Inspired by the comment threads about various development plans for Montclair Center, resident historian Frank Gerard Godlewski unearthed a series of diagrams showing the original, pre-suburban waterways of Baristaville. The image at left shows that the Siena is built on the site of the West Bloomfield Cemetery, and that South Park Street was a waterway flowing from a pond.
Godlewski told Baristanet in a recent email that “the water is most probably still there, if not, augmented by increased water coming from the mountaintop watertable and outflowings that have increased in volume due to global warming.”
He said in a comment: “Until about 100 years ago, before we became a residential suburb, Montclair was a famous springs and climatic station resort, rich with water sources, brooks and ponds. On the oldest 1857 map and even on the later maps there is a brook and even a small pond that corresponds to the site where the Siena is. In 1919, the famous urban planner Nolan, proposed a town Green for the site, perhaps because of the waters. Before the Sienna, there was the Hahnes department store, sleekly designed to serve Montclair, considered to be the second richest community in the US. Before the Hahnes, there was an 1880′s Victorian club structure.”
Are these old swimming holes finding their way back into modern life, in slower seeping ways?
Click on pdfs below (and then again when it takes you to the new page) for more details: