Boonton on Main Street.
If you’d like to hear a little bit more about what the town of Boonton has to offer, read on.
Imagine a Main Street where the town’s people would go to visit the library, do their banking, mail letters, get a hair cut, buy flowers or just gather. It sounds like a scene from ‘The Andy Griffith Show’ and the town named Mayberry in North Carolina.
How about a Main Street with restaurants of international cuisine- Italian, Chinese, Thai, Japanese, Middle Eastern, and Mexican? Doesn’t that sound delicious? Add to that some local flavor like an ice cream parlor, a café and sweets shoppe, a few delis and pizzerias, and of course, a burger joint and pub. I’m not finished building that perfect Main Street; it would have to attract people from neighboring towns. Art galleries, jewelry shops, vintage clothing boutiques, an interior decorator and several home design stores, a Pilates studio, and an acupuncture center, would all bring to town a diverse group of people.
The Main Street that I have described sounds ideal, right? Folks could stroll around on a warm night after buying a scoop of their favorite frozen confection. Couples could meet for their first date at one of the many fine eateries and after dinner, grab a cappuccino and biscotti before viewing the many art galleries. Pet lovers could bring home a doggie bag with the leftovers from dinner and a separate doggie bag from Bubba Rose Biscuit Company. Long time couples could walk hand in hand and secretly get matching tattoos for their silver anniversary.
You might think that such a place as the Main Street that I have described does not exist. Oh, but you’d be wrong, it does. I have been there many times over the past 25 years.
Just head south on Boonton Avenue and when the road ends, you have arrived! Main Street Boonton is thriving once again. I’m glad to see the many art galleries that have taken over the retail space for the store fronts that were vacant just a few years back.
Boonton has such a rich history dating back to the mid-1700s. The town became quite prosperous from the Boonton Iron Works. But when it closed its doors in 1876, the town learned an important lesson: ‘The economic health of a community should not rely on a single industry’. Over the years, silk factories, the famous Boontonware dinnerware, and McGregor sportswear were just some of the industries that set up business in town. If you’d like to read more about Boonton’s history, here’s a link to the Boonton Historical Society’s website.
[Note: check out this description from Skylands about the historic mill towns, including Boonton, and their Industrial History.]
~ Mary Beth Grybowski