For Historic Trenton’s Day in the Life, we’re looking back through newspapers from the beginning and examining everyday problems, solutions, and needs during historic Trenton’s past. Today, we return to the quiet evening of May 12, 1905 as Trenton children were getting ready to see the Barnum and Baily Greatest Show on Earth. The show was set to come into Trenton the very next day.

The Circus left Bridgeton, NJ in four separate trains with 85 different train cars that went into the city. The next day, the Circus would feature a parade throughout the city for residents to watch. There were parade floats that represented every continent of the world and a variety of animals in it. After the parade, two performances were held in the afternoon and evening times.

A “Merry Widow” contest was held evening that tested the talents of Trentonians. The contest held seven different contents with various musicals, monologues, and piano solos. The day before, the Monday Musical Club declared 1908 the most successful year in the organization’s history. “We have improved in our musical work, we have more new subscribers and a larger balance in the treasury at the end of this season than we have had at the end of any previous one,” Mrs. George E Kraft, Treasure of the Monday Musical Club said. Note: Kraft was saying this before her re-election.

At the First District Police station, officials were dealing with an odd occurrence. Salvatore Lagoretti, who was arrested the day before in a monk’s outfit, was initially thought to be an imposter, but the next day police learned otherwise. Captain Cleary of the First District Police station realized that Lagoretti was a brother of the Franciscan Order of Brown Monks of Italy. He was on a legitimate mission from the brotherhood to collect money for the church of Italy. Several people came to the Police Station to confirm that the Lagoretti was legit and he was released immediately. However, in a turn of events, Trenton Catholic Bishop James Augustine McFaul conducted a personal investigation because Lagoretti did not have permission to collect money in the Trenton area.

Lastly, making a small headline, Mr. and Mrs. John F Smith of Calhoun Street were celebrating the birth of their healthy baby girl. Smith was a member of the National Guard and, apparently, a well-known roller-skater. About thirty years later, the former trolley barns on Lalor St. became a popular roller rink well into the 1940s and 50s before becoming a car wash.