In the grand scheme of things, historical plaques are not that expensive.
Unless you factor in the human cost.
A marker dedicated Sunday commemorates more than a century of hopes and dreams, and births and deaths and laughs and tears of generations of Irish immigrants who made Morristown’s Dublin neighborhood their adopted home.
The new marker reads:
Between 1840 and 1950, this neighborhood was a center of Irish immigrant life. Residents worked as laborers, domestic help, merchants and civil servants. Later generations were elected to public office and served in the armed forces in large numbers. Community members helped establish All Souls Hospital in 1892.
“A sense of community was the key thing that held so many families together,” said Mayor Tim Dougherty, whose grandparents emigrated from Ireland to Trenton.
Mayor Tim Dougherty remembers his Irish ancestors, March 3, 2019. Video by Bill Lescohier for MorristownGreen.com:
Peg Schulz, acting director of the heritage commission, said the historical marker is Morris County’s 153rd since the program started in 1975.
Introducing Monsignor John Hart of Assumption Church for the benediction, event co-chair Mike Keown of the Friendly Sons noted the symbiotic relationship between the church and the early Irish in the neighborhood.
Mike Keown talks about the role of Assumption Church for Morristown’s Irish, March 3, 2019. Video by Bill Lescohier for MorristownGreen.com:
The church was a haven for “uneducated, poor Irish Catholics who were untrusted by many around them,” Keown said.
Cheryl Turkington, whose published works during her years at the Morristown & Morris Township Library included Greeting the Past, A Walking Tour of the Dublin Neighborhood, and Ordinary Days, Extraordinary Times: Morristown New Jersey’s Immigrant Past, traveled from California for the occasion.
Afterward, the Guard Pipes & Drums were scheduled to lead a short procession to the Dublin Pub to continue the festivities.
Next up: The Morris County St. Patrick’s Parade, at noon this Saturday, March 9, 2019.
Correspondent Bill Lescohier contributed to this story.