"Sabotage" a word that would strike fear in the hearts of all patriotic citizens. Are there enemies among us? Where will they strike? Is our war production safe and protected? Constant vigilance was the order of the day. But all was not what it seemed.
The first instance of suspected sabotage occurred in the early hours of October 14, 1942. It happened at the Wortendyke Station and involved six rail cars fully loaded with coal. The derailment occurred at 4:30 A.M. when the cars were being moved. As the engine backed in the line of six cars and hooked on to the last carin line, the other five cars started to roll. As each hit the switch leading to the main line each overturned. This dispensed the cargo of soft coal. used to fuel the engines, about the area. This disrupted service for eight hours. An attempt was made to maintain rail service y using shuttle trains from Jersey City meeting trains from Butler at Wortendyde and transferring passengers. The line was fully closed at 1:00 P.M.
Wortendyke, being part of Midland Park, Captain Jacob Osenga was called in to investigate this mishap. His investigation disclosed that the coupling pins had been removed from each of the cars. At this point A.L. Kline, General Manager of the Line, asked the F.B.I. to check for sabotage. They investigated and determined it was an accident.
As the population of Franklin Lakes went about their day to day war time duties, Civilian Defense, war work, salvage drives and planting their Victory Gardens. Something ominous happened. They soon found out that their gardens were under attack. But not by the enemies from across the ocean, but by four footed forth column-cows. It seems those local owners were turning the cows loose to feed at night. The idea was that they would feed on the grass along the local unfinished highway S4-B, now known as Route 208. But the cows had other ideas. They went to the homes and gardens of the homes in town. The owners complained to the Town Council. They cited Frank Wagonhoffer as the offending person. The council was notified that gardens were being destroyed and action must be taken. It was noted that all the complaints came from Pulis Ave.
As the complaints increased the town fathers looked for a way to stop the problem. They found that they had no way to control the nuisance. So they directed the town attorney to draft an ordinance. This ordinance states that all cattle owners are responsible for and must coral their cows. This ended the problem.
Finally it might not have been sabotage, but a fortunate quark of good luck. It seems that early in November 1943 both High School Bussed were out of commission. The students waited in vain for the buses to come. The girls did. The boys went hunting. It was opening day of hunting season.