Family history has parking spot in city!


By: Merle Citron
   These days, many people are filled with memories of "old" Lambertville and family history.
   I recently received a lovely e-mail from Dot Jamieson, formerly of Lambertville.
   Currently, Dot and her mother, Mary Warner Jamieson, also formerly of Lambertville, live in Loveland, Colo.
   Here’s what Dot told me.
   "In 2000, my mother and sister visited family, friends, and old acquaintances in Lambertville. They were amazed at the parking situation, and we thought it was getting snug in 1971!
   "Mom looks forward to receiving The Beacon in the mail, and rightfully so. She was born in the Warner family home at 73 Clinton St. and lived most of her life in Lambertville.
   "Time brings change so often mom does not recognize many of the names mentioned in the newspaper. Memories abound mostly through photos, obituaries (sorry) and your Chit-Chat column.
   "Mom passes on news of interest to Aunt Teen, Margaret Warner Burns, her sister in New York, and Aunt Doll, Mary Zahler Stymiest, her cousin in Pennsylvania. Of course, both grew up with her in Lambertville.
   "When mom received her Feb. 6, 2003 copy of The Beacon, she was delighted to read about Don Zahler, ‘gentleman extraordinaire.’ Oh, and about Don, ‘going out of his way to do a favor for a neighbor,’ mom says, ‘Well, what would you expect? He’s my cousin!’
   "Mom loves to reminisce about ‘old time Lambertville.’ She has told us many happy childhood memories of life at 73 Clinton St., including her mother’s unique creation of a white cotton Christmas tree that the neighbors would come over to see.
   "She says they never missed a Thanksgiving football game between LHS and Frenchtown. Her lifetime of fond memories includes going on a birthday party hayride with her best friend, Vivian Carmody Walker. Their friend, Jimmy Pidcock, went also, and he introduced them to his friend, Bill Jamieson. And, as is so often said, ‘the rest is history!’
   "Part of that history includes our dad being the newspaper distributor for the Lambertville-New Hope area. He delivered New York, Pennsylvania and New Jersey newspapers, including The Beacon for 25 years. Dad also worked at The Beacon office on Bridge Street for a few years running the printing press.
   "Yes, it is a small world when it comes to Lambertville. Mom has told us tales of her mother’s excellent cooking on the old coal stove, of knowing that her sister had given birth when she heard a baby’s cry as she returned home from the Thanksgiving dance, yummy smearcase (cottage cheese), being struck by lightening and her wedding cake.
   "Years ago I titled the book I want my mother to write "Clinton Street and Other Memories."
   Family memories also are very important in the Padilla household on Lambert Lane.
   Last Christmas, Suzanne and Ed decided that for fabulous family Christmas gifts, they would orchestrate the creation of a book about Suzanne’s large family entitled, A life Well Rooted: The Story of Our Family."
   Suzanne developed a questionnaire she distributed to her mother’s side of the family. In addition to responses to the questionnaire, family members were encouraged to write about historical family information as well as family stories.
   Suzanne explained, "Our family story begins with Beatrice and Titus Tettemer and includes their children, Dorothy, Caroline (my mother), William, Titus, Marion (Mikie Edwards), Marvin, Robert, Nancy and Cleon. Dot, Marvin and Cleon are dead but the rest of my aunts and uncles gave Ed and me family stories and family history. Thirty-one cousins responded with pictures and their stories."
   Suzanne showed me a copy of the book each family member received, and it is very impressive. The book is nearly 2 inches thick. It is spiral bound and divided by tabs indicating the different children of Beatrice and Titus Tettemer.
   Joyce Tettemer told me that she got teary eyed when she read the book. For as long as I’ve known her, Suzanne invariably dreams up the best gifts for people.
   Suzanne isn’t alone in her interest in family genealogy.
   Pat Shamy of Clinton Street has even stopped painting in order to research her family history.
   "My mother began keeping our family history before she died," Pat told me, "and she created a booklet that went back two generations. Then a cousin picked up on it and found the next two generations, and now I’ve gone a couple of generations further. I’m getting the details, all the paperwork, documents, wills and inventories, and I’m going to make a book for my family because I’ve collected so many stories.
   "All of my family lived here in Hunterdon County going as far back as 1793, with the first name I can find, Abraham Bryan. I don’t know where he came from. He could be Irish or English and was probably a farmer like everyone else. He lived in Lebanon Township.
   "It’s interesting the older you get, the more you have questions you can’t get answered. I have young grandchildren, and I want to leave their history to them and anyone else that’s interested."
   Although Pat was an artist for 25 years, she now feels leaving a family history is more valuable than leaving her paintings to her family.
   "Genealogy is so interesting," she said. "I get on the Internet, and I’ve actually met new relatives. I also think it’s easier to learn history on a personal level than from a book."
   Jimmy and Sylvia Keyser and their two kids, Melissa, who is 15 years old, and Christopher, who is 14, live on Elm Street.
   Jimmy works for Hood Floors doing installation work. Sylvia is a housekeeper for the Lambertville House.
   When Jimmy and I spoke, the conversation was mostly about our local Boy Scouts. That’s because Jimmy has served as the scoutmaster for our Lambertville Boy Scout Troop 49 for the past two years and also because his son, Chris, was just promoted to a 1st Class Scout.
   "I’m an Eagle Scout," Jimmy told me, "and I’ve been in scouting for 17 years. We have 15 boys in Troop 49, and we’re going to camp on the Holcombe-Jimison farm this weekend."
   Jimmy assured me the scouts cook their food over an open fire and sleep in tents.
   He also told me five Lambertville scouts, Wyatt Brady, Brent Gordon, Ben Gross, Billy Hood and Christopher Keyser, recently were elected into the Order of the Arrow.
   "They were voted in by their scout peers and must meet Scout Master approval," he said. "OA is an honorary branch of scouting based on scouting skills, rank and camping skills. The next step is to go before the OA charter and show they are worthy of the challenges ahead. This Memorial Day weekend, the boys will complete an OA ordeal weekend."
   By the way, the scouts are holding their big hoagie fund-raiser April 5 at the Presbyterian Church. So stop in and meet, greet and eat!
   Congratulations to our five honored Boy Scouts!
   ‘Til then, if you’ve got any Chit-Chat news, just let me know about it.
   Call me at 397-8494, e-mail me at [email protected], snail-mail me or drop off your info at 72 York St. Thanks.
   And there you have it folks, a little chit and a little chat.