The Westfield Historical Society (WHS) historic marker commemorating the settlement of Westfield in 1720 as the West Fields of Elizabethtown has been installed at the PNC Plaza, site of the Old York Road to Philadelphia. Approved and funded by the WHS Board of Trustees, this marker is a first in a series of markers planned at locations throughout the town to celebrate Westfield’s history and to help educate residents and visitors. The first marker was a project by Westfield resident and former WHS trustee, Michael La Place, whose passion for Westfield and its’ history has been demonstrated in his roles assisting Westfield in planning, economic development, and historic preservation issues for many years. The installation of the marker was overseen by Sherry Cronin, Executive Director of Downtown Westfield Corporation and WHS Vice-President Finance & Treasurer with assistance from Ackerman Associates (property owner), Anthony Medina of All Phase Contracting who set the pole in concrete and the Town of Westfield DPW crew.
Visitors to the site will also note that The Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail is also marked nearby in two locations along E. Broad Street (at PNC Plaza and at the corner of Elm & E. Broad Street). The Washington-Rochambeau trail marks the 680 miles of land and water trails that follow the route taken by General Washington and General Rochambeau to and from the siege of Yorktown in 1781. It passes through New Jersey, following many roads which have been in existence since the 18th century, roads that pass through towns large and small, offering a unity to the many communities along the way. In Union County, the trail runs along numerous County roads, including; Raritan Road in Scotch Plains (CR509), Lamberts Mill Road in Scotch Plains (CR606), West Broad Street in Westfield (CR509), Mountain Avenue in Westfield, Mountainside and Springfield (CR613), Morris Avenue in Springfield (SR 82), Morris Turnpike in Summit (SR 24). In 2014, Union County became the first County in New Jersey to sign and dedicate the trail where it passes through the state.
For more information about Union County’s signage system, visit http://www.nj.com/union/index.ssf/2014/07/union_county_marks_revolutionary_war_route_linking_historic_sites.html. For more information about the National Park Service Washington-Rochambeau Revolutionary Route National Historic Trail, visit http://www.nps.gov/waro/index.htm.
The Westfield Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) tax exempt organization founded in 1968 whose mission is to preserve, interpret and encourage interest in Westfield’s history. Its assets include the 1875 Reeve History & Cultural Resource Center located at 314 Mountain Avenue and the 1740 Miller-Cory House located at 614 Mountain Avenue (both of which are listed on the National Register of Historic Places), and a large growing collection of archives and artifacts of the history of Westfield. The WHS is proud of many of its accomplishments, has an active and engaged membership and hosts many community events and programs. For more information, call the Westfield Historical Society office at 908-654-1794. Visit them at www.westfieldhistoricalsociety.org. or www.facebook.com/westfieldhistoricalsociety or on Twitter @Westfieldhistor.