A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from March 29, 2005
Garden State (New Jersey nckname)
"Garden State" is the nickname of New Jersey. Chicago was called "City in a Garden" or "Garden City" from the 1840s, and Illinois became known as the "Garden State."

New Jersey promoters also used the "Garden City" nickname, from the 1860s. (More than one American city was nicknamed "Queen City" and "Magic City" and even "Porkopolis.") When "Windy City" eclipsed "Garden City" as Chicago's nickname in the 1880s and 1890s, Illinois stopped being called the "Garden State." New Jersey kept its claim.

(Oxford English Dictionary)
Garden State U.S., a name given to various American states, esp. New Jersey
1865 Daily Morning Chron. (Washington, D.C.) 29 Sept. 2/3 Verily, Illinois is justly called 'The *Garden State'.
1871 SCHELE DE VERE Americanisms 659 Kansas is often called the Garden State, from the beautiful appearance of rolling prairies and vast cultivated fields.
1948 Sat. Even. Post 20 Nov. 57/2 When the first nip of frost chills the New Jersey air, cooks in the Garden State revive this recipe.

19 January 1861, The Scientific American, pg. 47, col. 1:
(Illinois - ed.)

5 April 1862, The Living Age, pg. 22:
ILLINOIS. - (...) The "Garden State" has in forty-one years multiplied her people thirty-one times - a more rapid growth than any other American State can show.

August 1862, Continental Monthly (New York, Boston), pg. 252b:
ILLINOIS, the Garden State of America

8 May 1867, Davenport (Iowa) Daily Gazette, pg. 2, col. 3:
Peculiar, as I said to the Garden State.
(Illinois - ed.)

4 June 1869, Ohio Democrat (New Philadelphia, Ohio), pg. 4, col. 2:
To All Wanting Farms.
New Settlement of Vineland.
A Rare Opportunity in the best Market
and most delightful and healthy Cli-
mate in the Union. Only Thirty
Miles South of Philadelphia, on a
Railroad; being a Rich Soil and
highly productive Wheat Land;
among the best in the Garden State
of New Jersey.

Chicago: past, present, future.
by John S. Wright
Second Edition, for the Chicago Board of Trade
Pg. 353:
The Illinois Central Railroad. - This road had its origin in the year 1850, when Stephen A. Douglas and General Shields obtained from Congress a grant of alternate sections of land on both sides of the proposed route, through the richest portions of the Garden State, giving it an immense and increasing revenue from their sale, without which encouragement the road would not have been undertaken.

The Footprints of Time:
And a Complete Analysis of Our American System of Government.
by Charles Bancroft
Burlington, Iowa: R. T. Root, Publisher
Pg. 469:
Its vicinity to the great commercial centres of the Atlantic coast; the mildness of its climate, and the adaptation of its oil to the growth of fruit and vegetables have made it the Garden State of the Union.

20 December 1882, Hopewell (NJ) Herald, pg. 4, col. 1:
Though small in area, yet New Jersey is the garden State of the Union.

Google Books
U. S.
An Index to the United States of America

Compiled by Malcolm Townsend
Boston, MA: D. Lothrop Company
Pg. 71:
New Jersey...Garden....being greatly occupied by truck-gardeners, especially near New York City, where it finds a ready market.

27 February 1893, Middletown (NY) Daily Press, pg. 1, col. 4:
TRENTON, Feb. 27. - The passing of the three race track bills by the Senate on Saturday by a vote of 11 to 9, thus completing the act which makes them laws without the consent of the Governor, has stirred up the good people of the "Garden State."

15 March 1895, New York Times, pg. 6:
"New-Jersey, or rather that section of it that is traversed by the bicycle riders in the relay race, is rich with natural scenery, and many of the roads have been improved since the last event, which we helped to manage. The Atalantas will be represented, of course, and there is no club in the Garden State which will strive harder to keep the relay championship in New-Jersey."

11 July 1895, Atlanta Constitution, pg. 9:
Yesterday morning it was received at exposition headquarters, and its emphatic tone shows that the chief executive of the Garden State is thoroughly in earnest and aroused as to the magnitude of the enterprise.

5 December 1895, Atlanta Constitution, pg. 2:
New Jersey Comes to the Exposition To
Have a Day Tomorrow.

Google Books
Universal Dictionary of the English Language
Edited by Robert Hunter and Charles Morris
New York, NY: Peter Fenelon Collier, Publisher
Pg. 5343:
New Jersey. The Garden State (from its great production of vegetables and fruit for the markets of New York and Philadelphia).

(OCLC WorldCat)
Title: Long Branch, New Jersey :
embracing Elberson, West End, Hollywood, Norwood Park, Branchport, East Long Branch, North Long Branch, and Pleasure Bay : illustrated /
Corp Author(s): Long Branch Board of Trade (Long Branch, N.J.)
Publication: [New York : R. Whamond],
Year: 1909
Description: [55] p. : ill. ; 31 cm.
Language: English
Descriptor: Resorts -- New Jersey -- Long Branch.
Resorts -- New Jersey -- Long Branch Area.
Geographic: Long Branch (N.J.) -- Pictorial works.
Note(s): Cover title: Long Branch, New Jersey : the garden spot of the Garden State./ "Business interests: representative mercantile resources and facilities"--P. [19-55].
Other Titles: Long Branch, N.J. : the garden spot of the Garden State.
Responsibility: published under the auspices of the Board of Trade of the City of Long Branch, N.J.
Document Type: Book

(OCLC WorldCat)
Title: Who's who in New Jersey :
notable men and women in the professional business and political life of the Garden State--biographical sketches of today's leaders and those looming on the horizon /
Author(s): Souder, Harry James,; 1888-
Publication: New York : National Biographic News Service,
Edition: Cumberland County ed.
Year: 1923
Description: 260 p. : ill., plates, ports. ; 30 cm.
Language: English
Geographic: Cumberland County (N.J.) -- Biography.
Class Descriptors: Dewey: 920.074
Responsibility: H.J. Souder, editor-in-chief ; Editorial staff for Cumberland County: Robert E. Fithian, Olive Rockhill Souder, Virgil S. Johnson.
Document Type: Book
Posted by Barry Popik
Nicknames of Other PlacesGarden State (New Jersey nickname) • Tuesday, March 29, 2005 • Permalink