The 1900s brought much
change for Irwin. For the most part, at the beginning
of the 1900s, Irwin revolved around mines and small
industries, but remained a largely agricultural and
residential community. However, the thirties brought
change for the working men in the community as the
Jersey Cereal Company and the mines closed. World
War I was over and the Great Depression had reached
Irwin. It was a hard time for the people of Irwin,
but they supported each other and kept strong as
Fortunately, the business district thrived after a
bypass of Route 30 was built to run right through
Township. The community worked hard throughout the
week, and then they continued to bring more business
stores by taking their families to downtown Irwin
on Saturday nights for their one night of relaxation.
To further help business matters, a Turnpike exit
in Irwin in 1940.
With the Turnpike exit, along came more accessible
cars that kept the business district running. Drive-In
movie theaters also came onto the scene, providing for
a change from the Saturday nights spent in downtown Irwin.
Things soon changed in the Irwin district with the Vietnam
War in the sixties. Social change came with new fashion,
politics, and music. The social changes were not all
happy, though. Irwin lost fourteen of its men in battle
during the Vietnam War.
With Woodstock ending the era of social generation, a new time was brought
to Irwin. Families changed with the beginning of nuclear families. However,
with the loss of family to other parts of the country, people became more dependable
on their neighbors, thus strengthening an already strong Irwin community. The
seventies also gave birth to latch-key children as mothers ventured into the
workforce. Additionally, many community activities and leagues were developed
with children and families attending more community events and going to the
community pools that had been built.
From the eighties on, a new generation was born in
Irwin. This generation has been forced to deal with many
realities that no other generation had to deal with.
However, the current generations in Irwin have much pride
in their small and caring community. Despite all the
societal changes, Irwin has managed to stay a strong,
safe community that has just the right interdependence
between residential and business areas. Irwin is a great
small town that holds all the values of America, both
old and new.