Archaeologist and historian Ian Burrow has kindly contributed two documents on the cultural landscape and history of our area.
The first document is A Cultural Landscape History of the Cedar Ridge Preserve (PDF, 2018), the report on his study for the Sourland Mountain Cultural Landscape Project.:
“A study of the approximately 170-acre Cedar Ridge Preserve, which is owned and managed by the Delaware and Raritan Greenway Land Trust, designed both to research the landscape history of the preserve itself and to develop and test methodologies to be applied to cultural landscape studies elsewhere on preserved areas on Sourland Mountain.”
It’s a fascinating exploration of how to tease historical information from both old records and the landscape, examining details including the growth factors of different tree species and features including the layout of fields and stone walls.
The second document, Historical Notes on the Hopewell Presbyterian Church (PDF), has a pair of fun articles that he wrote on the history and construction of the church.
One is on the distinctive purplish‐brown (Hummelstown) bricks used in the construction of the church sanctuary in 1914 (and also seen in a few other buildings around town).
The other is on bottles and other artifacts unearthed in the 2012 construction around the church sanctuary, which lead to a salacious local story of murder and mystery.
So you now can see the world a bit differently, whether noticing the bricks around town or the landscape in the Sourlands.