Categorized | Carousel, Editorial, Historical

Lessons to be Learned: A Joint Venture Sounds Good to Us

Recently, the “Perth Amboy Young People History Hunters Program” was presented to the City Council by Dorothy Daniel. The idea is to get the children to visit all the historical sites in the surrounding area. Dorothy Daniel provided each Councilman with a copy of the Raritan Millstone Guide to Historic Sites in Central Jersey. The basic idea behind this program is to get the children acquainted with the historic sites in the New Jersey, specifically in Perth Amboy. “If you teach the children about history, especially in the town where they live, they in turn will pass this knowledge along to their parents,” Dot Daniel explained to the Council.

She went also on to say that she herself didn’t know the history about William Dunlap. Nor were any of the residents who lived in Dunlap Homes Complex. She also mentioned that she was not aware that Thomas Mundy Peterson was the first black voter under the 15th Amendment and he was from Perth Amboy. She learned about these facts as an adult.

Daniel said, “Catholic Charities runs afterschool programs for the Dunlap Homes children. The Housing Authority, YMCA and Alianza would like to partner together to plan trips to have the students of Perth Amboy go to the historic sites at least once a week during the summer. All of these entities have their own transportation and we can borrow each other’s busses when necessary,”

Daniel stated, “We can make arrangements that each organization can provide interchangeable chaperones. Each time a student visits a historic site, we can give them a certificate. When they return to school, they can truly talk about what an exciting summer they had.” She also spoke to Woodbridge about doing a similar summer program.

Councilman Bill Petrick wanted to know how many children would be participating in this program.

Councilman Joel Pabon said, “Each organization has 75 children or more participating in summer school programs.”

Petrick stated, “I would like to see Perth Amboy sites visited first by the participants in this program.”

Carolyn: I for one am all for this project. As a member of the Historic Preservation Commission, it is extremely important that we highlight the history of Perth Amboy. It is too important for it not to be recognized for the contribution it has made to not only to our country but worldwide.

Katherine & Paul: Perth Amboy was described by one individual as “One of the 10 most historic sites in the United States.” Perth Amboy’s rich history needs to be told, especially to the children. Many of Perth Amboy’s citizens have no knowledge of the history of our City. Mainly because: 1.) it is not taught in our schools; 2.) many of the children of our town are immigrants or children of immigrants and have no knowledge of Perth Amboy history.

Perth Amboy includes such historical sites as the Royal Governor’s Mansion (home to William Franklin, the last Royal Governor), the Kearny Cottage (home to Commodore Lawrence Kearny), the Historic Ferry Slip (site of the famous Tottenville Ferry), St. Peter’s Episcopal Church (one of the oldest Episcopal Churches in New Jersey), The Simpson Methodist Church (and its famous clock tower), an original Carnegie Library, and the oldest functioning City Hall in the United States to name some.

Perth Amboy was also the first in many moments in history. Perth Amboy was once the capitol of New Jersey. The Bill of Rights was first signed in Perth Amboy. The first flight of a dirigible took place over Perth Amboy with the flight of Solomon Andrew’s Aereon. The USS Holland, the first submarine was tested in Perth Amboy’s Dry Docks. During the 19th Century Perth Amboy was the site of the Raritan Bay Union and its famous school Eagleswood which spawned many poets, artists, inventors, etc. In the 1930s Perth Amboy had the largest roller rink in the world. Much of the terra-cotta in New York City was manufactured in Perth Amboy. Also it is the 100th Anniversary of the first air-mail flight between South Amboy and Perth Amboy. A Cancellation Stamp has been proposed to celebrate this anniversary.

These list of “firsts” is quite extensive. What other town can boast so much?

The “Perth Amboy Young People History Hunters Program” will teach all of this rich history to the children. The organizations mentioned above will work together to accomplish this. The history of our town touched so many lives, now it is time for the children to learn about our town and appreciate it.

K.M. , P.W. & C.M.

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