Don Dorflinger is of German descent, a local historian, and co-author of Orange: A Postcard Guide to Our Past. He remembers his Great Aunt and Grandmother’s home on Mechanic Street, which was one of the many homes torn down to build I-280. The home was originally owned by his Great Aunt Elizabeth ‘Aunt Lizzie’ Dorflinger Hoch and Great Uncle John Washington Hoch’s, who ran a family dairy business, The Orange Dairy. The family farm was located on Northfield Avenue in Livingston, NJ. John and Elizabeth lived in a two story, three bedroom home at the front of the property, which had a barn for the horses and delivery wagon, and a structure for washing bottles in the rear.
After Aunt Lizzie’s death, the property was repurposed by Edmund Dorflinger (Dons father’s) for use by his company, the Suburban Roofing Company. Don’s grandmother, Sophie Dorflinger moved into the house. Don’s family lived in Orange on South Center St., and Edmund operated the Suburban Roofing Company on Mechanic Street until 280 came through.
Don has fond memories of visiting his Aunt Lizzie for family gatherings like at Thanksgiving and Christmas. He has a picture of one Christmas at this home from 1952. He also remembered that his Aunt Lizzie was confined to her bed because of illness, and that she had the only room with air conditioning. So, when he would visit her home as a child, he would love to play BINGO with her up in the air conditioned bedroom using a set she owned.