Not that anyone asked but shortly after I retired at the end of 2001, I became interested in the history of our community through a couple of adventures that were more personally enlightening than fulfilling. The first was the Maplewood Historical Society which morphed into an effort to save Woodside which is ongoing.
Another project I attempted, the Maplewood community history book, went nowhere under the aegis of the historical society but did manage to flower by working with the Maplewood Community Betterment Foundation. It was this project that truly put me in touch with a lot of our longtime residents.
I was drawn into my current position, self-appointed historian, by my concern and respect for our historic architecture and photographs. The call for material for our history book produced much interesting material but what to do with it? Even a 140 page book requires some pretty stiff editing.
The answer, of course, is the blog. This material on the Zimmermans is a good example of some very interesting stuff that just wouldn’t fit in the book. I feel that I have been given a unique view of our community and who and what came before us. It is my pleasure to afford as much of that view as is possible to the readers of this blog.
As one person commented this isn’t just the story of Maplewood. It is the story of America.
Once home to the Zimmerman family, 7415 Hazel is seen in this 2007 photo with the recently restored four family apartment building next door. The cyclone dust collector for the Maplewood Mill can be seen in the background.
Standing in front of their home at 7415 Hazel are John and Minnie (nicknamed Mina) Zimmerman. John is holding a granddaughter, either Opal born 1906 or Lorine born 1908. They are the children of John O. who is seated on the steps. The photograph is interesting because the four family apt. building had not yet been constructed nor had the Dr. Cape buildings on the west side of Sutton. The church in the background survives today minus the roof on the steeple. It is on the east side of Sutton at Hazel.
This is probably the young John Zimmerman’s wife, Anna with Opal or Lorine.
The whole family on the front porch but now the four family building next door has been constructed. I hope the original photographer gave them some kind of a discount on these blurry photos.
This shot of Mina and Opal (I’m guessing) gives us a better look at the new building behind them. The front porch with the three supporting columns survived until the recent renovation.
A charming shot of Opal probably taken the same day as the prior photo. Apparently the aversion to being photographed starts early for some ladies.
Here is a postcard view of the Congregational Church seen in the earlier photos. Thanks to Donna Rakowski
This magnificent building once occupied the site where Citizen’s Park is now located. Visible to the right is the steeple of the Congregational Church indicating that not much development had happened in the space between. This photo is courtesy of the Maplewood Public Library. The Zimmerman family photos are courtesy of Pat Trout and the Aston family.