Newkirk Avenue

07 Feb

I  ended the last post — it feels like years ago  — with a photo of Opa on the steps of the house I grew up in, 22 Newkirk Avenue. 

It was always a point of pride with us that Grandfather Jansen had given the street its name. (Un)originally  called “New Street,”  it was one of several “New Streets,” making it dificult for the fire department to locate the correct address. 

Grandfather Jansen suggested that the street be renamed Newkirk Avenue — from the Dutch for New Church.  The fact that there was no “new church” on the street didn’t seem to bother anyone, and the name was adopted.   There is a Newkirk Avenue in Brooklyn, but I  don’t know of any others.

Grandmother Jansen purchased the Newkirk Avenue house in 1922. Two houses in from the corner, the house was originally number 6 New Street.  It was freshly built, one of the few houses out past the City of Trenton’s boundary at Olden Avenue.  My other used to talk about walking through fields between Olden and Newkirk, and once she and her brother Joe had a sort of camping trip out there — they cooked some potatoes over an open fire.  She remembered that potato as the best she’d ever eaten.

I have a document on stationery from J. Conner French, Counsellor at Law, Trenton, New Jersey, dated April 18, 1922.  It is a statement of sale for the premises  by Adelaide Friedel to Frieda Jansen.  The purchase price was $5,000.00.  Interest on the mortgage was due twice a year (July 6 and January 6) to one Mary E. Brown.

It’s always fascinated me that the whole transaction (except for the lawyer) was among women.  I have been told that grandmother bought the house with money she inherited upon the death of her mother, but I have not been able to verify this, because I don’t have a date of death for Paulina.

I’ll scan the document in — perhaps those of you with a legal or real estate  background (Tim?) can tell me the meaning of the first mortgage, note mortgage, etc.

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Posted by on February 7, 2011 in Uncategorized


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