West Orange installs marker to commemorating former police station

Photo Courtesy of West Orange

WEST ORANGE, NJ — Barbara Smith Rickel Ochs, left, and Mary Jo Connolly attend the Aug. 29 historical marker dedication for the former West Orange Police Station. The historical marker was placed by the Downtown West Orange Alliance in front Main Street Liquors at 56 Main St. to mark the West Orange Police Department’s former location; it rented the space from 1894 to 1905. 

The building still contains wall writings left by former West Orange Police Officer John Heslin at the turn of the century. Township historian Joseph Fagan was able to identify Heslin as the author after comparing writing samples and doodles from the man’s journal; Ochs and Connolly assisted Fagan in this. Connolly is the great-granddaughter of Heslin, and Och’s is the granddaughter of Newell Smith, who previously owned the building and first discovered the writings in 1903.

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