ribbon, cut ribbon with mayor with giant scissors in front of Town Hall, organize marching bands and a parade, give a rousing speech (or write it and have mayor read it), compose and read a poem (perhaps "Ode to Maplewood on its Centennial"), release a flight of doves against an azure sky, petition the local post office to issue a First Day Cover for local philatelists, sponsor a bouncy house, sponsor an ikebana tutorial for adults, arrange food trucks and dramatic performances in Memorial Park, and, last but not least, get McGuire Air Force Base to do a flyover with some F-22 Raptors (but not during dramatic performances).  Alas, but no.  The secret could only be revealed to the News-Recked.

Having been on the centennial committee in my own town, you’re not far off. You forgot the gala costume dinner dance, though. And all of the essay contests for the schoolchildren. And the special silver plate coin minted for the occasion. (I’m tired just thinking about that year…)


dave said:

I'm surprised someone who knew that this date was upon us didn't reach out in advance to anyone, including the N-R, MOL, TC, etc, to give them a heads-up or enquire as to how he/she/they might be able to help order fireworks, make cotton candy, roll in a helium canister for balloons, inflate them for children, bake and sell/distribute cupcakes, hire a few clowns (one on stilts), make a ribbon, cut ribbon with mayor with giant scissors in front of Town Hall, organize marching bands and a parade, give a rousing speech (or write it and have mayor read it), compose and read a poem (perhaps "Ode to Maplewood on its Centennial"), release a flight of doves against an azure sky, petition the local post office to issue a First Day Cover for local philatelists, sponsor a bouncy house, sponsor an ikebana tutorial for adults, arrange food trucks and dramatic performances in Memorial Park, and, last but not least, get McGuire Air Force Base to do a flyover with some F-22 Raptors (but not during dramatic performances).  Alas, but no.  The secret could only be revealed to the News-Recked.

Dave:  exactly the kind of post that keeps me checking in on MOL regularly --so funny, so classic, so reminiscent of the collective pride we used to have in our town and how readily we'd put the time & effort into any excuse to get us all together to celebrate it together.  Thanks for the walk down Memory Lane.  Shall we just blame COVID for allowing such a momentous date to pass by without a townwide Party JUST like you describe???  Miss those days!


I recall the Millburn Centennial celebration. It lasted about a month. Parades, events in Taylor Park that included a "Chuck wagon" selling brisket just like the cowboys had.

(I recall reading an account of cowboy life on the Good Loving trail. "We was paid damn few money and damn plenty beans.") I don't know how a chuck wagon figured into Millburn Township history and the meal wasn't all that spectacular. 

I marched in the M.H.S. marching band at the centennial parade. I was in the 10th grade and I remember feeling proud to be part of that.... white shirt, white pants. white buckskin shoes and a blue tie. Other organizations showed up and marched and a couple of other organization were paid to parade in the event.

And there was a centennial book.  I have no idea where our family copy went to. I guess the Millburn Library would still have a copy or two.

1857 was when Millburn separated from Springfield.


I recall the Millburn Centennial celebration. It lasted about a month. Parades, events in Taylor Park that included a "Chuck wagon" selling brisket just like the cowboys had.

(I recall reading an account of cowboy life on the Good Loving trail. "We was paid damn few money and damn plenty beans.") I don't know how a chuck wagon figured into Millburn Township history and the meal wasn't all that spectacular. 

I marched in the M.H.S. marching band at the centennial parade. I was in the 10th grade and I remember feeling proud to be part of that.... white shirt, white pants. white buckskin shoes* and a blue tie. Other organizations showed up and marched and a couple of other organization were paid to parade in the event. And of course, lots of fire engines from neighboring towns.

And there was a centennial book.  I have no idea where our family copy went to. I guess the Millburn Library would still have a copy or two.

1857 was when Millburn separated from Springfield.

* Can you even get white buckskin shoes anymore. Who on M.Ol., under the age of 70, knows what they are?


dave said:

I'm surprised someone who knew that this date was upon us didn't reach out in advance to anyone, including the N-R, MOL, TC, etc, to give them a heads-up or enquire as to how he/she/they might be able to help order fireworks, make cotton candy, roll in a helium canister for balloons, inflate them for children, bake and sell/distribute cupcakes, hire a few clowns (one on stilts), make a ribbon, cut ribbon with mayor with giant scissors in front of Town Hall, organize marching bands and a parade, give a rousing speech (or write it and have mayor read it), compose and read a poem (perhaps "Ode to Maplewood on its Centennial"), release a flight of doves against an azure sky, petition the local post office to issue a First Day Cover for local philatelists, sponsor a bouncy house, sponsor an ikebana tutorial for adults, arrange food trucks and dramatic performances in Memorial Park, and, last but not least, get McGuire Air Force Base to do a flyover with some F-22 Raptors (but not during dramatic performances).  Alas, but no.  The secret could only be revealed to the News-Recked.

Given that the town has a Historic Preservation Committee, a Town Historian, Durand-Hedden House & Garden Association and Grasmere Local history center  --  all of whom are intimiately involved in local history, and all of whom were given the opportuntiy to work with me on this project (none were willing to provide any form of assistance) --  it was hardly my position to reach out to anyone else.


Formerlyjerseyjack said:

I recall the Millburn Centennial celebration. It lasted about a month. Parades, events in Taylor Park that included a "Chuck wagon" selling brisket just like the cowboys had.

(I recall reading an account of cowboy life on the Good Loving trail. "We was paid damn few money and damn plenty beans.") I don't know how a chuck wagon figured into Millburn Township history and the meal wasn't all that spectacular. 

I marched in the M.H.S. marching band at the centennial parade. I was in the 10th grade and I remember feeling proud to be part of that.... white shirt, white pants. white buckskin shoes* and a blue tie. Other organizations showed up and marched and a couple of other organization were paid to parade in the event. And of course, lots of fire engines from neighboring towns.

And there was a centennial book.  I have no idea where our family copy went to. I guess the Millburn Library would still have a copy or two.

1857 was when Millburn separated from Springfield.

* Can you even get white buckskin shoes anymore. Who on M.Ol., under the age of 70, knows what they are?

I was just a kid, but who could forget Pat Boone and his white bucks.



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