Early Westfield Chronology

1664 English Long Islanders purchase Elizabethtown tract from Leni Lenape chieftains.

1675-1683 Essex County, including Elizabethtown and Newark tracts, loosely organized.

1684 West fields of Elizabethtown surveyed by John Baker and party at request of Governor Gawen Lawrie.

1693 Elizabethtown officially becomes Elizabeth Township.

1699-1700 "Clinker Lot" Division: West fields divided into 171 hundred-acre lots.

1720 Westfield has become a distinct settlement.

1727-1730 Presbyterian congregation organized; temporary log church built on Elizabethtown road (Benson Place).

1731 Oldest marker in Presbyterian cemetery.

1734 40 acres acquired for church and parsonage land for the price of twenty pounds; church on Mountain Avenue built in 1735 or soon thereafter.

1740 Nathaniel Baker establishes tannery on stream presently site of Mindowaskin Pond.

1741 Elizabeth chartered as Borough, maintaining co-terminous township until 1855. Westfield becomes voting ward of borough.

1759 Benjamin Woodruff becomes pastor of church (until 1803).

1776 Livestock evacuated to mountains as British Army passes nearby in December; British attack Springfield in same month, with one column passing through Westfield.

1776-77 Westfield is a command post for much of this period; village occupied and looted by main British Army June 26-27,1777.

1780 Westfielders participate in victorious Battle of Springfield.

1782 James Morgan is tried, convicted and hung in Westfield for the murder of the Rev. James Caldwell.

1794 Westfield Township becomes separate municipality Jan. 27, including most of Clinker Lot survey area. Following municipalities separated from Township on dates noted:

(This information has been compiled and edited by John R. Panosh from original documents supplied by Ralph H. Jones, Curator,Westfield Historical Society Museum and Archives.)  




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