Westfield New Jersey Town Information
About the Westfield, New Jersey Area
Having a heavy Colonial past, Westfield is a town recognized for its beautiful downtown area, easy commute to New York City and the beaches of the Atlantic Ocean. Although Westfield’s population is over 33,000, it holds a small town atmosphere. There are friendly tree-lined streets with Colonial and Victorian homes, a busy downtown shopping area, a community recreational center, and many social events. Westfield, along with Scotch Plains and Cranford, is heavily committed to having a good family environment. There are many activities that involve the children and youth of the community, as well as the adults and senior citizens. With an area of approximately 6.5 square miles and almost 200 acres devoted to parks, Westfield is the perfect place to live, work, and raise a family.
Westfield is located approximately 25 miles from New York City, almost 90 miles from the “Always Turned On”, Atlantic City, and in arms reach of Newark International Airport. A few of the surrounding towns within 5 miles are Plainfield, Garwood, Scotch Plains, Cranford, and Clark. Westfield offers easy traveling due the close proximity to major highways such as I-287 and I-78.
The recreational parks of Westfield offer wonderful opportunities to take scenic walks, play sports with a few friends, or go for a swim in one of the local pools. The Tamaques Park for example, has 2 basketball courts, 4 softball fields, a children’s play area and pond, along with much more. The Memorial Park has 2 soccer fields, pool facilities that include a diving pool, lap pool, and a kiddy pool, as well as a children’s play area. Another fun recreational park is the Gumbert Park. Gumbert offers 3 little league fields, jogging path, a children’s play area, and 4 basketball courts.
The Watchung Stables are a little over a mile away in Mountainside. The stables feature programs for adults and children, an equestrian camp, and several clubs including the Watchung Riding and Driving Club.
For the teenagers in the family, Westfield has a Teen Center that offers pool tables, air hockey, video games, and more. There is also the Linden Lanes Bowling Alley, where you may enjoy a fun afternoon knocking down a few pins with friends or family.
The town of Westfield has close to a 20-block shopping and business district. The downtown shopping area includes major stores and small shops such as florists, deli’s, and a wide selection of restaurants. If you love to shop, be sure to go to the sidewalk mall with stores such as The Gap, Ann Taylor, Banana Republic, Chico’s, and Kay-bee Toys. Westfield has a wide selection of restaurants, so perhaps it would be nice to stop for lunch or dinner at Theresa’s, Mojave Grill, Ferraro’s, or Fujiyama Mamas. If you’re up for a caffeinated treat, take a walk into Starbucks and try an iced mocha latte or one of their various desserts.
A BRIEF HISTORY
Once known as “The West Fields of Elizabethtown”, the community of Westfield became a settlement around 1794 and was legally granted township in 1903. The first to live on the land of Westfield were the Lenni-Lenape Indians. The Lenni-Lenape’s were settled on this territory until approximately 1664, when the English Long Islanders purchased the area from the Lenni-Lenape Chieftains.
There are interesting Revolutionary War events that took place in Westfield. In 1776 the British attacked Springfield with one column passing through Westfield. Westfield was a command post during this period . The village was later occupied and looted by the British in 1777. Westfield soldiers participated in the victorious Battle of Springfield.
The first school was built in Westfield back in 1750. The population was 6,420 as of the 1910 census. Westfield is also known for being the birthplace of Charles Addams, the famous cartoonist that created The Addams Family cartoon.
The Westfield Historical Society is the organization that helps restore, maintain, and preserve the historical artifacts of the town. Such artifacts include the newly restored Town Bell that was first presented in 1869. The Town Bell now sits upon a special trailer that is displayed at important Town functions. Other artifacts that have recently been restored are the Town Clock in the First United Methodist Church, and the replacement of the Boulevard Historic Mosaic street signs.
Steve Cheek (born 1977), NFL punter, 2001-2005 (San Francisco 49ers, Kansas City Chiefs, Carolina Panthers).
Michael Chertoff (born 1953), United States Secretary of Homeland Security and former United States district court Judge.
Chris Christie (born 1962), Governor of New Jersey, who lived in Westfield for a year while his home in Mendham was under construction.
Pat Cosquer (born 1975), college squash coach.
Sara Driver (born 1955), independent filmmaker.
Michael DuHaime (born 1974), Republican strategist and public affairs executive.
Geoff Edwards (1931–2014), actor and game show host.
Edward Einhorn (born 1970), children’s author, director and playwright.
Mike Emanuel (born 1967), Chief Congressional Correspondent, Fox News, former White House Correspondent for Fox covering the George W. Bush and Barack Obama administrations.
Kevin Feige (born 1973), film producer and President of Marvel Studios.
Michael Fennelly (born 1949), rock guitarist, singer and songwriter who performed with The Millennium and Crabby Appleton.
Dan Graham (born 1942), artist, writer, and curator.
Robert Greifeld, CEO of NASDAQ-OMX.
Harry Hanan (1916–1982), cartoonist of the syndicated comic strip Louie.
Langston Hughes (1902–1967), poet.
Clark Hulings (1922–2011), realist artist.
Zora Neale Hurston (1891–1960), folklorist.
Thomas Kean, Jr. (born 1968), New Jersey State Senator who ran for U.S. Senate and is the son of former Governor of New Jersey and 9/11 Commission Chairman Thomas Kean.
Kevin Kelly (born 1952), founder of Wired magazine.
Martin Kunert, film director and TV writer/producer (Voices of Iraq, MTV’s Fear, Campfire Tales).
Christian J. Lambertsen (1917–2011), “the father of the Frogmen”.
Marilyn Lange (born 1952), Playboy Playmate for May 1974 and Playmate of the year for 1975.
Margaret Carver Leighton (1896–1987), children’s author.
Richard Leigh (1943–2007), co-author of The New York Times best seller The Holy Blood and the Holy Grail and other works of fiction and nonfiction.
John List (1925–2008), murderer convicted in the deaths of his wife, mother and three children.
Andrew McCarthy (born 1962), actor who appeared in Weekend at Bernie’s.
Patrick Morrisey (born 1967), elected as Attorney General of West Virginia in 2012.
Randolph Perkins (1871–1936), mayor of Westfield from 1903 to 1905, and represented New Jersey’s 6th congressional district from 1921 to 1936.
Paul Robeson (1898–1976), athlete, actor, singer, political activist, NFL guard from 1920 to 1922 for the Akron Pros and Milwaukee Badgers.
Bret Schundler (born 1959), former Mayor of Jersey City and former New Jersey gubernatorial candidate.
Coleen Sexton (born 1979), actress who made her Broadway debut at age 20 in Jekyll & Hyde in 2000.
Matthew Sklar (born 1973), Tony Award-nominated composer for the Broadway musicals Elf and The Wedding Singer. Associate conductor for many productions including 42nd Street, Miss Saigon, Les Misérables, Nine and Caroline or Change.
Dan Soucek (born 1969), North Carolina State Senator.
Jeff Torborg (born 1941), MLB player and manager.
P. Roy Vagelos (born 1929), former Chairman and CEO of Merck& Co.
Jeffrey A. Warsh (born 1960), State Assemblyman and Executive Director of New Jersey Transit.
Harrison A. Williams (1919–2001), U.S. Senator who was forced to resign in the face of expulsion due to his involvement in the Abscam case.
Malinda Williams (born 1975), actress.
Harold “Butch” Woolfolk (born 1960), NFL running back from 1982 to 1988 who played for the New York Giants, Houston Oilers and Detroit Lions.
Dan Yemin, punk rock guitarist.Perrotta (born 1961), author.