My Irish-Catholic gggf Smith and gggm Reilly immigrated to Newark about 1847.
I lived at 145 William St, E.O. facing Stockton Place, from 1947 (birth) to 1959, and then we moved out of NJ.
I recently sent a collection of East Orange High yearbooks to Classmates.com to scan and they now have them up on their site. I sent them 1923, 1929, 1946, and 1952 (they already had 1932) so, if your mother or any of your relatives attended EOHS then, you can look at their yearbooks on-line now for free.
I never got over to the Central Ave. area much when I was a kid, but our family went to Howard Johnson's once a month for Sunday dinner. Do you know when HJ's was built? I had some email correspondence with the singer Janis Ian recently. She lived in the apt building (The Hamilton) on the corner of S Munn and Central ave, diagonally across from the hospital, from the summer of 1961 to about Dec of 1964, attended Nassau School 1961/62, Vernon L Davey 1962/64, and EOHS in the fall of 1964. I realize that was probably a couple of years after you were in the neighborhood.