Washington Park

Broad Street, Washington Place & Washington Street


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Newspaper Articles

November 23, 1913 - Find Washington Park is not a Cemetery

From: Rider's Newark 1916

Washington Park is the second of Newark's original public commons. Like Military Park it is a long, narrow triangle, but lies on the opposite or west side of Broad Street. It is bounded on the south by Washington Place and on the west by Washington Street.

At the southeast corner of the park, on a sloping mound of turf, stands a bronze statue of Washington, heroic size, a bequest of the late Amos H. Van Horn (J. Massey Rhind, sculptor).

Washington is represented standing by his horse, and making his farewell address to his army at Rocky Hill, N. J. near Princeton, in 1783. The statue was unveiled in 1912.

To the east of the Washington statue and facing Halsey Street is a boulder with bronze tablet, commemorating the site of Newark's first Academy (erected May, 1916).

The inscription is as follows: "The first Academy in Newark was erected near this spot in 1774, by the gifts of generous citizens. Dedicated to learning, it found in time of war a new mission in the cause of liberty, giving useful service as a barracks and hospital for American troops. On the night of January 25th, 1780 it was burned to the ground by a raiding party of British, who crossed from N. Y. on the ice and surprised the town. This school was the forerunner of the present Newark Academy, which erected its first building in 1792, at the corner of Broad and Academy Streets. Placed by the trustees, teachers, graduates and students of Newark Academy, June, 1916."

Near the middle of the park is a bronze statue, heroic size, of the inventor Seth Boyden (1789-1879). Erected 1890, by the citizens of Newark (Karl Gerhardt, sculptor).

The statue represents Boyden as a mechanic, with a leather apron and with shirt sleeves rolled up. He stands beside an anvil, holding in his hand the model of the first locomotive built in New Jersey.

Among Mr. Boyden's notable achievements were (1810) a machine for cutting wrought iron nails; (1813) a machine for cutting and heading tacks; (1816) a machine for splitting leather, which is still used in splitting bookbinder's stock; (1819) the first patent leather ever manufactured in the United States; (1826) a process for making malleable cast iron; (1837) the first locomotive ever built in New Jersey.

North of the Boyden statue is a bronze bust of Dr. Abraham Coles, presented to the city in 1897, by his son, Dr. J. Ackerman Coles (J. Q. A. Ward, sculptor).

Dr. Coles was born in 1813 at Scotch Plains N. J. He came to Newark in 1836, devoted himself to the practice of medicine, and was for several years President of the Medical Society of New Jersey. He was also author and translator of numerous books, and is most widely known for his translations of Stabat Mater and Dies Irae.