History

Glenwood Ave. Drainage History

As far back as 1924 there are published reports of drainage issues and flooding on Glenwood Avenue in Merchantville. In The Morning Post (Camden, New Jersey) on December 23, 1924 the borough highway committee was reported to be working with Delaware Township (Cherry Hill) on railroad drainage issues. In July of 1925 eleven residents filed a complaint with Council about the lack of a proper drainage in the thoroughfare, and in September of 1926 authorization of $1,250 for a storm sewer to drain "the lake that forms at Holly and Glenwood avenues." In 1938, 1939 and 1940 referencing garage and home flooding, a county sponsored WPA ditch drainage project that would cross Glenwood Avenue thereby overwhelming the runoff system and opposition to the project by Merchantville's borough engineer and Council. In a May 1947 Courier-Post article Borough Council requested that Freeholders supply storm sewers to drain Glenwood Avenue stating, "Drainage of the area, which has been flooded several times, has been problem for nearly 20 years." and in August 1950 police reports that the 200 block of Glenwood was flooded and "pedestrians and cars could not get through". Borough Council reported in December 1951 that the drainage project on Glenwood Avenue was "making normal progress".  Again, after a major storm in June 1969, flooding was reported on the "200 block of Glenwood Avenue." Ten years later, in March of 1979, resident Grace Green sent a letter to the Courier-Post chastising Councilwoman Yates and the mayor for condoning the existing water problem at Holly and Glenwood. The next searchable news about this comes from a Philadelphia Inquirer article on November 10, 1989 and p.2  titled, "Merchantville attacks problem of flooding on Glenwood Ave." It discusses the response to a serious flooding issue in October of that year. In 1992 the Inquirerpage 2 recorded the drainage issue as seen through the eyes of resident, Bob Press, sharing tales of knee-deep flooding four times a year. And from 1994, in a series of four articles - May, July, August and September - found in the Courier-Post and Philadelphia Inquirer, the ongoing saga of Glenwood Avenue is memorialized. In January of 1995 an $85,000 contract was awarded by Mayor and Council to VSP, Inc., Haddonfield to relocate and repair storm drains and pipes on Glenwood Avenue. 

 

Centennial Meeting

The day was August 11, 1919. A meeting was held In Merchantville by returning local doughboys to start a chapter of the newly formed Veterans group called the American Legion. 100 years later to the day we will return to spot where it all started. A very special post meeting that is open to the public as we reflect on those humble beginnings and pay tribute to our Post namesake, 19 year old resident Frederick W. Grigg. The meeting will be held upstairs in Council chambers as it was in the "old Borough Hall" 100 years ago. The meeting will begin at 12 noon. Following the meeting all are invited to raise a glass at Eclipse brewing to young Frederick and the rest of the doughboys who set into motion a century of service to our local Veterans. Join in on a singing of "Over There" as we proudly celebrate Merchantville Posts 100th Birthday! Hope you can join us.

Dr. John P. Rudolph

An interview from November 6, 2014 by Maureen McLoone, president of Merchantville's Historical Society. Dr. Rudolph, formerly of Merchantville, NJ resided in Medford Leas, NJ at the time of this interview. As a doctor, his professional acumen, dedication, compassion and attitude has engendered confidence from his patients throughout his many years as a physician. As a friend, his firm hand shake, warm greeting, broad smile, and cheerful conversation; connote a genuine friendship to old as well as new acquaintances. As a highly respected citizen, his cooperation with and attention to civic, social, and benevolent matters have neither been slighted nor have they been neglected even though his profession demanded so much of his time. Service to his country, during World War II, in the European Theatre, further attests to this. At the MHS Annual Meeting, they highlighted his life in Merchantville from 1922 through 1977.

The Voices of Merchantville

On October 17, 2018 the Merchantville Historical Society met for their annual meeting with a presentation of Eagle Scout Zachary Moore's documentary "The Voices of Merchantville". Zachary showcased his presentation - as part of Camden County History Week - through interviews with 16 residents and collaborative research material. Over a period of 6 months, he was at the helm of his team of fellow scouts from Troop 119, producing, directing, and delegating, in order to execute the phases of his venture. 

Street dedication planned

Merchantville American Legion Post #68 along with Borough Officials would like to invite all residents and the public to the Corporal Grigg Way Street Dedication on May 4th at 9:30 a.m. at the corner of Alexander and West Chestnut Avenues.  This historic and special event is being held to rename West Chestnut Avenue after a young man that was recognized by the WW1 Battle Commission. He is the namesake of Merchantville's American Legion Post and one of the most heroic young men that called our community home. Corporal Frederick Grigg enlisted at the age of 15 and served on two fronts with the US Army and New Jersey National Guard, he was killed in action during WW1 at the age of 18. 100 years later we will honor his legacy of service and sacrifice with a tribute in front of the very house where his family lived. We hope you can join us. Light refreshments will be served following the service.

Theft of Jersey Joe Walcott’s marker

A bronze marker honoring the legendary boxer Jersey Joe Walcott has been reported missing from the site of the old Campbell’s Field baseball stadium in Camden. Authorities believe thieves ripped the marker from a path that was a walk of fame honoring Walcott and other Camden County natives. Jersey Joe Walcott was inducted into the walk of fame at Campbell’s Field in August 2015. The inlet was placed in front of the stadium to honor the Merchantville native who won the world heavyweight title in 1951, becoming an unlikely champion. https://www.philly.com/news/new-jersey/jersey-joe-walcott-boxer-stolen-marker-campbells-field-demolition-camden-nj-20190207.html?fbclid=IwAR1Xw8-n_SynZpsYcEd_BL8w2lz77QTY798ZsBVTi04mX4lf9syKShbIqmg

Personal Finance: Parents’ ‘stuff’ can be a burden for boomers

Sandy Edwards, a retired teacher in Carmichael, vividly remembers how she and her siblings divvied up the contents of their parents’ sprawling, four-story Victorian mansion in Merchantville, N.J., which had been in the family since 1900. It took two years and innumerable trips back East. Essentially, “we linked arms and walked room by room. http://bit.ly/1mbcSyW

Former resident honored

The Nantucket Council on Aging has named Michael Varbalow its 2014 Senior Citizen of the Year for their positive impact on the island’s elderly community and uplifting presence on a yearly basis. Varbalow, 75, grew up in the small town of Merchantville, N.J. and was raised by parents who were heavily involved in the community. He attributes his love for small towns and community service to them.

First town meeting

On March 4, 1965, Mayor Walter Kurkian, Russell Mutschler, planning board chairman and architect, Oscar Stonorov are pictured at the first town meeting in the 91 year history of the Borough. The meeting was sponsored by the planning board to acquaint residents with how the planning board operates and preliminary development of a Master Plan. The meeting attracted more than 300 residents and was reported in the Courier-Post.

Philly soccer 100: Opening Day, 1913

There was a great deal of news for Philadelphia soccer fans before the start of league play on Oct. 4, 1913. Belmont Cricket Club, holders of the Mannheim Prize, — the Cricket Club league championship trophy that is still played for today — for four-seasons running and so important to the rejuvenation of the soccer locally through their hosting of the first international friendly in Philadelphia in 1901, moved across the river to Merchantville in New Jersey and would now play under that name after their West Philadelphia grounds had been bought by the city for the recreation center that stands to this day between 49th and 51st streets and Chester and Kingsessing Avenues. http://bit.ly/HbkRe7

Remembering the Garden State Racetrack

On this, the 40th anniversary of Secretariat’s Triple Crown, I took a ride by the land where Garden State Park once stood, rising majestically with a white wooden grandstand like the Yankee Stadium of horse racing. Now another indistinct shopping center, this sacred soil used for shopping was where Secretariat raced only a few months before becoming thoroughbred majesty in 1973.  Back then, there was a gap in the fence off Third Ave., near the back entrance of the track. The gap was wide enough for a kid’s body, which is where I used to sneak in back the early 1970’s, avoiding the dollar entrance fee. The mile or so walk up Chapel Ave from St. Peter’s School in Merchantville raced by like “Big Red” himself, talking with my older brother, Rich, and usually two of our friends. On half days, we would sprint out of school and go to the race track, ditching our book bags in the lower church as we said a quick prayer for a good day at the track. http://on.cpsj.com/19PtCSN

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