Hello everybody ,
Continuing with my series on Hillsdale New Jersey, my hometown, I submit this bit of history about our famous iconic traffic booth which still stands in the center of town. It has been moved since my days of growing up but it's still there. Standing proudly to a bygone era of our towns history.
The Police Booth was donated by the then existing Hillsdale Board of Trade. The Traffic Booth in Hillsdale NJ was first used in December of 1925 on Christmas Day. It was the home base of the the Hillsdale Police Dept. until 1931 when the town finally built a Borough Hall on Hillsdale Ave. which also housed the Fire Dept.
Here's a picture from my families collection , before it also changed and the town built a new Borough Hall.
The New Hillsdale Borough Hall was constructed in 1973.
Below is a picture of our present day Borough Hall.
Now onto the Police Booth.
The Police Booth sits on the corner of Hillsdale Ave and Broadway.
Originally the booth sat in the middle of the road on Hillsdale Ave. as you can see in the picture below.
The first traffic lights were installed at the corner of Hillsdale Avenue and Broadway in July 1927.
In those early days it was operated manually by an officeer sitting inside the booth. If the officer was needed for an emergency, he could switch it to automatic and then hop in his car and go.
One amenity that was offered by the booth was a telephone located inside the booth. Before 1924, a telephone indented solely for police use was placed on a pole at Park Ave. and Broadway. A thoughtful citizen by the name of Mr. Beck, donated a beach umbrella and placed it next ot the pole so police officers could avoid being exposed to rough weather when placing calls. Once the booth was constructed it was quickly moved inside the booth.
In 1926 Hillsdale also bought it's first patrol car, a Chevrolet Roadster. Then in 1928 a borough ordinance established the police department as an official municipality entity and named it's first chief of police.
Heres's an interesting tidbit. On June 4 1900 Hillsdale enacted it's first traffic ordinance. It "prohibited bicycle riding on the paths beside the roadside". A law followed in May of 1902 that set a town speed limit of 8 MPH for all motorcycles automobiles and bicycles. Wow! Times sure have changed.
So many changes took place in such a short period of time as the result of the changing demographics.
Between 1920 and 1930 Hillsdale's population grew from 1,720 to 2,959 creating a greater need for maintaining law and order. Between 1950 and 1970 the population nearly tripled as over 7500 new people moved to Hillsdale. The population as of the 2000 census now stands at approximately 10,087 and I am sure it has grown since then.
I hope you have enjoyed my historical posts.
If you or anyone you know is looking to buy or sell a home in the Pascack Valley Hillsdale NJ areas, please contact me and my wife Lisa. We have lived here all our lives and we have deep roots here. We love our my hometowns and continue to watch them grow and get better everyday.
Have a great Day!
Look for my next installment coming soon.
Robert & Lisa Hammerstein • Sales Associates • Coldwell Banker • (201)315-8618
• Address • 50 Broadway • Hillsdale, NJ 07642 •