Pascack Valley Community Life has recurrently misinformed its readers with fictional accounts of the Westwood Post Office site over the past several years, under the auspices of bona fide journalism.
One such account appeared in its June 18, 2008 issue under the caption “Time was … Post office originated in resident’s home;” another such account appeared in its August 19, 2010 issue under the caption “Time was … Westwood’s first post office;” the most recent fictional account of the Westwood Post Office site appeared in its April 21, 2011 issue under the caption “Time was … Westwood’s unofficial post office.”
Fiction #1: Prior to 1862, George [Brickell] distributed mail from his home, located where the present Westwood Post Office stands today, at the corner of Westwood and Fairview avenues.
Fact #1: In 1862, there was no dwelling at the present Post Office site. In 1876, the present Post Office site belonged to Richard Hopper, and was still not subdivided or developed. Thomas E. Brickell bought the building lot on October 12, 1891, but did not complete the first house on the site until 1894. Therefore, mail could not have been delivered from that location by George [Brickell] circa 1862.
Fiction #2: Circa 1862, Westwood Avenue was known as Main Street.
Fact #2: Prior to becoming Westwood Avenue, Westwood Avenue was first known as Greenwood Avenue. Westwood Avenue was never known as “Main Street.”
Fiction #3: In 1879, the borough’s first separate post office opened on 89 Westwood Avenue.
Fact #3: Isaac D. Bogert was Westwood’s Postmaster from 1870 to 1893, during which time Westwood was a railroad village within the territorial boundaries of Washington Township. From 1870-1893, the Post Office was located in the Van Emburgh & Bogert grocery store at the southeast corner of present day Broadway and Westwood Avenue. In January, 1893, Abram C. Holdrum succeeded Isaac D. Bogert as Westwood’s Postmaster. Mr. Holdrum leased a store in Jacob Van Buskirk’s building at the southeast corner of present day Broadway and Irvington Street and moved the Post Office to that site. On November 1, 1893, Thomas E. Brickell succeeded Abram C. Holdrum as Westwood’s Postmaster. On March 27, 1895, Mr. Brickell moved the Post Office to his new building at present day 72-74 Westwood Avenue. The village of Westwood had been incorporated as a Borough in 1894.
Information courtesy of Diary of a New York City Suburb at the Turn of the 20th Century; Six Miles West of the Hudson; and Westwood Cemetery History Trail Westwood, N.J.