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Former renter in Greenwich Village, waiting out the turnaround in Manhattan's midtown. Working on a blog-to-book project about my NYC/NJ ancestors. Everyday I'm amazed by what I find with Ancestry and in old newspapers.

August 12, 2022

1912, Asbury Park, part 3: Burtis finds out who crashed into his auto

Could this be Sadie V. Brady in New York, 1911,
a year before the accident?
(link to clip)

"Take the car back to the garage and get rid of it. 
The brakes don't work," Sadie said to her nephew who was driving their rented auto into Allenhurst along Ocean Avenue. "This is your uncle's fault. If he had let us have his car none of this would have happened."

Her nephew Robert and the chauffeur-chaperone sitting beside him knew Mr. Brady needed his car in New York for business, but they knew better than to argue with Sadie.

This party of three that had rear-ended undertaker Burtis's touring car at the Atlantic Highlands bridge moments ago enjoyed the ocean views and sea breeze along the newly paved boulevard but the accident had spoiled it.

After Robert dropped off his aunt at their cottage
and received instructions not to pay the bill, his chauffeur-chaperone guided him to the garage. Turning right onto Corlies they headed towards Deal Lake passing the Allenhurst Beach club at Norwood Avenue, a block from his aunt's house.


He continued on up to Main Street, where he turned left and proceeded into the unfamiliar territory of the hamlet's utilities district. Robert gripped the wheel as they traveled south past the trolley car barn at Elberon, past the light and waterworks at Hume, and still further south to the garage at Euclid and Main, where Robert told the attendant the brakes didn't work and dropped off the car without paying.

*   *   *

"I don't mind paying when I'm in the wrong," Burtis said to Croce, "but they ran into me. They ruined a new car."

A day after the accident, Burtis got up early to check on his car at Croce's garage. He hadn't slept well despite assurances from Croce that he could fix up the Haynes to look like new. But how could it ever be 'like new'? The car he had fallen in love with was becoming a junk heap of soldered parts. 

The day he went to the car show in New York City, January 11, 1912, was one of the best days of his life. 

"You see all the cars, you make up your mind," Croce said. 

Brooklyn Daily Eagle,
7 Jan 1912

Two friends, the cigar store proprietor, Sam, who indulged Burtis in his habit of fresh smokes daily, and his son Daniel, a hunting buddy, had a cousin who ran the show.

Asbury Park Press,
11 Jan 1912

By chance they were at the show on Society Night: visitors roamed the exhibition hall that was transformed into a California patio with a pergola of grapevines, had to shout above the Madison Square Garden brass band as they admired  the shiny new cars. In the loges above the smart set in their finery gazed down on the main floor from their boxes. All those cars!

(The many fine car manufacturers listed here.)

In Allenhurst, the garage attendant put the word out about the summer cottagers who had returned a damaged rental without paying. The area garages were abuzz as were Booster businesses. Everyone and their cousin talked about it. 

"Sarah Brady's her name." Burtis phoned Howard, who was in the crash that day with their wives. "She's a divorcee."

Sadie and Daniel Brady, 1905,
during the 2nd of 3 divorce trials

"Almost divorced," Howard said. "She sued three times and lost, then took her husband back." Howard knew all about it as the printer and owner of The Spray. For three years the Brady divorce trials were newspaper fodder.

"She's a Singer heiress," Howard said.

"I was selling Singers. I remember now," Burtis said. "Hmm. Her husband swore at her and was cheating. Jennie didn't see how she could take him back." 


 Two weeks later Burtis filed suit.

Asbury Park Press, 14 Aug 1912

__________________________

Video courtesy of Denis Shiryaev

To track the nephew's route in Allenhurst, see Sanborn Fire Insurance maps for the Car Barn (image 5) and Allenhurst Beach Club (image 8), and Corlies and Main (image 9). Thanks to Ocean township historian Gary L. Edelson for identifying the garage.

Contact: Debbie Carter, VillagerExpat@aol.com, (212) 925-3721


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