Town receives historic timepiece

Also: Cop saves person from car on Xmas; street to be repaved

A pocket watch marking a 12-year-term of a Guttenberg mayor who served until 1926 was recently donated to the town by a local resident.
This relic of the 20th century was housed in John’s Watch Repairing, a business in Guttenberg that recently closed after being open for the last 53 years.
The owner of the shop, John W. Prellberg, was also a former councilman in Guttenberg. Upon his shop’s closing, he wrote a letter to Mayor Gerald Drasheff and the council, asking if they would take the watch on behalf of the town.
At Guttenberg’s Council Meeting on Jan. 25, Drasheff read the letter aloud.


“This is a real piece of Guttenberg history.” – Gerald Drasheff.

“Upon my retirement and closing my business I’d like to give the town of Guttenberg a piece of Guttenberg history,” Prellberg said.
He continued in the letter, “An American pocket watch produced by the finest watch company in the United States [at that time], the E. Howard Watch Company of Boston, Massachusetts. The watch was presented to Daniel Herrmann in appreciation of his 12-year service as mayor of Guttenberg, N.J. on Jan. 26, 1926.”
Drasheff said that the town would find an appropriate way to display the timepiece, which he said was “apparently very valuable.”
He said that Prellberg had received the watch from a family member.
“This is a real piece of Guttenberg history,” said Drasheff.

Saved allegedly intoxicated person from vehicle

Guttenberg Town Administrator and Public Safety Director Michael Caliguiro named Police Officer Leonardo Ramirez the town’s Police Officer of the Month for December 2009.
According to Caliguiro, Ramirez was in Lodi, N.J. on Christmas day when he witnessed a car with flames near the rear of the vehicle.
“He and a Lodi Police Officer worked together to pull the occupant out of the vehicle and extinguish the flames with a fire extinguisher,” said Caliguiro. “The [allegedly] highly intoxicated occupant was sleeping in the vehicle and was placed under arrest for driving under the influence.”
Caliguiro said that if it wasn’t for Ramirez’s actions, the situation could have turned “tragic.”

Repaving 71st Street

The town also introduced an ordinance that would allow them to seek $30,000 in bonds, or loans, to allow them to repave 71st Street. According to Drasheff, the town received an $85,000 loan from the Transportation Trust Fund Grant through the State of New Jersey. Usually a grant covers repaving, but this year, it fell short, so the town is seeking to borrow funds to complete the project.
“Since this is the last street in town [that needs to be repaved] we should finish up,” said Drasheff.
The town will also have to reduce the tax bill that is sent to the Mall at the Galaxy by $57,570 due to a tax reduction settlement (tax appeal) granted to the owners in 2007.
Tricia Tirella may be reached at

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