Who were the people who lived here in the Hopewell Valley around 1875 – some 150 years ago? And what did they do here? The maps of the time show that many ran small businesses, providing supplies and services to the local community.
Some of these businesses are still familiar today: druggist, barber, shoemaker, dressmaker, restaurant, and general store.
And others are obsolete, or seem odd combinations to us today: eating saloon and boarding-house; coal and lumber; furniture store and undertaking; harness manufacturing and blankets; hardware, stove and tin ware; carriages, buggies and sleighs; agricultural implements and blacksmithing; and livery and cigars.
Thanks to the work of Bob Lawless, we now have annotated versions of the 1875 Everts & Stewart maps of both Pennington and Titusville, that list the occupations and businesses of the people and buildings identified on the maps. These maps are from the Combination Atlas Map of Mercer County, New Jersey, Everts & Stewart, 1875.
The business information comes from the Mitchell & Co.’s New Jersey Railroad Gazetteer and Business Directory of 1877, one of a series of similar directories that give us a view into the business activities in local towns over a century ago.
The Map of Pennington (1875) Annotated with Businesses shows extensive development of Pennington, with buildings along north and south Main and east and west Delaware, and with the two railroad lines to the west.
See Historic Town Maps of Pennington for other Pennington Borough maps from the 1800s.
The Map of Titusville (1875) Annotated with Businesses shows the buildings lining River Drive between the Delaware and the canal, the mills along the canal, and growth up Church Road to the Methodist Church.
See Historic Town Maps of Titusville / Washington Crossing for other Titusville maps from the 1800s.
Bob also has compiled a collection of Pennington Borough Businesses Listings from 1882 (PDF) from another such directory, Industries of New Jersey: Part 1 – Trenton, Princeton, Hightstown, Pennington and Hopewell of 1882. This has detailed descriptions of eight leading local businesses, with backgrounds of the current and previous proprietors.
So now you can find out what John and D. C. Titus were doing in Pennington, instead of in their namesake town.
Plus – Here’s an annotated Hopewell Borough map – T. M. Fowler’s Hopewell, New Jersey of 1887 – a hand-drawn panoramic birds-eye view of the town. This has been annotated with Fowler’s business listings, augmented by information from Betty Gantz.
See Historic Town Maps of Hopewell Borough for other Hopewell maps from the 1800s.