Boonton 1940s

Corner of Main and William, Courtesy of Lloyd Charlton

street surrounded by red brick buildings

Corner of Main and William Today

black and white photo of Business Section, Boonton, NJ

World War II and Impact to the Boonton Community

Source: Lloyd and Terry Charlton

“It was a Sunday afternoon on December 7, 1941 and lots of people were at the Boonton High School field watching the local semi-pro football team, the Panthers, play football. Bill Bednar was watching the game and his friend came by and said to Bill, “We are at war.” To which Bill replied, “What did I ever do to you?” Then an announcement was made over the loudspeaker that Pearl Harbor had been bombed.”

During WWII, people proudly put a flag with a blue star in their front window so everyone in town knew if a family member was serving in the military. If a Gold Star was displayed in a front window, it indicated that a soldier had died in the line of duty defending his country

Everyone in America took the War very seriously and we understood the sacrifices the soldiers were making to keep us free. Military people were greatly honored by our generation and deservedly so. We didn’t ask for WWII but we certainly were not going to lose it.

Because meat was rationed, many people in Boonton began to raise chickens and even rabbits in their back yards. People were encouraged by the government to plant a “Victory Garden” to provide for their family’s need for fruits and vegetables.

This was a tremendous help to the government and one Internet site said that in 1946, when people suddenly stopped planting their victory gardens, there was a shortage of fruits and vegetables that year.

Many young families couldn’t afford to live independently while husbands went to war. Mothers and their small children often moved back home to live with their parents.

Rationing was placed on sugar, flour, butter, milk, cheese, eggs, coffee, canned goods – even silk stockings.

An average family’s income in 1940 was approximately $2,000 a year. Yet everyone was so patriotic they invested in War bonds to help fund the war. Bond stamps were sold for as little as 10 cents, and when the War bond stamp book was filled, the bond would be issued.

Royal Scarlet Stores

Postcard of The Dam with the Royal Scarlet Grocery in the background

The Dam, Boonton, N.J.

At the Royal Scarlet Grocery that Lloyd Charlton’s parents owned, they put pictures of soldiers in the window. 

“We called it the XYZ SOCIETY,” Alice Charlton Heaton said. “We had a big bulletin board and the guys would write to my mom at the store and the letters were posted on the bulletin board so everybody could read them.”

The Royal Scarlet Grocery was on the corner of Main and Highland

The Dam in 2017

A dam surrounded by snow

16 of 51 Grandchildren of Boonton Couple Now in Our Armed Services

Of the 51 grand-children of Mr. and Mrs. Flaviano Di Edwardo, 16 were in the Armed Services. This undated photo shows 14 of them. Pictured from top left are: Alfred Di Edwardo; Patrick Di Edwardo; Clarence Di Edwardo; Albert Venturini; Augustine Bacchetta; Alfred Bacchetta; Lewis Ezzi; Benjamin Ezzi; Gabriel Ezzi; Emidio Cacciabeve; Alfred J. Di Edwardo; William Di Edwardo; Clarence Lasalandra; Angelo Lasalandra.

The article went on to say: “A service flag with 16 stars might well hang in front of the home of Flaviano and Annunziata Di Edwardo at 133 Morris avenue(*), for among their 51 grandchildren, that many are in the active service in the armed forces”. Mr. Di Edwardo came to this country from the Province of Abruzzi, Italy in 1905. He shortly sent for his two eldest sons and in 1912 brought his wife an remaining children here. (*) The couple’s home resided on Monroe St although their address was listed as Morris Ave in the telephone book at that time.

Photo courtesy from the collection of Jean Savercool

16 of 51 Grandchildren of Boonton Couple Now In Our Armed Services, detailed newspaper clip