Hopewell Borough History Briefs – 2022 Edition

This is the 2022 Edition of a compilation of some 40 Hopewell Borough History Briefs written over the past three years. These History Project research reports have been compiled into a book, which is now available as a free PDF download for convenient reference, searching, and printing.

The goal of this ongoing work is to help recover, document, and preserve the forgotten history of the people, institutions, and businesses of our town.

This material is available in two versions: The Full version, containing all of the briefs, is 500 pages. The summary Digest version is 68 pages, with summaries of each brief, containing chronologies and key names and events. (These are mostly the first pages of each of the briefs.)

The Hopewell Borough History Briefs, 2022 Edition, is available in two versions for download (PDF):

  • Full Version – The entire contents of all the briefs – 500 pages

Also see Hopewell Borough History Briefs for links to the individual briefs and associated information and videos.

How Hopewell Became a Town

The theme of this work is to celebrate the community of Hopewell Borough in the late 1800s into the early 1900s. These people took advantage of the arrival of the railroads in the 1870s, and worked diligently to develop the institutions and utilities and businesses needed to grow Hopewell into a full-fledged town where people wanted to make a home.

The 2022 Edition begins with the new brief on How Hopewell Became a Town (PDF) that provides a broad overview of these themes. It uses historical maps to show the growth of the town within the Township, starting as a handful of markers on the map, growing to a village, and then into a full-fledged town.

It then explores the changes through the eyes of the people who lived in Hopewell – in their words as they wrote about the town to promote the area to others, and in their actions as they invested their energy and their efforts and their money to improve the town.

Their legacy is still visible in the streetscapes that we think of as the historical look of Hopewell, in the local institutions that are still with us today, and in the strong community spirit of contributing back to the town.

This brief is extended from a History Project presentation for the Sourland Conservancy in October 2022. See the references and video of the talk on the History Project site, along with the talk slides.

The other briefs in the 2022 Edition provide more detail on the individual institutions and businesses as documented in other history briefs. See Hopewell Borough History Briefs for links to the individual briefs and associated information and videos.

Hopewell Borough History Briefs, 2022 Edition

This collection of Hopewell Borough History Briefs provides historical information and chronologies on Hopewell Borough organizations, businesses, and properties – and the people who made them:

  • Part 1, Hopewell Railroads and Industrialization, focuses on the local train stations and railroads, and the growth of industrial Hopewell along Model Avenue and Railroad Place.
  • Part 2, Hopewell Organizations and Places, focuses on local organizations (e.g., the library, fire companies, and churches), the center of town (e.g., East Broad from Seminary to South Greenwood), and local businesses (e.g., barbers and Hoproco).
  • The Appendix includes a Timeline, a summary of the Art and Photography collections, Annotated Maps, and References.

These History Briefs draw extensively from the resources of the Hopewell Valley History Project, including documents, pamphlets, maps, aerials, panoramas, photographs, and artworks. They also are based on research in additional sources including newspaper articles, census records, deed books, and genealogical data. In addition, this work is informed by discussions with local residents and their families. This research also has been shared through in-person and online presentations, walking tours, and slide shows.

This 2022 Edition is an extension of the previous 2020-2021 Edition, which included 20 History Briefs, with 315 pages, and 36 pages for the Digest.

Please contact us if you have, or know of, other such historical information or materials to share.

For more on the history of other local areas see the Town Indexes with links to key materials for communities in the Hopewell Valley.

For quick summaries on local history:

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