DPW Workers Unearth Hidden History in Teaneck
Plaque from 1935 found under tree stump
Three public works staffers clearing a tree downed by Hurricane Sandy unearthed a long-hidden piece of Teaneck history under a stump on the Municipal Green Friday.
The DPW crew discovered a 1935 plaque, installed by Teaneck Chapter 218 of the Order of the Eastern Star, marking the town's 40th birthday under the fallen Pin Oak tree. Teaneck is now 118 years old.
Township Manager William Broughton said the plaque was apparently planted near the tree's base when it was a sapling. Eventually, the tree grew and covered the plaque.
George Tadiello, Lester Autry and Maurice Mason, of the DPW, were grinding the stump Friday morning when they made the discovery.
"Teaneck has a very rich history and I'm glad we have recovered a piece of it," Broughton said.
The plaque was in good condition and will be preserved, the manager said.
Claire Scheffbuch, a Teaneck resident who was a member of Eastern Star's now-defunct chapter in town, said the group was formed in 1925. The group worked on a range of charitable projects and continues to operate in other nearby towns.
Teaneck's Eastern Star chapter closed in 1980 and merged with other chapters, she said. News of the DPW's discovery spread quickly among local members.
"I couldn't believe it. I really hope that they will preserve it," said Scheffbuch. "There's no one alive today who was there when that plaque was put in the ground."
Click through the photos above to see the plaque up-close