Rahway Valley Railroad Woolley Fuel
Company 12 Burnett Avenue 1924 - Present Retail fuel dealer. Sold coal and wood for
heating, ice for refrigeration. Coal, inbound An RVRR customer 1929-1957, with possible
shipments as early as 1924.
Rahway Valley Railroad
12 Burnett Avenue
1924 - Present
Retail fuel dealer. Sold coal and wood for heating, ice for refrigeration.
An RVRR customer 1929-1957, with possible shipments as early as 1924.
Founded in 1924 by brothers Herbert and Norman W. Woolley, Sr., the Woolley Fuel Company opened its doors at 12 Burnett Ave. The mainstay of their operation was the sale of coal as a home heating fuel. Woolley also sold ice for refrigeration as well as wood, presumably for homes still utilizing wood-burning stoves.
All of these commodities were shipped to Woolley Fuel via the Rahway Valley Railroad. A long spur extended from the main track to the rear of Woolley's offices, alongside the coal silos. Conveyers were utilized to unload hopper cars and shuttle anthracite coal up into Woolley's towering silos.
After being delivered directly to Woolley, coal, wood, and ice were delivered to the customer's doorstep by one of the wagons in Woolley's fleet.
Although shipments to Woolley via the RVRR probably began as early as 1924, a sidetrack agreement was entered into on March 15, 1929 between the Rahway Valley Company, Lessee and Woolley Fuel.
As the years went on and as technology changed, people switched from ice boxes to refrigerators and from coal fueled heating systems to oil fueled ones. Woolley kept up with the times and modified its facilities and equipment. Coal wagons soon gave way to fuel oil trucks and by the 1950's coal shipments delivered to Woolley by the RVRR began to dwindle.
George Clark , the ever mindful President and General Manager, became agitated with the lessening number of shipments to Woolley, more so due to the fact that the Rahway Valley Railroad maintained such a long siding into Woolley.
On July 28, 1956, Clark sent a letter to Woolley Fuel notifying them that their siding was slated for abandonment. Woolley assured more shipments, but they never came. On February 1, 1957 the Rahway Valley Railroad terminated its sidetrack agreement with Woolley Fuel and the siding was thereafter abandoned.
Today, Woolley Fuel continues to operate at the same location it has since 1924. Woolley is the one of the few former Rahway Valley Railroad customers still in operation, in its original location. Woolley continues to deal home heating oil but has diversified its business to include natural gas, Biodiesel, and propane. The Woolley family, in its fourth generation, still continues to own and operate the business till this day.
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