September 2022 Update – Hopewell Quarry

The September updates to the History Project included several posts on the history of the Hopewell Quarry Swim Club, photos of the Van Doren lumberyard fires, and two upcoming talks. (See Site Updates for more.)

By the numbers, we finished the month with 281 files in the Archives, including 136 documents and 145 maps and aerials. The Image Gallery now has 2983 files, and the Aerial Panoramas Collection has 23 images. The Pamphlet Collection has 177 documents, and the Property Reports Collection has 85 documents, with 58 Site Survey reports and 27 Property Briefs. The interactive History Map includes 775 addresses with 102 historic places in Hopewell Borough. The History Project YouTube Channel is hosting 21 videos, plus 10 external local history videos, including 4 videos of History Project presentations. Please keep the materials coming!

Hopewell Quarry Swim Club

Frozen Quarry 1960 – Peter Gantz

The history of the founding of the Hopewell Quarry is becoming clearer – before the pit filled in and it became a swim club.

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

Then from at least 1914 through 1920, the site was referred to as 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. 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.

The newspapers report people swimming in the quarry by 1922, and the previous Quarry Swimming Club later used 1928 as its start date. This starts the chain to the current Hopewell Quarry, which is now organized as a non-profit and just completed its first season.

Several contributors have also shared photos of the quarry, including a images of activities in the 1950s-60s.

== See the Quarry Swim Club album in the Image Gallery ==

Van Doren Lumberyard Fires

1/2004 Van Doren’s Lumberyard Fire

Several contributors also have shared photos of the 1991 and 2004 fires at the Van Doren lumberyard on Model Avenue. (There were other major fires in 1935 and 1974, but we do not have photos of them.)

The Model Avenue lumberyard began in 1892 under Abram S. Golden and Amos C. Bond, and sold coal, feed, fertilizers, lumber, and other building supplies. The business was taken over by Jacob C. Van Doren in 1923, and passed to his sons, Robert and George Van Doren, in 1946. The property and business then transitioned to JMAT Supply in 2005.

== See later post and full history brief report on the
Model Ave. Lumber Yard – Golden & Van Doren ==

Upcoming Talks

Two upcoming talks in late October and early September:

Hoproco Carousel

Hoproco – Hopewell’s 1920s Toy Company – Talk & Exhibits
Wed., Nov. 2, 7 pm at The Hopewell Theater

Explore the history of Hoproco, the Hopewell Products Company, and the five known toys that the company created. Plus, come early to see examples of the actual antique toys, exhibited by several local collectors, The Hopewell Museum, and the Hopewell Valley Historical Society.
Hopewell Public Library “Wednesday Night Out” Lecture Series

Hopewell Station 1905

Life in 1900s Hopewell With the Arrival of the Railroad
Thurs., Oct. 27, 7 pm at the Hopewell Train Station

Explore how the arrival of train service in the 1870s along the foothills of the Sourlands drove the growth of the small village of Columbia into the town of Hopewell.
Sourland Conservancy Train Station Series

Other Materials

Other material added to the site this month included:

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

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