As we prepared for our talk in East Rutherford tonight (7 p.m., Civic Center, Vreeland Avenue), a Secaucus resident gave us a 75-year-old newspaper clipping about a bridge across the Hackensack River that once connected Secaucus with East Rutherford and Carlstadt.
The drawbridge, which included a roadway and trolley tracks, connected Paterson Plank Road on both sides of the river.
The bridge was deemed obsolete by the War Department and the State Highway Commission when the Route 3 Bridge was completed a mile to the South.
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The impact was immediate to the communities by the bridge on both sides of the river. Stores closed, boat clubs lost members, and land values plummeted.
One of the hardest hit was Mother Hansen's Place, a combination restaurant, general store and roadside stand, which had been in business since 1899.
The nephew of the owner of told the Herald-News: "Minnie wouldn't have lost any more business if the place had burned to the ground."
Paterson Plank Road was built atop an old Indian trail that ran from Paterson to Hoboken.
If you look at the end of Paterson Plank Road in East Rutherford/Carlstadt, you can still see the cobblestones that replaced the original planks.