Getting to Know the History of Hillside, NJ

The personal injury lawyers in Hillside, NJ at Garden State Justice Group have sponsored a brief look into the community's past.


The township of Hillside is situated in the northeastern section of Union County, New Jersey. This 1779.2-acre neighborhood is located south of Weequahic and west of Dayton. New Jersey Route 22 runs across the township, and Liberty Avenue travels north and south. 


The township was formed borrowing land from Newark, Elizabeth, and Union. Some of the early farms belonged to the Woodruff, Conant, and Saybrook families. Shortly after the sighting of Halley's Comet, the town was incorporated in 1910. The local high school mascot is a comet due to this. 

During the 1960s, the area's economy peaked. Industries such as Lionel Trains, Bristol-Myers Squibb, and others provided the resident's employment. The white-collar workers lived primarily in the Westminster neighborhood. This area included Pingry School, a private school for boys. The blue-collar workers resided in the central portion of town. 

Historical Landmarks

Located on Conant Street is the Hillside Historical Society. The building was once the residential estate of John Woodruff and is still known as the Woodruff House. The home was built in 1735 upon land that was included in the Elizabethtown Land Grants of 1664. The estate remained in the Woodruff family until being acquired by the Hillside Historical Society in 1978. The land passed through the Woodruff family for years before being split up and sold in lots for development. 


The neighborhood is home to the Hillside Fire Department, established in 1913. The department has two stations within the township, one on Hollywood Avenue and one on Hillside Avenue. They protect over 24,000 residents and respond to as many as 3,300 incidents each year. 


The community was home to 21,404 residents in 2010 and included 7,112 households and 5,533 families. This was a decrease of 1.6% from 2000, which totaled 21,747 residents. The racial makeup of the township was the following:

  • 34.75% white 
  • 53.19% African American
  • 17.63% Hispanic or Latino
  • 0.22% Native American
  • 2.73% Asian
  • 0.03% Pacific Islander
  • 6.22% other races
  • 2.85% two or more races

As many as 29.16% of the residents were born outside of the United States. In addition to English, Spanish and Portuguese are also spoken by the townspeople. Some common ancestries found within the residents include:

  • Portuguese
  • Haitian
  • Brazilian
  • Italian
  • Ghanian

The median income for the households in the community was $55,520 in 2010. This was a decrease from $59,136 in 2000. As many as 9.4% of the families in the neighborhood live below the poverty line. This was an increase from 3.2% in 2000. 

Keep reading: All About Dayton, NJ

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Date Published: June 4, 2021
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