Newark Tour: People Who Made a Difference

Mark your calendar for Sunday, November 2nd: the Newark Preservation & Landmarks Committee will host a tour of Newark featuring the stories of Newarkers who have made a difference in history.  The tour is $25 for each adult and meets at the Newark Museum at 1pm.

Tour Nov. 2 Will Follow Footsteps of ‘People Who Made a Difference’

Leaders in the fights for human rights, women’s suffrage, and racial equality will be the focus of a tour of Newark historical landmarks on Sunday, Nov. 2.

“People Who Made a Difference” is the theme of the tour, which will visit the home of a mother and daughter who marched for women’s voting rights, a church that was built as an African-American hospital in the 1920s, and a former synagogue that was led by a rabbi who fled Nazi Germany and welcomed Dr. Martin Luther King to its pulpit.

The four-hour tour aboard a chartered bus is sponsored by the Newark Preservation & Landmarks Committee and will be led by Elizabeth Del Tufo, a longtime preservation advocate who has conducted hundreds of tours through the city in the last 30 years.

“This tour,” said Del Tufo, “will take us to sites where we can celebrate the lives and contributions of people who changed society because of their beliefs and dedication.” She noted that the event will mark the 88th anniversary of the first national election in which New Jersey women could vote, following final adoption of the 19th Amendment in 1920.

Highlights of the tour will include the playing of a rare recording of a speech by Dr. King at the synagogue 45 years ago, and the unveiling of a new historical plaque at the Forest Hill home of the suffragettes. There will be exhibits of photos and documents about the notables at all three stops.

Setting out at 1 p.m. from the Newark Museum at 49 Washington St. , the tour group will go first to New Salem Baptist Church on West Kinney Street . The three-story building was opened as a 30-bed general hospital in 1927 by Dr. John A. Kenney, who had come to Newark from Alabama . He founded the institution at a time when black physicians and nurses were excluded from most hospitals in the area.

The hospital served thousands of families and trained scores of doctors until closing in 1953. The church has occupied the building for nearly 50 years, but has preserved the original façade and some interior features – such as the old operating room’s tile walls that still line the office of the pastor, the Rev. John K. White.

The second stop will be the Deliverance Evangelistic Center at Clinton Avenue and South 10th Street . It was built in the 1920s as Temple B’nai Abraham, the largest synagogue ever erected in New Jersey . Dr. Joachim Prinz was appointed chief rabbi after fleeing Germany on the eve of World War II, and later became a national ally of Dr. King in the civil rights movement. Visitors will hear a recording of Dr. King’s address at the temple on Jan. 17, 1963 – just eight months before he and Dr. Prinz both spoke at the March on Washington .

B’nai Abraham later relocated to Livingston , and the massive auditorium, which can seat 2,500, and educational-social building have served as the international headquarters of Deliverance Evangelistic Centers since 1973.

The last stop for the tour will be the DeGraw Avenue house that was owned for more than 90 years by members of the Karr and Milburn families. Lucy Karr Milburn marched with her mother, Minnie Schneider Karr, for women’s voting rights before World War I, and their house served during the 1920s as state headquarters of the National Woman’s Party. Lucy Milburn, a teacher and poet, later campaigned for racial integration at local hospitals and the YWCA swimming pool.

A dozen of her descendants are coming to Newark for the unveiling of the plaque prepared by the Landmarks Committee and Samuel Rivera, who now owns the house. Refreshments will be served before the tour bus returns to the museum.

The former hospital and synagogue both are listed on the New Jersey and National Registers of Historic Places, and the Karr/Milburn House is within the Forest Hill Historic District.

The cost of the tour is $25 for adults, with a $5 discount for members of the landmarks committee, and $10 for children under 12. Advance reservations are required and can be made by phone at the group’s office, 973-622-4910.

Author: Ken Walker

Husband, Father, Newarker, PCA Elder, Business Analyst. In a glass case of emotion since 1978.

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