The Founding of the Hopewell Quarry

The Hopewell Quarry on Crusher Road has been revitalized and reopened by the Friends of Hopewell Quarry, and is finishing its first full summer season.

The story of the Quarry Swimming Club is outlined in the Quarry history page and in recent newspaper coverage – It was originally run by Dezzie and Ann Bond Casey in the mid-1900s, then passed to Forrest Lowe in 1970, to William James in 1975, and then to Nancy and Jim Gypton from 1988 through 2021. It was then purchased in August 2021 by the nonprofit Friends of Hopewell Quarry.

Frozen Quarry 1960 – Peter Gantz

But what was the original quarry? Where did the 50-plus-foot deep rock quarry pit come from? Apparently, the mining operation hit a natural spring, so the hole needed to be pumped out to continue the mining.

We have some answers on the start of the quarry from articles in the local papers. But there is more to fill in, so we’re interested in finding out about additional sources, such as deeds and other records.


== See 1940s Quarry swimming videos on the History Project YouTube Channel ==


Cope’s Quarry – Joshua S. Cope

1903 Pugh – Mercer County

The story of the Hopewell Quarry starts around 1892 with the quarry business of Joshua S. Cope, located on what is now Crusher Road just off Pennington-Hopewell Road (Route 654).

The 1903 Pugh map of Mercer County shows “Cope’s Stone Crusher” at that intersection. At the time, the papers described its location as in Glen Moore or near Moore’s Station. (Click to Pan/Zoom in the Pugh Mercer County map)

Cope’s Quarry also included a stone crusher that delivered vast amounts of crushed stone (the local diabase, or “trap rock”) to build and improve the local roads:

Joshua S. Cope, Stone Quarryman
An enterprise that has materially assisted in extending Hopewell’s reputation as a source of supply is the large stone quarries of Joshua S. Cope. A force of men are kept steadily at work getting out material for walks, drives, stone roads, etc. A great deal of trap rock and screenings are shipped to all parts of New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Mr. Cope secured the contract for furnishing the stone for the Hopewell and Pennington road, the Pennington and Trenton road and the new Trenton reservoir. The quarries were first started about nine years ago, and all the development has been by its present owner.

– Hopewell Herald Souvenir Edition 9/19/1900
Hopewell Herald 4/13/1892

As of 1892, the papers report that Cope’s crusher was “getting ready for business,”, and then include many mentions of contracts and payments from municipalities including Hopewell Borough and Mercer County, from at least from 1895 through 1910.

It’s not clear exactly when Cope exited the business, or whether it then still continued operating. Cope died in 1916, and his obituary reports that he retired from his “active [stone crusher] business a few years ago.”

Trenton Evening Times 11/3/1914

His name still lived on, however, as what is now Crusher Road was still described as “Mount Rose and Cope’s Quarry Road” in 1919, and as “Cope’s to Mt Rose” road in 1938.

In November 1914, there was a suspiciously interesting advertisement in the paper offering a stone quarry with crushing plant for sale – but it unfortunately does not mention the location.


Amos C. Bond

Trenton Evening Times 7/16/1916

Then from at least 1914 through 1920, the newspapers start reporting on Amos C. Bond’s “crushery” and “stone quarry,” which also provided crushed stone for local roads, including one contract for 500 tons of crushed stone for Hopewell streets.

Bond was reported as having bought the “old stone quarry,” which was described as being west of Hopewell, on the Pennington road, and on the road to Mount Rose. This seems to be our quarry, especially because several articles in 1922 also describe the “swimming pool at Bond’s quarry,” which was “60 feet deep.”

Quarry Divers 1973 – Ken Kaplowitz

The Industrial Directory of New Jersey reports that Cope’s quarry employed 8 to 20 people from 1901 to 1912, and that Bond employed 15 people in 1918.

However, we currently do not have a direct link from Cope to Bond, nor from Bond to the next phase of the quarry as a swimming club. The best we can say is that Cope apparently operated at least from 1895 through 1912, and Bond operated at least from 1914 through 1920.


The Quarry Swimming Club

Various articles report that the quarry ceased operation in 1916 and the mining company filed for bankruptcy, or that mining continued to the 1930s, but we have no more sources for this. (Amos C. Bond was bankrupt in 1928, and his 88-acre farm “west of Hopewell” was to be auctioned off, but there is no mention of the quarry.)

There are a couple articles from 1922 that warn of the danger of swimming in the 60 foot deep pool at “Bond’s quarry,” and arranging a swimming event there.

The Quarry Swimming Club used 1928 as its start date, and articles report that it was incorporated then, after locals started using the pool and the owner then began to charge admission. However, besides some references to the (unnamed) “quarry swimming pool,” the papers are silent on developments with the quarry until 1941.

Hopewell Herald 6/11/1941

But we can end with a bridge from Bond to the Swim Club. In 1941, the papers report that the “Quarry Swimming Club” was organized, adding a concrete swimming pool to the quarry pool. Dezzie L. Casey was the director, and he starts the chain to the current Hopewell Quarry.

It seems that Casey was married to the former Annie Elizabeth Bond, who was the daughter of William J. Bond, the brother of Amos C. Bond. But again there is no direct report of the quarry passing between them. (There also were a plethora of Bonds in the Hopewell area during this time, including generations of Bond children and specifically Amos and William Bonds, so it would be helpful to get this clearly laid out.)


This work shows the usefulness and limitations of newspaper and ancestry research. Clearly, understanding the tangled web of people requires a deeper dive, and fully understanding the ownership of the property requires further work in the deed records.

So any additional information to clarify the history of the Hopewell Quarry would be greatly appreciated.


== See 1940s Quarry swimming videos on the History Project YouTube Channel ==

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.

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