You can follow their tour on this
map, beginning at Cicely Tyson School (A) and ending at the East Orange Public Library (I). You can also jump to the Interactive History Map on
Google for more information.
The tour began at near-by Rowley
Park (B). It would be interesting to travel the same route to
study urban ecology and find good things to eat growing free all
around, like the wild carrots blooming just behind the fence.
Anyway, the class learned much of the History
of Rowley Park that we have on this
site, since Mr. Goode is one of our Museum Caretakers and helped
put the exhibits together.
The next stop is right next to
Rowley Park on the corner of William St. and Arlington Avenue. It
is the first hotel built in East Orange, The
Marlborough (C). History is more fun when you can learn it first hand
and get into the picture to become part of history yourself. An
ecology class could study the plants climbing up the building
since it was closed down.
Just down the street to Munn
Avenue the class finds the old 1929 East Orange Police Station (D) which is supposed to be part of a sixteen million
dollar health complex for the city that began in 2012 and should
have been completed by now. I'm sure the cost has gone up in the
meantime and these young men will have to eventually pay for it
through their taxes. They might as well learn some economics
along with their history lesson. The above view is from the back
of the building where all of the construction is currently taking
place. Nothing to eat around here except the grass coming up
between the sidewalk blocks.
At the corner of Munn Avenue and
City Hall Plaza, the class passes by the old U.S. Post Office
building, modernized with a wheel-chair ramp and solar panels but
otherwise unchanged since it was built in 1929. Off to the left
is the Senior Garden (E), dedicated in 1963 and now relegated to two wooden
buckets of flowers provided by the Historical Society.
The class passes under the
elevated train tracks and decides to take a side trip up the
steps to the tracks. The East
Orange Station (F) was built at ground level in 1883, then elevated in
The 1922 decor of the East Orange
Station is an interesting contrast to the sleek modern electric
trains that now use it. The train arrived just in time to cause
some excitement in the class. Everybody likes trains!
From the elevated train station,
we can see the next objectives in the walking tour. On the left,
in the distance, is the former public library and now municipal
court. In the center is the First Presbyterian Church. The tall
tower to the right of the church shows the location of today's
police station, which is not on today's trip. The East Orange
Public Library is at the far right, but partially hidden by
The next stop on the tour is the
building built by Andrew Carnegie in 1903. It was then given to
the city for use as the first Public Library. In 2009,
the building was converted into the current Municipal Court (G). Straight across the street is the next spot on the
tour, the First Presbyterian Church.
The First Presbyterian Church (H), also known as the Munn Avenue Presbyterian Church,
has been here since 1864. No one wants to stand in the sun on the
steps for a photo because from here they can see the
air-conditioned public library, last stop on the tour.
The temperature is in the high
90's, so the students are happy to get into the East Orange
Public Library (I) and out of the heat
as their walking history tour ends.
The next step for those who don't
already have one, is to get a library card, their ticket to the
past, present and future through the use of the public library's
Now the history tour can continue
in a different way, through the use of the Library's WiFi, for
those who have phones, through the use of the library's
computers, books, newspapers and magazines.