Still, though, I was a little surprised to find a Preventorium Road in Howell. That was a new one on me. Obviously someone was looking to prevent something, but what? All I found was the Howell Township Municipal Complex, with town hall appearing to be the oldest of several buildings there.
|The Howell Township Municipal Building. |
Was it the main building of the Preventorium?
That's about all I've found about the hospital, but it got me curious about Brisbane. If you're familiar with the history of journalism, you might recognize the name: he worked for two of the the giants of 19th century newspaper publishing, Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst. He became one of the best known editors of the early 20th century and among the foremost practitioners of yellow journalism. Especially adept at publishing scandalous stories to boost circulation, he purchased and revived many failing newspapers, ultimately selling them to Hearst. He also offered media counsel to several of the business luminaries of his time, including Thomas Edison and John D. Rockefeller.
Besides his newspaper prowess, Brisbane became an accomplished real estate speculator, but his interest in New Jersey property may have had more to do with family history than land values. His father Albert was a utopian socialist involved in the Fourier movement of the mid 1800s, which was behind the creation of a phalanx community in nearby Colts Neck. About 60 years later, the younger Brisbane bought a large expanse of land in Monmouth County, including the old Howell Ironworks property, which had ceased operation in 1848. Building a luxurious house for his family, Brisbane also erected stables, an inn and a Boy Scout camp. He also provided land to the Federal government for use in New Deal programs during the Great Depression.
Toward the end of his life, Brisbane became interested in the history of the ironworks and started restoring it with an eye toward donating the property to the State of New Jersey. Today's Allaire Village represents the fruits of his efforts, offering a look into the operation of the state's iron mining industry and the lives of the people who worked within it. Brisbane's will also stipulated that the land be used only for historic and forest preservation purposes, making it a convenient destination for camping, hiking and wildlife observation. The family mansion was also deeded to the state and until recently was the Arthur Brisbane Child Treatment Center.