We are amazingly blessed to have some two hours of video, shot in and around Hopewell Borough eighty years ago(!) – from 1941 through 1947. The original 8 mm films were transferred to digital, and now are being posted on the new History Project YouTube channel.
These provide a wonderful “slice of life” view of family life at the time, with multiple shots of family activities – in the home and kids with bikes on the street, swimming at the beach and playing in the snow, chickens and pigs at the farm, plus events including birthdays and Christmas.
The first videos posted on the YouTube channel (see below) are short extracted clips of particularly interesting scenes, including kids at the Grammar school playground, kids at an Easter egg hunt by the firehouse, the Fire Department in action, swimming and diving at the Quarry, trains at the Hopewell station, and the WW II Honor Roll dedication event.
== View the Hopewell Valley History Project YouTube Channel ==
Thanks to Richard Anderson for sharing this wonderful collection of Anderson Hopewell Family Memories – 1941-1947.
(The 8 mm film format was introduced in 1932, and updated in 1935, but had no sound – so these clips are in color, but silent. See Wikipedia.)
Hopewell School Kids
Two 1944 scenes of Grammar School kids at play. The first scene is on the playground of the current Hopewell Elementary School, on the south side of the school. The camera pans over the fields south and east, and then pans over the back side of the original school building.
The second scene shows kids playing two games – what appears to be In And Out The Window and London Bridge Is Falling Down. This is probably filmed in front of the school building?
The Hopewell Elementary School was dedicated in 1926. See the Dedicatory Exercises pamphlet (PDF) with a historical review of schools in Hopewell.
1944 – School kids on Hopewell Grammar School playground (Princeton Ave. and East Prospect). Group shot on steps, then on the swings and seesaws (south side of the school).
1944 – Hopewell school kids playing games outdoors. The games appear to be In And Out The Window and London Bridge Is Falling Down. Probably filmed in front of the school building?
Hopewell Fire Department
Two 1947 scenes of the Hopewell Fire Department. The first clip is the Easter egg hunt, where parents and kids gathered in front of the firehouse on Greenwood Avenue, and then ran across the street into the now Hopewell Gazebo Park to hunt for eggs. The firehouse, then the original building without additions, is actually not shown in the video.
The second clip shows the “Old No. 1” truck (which is still in operation), in use at the Glen Moore bridge over the Stony Brook conducting a “pump drill” to pull water from the stream.
1947 – Hopewell easter egg hunt starting at the Firehouse – Prospect at South Greenwood (not in view – before additions). View north down Greenwood. Kids then run across street to then Holcomb’s farm (now the park).
1947 – Hopewell Fire Dept. at the Glen Moore bridge over the Stony Brook with the “Old No. 1” truck. Conducting a “pump drill,” practicing drafting water from the brook as a source for fighting a fire.
Hopewell Quarry Swim Club
The Quarry Swim Club outside of Hopewell was fun for all – with the large quarry pool, complete with floats, boats, and diving boards, plus the then-new swimming pool for the younger ones. People also climbed the cliffs on the other side to dive off. The YouTube clips also include a separate fun slo-mo clip of a dive off the cliffs.
The Quarry was reorganized as a non-profit last year – see the Hopewell Quarry website for more information and history.
1942 – Hopewell Quarry Swim Club – Diving from boards, bathers on rafts, climbing the cliffs, and diving from cliffs. Plus a bather washing the windows of a NJ State Police Patrol car.
1946 – Hopewell Quarry Swim Club and swimming pool – Multiple scenes in the swimming pool and in the quarry, diving off the cliff. Plus the Model A Ford painted in the Quarry colors.
Hopewell Train Station
The clips include two scenes of people boarding trains at the Hopewell train station, with the camera panning east as the trains depart east to New York. The trains are marked “Central Railroad of New Jersey,” which is unexpected because the Hopewell line was the Delaware and Bound Brook, which connected with the Central RR of NJ in Bound Brook. (See below for a view of the station on Railroad Place.)
See the Hopewell Train Stations presentation and report for more on the train station and the railroad lines.
1942 – Hopewell train station – Boarding the train and departing east towards New York.
1945 – Hopewell train station – Women with flowers waiting at the station, with the passenger shed across the tracks. Boarding the train and departing east towards New York.
Hopewell Honor Roll
The town gathering for the dedication of the Hopewell Honor Roll and Service Flag, at the Hopewell National Bank at the corner of Broad & Greenwood.
The Honor Roll plaque lists the names of World War II Veterans, and was later extended with wings on both sides. The Service Flag has a white field with a red border, and blue star for people who served in the Armed Forces. (The camera pans over both at the end of the clip.)
This event was reported in the Hopewell Herald (5/12/1943). The Honor Roll and Service Flag were dedicated Sunday, May 16, 1943. The music was by the Princeton high school band (seen in the video), with songs by children of the Hopewell elementary school.
See more on the Hopewell Borough Veterans Organizations and Memorial Day observances.
1943 – Dedication of Hopewell Honor Roll and Service Flag at Hopewell National Bank (Broad & Greenwood).
1944 – Railroad Avenue – Jeep driving down Railroad Place in Hopewell, to Hamilton Ave. Hopewell train station in background, Hills Lumber on left, and Tomato Factory on right (FCA not yet built).
We have other videos to share (soon) on the new History Project YouTube channel, and welcome other contributions of historically interesting local videos.
== View the Hopewell Valley History Project YouTube Channel ==
The YouTube channel also has links to other historically interesting videos posted on YouTube – see the Hopewell History Video Gallery post.