LHRy has been working with the Town of Boonton and various stakeholder groups to promote our proposal for a Transportation and Industry Heritage Center in Grace Lord Park. It would include operating a vintage trolley shuttle between Morris Avenue and the foot of the Boonton Falls of the Rockaway River and would compliment the plans of the Boonton Trails Committee. We have signed a contract and will fund an engineering inspection and a load carrying analysis of the railroad bridge over the Rockaway River in the Park. Half of the needed track is in place and the other half would replicate historic tracks which were in the Park. The shuttle would provide ADA access to the Park interior without impacting the natural beauty of the Park. A building will be needed in which to store the trolley cars and to house museum artifacts and exhibits covering the Iron Industry, Morris Canal, railways, trolleys, and road vehicles. We think our Vision Plan would be an excellent tourist and visitor attraction for downtown Boonton.
From the book Life in Boonton, USA by Joe Marcello (1995):
“I still say that the only thing that will bring Boonton back to its proper perspective would be to bring back the old trolley car. I don’t mean to run it up Main Street like it once did, but maybe through Grace Lord Park. It would be a scenic ride on a part of the old canal bed. It would just be used as a tourist attraction and would be the only trolley ride on the East Coast.* The Chamber of Commerce, along with the town officials, or some young entrepreneurs should get behind such a project. Our future is to go backwards, and that would bring us forward.”
*Actually there were six trolley museums or heritage trolley operations on the East Coast in 1995 and there are presently over a dozen – but still none in New Jersey!
Note: Joe Marcello, loved Boonton – he started a replica trolleybus route in town and bought and restored the Boonton Railroad station.