The LEONIA LIBRARY in June 2006 displayed 18c documents found in the attic of the VREELAND HOUSE on Vreeland Avenue. Here are some photos I took with my little pocket camera. What looks like a watermark is really the embroidered white tablecloth on the bottom of the case shining thru the paper. Notice the first document is dated 1754, when we were still a colony of England, so money is in pounds, and the year is the 25th year of the reign of King George.
Here is my transcription of this bondage agreement between JAN TERHUNE, blacksmith, and HESTER GOUVERNEUR, spinster, probably living in what was then the English Neighborhood, but what is now LEONIA NJ:
"Know all men by these presents that I, JOHN TERHUNE, blacksmith in the province of New Jersey in the county of Bergen, held and firmly bound unto HESTER GOUVERNEUR, of the said county and province aforesaid, spinster, in the sum of TWENTY POUNDS current money New York, to [be] paid to the said HESTER GOUVERNEUR or to her Certes--- Attorney, Executors Administrators or Assigns for which payment well and truly to be made and I Jon bind myself, my Heirs, [Attorney] Executors, Administrators or Assigns and Every of them--- Firmly these presents sealed with a seal dated the [eighth?] day of May in the 27th year of our majesty's reign anno domini 1754. The condition of this obligation is such that if the above bonded JOHN TERHUNE his heirs executors or administrators do and shall well and truly pay or cause to be paid unto the above named HESTER GOUVERNEUR or her certain attorney executors administrators or assigns the just and full sum of TEN POUNDS current money aforesaid on or before the twentieth [? might be twelfth] day of this Instant with lawful interest from the date, and that without fraud, coven or further delay, then this obligation to be void and of none effect or else to stand and remain in full force and virtue. Sealed and delivered in the presence of ABRAHAM I. GOUVERNEUR, DAVID W PROVOOST [signed]" JAN TERHUNE"
April 10, 2006 I saw a wild turkey on Leonia Avenue in the middle of the afternoon. I think it was a female because I dont see any gobble hanging down.
Here is a second photo of the same turkey. It walked slowly and deliberately. It seemed to be looking for things to eat in the grass.
Here's the last view of the turkey before I had to get in my car and drive to the post office. Our world is getting so populated that wild life has to coexist with all of us in the suburbs.
Leonia is a wonderful community-- close to NYC with excellent schools and many artists, writers, and musicians.
David Boyd, age 87, leads the history tour through his 18th century-house, known as the Cole house during the Revolutionary War.
Today, April 20, 2004, Leonia is abloom with cherry blossoms. Here is the little stone house in Wood Park, and another photo showing the library in the distance.
Leonia parents were out to watch their sons play baseball in Wood Park on a balmy April day.
Ellie Spiegel voted in the Leonia school board elections April 20, 2004.
Here is the street where I live, photographed January 28th 2003 after the big snowfall. Notice the beautiful sycamore trees.
We have one supermarket in Leonia, called Associated Foods. Here is a shopper there just before Christmas, 2003. I like the way this lady is wearing a hat. When I grew up in Leonia, during the 40's almost no woman would have gone out of the house without wearing a hat.
In November 2010 Robert Baron emailed me the identity of this charming lady: "Dear Marcia,
"My wife, Maryann, just e-mailed me your photographs of Leonia, including the photo of "the Lady with a Hat" taken around Christmas time in 2003 at the Associated Foods store (Leonia Market).
"That was her dear late Aunt, Theresa E. Harth, who lived at the time in the Leonia Manor apartments across the street from the CVS.
"Aunt Terry never married and was a genuine character, tart-tongued, thin as a swizzle stick, well knownİfor her mink coat, pearls,İwhite gloves, pill box hats, and retrograde opinions.
"The past was her present. Moments afterİyour photo was snapped,İTerry doubtless would haveİpromenaded outİtheİdoor withİthe nearest availableİyoung man in tow to schlep the groceries in a cardboard box back to her apartment.
"[Your photograph] raised a smile and a tear too, Terry passed away on August 22, 2005.
"Incidentally, Terry's older sister, Kitty Leive, lived with her family for many years on Grand Avenue. Her other big sister, Marie Carroll, still lives with my wife and I over on Vreeland Avenue. Marie celebrated her 102nd birthday on August 2nd. In fact, two years ago, the Mayor and council proclaimed August 2nd "Marie C. Carroll Day" in Leonia as she sailed past the century mark. She's the real deal,İa living piece of history, and quite precious to us all.""
Our recreation center has lots of programs for children and adults. Here is a class in line dancing for seniors, photographed in January, 2003.
I found this snapshot on ebay with the following description: 3-1/4x5-1/2" b/w photo of the Erie RR station with Erie 913 and a passenger train in Leonia, NJ in November, 1962. I emailed the seller, and Fred Tempesta replied: "marcia The date was written on the back of the photo. since you asked i checked with the Erie Lackawana Northern timetable of 10-28-62 which shows all three northern trains stopping there in the am at 6:40-7:54-8:16 fred"
I took this photo of Leonia's rarest tree on a cold night in March, 2003. I believe this tree is called a bald cypress and the rare thing about it is that it is growing adjacent to a sidewalk at the main intersection of town. it is very old and must date from Revolutionary War days. Perhaps it feeds on an underground spring of some kind. In the winter it loses its leaves, and then it looks bald all over, not just on top like usual.
Leonia is a little town of about 9,000 people, mostly Democrats. The Democratic primary June 3, 2003, was hotly contested. Here are the election results, showing the winning Democratic candidates: Larry Cherchi for mayor, Barbara Mitrani and Charley Ryan for councilpersons.
Here is a photo of the top vote getter, Barbara Mitrani, standing behind Mrs. Charley Ryan.
Here's a photo of two candidates who did not win the election, councilmen Chris La Bianco and Karl Marquardt, taken on Leonia's Earth Day May 18, 2003. Their terms will expire Jan 2004.
The Leonia High School band performed in Wood Park on Earth Day, 2003.
Perhaps I should start to post old LEONIA photos on this web page. Let's start with a photo from the 1950's emailed to me by Steve Dempsey:
"I've attached a photo of some of our family taken right outside our house at 156 Christie Street. I'm on the extreme left, my younger brother is seated on the tailgate of Dad's Pontiac station wagon while his twin sister is standing in the foreground, and my older brother is standing in the background. Mom is partially hidden by the tree and Dr. Henry Balze is about to walk across the street which he owned at 147 Christie St. The yellow house in the background was where author Bob Ludlum lived. Bob was a great guy and attended my wedding in 1968 right around the corner at All Saints Episcopal Church. The photo is one I had digitized recently from an old slide my aunt probably took on her old 35mm rangefinder camera."
Here's part of the Leonia High School baseball team of 1935, photo courtesy of Steve Dempsey: "This is apparently a photo taken sometime around 1934 or '35 and my Dad was possibly 16 or 17 when it was taken. On the left is Moon Mullins, who became a high school principal at a school in upper New York State. The youngster next to him is unknown. The next boy would have been John Diemer, and on the extreme right is my Dad, Jim Dempsey, LHS '35."
This is Steve Dempsey's paternal grandfather Henry Dempsey (who's apparently just been feeding a grandson) in front of his house on Harold Ave., the 2nd or 3rd house from the corner. Note partial view of St. John's RC Church across Broad Ave in the background. This would have been taken around 1941 or '42.
Here is the old Thurber house at 161 Leonia Avenue, photographed July 18,2005 just before it was demolished, with utilities still attached, and permits only for an addition, not destruction.
The second photo was taken July 21, 2005, just afterwards. In spring 2006, new construction has still not begun, apparently because the necessary permits have not yet been approved.
back to Home Page