Lou's Place in Cyberspace
I spent the first 12 years of my life living on a block that was full of family. It was my world, Third Avenue, between Ridge Road and Summit Avenue. On that block I had 2 Grandparents, 3 Aunts, 2 Uncles, 7 Cousins, Mother, Father, Sister and Brother! A nice secure feeling when you are a kid!
In tracing the Genealogy of my family on my fathers side, I developed this history of Third Avenue relative to my family. This history covers the time period from when my paternal grandfather Paolantonio and Rosina Robertella, both poor Italian immigrants just eight years earlier, purchased the lots in 1910 that were to become the location of the family home for 94 years.
1905 Map No.2 of John J. Pickering Property showing the section of Third Avenue that is located between Ridge Road (here named Alpine Ridge) and Summit Avenue. Pickering owned a huge tract of land from Jay Avenue, which is one block west of Stuyvesant Avenue to Orient Way and between Court Avenue up to Rutherford Avenue. Making up most of northeastern Lyndhurst.
The area colored magenta on the map are lots #14 and #16 which is where the family home was later built, now known as #616. Since the original plots were 25' wide, most purchasers bought 2 lots giving a 50' frontage.
The gold colored lots #38 & #40, were purchased by Paloantonio's daughter Antoinette sometime after her marriage in 1928 to Biage (Ben) Caputo. They occupied their home at this location until Antoinette's death in 1998.
The blue colored lots were purchased by Paloantonio's son Frank Robertella from James Checki in 1949. Frank was an excellent carpenter and home contractor. He built a home for a client on lots #30 and #32. In 1950 He built his own home and residence on lots #42 & #44. Frank and Beatrice Robertella lived there until Frank's death in 1996. His former home is now occupied by his surviving daughter Valerie and her husband Mr. Matthew Tamaro.
In this 1915 Sanborn Map, there is only one actual house existing, in the middle of the block. This property was owned by the Guido family. At the 616 location there is a structure that is SMALLER than a shed, for a shed is located at the future #642 location where Frank Robertella was to build his home in 1950. It is not clear what type of structure this was but it was not an inhabitable house. The only other structure on the south side of the street was the Cordo house, fronting on Ridge Road. Map on right shows the 616 location highlighted in green.
The 1928 Sanborn Map clearly shows that there is a 2 story structure on lot # 14. Lot #16 is shown empty, but was later to become a driveway and part lawn. By 1928 there are 4 house fronting on Third Avenue. Map on right shows same area with lots #14 & #16 highlighted in green and the house, #616, in Red. Note also Columbus School, built in 1917, is shown on Lake Avenue. (4th Ave.) My father Anthony Robertella, attended Columbus School when he was a boy, as did I.
The photo on the left is the earliest known photo of #616. This photo appears to be the wedding of Paoloantonio's daughter Antoinette to Biage (Ben) Caputo in C-1922.(photo courtesy Anthony Caputo) The photo on the right was taken in 2002. Note that the house appears to be nearly identical to the 1922 photo. The only differences being the type of porch railing and the location of the mailbox.
The photo on left shows the east side of the house looking westerly. Note that the brickwork is of two different shades of red between the top and bottom of the structure. This seems to confirm family members who recall that the house was originally 1story with the second being added sometime before 1922.
The photo on right shows modifications made in the 1980's. A window that was formally in a small bathroom is moved forward and the original bedroom area becomes a kitchen. Also an exhaust fan has been added. In the rear, an extension was added for a new larger bathroom.
Elizabeth (Lee) Robertella was born in the first floor front room of the house behind the 2 large windows on the porch. She lived in this house her entire life and died in the room she was born in 2004.
Lee Robertella was well known in the area and loved by all who knew her. She maintained the house in spotless condition until her death.