The Joyce Kilmer birthplace house on Joyce Kilmer Avenue will be open on December 6 for the City’s annual open house observance of this local historical figure’s 131st birthday.
Alfred Joyce Kilmer, author of the poem “Trees” and many other poems and essays, was born in New Brunswick on December 6, 1886 in his parents’ home, located at what was then 17 Codwise Avenue. The poem “Trees,” published in 1914, was considered to be the most popular poem in America at the time.
He was killed in July 1918 in France during WWI, while serving in the U.S. Army with the 69th Infantry Regiment. He was 31 years old.
His writings and heroic death brought him fame and inspired the naming of the Camp Kilmer Army post in Piscaway and Edison (then Raritan Township) on the outset of WWII.
Kilmer’s birthplace home, located at 17 Joyce Kilmer Avenue, was acquired by Joyce Kilmer Post #25 of the American Legion in the late 1920’s and used as a post office and a shrine to Kilmer. Today, the house is in the care of the City of New Brunswick, used for both municipal services and a continued location for the Kilmer shrine.
All are invited to attend the open house on December 6 to learn more about this famous New Brunswick resident.