1919 Methodist Outing in Flemington, NJ

32_image01The group picture illustrating this week’s column is another small section of the large picture described in last week’s column, taken in the summer of 1919, when members of the Methodist Bible Classes of Wayne and their friends met at “Broad Acres Farm” in Flemington, N.J., as the guests of Mr. and Mrs. A.M. Ware. Although these gatherings were yearly summer affairs, this one of 1919 was outstanding in point of view of members and of guests.

In order to identify by name others in the large picture in addition to those identified by Albert A. Ware and Mrs. Gertrude Ware Case, your columnist has called on Mr. and Mrs. Charles H. Wetzel, of South Wayne avenue, and Mr. and Mrs. Austin J.H. Houck, of Pembroke avenue. Both couples were among the guests at the Ware farm.

Mrs. Houck, speaking for her husband, who is out of town at present, clearly recollects that Mr. Houck was responsible, not only for his own transportation, but for that of a number of others, since he drove one of the large Wayne Iron Works trucks. In consequence, Mrs. Houck went with Mr. and Mrs. I.V. Hale in their car. Mrs. Wetzel recollects that their daughter, Barbara, who is shown in the large picture on the lap of Mrs. A.M. Ware, took the trip from Wayne to Flemington snugly tucked into a clothes basket. Common as that mode of transportation is for very small fry nowadays, it was a novelty in 1919.

Mrs. Houck says that, as she remembers, the cavalcade of automobiles met at the Methodist Church, getting under way about 9.30. A.M. There were several car breakdowns along the way. However, since all took the same route, those who were stranded were picked up by cars still running. Albert Ware has several pictures of these automobiles, as they were parked at the Flemington farm at the end of their run. A portion of the clearest of these pictures is shown in today’s column. To those of us who owned automobiles in the 1919 era, the picture will bring vivid memories of our pride in the possession of a vehicle that is now antiquated. The second car from the left is interesting in that it brings forth the question of whether it was the 1919 version of a present day bus or of a modern station wagon.

Mrs. Houck recollects that the day was overcast in the beginning, and on the cool side, which accounts for the coats worn by many of the women. Once the sun shone enough for picture taking, the photographer hastily assembled his group. In order to show everyone present, the camera moved from left to right down the long line. But the motion was so slow that at least two of the men present ran from the extreme left in order to be photographed again at the extreme right. They were Albert Ware and his uncle, Ralston C. Ware. “R.C.” as the latter was known to everyone, is the most prominent figure in today’s picture, in the bizarre costume topped off by a farmer’s large straw hat, under which the heavy false whiskers and nose are very prominent. In great contrast to “R.C.” is the gentleman so sedately seated at the extreme left on the front row. He has been identified by several as the Rev. Bickley Burns, then Methodist District Superintendent. A special stop had been made at Ambler to pick up this important guest of the occasion.

Names to be added to those given in last week’s column include those of Mr. and Mrs. William Clark, with their sons, Paul, Horace and Leonard, and their daughter, Mabel; Mr. and Mrs. Albert Cresmer, George Constable, Rev. Elliot, from the Central Baptist Church of Wayne; Anthony Falcone, Mr. and Mrs. Flynn, the Misses Ruth and Jean Hoey and Mr. and Mrs. Eli Houck. There was also Mr. and Mrs. Charles Hagy and “Junior” Hagy, Mr. and Mrs. David Hackford, and William Hackford; Mr. and Mrs. I.V. Hale, Edward Hurst, Mr. and Mrs. Hannum and William Harkins.


Also, Mr. and Mrs. H.O. Hadley, Miss Emily Suplee Hallowell, Mr. and Mrs. Austin Houck and Mr. and Mrs. Harry Jacob. Still others included Mr. and Mrs. Philip De Marse, Henry Metz, the Rev. Benjamin Mill, Miss Ruth Orme, Benjamin Pugh, Ralph Robson, Mr and Mrs. Charles C. Shoemaker, Mrs. Wesley Sentman, William P. Sassaman, William Silver, Mrs. Charles Smedley, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Swartz and Miss Emily Swartz and Mr. and Mrs. William Weaver.

(The story of the Methodist Church picnic will be concluded in next week’s column with two additional pictures. Anyone who has any reminiscences of the occasion to offer should contact Mrs. Patterson, Wayne 4569.)