Here are references and links for the Industrial Hopewell historic walking tour and online webinar on Railroad Place, including the webinar video, presentation slides, tour handout, more detailed briefs on the individual properties, associated slide shows, and related Hopewell Museum videos.
These cover the large industrial buildings along Railroad Place in Hopewell Borough, including the Chocolate Factory, Tomato Factory, J. B. Hill and Sons, the Rockwell / Kooltronic facility, and more.
- Schedule of Industrial Hopewell Historic Walking Tours
- Information on the Industrial Hopewell online webinar – June 10, 2021
** Update: See Hopewell 1965 and Railroad Place for new images of the FCA
By the early 1900s the area was established with multiple factories, and criss-crossed with railroad sidings. Many of the original buildings still stand today, although several were lost to arson. Some of these buildings are substantially unchanged from their original construction, and others show a variety of expansions and modifications over time. Some of these businesses and their successors then lasted 50 to 75 to over 100 years, before the buildings were adapted to their current uses.
Further down Somerset Street was used as an incubator area for starting new businesses, and also had a public skating pond and a town dump. However, unlike on Railroad Place, the physical record of that activity has been wiped clean, as a result of the site cleanup after contamination was identified starting in the 1990s.
The arrival of two railroads in the 1870s spurred the growth of the town of Hopewell. But local boosters also saw a greater opportunity, and invested in developing Railroad Place as an industrial district that could support larger-scale manufacturing.
Industrial Hopewell – Presentation Video
Online webinar held on June 10, 2021, and co-sponsored by the Hopewell Valley Historical Society, The Hopewell Museum, the Hopewell Public Library, and the Hopewell Branch of the Mercer County Library.
Industrial Hopewell – Presentation Slides and Tour Handout
== View the Presentation slides: Industrial Hopewell – Railroad Place (PDF) ==
A virtual tour of the industrial buildings along Railroad Place in Hopewell that explores the efforts of the town to grow an industrial district.
== View the Tour handout: Industrial Hopewell – Railroad Place (PDF) ==
Includes overviews of the entire industrial district, summaries of each of the properties, and additional information on Somerset Street.
Industrial Hopewell – Property Briefs
Briefs on the individual properties along Railroad Place, with more details and images (link to full PDF):
- The Hopewell Chocolate Factory
- The Hopewell Valley Canning Company
- Hopewell Borough Railroad Sidings / FCA
- J. B Hill and Sons
- Kooltronic / Rockwell / Smith
- Rose & Chubby’s Luncheonette
- The Mercer & Somerset Railroad and a Frog War, John Kilbride
Industrial Hopewell – Slide Shows
Associated slide shows created for 2021 Hopewell Valley Heritage Week.
- Railroad Place Tour slide show
– Industrial Hopewell – Railroad Place – Then & Now
- Heritage Week slide show
– Transportation in the Valley
(Use the playback controls to Pause, Play, or step to Previous/Next)
Industrial Hopewell – Museum Videos
See the Hopewell Museum Videos page for videos on some of these buildings, and showcasing other features of the Museum’s collections:
- The Hopewell Tomato Canning Factory
- Hopewell and the Chocolate Factory