The New Brunswick birthplace of famous American poet-soldier Joyce Kilmer will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday, December 6 during the City’s annual observance of his birthday.
Alfred Joyce Kilmer, author of the well-known poem “Trees,” was born in New Brunswick on December 6, 1886, 130 years ago. He was killed by a German sniper in France in 1918 during WWI, while serving with the U.S. Army as part of the 69th Infantry Regiment.
“Trees,” published in 1914, was immensely popular at the time. His writings and heroic death in military action brought him fame and inspired the naming of the Camp Kilmer Army post in Piscataway and Edison (then Raritan Township) at the outset of WWII.
Kilmer’s birthplace home is located at 15 Joyce Kilmer Avenue (formerly Codwise Avenue). The house was acquired by Joyce Kilmer Post #25 of the American Legion in the 1920’s. It was used as an office for the Post and contained a shrine to Kilmer on the second floor.
The Post sold the building to the State of New Jersey in 1969 to be designated as a historic site. It has since been turned over to the City for partial use as municipal offices and maintenance of the Kilmer shrine.
All are welcome to attend and tour this historic site.