Green Brook 1900
When settlers first arrived in the area, the volume of water flowing down Green Brook was much greater than it is today. Fed by numerous mountain springs and bounded by thick forests, the brook offered the early settlers a navigable stream running from the Raritan River to deep within the undeveloped interior.
As the land was cleared for pastures, and the streams were dammed for waterpower, the character of Green Brook changed. Much of the water that originally flowed down the brook has now been diverted for municipal and industrial consumption.
Rock Avenue 1900
An early photograph of Rock Avenue looking North from a point adjacent to the Mundy House. The road intersecting Rock Avenue just down the lane to the left is Green Brook Road. According to the 1872 Warren map, the house to the right is identified as the "Currier's Shop." An earlier map of Somerset County dated 1850 identifies the building as a tannery. See Chappon's Tannery.
Further up the mountain where Rock Avenue merges into Ravine Road, the houses visible to the right are probably the ones indicated on the 1872 map.
Washington Rock 1900
The rock for which Washington Rock State Park is named is one of a number of lookouts strung along the top of the Watchung Mountains which all share claims that George Washington once stood on them, spyglass in hand, seeking a glimpse of the redcoats.
The view from Washington Rock was breathtaking in the days before smog and air pollution. Even today, on the clearest of days, the view is awesome; and the park, though not as popular as it once was, is a gem worth visiting. See Washington Rock.
Greenbrook Road 1900
Green Brook road between Warrenville Road and Rock Avenue was officially declared a road in a 1785 Somerset County document. The alignment described in that document matches exactly the road as it appears on the 1872 Warren map. Sometime between that date and when the cultural update was made for the 1899 Topographical map, the road was realigned in places. That realignment is particularly noticeable near the Township Center.
Greenbrook Road 1930
Even as late as the mid-1800's, Green Brook road between King George Road at Sebring Mill and Warrenville Road was little more than a lane running across adjacent farms. Many deeds from that period don't even mention its existence. In contrast, both King George Road and Warrenville Road were well-documented by the mid-1700's.
As the large farms were divided up into smaller plots, Greenbrook road became a common boundary running parallel to the brook and dividing lots along the brook from farms along the North side of the road. Until Rt.29 (now Rt. 22) was built in 1930, Greenbrook road was the main road running between the brook and the mountains.
Block's Real Estate
Louise L. Block's real estate office on the East corner of Washington Avenue and Greenbrook Road about 1920. From left to right, the people in the photograph are: Lousi L. Block, Sabina Miller Block, Raymond Lant, and Helen Block Dulong.
Block's Gas Station
Louise L. Block's gas station and ice cream parlor on the East corner of Washington Avenue and Greenbrook Road about 1930. The buildings in the background on the other side of Greenbrook road are probably the Hughes place. See Kappelmann.
The ice cream parlor, which sold a selection of penny candy, was a favorite of neighborhood children. The parlor had two tables and seating for eight where patrons could enjoy a soda while waiting for their tank to be filled. The site is currently occupied by Cooper Brothers Tire & Auto.
1929 Buick Roadster May 1931
When New Jersey Rt. 29 first opened, the road provided the fastest route between New York and Western Pennsylvania. Drivers, wanting to show off their hot new cars on the weekends, found it an ideal place to unwind their engines.
Texaco Station 1931
Many Green Brook property owners located along the new road saw an opportunity to benefit from the traffic. This Texaco station was one of several businesses that opened along the road. It was located on the North side of Rt. 29 just East of Warrenville Road. It did a good business until a truck ran off the road and obliterated the pumps setting the station on fire.
Poultry Farm 1935
Another early Green Brook business located on Rt. 29 was a poultry farm and egg distribution business. It took advantage of its highway access to collect eggs from local farmers and distribute them throughout central New Jersey
Delivery Truck 1935
Using these 1935 Chevrolet predecessors of today's SUV, delivery drivers were able to climb the steep, unpaved roads over the mountains to Washington Valley and beyond.
Apple Spill on Rt. 22
Traffic jams on Rt. 22 are not a recent phenomena. When Rt. 29 was first opened, it had three lanes with the center lane devoted to a turn lane. Vehicles waiting in the middle lane were frequently rear-ended as happened to this truckload of apples waiting to make a left turn on Cramer Avenue.
As one of the main roads between New York and Pennsylvania, traffic continuously grew year-after-year. When traffic jams and the accident rate become intolerable, the road was widened to four lanes and became the divided highway we know and love today.