About the Museum
John Woodruff was granted a large piece of land in what is now Hillside, NJ in 1666. His early descendants built a small shed on the property for cover from the climate while working in the apple fields. From this shed, they built the first part of the home standing on 111 Conant Street in 1735. An addition was added in 1790 that includes another room and a kitchen. The general store was added in 1900 and was run by the Woodruff’s who sold orchard and farm products.
The Eaton’s rented the home from 1910-1927 and the general store flourished. It not only sold much needed goods but was a meeting place for news and town gossip. One could often hear talk about Hillside seceding from Elizabethtown and becoming its own township. Gilbert Eaton traveled the area selling fresh eggs and sundries while Sarah Eaton minded the store. Today, the store has the original counter, coffee grinder and gas lamp.
The area was originally an apple orchard and farm equipment is on display outside the replica post and beam barn, generously erected by all volunteers in 1989. Also, on the property is a two seater privy, once used by parents and children at the same time. A water pump and well can be found in the kitchen garden located at the rear of the home.
In 1978, the Hillside Historical Society purchased the house from T. Winslow Woodruff and that same year was able to have it added to the State and National Registers of Historical Places.
Today, the Woodruff House Eaton Store Museum remains because of the efforts of a group of concerned citizens dedicated to preserving Hillside’s history. They gave generously and volunteered tirelessly to insure our past is remembered.