Archive for ‘Fanwood’

June 15, 2012

Bamboo grows in Jersey


Did you know that? Many species of bamboo can’t survive the temperate climate of New Jersey, but according to Wikipedia, certain hardy bamboos can survive down to -20°F (-29°C)! That’s pretty cold.

Look, it's a whole grove! In someone's yard.

Apparently, many of these ornamental bamboos can easily spread out of control, so if you plant it in your yard, you’ve gotta keep an eye on it.

June 14, 2012

Fanwood Street Fair

Fortune is an African Gray, FYI. I clarify because EVERYTHING is gray in black and white.

The Fanwood Street Fair was this past Sunday, and it was a perfectly predictable street fair: vendors selling jewelry, local businesses trying to sell uninteresting but useful services (e.g. gutter cleaning), bouncy castles, festival food. I didn’t really see anything worth photographing… until I saw this guy.

This gentleman was ambling around the fair with a parrot on each shoulder! This African Gray picking ice cubes out of his lemonade is called Fortune. (Robert the parakeet is on his other shoulder, out of frame.) They all live nearby in Clark, and I guess they do shows around the state. (There was something mentioned about Asbury Park, which is about an hour south of here.)

Fun times!

September 1, 2011

Theme Day: Perspective

Fanwood pedestrian bridge

At Fanwood Station, there is a nifty pedestrian bridge over the tracks. You naturally see this view as you ascend the stairs. I wasn’t trying to be artsy or anything. Well okay maybe I was a little bit BUT JUST A LITTLE BIT. A smidge.

This is posted for City Daily Photo’s monthly theme, ‘perspective.’ Click here to view thumbnails for all participants!

August 14, 2011

Fanwood Presbyterian

Fanwood Presbyterian

Fanwood Presbyterian Church [website] was built in 1933.

Fanwood Presbyterian, c. 1940?

(It has undergone a few additions.)

The bell has some history, too. According to a plaque by its main entrance,

The bell in this belfry [was] formerly the Fanwood fire alarm. [It] was presented to Fanwood Presbyterian Church in August 1949 by the Fanwood Fire Company as a memorial to all Fanwood firemen.

A plaque!

Fanwood Presbyterian has also been the (temporary) home of the Jewish Temple Sholom [website] since 2003, which I think is pretty cool. Yay interfaith tolerance! Here’s what Temple Sholom has to say about the coexistence:

In July of 2003, the Fanwood Presbyterian Church graciously opened its doors to the congregation. (A late favor returned – as one of the founding members of Temple Sholom had donated the land to build the Church.) Offices were constructed in the Church’s main building. For religious worship, the Church’s Dining Room was reimagined as the Temple Sholom Chapel. A series of programs, including pulpit exchanges and a “Worship Together Weekend” helped strengthen the relationship between the two congregations (Temple Shalom, n.d., “In July of 2003,” para. 3 from bottom)

Getting along is nice and all, but Temple Sholom is supposedly moving into its own new building soon.


Bousquet, R. and Bousquet, S. (1995). Images of America: Scotch Plains and Fanwood. Arcadia Publishing: Dover, NH. ISBN 0738563188.

Temple Shalom: Scotch Plains, NJ. (n.d.). “The history of Temple Shalom.”

July 29, 2011


DMW. Chew on THAT.

On the main bridge over the railroad at Fanwood station, there is this small painting. It is invisible to all but pedestrians of that bridge.

In case you can’t see it, the head is chewing the letters “DMW.” It might be an advertisement or the artist’s initials— I don’t know. But it’s kind of perfect. I hope it stays for a while.

July 26, 2011

What goes ’round… stays ’round

I'm ready for my close-up!

The round-roofed building that used to be the Fanwood post office, Fanwood library, and local Red Cross center… is still standing! The 1897 building is now used as an English Chiropractic office [hours]. The current tenants have added some stars above the windows.

Aaaaand here it is from across the street (with a phone wire Photoshopped out).

And— I know you’ve seen this photo like three times in three days, so bear with me— here it is in 1897, right after it was built.

Ye old round-roofed Fanwood Library/ Post office/ etc.

It stands maybe half a block from the current Fanwood Memorial Library.

I think it’s kind of neat! But I have low standards, so what do I know.



Bousquet, R. and Bousquet, S. (1995). Images of America: Scotch Plains and Fanwood. Arcadia Publishing: Dover, NH. ISBN 0738563188.

July 25, 2011

Fanwood Post Office!

Fanwood Post Office!

The Fanwood post office and library have a lot in common.

The post office, like the library, started out in this 1897 building.

Ye old round-roofed Fanwood Library/ Post office/ etc.

The post office, like the library, moved to a storefront operation c.1928.

Fanwood post office, c. 1940

The post office, like the library, currently exists in its third building, shown at the top (featured photo).

* Hours for the Fanwood post office [USPS website], as of July 2011:
M-F: 8:30am-5:00pm
Sat: 8:30am-1:00pm



Bousquet, R. and Bousquet, S. (1995). Images of America: Scotch Plains and Fanwood. Arcadia Publishing: Dover, NH. ISBN 0738563188.

July 24, 2011

Fanwood Library

Fanwood Memorial Library!

The Fanwood Memorial Library [website] is the third library building to serve Fanwood.

The first one was built in 1897 to serve the post office; it was shared with the library from 1903 to 1928. (The building is still standing! Look, here are some photos.)

Ye old round-roofed Fanwood Library/ Post office/ etc., circa 1897

The second one, used from c.1928-1951* [see note below], was a modest storefront operation a couple blocks away.

Fanwood Library, circa 1940

(If you look closely, you can actually try to read the label on the window:)

Fanwood Library, c. 1940: Seriously, there was a library here.

The third and final one has been used from 1951 onwards.

Fanwood Memorial Library, 1951

Here’s a note about the architectural choices made:

The architecture of our new England Colonial forebears is mainly distinctive for its simplicity. It was based principally on economic necessity. Construction was simple and materials, which would stand the test of time, were for the most part easily obtainable. Buildings were devoid of modeling, or ornamentation, but their fine outlines and good composition have had an enduring quality of distinction.

A library building for a residential community such as Fanwood should follow this form. A building of Colonial residential character answers our requirements and is consistent with the heritage of our community. The use of hand split red cedar shingles, (called shakes in earlier times) and reclaimed brick for the exterior side walls exemplifies this patter and creates the atmosphere of softness and durable character sought in this type of structure. The interior materials and décor add to this atmosphere and give the desired tone of reflective and enduring calm (Fanwood Memorial Library, 1951, p. 1).

An addition was added in 1980.

Fanwood Memorial Library, 1980, under construction


* I’m actually not sure about the dates of use for the second library; I’ve got some conflicting information from various sources. It seems like the original building may have stopped being used in 1928, been renovated, started use again in 1930, and shifted into that storefront building sometime between 1930 and 1940.


** If you’re looking for good vintage photos and historical information about Fanwood and Scotch Plains, NJ, the history society has a boatload of photos that are digitized and online.


*** Fanwood Memorial Library hours are, as of July 2011:

M: 10am-9pm (children’s dept. closes 7:30pm)
T: 10am-9pm (children’s dept. closes 7:30pm)
W: 10am-5pm
Th: 10am-9pm (children’s dept. closes 7:30pm)
F: 10am-9pm
Sat: 10am-5pm (CLOSED July & August)

Check the library website for changes.



Bousquet, R. and Bousquet, S. (1995). Images of America: Scotch Plains and Fanwood. Arcadia Publishing: Dover, NH. ISBN 0738563188.

Fanwood Memorial Library. (1951). “Dedication Ceremony and Observance of Fiftieth Anniversary (March 11, 1952).” Retrieved from The Joint Digital Archives of Fanwood and Scotch Plains. [pamphlet]

The Joint Digital Archives of Fanwood & Scotch Plains, New Jersey. (dates various). “Libraries: Fanwood Memorial Library.” .

July 20, 2011

Not daisies

Not daisies

These wild little ladies are probably in the daisy/ aster family, but they are not in fact standard common daisies.

They’re very sturdy, and their heads are about the size of dimes.

This concludes what I know about them.

July 18, 2011

Fanwood station!

Fanwood Station!

Jersey Central Railroad built the Fanwood railroad station in 1874 (back when there were a million different railroad companies crisscrossing the state), and donated it to the borough of Fanwood in 1964. It’s currently being used as a NJTransit stop on the Raritan Valley line (orange on maps), as well as the home of the Fanwood Museum [website] (open the first Sunday of each month, October through June, 2:00-4:00). Fanwood Station has been on the National Register of Historic Places since 1980, and it was restored in the early 1990s (I think).

Fanwood Station, 1875 (just one year old!)

On a different note, the tracks are really straight through this stretch. New Providence is sort of in the mountains, so it’s a given that the terrain necessitates somewhat undulating tracks. Here in Fanwood, it’s a lot flatter, and you can see the outbound tracks for MILES.

I can see for miles and miles and miles and miles

Check it out— you can see the headlamp of the oncoming train at its previous stop (or further!), over a mile down the tracks.

See the teeny headlamp way in the distance? That's not normal.

The inbound tracks, not so much.

I cannot see for miles and miles.

Aaaaand here’s a map for context.

NJ Transit Rail System Map, as of 2009

I’m not sure why the Raritan Valley symbol is the Statue of Liberty, since the rail line stops in Newark and therefore doesn’t go anywhere NEAR the Statue of Liberty.



Bousquet, R. and Bousquet, S. (1995). Images of America: Scotch Plains and Fanwood. Arcadia Publishing: Dover, NH. ISBN 0738563188.

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