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Rookies & Veterans

The more things change, the more they stay the same... 

This Is Rutherford thought it would be fun to compare the thoughts of a
long-time resident with a relatively new transplant

Email if you or someone you know would like to participate. 


Rookie Meredith Mullane 

Resident for 3 years

Favorite Places: The Bandshell, Erie Bakery and Kidspot

Favorite Feature: Park Ave

1). How many years have you lived in Rutherford?


Almost 3 years.  We moved into our house in April of 2016.


2). Why did you decide to move to Rutherford?


My husband and I had both lived in Manhattan for most of our adult lives.  When we had our son and I was pregnant with our second, we knew we had to move somewhere more affordable and with more space.  I grew up in Kearny and still have a lot of family in the area. We wanted an easy commute to the city, good schools, a walkable downtown and diversity.  We did not want to have to get in our car to go everywhere and eat only at chain restaurants. We rented for a year in East Rutherford but knew Rutherford was where we wanted to find a house.  We thought we were going to wait longer to buy, but found a great house and jumped on it!   


3). What are three of your favorite places in Rutherford?


The bandshell on Park ave. is one of our favorites. I love the summer concerts, pumpkin people, special events that take place there.  We also love Erie Bakery and Kid Spot.

4). Why do think people choose to raise families in Rutherford?


I think Rutherford gives the ability to raise your kids with the benefits of a small town but also the benefits of proximity to the city.  We've found people welcoming and engaging. While our kids haven't made it to the public school yet (our son starts next year), we've already developed a nice community through our pre-school and activities like tee ball and dance. 


5). What is the most beautiful feature of our town?


I love Park Ave!


6). What do you find most inviting about Rutherford?


I think it is the community here.


7). What would you tell someone who is considering moving here?

I never wanted to leave the city and was really sad about our move to the suburbs as it wasn't what I envisioned for us.  Now, I joke that I love it here more than I'm even willing to admit sometimes. I also think you can tell a lot about the town by walking on Park Ave or going to Memorial Field on a weekend.  It is a good way to get a sense of the community before diving in.


8).  What is your favorite season in Rutherford?  Why?


Anything but winter! I still haven't adjusted to having to shovel snow and clean the car.  We enjoy when we can go about our business in town by foot. We walk the kids to their preschool, dance class, the park, Ice Cream Charlies, etc.


9)  What’s your favorite memory of living here?


There are so many already.  One that really stands out was the St. Patrick's Day parade in 2018.  It was on March 4th and ended up being pretty good weather. Our third baby was due March 1st.  She didn't arrive until March 6th so the parade was one of our final outings as a family of four. We walked up to Park Ave, met friends, and enjoyed the parade.  She ended up arriving two days later just before the nor'easter which took out the tree in front of the post office.

Anne at 83.jpg

Veteran Anne McCormack

Resident for 89 years

Favorite Places:  "The Square," Sunset Park, West End

Favorite Feature: The Trees

Check out Anne's amazing historical narrative here

1. How many years have you lived in Rutherford?

89 years. My family moved her on August 16th, 1930 when I was 9 months old.

2). Why did you decide to move to Rutherford?


My parents decided they wanted to leave Brooklyn. On a vacation before I was born they met a family who was from Rutherford. Apparently their conversation included where they lived and a little about the town and how much they loved it. Plus the easy commute via the Erie Railroad. The train, ferry, and or the "Tube" now called the Path would get you into the city in less than one hour. One Sunday my parents decided to come out to see it for themselves .  When they alighted from the train they crossed the street and went in to Van Winkle's Real Estate. They were brought around town and shown several homes. They came out several Sundays before they found this property for sale. They were connected with a builder and my home was built. The time was April and May. My Mother always said the town trees were all a bloom and looked so beautiful that they both fell in love with it immediately. Added the fact there was a Catholic Church and school.


3). What are three of your favorite places in Rutherford?

My favorite places are what I call "the square". The WW 1 Monument, the Library (it used to be an old church chapel), Lincoln Park and the beautiful Presbyterian Church and the Post Office, of course. I also love Sunset Park on Raymond Ave. It's now called the WW 1 Memorial Park. The now tall trees along Jackson Ave and below were young trees at the time and the sunset view from "the Rock" was beautiful. And when I was old enough to go to the Library on my own I always loved to walk home via West Passaic Ave to Montross. I would see the Castle and let my imagination run away with itself as to why it sat empty.  And there were/still are some beautiful homes on both streets. I'd pass them on way to Union Ave and then head west and eventually to Hawthorne Street where I live. The West End was an active little area of town, with a Grocery Store, Hardware Store, Ice Cream Parlor and more,


4). Why do think people choose to raise families in Rutherford?


Rutherford has always been an easy town to get around. In my day people walked more than they do today. Children walking to school was just accepted. No Buses, no mothers, the town was safe and I believe still is to walk around. Goes without saying however times and people have changed and one must always be aware of your surroundings. We had a reputation for excellent schools and I believe we still do. Plus the fact we have a Private Catholic Academy and Private High School. And for some the sports programs are very important.


5). What is the most beautiful feature of our town?

Our trees are our most beautiful feature. We are known as "The Borough of Trees". Coming west on Rt 3 it's like finding an oasis ahead of you. In the middle of summer when the leaves are really thick you cannot even see the houses. It upsets me when people come in from the cities say the trees attracted them and then proceed to cut them down on their own land because "they don't want to rake the leaves". I have a white oak that is almost 200 years old. There apparently were several trees on this land and in order to build this house they had to remove them. My Mother would not let them touch the white oak however. The town and Mayor Hipp gave me a special recognition award for the way I have cared for this tree. I'm very proud of it. Bartlett Tree Experts take care of it for me and while it costs me a small fortune I love it. It keeps me cool in summer, produces oxygen as well and is good for the environment.


6). What do you find most inviting about Rutherford?


Rutherford gives the general appearance of a "small town" with excellent schools and a library that has something for everyone. It is fast becoming the town center for a variety of activities.  


7). What would you tell someone who is considering moving here?

If you have young children, Rutherford is the place to live. Good schools, great parks for children of all ages, sports activities, Girl and Boy Scouts; there are lots of advantages to living here. Plus, the fact that "as the crow flies" we are exactly 10 miles from 42nd Street (I clocked it myself when I was still driving into the city). We also have good commuting via train or bus. New residents will find neighbors who are extremely friendly, helpful, and involved in their children's activities . They will also find there are a number of organizations they can join as well. Clubs are always looking for new members. The Fire Department as an example.


8). What is your favorite season in Rutherford? Why?

My favorite season is right now, Spring! Spring in Rutherford is like a pretty picture. The magnolia trees are in bloom, the cherry and pear trees have opened, and the lilac bushes are budding. The lacy flowers of the yellow forsythia are swaying in the wind. And very soon the azaleas will be out in many colors. I love Spring!


9)  What’s your favorite memory of living here?

Because I have been here all my life I have several special memories, rather than a favorite.  One is when I was 2 years and 9 months old my baby brother arrived home. I had wanted a baby brother so much... I remember my first day at school at St Mary and the sweetest nun greeted us.  Her name was Sister Irene Marie OP.   Another memory that stands out for me is VJ Day. Having lived thru WW2 since the 7th grade I remember VJ Day vividly. Everyone went to Lincoln Park after prayer services at the various churches. Sept 2, 1945. I was 14 years old and going into my third year of high school at St Mary.

Previous Rookies & Veterans interviews:

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