October 2020 Update – Images

The October updates on the Hopewell Valley History Project site feature lots of images, including Hopewell during the Lindbergh excitement, the full set of Gary’s Watercolors, and more Memorial Day parade scenes.

By the numbers, we finished the month with 181 files in the Archives, including 78 documents and 103 maps and aerials. The Image Gallery now has 1662 files, and the Pamphlet Collection has 122 files in 6 categories for 3 towns. The interactive History Map includes 775 addresses with 102 historic places in Hopewell Borough. Please keep the materials coming!

Hopewell Images During the Lindbergh Kidnapping (1932)

Local historian Jim Davidson has kindly contributed some fascinating images of the activity around the Hopewell area in March 1932 caused by the explosion of interest in the Lindbergh kidnapping.

There are multiple images of Gebhart’s Hotel (today’s Hopewell Inn and Bistro at East Broad Street and Seminary Avenue), which was the epicenter of press activity during the search for the child. You can see the crowds of people on the sidewalk – and spilling into the street – including cars with movie cameras set up on the roofs.

Full Set of 20 Local Scenes by Gray’s Watercolors

We now have a full set of images of 20 local scenes from Gray’s Watercolors, thanks to the kindness of Wilda McConaughy, who formed Gray’s with her husband Paul in 1965. The addition of these images from the Gray’s corporate archives now means that there is at least one example of all the paintings documented in the Gray’s Catalog, with 13 scenes of Hopewell Borough and 7 scenes of Pennington.

18 different views of Hopewell and Pennington painted by Gray’s Watercolors

The new Gray’s images include scenes that we had not previously seen, including the Stony Brook Bridge in Pennington and the intersection of Route 518 and Carter Road in Hopewell. There’s also a Gray’s view of the St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Hopewell that was not listed in the catalog, but was used for the hundredth anniversary of the church in 1977.

Memorial Day 1967 – Eagle Bakery

We’ve added some fun photos of the 1967 Hopewell Borough Memorial Day parade, courtesy of Peter H. Gantz. These were taken on West Broad Street across from the Old School Baptist Church – which appears very much the same as today.

But most intriguing is the view west towards Mercer Street. You can see the sign in front of Hopewell House on the corner next to the Baptist Church: “Hopewell House / Tavern, Package Goods, Food, Lunch.” And beyond, on the west corner of Mercer Street, is a sign for Arctic ice cream from Trenton which was placed at the corner for the Eagle Bakery, which was in the building just up Mercer.

Hopewell Valley Fire Departments

We are continuing to celebrate the history of the Hopewell Fire Department and the four(!) fire companies that have served Hopewell Borough. And now we finally have found the 50th Anniversary booklet (PDF) of the Hopewell Fire Department (1911-1961), to join the 75th and 100th in the archives.

Hopewell Fire Dept. – 50th (1961), 75th (1986), and 100th (2011) Anniversary Fleets

These booklets each start with an extensive history and chronology of the Hopewell fire companies, with historic photos. They also provide overviews and lists of officers and members of the different divisions: the Fire Department, Ladies Auxiliary, Ambulance Corps, and the anniversary committees. Plus they are a great snapshot of their times, with many pages of congratulatory ads from then-active local groups and business.

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