Morris Ave at Wesley Place

With the proximity of Trinity Park, Morris Avenue was originally intended to be the main street as one of the longest and broadest thoroughfares in Mount Tabor.

This postcard places the viewer in the intersection of Morris Avenue and Wesley Place. As a result of Simpson Avenue becoming the main commercial street, these cottages built along Morris Avenue still exist with minimal change over time and this street view remains recognizable today. 

Like many streets in Mount Tabor named to honor prominent Methodist leaders, Morris Avenue was named for an American bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, Thomas Asbury Morris, who distinguished himself as a Methodist Circuit rider, Pastor and Presiding Elder. Wesley Place was named for John Wesley, an English theologian and evangelist who is recognized as the founder of Methodism.

Turning around, you will view this street in the opposite direction. On the corner of Morris and Wesley Place stands a cottage built in 1878 for Frances A. Day, Esq. of Morristown, now 36 Morris Avenue. 

In 1882, the Mt. Tabor Daily Record reported, “It is in one of the most desirable locations, being just about centrally located among the improvements of the grounds… This building was the first cottage on Tabor finished in lath and plaster or ‘hard finish.’ It has a cellar beneath the whole, two two-story bay windows give added light, room and the beauty of curved lines, water on both floors, and of course the modern improvements.”  Carefully note the porch in the image above. When the front porch was widened, high priority was given to the trees that occupied the space. The builder carefully circumscribed the roof around the trees.

By looking at the current rooflines, it is evident that this house is comprised of two smaller cottages, still separate in this image. The owner, Dr. J. W. Hedden, had the cottages joined to make up the current width. A third floor was added at a later date, as seen with the extension of bracketed window heads above the double bay windows. The front porch was renovated using wood from the trees that grew there.