Mueller Atlas of 1910: Chatham & Madison (photo blog)

by Anne Motto, Curator of Collections
January 9, 2024

In 1910, an atlas with the very catchy name of Atlas of Part of Morris Co., N.J. Embracing the Town of Morristown, The Boroughs of Madison, Florham Park, Chatham and Mendham, Morris Township and Parts of Chatham, Hanover, Mendham, and Passaic Townships was published by A.H. Mueller. Generally simply known as “The Mueller Atlas,” it was the third of Morris County, preceded by the Beers Atlas of 1868 and Robinson Atlas of 1887. It documents in great detail the location and footprints of local businesses, residences, and their outbuildings (including the many Gilded Age estates that dotted the landscape), providing a fascinating birds-eye view of Southeastern Morris County during the early 20th century. As the final in a series, this blog explores four plates in the atlas: Chatham and Madison Boroughs. 

To explore Morristown in the atlas: Mueller Atlas of 1910: Morristown
To explore the Mendhams in the atlas: Mueller Atlas of 1910: The Mendhams
To explore Hanover in the atlas: Mueller Atlas of 1910: Hanover
To explore local Gilded Age estates in the atlas: Mueller Atlas of 1910: Gilded Age Estates Part 1 and Part 2

Plate 2: Chatham Borough

 

Plate 2: In 1910, several properties in Chatham were being subdivided into lots, but few houses had yet been built on them.

 

Plate 2: The Delaware, Lackawanna & Western Railroad provided an important means of transportation. By the turn of the century, it enabled products such as coal to be delivered to Chatham residents, while also allowing local goods from mills to be brought to wider markets. 

 

Plate 2: The railroad also brought summer visitors to Chatham, many of whom enjoyed the Fairview House located on Main Street. With space for 150 guests, the hotel offered recreation such as dancing and bowling. 

 

Plate 3: Madison

 

Plate 3: True to its nickname (“The Rose City”), greenhouses dotted the landscape across Madison. Given the cost involved in the year-round care of roses, many greenhouses were initially found on the sprawling estates of Madison’s wealthiest residents. In fact, the first major commercial grower was T.J. Slaughter, who constructed five greenhouses on his property in 1877. 

 

Plate 3: By the close of the 19th century, Madison was home to over 45 rose growers, who shipped their products to New York City via nearby trains. One rose grower, Mr. L.A. Noe,  was known to annually ship his American Beauty roses to English monarchs, including Queen Victoria, Queen Alexandra and King Edward VII. 

 

Plate 4: Madison

 

Plate 4: As a result of the boom in the local rose growing industry, greenhouses became a common sight throughout Madison. They required regular upkeep, such as replacing any glass broken by inclement weather and whitewashing panes to provide shade for the roses inside. 

 

Plate 4: As more residents became involved in the rose industry, organizations joined together to foster their businesses. The Madison Rosegrowers Club often gathered at local sites, such as Fagan’s Hall on Waverly Place. 

 

Plate 4: In 1896, a survey revealed that a total of a half-million square feet of glass could be found within borough limits, a number that would only continue to rise as the industry exploded by the mid-20th century. 

 

Plate 5: Madison

 

Plate 5: Drew Theological Seminary (today Drew University)

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