Curated by Holly Metz, this e-exhibit was inspired by a long- standing wish to chronicle the history of Hoboken's street games and other urban recreation activities.
The Museum has long wanted to do an exhibition on the history of Hoboken street games (including hop-scotch, skelly, jump rope, stick ball, and street hockey) and organized forms of play (such as boccie, hoops, and pigeon-racing), based on historical research and oral histories from Hoboken residents. We've just started collecting stories. We'd love to include as many generations of recollections as possible, so please contact us with your stories (& pictures!?)! Or simply post you story to our City Play Discussion Group.
Jerrilyn Radigan Eckardt has written us with memories and photos to share of Hoboken during the 1930s and 40s. Her father James (1919-1989) was a member of the 10th Street Rangers baseball team, and also participated in the Our Lady of Grace Drum Corp (and later, the Senior Drum Corps) and OLG basketball teams.
Museum member Alfred P. Josephsen, Jr., sent us a May 30, 1914 photograph of Boy Scout Troop #2 of Hoboken, on an outing in Coysterville, New Jersey. The troop was sponsored by the Church of Holy Innocents, Willow Avenue and Sixth Street, which still stands.
Museum member and born-and-reared Hobokenite Roland T. Mayer shared his memories via mail. We've posted highlights, including a photo of the Seventh Street Condors.
Edward J. Hildebrandt, Jr. of Carlstadt, New Jersey, sent in Hoboken recreation recollections of the 1940s and 1950s. He told us about riding the ferries as entertainment and "swinging on a dumb waiter rope from the fire escape, around the tree, then dropping to the ground." Mr. Hildebrandt built his own games, including scooters made "with fancy bottle caps and wagons made with baby carriage wheels."
Check out Streetplay.com, a cool site that's all about urban street games.
Send Us Your Your 'City Play' Story
Did you create your own club? Invent your own game? Do you have memories (or pictures!) of childhood games in Hoboken? Tell us about the games you played with rhymes, names, sewer covers (home plate?), Spalding balls, paper, boxes, chalk, bottle caps, marbles, baseball cards, rope, etc....
If you'd rather not write down your story, and you have access to a recording device, send us an oral history instead. Please be sure to tell us when you played these games and where (the block, the street, the clubhouse) and include your name, address and phone number on whatever you send.
Send your Hoboken Play stories and (clear) photocopies to the address below. Or simply post your story to our on-line discussion group. It's easier than you think!
Mail us at
Hoboken Historical Museum
PO Box 3296
Hoboken, NJ 07030
Phone us at 201.656.2240