31 January 2018

Sourland Mountain Tavern - Hillsborough Inn (1933-1962)

In the Hillsborough of the mid-1950s it wouldn't have been out of place for elected officials and township professionals to adjourn their monthly committee meeting at the old Municipal Building on Amwell Road (now East Mountain Road), cross the street, and head over to the Hillsborough Inn to quench their collective thirst. You can still see the old Municipal Building today on the site of the Department of Public Works, but the old Hillsborough Inn is only a memory.

Circa 1940s advertising postcard.

Some time around 1933, Raphael "Ralph" Galluccio opened a service station on the Amwell Road property that was known as the P.J. Everett farm, and repurposed an old barn for use as a tavern. The Sourland Mountain Tavern, as it was named for the first fifteen years or so of its existence, also featured a few bungalows for renters or visitors. In fact, the first mention of Gallucio's business in a local paper was the May 1934 account of the attempted suicide by veterinarian George Closson - one of Galluccio's first tenants.

Circa 1940s advertising postcard.

The advertising postcard above indicates that the two Galluccio sons were involved in the business as well, possibly before they went into the service during World War II. In 1944, the Galluccios sold the tavern to Michael and Simon DeAngelis of Flagtown. In 1948, the tavern was sold again to Mr. and Mrs. Edward Murray of Somerville. It was some time during this period that the name was changed to Hillsborough Inn - not to be confused with the Hillsboro Inn which operated decades later on Route 206. Joseph Torio and Charles Odda, veteran restaurateurs from Metuchen, purchased the business in 1955, but they listed it for sale less than 18 months later.

26 January 1957 Courier News
If the establishment was sold in 1957 it wasn't to the final owners. In 1962, the Hillsborough Inn was purchased by Peter Philipsheck and family who operated it until it was lost in a fire in 1965.

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