Scotch Plains Council Votes 'Yes' to Preserving Shady Rest


SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ – A large crowd of Scotch Plains residents armed with signs that demanded that Shady Rest be preserved filled the council chamber to capacity on Tuesday, and they were delighted when the council voted unanimously to pass an ordinance appropriating $138,163 for the “Undertaking of Professional Studies of and Various Repairs and Improvements to the Scotch Hills Golf Clubhouse.”

Prior to the vote, during the public comment portion of the meeting, many people came up to the podium to comment on the subject of the building at Scotch Hills, formerly known as Shady Rest, the first African-American Country Club and home to John Matthew Shippen Jr., the first American-born golf pro. The Club also hosted many famous entertainers such as Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington and Cab Calloway.

Reverend Porter, pastor at St. John’s Baptist Church, gave a heartfelt reminiscence of what life was like “back in the day”, and thanked the Council for championing the cause of preserving Shady Rest.  “We hope to make it a national shrine; we don’t want to see it destroyed.”

Sign Up for E-News

Past Mayor Mauro Checchio then spoke of how this property needed to be “treated with reverence” and when he was mayor in the 50s and 60s there was a conscious move to preserve it.  “You have a jewel here that would be very expensive to replace.”

However, Checchio did point out that the Planning and Zoning Board needed to take note of what was happening around that area, as he felt that the industrial businesses that have grown up along one side of the golf course should not be there.

“We need to take it out of the industrial zone and preserve history,” Checchio said. After further comments from the audience, each council member then commented on how important this building was and the need to preserve it was paramount.

Questions came from the audience regarding how the money would be spent and if the public would have access to future plans.

Scotch Plains Township Manger Jerry Giaimis then explained that the preservation study would have to come first, and then that would dictate what repairs and other work would be needed and that all plans would be made public.

It was almost an anticlimax when, without further comment, the ordinance was passed unanimously by the council.


Tomorrow: Resolution honoring the late Mayor Walter Grote and more from the council meeting.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Westfield Family Continues ‘Summer of Kindness’ with Infant Clothing Drive

July 12, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — Westfield mom and teacher Sara Liptack is continuing her family’s “Summer of Kindess” with an infant clothing for Furniture Assist, an organization in Springfield that helps formerly homeless people, veterans, the elderly, fire victims, refugees and people fleeing domestic violence.

“I said, ‘What’s the one thing you really ...

It's Not What You Are Eating, It's What's Eating You


Emotional eating can be described as episodes of binge-eating, grazing and/or eating when not hungry to soothe feelings. Emotional eaters have a pattern of eating to cope with stress, emotional conflicts and problems of daily life.

Emotional eating is eating for reasons other than hunger. Instead of physical symptoms initiating the eating, ...

Let's Talk About Suicide

In our world today, it seems our children, no matter the town, state, education, family unit, socioeconomic background, ethnicity or religion are grappling with complex, confounding and complicated issues not even fit for a middle-aged adult. Sadly, one of these issues is suicide. With mental health gaining more attention, the stigma appears to be dissipating but when a mental health ...

What Is Your Bottom Line?

This week's Parshah (Torah reading) is the Parshah of Pinchas the Zealot: the courageous young priest who stood up against idolatry and immorality and, in the end, saved Israel from a devastating plague.

While Pinchas' radical response made him a hero worthy of having a Torah section named after him, we wouldn't necessarily suggest to our children ...

Declaration of Independence – What is it?

July 4, 2018

Dear Editor:

The definition of a free country is where the government does not control what people say or do for political reasons and where people can express their opinions without punishment. The transition from a totalitarian state to a free country will be long and slow.

In a 2017 report Freedom House said that of the 195 countries assessed, 87 (45%) were rated Free, 59 (30%) ...

When to Dial 911: Scotch Plains Rescue Squad Tip of the Month

July 10, 2018

There are many times you should call 911. If you or someone around you is in true medical distress, such as experiencing difficulty breathing, chest pains, bleeding, possible stroke, or any other serious health issues, then 911 should be called as soon as possible. If there are wires down, fire, a crime in progress, or other dangerous conditions to people or property, call 911 ...

Volunteers Help “Spruce” Up Deserted Village

July 15, 2018

A group of student volunteers from the Mitzvah Mania youth community service program visited the Deserted Village of Feltville last month, but not to search for ghosts. They were there to plant spruce trees and pine trees as part of a Union County Adopt-a-Park project.

“Our Adopt-a-Park volunteers play a big role in our County parks, and the Mitzvah Mania students worked hard to plant ...