Historic Orange Street

Two streets represented the heart of Roseville: its north-south conduit Roseville Avenue, and its east-west thoroughfare Orange Street, so named because it led to the Oranges.  Orange Street hosted Newark's first streetcar line (first operated in 1862 by the Orange and Newark Horse Car Railroad Company), and served as the lifeline of a thriving community.  Here, with vintage photos mostly harvested from the New Jersey Collection of the Newark Public Library, we travel this beloved boulevard from First to Fourteenth streets, albeit with a gap or two.  As more vintage photos are found, they will be incorporated into this section.

(For a complete look at Orange Street in 1961, check out the photos 
from the Newark Public Library's Berg Collection.)


Try to ignore the horizontal cracking in this rare photo of Orange Street at the turn of the 20th Century.  This spot marks the street's intersection with the Morris Canal.  We are standing in front of the Tung-Sol factory, looking east, toward downtown.  The street is still cobbled, and streetcar tracks dominate the thoroughfare.  To the left, running parallel, are the Delaware, Lackawanna & Western railroad tracks, still running at street level.  When the railroad tracks are lowered in a few years, barge traffic on the canal  -- which heretofore has traveled under the railroad and streetcar tracks -- will then be hoisted and portaged over Orange Street (photo, right, looking north).  The canal was abandoned in 1924 and eventually became the bed of the City Subway.  Just past it, on the right in the above photo, is the site of the future Boys' Park, and off to the left a road would soon be built taking traffic to the Stickel Bridge and on to Jersey City.


Here's that same spot 35 years later, looking north from the old canal bed.  The canal has been drained and graded into a first-class short subway line.  From this junction streetcars turned west to Orange or to the Roseville Car House on 14th Street.  Across Orange Street and the now-depressed DL&W tracks, the subway continues at grade along the western edge of Branch Brook Park


Dominating the view on your walk toward First Street would be Newark Academy, stretching to Seventh Avenue.  Although founded in 1774 and occupying premises on Broad Street and then High Street, NA wound up here in 1929.  This building was abandoned in 1964 when the campus moved to Livingston.  (Naturally, we had a blast in there until it was finally razed a year or so later.)  On this site two ugly low-rent high-rise apartment buildings would rise.

Onward to Part 2