[Westwood Heritage Society]
Thurston Onderdonk Collection Project

     In 1979, Isaac "Thurston" Onderdonk prepared and presented a collection of over 100 slides depicting an historic view of the Borough of Westwood, as seen through the eyes of his family.

     In 1994, a sub-committee of the Westwood Centennial Committee (chaired by the Westwood Heritage Society) updated the Onderdonk Collection and presented this renewed slide show as one of the events of the Borough's Centennial Celebration.

     In 2007 - twenty eight years after the original showing, the Westwood Heritage Society once again has updated the Onderdonk Collection and is presenting this revised, approx. 150 slide show as one of its visual history events for the education of the Borough's residents.

     The initial 'off Broadway' presentation of this updated presentation was the kick-off event for the Westwood Public Library's 'For Your Life' Series on September 10, 2007, and received 'rave reviews' from the library patrons.

     The Westwood Heritage Society will hold its formal presentation of the updated Onderdonk Collection for Borough residents and the general public:

  • Sunday, October 21, 2007
  • 2:00 p.m. - 4:00 p.m.
  • Westwood Community Center
  • 55 Jefferson Avenue, Westwood

     As stated above, the presentation is not an all-inclusive view of the Borough's history, but rather the view of one of its residents, focusing on the areas that were of importance to him and his family.   Nevertheless, the presentation shows much of the history of Westwood's main street from as early as 1870, and also provides interesting historical data about some of its outlying areas.

     The presentation includes photographs of some of the majestic homes that were a part of Westwood's past, but which unfortunately no longer exit, such as the Thomas E. Brickell home that stood on the northeast corner of Westwood Avenue and Fairview Avenue.

[Thomas E. Brickell Home (1899)]
Thomas E. Brickell Home (1899)

     In addition, the presentation highlights some of the historic buildings that still exist within the Borough, although often unknown to current residents, such as the Volz Hardware & Tool store on Broadway.

[Voltz Hardware & Tool Store (circa 1907]
Voltz Hardware & Tool Store (circa 1907)

The Volz Building has a special significance to the history of the Borough of Westwood.   Prior to Mr. Volz purchasing the building, it was the local Odd Fellows Hall, where on May 9, 1894 the town charter, legally incorporating the Borough of Westwood as a municipal entity, was signed.

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Date Last Updated: Septembe 19, 2007 Copyright © 2007