Mystery Photos Identified, c1925, Passaic, NJ

I’ve always felt like I knew these people, but I just couldn’t put my finger on who they were. The school in the background also looked similar to, but not the same, as my beloved #10 School in Passaic.

Well, it is a mystery no more!

Marcella, Emil, Judy and Norma

Mary with Judy and Norma

Google Books was a big help here. There is a book called Passaic and Its Environs by William Winfield Scott, published in 1922 that is digitally available. I was hoping that Mr. Scott included some photos of Passaic schools and he did!

This photo was taken at nearly the same time as my family photo and both were taken at almost the exact same angle.

This is #12 School, which was Woodrow Wilson Junior High School until at least the 1970s, when it was demolished to make room for the new raised Rte. 21.

The woman and children are my paternal grandfather’s sister, Mary Bubbly, and her children, Anna (Edna), Mary (Marcella), Nellie (Norma), Emil and Julia (Judy). I have no idea why they are enumerated as they appear because I only knew Edna, the oldest child and a half sibling to the others. Edna’s father, Andrew Palasko,  died two months before her birth and Mary’s second husband, Ladislav Bubbly, died in 1916.

In 1920, they lived at 61 Hope Avenue, which is pinned on the map, but has actually been torn down, probably at the same time the highway was constructed.

If we hadn’t moved away from Passaic when I was in sixth grade, I would have attended this school, just as my dad had. However, it was quite a long way from our house and Passaic didn’t use school buses in the 1960s. It was the public bus, which didn’t go all the way down there, or feet. It was one of the main reasons we left Passaic when we did. We never had reason to drive in that neighborhood, either, so I have no memory of ever having seen this school.

It feels great to have solved one of my mysteries.


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