Hopewell Presbyterian Church 125th Anniversary – 2002

Rev. Ginter at Hopewell Presbyterian 65th Anniversary, 1942

Continuing in our effort to capture and archive the histories of the local Hopewell Valley churches, here is a presentation from 2002 created to celebrate and document the 125th anniversary of the Hopewell Presbyterian Church.

The presentation includes historical photos and information on the early church properties along West Broad and Louellen streets, a chronology of the current church buildings, and a timeline of church leaders back to 1877 –  many with photos.

== View the full 2002 Hopewell Presbyterian 125th Anniversary Presentation (PDF) ==

Hopewell Presbyterian and St. Alphonsus – 1877

Joint 125th Celebration 2002 – Hopewell Presbyterian & St Alphonsus

The presentation also includes photos of church activities for the 125th celebration, including joint activities with St. Alphonsus Roman Catholic Church.

Both Hopewell Presbyterian and St. Alphonsus were officially organized in 1877, and had a joint celebration of their 125th anniversaries.

These were the first new churches in town after the Old School Baptist Church, which had been formed in 1715. The original Old School Baptist church building was built in 1747, and then the current building replaced it in 1822 .

The current St. Alphonsus Church on Princeton Ave. was built in 1877.

Hopewell Presbyterian Cornerstone, 1914

The original Hopewell Presbyterian building, however, was the Presbyterian Chapel, which was built across Broad from the present church (the Chapel building is still standing, but was rotated 90 degrees for use as a residence). The current Presbyterian Church then was built in 1915.

1800s Broad & Louellen – Blacksmiths and Wheelwrights

Hopewell Presbyterian Church triangle at Broad & Louellen

Before Hopewell Presbyterian purchased the triangle of property where Louellen Street meets West Broad Street in the early 1900s, it was occupied by S. Smith Ege’s blacksmith and wheelwright shop, which was established around the early 1870s.

The first photo from around 1910 shows Ege’s blacksmith shop filling the end of the triangle at the intersection. Blacksmiths were needed to shoe local horses and create other metal items, from nails to plows and knives to door hinges.

Ege Blacksmith Shop – c1910
Wheelwright Shop – c1910

The second photo from the same time period shows the view from across Broad Street, with the same blacksmith building on the right and a wheelwright building on the left. Betty Gantz reports that the separate wheelwright shop was new as of around 1882, and was operated by A. W. Ketcham. Wheelwrights were needed to build and repair wooden wheels for horse-drawn vehicles. 

Time Capsules

Contents of the Chapel Cornerstone from 1877

When the original Presbyterian Chapel building was sold in 1923, a collection of materials was found in a box which had been placed at the cornerstone ceremony in April 1877. The box contained a handwritten document, The Historical Sketch of the Village of Hopewell, which was presented as a speech as part of the town’s Centennial Celebration in 1876.

This provides us with a wonderful discussion of Hopewell’s early years, with historical properties referenced to their then-current names and owners.

So in 2002, for the 125th Anniversary, Hopewell Presbyterian buried a new time capsule in front of the building. Unfortunately, the presentation does not show its contents.

== View the full 2002 Hopewell Presbyterian 125th Anniversary Presentation (PDF) ==

Please contact us if you have additional local church materials that we can share.

More on Hopewell Valley Churches

Historical information on Hopewell Valley churches.

See also the Document Archive for historical books on local churches.

Hopewell Borough

Pennington Borough

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