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One of the most vital parts of Hopewell Valley Historical Society's mission is collecting and preserving items pertaining to the com-munity's past. These physical links connect us directly to our local history.

As artifacts started coming in, a storage location was set up in a former doctor's office (thanks to Jerry and Al Farina).Then as the collection grew, its next home was located in an ancient church in Harbourton. But when a new library building was constructed just outside of Pennington Borough by Mercer County, officials there invited us to store our collection in a room they would provide. We were thrilled with the offer and our collection has grown nicely there for many years. The trustees and members of the Society are grateful to Mercer County for continuing to provide us with a safe and secure home for these precious artifacts.

Several important individual collections exist within the Society's holdings. The first was a group of historical items gathered by a legend of local history, Alice Blackwell Lewis. These items are priceless reminders of our rich past. The old letters, photographs, brochures, tickets, etc., that make up the collection got our archives off to a great start. Thank you Betty Davis !

Next a collection of old glass plate negatives, surfaced. It contained nearly seven hundred images of the Pennington area from about 1890 through 1917. The society is extremely grateful to Alice Frisbie and her daughter, 
Mary Thornton, for their donation of the
George H. Frisbie images.

Our collection continues to grow, thanks to a modest budget funded by membership. If you enjoy learning about the items featured here please stop back from time to time to see what's new. If you'd like to support our efforts then please consider becoming an HVHS member today.

Collection Corner

In 1986 the Society's trustees wisely established a committee devoted to locating historical artifacts, safely storing them, and ensuring their exsistence for future generations.

From time to time, we'll be featuring something special from our collection
of historical items on this page.
A special thanks 

The Historical Society acknowledges the help of Jordan Antebi and Larry Kidder, who have volunteered their time cataloging and organizing the Pennington Kleio Club Collection featured on this page.

From time to time HVHS accepts donations from organizations who are de-accessioning items of historical interest from their collection, or have records pertaining to a club or group that operated within Hopewell Valley.
Pennington Kleio Club Archive

One of the newest collections to be acquired by the Hopewell Valley Historical Society is the historic archive of the Pennington Kleio Club. This summer, volunteers at the archives have been busy sorting, cataloging and filing the Kleio collection consisting of news clippings, photographs, pamphlets and misc correspondence. 

The Kleio archive spans over a hundred years, from the founding of the club in the early 1900s, to the early 2000s when it was dissolved due to declining membership.

The Kleio Club archive consists of newspaper clippings, photographs, pamphlets, programs and miscellaneous
correspondence. The club archive spans over one hundred years, from the founding of the organization in the early 1900s, to the early 2000s, when it was dissolved due to declining membership.

The Kleio Club was founded by a group of eight Pennington women in 1902, and its name was derived from the Greek goddess Keio, the muse of history, art, poetry and literature. Its mission was to study these topics, as well as to help with the beautification and enhancement of the surrounding community.

Once a year the women in the club would pick a topic, research an important aspect of it and then present all their research together to an audience. Topics varied from geographical areas, like Africa, to the sciences, like biology, and historical events that included the American Revolutionary War. These programs were well regarded throughout the community and served to bring a little culture to the people of rural Hopewell Valley.

During its existence, the Kleio Club served as an important civic organization and helped bring the community together for various special activities and events. In addition to the literary programming, the club sponsored annual musical revues, fashion shows, men's nights, drama shows and art exhibitions.

As part of their mission, the Kleio Club also sponsored community wide projects to benefit the local area. Over the years this included high school scholarships, donations for the erection of the Charles Fish Barn at Howell Living History Farm, improvements to Kunkle Park, beautification of the Pennington Landfill and donations of books and funds to the Pennington Public Library. 

The Pennington Kleio Club also had a strong interest in history. Long before the Hopewell Valley Historical Society was created, the women in the club promoted pride in local history throughout the Pennington community. As a civic project in 1940, the Kleio Club collaborated with various organizations in the community to create the publication "Pennington Presents Her Present and Past". This was the first published history of Pennington. This book and the histories within it served as the nucleus for the book "Pennington Profile" written by Margaret O'Connell (a Kleio Club member).

As the Kleio Club wrote in 1940: "May we worthily carry the torch of this rich heritage, handing it on to coming generations, nurturing in them a deep appreciation of a task well done". Although the Kleio Club has ceased to exist, the legacies of its efforts to instill a pride in local history, community and the arts have lived on and helped shape Hopewell Valley into the community that it is today.

Jordan Antebi
Pennington Kleio Club musical programs from the 1940s.
Pennington Kleio Club record book
Archival storage box containing Kleio Club event and pro-gram brochures, all carefully sorted by date. These publica-tions span all of the 20th century.
 Archival storage box containing files from 
the archives of the Pennington Kleio Club.
Record book for the "Beautification of Pennington 
Landfill Project" (1960) completed by members 
of the Pennington Kleio Club.