HOW MILLTOWN COULD BE TRANSFORMED: SUGGESTION THAT IT BE MADE TO REPRESENT “A LITTLE BIT OF FRANCE TRANSPLANTED TO AMERICA”
(By HELEN McCALLUM)
Ever since the time General Lafayette came across the ocean with his army and held out a helping hand to America in Revolutionary days, there has been a bond of friendship between America and France and it has been doubly, yes trebly cemented by the events of the recent war.
One of the results of this is bound to be an interchange of ideas, customs and manners between French and American people. It is shown already in many ways; our “doughboys” returning from France tell us in glowing phrases of the beauty of the French villages and cities – those that escaped the fury of the enemy – while many who have been abroad before and seen the pretty communities that have been devastated. Find no words to express their regret that such beauty should be lost.
People who have been in France say that Milltown possesses the natural physical elements that go to make up these cozy French towns and this idea suggests the possibility of converting New Brunswick’s suburb into a really and truly villa patterned after the best in France.
There are a number of French families in Milltown now; there are French people coming to America constantly who would be attracted to a place that suggested home to them. Needless to say these people would probably be only too glad to keep up the idea of combining their efforts to inoculate France beautiful into New Jersey.
Milltown can afford to grow, to expand. The opportunities and possibilities are there and perhaps this plan is just the incentive needed to start the wheels of progress turning” towards a big destiny. There are hundreds of ways this could be done. Start a few civic features with the French idea predominating, follow this with French architecture for the houses, encourage French ideas in the shows revamp the hotels with a French “menage” then watch Milltown grow!
Of course it would take time and some money, but with the natural advantages already there, these would he a secondary and third consideration in comparison to the investment for the future. Think of the towns that have no foundation to build a distinctive reputation on, then of the splendid one Milltown has to achieve an international reputation if a little initiative and effort are used to establish a French “atmosphere” there.
The Michelin Tire factory has an opportunity to expand, to treble or quadruple its present capacity through the adoption of this idea. Then, too, other industries would be attracted to the place and the first thing you know instead of running over to Paris for their season’s wardrobe, New Yorkers might be taking a Gray bus or trolley to Milltown for the same purpose.
Yes, Milltown (I think I’d change that name perhaps I’d call it “Michelin”) might endearingly be referred to as a “bit of France transplanted to America.”
Slight alterations to many of the homes would give them much of the sought French effect. A little touch here and there would do the trick.
It would be a good thing for the other Milltown industries as well as the Michelin. a good thing for the stores and shops and I would not be surprised if the Raritan River Railroad would contribute liberally to the carrying out of the plan.
Milltown has a real French millinery with a French madame in charge now. Maybe she is to be a pioneer in a new field. There is room for the French and the other industrious folk there now to get along splendidly in Milltown and to greatly increase the size and attractiveness of the place. It is a very nice town now.