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SADDLE BROOK HISTORICAL SOCIETY NEWS 

Our township history Saddle Brook:  A Portrait of Our Past is scheduled for release in late March.  We had anticipated an earlier release but were detained by the acquisition of incoming information and photographs.  The book will sell for $15 per copy and will be available to mail order buyers living far from Saddle Brook for the additional costs of postage and handling.  The Saddle Brook Historical Society is a nonprofit organization which functions under the auspices of our township government.  All monies received from book sales will go to the Saddle Brook VFW which funded the initial printing costs.  Needless to say, the book would not have been possible without our VFW – wonderful people.

Mike Soriano of Maywood read an article about the Saddle Brook Historical Society which appeared in the Community News and contacted us to donate vintage photographs of Coger’s Farm.  In its day (1930’s to 1960’s), Coger’s, along with a golf range, archery, a batting range and several other attractions, was an entertainment hub for the area.  People from that era will especially remember Coger’s pony rides.  Mike had worked for Coger’s in the late 1930’s as a “pony walker.”  His salary was $1.00 for working from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm, and 35 cents for working after school.  Mike recalls that Ray Coger would ride one of the ponies to Franklin School each day.  Evidently, Coger’s got him hooked on horses; and Mike became a professional jockey before enlisting in the Navy to serve in the South Pacific Theatre during World War II.  Mike was stationed on the USS Pensacola and saw action in many of the major battles including Iwo Jima and Okinawa.  He has many interesting stories including seeing a torpedo as it surged through the water in front of his ship’s bow, a close call.  After the war, he pursued a lifetime career working for racetracks from New York to Florida.  He is now in his 80’s and still rides one of his two Harley Davidson motorcycles weekly.

The Saddle Brook Historical Society thanks township resident and school employee Roberta Blankenhorn for her donation of a Lenape hammer, spearheads and arrowheads which she found as a child.  Another donor, Sal Cusmano, Principal of Franklin School, donated a rusted trade axe which he found in his youth.  This was most probably made by a Dutch blacksmith to be traded with the Lenapes for animal furs.  It would have been forged prior to 1700.  Donations from Mrs. Blankenhorn, Mr. Cusmano and others are targeted for display at our library.

Anyone wanting to donate should contact our library at (201) 843-3287.  The Saddle Brook Historical Society seeks new members, especially those with research and writing skills.

 

Jack Wasdyke

Township Historian