Hard work and sheer determination were the elements that were characteristic traits of Art Smith and my dad. Both of these good gentlemen worked hard to keep alive the precious history of dear old Lincoln Park.
Remembering The Golden Era
Of The Beavertown Historical Society
By Richard Mabey Jr.
The Golden Era of the Beavertown Historical Society was an era of time between 1985 and 2005. Beavertown was the former name of the town of Lincoln Park. This was a time period when the last of the Korean War and World War II veterans took an active role in this small town’s historical group. All of these members, from this particular generation, were long-term Lincoln Park residents. All had a great love for the small town culture of Old Lincoln Park.
During this time period of 1985 and 2005, I was blessed to have the opportunity to write well over 200 feature articles about Lincoln Park’s history and about the Beavertown Historical Society. These articles appeared in three different publications: The Lincoln Park Journal, The Weekly News, The Independent News, and Life and Leisure.
Art Smith, who hailed from Wayne, was our adopted Lincoln Parker. He was a very talented artist and provided a lot of creative input for the floats that the historical group constructed each year for the town’s big Memorial Day Parade.
In the year 2000, I remember very well how the thick boards of the flooring of the flatbed trailer, which the historical group used to make their float, was in very bad shape. Some of the planks had rotted. And, there just wasn’t time and money to repair the flatbed trailer in time for the big parade.
It was Art who came up with the idea of consolidating the float to fit the back of my dad’s Ford Ranger pickup truck. With there being only two weeks time before the parade, some of the members debated whether or not it would still make a hit with the parade watchers. I remember my dad pointed out that we were against time and we didn’t really have the money in the treasury to properly repair the old trailer. After the dust settled, everyone agreed to Art’s idea of consolidating the float to fit in the back of Dad’s pickup truck.
That year I remember that Art, Dad and I built the “float” to fit in the back of Dad’s pickup truck. When we were all done with the display, I took a photo of Art and Dad standing beside the condensed display. The photo was taken on the west side of the Lincoln Park Museum building.
At the end of June, my editor agreed to use the photo to go with an article that announced the historical group’s plan to publish the famous “Then and Now” book. Also, the article announced that Art Smith had just completed a few more oil paintings of the old Morris Canal, which were being displayed at the museum.
It was a good time period. I was honored to work with men like Art Smith and my dad. They had a true sense of the history, the culture, and the feeling of old Lincoln Park. It is a memory of an era that I still cherish in my heart.
Peace and harmony,