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Frank & Ed Lofberg

(Interview taped 3/1976)

Our family came here in 1905.  We lived on Center Street, near the Bogota line.

Going back a few years I recall that on River Road and Cedar Lane there had been a race track--just before we came. It was not going when we came. Then there was a horse farm around Palisade Avenue on Cedar Lane--Fiss, Doerr & Carroll were there before World War I and during the war they shipped horses to Weehawken on the West Shore Railroad and from there they went to Europe.

The New York Centra1 was how people from Bogota got to New York. The Great Northern ran in Englewood. One of the old Phelps arches is over there--on Brookside Avenue.

I remember there was a big effort made at one time for people in our section of Teaneck to secede from the township and join Bogota. That was around 1912-13-14. I have a nice oil painting that Pop painted. It was calling a meeting in Martinson's barn to get people to secede. The Martinson barn was on the old Terhune property where there is a park now.  It joined the Cadmus property.  There was a high ridge so you could not see the river there. There was a cow pond. We skated there.

How did it turn out about seceding from Teaneck? It never got close. 

Mr. Elliott had a garage by Kenwood Place. He used to be the town clerk. He gave me his old papers before he moved to Florida.  Pictures of the old Fire Company on Kenwood Place. They used a home cart--you pushed the cart with its long coil of hose. There was a gong you hit with a sledge hammer on Larch Avenue and Center Place. There was one on Catalpa and of course one at the fire house. I remember Nels Johnson hit the gone so hard one time he broke it.

I remember the old race-track when I went to grammar school and high school. It was all wilderness in 1928-29. North Street was not cut through. A number of us kids from Emerson School gathered old Model Ts. Mr. Elliott was very helpful when we'd take them to him-- there was Conrad Jordan, the Wilbur boys and the Elliott boys and us. We had some real races. But no one chipped in on the gas. I took in a partner -- Heenie. His father drove the Valvolene gas truck and some of his gas disappeared. It was a good partnership. We learned a lot about engines. If we had a problem we'd see Mr. Elliott or Davey Wallace. The old race track used to be for surrey racing, possibly a mile. It was a complete circle.

Fred Warner started building around Cedar Lane and River Road colonial type homes and buildings around 1923. Some people who came then still live there.

Pomander Walk was opposite the race track. That was considered the elite section where wealthy people lived. There was the Haywood home where Luther college is today. We didn't associate with those people much.

We children were not involved in politics. There was never any controversy like today. Mr. Lewis who used to live at Elm Avenue and Kipp Street was on the Council. At first we had no police at all. I remember Chief Murphy he had a bike. Jess Witham and Bublitz came later. First they had bikes then they got motorcycles. In those days we knew all our cops. The Taxpayers' League got started around 1927 Mortan, Votee and others. Prior to that there wasn't much heard about politics. Andreas lived on River Road near West Englewood Avenue.

That's where Pop worked, decorating the big house. It was cold. The people were away. He got bronchitis and died not long after. He was an interior decorator and worked in New York and in Englewood with Holmgren in 1925. I was 21 when he died. By that time I was building houses with my brother-in-law Ralph Olson. Clarence was superintendent of a tool company in 1925. Then he opened his own office in Teaneck -- Walker, Lofberg and Pavlis. He built at 347 Cedar Lane. Later he took the store next to the bank. Then my brother-in-law built that office across the street for him. At the time of his death he was planning a larger addition. His two boys finished it.

There was lots of open territory in 1931.The first year I went hunting around Whittier School there were rabbits and pheasants. I used to hunt with Max Hasse around Winthrop Road where I now live near River Road. South of that was the old Roosevelt Military Academy--South of West Englewood Avenue on the west side. It was torn down and houses built.  The old Davis house was south of that. There was an old school above Brett Park. During World War II, I guess it was during prohibitions there was a still in the old building.  It burned about 1944, I don't remember it as a school. Old residents of the area used to talk about it.

Outstanding events?  Later on in the 30s there was the fourth of July parades. They must have had parades in the 20s. I remember ending up and having ice cream at the Blue Bird Inn. Oakdene school burned in 1923. They split classes and half went to Emerson. We had to go to Oakdene for six months while they completed Emerson School. We took the trolley.

I think it was nicer in those days. There were daily ball games near my home. We had good times. None of the problems we have today. In the spring I remember the frogs singing. My mother and sister would take us walking down River Road. On Sundays Pop would hire a carriage and take us riding. We'd go to Englewood to see the buildings he worked on. He'd rent the carriage from Kacheski's(?) farm on Willow street. There are apartments there now. Then there was the Lewis farm, east of Cedar Lane.

The Disposal Plant was at the and of Cedar Lane. In 1930-31 we used to go shooting there. Bob Felt's father owned the trap. We'd shoot clay pigeons. Once I dropped into what I thought was hard ground and wound up up to my neck in sewage. George wouldn't let me get in the car on the way home. I had to ride on the running board. I had stepped down onto what I thought was hard ground and kept going down. I was pulled up by grabbing the handle of a shot gun some one held.

I didn't join much. The only thing was the Auxiliary Police and was active till the emergency eased up. I still have my badge, cap, night stick and whistle. My wife and I were active in the Teaneck Garden Club until 1963-64. We arranged to take over the old disposal plant and have a green house. We put in motorized windows and humidifiers. We were quite an active group between the club and the town we grew some nice decorations.

 

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