Monday, September 19, 2011

"Old Chilton"

I circled around the building currently known as Crestwood Park, but referred to by many people as “The Old Chilton,” i.e., “He lives in Old Chilton.” Before it became a condominium--and the units I have seen are quite nice--it was the birthplace to many people who live in town, including my wife. I was born at Barnert Hospital in Paterson, as was our friend Madeleine, who was born there a couple days before me. Then a few years later they tore down the building and turned it into a parking lot. At least Old Chilton is still standing! My siblings--two of whom were born at Old Chilton--and I had our share of visits to the Chilton Emergency Room, including the time I ran through a glass door when I was about 4. When the new Chilton--where our kids were born--was built on West Parkway in 1970, the old building remained in use for about another 14 years.

In case you didn't know, Chilton Hospital as it's known now (until recently the name was Chilton Memorial Hospital; they must have figured "Memorial" is superfluous and self-evident) was named after Forrest Chilton III, who died in World War II. It was his father, Dr. Chilton, who donated the land for the building.

The Old Chilton hospitality shop was the place to be for kids from PV School in the afternoon. The first—and probably last—place I had a cherry coke. In addition to bringing a 55-bed facility to the Turnpike in 1954, Chilton also brought the town’s first passenger elevator. Woo hoo! Pequannock Township had hit the big time! What could top that? Well, maybe the town’s first traffic light 10 years later at Jackson Ave and the Turnpike. Today there are 11 traffic lights, if I counted correctly, and I can think of at least eight buildings with elevators. Metropolis!

1 comment:

  1. I have so many memories of the "Old Chilton" I don't know where to begin. I got my tongue sewed back on there after biting off in kindergarten at the "Old Pompton Plains School" on the other side of the Municipal Building parking lot. My mom got there and shot me over there where I was strapped down to the gurney and had it all put back together. I lived behind the hospital in the Village so when I would get out of P.V. School I would walk over and hit that hospitality shop whenever I had a few cents in my pocket. My grandmother was a bookkeeper there and a lot of times would bring us presents from the hospitality shop. I would stand out by the street looking for her, hoping she would be carrying that pink bag!