June 2021 Update – Welcome to Hopewell

The June updates on the Hopewell Valley History Project site wrapped up the coverage of Industrial Hopewell: Railroad Place with the online webinar presentation and posting of the presentation slides. This was followed by some fun local history of Hopewell Borough.

By the numbers, we finished the month with 228 files in the Archives, including 103 documents and 125 maps and aerials. The Image Gallery has passed 2000 files (now 2005). The Aerial Panoramas Collection has 23 images for 3 towns. The Pamphlet Collection has 141 files in 7 categories for 3 towns, and the Property Reports Collection has 56 Site Survey reports and 15 Property Briefs. The interactive History Map includes 775 addresses with 102 historic places in Hopewell Borough. Please keep the materials coming!

Industrial Hopewell: Railroad Place Presentation

The final steps in the coverage of Industrial Hopewell: Railroad Place were a fourth walking tour for the Hopewell Township Recreation Department, followed by an online webinar with the full presentation, 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.

The presentation video has now been posted, along with the talk and tour materials.

See the References post for the presentation video and other associated materials, including the presentation slides, walking tour handout, associated briefs for each of the individual properties, slide shows, and related Hopewell Museum videos.

“Welcome to Hopewell Borough” Signs

There are five of these “Welcome to Hopewell Borough” signs, installed in 2014 on each of the entry points into Hopewell – from the four compass points (East and West Broad, North Greenwood, and (south) Princeton Ave.), plus the bonus diagonal from Louellen.

The Welcome signs were created by artist François Guillemin, also known as le Corbeau (the crow in French), who moved his business, Firedance Studio, from Princeton to Hopewell in 2007 and built the current building at 56 Railroad Place.

The signs feature two iconic structures in the borough: the train station on Railroad Place off North Greenwood, and the gazebo in Hopewell Borough Park at East Prospect off South Greenwood. The signs are painted steel, so they are durable and still look great after seven-some years.

When Guillemin constructed the new building, he also preserved part of the old railroad coal trestle that ran thorough the property and used it for an additional display space for his artwork (now at the foot of the driveway), and also reused the stone from the rest of the trestle pillars for the stonework along the front of the building.

“The Game of Hopewell”

This is “The Game of Hopewell,” a Monopoly-like board game from the 1985 Hopewell Community Day, which features Hopewell Borough institutions and businesses on the spaces around the edge of the board.

You start at the Elementary School corner, and then the other corners have the Borough Hall & Fire House (Tax!) and the Mini Park.

The spaces along the sides feature local businesses, some long gone, and some still familiar.

The game box also includes a History of Hopewell Borough by Betty Gantz, from the Hopewell Business Associates.

We have all but one of the Harvest Fair almanacs in the Pamphlet Collection, and only two Community Day pamphlets. Does anyone have the 2003 Harvest Fair almanac, or more of the earlier Community Day pamphlets?

The Hopewell Business Association (HBA) sponsored Community Day and a wide range of activities over the years, including the Hopewell mugs and Holiday street lighting, but it recently was dissolved. Does anyone have Hopewell Business Association records or other information?

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