March 2022 Update – Parade Videos

The March updates to the History Project featured three videos showing Hopewell parades in 1946, 1947, and 1948. The major new documents are transcribed versions of two special issues of the Hopewell Herald – the 1900 Souvenir Edition and the 1914 Progress Edition – now fully readable and searchable. There also are some fun photos used to understand what turns out to be local advertising for Fletcher’s Castoria, and an amazing 1914 map of the entire Delaware & Raritan Canal system (See Site Updates for more.)

By the numbers, we finished the month with 260 files in the Archives, including 124 documents and 136 maps and aerials. The Image Gallery now has 2650 files, and the Aerial Panoramas Collection has 23 images. The Pamphlet Collection has 156 documents, and the Property Reports Collection has 79 documents, with 58 Site Survey reports and 21 Property Briefs. The interactive History Map includes 775 addresses with 102 historic places in Hopewell Borough. Please keep the materials coming!


1946-1948 Hopewell Parade Videos

The History Project YouTube Channel added three short videos converted from 8mm film clips that show this time, with Hopewell parades in 1946, 1947, and 1948.

The 1946 and 1947 videos show the Memorial Day parades, filmed from several points around town. The 1948 video then shows the Firemen’s Parade, a huge event celebrating the donation by Rockwell of new fire engine.

Thanks to Richard Anderson for sharing this wonderful collection of clips.


1900 & 1914 Hopewell Special Editions

Two special issues of the Hopewell Herald – the 1900 Souvenir Edition and the 1914 Progress Edition – have now been transcribed into more readable and searchable documents.

These provide a wealth of information on local businesses and people – over 120 listings in all – plus over 100 photos of local places and people. They are posted both as the original scans of the newspapers, and as the transcribed and edited documents.

Thanks to Carol Errickson for editing these and other historical materials.


Fletcher’s Castoria

Some charming photos along Railroad Avenue in Hopewell in the early 1900s have lead to unravelling the mystery of signs for Fletcher’s Castoria.

These images show various views of the family of Joseph and Keturah Everett Pierson with buildings behind, with glimpses of a painted signs saying “CASTORIA.”

This turns out to be early advertising signage painted on Pierson’s barn and fence, facing the train station. These were promoting “Fletcher’s Castoria,” a laxative for children that was heavily promoted on ads and billboards in the late 1800s and through the 1920s.

The Castoria structures are gone, but these is still similar painted signage on the Chocolate Factory building down the street.


1914 Delaware & Raritan Canal Map

Also thanks to Rich Anderson, we have posted a an amazing 1914 map of the entire Delaware & Raritan Canal system. The map was drawn by the Pennsylvania Railroad, who owned the canal from 1871 until 1933.

The map provides a detailed view of the canal route and the adjacent rivers, with town names, townships and counties, railroad lines, and major roads. It also identifies the bridges and locks along the canal, and has details on the overhead bridges along the route, particularly in Trenton.

At the top of the map also has a Profile schematic showing the dramatic changes in the depth of the canal cannel along its route – from its maximum in the Trenton section, and then dropping to the levels of the Delaware and Raritan Rivers at each end.


Please contact us if you have – or know of – more images and materials like these that we can share to help illuminate the history of our Hopewell Valley.

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