44 Millington Street

MillingtonSignature

This picture of 44 Millington Street most likely dates from the early 1950’s and was published by the Real Estate Board of Newark N.J. The house that was the subject of this photo no longer stands, although the buildings on either side are still there. The home was quite large and most likely dated from the 1800’s. It had been divided into apartments. I had only seen the front of the photo prior to purchase.

Not expecting to find any writing on the photo,  you can imagine my surprise when I saw that something had been written on the back! What I had initially believed to have been only a real estate marketing photo had with a few well crafted lines became so much more. The author of that short inscription, had lived in the house for fifty six years. The person whom they had inscribed the photo for had been born in that house. The writer had used a real estate photo to present a brief family history lesson .They concluded with ,” We surely all had some very happy days together”.

I did some research in contemporary City Directories from 1914 and 1945 and it appears that a family named Bock were a constant at that address through those years. Lacking more definitive proof, I can only speculate whether the writer was part of that family. Another question is how this photo eventually came to into the possession of someone in California, from whom I purchased it? I’ll surely never be able to retrace that journey.

What is certain is that for many years one family occupied that house. They weren’t famous , particularly wealthy or likely to have stood out much from their neighbors. They were  among the tens of thousands of working folks who called Newark home and were , it seems, happy to do so.

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