One Hundred Year Celebration

You all know how much I loved growing up in Boonton. Maybe that’s why I enjoyed Gilmore Girls so much. There was something in the fictional town of Stars Hollow that reminded me of my town. Boonton is a quaint town. It even has its own version of the bar from the show Cheers, “where everybody knows your name.” I think Casey is the only one in our family who has never been to Johnny’s.

Our roots go back to the beginning of Boonton. We have Grandma’s Carey family in Boonton in 1870, and my three-times great grandparents, John and Johanna Nolan living there a few years earlier. Some of our ancestors were there around the time Boonton became officially incorporated as a town in 1867.

This brings me to 1967, when Boonton celebrated their centennial. There were two groups in town supporting the celebration: the Brothers of the Brush and the Sisters of the Swish. I remember that many men throughout town grew beards and I believe there were contests for the best beard. Can’t you just imagine Kirk and Taylor and Sookie and Miss Patty all donning their Civil War era garb for a similar celebration in Stars Hollow?

We had a parade that summer where bearded men dressed in period uniforms, and women dressed in long dresses and bonnets and marched in a parade down Main Street. In researching this event, I read that there was a truck decorated to look like a paddy wagon, which was a police vehicle used to round up criminals. The criminals in the centennial celebration were men who did not have beards.

There was also a time capsule buried in a small park located between Boonton High School and John Hill School. Although I am not sure what was placed inside, I feel confident that it contains at least one piece of Boontonware. The plan was for it to be opened in May 2067. I won’t be there, but perhaps some of you can be there for its unveiling.

Next year will be the sesquicentennial celebration. Jamie, you will have to keep me informed. Since I won’t be around for the bi-centennial celebration, maybe I will swing through town for that event. I am looking forward to hearing about the plans.

Sisters of the Swish Centennial Photo