Greetings, and welcome to the Historical Society of Riverton's website for our town, founded in 1851, by a group of ten Philadelphians for summer homes for their families. Displayed within its scant square mile area of Victorian-flavored neighborhoods and gaslamp-lined streets are more than 150 years of American architectural styles. More than half of Riverton's buildings are included in the State and National Directories of Historic Places.

Here is the venerable Porch Club, birthplace of the PTA; Riverton Yacht Club, one of the oldest and still active yacht clubs in the country; the beloved Riverton Public School which just turned one hundred; treasured churches and other institutions, as well as businesses and a hometown to almost 3,000 proud Rivertonians.

Our masthead banner, derived from a delightful folk art painting by Riverton author and artist, Anne Knight Ruff, evokes the charm and vitality of our richly historic borough and serves as your invitation to explore it further with us.


Summer solstice brings temps in the 90s as Riverton looks to the Fourth

Cover - 2016 July 4th Program

Cover – 2016 July 4th Program

In just two weeks, months of planning, prep, and fundraising by the tireless volunteers of the Riverton July 4th Committee will culminate with the arrival of the 119th Children’s Parade.

Part summer picnic, part homecoming, part testimony to patriotic pride, who doesn’t look forward to Riverton’s Glorious Fourth?

By now, Riverton households have received their July 4th Programs.

We hope you will frequent the many business and professional donors and appreciate the many patrons whose generous contributions continue to make this treasured tradition possible.

Even our own Society placed this ad with a not-so-subtle invitation to join.

Jack Hutton (left) and Clyde Hutton owned Hutton Chevrolet in Riverside, 1949-1969

Jack Hutton (left) and Clyde Hutton owned Hutton Chevrolet in Riverside, 1949-1969

We highlighted Mary Honeyford’s family photo used on the July 4th Program cover in our Nov. 2014 Gaslight News along with an ad we found in the April 7, 1949 edition of Riverton’s now defunct hometown newspaper, The New Era.

Hutton Chevrolet, New Era, April 7, 1949, p9

Hutton Chevrolet, New Era, April 7, 1949, p9

How many of you remember any of the car dealerships that once made their home in Riverton?

Here are two to get you started.

Oakland car ad, New Era, Jan 24, 1929

Oakland car ad, New Era, Jan 24, 1929

Olds ad, New Era, Nov 24, 1949, pg3

Olds Community ad, New Era, Nov 24, 1949, pg3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Community-Olds-Riverton-NJ-1966

Community-Olds-Riverton-NJ-1966

Finally, can you tell which 4th of July Showcase sponsor now occupies the site depicted in the postcard below?

During the recent Garden Tour and the Historic Riverton Criterium folks stopped by our table to check out the historically themed mugs.

Inevitably, conversation turned to a listing of TTATA, or things that aren’t there anymore, like the train station, bicycle track, Wolfschmitt’s Barbershop, etc.

More than a few times people have wished to see photos of Riverton’s long-gone lunchtime eatery, The Sharon Shop, Klipple’s Bakery at Main&Broad , and Reynold’s Gas Station at the point.

If a reader can favor us with a donation of a photo or a high-resolution scan of these spots (or any other favorite of yours), please contact us. – JMc

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With a little help from a lot of friends

Rob Gusky HRCentury/ Community Ride 2016 by Carlos Rogers

Rob Gusky HRCentury/ Community Ride 2016 by Carlos Rogers

Tethered to my workplace until 5PM that day I knew I would be unable to catch the arrival of the HRCentury riders, so I appealed to the Universe and it delivered in the form of this great pic of HRCentury creator Rob Gusky from Carlos Rogers.

Rob looks pretty fresh after biking a hundred miles from Millburn, NJ to Riverton.

Susan Dechnik sent in most of the following photos.

The ride took longer than anticipated since the cyclists ran into a punishing headwind for much of it.

Also conceived by Rob Gusky, the 3-Mile Community Ride was to follow the conclusion of this second realization of the Historic Riverton Century, and many residents of all ages awaited in the former District parking lot.

HRCentury 2016 button

HRCentury 2016 button

Meanwhile, HSR member Susan Dechnik handed out souvenir buttons bearing Anne Racioppi‘s imaginative logo and explained the connection to the 1895 NYC-Riverton Relay Race to those who were unaware.

Carlos Rogers commends the HRCentury riders

Carlos Rogers commends the HRCentury riders

The arduous trip caused the bicyclists to converge on the parking lot from different directions and not all at once.

Carlos Rogers congratulated Rob and the other riders. A cheer arose from the crowd as the Community Ride began led by the Century riders.

The ride ended with a ceremony at Memorial Park.

Mayor Cairns Wells at left, President Phyllis Rodgers, Town Historian Paul Schopp

Mayor Cairns Wells at left, President Phyllis Rodgers, Town Historian Paul Schopp

Mayor Suzanne Cairns Wells, Lifelong Wheelman Gary Sanderson and Riverton’s Town Historian Paul W. Schopp each addressed the audience and congratulated the athletes on their achievement.

In his address Mr.Schopp acknowledged that “…women have always maintained a keen interest in cycling and the mix of riders in today’s Riverton Century uphold the long legacy of female cyclists,” and described the 1895 Tri-State Relay Race which inspired Rob to create the Historic Riverton Century in 2014. Find a text file of his address here.

Gary Sanderson

Gary Sanderson

Attired in vintage wheelman gear and displaying his restored 1895 Indian Racer bicycle, Gary Sanderson described the adversity experienced by the riders in 1895 with traveling miserable roads on failure-prone single-speed bicycles. Read Gary Sanderson’s remarks here.

Bill Hall at left, Rob Gusky, Carlos Rogers at right

Bill Hall at left, Rob Gusky, Carlos Rogers at right

Mr. Gusky cited nonagenarian Bill Hall for his dedication to bicycling, and recognized Carlos Rogers for creating in 2011 the Historic Riverton Criterium which every year contributes money to local organizations and individuals. To date Carlos has distributed over $20,000!

Rob recognizes the women athletes

Rob recognizes the women athletes

Gusky called up the women participants in this year’s HRCentury and Phyllis Rodgers and Pat Brunker presented them and the men with sashes reminiscent of those worn by riders in 1895.

Later, many in the group met at Riverton’s Orange Blossom Cafe to eat and to recount details of their experience.

Everyone agreed that the two big bike spectacles now associated with the second weekend in June are community assets which combine to promote the sport of bicycling as well as provide family fun.

Rob recaps the day for Bill Brown

Rob recaps the day for Bill Brown

Perhaps it was the influence of the euphoria of a bicyclist’s high, but Gusky and Crew were already heard scheming to recreate the next ride.

Are you up for it?

Later on Facebook, Rob Gusky generously thanked the many people and organizations that made this year’s Riverton Century and Community Ride a success.

Century route planner Randy “Wheels” Jackson of the Major Taylor Cycling Club also wrote a lengthy Facebook piece recognizing those who had made it possible for him to “…relax and enjoy the ride.”

The creation of the Historic Riverton Century Ride by Rob Gusky and the Historic Riverton Criterium by Carlos Rogers now rank among the most treasured traditions of the Borough. The Historical Society of Riverton is privileged to be associated with them both.

Please add your own photos or submit comments. – JMc

 

 

 

 

 

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Late to the party again…

FP digital cameraBike Event Peeps:

Be advised I have to work until 5pm today so I will not be there for the arrival of Century riders or the Community Ride. I expect to make it to the Orange Blossom dinner.

Pulleeeze… can someone get pix of the event with a camera, cell phone, GoPro Hero, camera drone, Fisher-Price camera, anything so we have a record of the event.

Please send to me at rivertonhistory@gmail.com    Will be off tomorrow for the Criterium, tho’. – John McCormick

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This is happening

056 HRCentury 2016 sams black mug (Copy)The latest Historic Riverton Century update from Rob Gusky:

Registrations:

  • 16 – 100 mile Century riders
  • 5 – 30 mile riders from Bordentown
  • 81 – Community Ride participants
  • 30 – Orange Blossom Dinner attendees
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Just in Time for Bike Weekend

HRCentury 2016 mug (Copy)HRCriterium 2016 mug (Copy)60_mug collage (Copy)On Sunday during the Criterium the HSR will have a merch table in front of Riverton Free Library from about 12:30-4pm.

Check all the latest historically themed mugs made from the Society’s archive of vintage images in the 1.05 MB jpg file at right or this 416 kb PDF file. – JMc

 

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