Edison Eagle Scout earns award

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BY KATHY CHANG
Staff Writer

EDISON — A sophomore at John P. Stevens High School received a 2017 New Jersey Preservation Award for his Eagle Scout project at the Thomas Alva Edison Memorial Tower and Museum.

Last year, Steven Zederbaum, a member of Troop 17 of Metuchen and Edison, with inspiration from local historian Walter Stochel Jr., transformed a vacant lot into an interpretive historic destination to memorialize the Sarah B. Jordan boarding home with a paver-brick outline of the original foundation and an informational kiosk that he built.

For his project, Steven received a New Jersey Historic Preservation Award, which was presented to him at the Burlington County Olde Courthouse on May 11. He is the youngest recipient of the award.

“It is an honor to win this award,” he said. “In total, this preservation project amounted to over 200 hours of work. I couldn’t be happier with the results.”

Steven said no longer is there just an empty lot near the Edison Tower, but “rather a preservation and commemoration of the great history that occurred in Edison.”

Sarah Jordan, a relative of Thomas Edison, established a boarding house in 1878 across from Edison’s lab in Menlo Park. This allowed Edison’s employees easy access to their jobs and also served as a community lunch room and center for social activity.

The site, on Christie Street, now includes interpretive signage, recognizing the contribution of Sarah Jordan to the history of Edison’s accomplishments as well as a brick outline of the boarding house’s original footprint.

The annual New Jersey Historic Preservation Awards honor projects, groups or persons, dedicated to preserving New Jersey’s history.

This year marks the 27th anniversary of the awards celebrating May as National Preservation Month.

The Awards are presented by the New Jersey State Historic Preservation Office in the Department of Environmental Protection and the New Jersey Historic Sites Council.