August 2022: Milltown’s Iconic Landmark Water Tower and Smokestack to be Demolished!

August 2022: Milltown’s Iconic Landmark Water Tower and Smokestack to be Demolished!

While it may be said by some that this headline is utterly untrue, the fact is that without public outcry today these structures are in the direct path of the Milltown Ford Avenue Redevelopment Authority’s (MFARA) current legal framework. As of right now the current Ford Avenue Redevelopment Plan as amended in 2021 includes the following language with regard to open space…

            “Delivery of Open Space and Development Parcel: Demolition of

Buildings and Structures. Any and all structures or buildings, parking lots,

sidewalks, walkways, asphalt or concrete pads, and any abandoned below grade

piping, conduit or utility appurtenances, situated on the Open Space Parcel, shall

be removed and/or demolished by Developer. The cost of the demolition on the

Open Space Parcel and Development Parcel shall be shared 50/50 between the

Developer and the County….”

Looking at the conceptual plan it was reasoned and confirmed at a recent meeting of MFARA that one of the proposed building sites would sit at the location of the landmark structures in question.

It is true that there are numerous paths forward to save these structures. Options include the immediate creation of a Historic Preservation Commission to give authority over the designation of historic properties in the borough, the amendment to the four-party agreement, State Historic designation, and or lobbying of your elected officials. It is my opinion that it is too burdensome for the developer to keep the structures and maintain them. With the political will of both local Borough officials and the Middlesex County Commissioners who have the absolute authority to approve the location of the Open Space boundary. It is reasonable for them to ensure that not all structures within the county Open Space are demolished. Such a decision would benefit the residents of the State of New Jersey, Middlesex County, and the Borough of Milltown, as they could retain these landmarks, while also reducing the cost burden of the developer to unnecessarily demolish such iconic structures and the last remaining vestige of Milltown cultural contribution to the United States rubber industry and its own working-class roots.

For a timed video of the recent Milltown Ford Avenue Redevelopment Authority’s meeting where this was discussed see below for a YouTube link.

To contact your local leaders follow the links below.

Middlesex County commissioners.

Milltown Ford Ave Redevelopment Agency

Written by: Randy Ruth – August 2022

This Day in History: March 21st, 1907

This Day in History: March 21st, 1907

Michelin tire Promotional Postcard 1910


Famous French Concern, the Michelin, Buys Out the International and Will Enlarge the Plant- Millions Behind the New Industry.

Little Milltown is to have the biggest boom in its history.

The celebrated Michelin Tire Co. has bought the entire plant of the International Tire Co. there and will turn the factory over to the manufacture of its own tires. In addition to this, it has plans already drawn for another factory to join the present structure. They will begin the manufacture of the Michelin tires next September. Work on the new factory building, however, will be started before then,

Ever since the Home News printed the fact that a $1000,000 company was incorporated in Trenton last week by the Michelin concern, mentioning Milltown as its New Jersey office and J. C. Matlack as the agent in charge, there have been rumors about the deal. These rumors it was not possible to confirm at Milltown, for little was known there.

The Home News succeeded today, however. In locating the general manager of the Michelin Tire Co. in New York and he informed us positively that his concern had bought the Milltown factory and would Improve and enlarge the plant. He said, further, that they expected at the outset to turn out 300 tires a day and Increase it as fast as they could get help He said also, that everybody employed by the International now who knew his business would be retained, but could say nothing now about the executive branches of the factory.

It is understood that the Michelin concern paid a handsome price to the International for its property. It is also believed that the present hands of the departments at Milltown will remain under the new concern.

The Michelin tire is the most famous automobile tire in the world, being at French patented article. The tire is Imported Into this country in great quantities and the import duty amounts to a considerable amount.

It Is High Class and Expensive. The French company has long desired n branch plant in this country where they can make the patented tire and save the Import duty. They fixed upon Mil- town as the proper site for their plant. The French plant of the Michelin company is located at Lyons, France.

This Day in History: March 20th, 1903

This Day in History: March 20th, 1903

Well Known Milltown Man Passes Away-Other Milltown News.

MILLTOWN, March 20- A. Freeman Ayres, aged 55 years, who for a number of years was a citizen of this place, died at his late residence on Main street, about 4:30 yesterday afternoon. He was a sufferer for a number of months of a complication of diseases. A daughter, Miss Lillie Ayres, survives him, also an aged mother, Mrs. Rachel Ayres, two sisters, Mis. William Crenning and Mrs. John Wines, and four grandchildren. The funeral will take place at his late residence on Main street, Sunday afternoon at 2:30.

The interment will be in Van Liew Cemetery.


Thomas Lloyd, who was confined to his home with grip, is able to be about again.

Alvin Nevins is suffering with a swollen hand as the result of being bitten. by a dog last week.

Lenten services were held in the German Lutheran Church last evening. The meeting was well attended.

Philip Bourdeau, who occupied the Red Men’s house, on Main street, has vacated it and gone to his former home Newton Falls, Mass.

A social gathering was held at the home of Miss Mary Klein last evening.

Wickatonk Tribe, No. 135, Imp. Order of Red Med, will meet at their rooms on Ford avenue, this evening.

The marble works of ex-Mayor Rappleyea is in a very prosperous condition. He has recently placed a number of headstones in South River.

Mrs. George Detzler and daughter have returned after a very pleasant visit at Camden.

This Day in History: March 13th, 1914

This Day in History: March 13th, 1914

Council Puts Ban on Intoxicants Being Sold At Picnic Groves Here

MILLTOWN March 13.-The Borough Council convened in regular session at the Borough Hall last night. Mayor William Kuhlthau, Jr., Clerk R. A. Harkins, Councilman Henry Kuhlthau, Albert Skewis, C. H. Crenning, William R. Evans, B. Miller and Charles Bauries answered. the roll call.

The minutes of the last meeting and the adjourned meeting were read and approved.

Councilman Skewis made a motion to the effect that there shall be no intoxicating liquor sold at either of the picnic groves during the coming season, which was seconded by Councilman Kuhlthau and unanimously carried by the Council.

Councilman Skewis said that he had been spoken to by a number of parties regarding the trouble at the picnic groves, particularly last year, and all because of the selling of liquor It has been a menace to the public for a long while, said the Councilman, as far as that particular part of the town is concerned, and if more people lived up that way there would be more of a general kick.

Councilman Evans said that people who did not live up that way can hardly appreciate what a disturbance is caused by the picnics held there at which liquor is sold, and he believes the owners also appreciate the situation and will cooperate with the officials of the borough in order to keep peace in the borough.

Minimum Light Rate of $1 Per Month

The rules as submitted by the Light Committee, which provide that the minimum rate for electric current shall be $1 per month or $12 per year, were approved and 300 copies ordered printed for distribution among the light customers. By recent action of the Counsel all meters to be installed in the future and any meters to be installed in place of those that may be defective will be owned by the borough.

Filing of Affidavits.

Prior to the introduction of the resolutions by Councilman Kuhlthau there was filed with the Borough Clerk affidavits to the effect that the notice of intention or the Installation of a water system had been published according to law, and also affidavits to the effect that no remonstrances had been filed with the Borough Clerk within sixty days protesting against the installation of either of the above.

In regard to the $12,500 which the city of New Brunswick agreed to pay to the borough of Milltown toward the construction of sewer and water systems, Attorney Weigel said that according to law they have no right to pay this amount to Milltown, but that on last Wednesday night a bill was introduced Into the Legislature making the necessary provisions for this action. The Milltown Commission had provided in its aggregate that this amount shall be paid when the work starts, but the New Burnswick Commission had made no mention as to when the amount would be paid. He said that a meeting of the two commissions would soon clear up the matter and that he would keep pushing the bill until it became a law.

The chairman of the Light Committee, Charles Bauries, reported that all the transformers have now been changed to a 110-volt circuit and that the electric light line, which was somewhat damaged by the recent storm, has been put in thorough working order by Electrician Roth

The chairman of the Street Committee reported progress as usual. The snow is gradually melting away, says he.

The question of advertising for a special election to decide for or against the construction of a sewer and water system was not definitely decided at the Council meeting last night, as originally intended, for the reason that the Council had not passed resolutions declaring the amount necessary to be raised by general taxation for this purpose.

Councilman Kuhlthau presented resolutions which confirm the recommendations of the Water Commission and declare that $45,000 is necessary to be raised for water and $57,500 for sewers and also declare that the Council will proceed to advertise for sewer and water systems.

Following this action it will be necessary for ten days or more to elapse before the Council can advertise for a special election, which step will be taken at an adjourned meeting, which is to be held on March 26, and then the election will not be held until thirty days from the date of the first publication of notice for such election.

License Your Dog.

A resolution as introduced by Councilman Skewis regarding the licensing of dogs was unanimously adopted, the same to be effective March 26. The resolution provides that every dog shall have a collar and a tag with the name of the owner and registry number, and if any stray canines are captured by the officers or dog catchers they will be destroyed within twenty-four hours providing the owner does not appear before the officers and pay a fee of $2.50 and besides $1 for the registering of such stray canine. The officers authorized to act in the capacity of dog catchers are George Lins. Joseph Rupprecht and Charles Foerter.

Bills Paid.

The following bills were ordered


C. D. Reese………………………….                  $3.00

C. V. L. Booream, postmaster.                16.24

New Brunswick Times……………                3.60

Public Service Electric Co……….            85

Public Service Electric Co……..               316.80

Henry A Christ…………………….                 79.50

W. S. Roth…………………………..               121.90

Ellis Van Hise…………………………….              4.00

John Christ, steward………………..           10.00

James Boyd & Bros…………………..          18.92

John Lins, Overseer of Poor,

board Frank Bold…………..             12.00

Clarence Hines, repairing har-

Ness……………………………………………      2.65

Oscar Harkins, jail……………………..           14.15

Joseph F Rupprecht……………………….         5.00

On motion, the meeting was adjourned to March 26, at which time. the matter of advertising for a special election will be taken up.

The Collector’s report for the month of February follows:

Balance……………………….                 $5,445.49

Rent, Bldg. Loan Assn………………              12.00

Delinquent tax………………………..              16.52

Interest………………………………….              1.02

Delinquent taxes……………………….              1.50

Lights…………………………………………               288.00

$5.761 53


Public Service Electric Co.                             $396.00

Public Service Electric Co.                             5.45

Public Service Electric Co.                             1.10

W. S. Roth……………………                            32.50

Home News………………………                         89.42

Times Publishing Co…………                        91.50

Alb. Sevenhair…………………..                         13.50

Middlesex County………………                       117.15

E. T. Barnum, jall………………..                     98.75

H. Rathcamp………………………                    54.00

Board of Health…………………..                   43.20

John Lins……………………………..                 24.00

Ingran Richardson Mfg. Co……..                  23.00

Incidentals………………………………                  86.66


Balance…………………………………..                  4,688.30


Young People on Sleigh Ride.

Among those that enjoyed a delightful sleighing party to Spotswood last night were Messrs. Edw. Brown, Clifford Schlosser, William Lins, Henry Hartlander and Herbert Shafer, Misses Gussie Van Arsdale, Gertrude Schmidt, Gertrude Barney, Inda Fund and Mabel Miller.

The party stopped at Vleet’s Hotel, where they enjojyed a luscious repast ere they started on their homeward journey. Garret Funk drove and brought the party safely home in the early hours of the morning.

Fred Finn visited his nephew, Johnny Dundee, the lightweight champion, in New York yesterday. Herman Banker, of New Brunswick, was in the borough yesterday and bid his friends farewell are he departed for Akron, Ohio, where he will be employed in the rubber shoe factory.

At a meeting of the entertainment committee of the Crescent Club held Iast evening final arrangements were made for ladies’ night in Red Men’s building next Wednesday evening. One of the most interesting features of the program will be an entertainment by the Knickerbocker Quartet, of New York, assisted by Dudley Prescott, besides there will be music by Cortelyou’s orchestra, of New Brunswick. Dancing will be enjoyed. and various other pastimes will be provided.

Invitations have been extended to all the members, the Girls’ Crescent Club, the K. K. K., businessmen of the borough and each member is privileged to bring a friend or friends. The affair will far eclipse anything of its kind ever given by the club.

The Tamakwa Camp Fire Girls entertained at the home of Miss Emma Kaiser last evening, at which time a ceremonial meeting was held.

The girls displayed their charitableness last night, when prior to their meeting they visited “Aunt Kate” Rappleyea, of Riva avenue and presented her with many useful gifts.

The Dorcas Sewing Circle met at the German Reformed Church last evening.

The Woman’s Christian Temperance Union held its regular meeting at the Methodist parsonage last. night.

Mrs. Isaac Terry and Mrs. Jonn Terry, of New Brunswick, visited relatives in the borough Wednesday.

This Day in History: March 4th, 1909

This Day in History: March 4th, 1909


The Public Service Corporation, it understood on good authority, will extend its gas mains to Milltown next Spring, and light the homes of that borough. Milltown already gets light from the PSC, though not in the same manner as do New Brunswick residents. The light is bought in bulk by the borough and sold by the municipal corporation.

It is now planned by the P. S. C. to deal directly with the Milltown people in the sale of gas. A lot of pipe as been distributed along the road to Milltown, which, it was thought, were to be used for gas mains here.

These men said today that as far as they as they know this was not the case, and that they had not heard of the gas extending mains going forward this early. It can be almost positively stated, however, that in 1910 Milltown gas will be burning.

This Day in History: February 17th, 1929

This Day in History: February 17th, 1929


Nora French of Milltown in Hospital Not Expected to Live


Others Less Seriously Injured in Accidents on Local Streets

Nora French, of Sand street Milltown, is in Middlesex hospital in serious condition and is not expected to live as a result of injuries sustained when struck by an auto near her home on Saturday afternoon.

Fillnk LeMont of 111 Main street, Milltown, operator of the car is being held under $300 bail by Recorder Jacob Morris of Milltown pending the outcome of the girls injuries LeMont was placed under arrest at the hospital by Chief Robert Collins and Officer Nick Young of the Milltown police.

Officers upon investigation learned that the little girl and another girl whose name is not known were exiting from a trolley car bound from New Brunswick to South Amboy at Main and Sand streets when LaMont’s car struck them.

The investigation is and to have resulted in the discovery of the fact that LeMont was passing the car on the wrong side Police stated he was traveling toward New Brunswick when he struck the girl.

It was the second incident of Its kind in Milltown in the past week and police state that only the severest measures in all cases will break the practice of passing trolley cars on the wrong side.

This Day in History: February 6th, 1911

This Day in History: February 6th, 1911


Citizens at Public Meeting Stand for Protection-One Thinks There Are Other Improvements More Badly Needed.

MILLTOWN, Feb. 6-Seventy citizens met at the Borough Hall on Saturday evening to voice their opinion on fire matters.

Mayor Richter opened the meeting by explaining the reason for calling it and showing the need for fire protection. He advocated a chemical apparatus and pointed out the advantages of it. He then asked the opinion of those present.

A number of leading citizens expressed a favorable opinion on the subject. All excepting one, who expressed their ideas heartily endorsed the Mayor in his project.

One citizen, who did not favor a chemical engine, claimed that the borough needed other improvements more than fire protection at the present time.

The Mayor answered this argument by stating that this was only the first of many improvements that the borough Council hoped to further during the administration.

After the opinions had been expressed, Mayor Richter passed around a slip asking all those to sign their names who wished to become members of the fire department.

On Tuesday evening the members of the department will organize at the borough hall. All citizens of the borough who wish to become members are required to be present at this meeting. In an interview yesterday, Mayor Richter expressed himself as being much pleased at the manner in which the citizens had supported him in his endeavors at securing fire protection.

When asked what kind of an apparatus he thought the town needed, he stated that in his opinion, a combination of hook and ladder and chemical engine was just what the borough should have.

The borough hall, which has lately been improved, has a place prepared for the apparatus: the hall also provides for a firemen’s club room.

Reverend W. F. Barny, Professor W. A. Roe, William Glock, J. M. Brindle, Conrad Richter, H. S. Dehart, George Kuhlthau, George Heyl, enjoyed the banquet of the Educational Board at Perth Amboy on Saturday. They expressed themselves as very much interested in the address of Doctor Green, principal of West Chester Normal School.

John Richter is suffering from rheumatism at his home on Richter avenue. Harry Stein has opened a fruit stand in South Main street.

Mr. and Mrs. Aubrey Kuhlthau were New Brunswick visitors yesterday afternoon..

James Rosse, has opened a boot and shoe repair shop in the place owned by Isaac Vanarsdalen on Main street.

FOR RENT Four rooms, corner of Lincoln avenue and Main street, Milltown. Inquire Mrs. John Geer, Milltown.