A small residential township bordering Newark, Hillside is home to approximately 21,000 people over its tiny 2.7-mile expanse. There aren't many attractions to entice visitors or residents, particularly with many huge metropolitan areas nearby. Still, Hillside does have a few points of interest that the big city can't offer, most notably when it comes to history, landmarks, and recreation.
For those with an appreciation for history, Hillside features a number of noteworthy museums that provide a glimpse into the area's past. The Hillside Historical Society maintains a few prominent museums in town, including the Woodruff House and Eaton Store Museum. The Woodruff house was initially built in the 1700s, now fully restored into a walk-through museum. The Eaton Store is located on the same property, and served as a general store for Hillside residents in the early 1900s. Here, visitors can admire antiques and period wares as they walk through the store.
Evergreen Cemetery is Hillside's most noteworthy outdoor landmark. This historical gravesite is on North Broad Street and is dense but well-maintained. It has many legible tombstones dating back to the 1800s and is the final resting place of a few famous authors. One is Stephen Crane, a writer and poet who died young in 1900 and is best known for his novel, "The Red Badge of Courage." Another well-known occupant is Mary Mapes Dodge, a children's writer and author of "The Silver Skates."
Those looking for a recreational release also have a number of options, as the Township hosts a number of structured recreational opportunities throughout the year, including community dances, flag football and basketball leagues. Interested parties should contact the Recreation Department to find out exact dates and locations. Hillside also features a large outdoor public pool. Open during the summer months, the pool also features nearby refreshment stands and picnic areas, and guests can even pay for swimming lessons for kids.
Hillside is also home to a number of small parks that offer chances to enjoy nature and the outdoors. Many come equipped with picnic areas, walking paths and playgrounds. The largest is Conant Park, which takes up about 85 acres along Conant Street. In operation since 1926, the park today features manicured lawns as well as acres of natural forests, giving visitors a chance to observe native wildlife and plants.
- Township of Hillside: Hillside New Jersey Website
- Union County; The Tombstone Transcription Project: Evergreen Cemetery
- Find A Grave Memorial: Mary Mapes Dodge
- Find A Grave Memorial: Stephen Crane
- Township of Hillside: Swimming Pool
- Hillside Wildlife Management Plan Website: Conant Park Site Description
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