Thursday, February 28, 2013

Jersey City, Then and Now

I was back east earlier in the month and spent part of an afternoon in Jersey City, New Jersey photographing buildings and visiting places my Badendick great-grandparents knew in the early part of the 20th century. According to family history, Carl Badendick came to this country from Barth, a small village on the Baltic Sea in Pomerania (now Germany) around 1880. He married my great-grandmother, Bertha Zerull on 9th September 1883 in Jersey City and they lived there for the rest of their lives. Carl died in 1916, and Bertha in 1931.

Current photo of former Badendick home
Corner of van Reypen Street and Stuyvesant Avenue
Jersey City, NJ
I remember visiting the house they had lived in when I was a very young child when some of my great aunts were still alive. I remember nothing of the inside but I do remember what seemed to me to be really tall front steps! Here is a photo of my great-aunt Edith Badendick on what I think are those same steps around 1900.
Edith Badendick
My great-grandfather operated a small store at the other end of the block from their residence, on the corner of Stuyvesant Avenue and what was then Hudson County Boulevard and is now John F Kennedy Blvd.
Carl Badendick's store on the corner of Stuyvesant and the Boulevard, Jersey City, NJ
around 1900
February 2013
The building is still recognizable with only a few modifications. The door has been moved from the corner to the center of the front facade, and the cupola has been modified. The store is now a coffee shop and 99 cent store. The sign in the window in the old photo says cigars and tobacco on one side, and confectionery on the other. There is a sign out front of the store advertising Reid's ice cream.

I plan to do more research with the deeds I have found for the house and store.  I suspect some of the building numbering has changed over the years which makes it difficult to detrmine which plots of land and buildings are in the deeds I have. Family history as well as some newspaper clippings indicate Carl ran a saloon in the basement of what I assume was his store. More research is needed to determine if this was indeed the same location.