Picture the Hub: Places & Spaces
This year we are working to Picture the Hub by celebrating the most interesting places and spaces in Westwood!
With research assistance from volunteers Noeline and Peter Grefrath, The Westwood Heritage Society and photography by Richard Frant (Frant Visuals) we're uncovering the myths, mysteries and memories of Westwood.
Check out our short articles, posted periodically throughout 2023, here and on our social media pages and stay tuned for information on our capstone event and display.
Have you ever wondered where certain streets or roads got their names?
One such area, Goodwin Park was named after Henry H. Goodwin. Mr. Goodwin was the mayor of Westwood from 1910-1911 and he purchased the 41 acres of land for residential development from David Bogert, the son of Westwood's first mayor Isaac Bogert.
Goodwin, naturally, was the family name and the name of the street it is said they eventually built their own house on.
The streets James and Gladys were named after his children. There is also some dispute whether Hurlbut was named after another child or his son’s and his own middle name.
It is believed Henry H. Goodwin wanted to build another residential dwelling on the triangular parkland between Prospect and Bogert Avenues, but residents surrounding the park bought the property, and then deeded the land to the town in 1921 as a public park.
Interestingly, prospective buyers in the development had to sign a contract in support of former mayor Goodwin’s opposition to snow removal, fire, and police in favor of private contractors. Thank goodness that is no longer the case!
THE KISSING TREE (and other sweet spots)
Have you ever walked through Veteran’s Park and noticed the enormous Copper Beech Tree gracing the landscape with its stately presence?
Beneath it’s large, natural canopy you may have caught a glimpse of children playing hide and seek, or someone taking a much needed respite in the shade on a hot summer’s day. But did you know that this magnificent tree with its secluded umbrella is also known as The Kissing Tree?
Interestingly, Copper Beech trees are not native to the northeast, so how did it get here? A local tree expert estimates that the tree is more than 150 years old and one theory is that a Civil War Soldier on his return home from the south planted a small sapling. Unfortunately, that theory cannot be verified.
With Valentine’s Day right around the corner, nothing goes better with love than chocolate! A short walk from The Kissing Tree is Conrad’s Confectionery, founded in 1928, and one of the oldest businesses in Westwood. Its old-fashioned blue and white storefront features a Dutch door bringing a nostalgic feeling of simpler times.
Conrad’s Confectionery has been offering delicious micro-batch ice cream, artisan chocolates, and gifts for three generations. Conrad’s has also been featured on two cooking shows: The Martha Stewart Show and The Chew.
The Westwood Candy Company, a newer addition to town, offers retro candies, specialty chocolates and truffles, vegan and nut-free options, as well as unique gifts for every occasion and holiday. Love and chocolate, the perfect combination available right here in downtown Westwood.*
*Editors Note: We'd be remiss to not include some of our other local favorites. From baked sweets at Bourbon Street Cafe or Ciel, to the perfect spot for cozy cocktails at Anello, Prohibition, or Finnegan's; from a full date night at our 35+ dining spots and movie theatre, to dozens of boutique gift, specialty and jewelry shops, and there is a reason we're called the Hub of the Pascack Valley! Find a full list of businesses by clicking on https://www.celebratewestwood.org/shoplocal! Did we miss one of your favorites? Drop us a note so we can update our list!