Nutley, New Jersey by Marilyn Peters, Richard O'Connor
Nutley has been over three hundred years in the making. Originally owned by Native Americans, it was sold to Capt. Robert Treat in 1666 and became part of the Newark land tract. After several boundary disputes and after breaking away from Newark and then Bloomfield and finally Belleville, the town stood proudly on its own. Franklin, as Nutley was originally known, grew and prospered in its independence.
Early in the twentieth century, Nutley was the home of many prominent writers and artists. Mark Twain visited often to confer with his magazine editor. On one of her many visits, sharpshooter Annie Oakley was so taken by this warm community that she and her husband, Frank Butler, bought property on Grant Avenue, built a house, and lived here for several years. With its proximity to New York City and its many acres of picturesque parkland, the town grew rapidly and was soon transformed by the laying of trolley tracks along Franklin Avenue, the relocation of the business district, and the subdivision of large estates, necessary to house the growing population. Through all of this change, however, Nutley maintained its quaint small-town atmosphere and never lost sight of the need to preserve its sense of community and history.
Marilyn Peters and Richard O'Connor are board members of the Nutley Historical Society. With some one hundred seventy photographs, old and new, the authors have endeavored to illustrate many of the changes that have taken place, as Nutley has tried, and succeeded, to keep its unique hometown feeling. They are pleased to present Then & Now: Nutley during this, the town's one hundredth anniversary year.