Days of Yore
 
as recounted by

Bill Day

 

 

Where were the fields?
In the 1890’s there was an athletic field in Haddonfield, the location of which, when thinking about it today, seems unbelievable.

The boundaries of it were the rear property lines of the West Kings highway houses,  Estaugh avenue, Euclid avenue, and the railroad.  No Linden avenue existed at that time.  A high picket fence extended along the Euclid avenue side, opposite the watchman’s shanty, to Estaugh avenue.

Mr. Charlie Birney remembers, when a little fellow, peering through the pickets and watching a cricket game being played on the field.  Cricket was a popular sport at that time.

About 1908 another athletic field existed on a section to the rear of the YMCA building, (now a bank building) on Haddon avenue.  Town football teams and baseball teams played every Saturday afternoon.  Frank Somers was the football coach.  A Camden social club had a very fine team that the Haddonfield team scheduled for a game.  Through newspaper advertisements the game was well-publicized and special Public Service trolley cars brought the crowds from Camden to see the Cooper Club play the Haddonfield Athletics Club.

No one recalls who won  that day, and anyway, who cares.  Any summer day on any vacant lot in the borough games were played by Peyton Avenue Juniors, the West End Juniors and the Euclid Avenue Juniors, that were teams of boys from those streets.

Of course, there were ringers from other parts of town on all the teams.  The Washington Avenue Junior team was a big rival from the other side of Kings highway.

There was no adult supervision, the kids just got together and had a good time.


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