Boonton 1930’s

1931 - George Washington Bi-Centennial Tree

1932 marked the bicentennial of the birth of George Washington.

Throughout the country, celebrations and commemorations were held. Coins were struck, twelve new stamps issued, and plates of varying sizes and designs were sold.

In Boonton, the Garden Group of the Women’s Club sponsored the planting of a 22 foot white spruce tree in Grace Lord park “so that Boonton would have a permanent community Christmas tree that would also serve as an everlasting memorial to the father of our country in whose honor we are asked to plant trees”.

Since this was a community project, all organizations and lodges in Boonton were asked to participate in the funding of this tree.

A dedication ceremony was held in Grace Lord Park on July 20, 1931, where “every man, women and child in Boonton” was invited to attend. 

The tree was registered on the national honor roll of the American Tree Association as a George Washington memorial tree.

To read more, visit:

Aug 1938 – New ambulance in First call

The Kiwanis ambulance received its first call early last Friday responding to a call made by Dr. C.A. Musetto who gave first aid to Herbert Romaine of Beverwyck Road, Boonton Manor when he fell from his motorcycle when attempting to make a turn on Beverwyck near the Knolls.

The call was received Friday morning at 7:45, arriving at the scene at 7:52. Boonton Kiwanis made the trip to Morristown Memorial Hospital with the patient in 29 minutes, arriving there at 8:21.

The driver was Clifford Vorhees.

To read more about Boonton Kiwanis, visit:

PEOPLE of the 1930’s

Mother Mary Joseph (1885- 1956), who was born Mary E. Dunn to Mr. and Mrs. John E. Dunn Sr. (Margaret Donovan) in Boonton, New Jersey entered the Caldwell Dominican Community in 1902. As a young sister, she taught at elementary and high school levels.

Mother Joseph was elected Mother Superior of the Caldwell Dominican Sisters in 1927 and re-elected in 1933. Due to her involvement in the creation of Caldwell College for Women at the time is was suggested that she be permitted to run again for re-election. She was indeed re-elected for a third term on the first ballot!

In 1927, Mother Joseph sought permission to erect a junior college in Caldwell, however, the request was denied as the Bishop felt the need for a woman’s college was already met by the College of Saint Elizabeth at Convent Station.

Mother Joseph never abandoned her dream of a college. On June 21, 1939, the Bishop announced that a college for women would be opened in Caldwell by September. Mother Joseph and her Council had done the impossible. They had created the College amidst the Great Depression and war. The college officially opened on September 22, 1939, as Caldwell College for Women, with thirty-four students. By 1947, the college’s enrollment had increased to 170. Just as it is now, the faculty and student body were a close-knit community. The spirit of the family was nurtured by the creation and fostering of many Dominican traditions.

After the blessing of the cornerstone for Raymond Hall, the Honorable Alexander P. Waugh a lifetime resident of Caldwell and dear friend to the sisters, spoke of the sisters and Mother Joseph, “Dominicans were not standing still. Great things were happening…Mother Joseph’s name was legendary in the Caldwell Community. She knew what Almighty God wanted her to achieve – and she knew how to obtain material to achieve those objectives. That quiet, able nun on the hill was a mental match for anyone in the Community.”

At the age of 71 Mother Joseph Dunn passed away on Good Friday, March 30, 1956. As the foundress of Caldwell University, she has left behind a legacy of carrying and passing on the torch of truth through education and the zeal for the Church, marked with the Dominican spirit.


Frank ‘Dins’ Makosky
– (1910 – 1987) born in Boonton, Frank graduated from Boonton High School in 1930 and is believed to have earned 16 letters - 4 letters each year in football, basketball, baseball and track. According to Franks son, he was offered 17 athletic scholarships but did not accept any. He continued to play baseball in local leagues, married and worked locally at Dixon Brothers delivering ice.

Shortly after his first son (Frank) was born, he was scouted by the New York Yankees. He played for their farm team the Newark Bears from 1934 through 1936. Towards the end of the 1936 season, he then was brought up to the parent team. The Yankees wanted him to pitch batting practice. His son Frank remarked “They were going to play the NY Giants in the World Series and the Giants had a great pitcher Carl Hubbell. He threw a pitch he called a "screwball" and the Yankees knew that my father's "forkball" acted much like Hubbell's screwball so during batting practice my father threw nothing but forkballs”. The Yankees won the 1936 World Series.

He made his Major League Baseball debut with the New York Yankees in 1937 as a pitcher. In 26 career games, he had a 5–2 record, with a 4.97 ERA. He batted and threw right-handed. Frank played on the same team as Lou Gehrig, Joe DiMaggio and Lefty Gomez to name a few.

In 1938-39 he played with the AAA Kansas City Blues. In 1940-41 he played for the AAA Milwaukee Brewers. In later years, did some relief pitching for the Newark Bears in 1945-46. In the late 40s he pitched for the Madison Colonels.

According to his family they believe the nickname ‘Din’s was given to Frank by his classmates in sort of a perverse way because he was so quiet. “The word ‘din" means loud and boisterous”, Frank Jr said. He was inducted in the Boonton High School Hall of Fame in 1996.

More about the 1937 Yankees:

The World's Greatest Traveling Marionette Show got its start in Boonton

Typically, Boonton’s Miller-Kingsland house evokes the pre-Revolutionary War era, as well as an image of George Washington who is said to have marched past the house with his belabored troops scouring the countryside in search of provisions.

Strik­ing as these scenes may be, they pale somewhat to the surreal picture of hundreds of marionettes dangling from the rafters of the property’s barn; however, that is just how history unfolded at the Miller-Kingsland Farm.

Mabel Kingsland Byrne Head and her husband Cedric, who married in 1929, went on to establish the Kingsland Marionettes.

The talented couple originated the Kingsland Marionettes in 1930, making their head­quarters in the Miller-Kingsland House on the property of the Kingsland farm. Mabel was the last of her family’s line to reside in this, Boonton’s oldest recorded residence, c.1740.

In 1939 Mabel and Cedric, who spent most of the year on the road performing and teaching, moved into a smaller house on the property. To read more about this story here: Kingsland Marionettes

Semi Pro Football in Boonton

In the early thirties, both the West End Club and the Boonton AC had teams. The Boonton AC (later named C.A. Righters All Stars), had probably the first ‘two-team’ system in local football. Half of the team was composed of Boonton area men, and half of the players from Paterson. In a game against Morristown in 1932, the Boonton players played the first half, and the Paterson players played the second half. Boonton tied the game 6-6. Al Beradino was the player-coach of this team.

The thirties also saw the advent of the Trojan AC on the football scene. The Trojans were made up mostly of boys from the Hill section of Boonton, and were supplied plays and coaching advise from Coach Kieffer Shriner of Boonton HS. Opponents of the Trojans included Ogdensburg, Clifton and the Rockaway Iron Dukes. They played from 1934-1936. Verle Russell was manager/coach.

Local News of Boonton past

October 9, 1936

The Hindenburg glided over Boonton this morning at about 8 o’clock, passing directly over the old Silk Mill in the direction of the Jersey City Reservoir. This route was not scheduled, for latest reports Indicated that it would not be in this vicinity. The Zeppelin is making a 618 mile cruise over New Jersey, New York and New England with a group of oil Company officials.

The following year on May 6, the Hindenburg crashed in Lakehurst NJ. Edward Douglas, the brother of Halsey Douglas, who at one time was a Boonton correspondent for the Newark Evening news, was one of the victims.

1935 –The Times Bulletin, editor section stated:

“The road department is to be congratulated on their efficient work in removal of snow on our many miles of streets in such a remarkable short time.” Read more on page 4:1935_Times_Bulletin

(After over 80 years, our current road department still demonstrates the same dedicated service to the town)

Also on page 4 in this paper, the editor, Charles L. Grubb stated that: 

“We are for: 
  • More parking space in Boonton 
  • Bridge from Boonton Manor to Boonton * 
  • Swimming pool for women and children 
  • A Boys Band 
  • Killing of ALL weeds” 
* The Boonton Manor section, according to newspaper articles, is the area near the Knolls and Beverwyck road.

1936 – On April 1, the Boonton Post Office marked the 25th anniversary of postal city delivery in Boonton. On April 1, 1911, the United States Post Office Department first instituted delivery service. Mail carrier Dawfy Righter stated he has ‘trodden’ over 100, 000 miles during the 25-year period through ice and snow, rain and hail.
Read more about this milestone: 1936_Times_Bulletin

1938 – The Beverly Bag Company took over the former Pelgram and Meyer silk mill and manufactured plastic and cloth handbags which were sold all over the country



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