Morgan Moments – View from Morgan Bridge in the 1920’s
This remarkable photo was provided by noted New Jersey Historian and author of the book “Explosion at Morgan,” Randall Gabrielan. In the image you’ll notice a number of interesting things, including (from left to right):
- A bungalow on the top of the hill on day Cliff Avenue. I don’t believe this structure is still standing.
- A huge road sign in the image of a book. On the left side is an ad for Perth Amboy (“4 miles from here”). On the right side is an ad for United States Tires (“United States Tires Are Good Tires”). US Tires was part of United States Rubber Company, one of the original 12 stocks listed on the Dow, later it was incorporated into Uniroyal in 1961 then into Michelin in 1990.
- The remains of the Jersey Central Traction Company’s tracks across the bridge.
- The Jersey Central Traction (JCT) Company’s trestle over the New York and Long Branch Railroad tracks.
- Three houses on the Morgan Heights bluff, between paved Morgan Avenue and unpaved Cliff Avenue, all of which still stand.
You’ll also notice a few things NOT in the photograph:
- Present day Route 35.
- Cady’s House of Sea Food (Later the Robert E. Lee Inn.)
This photo is estimated to have been taken in late 1923 (or early 1924) based on the following:
- It appears as if the trolley tracks had been removed from the trestle and on the right-of-way between where the tracks end on the bridge and the trestle. You’ll note the white road barriers directing traffic to go left toward Morgan Station and Old Spye Road. This would mean the photo had been taken after July 1923 when Jersey Central Traction operations ceased.
- The present day Pratt Truss bridge (northbound lanes of Route 35) had not yet been constructed. It was constructed on the site of the JCT trestle shown in this photo. Construction of the present day Route 35 bridge over the railroad tracks is believed to have started sometime in 1924.