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Fond Memories of Wood-Ridge

Fond Memories of Wood-Ridge
By Otto C. Niederer

While I no longer live in Wood-Ridge, I have many memories, and can fill in a little background.

My paternal grandfather was Christopher Niederer, who after serving in the Union Army, married and established a bar room and picnic area in Carlstadt. There were bowling allies, shooting ranges, picnic areas etc. Many of his army friends came by train for reunions.

My maternal grandfather, Franz Fritsch was a tin smith and roofer. He continued in this profession until he passed out from the heat, while installing a tin roof and fell to the ground. He decided this was no longer going to be his line of work, and opened Fritsch’s Bar which in some of the other memories is referred to as the Hilltop Tavern, just over the town line from Carlstadt on Hackensack Street. My father worked for Franz Fritsch as a bartender until he married “the boss’s daughter” and establishes another bar on Hackensack Street in Carlstadt just south of Broad Street. My sister Alice was born there 92 years ago, my sister Frances and I were born in the living quarters above the Wood Ridge saloon. In 1929 we moved to 18 Hackensack Street, where my sisters are still living.

The town of Wood Ridge was organized in the back room of Franz Fritsch’s bar room. Fritsch Ave and Fritch park on the Wood Ridge/Carlstadt line were named after him.

Early in 1942 I joined the Navy and served in North Africa for the invasion of Sicily and then for a long time in New Guinea. When I returned to the states I married, and we set up housekeeping near Washington D.C. Mary Jane (Floyd) and I had seven (7) children. We moved many times in Maryland, Virginia, Connecticut and Ohio, where I have resided for the last 30 years. Before my wife died we visited Wood Ridge often. Ill health (too much smoking) has prevented me from traveling for the last 10 years, but I have kept up with happenings via the telephone with my sisters.

Herbert Flavell talks about the little house behind the Hilltop Tavern, I remember them living there. (I was 13 at the time). Before the Flavell's moved there, the building was a beer bottling shop. Later my aunt and uncle, Chris & Johanna Fink lived there. There was an underground sub-basement that was used to keep beer cool and during probation, to hide booze.

Jerry Korb mentions Traber’s TV repair business. Is that the Harold Traber I went to school with?

Mike Lutgen mentions, among other, Mrs Shwartz, Mrs VanDerWinkle, Mr Stoesser.

I could go on for hours, but never having learned to type I do this all by “two finger hunt and peck.” If anyone should care to reach me I am gizz@adelphia.net.

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