Brick Church Post Office
From Information sent to us by Tom Geiger (TG) - 01/08/17
Additional Information from Jim Gerrish (JG)

Postcard Photo Crica 1900

The original Brick Church post office only existed from 1882 to 1887 and I can imagine this (above) envelope being carried down the street in your 1890s postcard. Another post office was established in 1925 as a sub-station to East Orange. That one appears to have been closed some time after 1981. TG

The above envelope has a 1917 flag cancellation. These were popular in the US from the 1890s and as late as World War II. These were machine cancels and there were many varieties. People specifically collect flag cancels today. The envelope might have been processed in the Commonwealth Building shown below. TG

Postcard Photo Circa 1900

This building, built in 1887, which also served as offices for the Orange Water Company, the East Orange National Bank, the S&J Davis Restaurant (under the awnings on the right) as well as the main East Orange Post Office which opened there in 1886, was bordered on the front by North Arlington Avenue, on the left by Arlington Place, and on the right by Main Street (looking east). JG

Photo Circa 1890

To put that in perspective for current (2017) residents of East Orange, in this view, looking east, Main Street crosses the railroad tracks from left to right. The white horse (and the red dot) mark the location of Arlington Place, which today is called City Hall Plaza. The building in the center is the East Orange Train Station which was opposite the Post Office housed in the Commonwealth Building on the right. The earliest Post Office operated by stationmaster and first postmaster Isaac C. Beach from the Train Station in 1869, was moved to the Commonwealth Building in 1886 by postmaster Mary E. Simonson. JG

Postcard Photo Circa 1930

The Post Office at today's City Hall Plaza was built in 1929, and looks much the same today...

Photo by Frederick Goode, January 2015

... except, of course, for the solar panels, radio tower, and wheelchair ramp, as seen from the elevated railroad tracks (evidenced by the shadow) across the street from City Hall Plaza. JG

The above cover is one I created back in the 1970s. I was producing first day of issue covers under the ODDITY label. I generally did 500 of each stamp issue. At this time in 1976, there was a question why the first day of issue was in Belleville (the Clara Maass Hospital location) on a non-specific date instead of her birthday in her birthplace of East Orange. I thought this should be commemorated properly, so I took a full box of 500 USPS envelopes and had them hand cancelled at the post office in East Orange. Then I took them to Belleville for the new stamp and cancel. I still have more than 100 of these so if you want one, let me know and I'd be happy to share them with people who appreciate history. I'd rather see them out there than in my box. No charge!
Tom Geiger (TG)

Link to the Clara Maass Memorial Plaque at the location of the Centennial Tree in 2010 and 2012.

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