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HISTORY: Where is This Street? It's Barron Avenue in Woodbridge

Compare Barron Avenue as a dirt road with a jerry-rigged bridge over a creek, and Barron Avenue today, paved and refined.


We came across a picture of a dirt road in Woodbridge, circa early 20th century. The road, which was long and uphill, had a rigged crossing over a creek. There were tons of trees, no curbing, and what looked like old Model Ts parked in front of a house with a porch.

We challenged Patch readers to guess where this street in Woodbridge Proper was. Answers on both the article and Facebook were good: Amboy Avenue near the creek by South Park Drive, Woodbridge Avenue in Sewaren, Ridgedale Avenue, even Rahway Avenue. 

The first correct guess went to a Patch reader who goes by the initials AO. He correctly guessed that this old photograph was of Barron Avenue. Second and third place go to Angela Sambataro and Jay W. Frangione, who also correctly named the street in the picture.

The "Close But No Cigar" prize goes to Varkutio, who named Harrell Avenue, the twin street that runs parallel to Barron from Freeman Street to Prospect Avenue.

We're told the view of Barron Avenue in this photo is from Freeman Street to Prospect Avenue, and that is the picture highlighted here. But another view in the opposite direction shows a house with a porch and white columns on the left. That could also be the right vantage point, except that the dirt road looks "hillier" toward Prospect Avenue in the old photograph. That would mean the original house on the left is no longer there. 

If you are interested, the picture is around 650 Barron Avenue. Just look for the bridge, although you might miss it. Back in the day, a good rainstorm caused a huge flooding problem. This is one of the places in Woodbridge where flooding issues seem to be solved.

The provenance of this picture has a history as well. It's a copy of a photograph owned by the late Bob McEwen, a fervent collector of postcards and Woodbridge memorabilia, and the go-to man if you wanted to know anything about the history of Woodbridge. McEwen was a co-author of a book on the history of Woodbridge.

Do you have old postcards or unusual pictures of Woodbridge? Let us know, and your picture could be in the next History spotlight!

A O January 14, 2013 at 01:49 PM
Awesome! What did I win? Btw, I'm a she :)
Deborah Bell January 14, 2013 at 02:28 PM
You win knowing you beat out everyone else! (Sorry - it was a little hard to tell your sex from your name. :) )
MrDoughnut March 27, 2013 at 02:28 AM
This street scene wasn't in my Woodbridge book by Bergen Troeger and Robert J McEwen so it was beyond me.
MrDoughnut March 27, 2013 at 02:48 AM
I don't live in that area so with out the Woodbridge book I'm lost as far as identifying any pictures. My area of Iselin has changed so much down town it's lost it's old town atmosphere.

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