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.
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.