Memory Park

Moran Street, Town of Newton, Sussex County, New Jersey


North on Route 206/Main St. Right at the second light onto Spring St. then a quick left onto Moran St. go all the way to the end of Moran, this is Memory Park


Behind the recessional moraine of the Wisconsin glacier there was created a reedy bog meadow, extending northeast from Kirby Hollow on lower Trinity Street to Warbasse Junction near Lafayette. Meltwaters deposited gravels, clay and sand over the lake bed in the area. The result was a black clay in Paulinskill meadows that could be burned for brick or pottery.


Early settlers and hunters called the muckland in the area, the Gray Swamp, from the peculiar color of the thick growth of white birch.

1860 – Newman E. Drake, the future founder of the Drake Baking Company, born in Andover.

1866 – Allen Ridgeway completed firing the first kiln of bricks at his new yard in Newton, using the black clay dug from the southwest margin of the Paulinskill meadows.

1871 – a flume was placed in Moore’s Brook below Ridgeway’s Brickyard, which backed up the water in the creek and overflowed more than an acre of meadow, forming a beautiful skating rink used by the town for seasonal recreation.

1879 – a racetrack opened (placed on what is now the semicircular roadway around the Babe Ruth Ballfield).

1881 – O. B. Wintermute, of Frankford Township, succeeded Allan Ridgeway.

1881 – at age twenty-one, Newman E. Drake, journeyed to New York City and learned the baking business. He became famous for manufacturing "Drake’s Cakes."

1883 – Mr. Wintermute sold his brickyard to Abram Losee and his son, Franklin.

1883-1915 – Losee and son continued operations until about 1915.

1895 – a new racetrack, named Woodlawn Park, opened.

1915 – the end of the Losee and son company.

?? – Newman Drake purchased the Dr. Milton Armstrong house at 27 Linwood Avenue, built in 1889.

1917 – Newman Drake made considerable improvements to his home, remaking it in Colonial Revival style..

1925 – Martha Knight, of the Newton Public School, noted the lack of recreational facilities for the children of Newton and urged the establishment of a public park and playground.

1927 – a town commission decided the ideal location of a baseball diamond would be at the foot of Moran Street.

1928 – Newman E. Drake acquired 10.84 acres along Moore’s Brook from William T. Hixson. Drake then donated the tract for use as a playground and general recreation field..

1929 – the Newton Boy Scouts planted seventy elm trees at the recreation field.

1930 – Newman Drake died.

1931 – Henry I. Boresch appointed supervisor of children’s activities at Memory Park for the summer season.

1934 – the idea of Mrs. Laura Morris, regent of the Chinkchewanska Chapter D. A. R., and Chairman of the Washington Bicentennial Committee, the memorial to the twenty-six young men from Sussex County who lost their lives in the First World War was dedicated.

1934 – the playground opened.

1936 – the Town Committee and Recreation Commission decided to purchase about 12 acres owned by William Hixson lying adjacent to Memory Park on the east and west for use as a football field.

1940 – a bandstand built near the grandstand in Memory Park.

1940 – Babe Ruth appeared at an exhibition game at Memory Park in support of the Newton Elks’ Crippled Children’s Fund.

1960 – the Newton Municipal Pool opened.


baseball field, Little League fields, two softball fields, a "T" ball field, a soccer field, a shelter, picnic area a tot lot, swimming pool, and a basketball court.

A project for lighting the football fields and Little League baseball fields at Memory Park was initiated in 2000.

A roller hockey rink is located adjacent to the park and Ride facility as well.


Kevin W. Wright. Newton New Jersey, the Pearl of the Kittatinny: Memory Park.

The Town of Newton: Sussex County