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Westfield Date Line

1664 Elizabethtown is settled. The "west fields" include area west of the Cranford River
1727 Founding of Presbyterian Church creates a distinct village identity
1750 First school built near present Elmer Street
1777 June 26 & 27 - British army camps in Westfield
1780 Many Westfielders help defeat British at the Battle of Springfield
1794 Township of Westfield formed. Includes Plainfield, Scotch Plains, Mountainside, Clark, and Garwood.
1838 First railroad arrives in town - Elizabeth to Somerville. Stagecoach lines become obsolete.
1865 Civil War ends. Westfield is little changed - just a small farming village - since Revolutionary War period.
Late 1860's Begin era of major growth - new churches, Fairview Cemetery, new stores,    more people - transforming Westfield from a sleepy village to a bustling town.
1874 A great fire destroys much of the downtown area. First fire department is organized
1875 "The Townsman", first newspaper, published.
1890 "Westfield Leader" begins publication
1892 Northside Railroad Station completed, and first  bank is opened.
1893-95 First electric and telephone service completed. Water and sewer services also installed.
1898  First trolley runs through town on the same route followed by today's #49 bus.
1900 Fair Acres Track (horseracing) opens in vicinity of Wells Street / Washington   School area. It lasts for 10 years.
1903 New town charter.
1906 Carnegie Library (now Felice's) opens. [It is no longer Felice's]
1909 McKinley School opens. Oldest school still in service.
1910 Population is 6,420
1911 Present Fire House dedicated.
1918 Mindowaskin Park opens on site of former Clark's pond. Twenty five die in flu epedemic. Sixteen servicemen killed in WW I.
1929 YMCA opens.
1935 Buses replace the trolley.
1939-45 Over 2,000 Westfielders serve in WW II. Sixty eight die in service
1952 Westfield High School opens.
1954  New Town Hall and Library open
1954-62 Four new schools are built as population of the town increases.
1970 Population reaches 33,720.
1980's Modest decline in population. School system is restructured. New library opens.
1990's-2004 The character of downtown changes due to influx of national brand stores. "Mom and Pop" type stores on the decline. Westfield struggles with it's identity. Parking garages proposed for town.


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