Golf Island Revisited

November 17, 2019, 1:00 PM

If you missed Durand-Hedden’s popular, ground-breaking exhibit “Exploring Golf Island” this last winter, great news, the exhibit will reopen Sunday November 17 and remain on view on program days through February 23, 2020. Learn how this early area of Maplewood, bordered by the Maplewood Country Club golf course, the Morris and Essex rail line, and the Maplewood Middle School evolved from farmland in the 19th and early 20th centuries to today’s cohesive suburban neighborhood.

From 1861-1867 Maplewood’s first developer, New York druggist John W. Shedden, purchased 30 acres around Maple Avenue, mapped home lots, built two “cottages” and advertised them for sale. He ensured the value of his property and thereby the viability of the nascent town by buying one-acre of land close to Golf Island (near Lenox Place in the current Village) and selling it to the Morris and Essex Railroad to build a station, soon named ‘Maplewood Station’ for a notable nearby maple tree.

Development began slowly, then accelerated in the early 1900s with new streets and houses and the construction of the 1903 brick Maplewood School on Baker Street. By 1910, the neighborhood largely took on the layout we see today. In 1916, the Maplewood Field Club (later the Maplewood Country Club) acquired property to the east previously owned by Charles DeGrasse, builder of the Maplewood Sporting Club. This began the setting of clear boundaries and preventing further development of the land surrounding Golf Island.

The exhibit will display maps, show representative houses, explain the history of the Maplewood Country Club golf course and Maplewood Middle School, and feature histories of some developers and residents.

Read more about:

Maplewood History

Slavery in New Jersey: A Troubled History is an illustrated 40-page book that traces the evolution of slavery in New Jersey, which began with Dutch settlement in the seventeenth century and continued through the end of the Civil War.

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