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My Hometown: Cranford, New Jersey

When Doreen Schindler and her husband left city living behind for the suburbs, they chose a town with historic museums, an old-fashioned downtown area, and a river that runs through it.

By Caren Oppenheim

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First Presbyterian Church
First Presbyterian Church/Jacob Snavely
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The quaint downtown, reminiscent of the Victorian era, is unlike any place I'd ever seen. It was remodeled in the 1980s with cobblestone sidewalks, ornate light fixtures, and a town clock. Also integral to the town is the Rahway River, which in the late 1800s and early 1900s was a place of commerce as well as recreation, with regattas and water carnivals featuring elaborately decorated floats. This is the reason Cranford is known as "The Venice of New Jersey." The river runs behind our house, so in the winter we enjoy ice skating; when the weather's nicer, we take out our canoe to fish. We don't catch much, but the girls get a thrill trying.

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