Denville Goes to War

Denville's Story of World War I

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


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 on April 4th, 1917 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 on the site of the former Main Street School on West Main Street 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 into 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 women roles, onset of Prohibition, and the battle with Spanish Influenza. In the end, the people of Denville, as well as their little quiet town, would never be the same.


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.