This museum used to be a Fire Station, specifically the Raritan Engine Company #4. In the 1920s it is likely that this Fire Station was one the favorite haunts of the eccentric Willie Stevens. (He also like Raritan Engine Company #2 at Hiram Square, but that building was destroyed many years ago.) Willie lived most of his life with his younger sister Frances Noel Stevens Hall, only a few blocks away at 23 Nichols Avenue, alongside his sister’s husband, Reverend Edward Hall. On September 14th, 1922, Edward Hall became one of the two victims in the infamously unsolved Hall-Mills double homicide. In 1926, Willie and Frances, along with their older brother Henry Stevens, were all tried and acquitted for the two murders in what was then one of the biggest media and courtroom circuses America had ever seen. The infamy wouldn’t be outshadowed until the Lindbergh baby kidnapping trial in the 1930s. But this firehouse is where “Simple Willie” (as he was sometimes called) enjoyed chatting with the firemen, trying on their helmets, and occasionally help wash the engines. Because he was known to be generous with his money, the firefighters humored Willie and even let him ride along on calls every now and then.
This mini-cache contains a QR code that will unlock the next step in our exploration of the Hall-Mills tragedy. Please sign our log (BYOP). Good luck, and keep an eye out for our other Ghost Hunt geocaches.