The December updates to the History Project featured the Hopewell Creamery, plus a variety of other historic photographs. (See Site Updates for more.)
By the numbers, we finished the month with 289 files in the Archives, including 142 documents and 147 maps and aerials. The Image Gallery now has 3187 files, and the Panoramas Collection has 44 images. The Pamphlet Collection has 177 documents, and the Property Reports Collection has 87 documents, with 58 Site Survey reports and 29 Property Briefs. The interactive History Map includes 775 addresses with 102 historic places in Hopewell Borough. The History Project YouTube Channel is hosting 24 videos, plus 12 external local history videos, including 5 videos of History Project presentations. Please keep the materials coming!
The Hopewell Creamery
The Hopewell Creamery is a lost part of Hopewell Borough, at what is now 56 and 58 Model Avenue. We have only a couple photos and maps, and no remaining local artifacts.
A creamery was established in Hopewell c. 1887 by William Naughright and Daniel Northrup, and revitalized by Peter Hernig and Daniel Northrup c.1893.
The creamery then was regularly upgraded until c. 1920, when it was acquired by the Castanea Dairy Company of Trenton, which sold the property in 1925.
The property then was almost abandoned, although the creamery pond was used intermittently for public recreation in Hopewell through the 1940s, and the building was then demolished some time thereafter.
The Harvest Fair / Wooden Car Derby – 1983 – 2006
The Wooden Car Derby was an annual event, originally held as part of Hopewell Community Day in the 1980s, and then continued with the same team as part of the successor Hopewell Harvest Fair event to 2006 and beyond.
The Harvest Fair / Wooden Car Derby album in the Image Galley over 25 fun photos of the action, from five different years during the period of 1983 to 1999.
The images show scenes from the event – kids and cars, the amazing variety of car designs (since the cars were judged on design as well as speed), the careful check-in and weighing process, the long track, and the finish line and timing mechanism.
The Wooden Car Derby was chaired by Bob Milwicz from at least the 1983 Community Day through the 2006 Harvest Fair. Milwicz designed and managed the race timing system, using electronic controls for fractional second accuracy. The team that set up and ran the event also included Dick Sudlow and Roger Labaw.
Sharing Local History
Here are examples of the kind of information we can find from photo collections that have been kindly shared by several local families.
– Even prosaic family snapshots of everyday life can be tremendously useful in understanding and illustrating local history, as they show more in the backgrounds, providing glimpses of people and places that were previously through to be lost. Several family photos from Peter Gantz show glimpses of the now-gone Jones Electric Company, which operated at 7 Center Street from the 1940s to the 1960s. Other photos from the Wyckoff family show Rorer’s Hardware Store at 31 West Broad Street in the 1940s and 1960s, plus the adjoining house which is now gone, and replaced by a parking lot. A third pair of images from the Wyckoff and Gantz families show a now-gone butcher shop from the early 1900s in what is basically a shack, apparently on Railroad Place.
– Similarly, a few Hopewell Valley artifacts provide information on the American Legion and “Rosie” Rathousky at the Hopewell Inn, the Hernig & Northrup Creamery, G. Newell Holcombe’s raw milk, and Cutter’s Drug Store.
33 Railroad Place / Post Office
– 33 Railroad Place in Hopewell / Post Office (PDF brief) was built in 1947 for the Hopewell Post Office and for Carballal’s Luncheonette / Grocery Store. This confusing building now looks like two separate buildings. The one-story front faces Railroad Place (33 Railroad, now Art Sparks), with the entrance positioned diagonally at corner with Blackwell Avenue. The two-story back half originally was the Hopewell Post Office with its entrance on Blackwell Avenue with residence above, and now has residences facing Cook Place (26 & 32 Blackwell)
Please contact us if you have – or know of – other images and materials that we can share to help illuminate the history of our Hopewell Valley.