Gilsenan and Company Realtors

Gilsenan and Company Realtors
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J. Smith operated a saw mill near the Crescent Avenue-Brookside Avenue intersection by 1861, and Henry Mallinson ran a blacksmith and wagon ship at the Intersection of Allendale Avenue and Franklin Turnpike. Later John J. Van Horn ran a blacksmith shop and cider mill on Franklin Turnpike.

Peat was mined in 1866 and 1867 by John J. Zabriskie in the meadows of Allendale once known as Wolf Swamp (an Indian gathering place), later known as Appert’s farm or the Celery Farm and today is a wildlife refuge. About 1880 Albert Lydecker erected a grist mill on the Ho-Ho-Kus Brook near West Crescent Avenue, and Hopper Yeomans ran a traveling butcher shop, carrying meats and vegetables by wagon to customers on his route. R.V. Ackerman ran his general store on Park Avenue near the Erie Depot, and Abraham Rowland opened another general store on Cottage Place. Still another grocery store opened near the center of what is today’s business district, and after a series of partnerships and name changes it became known as Winter Brothers’ Store, later changing from groceries to strictly hardware.

By 1859, the railroad began to bring its first commuters to the area. New Yorkers looking for the healthy country life began to come to Allendale and its neighboring towns. Some came and settled. Some wealthy city people established summer homes here, and others came to vacation, to the extent that Allendale, by the 1880s, was gaining a reputation as the “Newport of Bergen County”. It was said that during the 1880s and 1890s there was barely a house in town that didn’t have a “boarders” sign hanging out front. One of the most influential newcomers was Oliver Hazard Perry Archer, a former Erie Railroad Vice President, who by 1869 had made Allendale his summer home.

This signaled the beginning of the end of the strawberry frenzy in Allendale. Farmers began to realize that their farmland could bring them more money when sold as building sites than it did when planted with crops. In 1868 Herman Tallman and Harvey Sherwood bought a 34 acre tract from John A. Garrison and his wife, Dolly. They subdivided this tract into building plots and laid out streets including Park Avenue, Mallinson Street and First Street; hence Allendale’s first real estate “development” was born. About the same time, Daniel Anthony cleared approximately 100 acres along two streets, Anthony Street (now Brookside Avenue) and Allendale Avenue, and created 120 building plots, which he offered for sale at between $50 and $100 each.

Allendale’s two oldest churches were also established about this time. The Episcopal Church of the Epiphany grew from a Sunday School started in 1872 in the homes of Mrs. Stephen Cable and her daughter, Mrs. James Reading. In 1875, O.H.P. Archer built the Archer United Methodist Church.

Telephones came to the area in 1879 when the first exchange opened in Paterson with 11 subscribers. Allendale’s first phone, in 18997, was a pay station in R.V. Ackerman’s store.

Officially part of NEw Barbadoes Township since 1693, in 1767 Allendale (and a large surrounding territory) became Franklin Township. In 1849, a large section of Franklin Township, including part of Allendale, became Ho-Ho-Kus Township. In April 1885, this area was divided and part of it, including much of present day Allendale, was called Orvil Township. In 1894, Allendale residents voted 100 for and 11 against the establishment of a new borough, which was formed from parts of Franklin, Ho-Ho-Kus and Orvil Townships. Two years later, Allendale had its own new schoolhouse (which today is Allendale’s Police Station) at a building cost of $5,500.

In 1902 the depot, which had stood on the east side of the tracks, was moved to its present location on the west side of the tracks. In December 1903, four tracks, instead of the previous two tracks, were put into operation. By about 1911, the North Jersey Rapid Transit Company was running a trolley through Allendale.

West Allendale Avenue just east of the railroad station. What had formerly been a residential section, with streets lined with homes, was changed into a commercial area with stores and storefront buildings. Some of the houses were converted into stores, and others were torn down or moved to nearby streets, High Street and Myrtle Avenue, to make room for the building of stores. By 1930, the business district looked much the way it does today.

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