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Collection Corner

One of the most important aspects of Hopewell Valley Historical Society's mission is collecting and preserving items pertaining to the area's past. These physical links connect us directly to our local history.








As the items started surfacing a dedicated storage location was set up for the collection in a former doctor's office (thanks to Jerry and Al Farina). Then, as it grew its next home was 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 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. 

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, similarly stored, surfaced.  It contained nearly seven hundred images of the Pennington area from the 1890-1910 period. The Society is extremely grateful to Alice Frisbie and her daughter, Mary Thornton, for their donation of the George Frisbie Collection.

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

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From the Collection:

Pennington and Pennington Road Directory 1927

A local contractor discovered this interesting artifact while doing some work recently and thought maybe the HVHS might like it for their collection. It looks as if termites may have begun their deadly work on it, but stopped for some reason. And we're the luckier for it.

It's particularly interesting to the writer as his family moved to Pennington the very next year. These publications give an interesting look into the community at the time they were printed. This 9" x 5" booklet contains the names and addresses of all the residents at the time, as well as advertisements for many local businesses. It's interesting to note that the Ewing neighborhoods along Pennington Road were combined with those of Pennington Borough

These locations were connected to Downtown Trenton, which at the time was the center of shopping and much of the area's commerce, by Pennington Road. Just after the turn of the century, the first public transportation, in the form of a street railway, was introduced to connect that business activity with developing suburban communities like Ewing and Pennington. By the time this publication was printed, trolley service was giving way to the automobile. Many of the advertisements in it are for businesses in Trenton.

We've included only a few of the items in the directory on this page, but the selection will give the reader a good idea of some of the more interesting features.


"In 1986 the Society's trustees wisely established a committee devoted to locating these artifacts, safely storing them, and sharing this wealth with future generations." 

"They had been stored for years in Pennington Market shopping bags, beneath a bed in Pennington 
...waiting for a good home."
"From time to time, we'll feature an item from our archives on his page. For a relatively small community we're proud of the size and scope 
of our present collection."
Above - This paragraph describes the area served by the directory. Right - The town center in the 1920s. Below left - Directory advertisement with photo of the business. Below right - Drugstore advertisement with period photo of George Scarborough and his wife on the store's porch.
click on the pages above to enlarge