Kingsland Manor: Keeping Pace
From Colonial Manor to Speakeasy to Private Home to Living Museum
THE NUTLEY TRACT
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The building kept up with the times. In 1909, the McGinnity family purchased the home. Daniel McGinnity, a famous fight promoter and entertainment entrepreneur, used Nutley as a training camp for his prize fighters.
It was Bernard “Bus” McGinnity, Daniel’s son who ran a speak-easy in the basement of the Kingsland Manor during Prohibition.
After Prohibition was repealed, he and his mother, Katherine, ran it as the Colonial Club until their liquor license was revoked. Then the Manor became known as the Nutley Private Hospital, as the McGinnitys operated a convalescent home.
On June 6, 1938, Assemblywoman Olive Sanford, suggested that Nutley purchase the house at a Sheriff’s sale for roughly $4,000 in back taxes and liens. The idea that it be made into a local museum was rejected by the Town Commission.
Ralph Smith rescued the house at the Sheriff’s sale, refurbishing the building, adding another dormer and indoor plumbing.
The house was then owned by L. John Denney, an ITT Vice President. He in turn sold the house to Mr. and Mrs. Norman Schepps of Passaic. During their residence, the remaining modernization took place. When they moved in 1973, the future of Kingsland Manor was in jeopardy.
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