Sturzenegger Family Collection

Sturzenegger Family Collection, 2016

Collection Number:


Finding Aid Publication Date:

Published in 2020. ©Copyright Chester Public Library.

Descriptive Summary


Sturzenegger Family Collection


Ellen Sturzenegger Speicher and Nancy Sue Landsman (neé Sturzenegger)




27.1 GB of data, 9 video interviews


Ellen Sturzenegger Speicher, a lifelong Chesterite, and her sister Nancy Sue Landsman, who lived in Chester Borough until she was in her 40s, participated in 9 video interviews about life in the area, including businesses, people, and locations. Specifically, they examined pages from a Chester scrapbook, and described what they saw in the photos and post cards, in terms of their life experiences. The value in this collection lies in the detailed descriptions the sisters give of their time in Chester (Speicher, 80 years; Landsman 40 years). Also, they are the descendants of Edmund Sturzenegger, who owned the Swiss Embroidery Factory in town.

Language: English


Local History Department
Chester Public Library
250 W. Main Street
Chester, NJ 07930
Phone: (908) 879-7612
Fax: (908) 879-8695

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Administrative Information

Conditions Governing Use:

This collection is open for research.

Physical Access:

The items in this collection may be used by patrons who abide by the guidelines of the Local History Department.

Technical Access:

All of the items in this collection have been created electronically. The Local History Librarian will make full-length interviews and digitized images available to patrons upon their request. Chester Library computers may be used to experience the collection.

Conditions Governing Reproduction:

Copyright restrictions apply. Transmission or reproduction of materials protected by copyright beyond that allowed by fair use requires the written permission of the copyright owners. Works not in the public domain cannot be commercially exploited without permission of the copyright owner. Responsibility for any use rests exclusively with the user.

All requests to reproduce, publish, quote from, or otherwise use collection materials whose copyright is owned by the Chester Library or a collection creator must be submitted in writing to the Local History Librarian, Chester Public Library, 250 W. Main Street, Chester, NJ 07930.

Preferred Citation:

[Identification of item], Sturzenegger Family Collection of Chester Public Library, Chester, New Jersey.

Collection Processed By:

Debra Schiff, Local History Librarian, in 2016.

Finding Aid Author:

Debra Schiff, Local History Librarian

Description Control:

Description based on DACS.

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Ellen Sturzenegger Speicher (1941-) and Nancy Sue Landsman (neé Sturzenegger) (1943-) were born in Chester, and Speicher lived there her entire life, while Landsman left in her early 40s. Their father, Werner Speicher owned and operated the Crossroads Gas Station, which also had a repair shop. He was a Rotarian and a Mason. His wife, Evelyn Alice Hiler, was a school teacher from Dover, who married late (at 27). After she had the two sisters, she limited her work to substitute teaching in the Chester School. She was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, as is Landsman.

In the 1890s, their great-grandfather, Edmund Sturzenegger, who emigrated to the United States from Switzerland, purchased land near what is now the corner of Hillside and Oakdale Roads. His mother, Regina ran the Swiss Embroidery Factory he built on the land. Later, her son, the sisters’ grandfather, William ran the factory. The Sturzeneggers employed approximately 50 people at the factory.

The sisters attended Roxbury High School, where Speicher had Mae Call as an English teacher. Speicher met her husband Ken during High School. Ken ran an auto repair garage in Chester.

Landsman left Chester to attend the University of Vermont, where she met her first husband, Dan Collevero. They divorced, and she and her daughter Lauren returned to Chester. Her second husband, Bob Landsman, lived on Oakdale Road with his children, Dawn and Dale. He worked at Cooperative Industries, across from where the Sturzenegger family home was located, and where the sisters’ parents still lived, at that time.

Speicher still lives in Chester and Landsman lives in Maine.

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Scope and Content

The Sturzenegger Family Collection comprises 9 high-definition video interviews of Ellen Sturzenegger Speicher and Nancy Sue Landsman (neé Sturzenegger). The interviews were conducted in one visit on April 5, 2016. The content of the interviews spans the lives of the two subjects, as well as times prior to their existence. The interviews contain stories related to the postcards and photos found in a Chester scrapbook donated to the library. Ellen had been transcribing the captions of the scrapbook and told the Local History Librarian that her sister would be in town visiting, and that they should talk about Chester together. These videos are the result of those conversations.

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Organization and Arrangement

There is only one series, Visual Materials. The Visual Materials comprise 27.1 GB of data in 9 high-definition video interviews, and are arranged in numerical order.

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Index Terms

Corporate Names/Organizations Subject:

Chester Congregational Church
Chester Grove Street School
Chester House
Cooperative Industries
Crossroads Gas Station
Crossroads Inn
Larison’s Turkey Farm
Leck’s Confectionary
Mangels Candy
Roxbury High School
Serbe’s Gas Station
Sturzenegger’s Swiss Embroidery Factory


High school sports
Lace manufacturing
Sister cities


Abeles, Janet
Ardin, Gail H.
Barker, Lois (Tommie)
Bragg, Dudley
Bressler, Ed
Bressler, Pat
Call, Robert
Call, Mae
Hiler, Evelyn A.
Landsman, Nancy Sue
Paul, Dora
Shotwell, Dick
Speicher, Ellen S.
Sturzenegger, Augusta
Sturzenegger, Werner
Sturzenegger, William
Tiffenbach, Irene


Black River
Chester Borough
Chester Township
Crystal Lake
Kumavic, Yugoslavia
Hillside Road
Grove Street
Main Street
Morris County (N.J.)
Morristown Region (N.J.)–History, Local.
New Jersey.
North Road
Oakdale Road
Pleasant Hill Road

Genre Terms:

Black-and-white photographs
Color photographs
Video recordings
Visual resources

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Container List

Please contact the Local History Librarian directly to access these materials.