19 April 2009

Come to Manville

When word got out that Johns Manville was moving their asbestos manufacturing plant from Brooklyn to Hillsborough, real estate speculators immediately gobbled up all of the farmland in the vicinity. They staked out tiny lots and cleared the most primitive of roads. And waited for the people to come.

They didn't have to wait long.

Prospective employees and their families flocked to the site - encouraged by the prospect of owning their own home in the New Jersey countryside. Developers ran special excursion trains to Hillsborough. Not just from New York and Jersey City, but also from Scranton and the Pennsylvania coal country, where laborers were eager to get out of the mines and work in the most well-appointed and modern factory of the day.

Jersey Central train at Manville-Finderne Station in 1967.

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