Learn About The History Of Westfield NJ

Perserving Westfield History

January 3, 2018, Westfield, NJ:

The New Jersey town of Westfield is home to a rich and thriving modern downtown. Any day of the week, residents and visitors alike can count on the area for activity with its multitude of businesses. Traffic moves briskly through the streets as people make their ways to and from shops, restaurants, the train station and the movie theater. Depending on the time of year, there may even be a festival or street fair going on, keeping community fun and vivacious. But did you know that just a short distance away from the bustling activity of downtown Westfield things can slow down in a good way? A home listed on the National and State Registers of Historic Places stands proudly as a representation of Westfield's rich history.


Visitors can travel just a bit down Mountain Avenue to arrive a the Reeve History & Cultural Resource Center. Here they can view a glimpse of the Westfield of the past. Located at 314 Mountain Avenue, the stately home stands in its glory, fully restored to it's likeness of the late 1800's.

The house was originally built in 1872

At the time it was the home of the Stitt family, who owned the Westfield Hotel. In 1906, it became the home of the Reeve family and remained so until 2001. The patriarch of the family, William Reeve, was a prominent citizen of Westfield. He left lasting marks on the town with his contributions to the community with various projects during his lifetime. It is said that he was instrumental in the establishment of the local area YMCA. Also in 1918, he donated a portion of his land to facilitate the creation of nearby Mindowaskin Park which stands adjacent to his former property. His former home was officially donated to the Westfield Historical Society in 1985 by his sons, Ralph and Edgar in his honor. However, Edgar remained a resident of the home until his death in 2001. It was then that efforts began for the renovation of the building. It now serves as the home of the Westfield Historical Society ensuring it's long lasting contribution to the community.

The three story house

It is a fully restored Victorian Italianate structure. The recent renovation completed on the building included many necessary repairs. It had begun to deteriorate over the years and sustained water damage. Mold, asbestos and oil tanks were removed from the property. Many aspects of the house needed attention and care. Through a fundraising effort of generous supporters, the 1.2 million dollar renovation was completed and the house stands beautifully on 1.62 acres as a testament of days gone by.

The current inhabitants of the Westfield Historical Society

Host tours by appointment (call 908-654-1794). A virtual tour of portions of the home is available at westfieldhistoricalsociety.org. There are many local relics on display at the museum including photographs of the Reeves, a library and a cabinet of instruments used by Westfield's first physician, Dr. Elmer.

In addition

The Westfield Historical Society has plans to use the Reeve History & Cultural Resource Center as an educational facility in the future. It will also house archives at the site. It currently is used as an exhibit center for special events.

The town of Westfield

Has a firm hold as a prominent place in New Jersey in the 21st century. However, it is also it's preservation of it's place in the the New Jersey in years past that make it a place worth visiting.