Explore the New Jersey Room at Library of the Chathams
Review the Fishawack Papers collection
The rich history of Chatham Borough and Chatham Township is preserved by several key groups.
|Chatham Historical Society||Chatham Township Historical Society|
|Historic Preservation Commission|
|Along The Tracks … How a Railroad Changed a Town:
Chatham Historical Society
Annual Meeting May 2014
Historical Quotes of The Day ….
“Undoubtedly the best-known portion of Chatham Township before World War II was Madame Bey’s training camp for professional prizefighters. Some of the nation’s best-known boxers, including Jack Dempsey, Max Schmeling, Mickey Walker, and Gene Tunney, trained at Madame Bey’s for nationally publicized championship fights. It was common to see a world champion sweating through conditioning miles run along River Road in the rising morning mists. Madame Bey, well-educated and musically talented, came to the United States c.1900, the Armenian wife of a Turkish diplomat. She became a major personality in both diplomatic circles and in the less glamorous but far better publicized sports world. Her successor, Ehsan Kuradag, opened the camp to train Kid Gavilan, Floyd Patterson, Sugar Ray Robinson, Jim Braddock, Ezzard Charles, Rocky Graziano, and “Jersey Joe” Walcott.”
From Cunningham, John T. Chatham Township Charleston, SC : Arcadia, 2001, p. 7.
From John Cunningham’s Chatham: at the Crossing of the Fishawack (Chatham, NJ : Chatham Historical Society, 1967) p. 52
One of Chatham’s leading physicians at the end of the 18th century was John C. Budd (1762-1845). ” ‘Old Dr. Budd,’ as he was called in his later years, was something of a practical joker, and he enjoyed his reputation of having secret and awesome powers over the spirits of evil and darkness. According to one tale, the physician was returning late one Saturday evening from a professional call in Short Hills when he noticed a light in the window of Day’s Tavern. He stopped, thinking that perhaps someone was ill, but found instead several guests playing cards despite Mrs. Day’s protests that she wanted to close for the night. Mrs. Day begged Dr. Budd to deal with the men. He ordered them to stop, pointing out that it was after midnight and they were desecrating the Sabbath. When they ignored him, he hinted that an evil spirit might be brought to bear upon them. The men laughed.Asleep nearby on the barroom floor were several young chimney sweeps. Dr. Budd quietly shook one boy awake and persuaded him, with a small cash payment, to portray the devil descending the chimney into the parlor. The chimney served both barroom and parlor. To lend realism, the doctor gave the boy a pair of chains and a fresh cowhide with horns and hoofs attached that he had found behind the tavern.The lad was to ascend the flue on the barroom side and descend on the parlor side, rattling the chains during his descent. When he came near the fireplace he was to dangle the cowhide for the card players to see.Dr. Budd returned to the card table. However, the boy found the chimney so hot that he lost his balance and tumbled into the fireplace. So startling was his appearance, covered from head to foot with soot, enveloped in a cloud of black dust, armed with chains, and carrying the hide of a recently slaughtered cow, that the gamblers scrambled from the room in terror.”– Research Provided by Reference Librarian Robert Schriek
Fishawack, Vol. 9 Municipal Govt. – Fire Dept.
The D. L. & W. Railroad Company [ Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad Company] gave the firemen a rim from a locomotive wheel which was used as a fire alarm. For the first two months it stood on the platform at the rear of the freight house on Passaic Avenue, It was then taken and hung above a platform back of the Ryerson building where, by the aid of a sledge hammer, it did yeoman service. After the present fire headquarters were completed, it was installed at the rear of the building. It was finally sold on July 9, 1917 for $8.00. On August 8, 1902, a steam siren fire alarm whistle was installed at the Power House at a cost of $64.00 to the firemen.