Garwood and The Railroad

The establishment and growth of the town of Garwood is intrinsically connected to the railroad. Garwood grew up with the Central Railroad of New Jersey (CRRNJ). During the 1890's, business and railroad man Samuel Garwood and John Rogers Maxwell, then-president of the CRRNJ, acquired large tracts of land in what is now the borough and formed the Garwood Land and Improvement Company in 1891. The name "Garwood," which was applied to the area some years before the incorporation of the Borough in 1903, was said to be in honor of Samuel Garwood, the chief stockholder of the Land Company. Garwood’s first mayor, Frank W. Morse, was part owner of the company.

The company provided industrial building sites that came with the lucrative access to the railroad. When the borough was first developing, it was billed as the “new town on the Central Railroad of New Jersey, between Westfield and Cranford.” Two of the largest area manufacturers at this time were the Singer sewing machine works in Elizabeth and the Potter press works in Plainfield; both of which caused the establish and growth of dedicated rail stations: Grant Avenue in Plainfield and Elizabethport in Elizabeth. Garwood’s station would soon rival these two in benefitting the factories and industries of Garwood. Soon enough, Hercules Tubeworks, Thatcher Furnace, and the Aeolian, Weber Piano and Pianola Company factories would all be situated alongside the railroad tracks.

Garwood’s train station opened in August 1892. An extension was added in 1918. The original station was destroyed by a fire in June 1976.

* The Plainfield-Courier newspaper, March 22, 1892, page 3