Speaking of history

| 28 Sep 2011 | 02:17

    Did you know that the site at 22 Main Street has had a funeral home located there since 1859? And that it remained in the same family for over a hundred years? Originally established in 1852 by Jacob H. Shuman, the business was located one-half mile north of the present position. It was relocated to the present site in 1859 and the facility was built close to the street. Jacob's two sons, Willard and Henry, joined their father in the business and changed the name to Shuman Brothers Funeral Home after the death of their father. After Henry passed away, the name was again changed to the Willard L. Shuman Funeral Home. Willards's son-in-law, David W. Goble, eventually succeeded his father-in-law in the business and gave it the present name of the Goble Funeral Home in the mid 1930's. Woodruff Goble took over the operation of the business in 1961 following the death of his father. The original building was torn down after Woodruff Goble built a new facility in the rear of the property in 1966. Constructed in a colonial style, the funeral home features a long porch with six columns, a center entrance with sidelights and a foyer paneled in a warm, dark wood. Although the interior has been updated many times, the physical structure remains the same as when built in 1966. The walls of the facility are hung with charming watercolor prints of local Sparta landmarks by Robert Van Ess. There is a print of the original funeral home and the newer one hanging side-by-side. The business was purchased in 1976 by Brian Chamberlain and owned and operated by him until 1995 when it was sold to John and Kevin Quinn. It was bought by Service Corporation International in 1997 but still retains the Goble Funeral Home name given to it in the 1930's. Article by Judy Dunn Many thanks to Michael Brown of the Goble Funeral Home for the above information from their website at Goble@tellurian.net. Thanks also to local historian Bill Truran for the photograph. To suggest a topic of local interest, please call the author at 973-729-4325.The next meeting of the Sparta Historical Society will be November 11 at 7:30 p.m. at the Sparta Ambulance Building, 14 Sparta Avenue.