Denville Goes to War

Denville's Story of World War I

ISBN: 978-1-7923-3032-2
By: Zablocki, Peter


APRIL 4, 1917. With half of the population of the town being summer residents only – at Estling Lake, Cedar Lake, and the various inns- Denville was very quiet in the spring of 1917, when President Wilson brought the United States into World War I. Kids were at school at either of the two schools in town; a 2-room school house on West Main Street in the center of town and the Union Hill School at the southwest corner of Mt. Pleasant Turnpike and Openaki Road. The town population did not extend past 700 residents and if you saw anyone in town with a new vehicle – not already owned by the few wealthier families – you knew somebody was lost. But all of that was about to change. Take a short journey to Denville, New Jersey, between 1917 and 1919 to witness the perfect microcosm of small-town America; suddenly thrust into the greatest military conflict the world had ever seen. Within these pages, regular people witnessed the first Selective Service draft, rationing, changing of women’s societal roles, the onset of Prohibition, and the battle with Spanish Influenza. Some sacrificed much, others all. This is their story.


Peter Zablocki

Peter Zablocki, M.A. is a teacher of American History and Advanced Placement Seminar and Research at Kinnelon High School. He received his undergraduate degree in History at William Paterson University and has a graduate degree in American History from American Public University. He is a vice-president of the Denville Historical Society of Denville, New Jersey. He currently resides in Denville with his wife and two sons where he is working on compiling research for his next book on Denville in World War II.