Friday, June 26, 2009
I am a proud "Bromleyite" dating back to 1964 when we purchased our Atlantic Avenue home. At the time, Atlantic Avenue and Massachusetts Avenues were among the prettiest tree-lined streets in the township, even as they are today. But alas, we all age, and age takes a toll on our physical countenance. This applies to neighborhoods as well as our physical appearance. I have come to love the Bromley section of Hamilton, and have seen a gradual decline in the community. One of those negative indications of that decline is found in the numerous sales people who have knocked on my door offering to sell me an alarm system. One wonders if those salesmen and women are plying their trade in Hamilton Square, the Sawmill-southern section of Hamilton, Briar Woods, and other "upscale" township areas. I think not. If I had a wish list, it would be to see the incredibly beautiful Hollywood Drive, Park Lane, Waverly Place area given the attention it deserves. That little "village within the township" known as Bromley Place, along with Bromley Park, were probably among the more attractive neighborhoods in the central Jersey area. Thanks to community minded organizations like the Bromley Civic Center who are making a valiant effort to "Change Bromley," an effort is being made to bring pride back to the wonderful residents of Bromley.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
This rare photo of the Bromley Inn came from a glass slide. I date it circa 1912. I have been searching for historical news items on the founding of the inn. The guest list at Mr. and Mrs. Fulkert's 25th anniversary party lists many local notable Bromley pioneers, including Peter Dolan whose Hamilton Hotel was a favorite watering hole for Bromley residents and also visitors to the New Jersey State Fair. John Harter operated a nursery on Nottingham Way behind today's Hamilton Municipal Building. Daniel Klockner operated a cabbage farm in the area of today's Klockner School.
The above plat map shows the layout for Bromley Place as developed by Charles Teunon, who was also the developer of Lakeside Park in Yardville. This is a fascinating graphic. The map does not indicate where the "Entrance To Bromley Manor" was located. However, the directions indicate Greenwood and Johnston Avenue. I took "artistic license" in the engraving above showing the entrance to Bromley Place in 1910. The original ad was black and white. I'm sure you will agree that it is much more attractive when "tweaked" with computer image editing software. It is pure speculation on my part that the view could be looking from Greenwood Avenue toward E. State Street on Johnston Avenue. Remember, the area was newly developed and the buildings we see on the corner of Greenwood and Johnston Avenue today were probably not there in the early years of the settlement. Fascinating!
One of the more fascinating historical places in Hamilton along with Charles Fulkert's Bromley Inn is the Fashion Stud Farm, once located in the area of Hamilton in the area of the New Jersey State Fair grounds. Newspaper descriptions of Smith's Fashion Stud Farm indicated that it was a sumptuous facility with a grandstand, a race track and the home of the fabled "Goldsmith Maid," whose tomb is now on the Kuser Farm property. General Grant kept his horse at the Fashion Stud Farm. Unfortunately, the farm was involved in a number of destructive fires over the years of its existance. Back then, there was no Bromley fire company, and fires were fought by Trenton fire companies.