Whitehead Avenue Stations
The first stations in South River were built closer to the river, near the swing bridge, just off Whitehead Ave. This area had both passenger station and a freight stations, as well as a yard. In 1905 the railroad would also build the South River Branch heading south for about 2 miles.
Fig.1 Second South River Passenger Station and Freight Station, built 1892-93
The Herman Ackman Handkerchief Factory is in the backround.
In this area, the first passenger station was built shortly after the railroad was built, around 1889. This little station was quickly replaced in 1893 when the second, taller, passenger station was built. The original station was moved across the tracks and used as a newspaper stand.
Fig.2 The Daily Times (New Brunswick, NJ) — Monday, March 20, 1893
The third, much larger station was built shortly before World War I to handle the large amounts of passengers working in the munition plants nearby in Parlin.
Fig.3 Third South River Passenger Station built shortly before WWI.
But research has uncovered references to an additional passenger stop\station in the western area of South River.
The first reference comes from the timetables in 1895. These newspaper timetables from “The Daily Times of New Brunswick” in September 12, 1895, refer to a new stop named “Tanners“, just between Milltown and South River. This was the name of an area of western South River, also known as Hardenburgs Corner.
Fig. 4 The Daily Times (New Brunswick, NJ) — Thursday, September 12, 1895
This link from the South River Historical Society shows a post card of Tanner’s Corner:
Tanners Corner, more commonly known as Hardenberg’s Corner (and Hardenbergh’s Corner), was the area in west South River where South River’s Main Street, the Old Bridge Turnpike, and Milltown Road all met up.
Just north of this area, the Raritan River River Railroad crossed under both Main Street and Old Bridge Turnpike, in a deep cut below the grade.
Tanner’s stop first appears in the timetables in June 15th, 1895, and last shows up on the May 27, 1901 edition. It did not seem to last long.
The second reference of this additional stop comes from the “Annual Report of the State Board of Assessors of the State of New Jersey, 1908″. This official New Jersey tax assessment refers to a “frame shed” type of depot named Summer Hill.
Fig. 5 Annual Report of the State Board of Assessors of the State of New Jersey, 1908
It should be noted that there are no references to stops at Serviss Junction yet. It should also be noted that East Brunswick has its own references, so this unknown stop was clearly in South River, and not a pre-Serviss Junction stop in East Brunswick.
On http://www.historicaerials.com/ , if one follows the northerly path of SummerHill Road, in East Brunswick, from the 1931 or 1940 maps , one can see how, before Route (28) 18 was built, a path can been seen that could extend Summer Hill Rd to the Raritan River Railroad tracks near the Old Bridge Turnpike bridge crossing. It is my guess that Tanners (Summer Hill) stop was in this location.
Fig. 6 Historic Aerials – west South River area – 1930
Annual Report of the State Board of Assessors of the State of New Jersey for the year 1908, page 565.
The Daily Times (New Brunswick, NJ) — Thursday, September 12, 1895 issue, page 3 of 4
Historic Aerials – Tanners Corner \ Hardenbergs Corner