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Riveting Crime We Could Not Squeeze into the Tour

In 1924, Jack O'Dea, bought the 20 room Tremaine Mansion on Franklin Tpk. and converted it into the Allendale Manor hotel. At just 26 years old, O'Dea also owned the Lafayette Club in Hoboken and the Carlstadt Inn.

O'Dea was raising four children under eight years old with the help of his mother in law. O'Dea's wife had passed away shortly after the birth of their last child. O'Dea was a caring father.

On March 30, 1925, at noon, Jack got into his Buick Roadster in front of the Allendale Manor. He waved good bye to his fiancée who looked from the window of their room.

When Jack tapped the accelerator, a bomb exploded hurling him through the roof and dividing him into several pieces.

His fiancée was shocked. The police, however, were not surprised.

The police considered the Allendale Manor and Jack's other establishments notorious dens that circumvented the laws of prohibition.

Jack had been recently indicted for liquor violations. Police believed that Jack's willingness to talk for leniency may have alienated fellow bootleggers.

Also, Jack had been suspected of shooting and wounding a petty criminal outside the Carlstadt Inn. The man had refused to reveal his assailant; but promised to get justice in his own way.

On June 18, three months after Jack's departure, Federal agents raided the Allendale Manor and found small amounts of alcohol.

The next day, Helen Rose, the new owner, left the Manor for a car ride at 2:00 am. When she returned, she found the building had burned to the ground. Police believed the fire was another message from bootleggers.

No one was ever arrested for the arson or for the murder of Jack O'Dea.

The only remains of the Manor, two chimneys, stood on the vacant property for 45 years. In 1969, Rohsler's Nursery opened on the site. The Rohslers incorporated the chimneys into their building.