Seminary Avenue Historic Walking Tour

            Douglas Dixon, Hopewell Valley History Project

            A Hopewell Valley Heritage Week Event
            Co-sponsored by the Hopewell Public Library

            Tours on Sat., May 21 at 11 am and 2 pm;                      Sun., May 22 at 1 pm and 3 pm; and Mon., May 23 at 2 pm
            Free, but limited places – Pre-Registration Required

  • See References below for the tour, including the Handout, plus briefs on Seminary Ave. and East Broad / South Greenwood, and on individual properties.

Thanks to all who braved the hot weather and threat of rain to enjoy the tour and share more information about our local history.

Join Doug Dixon of the Hopewell Valley History Project for this one-hour historic walking tour of Seminary Avenue in Hopewell Borough – plus two more blocks down Broad and Greenwood to Gazebo Park.

Explore the stories of the people and businesses of this apparently nondescript street that helped provide initiative and energy as a small village grew into a prosperous town – from barbers, butchers, and bakers, to auto, clothing, and grocery stores, to the Hopewell Fire Department and Public Library.

The tour will continue two more blocks, down East Broad to South Greenwood to the Hopewell Gazebo Park. These blocks illustrate the institutions that helped to expand the town, including the hotel, library, church, bank, pharmacy, community hall, school, borough hall, firehouse, and post office.

Schanck’s Market on Seminary Ave. – 1946
[Phyllis Bowen Schanck]
Kids on bikes at the entrance to Seminary Ave. on East Broad St. – 1970 Memorial Day Parade
[Terry Devlin]

The one block of Seminary Avenue off East Broad Street in Hopewell Borough is rather prosaic; It has no well-known buildings, or architecturally distinguished homes, or historical markers.

But once it was opened around 1880 after the arrival of the railroad, Seminary became a “starter street” for Hopewell, a place to find subdivided buildings with apartments and storefronts where young families and small businesses could establish themselves in a new town, and grow and prosper. And Seminary continues this role in Hopewell today, as the home of new residents and businesses.

Harry Cox at his barber shop on Seminary Ave. – early 1900s [HVHS]
Hopewell Fire Department at the new fire house on Seminary Ave. – c. 1911 [HVHS]

Seminary helped launch civic institutions including the Fire Department, Public Library, and the first movie theater.

It helped establish town institutions including Cox’s barber shop, Edling’s and Schanck’s markets, Jones Electric, and Corcoran’s liquors, along with other businesses including livery and auto repair, department stores, shoe stores, cleaners, and upholsters.

And it provided opportunity for a variety of other individual and small businesses, including bakers, butchers, barbers, jewelers, plumbers, and electricians.

Your intrepid tour guide

Doug Dixon is an independent technology consultant and writer, now morphed into a history enthusiast and tour guide. He is a board member of the Hopewell Museum, the Hopewell Valley Historical Society, and Hopewell Valley Heritage Week.

Over the past few years, Doug has developed the Hopewell Valley History Project (, working with over 80 local contributors to collect and freely share digital copies of local historical materials – now with some 500 documents and maps, 2700 images, and an interactive historical map of Hopewell.

As a software technologist, Doug specializes in Web technology, databases, and digital media. He has authored four books on digital media, published hundreds of feature articles, and presented over a hundred seminars and talks.

Follow the History Project on the Blog, and on Facebook and YouTube.

The tour is free, but limited places are available – Pre-Registration Is Required


References on related properties and topics.

Street Briefs

Property and Organization Briefs

Main link is blog post; click “Brief” for history brief with full details

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3 thoughts on “Seminary Avenue Historic Walking Tour

  1. […] the stories of the people and businesses on Seminary Avenue. Join Doug Dixon for a historic walking tour of Seminary Avenue – plus two more blocks of historic buildings over to Gazebo […]

  2. […] the stories of the people and businesses on Seminary Avenue. Join Doug Dixon for a historic walking tour of Seminary Avenue – plus two more blocks of historic buildings over to Gazebo […]

  3. […] welcome result of working on this year’s Seminary Avenue Historic Walking Tour has been the discovery four previously-unknown historic photos of East Broad Street and Seminary […]

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