February 2023 Update – School Days

The February updates to the History Project featured Hopewell schools, plus old phone directories and some more recent history with photos from 2000. (See Site Updates for more.)

By the numbers, we finished the month with 291 files in the Archives, including 144 documents and 147 maps and aerials. The Image Gallery now has 3209 files, and the Panoramas Collection has 44 images. The Pamphlet Collection has 186 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 25 videos, plus 14 external local history videos, including 5 videos of History Project presentations. Please keep the materials coming!

The Timberlane School Name

c1954 Timberlane Development sign – Ted Pierson and George Morehead (left and right) [Pierson family]

As a follow up to the recent post about Hopewell School Mascots, we were able to report the origins of the Timberlane School name.

Nicole Gianfredi, principal of Timberlane Middle School, kindly relayed the story of the founding of the adjacent Timberlane Drive development, and Jack Davis then researched further and connected us with Jim and Nancy Pierson, who explained their family connections to the area and the name.

The Timberlane area was developed around 1954 by Ted Pierson, Jim’s father, in partnership with George Moorhead. At the time, the Timberlane name was used for this property, as separate from Pennington, which then grew into our [North] Timberlane Drive and South Timberlane Drive.

Hopewell Elementary School 1952

Hopewell Elementary School 1952 Yearbook

Part of our Pamphlet Collection is a growing category of pamphlets from local schools, including the original Hopewell High School from the 1890s to 1920s (now the firehouse), and then Central High School from the 1930s. These include yearbooks, graduation programs, and programs for class plays.

And now, courtesy of Roger Labaw, we have the 1952 Hopewell Elementary School graduation program and yearbook for the eighth grade class.

The yearbook features photos of the class annotated with their school activities and home addresses, plus some “candid camera” photos in the school and a large collection of baby / toddler photos – with identifications.

Early Telephone Service – 1908 Phone Book

1908 Trenton Phone Directory

Thanks to the kindness of Ric Weidel, we now have been able to scan a 1908 Trenton District telephone directory, with listings of Hopewell Valley villages, including Hopewell, Pennington, Titusville, and more from the surrounding area.

With the help of Carol Errickson, we also have created an index for the Hopewell listings from several old phoe books, combining the information for 1908 through 1910. The index has phone numbers, names, occupations, addresses, and towns (as listed or presumed), with 101 listings for 1908 and 125 for 1910, with a total of 157 combined over the three years.

History in Local Photos – 2000 and Today

Can you picture what our area was like twenty years ago, fifty years ago, a hundred years ago?We actually have a good collection of photographs of important local scenes across the Hopewell Valley around the turn of the century (1900), from postcards and some local photographers. However, our collection of images into the middle and later 1900s is more happenstance – mostly various family photos and images of Memorial Day parades.

As an example of capturing images of a time and place, Roger Labaw recently contributed another 19 photos taken around Hopewell Borough, in the year 2000.

Much has stayed very familiar, including the school buses lined up at the Elementary School and the recycling cans – but you also can see the former Sunoco gas station at Hamilton and East Broad – with gas at $1.37 a gallon.

Hopewell Boro photos by Roger Labaw, 2000

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.

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