Morgan Redeux – The Morgan-NJ.org Web Site!

Painting of the Morgan Section of Sayreville by H & H Wiley Courtesy of the Sayreville Historical Society.

Painting of the Morgan Section of Sayreville by H & H Wiley Courtesy of the Sayreville Historical Society.

Find the new stuff by clicking on RECENT ADDITIONS, above.

Morgan, New Jersey is not really a city or a town but rather a political subsection of the Borough of Sayreville and named for the family which purchased the property just a little over 300 years ago.  It is located on the western shores of Raritan Bay, bordered to the north by the City of South Amboy and by Cheesequake Creek to the south.  The western border seems to be not quite well defined though it is, I’m told, generally understood to be somewhere around the present day Garden State Parkway.

The original “Five Hundred acres of Land & marsh” was purchased by Charles Morgan III on May 7, 1710 and appears to have remained in the family for some 200 years.  Now a long established bedroom community, it was once a sparsely populated wooded area and even before that time, was presumably the home to the Lenni Lenape tribe.  Since then, Morgan gained a railroad, which is still very much in use, a state highway also very much in use.  For a few decades, there was a trolley line.  For some fifty years, there was a thriving beach community which was the first stop in New Jersey’s fabled “Jersey Shore.” There were markers showing the border between New York and New Jersey. For a few hundred years there was a historic inn with the legend of the hanging of a spy. Within an eleven month time period, there was the expedited building of one of the largest munitions plants of its time, or ever, and its deadly sudden and total destruction.  The bluff overlooking the bay was used during the Revolution as a way to monitor enemy ship movements. One member of the Morgan family was killed during the revolution and is buried next to his father and brother all of whom were part of the Middlesex County Militia – the brother also later being a member of the US Congress House of Representatives. There is one school, two cemeteries, no places of worship I can think of, a brick road, a few marinas – even after Hurricane Sandy, a channel with two jetties, two road bridges and one railroad bridge over Cheesequake Creek, a gas pipeline leading under the bay, a number of small businesses but mostly houses and the remains of “The Woods.”  If Facebook and the initial response to this web site are guides, Morgan is also very fondly thought of by the many people who either grew up there or spent a good portion of their lives there.

To view a topic, click on any of the topics to the right of the HOME button at the top of this page.

If you are revisiting, check out the new stuff by clicking on RECENT ADDITIONS to the right of the HOME button at the top of this page.

52 thoughts on “Morgan Redeux – The Morgan-NJ.org Web Site!

  1. Darrell Larsen

    Thank you for your hard work on this web site. I enjoy the articles and information you provide. I grew up in Morgan not knowing much of the history unfortunately the schools tought us nothing about our own great town.

    Thank you
    Darrell

    Reply
  2. Jim Maciejewski

    Hello Verne! I, Jim Maciejewski, had posted a modern day map used by the Sayreville Auxilary PD on Morgan’s fb group page about 2 years or so ago. It shows the GSP, Garden State Parkway, as being the borderline and not Rt 35. There’s a few streets that run off the main road, Gondek Dr, that is used to get to the docks/boatyards off the Cheesequake Creek off Ernston Rd today. Plus there’s a small development off Rt 35 on St Peter Dr, near a jughandle off Rt 35 near the South Amboy boderline, that runs out to the GSP. Good to see the site up and running again. It’s a great learning tool and very interesting. Thanks for all you do, Jim Maciejewski.

    Reply
  3. Sherry Bailey

    Love this site. I grew up at the Robert E. Lee (1960 – 1973). Would love to see someone develope the property that the Robert E. Lee was.

    Reply
  4. David Caruso

    Great website. Very informative about the neighborhood that I spent a good portion of my youth. Had no idea there was such historical significance there.

    One incident I remember somewhat clearly is an event that occurred in the summer of 1997. While the movie “Star Wars” was released that summer, some sort of freight train was broken into on the NJT railroad tracks in Morgan just steps from the now defunct dirt cliff “Suey.” The freight car contained an overabundance of “Star Wars” action figures that were promptly taken and the entire area surrounding the tracks was littered with opened and discarded Star Wars’ action figure packages. I was only 6, but remember this quite vividly…mostly because I got there too late.

    Anyone else remember that event?

    Reply
    1. Dave Caruso

      Correction. The summer of the great Star Wars action figure caper was the summer of 1977, not 1997…sorry for the type-o.

      Also, what is now Parker Court, which showcases luxury homes that were constructed in the late 1980s, is where “Suey” once was…and not too far from the cliff was what appeared to be a semi-constructed rail bridge. Anyone familiar with that and story behind it?

      Reply
        1. Rick Morgan

          Hello Verne:
          On June 21, 2014, I posted the message below under “Morgan Family Members Visiting Morgan Family Cemetery.” The message is awaiting “moderation”. I want to make sure that my message gets posted, since I would like to communicate and share info with other descendants of Charles Morgan of Gravesend. Perhaps you could send me an email to let me know when my message has been posted. My email is included in my original message, minus the “@” sign.
          Thanks.
          Rick Morgan
          ================================================================================
          Dear Morgan-NJ.org:

          I just came across your post about a gathering of Morgan descendants in Morgan, NJ in 2011. I’m responding to your invitation to hear from other descendants of Charles Morgan of Gravesend, New Amsterdam. Some 30 years ago I traced my family’s Morgan surname back to that Charles Morgan, whom I suspect was the first Morgan to reside in what is now New York State.

          I would love to connect with others who share my Morgan ancestry. I’m happy to share my Robert Moore Morgan family tree, which may be accessed at http://trees.ancestry.com/tree/66385744/ if you have a membership in Ancestry.com (otherwise, send me an email). My 1985 report The Ancestry of Rev. Walter A. Morgan includes chapters on Charles Morgan I of Gravesend, Charles Morgan II of Flushing & Perth Amboy, along with subsequent generations of Morgans in CT, NY, OH and IA – just google the title.

          It’s wonderful that there are still descendants of Charles Morgan I in New Jersey! Let’s keep in touch.

          Rick Morgan
          5902 32nd St, NW
          Washington, DC
          MorganRick50
          Gmail.com
          21 June 2014

          Reply
  5. Linda Frankel [Moskal]

    Was trying to connect with a group called you know you`re from Morgan if…was uunable to do so but I came upon this site instead. I grew up in Morgan and really enjoyed reaading the historical background. I remember being told as a child the that one member of the Morgan family was Morgan the Pirate and he docked his ship on Morgan Beach. Obviously not true! I was a very gullible child! Thank you for providing me with more accuratte information.

    Reply
      1. Brian Burlew

        The metal bridge was known by us as the three stones…. The hills were big suey, little suey, transco, maniac, big tit and a few others what good memories.

        Reply
  6. Vernie (Muth) Jarocki

    Verne. we have similar first names and a love and sense of awe for our childhood home. I am so happy that I found your blog. Both my husband Bill and I grew up in Morgan and enjoy your extensive research on the history of our small charming town.

    Reply
  7. Sue Meyer

    Verne,
    In bed and bored. Reviewing south amboy citizen to pass the time.

    Check out Jan 25th and Feb 1. This was right after Gillespie exploded. They apparently gave one of their remaining buildings to the YMCA and “Camp Morgan” was opened. A “canteen” providing for, entertainment, etc. for the soldiers.

    Ever heard of this? Any idea where the building was?

    Hope you are well.
    Sue Meyer

    Reply
  8. Robert Chevalier Busch

    In 1919 or 1920 after the Gillespie explosion there was a public sale of the remaining building at the sight. My uncle, Fred Dietrich went to the sale and purchased a buildilng with 2 rooms. He built a trailer, loaded the building on it, and moved it to Church Street in Matawan Twp ( which is now Aberdeen Twp) and attached it to the rear of existing house. This house with the attached building from Gillespie is still in use. This property was originally purchasd by my Grandparents in 1892 and I still use it.

    Reply
    1. morgannjadmin Post author

      Very cool!! What was the building made out of? I’m guessing if your uncle was able to transport it in 1919/1920 that it would not have been a brick building.

      Reply
  9. Susan

    Does anyone remember the gas leak explosion that leveled many of the homes behind the Club Bene? Was that land ever redeveloped? I moved from Morgan to Maryland in 1988 and have been back but never went back there to see.

    Reply
    1. Marty Lyons

      I remember the explosion. I lived across the swamp on Hillcrest Ave, in Laurence Harbor. The concussion I felt was like someone dropped a pallet of bricks on top of my roof. Really the shock wave was in line of sight to me across the swamp.

      Reply
      1. morgannjadmin Post author

        Thanks for the info. Wonder how or where we would be able to get more specifics on this. Any ideas?

        Reply
  10. MICKEY BARBA

    I consumed too much beer gazing at a wonderful view of South Amboy Waterworks at a long gone place we all called “40 HORSES”.Smoked all the bones I could smoke next to the baseball fields and JESSE SELOVER SCHOOL.(they throw ya in jail for doin’ that sorta thing these days).Many of those folks from then are dead and gone,but I have my memories…

    Reply
  11. Michele Farrell

    Hi I’m looking for Verne Muth. We are cousins and haven’t seen Morgan or talked to her in a long time. Hadens and Browns are mutual relatives

    Reply
  12. Bob Frenchu

    My great-grandparents Herman and Christina Springer used to live on the very south end of Morgan Avenue back in the late ’60s and early ’70s. I remember coming down the brick road to see them. I see all the houses on the cul-de-sac have been replaced. I remember sitting on his back porch and looking at the railroad bridge. Great web site– thanks for all the work.

    Reply
    1. morgannjadmin Post author

      Thank you. I believe I recall your great grandparents if they were the ones still involved with Cub Scouts. They were also known for the length of their marriage.

      Reply
  13. Sue Mathisen

    Great site. I lived in Morgan for 62 years and just moved recently. It’s changed alot but I still love it!

    Reply
  14. Jamie Bauer

    What a fascinating and informative site. I recall many joyful hours as a child in Morgan. If Bill Love is reading this, I am Jamie Bauer. You and I and Michael Teliszewski were playmates. I recall playing forts and other castle games in the Bloodgood’s magic castle. My mom chatted with your mom while we played and she, at 93 and still well, also recalls those days.
    My family built two houses in Morgan upon my Dad’s return from WW2. Of course I wasn’t born yet, but my older brother Bruce was born in 1947 when they lived in the first home at 49 Vineyard Ave. I was born when they lived in the second home at 193 Morgan Ave overlooking the cliff and bay. That house was an over-under duplex mother/daughter where we lived with my grandparents. My grandfather built a bench out behind the outdoor fireplace/grill, on the edge of the cliff, where we would sit and wave at the trains as they passed by. Often the engineers would blow the whistle for us as they passed. What a treat it was when we’d see the occasional steam locomotive still in use as they were phased out and replaced with diesels.
    My grandfather often took me along on his walks all over town. I recall sitting at the bar in Picky’s while my grandpa ate complimentary hot cherry peppers from the big glass jar, drank draft Piels and kibitzed with his pals. We’d go for a burger at Molly’s. I walked with him down Old Spy Rd, past the inn, which was still a functioning shop of some sort, and on down to The Robt. E. Lee where he’d shoot pool in the bar. We went to the beach across from the Robt. e. Lee. where I recall helping hundreds of hapless, inverted horseshoe crabs to right themselves and then crawl off.
    My mom worked the counter at Gene’s for a bit, where we’d often go for a dog and root beer or ice cream. Between 1951-53 my parents owned the confectionary, ice cream shop and soda fountain on Stevens in South Amboy a block or so from St. Mary’s.
    My kindergarten class at Jesse Selover had a set of identical twin boys, which were quite interesting at the time. I think they lived near the south end of either Liberty or Luke St. I recall my brother and I having many baseball cards which came packaged inside the Bazooka gum Mr. Ryan gave us when we filled up on Sunoco at his station. On a few occasions my brother Bruce dated Mr. Ryan’s daughter, once she went with my brother and our family to Palisades Park.
    There is a paragraph in an Exupery book about the dark and golden park that we, as adults, can never again enter. The vacant lot and field on the corner in front of our house and the Johnson’s house on Morgan Ave was that place for me. Years later, when I went back to visit my grandparents who remained after we moved, the lot had been sold and a brick ranch with trimmed lawn had been built. That was a sad day for me.
    One summer in the late 80s I was vacationing with my family in Boothbay Harbor, ME. We went on a vintage steam train ride and visited the local railroad museum. Imagine my surprise to see a photo in their collection taken from the Rt. 35 bridge looking up the tracks at a steam locomotive making head south behind our house. This is only tiny smattering of my happy recollections, but as others have written… Thank you much for this great work.

    Reply
    1. morgannjadmin Post author

      Hi Jamie!

      Glad you enjoyed the web site. It is a great place to be from and you mentioned many of the reasons for that. I forwarded your email address to Bill Love. Per chance, do you have any photos or artifacts from your childhood which I might be able to use in future pages on this web site? A photo of Gene’s, Molly’s, Millie’s, Ed Ryan’s Sunoco, Ernie Frank’s Texaco, or the inside of Kozy Lanes would be awesome! I remember your home and used to deliver newspapers there. Didn’t it used to be the third house from Route 35? I’m thinking something was knocked down at some point. The Johnson’s were my neighbors and were so great. Mrs. J lived to be over 100! I would love to see that photo in the Maine museum.

      Verne

      Reply
      1. Jamie Bauer

        Verne, The Johnson’s were your neighbors? Which house did you live in? The Johnson’s were our next door neighbors. Robbie Johnson was my brother’s friend. Thelma used to babysit us occasionally.
        Yes, it was the third house from route 35. There was Gene’s on Rt. 35, then the Dreilings (sp?), then the Farkis’, then our house, then the Johnson’s with the vacant lot on the corner.
        My Mom has scrapbooks and scrapbooks filled with memorabilia, but I cannot vouch for any of the exact content. I will ask her and see what we can find for you. I will get back to you.
        Jamie

        Reply
        1. anthony maresca

          This is unbelievably wonderfull to hear. I was not their neighbor. My parents had helped my aunt molly, my fathers sister, purchase the home and we were invited as guests for a few seasons. I was only 10 or 11 and my sister marie was closer to Thelmas age, who if Thelma is around would be about 78-79. Thelma would recall all even though I don’t recall any family ties after those years. They were such fond memories and such a beautiful place I would like to walk the short distance to where the Robert E Lee wasonce more.

          Reply
      2. anthony maresca

        hello verne–I think I have just written the wrong person a Jamie and was exicited to see your reply until I just realized it was written 2/24 to Jamie. I will make it short as I have been typing in length for an hour. I am up in my 70s now but spent the summers of 1949-50-51 at my fathers sisters home which I have many fond memories and I think was next door to you. I would love to know if my cousin Thelma is still in morgan. My name is maresca and her moms maiden name was maresca also and became molly Johnson. I have tried many times to find the location but could not even find morgan. After visiting this site I am confident I could now find the house and would love to walk the short distance we did as kids to swim near the Robert e lee. In those years it was easy access but I might need an escort now cause it has been 60+yrs and might not be open access property along the cliff. If you could help I would be very grateful.

        Reply
        1. morgannjadmin Post author

          Hi Mr. Maresca,
          Ironically I don’t live anywhere near Morgan anymore. I have lived in California for quite a long time now! I did post your question on a Facebook site specifically about Morgan and will let you know what answers people come up with. Many years ago all of the houses which used to be on the “Morgan Circle” were demolished and three or so houses built in their place. I couldn’t tell whether your cousin lived on the circle or on Cliff Avenue. If you try to look for Morgan, you’ll likely not find it. Morgan is actually part of the Borough of Sayreville but uses a South Amboy zip code. Endlessly confused me as a kid but makes sense to me now. Also confusing is Sayreville War Memorial High School being in Parlin!

          Please note that at this time I only check this web site a few times a month so replies may on occasion take a little time.
          Thanks,
          Verne

          Reply
      3. Anthony and Angela Maresca

        Just a short note to thank you for your warm and considerate response to my request to learn about my aunt Mary Johnson(my fathers younger sister} whom you mention, lived to be 100, and my cousins Thelma, and Robert ,whether they still survive. You and another individual a { Jamie Bauer) claim to have been their neighbors and my cousin Thelma would babysit them in their youth. Yet you simply disregard any decent form of a reply to an elder mans request for any kind of assistance. We were different people in that world back then . I am not a criminal or a predator nor did I wish to join your group, just looking for some acknowledgement from the kind of people that lived there when I spent three summers in my aunts house.Your site seems to be made up of a generation of much younger morganites who loved the area they grew up in . I wish you luck and continued good health. May I suggest, if you do not want any more horrible requests like this ,you take this site off the web.—– regards — Anthony and Angela Maresca Long Island NY

        Reply
    2. anthony maresca

      I have been looking for several years for the location of the home of my fathers sister molly[ maresca] Johnson . They had a home on the cliffs overlooking the bay and below the cliff there was railroad tracks . I vacationed several years there in my youth with my sister and parents .The johnsons had a daughter named Thelma, and I recall we could walk out the house to our right a short distance, along the cliff, go under a bridge and swim by the Robert e lee restaurant. I have tried to find it always thinking it was off rte.9, because we had other family in Lakewood and we would pass over the bridge and see the Robert e lee on the right on our way to Lakewood. After viewing this site I realize it is rte 35. You mention family elders that may recall. There was also a very popular actress by the name of Dagmar that rented an apt upstairs for a year or two. I am talking about summers of 1949-50-51. If you could provide me info or direct me to the chamber of commerce for the area I would be very appreciative. I am up in my years and would like to see the area once more or know if my cousins are still in the area.

      Reply
      1. Pat DeBiase

        I think the street you are looking for is Morgan Ave.
        It is the st. behind the now Fernandez steakhouse near the Morgan Bridge off of Rt 35 North bound side
        I believe the house was towards the end on the right.

        Reply
  15. Jamie Bauer

    I almost forgot. My grandparents and parents used to “go out on the town” at Joe’s Cozy Bar when it had a bowling alley. Does anyone else recall the hardware store or surplus shop on Rt 35 south that had the ex-German V1 buzzbomb mounted out front?

    Reply
  16. Michael Teliszewski

    I grew up in Morgan and lived in the house on Haussling Place behind jims. Nice to see these pictures. What a great place to grow up!!!
    Great web site.

    Reply
    1. Jamie Bauer

      Michael, Do you remember me? We used to be playmates back in the mid 50s. I remember a lot about you and your family. Best, Jamie

      Reply
  17. Michael Teliszewski

    Don’t remember much as I was born in 1951 so I was a mini kid in the mid 50’s. Do remember running to the hill to watch the steam trains go by. The vacant lot in front of the Johnsons and watching the Ryans house being built. This site bought back some of the memories.

    Reply
  18. maureen grover

    Hi. I’m maureen Grover and I live in harry phairs house who was Morgans first fireman. Gary engelhart is my neighbor and he and Alan mosanik drove a car on the raritan bay in 1979

    Reply
  19. Colin S

    Hello all. I’m researching the Dayton Mahogany Company, a business on or around Bordentown Ave. which flourished c. 1924-1929. Specifically, I’m interested in their employee history, and an accident that affected an employee in 1925; but I’m also interested in the business more generally. If anyone has any information on this company or advice at all on where to look, I would appreciate it. Thanks!

    Reply
    1. morgannjadmin Post author

      Hi Colin, You might want to contact the Sayreville Historical Society at SayrevilleHistory.org or visit them at their museum.

      Reply

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