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Peyton and Me Meandering Through the Streets of South Jersey (Gloucester City, Chapter I)

William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNews

 

GLOUCESTER CITY, NJ --Our column this week contains photos taken during our daily walk throughout  Gloucester City. In the first photo, our eyes were drawn to the changing leaves on the trees near St. Mary's Church, Monmouth, and Atlantic Streets. 

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For those who are new to Gloucester City, the Irish started to build the church in 1886. Those men would work their regular jobs during the day and after work, they spent their waking hours laying the stone. Some of those workers would sleep in the church overnight to keep it safe from those in the city who vandalized the building as the Irish were hated in those days.  On July 15,1886 Bishop O'Farrell laid the cornerstone. The church was brought to completion without delay and dedicated on November 24, 1889. The cost of the structure was $65,000. In the spring of 1893, the last dollar of debt on St. Mary's property was paid.

St. Mary's Church, one of the most beautiful churches in New Jersey, is built of hard sandstone of a bluish-gray color. The stone trimmings are tool-dressed and the front has a fine stone gable cross. The style of architecture is early Gothic.

The church is 140 feet in length by 70 feet in width; adding to the beauty of the structure is a tower and spire, together 160 feet in height.

RELATED: 

St. Mary Grammar School 150th Anniversary

HISTORY OF SAINT MARY'S PARISH

SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE ABOUT THE TRASH PROBLEM

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Walking along Westminister Street Peyton noticed this discarded matter stacked along the side of two-row homes. One has to wonder why anyone would think having this much trash piled alongside their house would be acceptable. Not only does it look unsightly it also attracts mice, rats, and bugs. The trash should be placed in containers with lids, which is required under the city's ordinance.
 

Thompson Avenue at Lane Avenue

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The trash in this photo sits in front of an apartment on East Thompson Avenue, near Lane Avenue. The photo was taken early Monday morning, November 2 which was the day the area had 30 to 40 MPH winds. Trash day in this neighborhood is Tuesday. Once again the city ordinance is being violated because this trash should not be placed on the curb for pickup until 5  PM the night before pickup.  On windy days the trash not properly placed in receptacles blows all over the neighborhood. Squirrels, cats, dogs, mice, etc. are attracted to it. Bags are broken open, and the trash spreads to every home nearby. Landlords should inform tenants about the law. And, the City Housing Office should fine people who violate that law. That is the only way this will stop.  Right next to this apartment is a house for sale that is listed for $205,000. It makes one wonder how many potential buyers would be hesitant to move into the neighborhood after seeing this refuse piled up for days. Recyclable days are even worst as many residents don't use a lid on their container. 

900 unit block of Kohler Street

 
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Sunday morning, a few weeks ago,  we found this scene in the 900 unit block of Kohler Street. It is not known if the trash was placed there on Saturday or Sunday morning. Trash pickup for that street is Monday. According to the city ordinance, trash is not to be placed out until after 5 pm the night before pickup. This isn't an isolated problem.  The city needs to remind people of the law. 

Railroad Crossing Dangerous

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DANGER!- The railroad crossing at Kohler Street and Lane Avenue is caving in again. A few years ago CONRAIL repaired that crossing because of the same problem. We found another hole like the two above on the other side of the track. That crossing gets a lot of traffic during the day as the employees working at the Cold Springs School complex and others using it as the main route to the schools and as a shortcut to Market Street. Employees of the Public Works Department travel over this crossing in heavy vehicles a dozen times a day.

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Presently the holes at the tracks are about a foot deep. The cane is three feet long. Every time a vehicle drives over the crossing the holes get a little deeper. There are two similar holes on the other side of the crossing.

Empty Syringes 

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DANGER!-Walking along South Broadway in front of the senior citizen's apartments/doctor's office  Peyton stumbled upon two empty syringes.  

 

Mary Ethel School Building Being Used to Train Police

 

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The abandoned M. E. Costello School building is being used by police for training according to a nearby neighbor we spoke with. On the day we passed by there was a K-9 unit sniffing around the grass patch in front of the building. The MEC School was built in 1928 and was used first for a high school until 1961 when the new high school was built. Afterward, it was used for an elementary school. Millions were spent on upgrades to the school's gymnasium a few years ago. In September 2017 the MEC was vacated and replaced with the new $87 million elementary school built on Market Street. The deed to the property was transferred to the city in 2018. 

Memorial To The Unborn

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One of our daily stops is the Memorial for Unborn Babies at Old St. Mary/s Cemetery, Market Street, located in the 800 unit block of Market Street. We take a few moments to say a prayer for all the unborn babies that have been aborted.  During the month of October, the Catholic Church observes Respect for Life Month.  Bishop Dennis Sullivan, spoke about this topic in his message to members of the Diocese last month.  "Annually, during the month of October, our church observes RESPECT LIFE MONTH. Living in a society in which increasing acts of violence against life surround us, we cannot tire of this annual observance. Perhaps we need to get louder in voicing our church’s prophetic witness to the right to life. Every month of the year the right to life should be our concern because of the growing threats against life; threats against life both inside and outside the womb. Some of these threats originate from elected officials who flaunt their anti-life agendas and present them as if they represent us!" (emphasis CNBNews)

 

Stop Sign Sinks Into The Ground

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A stop sign at the corner of  East Thompson and North Stinson Avenues was literally swallowed by the earth a few weeks ago.  A Stinson Street resident said the sign just sunk into the ground overnight. "I was able to pull the sign up from the ground but when I let go it slid back down.  A new stop sign and a new no parking sign were erected by Public Works employees shortly after the department was notified", said the resident. 

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Container for Discarded Clothes 


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If you are cleaning out your closets and are wondering what to do with those clothes you no longer wear Gloucester City has a container at the Public Works compound at 605 Brick Street  for those items   
Riverview Heights Area a Top Neighborhood in Gloucester City
Property values in the River Heights section of the city (Stites, 800-900 block of Powell, Lane Ave., Thompson  Ave., Stinson Ave., Harley Ave., Burdsall Ave., Little Hunter St., Cold Springs Drive) are increasing as more and more people want to live in the same area as the Cold Springs School complex and the Gloucester High School. Several homes that set empty for years have been completely renovated and are for sale.  
We listed several homes from that area in our last column too see here.
IMG_4546900 unit block of Powell Street asking price $200,000
IMG_4545unit block of South Harley Avenue price $199,500

If you have a photo you like to share with the public send it to CNBNews1@gmail.com. The photo could be an autumn scene, beautiful sunrise or sunset, etc. or it could be a picture of an eyesore in your neighborhood.

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