Bathgate Place

In the mid 19th Century Mr. James Bathgate owned a big chunk of land next to his neighbor, James Rowe (after whom "Rowesville" would later be named).  Their common border was a crooked country road called Boiling Spring Lane because it meandered past a bubbling spring near what is now Second Avenue and N. 13th Street; it was later straightened and remaned Roseville Avenue, but for a while a portion of it was called Bathgate Lane.  Eventually the pioneer Newarker was memorialized with a street nearby called Bathgate Place, running north for just one block from the Turnpike to Orange (Orange Street) to the Morris & Essex railroad station. 


By the turn of the 20th Century several homes had been built on Bathgate Place, including a handsome one on the corner of Orange Street, as shown in this 1925 photo taken during the first stages of construction of the current St. Rose of Lima church.  The landmark Roseville Methodist Church (on the right) had been erected in 1890.


Back in 1889, soon after starting SRL parish in a skating rink at Orange and N. Sixth streets (later replaced by the Fifth Precinct), Rev. James McKeever found living quarters at 22 Bathgate Place (above) and began celebrating weekday Mass in the parlor, using the dining room as a confessional.  This house would be used as the SRL rectory until 1897, when McKeever relocated to the upper rooms of what had been the first SRL church at Orange and Gray streets, that edifice having just been converted to SRL School.  But that's another story.

During the 1940s, the corner property at Orange Street and Bathgate Place was sold and shops were built, the largest eventually becoming the Food Fair market.  That construction and its attendant parking lot considerably reduced the number of private homes on Bathgate Place.  The following Berg Collection photos from 1961 shows those remaining at the time, starting just north of the parking lot.


To the left in this photo is No. 22, the first SRL rectory.


Just a few more addresses made up Bathgate Place, including the quirky little house next to the tracks.


Of course, the east side of the street north of the Roseville Methodist Church -- then and now -- is taken up by the Roseville Armory.   
James Bathgate is gone, but we still remember his Place.