WASHINGTON BOROUGH, NJ (Warren County) – Two street naming ceromnies took place in Washington Borough on Friday.
The Alleger family has lived in and around Washington Borough for nearly 200 years.
Since anyone who can remember, there has been a street named after the family but spelled Allegar.
David Alleger, who is part of the enormous family, became aware of Sanborn Maps that are located at Princeton University. Sanborn Maps was a publisher of detailed maps of U.S. cities and towns in the 19th and 20th. When he was looking over the Sanborn Maps for Washington Borough for the year 1902, he found out that Alleger Street was on the map and spelled correctly then. Trying to figure out why the street sign was changed at some point with the incorrect spelling Alleger led to some confusion. Some speculate that at some point a vehicle may have been trying to make a turn off of South Lincoln Avenue, and when a new sign was ordered they incorrectly spelled Alleger.
David approached Washington Borough Town Manager Matt Hall and told him about the misspelling. Hall, who was not aware of the misspelling showed special interest in the misspelled name and took the initiative to change the street name. “Municipalities can change street names by ordinance, and the town took the initiative to update the spelling while we were updating the towns 911 database, which verifies all addresses for purposes of emergency response,” Hall said.
The change was made by introducing the street name change ordinance at the Boroughs reorganization meeting on January 8th, 2019. It then went to a 2nd reading and final passage by the end of February.
The Alleger family has a deep history in Washington Borough over the past nearly 200 years. RNJ spoke with Chuck Alleger about this history. Willard Alleger was on the board of education when the Taylor Street school was converted from a High School into an Elementary school. Willard also built many buildings throughout the Borough, one prominent location being the Cornish Mansion at the cost of $75,000. The family also built the only stone building in the Borough, which is directly across the street from Alleger Street. Chuck himself served as the Washington Borough Fire Department Chief for many years and served on the school board.
The Alleger family also owned “Alleger Organ Company,” which was an organ factory on Broad Street.
The Borough also named a street that never had a name. Richard W. Thompson Jr. Way was named after the late Richard W. Thompson, a former Washington Borough Council member and member of the Washington Borough Fire Department who passed away In October 2018.
The road leads to the Washington Borough Public works building which had no name and had an address of West Washington Avenue. The building sits far off of West Washington Avenue. They need to name the road came on the hells of the Borough updating their 911 Database, “in a mutual aid situation in the case of there being a large fire at the building and you had out of town fire companies or emergency services coming in, they may not realize how to get to the garage. Which in a major fire or a medical emergency minutes can make a difference,” Hall said. Hall goes on to say that many road names were floated around such as Public Works Way.
Unfortunately, Councilman Richard Thomspon passed away shortly after the discussions about naming the road took place. Town Manager Hall spoke with the council and the mayor who all unanimously agreed to name the road after Richard.
By: Anthony Preziosi Like on Facebook